Anti-OBPer traded for guy who once missed third base

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Couple thoughts on the Jeff Francoeur for Ryan Church trade:

  • One reason why this trade might seem a bit jarring (or as jarring
    as a swap of mediocre outfielders could be) is that these two clubs
    almost never do business. Since the divisions were realigned in 1995,
    they have made one trade: Paul Byrd for Greg McMichael after the 1996 season. Other than that, since the Braves have been relevant, there was the Dave Gallagher/Pete Smith blockbuster in 1993 and Alejandro Pena for Tony Castillo in 1991.
  • Love
    how we’re reading about the Mets loving and needing Francoeur’s superb
    defense and cannon arm in the spacious right field at Citi, even though
    Church provided awesome defense and close to a cannon arm in the
    spacious right field at Citi. This season, Church has a UZR of 2.8,
    Francoeur with a 0.6 (although it was a 17.1 two years ago).
  • Braves
    fans probably won’t have this problem because Church won’t really be
    identified as a Met, but it’ll be tough trying to warm up to a guy most
    Mets fans despised passionately for the past four years. Unless, you
    know, he starts hitting bombs. Then we’ll be okay.
  • I am not confident in this happening.
  • Anytime
    you have a team that is fundamentally unsound and has trouble scoring
    runs, and you have a chance to add a guy who once said “If on-base
    percentage is so important, why don’t they put it up on the
    scoreboard?”, you gotta make that deal.
  • And we’re also told by Rotoworld’s Matt Stroup that on-base percentage numbers do appear on Turner Field’s scoreboard.
  • In his last game for Atlanta, Francoeur hit three doubles. Is that considered “selling high”?
  • But cheer up, Mets fans. This quote from Omar Minaya ease any apprehension you have: “One thing we like about Francoeur is the amount of games that he plays.” So there’s that.

Edwin Encarnacion: “I think [the Blue Jays] got too hasty in making their decision.”

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
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1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Indians early last month. The 34-year-old had spent the last seven and a half seasons with the Blue Jays, but his future elsewhere appeared to be written on the wall when the Jays signed Kendrys Morales in November to essentially occupy Encarnacion’s role.

Encarnacion spoke about testing free agency for the first time in his career and the situation that led to him leaving Toronto for Cleveland. Via Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY:

“Toronto was always my first option, but I had never been a free agent, and anybody who gets to free agency wants to find out what’s out there,’’ he said. “I think they got too hasty in making their decision, but now I’m with Cleveland and I’m happy to be here.’’

Encarnacion last season hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 home runs and an AL-best 127 RBI. He’s now on the team that defeated his Blue Jays in the ALCS to advance to the World Series. Encarnacion effectively replaces Mike Napoli, who returned to the Rangers.

Sammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus Christ

Sammy Sosa
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I’m on record saying that Sammy Sosa has been rather hosed by baseball history.

The guy did amazing things. Unheard-of things. He was truly astounding at this peak and was incredibly important to both his franchise and Major League Baseball as a whole. His repayment: he’s a pariah. His club won’t claim him and his greatness, by any measure, has not just been overlooked but denied by most who even bother to consider him.

Yes, he had PED associations, but they were extraordinarily vague ones. He’s in the same boat as David Ortiz as far as documented PED evidence against him, but Ortiz will be a first ballot Hall of Famer while Sosa barely clings to the ballot. He hit homers at the same cartoonish rate as Mark McGwire, but while Big Mac has been embraced by baseball and has coached for years, Sosa can’t get into Wrigley Field unless he buys a ticket and even then the Cubs might try to hustle him out of sight. The man has been treated poorly by any measure.

Yet, it’s still possible to overstate the case. Like Sosa did in this interview with Chuck Wasserstrom:

It’s like Jesus Christ when he came to Jerusalem,” Sosa told chuckbloggerstrom.com. “Everybody thought Jesus Christ was a witch (laughing) — and he was our savior. So if they talk (bleep) about Jesus Christ, what about me? Are you kidding me?”

At least he was basically joking about it. Still, it’s a totally unfair and almost offensive comparison.

I mean, anyone who watched Sosa’s career knows that he had trouble laying off breaking stuff low and away. In contrast . . .