Last night, amateur sociologist Curtis Granderson talked with Newsday's Jim Baumbach about crowd psychology and the nature of booing. Granderson, most likely displeased at all the negative vibes in the month of April, told Baumbach:
"I've always wanted to know why someone would boo, because in the next second they'll cheer...So which one is it? You like your team or dislike your team? You call yourself a fan and then you'll boo?"
Granderson went on to say:
"I understand you're a fan, but at the same time, you aren't playing...I can see you getting that intense as a player or have played. But if you're just a fan and watching, enjoy the excitement of the game that is in front of you, win, lose or draw, whatever the case is."
I often wonder myself why fans boo. Granderson does have a point: If you truly enjoy and support watching your team there probably should be no reason to boo. That said, baseball fandom—or fandom of sports in general—like other forms of entertainment, is expressed in ticket sales and projected onto the product that's put in front of you. Booing certainly is a way that fans can show their displeasure with the direction of a franchise, since unlike movies, plays, or music, there are no reviews from famous critics other than what's written in the paper and talked about on sports-talk radio.
Nevertheless, one can see why Granderson drew the ire of Mets fans over the first month. He was the first big signing of the Alderson era, the Mets had invested a lot of money to land him, and he just wasn't performing. In March and April, Granderson hit a horrific .136/.252/.216.
The good news is that things are looking up, as Granderson has hit .310/.372/.592 in May, so if that trend continues the boos may go away on their own.