Nationals: Max Scherzer comments have me rethinking my fandom

Professional athletes are human beings just like us. They may be way more talented at their profession, though they have a heart and soul, and feelings, nonetheless.

The cliche is fan is short for fanatic, and as observers of sporting events we feel we have the authority to act out of line as we see fit. So we choose to. The other side of that is we should show our admiration for those who defy the odds even more so than we act out of line.

It’s almost as if booing and heckling is more widely accepted at a game than standing an applauding when it may not be popular among other spectators.

Waking up this morning and reading the headline Max Scherzer was given a curtain call after his first game with the Los Angeles Dodgers, made me feel great. Seeing Scherzer’s response, that he had never had a curtain call, made me feel sick to my stomach. For Scherzer. For fans in Washington, Detroit and Arizona. For baseball.

Former Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer earned a curtain call after his Los Angeles Dodgers debut.

I’m sure Scherzer has gotten plenty of good ovations during his playing time. However, they didn’t stick out in his mind, unfortunately.

This is a pitcher who has won 183 Major League games. He’s an eight time All-Star and three time Cy Young Award winner. He’s had a 20 strikeout game and a handful of one hitters. His no-hitters were fantastic, though it’s hard to give a guy a curtain call when he’s pitched nine innings and the celebration is on the field at the conclusion of the game.

He broke his nose prior to pitching and had a black eye while pitching and didn’t miss a beat. There were several opportunities for fans to bring him back on the field with their applause, and while it may have happened, it didn’t sink in with Mad Max.

Scherzer made 189 starts in a Washington Nationals uniform. He went six innings and surrendered one earned run or less in 41% of those starts. Not until we see him in Dodger Blue does it sink in we should have enjoyed his time on our mound, more.

To this day I feel terrible about the time I heckled Shawn Chacon leaving the bullpen to attempt to save a game against my favorite team. Now, I regret all the times I could have given Scherzer (and others) a standing ovation when they were more than deserving.