I don't believe players should ever be booed for failing to produce. It's not like they are TRYING to strike out with the bases loaded ...Well, almost nobody. :>)
The problem is that so much of a player's persona is cosmetic. Trot Nixon quietly produced nothing in the crucial month of September, and he earns twice as much as Millar, is a platoon player, hit .223 with five homers and 30 RBI at Fenway, and .233 with a home run in September. Yet he is perceived as the consummate competitor and has never faced the anger of the nation.
But does Nixon play the game any harder than Millar, Renteria or Bellhorn? When Nixon hits a two-hop, automatic out to second base, he jogs to first in the exact same manner as Ramirez and 99 percent of baseball players at the major league level.
And nobody says a word.
October 13, 2005
Thank You, Howard Bryant
From his Wednesday Herald column (my emphasis):
by allan at 8:00 PM