Host with the most: Francoeur invites team for dinner
ATLANTA -- Still giddy coming off the homestand-ending, walk-off win Sunday and facing an off-day in his hometown prior to opening a two-game set with his old team, the Braves, Jeff Francoeur came up with the perfect way to keep the Royals' good times rollin'.
He and wife, Catie, had the team over to his house for dinner.
"We had a good night last night," said Francoeur prior to Tuesday night's series opener with the Braves at Turner Field. "We just had everybody over, had dinner then we hit some golf balls in the back yard. It was fun to get everybody over at the house and show them Atlanta.
"For me, it's fun to be back home," he added. "This is a little easier now. When I used to come with the Mets, it was still kind of early and fresh. But now, it's going to be fun to be out there tonight."
Francoeur grew up in Atlanta as a Braves fan, was the team's first-round pick in 2002 (23rd overall), and played from July 7, 2005, through July 9, 2009, with the Braves before being traded to the New York Mets. The last time he played in Turner Field was Aug. 31, 2010. The Mets dealt him to Texas following that night's game. He joked that getting to play in the World Series that year with the Rangers was a fair trade-off. In December of 2010, he signed as a free agent with the Royals.
While his loyalties are with the Royals, he admitted it's nice to come to Atlanta every now and then and see some old faces, especially his best friend, Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann. McCann is on the disabled list but flew into town to see him before flying back to Tampa to continue rehabbing his surgically-repaired shoulder.
He's looking forward to enjoying four days in Atlanta, as KC has an off-day on Thursday before heading to Boston for a weekend series with the Red Sox. Even though he'll have to wait until June to see McCann on the field, he is looking forward to catching his high school, Parkview, play this weekend.
He also enjoyed playing host to the team, something his teammates appreciated.
"He was definitely a great host. I didn't realize how big his house was," said outfielder Lorenzo Cain with a laugh. "We had a great time as a team, spent some time together, got a chemistry even better than what it was. We had a blast. I'm glad we got a chance to do that."