Braves insider comes to Spencer Strider's defense for hating fans

In a recent video, Spencer Strider said he didn't enjoy fans in the stands, and now many people around the organization are calling it a joke and saying fans shouldn't be so serious.
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals - Game Two
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals - Game Two / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

In a recent video, Atlanta Braves pitcher Spencer Strider said he prefers sporting events as they were in 2020 when they had no fans in attendance. He has been receiving plenty of hate for his take as fans enjoy watching him play.

After being massively criticized, many in and around the organization are starting to defend him. A Braves Insider, Mark Bowman, recently said, "Strider is clearly joking here. He has an incredible sense of humor and was responding as Larry David would. He has repeatedly said how much he loves Larry David’s brand of humor. Strider is the funniest guy in the Braves clubhouse. This was his sarcastic humor," about the situation.

The thing is, Strider didn’t even pitch in the 2020 season, so he wouldn’t even know the difference between pitching with and without fans. Overall, this situation just seems like non-Braves fans don’t like him and want to be able to hate on him for no real reason.

Does Spencer Strider have a right to criticize fans?

Strider has been one of the best pitchers in 2023, currently leading the league with 19 wins to only five losses, while leading the league also with 274 strikeouts. Were it not for his ERA, he might be in the running for the Cy Young award. His ERA is quite odd, currently sitting at 3.84, but his FIP, which measures what an ERA would sit at if not for defense behind him, is a league-leading 2.87. Even another metric, xERA (Expected ERA), has it at 3.03, which is still one of the lowest.

He appears to be getting some bad luck from sub-par fielding.

The Braves did the right thing signing him to a 6-year, $75 million contract with a 7th-year club option, but overall, Strider has declined in the 2023 season from 2022. Strider is known as a three-pitch pitcher with a 4-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

In 2023, Strider’s 4-Seamer has been getting hit massively, leading to his reducing the usage from 67 percent to 58.6 percent. But to make up for the lack of dominance in the 4-seamer, he has emerged as having one of the best sliders in 2023, and it’s been striking out batters like crazy with a 51.6 percent K rate.

Ultimately, none of what Strider or the fans say will matter in the long-term future, as it was nothing serious. If Strider wants to criticize fans, he has that right as a player.

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