AJC via AOL Fanhouse (More on this later) (07/04/08)
“This has really put a damper on my relationship with the Atlanta Braves,” Francoeur told the AJC.
[...]“I do not agree with this, but I have to do what I have to do,” Francoeur said.
“I felt so relaxed [at the plate Friday], but I felt really relaxed [Thursday],” Francoeur said. “And I told Frank that in the meeting. I feel good, I felt comfortable and really feel like I was that close to busting out. I think I showed [Friday night] I was kind of right. I don’t think coming and the atmosphere was the reason I got two hits.”
Francoeur turned down a long-term contract offer from the Braves last year and has had his contract renewed unilaterally each of the past two offseasons.
“I love playing for the city. I love playing for the fans and always have,” said Francoeur, who grew up in Gwinnett County. “But I’m disappointed with the decision and how the whole process went down.”
“After three years, after playing hurt, playing every day, going in every day whether I got a hit and never complaining, I just played because Bobby [Cox] kept putting me in the lineup,” Francoeur said. “But I just felt like a little three-minute thing — ‘Hey, you’re going down’ — I feel like after three years, I was owed a little more of an explanation. But that’s Frank’s deal and that’s what I guess they decided to do.
“My question is, what if I had hit a home run or had two hits [Thursday night]? Does it delay it one day, until I was 0-for-4? I was left standing outside in the dark on that. You almost felt like they had made [their minds] up before the game. That’s where I felt frustrated, where I felt a little betrayed.”
“I understand what it was,” Francoeur said. “I’m not sitting here holding any bitter feelings — at least trying not to. I know fans were surprised at some of my comments. But at the same time, for so long, I’ve kept my mouth shut. I was upset. But at the same time, I’m appreciative of the fact that after three days [general manager] Frank [Wren] and Bobby saw what I’d done and want me back in the lineup.”
Wren said that he’s not worried about some of the comments Francoeur made following the transaction.
“That doesn’t concern me at all,” Wren said. “Those comments were made out of frustration.”
In this clip, Michael Scott plays Frank Wren and Stanley Hudson plays Jeff Francoeur.