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Big Leaguers Notebook: May 16

Outfielder Francoeur, Royals give back to fans

• Using fan-friendly Jeff Francoeur's popularity to help sell tickets, the Royals have designated several home games as "Frenchy Quarter" games. Fans who purchase discounted right-field tickets receive a T-shirt, Mardi Gras beads and a chance at other surprise giveaways from none other than Frenchy himself. As if a player tossing you a baseball isn't exciting enough, one fan was the recipient of a $100-wrapped ball with a note urging him to "buy some beer on me." This round's on Frenchy! (

• Twenty-thousand lucky Arizona Diamondbacks fans are now able to harness their inner rebel with a pain-free replica of Ryan Roberts' tattoo sleeve, thanks to a creative promotion (

• All-Star first baseman Gaby Sanchez tested the strength of the new Marlins Park's plexiglass fish tank with a 82-mph fastball. Thank goodness it withstood the force. We can't imagine finding Nemo in a 'sea' of grass and dirt (USA Today).

• We usually associate diving with an attempt to make a jaw-dropping catch or reach a base safely. Not this time. Slugger Josh Hamilton and his Rangers' teammates used the rain-covered field tarp at Camden Yards as a Slip 'n Slide during a rain delay last week (

• The bond between 12-year-old James Overkamp and Omaha Storm Chasers' Irving Falu was largely due to Overkamp's mother's battle with colon cancer. Because Falu is so close with his mother and could not imagine surviving without her, he wanted to be a friend for Overkamp through this tough time.

"The first time I see that guy, I want to take care of him," Falu said.

Although Overkamp thought the world of Falu, Major League teams did not. Until just a few days ago, that is. Falu was called up to the Royals for a May 6 debut against the Yankees and tripled in his first at-bat. Even better news -- Christine Overkamp is now cancer free (Yahoo Sports).

• Say cheese! You never know when your picture will show up on the Twitter timelines of a Major Leaguer's 4,000-plus followers. Brewers infielder Mat Gamel, who is currently on the DL, and his wife decided to snap and share a photo of a not-so-stealth, photo-snapping fan (

• One ball, two strikes, one newborn baby? It turned out to be a false alarm, but John Axford darted out of the ballpark early during the Brewers' eventual win over the Cubs last Friday after being informed that his pregnant wife was having contractions. Before heading to the hospital, he left a note for reporters that began, "I put my wife into contractions with my performance tonight!" (

Tweet of the Day: "The Bachelorette returns tonight!!!!...That is all tweeps. Cue @Rihanna: "We found love in a hopeless place." -- Rockies ace Jeremy Guthrie (@JGuthrie46)

Quote of the Day: "Babe Ruth? Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what I call him. The thing is he is a great ballplayer and he deserves all this attention. He can be another Ken Griffey Jr. to this game." -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips on the Bryce Harper hype (FOX Sports Ohio)