A-Rod challenges Jeff Francoeur’s arm, loses by notable margin
If you had March 28 as the first day we’d truly question something Alex Rodriguez did on or off the field this spring, you’d be rolling in a lot of money.
Things have been going very smoothly for A-Rod on basically every level, and they’ve gone especially well for him on the field. Well enough, in fact, that he may have the inside track to become the Yankees full-time designated hitter.
That’s a decision that will ultimately come down to manager Joe Girardi, with perhaps some influence from general manager Brian Cashman and others in the Yankees front office. Unfortunately, none of the above had any say over A-Rod’s decision to challenge the cannon that long-time major league outfielder Jeff Francoeur possesses for a right arm during Friday’s game in Clearwater.
If only A-Rod was ten years younger and ten years healthier, that would have been far less embarrassing. He still would have been out, possibliy with a cringe-worthy and potentially injury-inducing slide, so it’s probably a good thing he’s not ten years younger.
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A quick glance on the scouting report wouldn’t have hurt either. This wasn’t Francoeur’s first major league assist, and he’s working hard to make sure it’s not his last for the Phillies.
At 31, Francoeur’s looking to make Philadelphia’s rebuilding roster as a reserve outfielder after spending two seasons in limbo, bouncing back and forth between the majors and minors with the Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. He even made a few relief appearances for San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate last season looking to carve out a niche in that role.
No doubt, Francoeur brings an interesting skill set if he could put everything together at once. He hit 29 home runs for the Atlanta Braves in 2006. He posted a .311 batting average in 75 games for the New York Mets in 2010. He stole 22 bases for the Royals in 2011. He has perhaps the strongest outfield arm in the game. And he seems like a good guy to have around the clubhouse.
Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of all those skills in the coming months. It could make for a fun story
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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813