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Jeff Francoeur to get a tryout as a Braves TV analyst

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Jeff Francoeur has not officially retired, but nor has he attracted any interest from any clubs, so out in the wilderness he wanders, the world’s friendliest, most positive free agent.

But assuming no club comes a-calling before early June, he’ll have something to do: according to Mark Bowman, he’s going to be a commentator for some Braves games on Fox Sports South. His first game will be June 5.

He’ll probably do pretty well in the role. I’ve talked to him a few times now and he comes across as a thoughtful guy who thinks about what he’s going to say rather than merely spouting cliches. He’s well-spoken and telegenic. Based on his skills and faults as a player I don’t imagine he’ll have super insightful things to say about plate discipline or the whole batter-pitcher dance, but he may have a lot to say about defense. That’s just a guess, of course. After all, Joe Morgan might’ve had the highest baseball IQ in baseball history as a player but it never really translated to his commentator work. Maybe Frenchie will be a revelation.

Either way, he can’t be worse than Joe Simpson, who has been sitting in that chair for decades offering something far less than great insight. As such I welcome Jeff Francoeur to the Braves broadcast booth.

Jeff Wilpon reminds Mets fans that insuring David Wright “is not cheap”

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It’s can’t be easy being a Mets fan. Your team plays in the biggest city in America and should, theoretically, have big payrolls and always be in contention. They aren’t, however, partially because of horrendous luck and ill-timed injuries, partially because of poor baseball decisions and partially because the team’s ownership got taken down by a Ponzi scheme that, one would think anyway, sophisticated businessmen would recognize as a Ponzi scheme. We’ll leave that go, though.

What Mets fans are left with are (a) occasional windows of contention, such as we saw in 2014-16; (b) times of frustrating austerity on the part of ownership when, one would hope anyway, some money would be spent; (c) an inordinate focus on tabloidy and scandalous nonsense which just always seems to surround the club; and (c) a lot of disappointment.

You can file this latest bit under any of or many of the above categories, but it is uniquely Mets.

Team president Jeff Wilpon spoke to the press this afternoon about team payroll. In talking about payroll, David Wright‘s salary was included despite the fact that he may never play again and despite the fact that insurance is picking up most of the tab. Wilpon’s comment:

I’m guessing every team has a line item, someplace, about the costs of insurance. They’re businesses after all, and all businesses have to deal with that. They do not talk about it as a barrier to spending more money on players to the press, however, as they likely know that fans want to be told a story of hope and baseball-driven decisions heading into a new season and do not want to hear about all of the reasons the club will not spend any money despite sitting in a huge market.

This doesn’t change a thing about what the Mets were going to do or not do, but it does have the added bonus of making Mets fans roll their eyes and ask themselves what they did to deserve these owners. And that, more than almost anything, is the essence of Mets fandom these days.