Jeff Francoeur and Dayton Moore in 2005
Dayton Moore, Director of Player Personnel for the Atlanta Braves, right, is shown here with Jeff Francoeur, one of his prize players, on April 19, 2005, at Class A Mississippi. Moore was named No. 1 in Baseball America’s “Top 10 General Manager Prospects” before the 2004 season and one of the “Up-And-Coming Power Brokers” in March 2005. He is credited with bringing along the rookies who have made significant contributions to the Atlanta lineup this year. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)
It’s likely that just about everyone who has spent any time around Jeff Francoeur is rooting for him today as he begins looking for a new job.
Frenchy was designated for assignment over the weekend by the Kansas City Royals. The job of giving him the news had to be tough for Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, who was a long-time Francoeur booster.
Reporters and bloggers are saying that the Royals had to look for a better hitter for the right field spot.
It would be tough to find a better representative of Major League Baseball than Jeff Francoeur. I photographed him often, and saw many situations where he went out of his way to reach out to the fans at every level.
At one Class A game a boy was struck by a foul ball hit by an opposing batter late in the ninth inning. The game ended with EMS personnel attending to the boy in the stands. Although Francoeur was not involved in the play at all, he pulled a bat from his stash and gave it to the mom for the boy.
It’s well known that Francoeur has paid for snacks and beer for fans in the right field stands at opposing ballparks, often tossing the money wrapped around a ball into the stands.
This shot of Francoeur with Moore when Moore was director of the Atlanta player personnel was taken at a Double A game in Mississippi and is indicative of the close relationship they had.
When Moore left the Braves’ organization to become GM in Kansas City he picked up Francoeur in what seemed at the time to be a perfect fit for both. I can’t imagine how tough it must have been to let him go.
Here’s hoping Frenchy isn’t through with baseball, and that someone finds him another good fit.