The Dawg House
  Yesterday the Atlanta Braves decided to trade their hometown hero to their biggest rival. In a deal that had been rumored for weeks, Atlanta sends Jeff Francoeur to the Mets in exchange for RF Ryan Church. Frenchie never was as strong as his rookie season made it appear he could be, and last year he was even sent down. Jeff is one of the leading players that swing at the first pitch, and that could account for some of his struggles. 

  When you compare the stats of Church and Frenchie, no one really has an edge. Jeff has more HRs (5 to 2) and RBIs (35 to 22), while Ryan Church has a higher batting average (.280 to .250), on-base percentage (.332 to .282), and slugging percentage (.375 to .352). However, Church has played in 15 fewer games than Jeff, so really I don't think you can compare these stats accurately enough.

  Anyone who knows me is that Francoeur was a Braves player who really frustrated me. It seemed after his first two years in the bigs that he was going to be a 30 HR, 100 RBI guy year after year. But he just lost it. He didn't have the power he once had, and all his stats just started dropping off. I couldn't stand the fact that he would NEVER, EVER, EVER take a pitch. It was just first pitch swinging all the way. If he would have just worked the count like most big leaguers do, all his numbers would have skyrocketed. Maybe now Howard Johnson, the Mets hitting coach, can help him figure it out.   

   I saw an interview of Frenchie after the deal was made, and he looked heartbroken like at any minute he was going to break down. Who could blame him? This was HIS TEAM, he was a Georgia boy, and the fans loved him. I believe this deal is a sign from Frank Wren and John Schuerholz that "Hey, nobody here is safe".  I'll always remember Frenchie as the outfielder who help lead the Braves to the last of their 14 consecutive division titles, and I wish him the best in the Big Apple.

   Now enough with the personal feelings, let's get down to the baseball side of this thing: Was this a good deal for the Braves? No. I believe we needed to trade Frenchie sooner or later, but we should have waited until we got an absolute steal. This is no steal at all, and it may turn out that this is a steal for the Mets. That's the another problem: The METS??!?!? You trade one of the most beloved players on the team to the METS???!?!?! It just doesn't make sense. I would expect that Frank Wren will be hearing fans calling for his head, but that has to be expected with getting rid of Francoeur.

   I can't help but think back to a deal the Braves made before I was even born and compare it with this deal. On August 3, 1990, the Atlanta Braves traded fan-favorite Dale Murphy to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Jeff Parrett and a player to be named later. This deal was made back when the Atlanta Braves were in the Western Division (Go figure that one out), so a move to the Phillies would have been like the Braves trading with the Cardinals today. Let's just hope that Francoeur's future is better than Murphy's: Dale's stats dropped off the next year with Philadelphia, and in 1993 he called it quits while playing for the Rockies. For some reason, I think Jeff will do just fine.


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