Jeff Francoeur Traded To Struggling New York Mets

July 17, 2009 – 7:30 am by Michael Bean

The New York Mets seem to be going through their annual swoon at just the wrong time.  Whether it’s a stretch of poor pitching, an inconsistent bullpen or a dry spell from the bats, the Mets just seem to have a knack at doing just enough to not quite get over the hump in the competitive NL East. To try to combat the long swoon they’ve been in offensively, Omar Minaya dealt for Braves right handed slugger, Jeff Francoeur. In his debut last weekend Francoeur delivered with two RBIs in a crucial Mets victory. Francoeur joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta to talk about putting on enemy colors and how he’s looking forward to the fresh start after several up and down years to begin his MLB career down south in Atlanta.

On if he thinks he’ll get a welcoming reception or be booed, by the home crowd at Turner Field when Francoeur and the Mets play against the Braves (beginning Thursday night):

“I don’t know. I hope well. I mean, I always played hard I thought and kept my mouth shut for the most part and did what I needed to do. You know, everybody knows I love Atlanta. I’m still going to live there in the offseason and work out with all the guys…You know, you just go somewhere to play baseball that’s different but, you know, I’m excited but I always loved my time in Atlanta and I think everybody knows that. So I hope I get a good reception, but hey, you know what, if I get booed, I get booed.”

On how he’s been welcomed thus far in New York:

“It’s been great, the whole weekend people kept telling me welcome to New York. You’re going to love it here. You know, I heard one person in right field call me a bum and tell me to go back to Atlanta, but hey, if it’s only one person, that’s not bad.”

On if he feels the change of markets will reinvigorate him and catapult him in to the next phase of his young career:

“You know, I don’t know if it’s always so much a change of scenery. I always said it was really nice, you know, the last day after Chicago, me and Bobby [Cox] got together and watched some film. Bobby filmed my BP the other day and kind of put my hands in a whole new position. You know, that Thursday night I went out and got three doubles in Colorado and you know, I’ve had two, two-hit games here in New York.

So I really think I figured something out. I kinda went back to the way I hit in ’06, ’05 and ’07 with the hands wrapped a little bit and taking the bat to the ball. So to be honest with you, it worked out nice because I was able to go there feeling real good offensively. You know, it’s nice, you get there and Jerry [Manuel] called me in and told me I was going to play everyday, he threw me in the fifth spot. And sure enough, the first night you come up with the bases so it’s been interesting, but at the same time, it feels good. I feel confident. From Omar Minaya up there (who’s just been great), to Jerry, they just have a lot of confidence in me. They’ve seen me play against them for four years and know what I can do. I think that’s what I needed. Just to hear that a little bit. It’s been nice.”

Listen here to Francoeur on 790 The Zone in Atlanta

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