Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Franco-Files #16 (7/20-7/26)

in which we track the exploits of Julio and John Franco, baseball's two oldest players. They are both named J. Franco. Don't forget that.

Another week, and still no definitive news from John. At this point, we have to assume that his season- and career- are over. John, prove us wrong! Show us that our assumption is nothing more than an island in the Seychelles. To show we are thinking of you, we post this bit of information: In 2005, John allowed 8 of 25 inherited runners to score (32%).

Julio has been hit pretty hard by the disappearance of his similarly monikered fellow oldster. There is now a void in his life that cannot be filled. Or can it? It appears that a guardian angel has arrived in the form of 21 year-old Braves rookie Jeff Francoeur (that is his picture above Julio's at the top of this post).

John Franco was released on July 2nd. On the 7th, Francoeur made his debut, apparently for the sole purpose of providing baseball with another J. Franco (ignore that "eur" at the end of his name. That's French for "irrelevant").

Julio and Jeff were virtually inseparable on the ballfield this past week. Check it out:

7/20: After hitting an RBI double, Julio was knocked in by the game's next batter, Jeff Francoeur.

7/22: After drawing a pinch-hit walk, Julio was replaced on the basepaths by Jeff Francoeur, who scored two batters later.

7/23: After hitting an RBI double, Julio was knocked in two batters later by Jeff Francoeur.

7/26: Pinch hitting in the ninth inning of a tie game, Julio laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved runner Jeff Francoeur to second. Francoeur later scored the game's winning run.

Our conclusion? Well, it should be obvious. Jeff Francoeur is God's way of telling us that it's okay that John is gone now. He will live on in all of our hearts. In the meantime, He will also make sure to provide us with a steady stream of J. Franco(eur)'s to carry on John's legacy. Thanks, God. Really, we mean it. Thanks.

Julio's March to 2500 Hits: For the week, Julio went 3-for-8, raising his season average to .276. Those three hits raised his career total to 2499! Check back next week for what is sure to be a celebration of Julio's 2500th hit!

And now, a recap of Julio's week that was:

Oldest Pitcher Faced (week): Mike Stanton, Nationals, 38 (86 cumulative years in that match-up).
Oldest Pitcher Faced (year): Roger Clemens, Astros, 42.
Youngest Pitcher Faced (week): Brian Bruney, Diamondbacks, 23.
Youngest Pitcher Faced (year): Gavin Floyd, Phillies, 22.
Total Pitchers Faced (week): 7, who were acombined 126 years younger than Julio (avg. 18 years younger).
Total Pitchers Faced (year): 88, who have been a combined 1457 years younger than Julio (avg. 16.6 years younger).


Blogger Z. Jackson said...

Here's a question: if Julio achieves the 2500-hit landmark, where does that place him on the list of most appearances/at bats to achieve 2500 hits? For a guy who has played as long as he has, it is surprising that he's not closer to 3000 than he is right now.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

Julio's average for his career is an even .300- right about what you'd expect for a guy who can stick around long enough to get 2500 hits.

The reason Julio has taken until almost age 47 to get 2500 hits is because Julio did not play in the major leagues in 1995 and from 1998-2001. He did not play in 1995 because of MLB's labor problems (he went to Asia), and in 1998-2001 because he was having trouble finding teams who were interested in him. He spent most of that time in Mexico. The Braves finally decided to take a look at him in September of 2001, a move that has obviously paid off.

If Julio had been in the majors consecutively from 1982 until now he'd almost certainly have 3000 hits, and as a result would very likely be a hall-of-fame candidate.
Counting the hits he collected in Asia and Mexico, he has well over 3200 in his career.

8:05 PM  

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