Yesterday, Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano said Chicago fans are “the worst” about booing their own players in response to a question about Adam Dunn being mercilessly booed by the White Sox faithful. His point was not that Chicago fans were bad fans; simply that they are the hardest on their own players when it comes to booing.
It may not have been the wisest thing to say, but, for a guy who’s received his fair share of boos at Wrigley Field, it was understandable. Certainly a story worth reporting, but probably not one worth giving Soriano a hard time. But that’s exactly what happened.
After a dozen articles making Soriano’s comments out to be something far more than they were – the worst of which was misleadingly titled, “Soriano: Chicago fans ‘the worst‘” – Soriano clarified his remarks, which probably needed no clarification. If, you know, you’re able to read.
I think it was a misunderstanding,” Soriano explained. “The fans here are good. At the same time, if you’re going bad, they boo. If you’re doing good, they clap for you. It’s not about the fans. Here, everywhere, Cincinnati, St. Louis, any ballpark that you go to, if you’re not doing good, what are they going to do? They’ll boo you. It’s not like they’re the worst fans in the world.
“I don’t know why [the reporter] tried to say that I don’t like the fans in Chicago. I enjoy playing in Chicago, and I enjoy playing for the fans in Chicago.”
Really, Alf? You don’t know why almost every writer tried to make you out as a villain who hates all Cubs fans?
When it comes to getting eyes on your story, some writers are allergic to context. It might get you a few extra looks today, but, in the long run, you lose your readers’ trust with that kind of fast and loose crap.
If folks want to debate whether fans have a right to boo poor performance, or whether Chicago fans are, in fact, the worst about booing their own players, that’s cool. But let’s not make Soriano out to be something he’s not in the interest of clicks.