Crowd Dynamics Take Dramatic Turn as Seattle’s Friendly Chants for Shohei Ohtani Shift to Unfriendly Boos for Mike Trout’s Houston Astros Replacement

Published 07/12/2023, 8:23 AM EDT

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Sports fans do not take cheating lightly. While players are shunned forever for being associated with drug use, MLB teams receive worse treatment. And after the Houston Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal, none of their players are safe from jeering, even if they weren’t part of that year’s roster. The 2023 Midsummer Classic saw the same treatment for current Astros players.

The All-Star Game saw a surprising comeback of the NL team, who grabbed a win after nine long years. But despite the teams being mixed and matched as only AL and NL, fans were not happy with some of the selections. Kyle Tucker, in particular, received harsh treatment.

Houston Astros stars are received with loud boos at Midsummer Classic


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Before the game started at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, all of 2023’s All-Stars were introduced on the field. As the AL’s Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez were announced, baseball fans greeted them with boos as they walked out. Framber Valdez, who pulled out of the game and didn’t walk down the carpet, was not safe either.

In fact, Tucker was even booed when he stepped up to the plate, a ruthless treatment. He was serving as Mike Trout‘s replacement, so it’s possible that fans didn’t really want to see him. Interestingly, when Shohei Ohtani stepped up to bat, the crowd’s chants indicated they want him to come to Seattle when he hits free agency.

As for Tucker, he only joined the Astros roster in 2018, but that didn’t save him from mockery. Understandably, the Mariners’ are the Houston team’s division rivals, so perhaps some heckling is warranted.

But the Astros’ past and cheating labels will possibly never leave them. Even AL manager Dusty Baker was booed upon introduction. Interestingly, though, none of them – Alvarez, Tucker, Valdez, or Baker – were part of the infamous 2017 team.

Even the Astros mascot wasn’t safe from scorn

One would think that once the main perpetrators behind the cheating scandal had been dealt with, the team would be left alone. None of the 2017 roster’s players received any sort of punishment because they received immunity from MLB in exchange for cooperation. However, that didn’t mean fans had forgiven them.


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Additionally, the recent Home Run Derby audience, even kids, booed the team’s mascot. Orbit walked down the pink carpet to boots but he jokingly waved a box of tissues in his hand, as if hurt.


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The Astros received the same treatment at the 2022 All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium, and it’s unlikely they will be forgiven anytime soon.


Written by:

Arunima Bhanot


One take at a time

Arunima Bhanot is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. Her tryst with MLB was accidental, but what followed was nothing short of a pursuit of excellence. Arunima's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks on multiple occasions, highlighting her exceptional attention to detail and insightful coverage.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar