Jeff Francoeur is getting ready to experience NY post-season baseball...with the Rangers.
Many have read Francoeur's comments and weren't happy with them. His comments were taken out of context. Adam Rubin had the in depth interview, and after reading it, Francoeur didn't dis the Mets like many felt.
Francoeur is excited to play in the post season. Relegated to being a fourth/platoon rightfielder, Francoeur will get starts in game 1 in Texas and game 3 in NY against lefties CC Sabathia and Andy Pettite.
The former Met RF explained his feelings:
"I'll tell you this: Before the year started, I was hoping to play playoff baseball in New York in October, but I didn't think it would be in the ALCS. Obviously, it's going to be a blast. Playing in New York in October is special. And, for me, it's nice that I faced CC a couple of times this year and last year [in interleague play], so I'll be ready for him. And, of course, I've faced Pettitte throughout my career with [Atlanta versus] Houston, and a couple of times in interleague." _____________________________________________________________
Despite complete disdain for Francoeur by much of the NY Mets fanbase, yours truly not included, Francoeur said that he is still in touch with his former mates in Flushing. Most of the contact is through their fantasy football league. The fantasy football draft started "days" after Francoeur was traded when the Mets were in Chicago. Francoeur flew his friend Todd Stewart to Chicago to make the draft for him:
"I flew him up and told him he could go to the game at Wrigley Field, and then he picked my team. He did a good job. My guys haven't done it yet. It's still early. Tom Brady hasn't had the [customary] type of year, so I'm sitting at freakin' 1-4." ______________________________________________________________
Francoeur enjoyed his time with the Mets, especially at the beginning of the year, and has also enjoyed his time in Texas:
"It was awesome. We got off to a great start this year. The first half was great. Then to struggle like we did for those two months was tough. Even when I was over here [with Texas], keeping up with the guys, I know it was tough to finish the season knowing everything was going to happen and the way things went.
"But for me to be able to be a part of something here, and to be able to contribute and play well, it really made me feel like part of the team. And guys here were awesome, really making me feel like part of the team."____________________________________________________________
Francoeur will most likely be non-tendered by Texas at season's end, thus making him a free agent. His stats with the Mets were: .237 Avg. , 11 HR's , 54 RBI. With Texas in a part time/platoon role mainly against lefties, Francoeur's stats were: .340 Avg. , 2 HR's , 11 RBI. Francoeur is philosophical about his future:
"For so many years I thought about where I was going to be or what was going to happen the next year. I know I did a lot before this year in New York. I think in this game I've learned anything can happen at any time. I'd be doing myself a disservice if I started thinking about next year, especially with what we're going through now and having so much fun."
Francoeur might not find a starting role after a somewhat frustrating season, so the chances of him having a pay day like he did this year ($5M) are slim. That being said, he can be a real useful commodity to a team. His RF defense is second to none, and he does provide occasional power and a great attitude. I know this philosophy doesn't jibe with saber metric geeks, but to watch him play every day, you see he has talent; talent far beyond the stats.
Although I'm in the minority, Francoeur can play for me anytime. He was a good teammate, which is more than proven when he let former teammate Josh Thole use his apartment in the city after he was traded. Unfortunately, when he was slumping, fans took it personally, and made it a personal vendetta against Francoeur.
No matter how one might want to explain it, Francoeur is playing in the post season, and the return the Mets got, Joaquin Arias, will be fortunate to make the club next year, and wouldn't have made it this year if Luis Castillo was useful, and Reyes wasn't hobbled.
Was it really that beneficial to jettison Francoeur out of town? I guess it was for him.