St. Louis Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin has not had a very good start to the season. In addition to allowing seven runs in less than seven innings, scoring a gawdy 1.8o WHIP and putting up a truly horrendous 11.75 FIP, Franklin has also somehow managed to accumulate a negative one win above replacement already this season. Only Carl Crawford’s -1.2 WAR is worse.

Having already lost the closer’s role (four blown saves in five chances), Franklin entered yesterday’s game against the Washington Nationals with his team down by two in the seventh inning. He got all three batters he faced out, and was sent back to the mound for another round of hitters in the eighth. He allowed a one out solo home run to Laynce Nix, and then walked Ivan Rodriguez, before a chorus of boos rained down on him from the St. Louis faithful.

Sure, I hear it. I guess they have short memories too because I think I’ve been pretty good here. It doesn’t bother me, but it just shows some people’s true colors. 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 or just because you spent your money to come here to watch us play that somebody happens to make one bad pitch and give up a homer and you are going to start booing him? I’ve been here for five years, and four years I’ve been pretty good.

You should go write stories about the fans booing. They are supposed to be the best fans in baseball. Yeah right.

While questioning the judgment of your team’s fan base is almost never a good policy, Franklin does bring up an interesting question: is it acceptable for fans to boo their own team? Should a good fan be an all forgiving supporter or a stern force who sits in judgment over the product he/she is paying to see?

Personally, I’m slow to unleash the boo birds for my own team, but I have an outlet for my complaints right here. The average fan likely doesn’t have such a place to shape his rage, so I can understand the urge. Still, I think it’s important to live by a few rules if you want to venture into the booing of your favourite team’s players.

1) Don’t boo a pitcher with the game on the line. Sure, a reliever may have just given up a game tying double, but he still has to get two more guys out and the last thing he needs is the pressure of a home crowd breathing down his neck with beer filled boos.

2) Make sure there’s a history. The baseball season is 162 games a year, and as much as you might wish otherwise, players are going to have bad nights from time to time. It’s unfair to hold extremely small sample sizes against players.

3) Boo, don’t heckle. If you’re unhappy with your team’s performance, it’s one thing to let them know it, and quite another to psychologically scar them.

4) Use strategy. Before you boo, ask yourself how this will help the team. Ultimately, your lack of satisfaction at the results is what you’re unhappy with, don’t make it worse. Also, think what type of long-term effect your booing will have. For instance, Angels fans might want to make Vernon Wells so miserable he opts out of his albatross contract at the end of the year.

5) Question the manager. Part of the job of a good manager is to act as a lightning rod for criticism so that the players don’t have to face it. I’m much more prone to making him earn his money than the actual players. Ex) Octavio Dotel is horrible against left handed hitters, yet he’s often put in that situation by John Farrell. Who’s fault is it then when something goes wrong?

6) Always boo robots who can’t hit the strike zone.

And The Rest:

He may not be much of a second baseman, but Michael Cuddyer can take one hell of a picture.

Jonah Keri brings some clarity (Kerity) to the situation with MLB taking over the Dodgers operations in Los Angeles.

TMZ claims that the McCourts are currently under investigation by the IRS.

Sticking with dollars, the New York Yankees are no longer the highest paid team in sports. Quick, sign a free agent.

What’s more embarrassing: shoplifting or not knowing how to exchange goods at a store? Trick question: it’s throwing blank cheques at known steroid users.

Just in case you weren’t sick of it already, there’s more writing about batting order.

If putting three infielders on the right side of second base isn’t crazy, why is it so strange to put three on the left side?

Yes, that really was Bartolo Colon allowing only two runs in seven innings last night.

I had no idea that Derek Jeter had passed away. I mean, given his age, it’s not shocking, but I just assumed I would’ve heard more about this.

Jered Weaver is really, really good.

Daniel Bard reads FanGraphs. He’s the yin to Jonathan Papelbon’s yang.

Carlos Zambrano: Worldwide draft? Shmorldwide draft.

They say there’s no such thing as bad PR, unless you’re Wilson Sporting Goods.

There are slow starts and then there’s Vernon Wells.

True story: Bugs & Cranks still exists.

Finally, whatever you want, Ryan Braun.