ST. LOUIS – Demoted Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin criticized St. Louis fans for booing him after he gave up a home run in the first game of a doubleheader. After the second game, and after consulting with team officials, he apologized.
"I'm frustrated with myself. I can understand why the fans are frustrated," Franklin said in a statement to St. Louis media on Wednesday night. "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."
Franklin has blown four of five save chances and manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday that the 38-year-old pitcher would be used earlier in games for the time being. Franklin worked a perfect seventh against the Washington Nationals during an 8-6 loss in the opener, but gave up a booming home run to Laynce Nix in the eighth, prompting the boos.
"Sure, I hear it," Franklin told reporters from the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat and FOXSportsMidwest.com after Game 1. "I guess they've got short memories, too, because I think I've been pretty good here. It doesn't bother me, but you know, it just shows some people's true colors, you know?
"You're either a fan or you're not. You don't boo your own team. I don't care who you are or what you say. Just because you spent your money to come here and watch us play and somebody happens to make one bad pitch and gives up a homer, you don't start booing them."
Franklin concluded: "They're supposed to be the best fans in baseball. Yeah, right."
After the day-night doubleheader, Franklin told The Associated Press he didn't want to talk about it anymore and "didn't care" what the fans thought. He also hinted at team dissatisfaction.
"I've already said it and I don't want to repeat it," Franklin said. "I work for the Cardinals."
In his statement, Franklin said emotions had gotten the best of him. He also said St. Louis was his favorite city to play in.
"Things didn't come out the right way. It was right after the game and I said things I shouldn't have said. I apologize for that," Franklin said.
"It was the wrong thing to say, but at the same time I was frustrated. I am frustrated. I'm just trying to do my best to do everything I can to get back on track. So that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to get back out there and help this team."