Thanks to Francoeur's Blessing, We Can Now Appreciate the Cabrera-Sanchez Trade

Sure, you could read what the manager of the front office or the pitching coach had to say about new Royal Jonathan Sanchez. You could read analysis from around the web. You could read what the newspaper guys back in San Francisco had to say. You could listen to the local sports talkers on the radio. You could even hear from Sanchez himself. But ultimately, none of that matters. What does a journeyman outfielder with crazy eyes think?

Royals.com is here to answer this ultimate question:

Francoeur happy to have Sanchez aboard

For me, Francoeur's word is even more important as we approach the holidays. We need his light in the darkness.

 

"I like it," Francoeur said. "I didn't want Melky to go, obviously, but at the same time you know where we struggled some last year, and if you get a guy like Sanchez and he can cut his walks just a little bit, and the way he attacks with his slider and throwing 95 (mph), he can do some good things."

Totally reasonable analysis. Also, if I was a foot taller and 200% more athletic and a decade younger, I could probably walk on to the KU basketball team.

Francoeur gives us insight into his own version of the Ankiel problem, as formulated by Matt Klassen ("Could Rick Ankiel the pitcher throw a pitch so wild that Rick Ankiel the hitter wouldn't swing?")  With Sanchez and Frenchy, it's a similar quandry: could the Sanchize walk him?

Francoeur, in his National League days, couldn't hit Sanchez if he swung a 2-by-4 or even a 2-by-8.

"I did not do very well, I think I was 2-for-18 off him," Francoeur said.

 

I'd very much like to see someone swing a 2-by-4 or especially a 2-by-8 as a bat. I think it would be extremely difficult to do. I also imagine it would be amazingly painful if you actually made contact.

 

Perhaps the painful memory caused him to exaggerate a bit. It was just 2-for-16 (.125), with six strikeouts and not a single walk from the often off-target left-hander. And Frenchy is a right-handed hitter who usually feasts on lefties (.299 in his career). Of course, he faced Sanchez in his wild-swinging days before he took the pledge last year.

 

Such a weird, insidery reference at the end of the paragraph. Granted, we all know what this Pledge might be, because there's a pointless Jeff Francoeur story written every week. Also, Francouer drew unintentional walks in 5.2% of his plate appearances last year, a comparable total to what he posted in 2007, 2008, 2010. New man. He swung at 54.3% of pitches seen, which is pretty much identical to what he's done his entire career. But, that Pledge. That Pledge was taken with a hand on the Bible!

"That shows you -- I hit left-handers good, and to see that, I'm glad that he's on our team," Francoeur said. "Now the only thing is I'll probably have to face him in Spring Training in a couple of intrasquad games. I'll probably just go up there and keep my bat on my shoulder."

I'd say the odds of this happening are actually pretty low. Like, I dunno, just a wild guess, but like ohh... I dunno... 5% likely. Also, you hit left-handers well, Jeff. Then again, this is gritty, realistic, YOU ARE THERE reporting. Royals verite  Nobody's going to clean up these quotes for the faint of heart.

"He had a great year, a great teammate. You don't come up with 201 hits real easy," Francoeur said. "But, for us, I think we realized we needed that pitching more than we needed that offense. Melky understood. He had a great year and he's going to go out to San Fran and do good for them. I thought it was a good trade, because they need offense and we need pitching and we each had a guy that we could do that with."

Yes, this story is still going. And another good/well from Frenchy. Oh, and haha 201 hits. Mission Accomplished Yost.

Cabrera's spot in center has been ceded to Lorenzo Cain, up from Triple-A Omaha.

"I'm looking forward to seeing him out there. Hopefully, he's working his butt off and realizes that now he's got an opportunity and can make the most of it and run with it," Francoeur said.

 

I'm telling Jarrod Dyson what you said, Jeff. I'm telling him and I'm telling everyone. Are you saying he's lazy? Are you really implying that he's lazy?

As the season wound down for the Royals this year, the turnstile counts at Kauffman Stadium clicked up. Normally, with a team near the bottom of the standings and school in session, crowds drop. But the Royals' home attendance in September averaged 26,532 a game, compared to the overall average of 21,289. The September gate was up 39 percent over 2010 and 57 percent over 2009.

You can make numbers say anything. What matters to me is how those attendees felt and how they did the little things.

 

That's seen as a sign that Kansas City is getting revved up by an aggressive young team and is looking forward to 2012.

Jeff Francoeur is 27.

"I think a lot of people are really excited about next year, and that's a good thing," Francoeur said. "I think our bullpen is really going to be stout, and now getting Sanchez, and we'll see what happens with Bruce (Chen), we've got a chance to have a pretty decent rotation -- it should be good."

Chen, the club's top winner last year, is on the free-agent market, but the Royals are interested.

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