Here’s a few things that really caught me off guard this week:
Jeff Francoeur Takes Dig At Citi Field
Former Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur during an interview in Kansas City decided to take an opportunity to rip on Citi Field. Francoeur, whose tenure with the Mets consisted of parts of the past two seasons, when asked about the new ballpark stated that “Citi Field…Is a joke”. He recalled his inability to hit home runs there and that it is very frustrating that a fly out at Citi Field is a home run in many other ballparks.
Francoeur, who I think of as someone who has a special place in the hearts of many Met fans, really tarnished what a lot of us thought of him. I think of Francoeur in the same regard as Xavier Nady, a short tenure with the Mets but a fan favorite, but his comments here really diminish that status in my eyes. This is just Francoeur blaming his poor season on the ballpark, not himself. Reyes and Pagan, two players not known for their power, hit more home runs at Citi Field than Francoeur did in 2010. Wright hit 12 home runs in Citi Field and is not complaining.
Baseball is all about making adjustments to your situations and finding success, Francoeur, in several situations, has failed to do this. He has been unable to lay off pitches ever since 2007 and despite many attempts to create plate discipline, Francoeur just cannot adjust. This is probably the same reason why he could not hit home runs in Citi Field. Yes it is an enormous ballpark, but that does not give Francoeur the right to use it as a scapegoat for his poor performance.
For someone who hit .249 in 2010, Francoeur is not one to be throwing stones.
Jose Reyes Will Not Have Extension Talks Once Season Begins
Last Wednesday, the spark-plug of the Mets, Jose Reyes stated he is not interested in extension talks after Opening Day, this in the wake of Albert Pujols giving the Cardinals a deadline of the beginning of Spring Training. Reyes is arguably the second most valuable player on the Mets, losing Reyes would create a gaping hole in the middle infield. If an extension is not reached, Reyes will almost certainly be traded by the July 31st deadline. This is the first major test for Alderson, this one transaction alone will single handedly put the Mets in “rebuild mode” or whether he can keep the core and play for the “now”.
I hate to say it, but I am very skeptical about whether Alderson will bring himself to commit to a player that has had such bouts with injury the past few seasons. Don’t get me wrong, I love Reyes and I would love to see #5 and #7 retired together out in left center but I don’t know if Alderson will be willing to tie up 5, 6 or 7 years into Reyes.
It is important to mention how Alderson handled Rickey Henderson while he was in Oakland, given that both Reyes and Henderson both have the same type of play. Henderson was traded to the Yankees for a slew of prospects that were mostly bum prospects and did not have a large impact on the club. This would be just the beginning of several trades and free agent signings of Henderson leaving and returning to the A’s. Henderson would be signed as a free agent three times back to Oakland. He was also traded from the A’s twice and traded back to them once. Lets hope that Reyes will receive more stability in Flushing than what Henderson endured.
However if it becomes necessary to trade Reyes, Alderson better get one heck of a return for him. The Mets cannot afford to lose Reyes unless they reach a deal similar to the Adrian Gonzalez trade that sent Gonzalez to Boston for their three top prospects.
Reyes’ presence alone brings an immediate dynamic feeling into the club house which is hard to put a price-tag on, but Alderson will have to try. How Alderson handles Reyes could make or break his tenure with the Amazins.