And because a zillion people have asked me already, no I am not suffering any existential angst by virtue of my arch nemesis, Jeff Francoeur, making it to the World Series. If anything, it’s the best thing possible. Why? Because my frustration with Francoeur has always had less to do with him personally — though, believe me, he was frustrating — than it has to do with the Francoeur Industrial Complex, epitomized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and more recently the New York tabloids who worked overtime to play this guy up as an emerging superstar against all evidence to the contrary. Meanwhile, for the better part of five years I and other like-minded souls have argued that he’d only be acceptable as a backup outfielder deployed as a defensive replacement and occasional fill-in against lefties.
Now that he is on a team that has placed him in that role, he has found success. This is not a coincidence. And hopefully, it’s a learning experience for everyone.
Oh, and here’s a nice runner-up Photo of the Weekend.
The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.
Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.
Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.