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Baseball Player Returns the Boo to Fans! Stop Presses: Man Bites Dog!


When Ryan Franklin, a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals, was booed by fans after giving up a home run and being removed from the game, he gave back to the ungrateful fans in a lively press conference. He disparaged fair weather fans for not living up to their reputation as among the best fans in baseball.

Is this news? Has a man bitten a dog?

Am I deaf?

I hear booing in every town in America. I hear great stars falling under a cacophony of catcalls and worse. Where are these best fans in the world? They are everywhere people plunk down big bucks to watch athletes win a game.

Now, to address this issue of players apologizing for their display of human temper, this is the non-news story of baseball. This player, Franklin, probably should have kept his mouth shut, as many now say. His first complaint was bad enough, and his smarmy apology will merely heighten the contempt for his playing.

But, players have returned the unfavorable boo to fans for as long as baseball has been played.

Every time a ball player ignores fans who ask for an autograph, that athlete is giving a boo to the fan. Some more demonstrative players have made gestures to the fans, which may be a boo in bold letters. A few players have spat at fans.

League and press excoriated these players. Deservedly so.

More simple behavior can be as much a bite to the dog. Whenever athletes charge for an autograph, they are sending a catcall to the paying customer.

Mr. Franklin’s short-tempered remarks are nothing for an apology, but will raise the ante now with fans for every performance he fails in St. Louis for years to come.

That is the currency of being in the public eye. Ask Manny Ramirez, or ask Roger Clemens. Their booing took the form of playing without virtue, but that is a story for the history books, not for the next pitcher to throw a fat one over the plate.

“Boo-hoo” would be a more fitting sound from fans.


If the humor of William Russo appeals to you, you could do worse (but not much) by reading his compiled funny work in SEX, DRUGS, SPORTS & WHIMSY, now in two volumes. He also has a work called RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR!  All are available on e-book from


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