Results tagged ‘ Jeff Francoeur ’
The U.S. military bombarded Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega with heavy metal music to force him from his compound and surrender in 1989. Britney Spears’ music has blared from merchant ships to scare away pirates off the horn of Africa.
The Nationals have chosen “Somewhere Out There” by Linda Rondstadt and James Ingram to annoy their enemies.
They have been playing pop ballads and other soft and sappy music during opposing teams’ batting practices this season. There is no shortage of schmaltzy music, so the playlist has varied every day. But the past couple days the Phillies have been fortunate (or unfortunate) to hear Patrick Swayze’s “She’s Like the Wind,” Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight,” Anne Murray’s “You Needed Me,” Dan Hill’s “Can’t We Try,” and Spandau Ballet’s “True.”
“We’ll take care of that,” Ryne Sandberg said before today’s game against the Nationals at Nationals Park. “We’re going with the silent treatment at our place.
“It’s bush league. And irrelevant. What’s the point?”
Some of the Phillies are amused at the sappy tunes. Some could not care less. Others want mercy.
“I don’t think there’s any malice behind it,” Justin De Fratus said. “I think it’s funny. They played that Feivel Goes West song yesterday. If anything it’s a change of pace from some of the stuff we hear every day. I’ve got to sit there and listen to Drake every day. And it’s not about Drake. It’s every day I’m hearing top 40.”
“I mean, come on,” Jeff Francoeur said. “If you did it one time it’s funny. But we come here so many times.”
The Phillies actually had a bigger beef than the music. They feel they get on the field for batting practice late at Nationals Park compared to other ballparks, giving them less time to get ready between BP and first pitch. But according to the Phillies’ and Nationals’ respective media guides, batting practice starts only five minutes later for opposing teams at Nationals Park than at Citizens Bank Park.
“It’s very inconvenient,” Sandberg said. “That will be another adjustment. That seed was planted about six weeks ago.”
Nevertheless, the yacht rock continues.
“I didn’t even notice it,” Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said with a hint of a smile. “But it’s nice soothing music they’ve got going on here. It’s nice for the fans at the ballpark before the game. Yeah, maybe get a beer, a pretzel, enjoy BP.”
A single home run might not make a hitter hot, but Jeff Francoeur’s three-run home run to left-center field in the sixth inning of a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park might earn him another start tonight. They were the first runs the Phillies scored this season, snapping a 14-inning scoreless streak following Monday’s shutout loss on Opening Day.
It was Francoeur’s first home run in the big leagues since June 16, 2013, when he played for the Royals.
“I hit (15) in El Paso last year,” Francoeur said. “It was nice. It was a lot of hard work last year. It makes you appreciate being back up here and getting those opportunities. And you don’t want to miss them. It’s a lot of fun.”
Francoeur hit a combined .204 with a .536 OPS in 256 plate appearances with the Royals and Giants in 2013 before spending most of 2014 with Triple-A El Paso. He signed a Minor League contract with the Phillies in November.
He hopes this is the beginning of something.
So do the Phillies. They need the help offensively.
“A lot of hitting is getting confidence,” Francoeur said. “You get beat down, man. 2013 took a lot out of me to be honest with you. I sucked and I thought I sucked and everybody told me I sucked. You start believing it. Even last year just go out in Triple-A, but just to have fun again and play again. Like I said, when I hit that one today it was pretty cool just for the whole fact that you grind and you battle in this game, and when you get an opportunity you try to make the most of it.”
Six of the eight can play in the outfield, including Jeff Francoeur.
Each player will be in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.
The group includes:
- Andres Blanco, INF. Blanco, 30, hit .277 in 25 games for the Phillies last season. He played 10 games at third base, six at shortstop and five at second base.
- Brian Bogusevic, OF. Bogusevic, 30, hit .260 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 79 games with Triple-A New Orleans. He missed nearly two months because of two separate fractures in his right leg. He played 299 games over four seasons (2010-13) with the Astros and Cubs, hitting .236 with 17 home runs, 62 RBIs, 22 stolen bases and a .682 OPS.
- Russ Canzler, INF/OF. Canzler, 28, split last season between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hitting a combined .276 with 32 doubles, 13 home runs and 58 RBIs in 112 games. He played 29 games between the Rays (2011) and Indians (2012), hitting .271 with three home runs, 12 RBIs and a .700 OPS.
- Chase d’Arnaud, INF/OF. – D’Arnaud, 27, played second base, third base and all three outfield positions last season with Triple-A Indianapolis. He hit .250 with 16 doubles, nine triples, two home runs, 23 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He has appeared in 64 big-league games with the Pirates, hitting .208 with a .507 OPS.
- Jeff Francoeur, OF. – Francoeur, 30, has hit .262 with 250 doubles, 140 home runs and 619 RBIs in 1,237 games in the big leagues. He appeared in 10 games last season for the Padres. He has has played for the Braves (2005-09), Mets (2009-10), Rangers (2010), Royals (2011-13), Giants (2013) and Padres (2014).
- John Hester, C. Hester, 31, hit .261 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 71 games with Triple-A Salt Lake. He has appeared in 93 games for the Diamondbacks (2009-10) and Angels (2012-13).
- Darin Mastroianni, OF. Mastroianni, 29, split last season between the Twins and Blue Jays organizations. He played 92 Triple-A games between Rochester and Buffalo, hitting a combined .277 with 20 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 23 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He appeared in 129 games with the Blue Jays and Twins, hitting .212 with a .564 OPS.
- Xavier Paul, OF. – Paul, 29, played in 14 games last season for the Diamondbacks. In 349 career big-league games, Paul hit .250 with 12 home runs, 71 RBIs and a .679 OPS over six seasons with the Dodgers, Pirates, Reds and Diamondbacks.
“That’s subject to change,” he cautioned.
The Phillies were in discussions about a contract with left-hander Dennys Reyes. A source said tonight a deal was not imminent, although reports from St. Louis said Reyes was headed to Philadelphia. A second source said the Phillies and Reyes’ agent had exchanged contract figures last week and met again today. The source also indicated nothing was imminent.
Reyes went 3-1 with a 3.55 ERA in 59 appearances last season with the St. Louis Cardinals. Interestingly, left-handers hit .307 against him last season, while right-handers hit .177, although he has been better in his career against left-handers (.238) than right-handers (.279).
But while the Phillies have interest in Reyes, they also have interest in other relief pitchers. That includes left-hander George Sherrill, who went 2-2 with a 6.69 ERA in 65 appearances last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Phillies have liked Sherrill in the past and think he could rebound. The Phillies also met today with right-hander Chad Durbin‘s agent. The Phillies have indicated they remain interested in bringing him back.
A few things from Day 1 of the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.:
- Ruben Amaro Jr. said he does not believe the Phillies must find a right-handed-hitting outfielder to replace Jayson Werth. But outfielders to watch include free agents Scott Hairston and Matt Diaz. Diaz’s agent Larry Reynolds said he is receiving plenty of interest on Diaz, who could sign with a team before the conclusion of the meetings. He declined to say how interested the Phillies might be.
- There has been a buzz at the Winter Meetings the Phillies had focused on free agent outfielder Jeff Francoeur, but sources said the Phillies are not seriously pursuing him.
- Aaron Rowand is available in a trade, but the San Francisco Giants probably would need to pay a substantial portion of his salary to make it happen.
- Interestingly, Amaro spoke of a potential platoon in right field involving Ben Francisco and Ross Gload – not mentioning Domonic Brown, who hit just .069 in nine Dominican Winter Ball games before returning home last week. Asked if he would prefer Brown to play every day than split time in the big leagues, Amaro said, “If we had our druthers we’d rather put Domonic in a position to get the at-bats that he kind of lost last year and prepare himself to improve his outfield play, base running, etc. In a perfect world, we don’t need Domonic to make our club, unless he really pushes us, unless he shows us in Spring Training that he’s ready to take that next step.”
- The Los Angeles Times reported the Phillies could be interested in Angels outfielder Juan Rivera, which would make sense. The Phillies have liked him in the past, although Rivera struggled last season with just a .746 OPS against left-handed pitchers.
Jayson Werth wore black to an October news conference at Citizens Bank Park.
The color of clothing proved prophetic.
Werth, who had become a fan favorite during four successful seasons with the Phillies, spoke like a man who knew his time in Philadelphia had come to an end. It officially ended today, when he signed a colossal seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals. MLB.com first reported the impending deal. CSNPhilly.com reported the Phillies offered Werth a three-year contract with an average annual value of $16 million and an option for a fourth year.
A source told MLB.com the vesting option would have increased the value of the contract to $60 million.
Even if the option had vested for the 2014 season, the Nationals offered $66 million more than the Phillies with an average annual value of $18 million.
The Phillies never had a chance.
“We felt that we offered him a significant contract such that we had a chance to bring him back,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said tonight at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. “But clearly, at the end of the day it was about trying to get the best contract he could and I think he did.”
It is just the 14th unassisted triple play in baseball history. It is only the second unassisted triple play to end the game. The first came May 31, 1927, when Tigers first baseman John Neun turned one against the Cleveland Indians.
“It’s hard to know how to react to it,” Bruntlett siad. “I was almost laughing. That doesn’t happen. What do you do there? Game is over. High fives.”
It was the Phillies’ first triple play since Sept. 12, 2007, against Colorado. It was the first unassisted triple play since Mickey Morandini turned one Sept. 20, 1992 against the Pirates.
“It’s crazy (stuff),” Jeff Francoeur said. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”