Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates in the dugout after reaching on a double hit by Scott Van Slyke in the top of the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on May 22, 2013 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Matt Kemp has been hitting the headlines recently because he has been subject to booing fans at Dodger Stadium. The storyline has lead to a Twitter war with fans that believe in providing undying support for the home team criticizing those that boo.
Kemp’s struggles have been well documented. The $20 million center fielder is 1-13 on the homestead and 6-38 since his 14-game hitting streak ended on May 17.
On Tuesday he was bumped down the lineup hitting fifth for the first time since 2010.
Upon returning to LA from the series in Milwaukee, Kemp was greeted with boos from hometown fans and has been booed consistently during the homestand. On Monday, Kemp went 0-5 with four strikeouts while boos echoed through Chavez Ravine.
The boos may be loud, but they are not coming from all the fans. Some are taking it upon themselves to end the verbal abuse.
Many Dodger fans have taken to Twitter to show their disapproval with the “Boo Birds,” starting debates and arguments on the topic. The hashtag #IStandForKemp has become a battle cry for supporters and the account @DontBooMattKemp gained 185 followers in just four hours from being created.
Those who oppose booing believe that fans have a job to support home players through their good and bad performances. They do not believe booing Kemp will snap him out of his streak, if anything it will add another distraction to hinder his performance.
In fact they suggest that the only time to boo a player on your team is if they are clearly showing a lack of effort.
Basically, Kemp knows he is struggling and does not need 20,000 fans reminding him every time he fails to reach base. They think it is a pointless and ineffective way for a fan to voice disapproval.
Boo Birds quickly responded to their critics, arguing that they are fully within their rights as a fan to express their frustrations this way.
Booing is a part of the game in the same way that cheering is, they say.
They reference fans of the Yankees and Phillies, who are well documented for booing players that are underperforming. In New York, Derek Jeter has been booed, and Philadelphia is famous for fans having even booed Santa Claus at an Eagles football game.
Boo Birds think that Kemp is getting paid too much for boos to affect his performance. “Maybe the Dodgers should spend $20 million on a player with thicker skin next time” is a common sentiment going around Twitter.
During the homestand, Twitter has been a constant war of words going back and forth between the two parties, 140 characters at a time.
On Tuesday Kemp hit a double that eventually led to him scoring. He received a lot of cheers for finally getting on base, but one hit is hardly enough to quell the Boo Birds.
The Dodgers spend the next five games on the road. Hopefully by the time they return home on Monday, Kemp will have done enough to get back the support of fans.
All in all this is a debate soon to end. Matt Kemp is in a slump and will start hitting in a matter of time causing the boos to cease. That is something all Dodger fans want to see whether they are a Boo Bird or not.