This weekend I was driving while listening to the Braves pre-game show. Twice I heard two references that almost made me crash the car. I will paraphrase the comments.
Coming into this season, I saw this team having four big hitters and four complementary hitters. The big hitters are Chipper, Teixeira, McCann, and Jeff Francoeur.
The Phillies and their big-three of Howard, Utley, and Rollins have played well compared to the Braves big-four of Chipper, Teixeira, McCann, and Jeff Francoeur.
What on earth is Jeff Francoeur doing in this grouping? This year Francoeur has posted a line of .253/.303 /.415/.718, which is an OPS+ of 89. And it’s not like this performance is a surprise. If you take out the first month of his career, in which he was “the natural”, he has a career OPS of .756. That is a major-league player, not an All-Star. Why does one month–during which I am convinced that poor scouting, good luck, and exceptional play created a phenomenal start–still dominate the public perception of this player?
And it’s not that Francoeur is a bad baseball player: looking around the Braves outfield, it’s obvious that Francoeur isn’t a bad option. But why is he put in the category with players who are in a completely different class? I mean, Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar have better seasons and better careers than Francouer, yet they are not included in the conversation.
It’s fine for teenage girls who come to games in costumes to declare their undying love to the Frenchy, but comments such as these have no place on radio shows for Braves baseball fans.