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Rays Manager Joe Maddon: It’s Unfair to Boo Manny Ramirez

Tampa Bay Rays new DH Manny Ramirez has been hearing it from fans after starting the season 1-for-16. The offseason acquisition was booed Tuesday during Tampa’s 5-3 loss to the Angels and didn’t help matters by striking out three times and leaving three men on. After the loss, manager Joe Maddon defended Manny saying it was “very unfair” of fans to boo him over his poor start, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.

Topkin says Maddon wanted to make it clear that Ramirez works really hard and that it’s too early to get down on him. Outfielder B.J. Upton, who’s no stranger to slumps, said it was “unbelievable” that Ramirez was hearing it.

I completely understand why Maddon defended his player, and I agree it’s too early to get down on a proven slugger like Manny after just four games. But here’s where I’ll disagree.

If fans are booing Manny because they don’t like how he acts or the way he cheated the game, that’s completely within reason, and I might do the same. But if they’re booing because he’s not performing and they’ll start to cheer when he does, then I think it’s far too capricious on their behalf and will side with Joe and B.J. It all depends on the fan motivation for the boos.