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Jeff Francoeur Invites Confidence, Again

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He's only been a Royal for a month, really, and I'm already tired of Jeff Francoeur. Not so much Francoeur the player or the man, just Jeff Francoeur the topic. Jeff Francoeur the meme. He's an endlessly debated player and the arguments concerning him have, literally, been going on for years. Considering that we spent years joking about him becoming a Royal, this is especially true.

People sometimes claim that guys like me hate Francoeur. That isn't really the case. Actually, it's not the case at all, when you come down to it. For me, it's similar to the Bloomquist Problem: in the end, I find the media narrative around Francoeur, whether it's true or false, to be exhausting. That's not entirely Francoeur's fault. Really though, I don't care how awesome a guy he is. I just don't. I don't even know what it means. I've never heard an example of what he actually does that is so tremendous, other than that he smiles. Is he charitable? Is he really funny? Does he tell great ghost stories? Is he absolutely fun to be around? Is he a passionate believer in some faith? I never hear that. I just hear that he's great and lovable. No more. And of course, there's never any mention of how he sulked and pouted when he was benched in Atlanta and New York. Things like that never stick to lovable guys like Francoeur.

And really, since I don't cover the Royals, I just don't care. And I don't know why fans should either. Francoeur's awesomeness may be important to his teammates or people in the organization or beat writers traveling on the team plane. It isn't important to me. I'm not bitter and I'm not cynical and I'm not jealous. I just... I just don't care.

Francoeur has hit well this season. In 117 PAs he's shown surprising power and he's walking at a good rate, for him. We should all enjoy his .308/.350/.579 line and commend him on a nice April. He's swinging at slightly fewer pitches this year and walking a tick more. Maybe it will last.I had a nice long stats-heavy post ready, but my heart just isn't in it. Not because it proves doubters like me wrong, because nothing at all is proven, just because well... we're all tired of it. We know the issues with this guy. We know his past and we know the glories of his reputation.

Maybe his .311 OBP in 3560 PAs is a thing of the past. Maybe his lovely smile makes hearts melt. Maybe.