Was anyone at Saturday's game who could tell me what, exactly the fans were booing about? The Post-Gazette's article on the game describes the booing extensively, but does not suggest that rookies were being blamed for the Pirates' problems. A close look at the game log gives me few reasons to believe they should have been, either. Ryan Doumit and Brad Eldred both put up 0-fers, but Nate McLouth hit very well. Meanwhile, Rob Mackowiak went 0 for 3 with a walk and an error; none of the (veteran) pinch-hitters got on base; and the pitchers, who were neither young nor old, allowed nine runs.
Then, in defense of his players, Lloyd McClendon says this:
"I understand our fans are quite frustrated," he said. "We knew when we were taking this on, bringing these young players to the big leagues, that we were going to have some growing pains. And that, at times, it was going to be tough to watch. But there also are going to be some very positive moments with these young players. They need everybody's support. They need my support, the fans' support."
"You guys want to boo somebody? Boo me. But give them a chance to be successful, a chance to continue to get better. That's the biggest hurdle young players have to overcome, the non-acceptance at home when you're not performing up to your capabilities. On the road, you have that us-against-the-world type of attitude. At home, it's added pressure. They want to do a little better so they don't hear those boos."
Got that? It's the young players' fault. Granted, if you squint just the right way and think of Dave Williams, Ryan Vogelsong, and Mike Gonzalez as young players, and you ignore the failures of Mackowiak, Brian Meadows, Tike Redman, Daryle Ward et. al., you might be able to blame that loss on youth. But it's a huge stretch.
So, naturally, today's lineup is:
... Not a rookie to be found. And Tike Redman was the first pinch-hitter used.