"It is a young team, so hopefully I’ll be able to provide a little veteran leadership," Francoeur said.
He is, by all accounts, a great guy and an awesome teammate. He’s the sort of guy that you meet, you love, you hope.
And I can grant all that. Obviously, we know with basically perfect accuracy what athletes are good guys, leaders, winners, and which aren't. These qualities are immutable and reveal themselves with great clarity in the world of sports. So, plainly, no problem there. He's a tremendous guy. He should have a future in politics, only, that would be too tawdry for Jeff Francoeur. Too limited too. He shouldn't represent a single state, congressional district or even country. He's a gift to the world. And his eyes... are a gift to God. To God. Not from God.
However, I must ask, one thing. Is he a better leader than Jason Kendall? I take baseball leadership very seriously and I cherish its history in the game. My favorite bar argument ever is "Mt Rushmore of Baseball Leaders." Let's just put it this way... if you aren't putting Tino Martinez on that list, you better have dental insurance friend. So, I'm not going to sit idly by and let everyone just forget about Jason Kendall's leadership.
Have the Royals forgotten?
Can the Royals have too much leadership? How will the dynamic play out. If Mike Aviles talks out of turn who sets him straight? If Jarrod Dyson needs advice on hailing a cab in Seattle, does Kendall handle that, or does Francoeur? Who calls the first players only meeting? Ideally, of course, these two idols would work together. Or would that be disastrous? I believe it was Auden who said something to the effect of, "anyone who believes they've been in love more than once has never truly loved at all." I look at Kendall's wonderful work with this team last year, and clearly, he did a masterful job. Masterful. That's why the Royals rallied around Trey Hillman, improved in every single pitching statistic, and stuck around all season in the Central. Should we bother with something that isn't broken?
Then again, Dayton's thinking is rigorously grounded in empirical data. He knows what's best.