Jeff Francoeur continues to be Jeff Francoeur

Leave a comment

I’m not sure what’s more pathetic: the fact that the Atlanta news paper keeps running stories about Jeff Francoeur, or the fact that Braves fans like me keep reading them.  Anyway, there was another one over the weekend, and Jeffy unleashed a couple of Jeffy-gems:

Q: Things must be going well on the field, eh?


A: I feel great at the plate.

It’s true! He’s actually average since the trade as opposed to unspeakably awful!

Q: Were you coachable?


A: Shoot, I was willing to try about anything. Ask anybody. Still, someone up
here asked me about patience. I’m like, “Listen, I’m not going to go up
there and walk 70 times a year. So you can either accept me for the player I
am or go get somebody else.”

So the answer is no, you’re not coachable. Please, Mr. Francoeur, try to keep your answers precise.

Q: Do you think the Mets want you to be any different?


A: No, they’re not there for my on-base percentage. It was great to hear
[manager] Jerry Manuel in a team meeting say, “I don’t care about average. I
care about scoring runs, driving in runs and preventing runs.” That’s the
type of guy I am.

Because studies have shown that on-base percentage has nothing to do with scoring runs.

Q: What do you make of criticism that you couldn’t adjust?


A: I’m 25 years old. I came up so early. Most guys don’t get to the big
leagues until they’re 24, 25. I have made a little bit of adjustment on my
swing lately. I’ve spread out a little bit. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice
from Mac [Brian McCann]. Catching me, he was able to see some things.


Q: What did he say?


A: He talked about how I need to get back to what I used to do and that’s
attacking the fastball. If I swing at the slider low and away, so be it,
don’t let that fastball beat you.

God, I love Brian McCann. He tells a division rival that he needs to do more of that which is his greatest weakness (i.e. go after everything aggressively, even if it means chasing garbage) and the moron does it.  That’s why he’s my favorite Brave.

Oh well, we could shoot Francoeur fish in this particular barrel all day, but I do have a life to get to.

Is Bud Black the favorite to be the next Braves manager?

Bud Black
2 Comments

We talked last week about how Fredi Gonzalez is likely a dead man walking as the Braves manager. They stink, he’s a lame duck and part of the team’s whole marketing thrust is “2017 will be a new beginning,” what with the new ballpark and all. It stands to reason that Mr. Gonzalez doesn’t have long for this world.

Last week I suspected he’d be fired tomorrow, the Braves off day before a home stand. They’ve won in the past week, but it still wouldn’t shock me. Even if firing Gonzalez would be an act of scapegoating. It’s the roster that’s the problem, not the manager, even though Fredi doesn’t exactly inspire anyone.

Today Bob Nightengale throws this into the mix:

As of yet he hasn’t followed that up with an actual column or more tweets about who, exactly, considers Black to be the heavy favorite, but there’s a definitiveness to that which makes me think he’s heard something solid.

Black, as you know, was the long time Padres manager who had an unsuccessful flirtation with the Nationals before they hired Dusty Baker this past offseason. Black is now cooling his heels with his longtime boss Mike Scioscia in Anaheim, in what is clearly a “wait for his next managing opportunity” posture.

Could it be in Atlanta? At least one national writer and some nebulous group of insiders believe so, it would seem.

The Reds bullpen set a record for futility

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher J.J. Hoover reacts after giving up a solo home run to Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez, left, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, April 22, 2016, in Cincinnati. The Cubs won 8-1. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Associated Press
4 Comments

I mentioned this in the recaps this morning but it’s worthy of its own post.

The Cincinnati Reds’ bullpen gave up two runs last night. In so doing it made for the 21st consecutive game in which it has allowed at least one run. That’s a new major league record, having surpassed the 2013 Colorado Rockies’ record of 20, according to Elias.

Last year the Reds set a record — shattered it, really — by going with rookie starting pitchers in 64 straight games to end the season. Those guys aren’t rookies anymore, but they’re still really inexperienced. They could probably use some better bullpen help than they’ve been getting.

Headline of the Day– A-Rod: “Trophy Boyfriend”

Alex Rodriguez
3 Comments

For as long as there have been couples, the woman in a couple has been publicly defined by the man’s life and accomplishments. It doesn’t matter if the woman cures cancer, walks on the moon or wins the Eurovision Song Contest, when news stories or obituaries are written, she is invariably referred to as “wife of ___” or “girlfriend of ___.” Even if the guy is a grade-A schmuck.

While that pattern still persists, it’s nice to see someone flip the script on it once in a while. Like The Cut did in its story about a new, high-profile couple going public:

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 9.51.05 AM

The couple: Alex Rodriguez and Anne Wojcicki. Who, if you were unaware, is a Silicon Valley biotech CEO and a billionaire. She went to Yale, played varsity hockey in college and is a mother. Alex Rodriguez is accomplished and famous, but outside of the sports bubble he’s a padawan to Wojcicki’s master Jedi. Despite this, in places other than The Cut, it would still not be surprising to see her referred to as “A-Rod’s girlfriend,” because that’s just how people roll. Here’s hoping others take The Cut’s lead when referring to women in the public sphere more often.

A related note: in the rare cases when a famous male personality is identified in reference to his female partner and not the other way around, people like to make jokes and like to question the masculinity of the man. Which is equally stupid. And, to the man in question, should be utterly beside the point.

To that end, I think it’s worth noting that Alex Rodriguez has been involved with several women who, outside of baseball, are far more famous than he is and it’s never seemed to be an issue for him whatsoever. People like to say a lot of things about A-Rod’s ego and personality, but in this respect I bet he’s a hell of a lot better adjusted, grounded and self-assured than the vast majority of men who might find themselves in his place.

Video: Jeff Samardzija breaks a bat over his knee after striking out

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 8.23.03 AM
3 Comments

Jeff Samardzija had a great night last night. He allowed one run on three hits over eight innings and picked up the win. In the early going he’s proving wrong those who thought that the Giants overpaid for him and is providing solid performance from the third spot in the Giants rotation. It’s all good.

But good is not always good enough for a professional athlete. Especially one like Samardzija, who excelled in multiple sports and likely can count his lifetime athletic failures on one hand. No, when you’re wired like that you get upset even when you’re excellent because sometimes you want to be perfect.

For example, most pitchers don’t get too worried about striking out. They’re there to pitch, not bat. They turn on their heel and calmly walk back to the dugout. Samardzija, however, got a bit irate when he struck out. Then he did this: