Ryan Franklin sounds off about booing Cardinal fans

St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Ryan Franklin flips the baseball to first base during the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on April 20, 2011. Washington won the game 8-6. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

After giving up yet another home run while working two innings in middle relief on Wednesday against the Nationals, Cardinals’ pitcher Ryan Franklin sounded off on the boo birds that have recently come out at Busch Stadium.

“You should go write stories about the fans booing,” Franklin told reporters after Game 1 of a double-header on Wednesday. “They’re supposed to be the best fans in baseball. Yeah right.”

Never, in the history of sports, has it ever been wise for an athlete to bash his own fan base. There’s just nothing good that can ever come out of it. Even if the athlete is right (and I’m not saying Franklin is), the fans will likely only respond with more booing. It’s not like 40,000 fans are going to collectively get together and go, “You know what? Ryan Franklin is right. We’re better than this, people! Let’s get behind our red birds whether they have a 1.57 ERA or a 11.57 ERA!”

Franklin later backed off his remarks and somewhat apologized. The quote below is from a story on MLB.com.

“Obviously these last 2 1/2 weeks have been frustrating for me, and I’m frustrated with myself,” Franklin said. “I can understand why the fans are frustrated. I’ve loved my time here in St. Louis. It’s my favorite place to play. It’s just a frustrating time for me right now, because I feel like I’m letting everyone down.”

It’s funny, whatever athletes usually say in the follow up interview is the thing they should have said first. Had Franklin come out and said what he did above, he may still have gotten booed but at least fans would respect him for owning up to the suck. But when a player bashes a fan base and then later says that he’s just frustrated, people tend to have less empathy.

Ah, well. Do you know how Franklin rectifies this? By pitching well. We fans will turn on a dime when a player starts producing again. Athletes can go from being a bum to a hero overnight.

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