Atlanta Braves

Jeff Francoeur Returns to Turner Field: Will There Be Boos?

NEW YORK - JULY 12:  Jeff Francoeur #12 of the New York Mets looks on against the Cincinnati Reds on July 12, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Scott MillerCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2009


Finally, the Atlanta Braves fans can hear the words, "Now batting, Jeff Francoeur" and not feel obligated to scream and holler and clap and cheer for their hometown hero.

Finally, the young ladies in the stands can tear off their Francoeur t-shirts and replace them with the screen-printed bleached hair of Nate McLouth.

When Francoeur returns to Turner Field this weekend as a New York Met, I can't promise you that he'll strike out three times or hit into four double plays. But I can promise you one thing: There will be boos.

Not simply because he's a Met or because of the apparently unwritten rule that you boo former players after they've left, but because we've been waiting to boo him for years.

Atlanta is not New York or Philadelphia—we don't like to boo our own players. 

We like to encourage them, let them know that no matter how worthless your playing has become, you're still our boy, and we will support you.

But that was then, and now Frenchie plays right field for the dreaded New York Mets

Now we can shrug aside our embedded loyalties and view him as the enemy. We can smile when he strikes out on a slider in the dirt three feet outside the batter's box. We can cheer when he waddles over to the right field corner to chase down a triple.  

We can finally boo him for holding back our team for this long, breathe a collective sigh of relief, and realize that better days are ahead.

Don't be shy to vent your pent-up frustrations, Braves fans. Maybe this was the genius of Frank Wren at work: trade him to a rival team so that the fans can finally let him have it year after year.

In any case, Francoeur is now a member of the New York Mets—and you need to treat him like one.

Will you be there? Will you be booing?

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