Associated Press

Jeff Francoeur: one of the least valuable players of all time


Jeff Francoeur has been a part of my life for a long, long time. He was the great, young hope for my favorite baseball team and then quickly became its albatross. He was shipped out of town and began an odyssey around baseball. New York, Texas. Kansas City, where I finally interviewed him and realized how nice a guy he was, even if he wasn’t ever going to be the player people thought he might one day be. San Francisco. Wait, San Francisco? *checks* Yep, San Francisco. Then San Diego and Philly. By the time he got to Philly I was so at peace with Frenchy that I bought a dang Phillies shirsey with his name on it.

This season, in one of the more inevitable moves ever, he came back to Atlanta, where people still think, for some reason, that it’s 2005 again and if you look at Frenchy in just the right light, he could be a star. Well, nope, and the Braves just unloaded him to the Marlins. Maybe he’ll be back again — he and Kelly Johnson should probably just be given permanent lockers in Atlanta — maybe he won’t. His legend, however, will never be forgotten.

Jon Bois of SB Nation is also a Braves fan and his relationship with Jeff Francoeur is pretty similar to mine. Frenchy drove us crazy, but dang it, it’s hard to hate the guy. Jon takes it one step further, going so far to call Francoeur his “favorite worst baseball player.” Today Jon released a video about Francoeur, putting all of the glorious and maddening things about Frenchy in context. Like, insanely detailed context. For example, we learn that Francoeur (a) had the greatest start of any rookie slugger in baseball history; and (b) he had the least valuable career of any hitter to every be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated ever.

Like everything else Jon does, it’s brilliant. And hopefully it helps you appreciate — and be driven crazy by — Jeff Francoeur just as much as Jon and I do and are:

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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