Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Francoeur's Folly.

Before I get to the Chiefs, I have to say a few words about the Greinke situation in light of Cliff Lee’s shocking decision to head to Philly.

But before I get to Greinke, I can’t let what happened yesterday pass unnoticed.

Jeff Francoeur was officially introduced as a member of the Kansas City Royals yesterday. Nothing unexpected happened at the press conference – everything was warm and fuzzy, Francoeur talked about how excited he was to be a part of the organization and how he wanted to stay long-term, and everything was rainbows and sunshine. Which is how it’s supposed to be.

But buried at the bottom of this article at MLB.com was an utterly mind-blowing quote from Francoeur:

“When you get there, it’s so much fun that you want to get back. I remember during the World Series hearing guys like Cal Ripken saying, ‘I never got to play in a World Series,’ and he played for 18 or 19 years…I was very humbled by the opportunity.”

I read this last night before going to bed, and my mind was officially blown. It took until this morning to recover. And now that I’m writing about it…the quote has disappeared from the article.

I was worried I dreamt it, and took to Twitter to see if anyone else had seen the same thing. Steven St. John at 810 WHB immediately responded to say that he had read the same quote, and then intrepid follower @ashleylat found an echo of the quote online, at Forbes.com of all places. You can find it here, assuming it hasn’t been scrubbed by the time you read this.

So I have no choice but to believe that Jeff Francoeur claims Cal Ripken told him that he (Ripken) never played in the World Series. Even though millions of people, Baseball Reference, and presumably Ripken himself remember that the Baltimore Orioles, with Ripken at shortstop, won the 1983 World Series.

I think we may have figured out what’s wrong with Francoeur. We have to at least entertain the possibility that he’s deaf. And based on his infamous “If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it up on the scoreboard?” quote, we have to at least entertain the possibility that he’s blind as well.

Poor Kevin Seitzer. In order to fix Francoeur, he can’t simply be a miracle worker. Apparently, he has to be The Miracle Worker.

(Addendum: Just in case it's not clear, I'm just having a bit of fun at Francoeur's expense. If Francoeur misheard Ripken, that's hardly the worst sin in the world - the World Series is a zoo and I'm sure he talked to a lot of people. And as Craig Brown pointed out to me, it's not like Francoeur would have first-hand knowledge of this - he wasn't born until a few months after the World Series ended.)


Chris said...

I saw the that last game of the '83 world series on ESPN classic a few weeks ago. Ripken caught a line drive for the last out.

Tim said...

Francoeur would later say: "I have no first-hand knowledge of that fact any more than I had of my reporting that Ripken said he never went to the World Series."

Phil said...

I think he was referring to Cal Browning of the St. Louis Cardinals. This Cal has a career 40 ERA over .2 innings pitched. One of the best to never make it to the Fall Classic.

Alden Schoeneberg said...

I'm sure he meant to say that "after winning every achievement; RoY, MVP, AS, SS, AND the World Series at the age of 23, he never got back to world series again.

Eric said...

I heard some of the press conference on 810. The audio looks like it's available at:

First Baptist Church, Stephens said...

Francoeur or Ripken was misquoted here, I imagine. Either Francoeur misunderstood Ripken or the reporter misunderstood Francoeur.

I think I remember Ripken saying more than once that he didn't truly appreciate 1983, because he assumed he would return, but he didn't in something like 18 or 19 more years in the Majors.

That could easily be misquoted to what was printed there as Francoeur's quote.

Harwood Benjamin said...

I heard Francoeur say it -- 810 was broadcasting the news conference, I assume live -- and my immediate thought was that maybe he had been talking to Billy Ripken. (Actually, my first thought was to curse Jerry Dybzinski for being the 1983 version of Bartman with his baserunning blunder that prevented the White Sox from winning game 4 of the playoffs and going on to beat the Orioles.) Billy Ripken never played in the World Series, nor should he have.

John said...

The earlier poster was right. Ripken lamented many times that he played another 18 seasons after the 1983 World Series and never got another chance.

Frenchy couldn't possibly have any memory of Ripken playing in the Series. His first memories of the Orioles might well be their unbelievably terrible 1988 team. It would be very easy for him to have heard part of a Ripken interview and think he never made it to a Series.

Sean said...

What makes the statement so contradictory is that if he really feels that way about the World Series, why did he sign here? But yes, clearly he's not very smart. But he's also not very good at baseball.

JRM said...

They got a shortstop! Alcides Escobar. Yay!

I believe today would be a good day to kick Royals fans. Kicking 'em while their down is easier and less dangerous.

Looking forward to Rany's take. (I predict 7% obscenities.)