"I just want to say, thank you for [former Red Sox third baseman Kevin] Youkilis," the president joked, to what sounded like disapproval. "I'm just saying, he's going to have to change the color of his socks."
But were they actually booing Obama? In all fairness, it's entirely possible the crowd was saying "Yoooouuuuk" instead.
To the uninitiated, it sounds like booing, but Youkilis' shortened name was Boston fans' preferred method of greeting and cheering the player who had been a big part of two World Series championships (listen below).
Obama, who is an ardent fan of the Chicago White Sox, was referring to Sunday's trade, in which Boston swapped Youkilis to the Chicago squad for a pitcher and an infielder.
The president laughed off the audience's response.
"I didn't think I'd get any boos out of here," he said. "I guess I shouldn't--I shouldn't have brought up baseball. My mistake. You gotta know your crowd."
Both Youkilis' old team and his new team lost Monday, the first games after the trade.
Let's be clear: POTUS, a proud ChiSox fan, thanked Boston crowd for Youk. Some booed. Others, like me, cried "Yoooouk!" in sad memoriam.— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) June 26, 2012
UPDATE: White House Press Secretary (and Red Sox fan) Jay Carney confirmed that the audience at the Boston event indeed cheered "Yooouk!" in response to the president's remarks--although some boos were mixed in.
. @ZekeJMiller Excellent WH stenos not members of Red Sox Nation. To untrained ear "Yoooouk!" and "Boooo!" sound alike. Crowd said both.— Jay Carney (EOP) (@PressSec) June 26, 2012
"Anyone who knows Boston, knows the Red Sox and anyone who was in that room last night knows that the preponderance of people shouting in response to what the president said about Kevin Youkilis were saying ‘Yoooook' and not 'Booo,’ for God’s sake," Carney said.