You must have seen that Joe Maddon released some baby bears on his Cubs team in the least intimidating act of coaching the sport of baseball has ever seen. Meanwhile, Pete Mackanin saw his one year and maybe more with the Phillies become two years and maybe more. Cursing the gods who clearly hate him in a broom closet, Mackanin returned to face the media with a smile on his face.
Mackanin, whose demeanor is considered far more open and friendly than his predecessor but who is nowhere near the level of amicable that allows him to even conceive the thought to bring baby animals into the clubhouse, has not allowed baby animals into the clubhouse yet. The players, who clearly have taken to him or Matt Klentak would not have allowed them to stay exposed to him for so long, have been forced to come up with their own tokens of love.
There is no reason to think that those tokens aren't manifested in the Grapefruit League-leading dingers of young Maikel Franco, one of which happened less than two days ago.
This one also featured the debut of the official "I got got by Maikel Franco" leg kick.
We'll be sure to send Marcus Stroman a t-shirt.
Maddon has been dropping little gifts on his players since he got to Florida, providing MLB.com with safe, easy little headlines all spring. We have never gone without much time passing between them, much like home runs off of Franco's bat. Without the expectation of adorable surprises, we've had to get used to our own breed of fun. Fortunately, Franco has provided it.
Only two more home runs are needed for Franco to beat the 2015 home run leader of spring training, Kris Bryant, which will likely have people wondering if Bryant is even really that good, compared to Franco. How could he be? The same easily-won debate can be applied to 2014 and 2013's spring training home run champions, which were Michael Morse and a four-way tie that included Jose Bautista and Mike Trout. And we all know how their futures turned out. Except for Michael Morse. Nobody knows where he is. He's one of those guys that seems like he probably played for the Phillies sometime between 2012-15, but he is not reported to have done so.
Franco has four more spring games in Florida to go, along with a pair of Phillies Futures games and a match-up with the Orioles in between them. The Phillies might be at the point where Franco has proven his worth and maybe sending him out there to hit three or four more meaningless home runs isn't worth the exposure of one of their brightest young stars to the whirling blades of chaos that is spring training. But then again, #adjustments.
Franco swung and missed so hard his helmet popped off. Next pitch, he hits a one-hop single off the LF wall. #adjustments— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) March 22, 2016