Monday, May 29, 2006


The Franco-Files #4 (5/22-5/28)

In which we track the exploits of baseball's oldest player: 47-year-old Julio Franco.

Hey! The weather is heating up, and Julio's bat is heating up right along with it. Take a deep breath, loyal readers ,and then dive right in to Julio's week that was...

On the week, Julio went 3-for-7 (.429) to raise his average to an even .300 on the season. Let's hope he keeps this up. Julio hasn't hit .300 or better in a season since way back in 2004, when he hit .309 over 320 at-bats with the Atlanta Braves. Wouldn't it be great if Julio can get back to the lofty levels he was able to attain as a mere 45-year-old?

Let's look at the big picture. Julio's lifetime average is .299 (2530-for-8452)...Oh-so-close to the magical .300 mark. To be exact, his lifetime average is .299337435. If Julio had been able to muster a mere two more hits over his 23-year Major League career, he'd be at .299574065.

That, of course, would round to .300. Needless to say we'll be all over this late-breaking story as Julio attempts to raise his career average to .300.

Julio Starts! On May 27, Julio recieved his second start of the season, and went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Mets' 7-4 victory over the Marlins. He also recieved a pinch-hit at-bat on the 24th (grounded out) and the 26th (singled).

A Trip Down Memory Lane -- Let's take a trip back to a simpler time and a simpler place: The United States of America, 1982. It was during this idyllic time in our country's history that Julio made his Major League debut for the Philadelphia Phillies. Over 29 at-bats, Julio collected eight hits, good for a .276 average.

Well, guess what Julio did over his first 29 at-bats in 2006? Of course, he collected eight hits, good for a .276 average. This is more than a coincidence, this is a case of Julio reaching across the fabric of existence and connecting with the distant past as a way of bringing us all closer to the the realization that time is but a mere illusion.

Milestone! We can't let these heady discoveries distract from milestones. No way. Julio's second appearance this week (his start on May 27th) was the 2402nd game of his career -- vaulting him past Mickey Mantle into 71st place on the all-time list. Bill James, baseball's pre-eminent statistician, has advanced the theory that games played is the ultimate indicator of baseball greatness. Therefore, Julio is now considered to be a superior player to Mickey Mantle. Sorry, Yankees fans. That's just how it goes. You can't argue with the numbers.

Julio 2006: .300 (9-for-30) Pinch-hitting: .286 (7-for-22) Since Turning 47 on August 23, 2005: .227 (17-for-75)

Pitchers Faced (Week): 5, who were a combined 96 years younger than Julio (19.2 years average) Pitchers Faced (Year): 26, who have been a combined 464 years younger than Julio (17.8 years average)Oldest Pitcher Faced (Week): Ryan Franklin, Phillies, 37 Oldest Pitcher Faced (Year): Roberto Hernandez, Pirates, 40 Youngest Pitcher Faced (Week): Logan Kensing, Marlins, 23 Youngest Pitcher Faced (Year): Kyle Davies, Braves, 22

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