Friday, July 4, 2008
The Atlanta Braves have sent slumping right fielder Jeff Francoeur to their Class AA affiliate in Mississippi. He will be reunited with Mississippi manager Phillip Wellman who has a positive history of working with Francoeur in the minors before. His 2008 average fell to .234 after he went o for 4 Thursday night, and he was also booed at home for the first time in his career. That has to be especially tough on him because he is a local hero out of nearby Parkview High School. He had been dropped to seventh in the batting order, after having been expected to join Chipper, Teixeira, and McCann in the heart of the attack. The plan is for him to get more at bats in a more relaxed atmosphere and rejoin the Braves after the All-Star break. I would hope that rather than put a time limit on this experiment, that the organization would have the mindset of 'we'll bring you back up when we think you are ready'. Francoeur, as expected, was disappointed with the decision and the way it went down. He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution his relationship with the club has now been jeopardized. Now why did you have to go there, Jeff? That will really get those booing fans off of your back. You haven't been getting the job done. The honeymoon is over, and it should have been a long time ago. You might be disappointed but you can't be completely surprised. I've posted two articles here about you being sent to the minors and what the heck do I know? Go to AA and work hard to get better. How about EARNING your way back to Atlanta? While they're adjusting your swing, perhaps they will adjust your attitude as well. This 'ain't personal', as they say, and if the Braves are wrong here it's because they didn't do this sooner. You don't know if you'll ever feel the same about this organization again, well evidently they already don't feel the same way about you. This is not Parkview High, it's the Big Leagues. You are being paid big bucks to produce and you are not producing. It's a business. Isn't that what you guys maintain at contract time? If you're mad, you should be mad at yourself. Take that frustration and get to work. Get back to where you were when you were first called up. The Braves need you. The city of Atlanta needs you. And even though you're not open to this right now, you need the Atlanta Braves. Get well soon Jeff.