As reported yesterday, the Mets are shopping Jeff Francoeur.

My esteemed colleague Tom Greenhalgh, in a great article, raised the question of what GM Omar Minaya could expect to get for him. He makes a very valid point, and I am in agreement entirely with him. They most likely will not get very much.

I also have been seeing many fans and bloggers protesting this inquiry on the part of Minaya. I would like to add a further question to the Mets fans: Why? As in why all of the outcry against this possibility? Because he shows heart? Because he is the type of player that other players want in the clubhouse?

Perhaps, but if a player is slumping so dramatically and so notedly as he has been, how does he not expect to be benched when the first opportunity arises for his manager to do so? Furthermore, if he has been taken aback by this decision, his heart and passion are now compromised, which could then become detriments, not bonuses.

Instead of playing with heart and passion, he may use that passion and intensity to complain in the clubhouse of his present situation. It wouldn’t be the first time a player has done it. It also wouldn’t be the first time this player has done it. See Atlanta. So, my reasoning is very simple.

Take away the fact that he is a passionate player for a second. Take away the fact that he is the type of player that plays like it means something. Just for a second, ask yourself a question. This particular player has hit .277 with 18 home runs in his year with the Mets. While he has shown solid defense, his bat has been streaky at best.

He had 46 strikeouts last season for them in just a half a season. He already has 56 this year. The Mets must have known that possibility before they acquired him. He is every bit as streaky as the player they traded away, Ryan Church.

So my question, after factoring all of that in, is are we really going to fight to hang on to a .277 hitter (and that is being generous, as he is currently batting .247 this season) with all of our heart and soul? Is his inability to come through in key situations really going to be missed?

To me, this accomplishes three things.

First, it shows that at least they are trying to be active. For all the complaining we do as fans, still, we are fans. At the end of the day, we still want what is best for the team and to see the team successful. If they make some type of move that will benefit them, in the very least, they will have pushed.

Next, it would benefit Frenchy. He would have a chance to play every day. Though he has stated that he loves New York and playing with the Mets, still, as a competitor, it must pain him to be riding the bench half of the time.

More playing time is not just welcomed, but almost a requirement for success and for any player to be and stay happy with the team he is on. Being benched, though he should have expected it with his slumps, is a shot to his ego and confidence. If a player loses that confidence, they lose their joy. If they lose that, they become miserable in their environment.

Finally, it would open up a roster spot for one of the several young players that we all have been talking about for the majority of this season—players such as Nick Evans, Chris Carter, and even eventually, a possible Fernando Martinez sighting.

It is always a gamble when playing a youngster, but if this team believes in any of these players for the future, they have to give them some playing experience and room to grow at the major league level. This may be an unwelcome inquiry for the Mets to delve into, but it is a necessary one.


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