How I love being a free man

I can’t believe it either, Clay. Photo taken by Kelly O’Connor/ in May 2009 and used with permission.

“You are such a farm hand homer.” – comment left on my blog a few days ago (meant to be an insult).

I am. Hell, I’m a homer in general – big leagues and minors, I don’t discriminate (and I certainly don’t hide it). But I DO favor the minor league players, that’s true. And tonight I’m going to go all homer on you about Clay Buchholz (well, really about PawSox fans).

As a follow up to NECN’s Mike Giardi’s interview with Clay (the one where he talked about how he was itching to get back to the bigs) Giardi wrote this on Friday.

It has brought to my attention that the Pawtucket faithful booed Clay Buchholz Wednesday night. Can someone explain that to me?

I’d be happy to, Mike.

See, the booing didn’t happen.

How do I know this? Well, Giardi wasn’t forthcoming in this piece with who “brought” it to his attention but I thought I’d ask someone who would most certainly have first-hand knowledge of the game. See, I was live blogging the BoSox game that night so I couldn’t listen to the PawSox game. I decided to go to the blog of one of the PawSox broadcasters, Dan Hoard, and see if he mentioned the booing.

If anyone would have heard the booing, I think it would be one of the guys in the broadcast booth. Hoard is a wonderful broadcaster. He’s extremely knowledgeable about baseball and he knows how to entertain the fans listening. I started listening on a nightly basis when Kyle Snyder was sent down last year and try to catch as many games as I can because Hoard and his partner Steve Hyder really make you feel like you’re at the game – and share a lot of cool information about the players that you probably won’t hear anywhere else. Dan’s also not afraid to criticize the players or the organization when need be – so I trust his opinion and his judgment.

I left a comment on Dan’s blog on Friday, asking if what Giardi posted was true. I don’t think Dan will mind if I post part of his response to me here.

The suggestion that Buchholz got booed at McCoy is absolutely ludicrous.

For starters, I guarantee that the majority of our fan base was completely unaware of what he said to NECN (which I didn’t think was bad anyway).

Additionally, when Clay was announced into the game in the 5th inning he received a thunderous ovation.

It’s true that the fans booed when he gave up a HR in the 6th inning. . .they were booing the fact that the other team just hit a home run. Minor league crowds tend to include a lot of young kids and that’s what they do when an opponent goes deep.

I go to enough minor league games to know that last line is very true. But it’s the line about the “thunderous ovation” that’s money. I have no doubt that Dan would have told me if there was booing. Giardi mentions the home run at the end of his piece (not the beginning. He starts this off by implying people were booing because of what he said and then he throws in the “Guy gives up a home run – and gets booed?!?” line at the end. It’s entirely possible that Giardi has never been to a minor league game and doesn’t know about the fans booing when the other team scores. But I promise you, Clay Buchholz has been around the minors long enough to know the boos after the homer weren’t for him. Even though Giardi didn’t. “I’m pretty sure Clay Buchholz feels the same way”, Giardi wrote, after saying the boos didn’t make sense to him. No, Mike, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong.

As a point of reference, Dan Hoard has been calling PawSox games for 4 years. His partner Steve Hyder has been doing them for 6 years. Dan said neither one of them can remember the PawSox fans EVER booing one of their own players. It also seemed really important to Dan that people know Giardi was wrong and the good fans of Pawtucket DIDN’T boo Clay Buchholz.

I’m happy to get the message out.

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