Monday, April 14, 2014
Tonight marks the latest edition of Tucson's final Triple-A baseball game, as the El Paso Chihuahuas wrap up their temporary use of the Kino Stadium as their home field with a 6:35 p.m. clash against the Reno Aces.
Free tickets to the game are available at any Eegee's location, which is as good a reason as any to spend a Monday night at the ballpark watching professional baseball.
Need another? How about this: it's a great chance to make fun of veteran ballplayer Jeff Francoeur for being maybe the most gullible person on the planet, at least in the world of sports.
The 30-year-old left fielder has been in pro ball since 2002 and has spent part of every year since 2005 in the major leagues, most recently with Kansas City and San Francisco last year. He was signed by San Diego this winter, and began the year with the Padres' Triple-A team in El Paso.
That's when the long con began.
Since joining the Chihuahuas Francoeur has been led to believe that pitcher Jorge Arias was deaf, despite this very much not being the case. Apparently, Francoeur is quite the oblivious one, as the 10-minute video put together by teammate and burgeoning young filmmaker Cody Decker explains in hilarious detail.
Francoeur was an everyday starter for the Atlanta Braves in 2006 and 2007, and last season earned $7.5 million, but none of that seemed to matter when it came to getting duped into believing Arias got his pitch calls mouthed to him by the catcher (despite the catcher often covering his mouth with the glove when at the mound) and that Arias' girlfriend communicated with him mostly through hand signals and text messages.
I recall going to a Diamondbacks game in 2009, when Francoeur was in town with the New York Mets. He was playing right field, and for some reason a random fan kept yelling out "Hey, Francoeur?!?!?! What're you doing?!?!?!?!?" over and over again.
Never has an attempt to razz a professional athlete been so forward-thinking and prophetic.