12/16/09 2:16 PM EST
Jeff Francoeur chat transcript
Mets right fielder answers fans' questions
By / MLB.com
Jeff Francoeur: Hey everyone! Great to be back in New York. Thanks for joining me today. Hope everyone is getting ready for the upcoming season. Let's get started ...
joem22: Q: Hey Jeff -- you had such a good second half of the season with the Mets last season. What do you think made the difference?
Jeff Francoeur: First a change of atmosphere was nice, and working with HoJo made some adjustments in my stance and my swing. Getting out of Atlanta ... I was born and raised there. ... It was nice to have a change of scenery with some high energy fans.
maineiac33: Q: Jeff we are so happy you are a Met! You gave us reason to smile in a tough year. Have you been hanging out with your Mets teammates in the offseason? P.S. Still looking for places to eat in New York? Go to Freddy's in Whitestone for the best pizza.
Jeff Francoeur: Thanks! I love pizza. And I will for sure try it! Yes ... I'm in a fantasy football league with all the players on the team, so we keep in touch through that. And Kurt Warner cost me the second round of the playoffs!!!
Jwheelz: Q: Dawgs or Yellowjackets fan?
Jeff Francoeur: Yellowjackets if I had to ... but I'm a Clemson Tiger fan at heart! My wife went to Georgia so I have to go to a couple games a year, but I do not pull for 'em.
maineiac33: Q: What song do you think you will use as your at-bat song this season?
Jeff Francoeur: I'm gonna have a couple country and maybe some rock or rap, but definitely "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band.
popeyesmets: Q: What has been the biggest difference between playing in Atlanta and now N.Y.? Do any of your ex-Brave teammates bust your chops now that you play for the Mets?
Jeff Francoeur: Probably the media and fans. New York is a pro sports town where Atlanta is more of a college sports town. The weirdest thing about being up here was hitting with Brian McCann catching because we've been buds since we were 12.
debabbott: Q: Good morning, Jeff. I am really glad to see you in New York -- how does 2010 look to you?
Jeff Francoeur: With the addition of hopefully 2 or 3 guys instead of just one big-time player, we can be more of a well-rounded team. We're not so much one player away from where we want to be as much as 2 or 3 solid players. After last year I think everybody will be really focused come Spring Training.
caitnick: Q: Who is your favorite all-time Mets player?
Jeff Francoeur: HoJo and Darryl Strawberry!!!!
Hi5metfan1986_2: Q: What is your favorite meal to eat before each game?
Jeff Francoeur: I love to have turkey sandwich with Cheez-its and a large sweet tea.
amazins722: Q: Being from Atlanta, growing up a fan of the Braves and eventually playing for them, was it tough for you to go to a team that was a huge rival of the Braves?
Jeff Francoeur: It wasn't difficult, it was just different. With all of the Braves' success in the early '90s, they were big rivals, but I think at the same time the organizations have a lot of respect for each other.
julie10128: Q: Merry Christmas -- how did you like being Santa?
Jeff Francoeur: It was a lot of fun, but it was also very, very hot. But to see the smiles on the kids faces was well worth it.
hirebobbyv: Q: Jeff, why do you wear No. 12?
Jeff Francoeur: That is the number my dad wore growing up in middle school, high school and college. So when I got the opportunity to wear it here I took it. I also wore it in high school.
broseny: Q: Jeff, who is the biggest prankster on the team? Is it you?
Jeff Francoeur: Haha, yeah probably!
sabercieux: Q: Jeff, I was listening to you on WFAN earlier today, what'd you think about those Pelfrey songs? P.S. can you believe Craig said the Hangover was overrated?
Jeff Francoeur: First off, serious business ... The Hangover was one of the best movies I've ever seen! And about the songs, I will definitely be calling him to have some laughs about that.
gobigpelf34: Q: Hey Jeff, I coach my own baseball team, but I also play right field. I look up to you greatly, especially your arm strength. Any tips on how to make my arm stronger?
Jeff Francoeur: Well first off, I take a lot of pride in being able to throw guys out and hold them at bases. Growing up I would go to the local football field and take a bucket of balls and throw them as far as I could across the field, 3 or 4 days a week.
gerlach: Q: Jeff, good morning. What was it like playing for the USA in the WBC in 2006?
Jeff Francoeur: For being my second year in the big leagues, it was a great experience to play with all of those future Hall of Famers. More than anything, they taught me how to act like a professional. It was just fun being around guys that I grew up watching.
Rachna: Q: Also what was the reason of closing up your stance?
Jeff Francoeur: It helps me stay on the ball and keep my hips in, cause I have a tendency to try and pull the ball sometimes.
kinerscrnr: Q: How excited are you to play next to Carlos Beltran for a full season next year?
Jeff Francoeur: Really excited. I got a chance to play next to Andruw Jones for a few seasons, who I consider to be the greatest outfielder of our generation. I'm excited to be next to a guy who is just as good.
bkaider: Q: Since you've been in N.Y., Jets or Giants?
Jeff Francoeur: I pay attention to all of the NFL, I am a true Falcons fan at heart ... but I do love Eli Manning!
drewmerry: Q: You have been quoted as saying, "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it up on the scoreboard?" Is that still how you feel?
Jeff Francoeur: Although I do think it's important, I think you have certain guys on the team where their job is OBP and certain guys on the team where their job is to drive guys in. That's why it's important to have 25 guys on a team and everyone is pulling their weight.
websterj05: Q: Hi Jeff. I read that you wlll be joining Howard Johnson for some private instruction in January. Is there anything in particular that you plan on working on for next season?
Jeff Francoeur: I would like to try to have a little more consistency with pitch recognition and realizing certain situations in certain counts.
jcthree03: Q: Hello Jeff. First, I hope this chat isn't hurting your thumbs. As a huge fan of yours before you even came to N.Y. when did you first feel like a "Hey, I am officially a N.Y. Met." Also, are you enjoying N.Y.?
Jeff Francoeur: My thumb is hangin' in there! Probably about a month or so I felt like a Met. After I played the Braves a couple times and really wanted to beat them bad.
captrob86: Q: Who is winning the fantasy league?
Jeff Francoeur: Tim Redding is in first place right now. He's left in the playoffs with David Wright, Mike Pelfrey and Charlie Samuels.
mickgruff: Q: Jeff: What is your favorite thing about living in N.Y.? Do you miss the south? Have you eaten at Katz's Deli yet?
Jeff Francoeur: My favorite thing about NYC is that you can eat food at all times of the night. Whatever you want, there's always something available. I miss Chick-fil-A and sweet tea. I will check out Katz's Deli for sure.
getmatt: Q: As a player on this team ... after having lost over 90 games last year, what are your expecatations for this team going into this season?
Jeff Francoeur: Obviously, it was a disappointing season, but at the same time when we roll down to Port St. Lucie this year it's going to be a fresh start. I can speak for the guys on the team when I say we're going to be more focused than ever to get back on top.
julie10128: Q: A lot of players from smaller markets have trouble adjusting to New York -- the intensity of the city and the intensity of the fans take some getting used to. But you fit in very well. Do you have any advice for other players from smaller markets?
Jeff Francoeur: First off, for me to get out of Atlanta felt like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. And although the media can be tough up here, I think if you're accountable -- good or bad -- you can thrive up here. I'm a high energy guy and enjoy playing in front of a packed house.
rubixmasta: Q: How do you like the new big helmets?
Jeff Francoeur: They are the worst-looking things I've ever seen! Although it's supposed to be safer, there's gotta be something that's more comfortable and just as safe.
xbignick: Q: Can you beat David Wright in a foot race? I heard he also wants you to play cards all the time.
Jeff Francoeur: I think it'll be a close race, but I think my long legs will get him in the end. He is obsessed with cards!
jgonz24: Q: How do you feel about possibly facing Halladay next season?
Jeff Francoeur: No biggie, I'm 1-for-3 with an infield single, haha. It will be a great challenge for us a team to face him 3 or 4 times a year. It's always fun to face one of the best!
Jeff Francoeur: Alright y'all, I have to go check out the Mets Coat Drive here at Citi Field. Thanks for taking the time to chat. See you at Citi Field in 2010. Happy Holidays!!!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.