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Carlos Rodón: SF Giants fans aren’t intense enough

Carlos Rodón pitches at New York Yankees spring training in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 17, 2023. | Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Carlos Rodón made a surprising statement about San Francisco Giants fans: They don’t boo their own players enough.

The left-handed pitcher, who signed a six-year, $162 million contract with the New York Yankees in December, said, “Giants fans are invested, but not like in New York,” in an interview with Bob Klapisch of “Win or lose, you’re not going to get booed in San Francisco.”

Carlos Rodón spent 2022 pitching with the San Francisco Giants. | Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s not like fans in San Francisco had many reasons to boo Rodón in 2022, his lone year with the Giants. He posted a 2.81 ERA and finished sixth in National League Cy Young voting. He was especially proficient at home, never allowing more than two runs in any of his 15 starts at Oracle Park. He didn’t allow a single earned run in his final three home outings.

In recent years, boos at Oracle Park have been reserved for villains like Manny Machado or members of the Los Angeles Dodgers—that is, when they can be heard over the cheers from the hordes of Dodger fans that descend on the stadium. Giants players have rarely been booed for poor performances. When submariner Tyler Rogers gave up seven runs out of the bullpen in a May 2022 outing against the New York Mets, he returned to the dugout amidst silence. Any negativity in the crowd was directed at manager Gabe Kapler for not pulling Rogers sooner. The only boos came from a group of Mets fans behind the first base dugout that were disappointed to see Rogers come out of the game after their team had erased a four-run deficit against him.

Giants fans applaud Logan Webb (62) during a game against the Miami Marlins on April 8, 2022. | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Rodón’s experience doesn’t line up with every player who’s suited up for San Francisco, though. During a 2020 interview with Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Barry Zito said, “I had been booed out of restaurants and cursed out of bars.” In his book, Curveball: How I Discovered True Fulfillment After Chasing Fortune and Fame, Zito said, “I was booed much more aggressively than even during my worst games in Oakland,” during his rough first season with the Giants in 2007. “Although I had some great years across the Bay, I had zero credibility with San Francisco fans and had to earn every cheer.”

If Rodón’s comments struck a nerve with Giants fans, it’ll be a while before they can let him hear about it. The Yankees don’t visit Oracle Park in 2023. The lone series between the Giants and Yankees is the season-opening set at Yankee Stadium on March 30, April 1 and April 2.