Francoeur's underwear more valuable than he is

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For a Braves fan, this is simply adding insult to the grievous injury that is having to watch Jeff Francoeur try to play every day:

Desperate times call for desperate measures, so Braves right fielder
Jeff Francoeur said he’ll wear the same underwear to Turner Field
Tuesday that he wore on Sunday. He claimed the Braves are 7-0 when he
wears his Thanksgiving-themed “turkey underwear” to the ballpark.

For a team that has a disappointing 35-40 overall record, that 7-0
mark is no small feat. The Braves open a three-game series against NL
East leader Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Francoeur said he had not worn the turkey briefs for back-to-back
games all season, but will Tuesday (the Braves were off Monday, and he
planned to ask his wife, Catie, to wash the underwear).

Note that the article doesn’t say that Francoeur plays
better in the gobbler skivvies, only that the team does. Given his
performance (.248/.283/.347), maybe the Braves would be better off by
simply keeping the underwear around and ditching Francoeur. At least
the underwear seems to ad some sort of value.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.