In an ESPN.com article published on Monday that highlighted the importance of being patient at the plate, Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur summed up his knowledge of the game of baseball with one of the most idiotic statements I have ever heard come from the mouth of a Major Leaguer.
"“If on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?” Francoeur told Jerry Crasnick."
So many things come to my mind regarding that comment that make me cringe, I honestly don’t know where to begin.
What are you, a little leaguer? Only care about the flashy stats and keeping your batting average and home run/RBI totals up? Why on God’s green Earth would you feel the need to make such an unintelligent comment when you yourself should know first hand the importance of on-base percentage.
Frenchy, all us Braves fans pull for you. You’re a nice enough guy, but we’ve had to endure your mediocre 2007 season and your pathetic 2008 campaign — two years where you did nothing but swing at the first pitch and strikeout an unreasonable amount of times. Granted, the start of this season has been much brighter (.282 average/3 homers/17 RBIs/.303 OBP) for you, but it in no way makes us forget about your short time in the majors where you taking a pitch became as frequent as a lunar eclipse .
No matter how great of an athlete you are, pitchers will figure out your tendencies and pitch to your weaknesses. Maybe that’s why one scout has called you “the most confused hitter in the game.”
Francoeur went on to say in the article:
"“You don’t go up there, as a hitter saying, ‘I’m going to take some pitches. The moment you do, they’re going to throw you two fastballs down the middle. If you’re facing Tim Lincecum and you go up there trying to work into a hitter’s count, you better not miss that fastball he throws — because if you get behind 0-2, you’re done.”"
And he added:
"“People forget that I just turned 25. I’ve been up since I was 21, and a lot of people come up when they’re 24 or 25. I have 3½ years in the big leagues, but I’m still learning how to hit.”"
I’ll support any player that throws on an Atlanta Braves uniform, but when someone makes such a selfish comment that, in the long run, will impact the team’s chances of winning, that’s where I draw the line.
So Mr. Francoeur, either explain yourself or you’ve lost a fan.