DENVER – To say that Rockies fans almost never boo their own is misleading. The boo birds have come out at Coors Field plenty of times in the often frustrating history of a club that has had some pretty big payrolls for underperforming players.
Newly symbolic for their ire: Ian Desmond.
The leather-lunged haters have had plenty of previous practice, like that time three runs scored on a Christian Friedrich wild pitch—or pretty much any time a reliever has entered the game with a lead and left with a deficit. Starting pitchers who couldn’t get out of the second inning have been booed off the field. And Jose Reyes was booed after comments about not really wanting to be in Denver.
But there was something different about the nature of what happened on Wednesday during a four-strikeout performance.
Signed prior to the 2017 season to a five year, $70 million contract, Desmond has not produced anywhere near that investment level since joining his new team and has been, by several measures, one of the worst hitters in all of baseball in 2018.
The exhalation of emotion from the Colorado crowd was the result of impatience with a player whose price tag brings certain expectations.
But the Rockies aren’t wavering in their support for Desmond and his .178 batting average. At least, not yet.