This morning, Jeff Francoeur was the guest on the 790 “The Zone” morning show. During my drive in I heard part of the interview, and I was not at all happy with what I heard.
— He said he’s put last season behind him. He plans to start fresh and has already started hitting.
So far so good. Any player with a down season ought to have this attitude. Any human who has a bad year needs this attitude.
— He said last year wasn’t so bad if you take out about 80 games.
Uh, what? You know all my students would earn As on their tests if I didn’t count the questions they got wrong. You don’t get to pick the good and exclude the bad. When you look at the good and the bad from 2008, it’s an ugly season.
— He continues that it was just one bad season, and that he had over 100 RBI in 2006 and 2007.
Yeah, well it’s kind of hard not to when you have Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Edgar Renteria, and Mark Teixeira always on base in front of you. You’d think he might take a hint from their approaches.
The big issue here is not that RBI is a bad metric, it’s that he’s not identifying these seasons as poor (OPS+ of 87 and 103) and in need of correcting.
What he failed to note is that Burrell does other things well despite his batting average, holding a career OPS of .852—100 points higher than Francoeur’s OPS. Burrell has a low average, but walks and hits with power. Young isn’t the on-base and power guy that Burrell is, but he hits for a high average—something Francoeur has never managed to do for a full season at any level above Rookie ball. In addition, Young plays a defensive position and is a good hitter relative to his peers at his position. I’m also concerned about his focus on batting average.
There was more to the interview, but I didn’t have time to sit in the car and listen to excuses. The point here isn’t that Francoeur had a bad year, but that he is still clueless as to what his problem is. I’m amazed at his level of denial. You need confidence to succeed, but what Francoeur has is hubris.