No, I’m not being sarcastic. I have seen the freakin’ light. Read on.
Everyone knows that I have a long history of allowing Jeff Francoeur — or, rather, the idea of Jeff Francoeur — drive me crazy. I never liked his game. I mocked the claims of his surrogates in the media that he was better than we thought. I was highly skeptical that he’d ever match his lofty reputation, etc. etc.
Last year, you may recall, I met Jeff Francoeur and discovered that … he was a great guy. Like, super nice. It made me rethink the whole idea of how and why we rip players and what it all means. And then he went and had a really spiffy season in Kansas City, thereby rendering most of my Francouer whining moot. Yeah, at the end of the year he got a new contract that was probably too big, but at this point Francoeur has earned the benefit of the doubt with me. I have no standing to get on him for a very long time, truth be told.
Way less so now that I read this story by Bojan Koprivica over at The Hardball Times in which Francoeur gave opposing fans $100 and an autographed baseball with explicit instructions on it to use the money to purchase bacon dogs and beer.
Yes. It’s true. Go read it. And then tell me that Jeff Francouer isn’t the finest sonofabitch who ever put on a major league uniform.
This is happening, people.
Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.
Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.
Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.
Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.
It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.
I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.