No matter what you think of Jeff Francoeur as a baseball player, you've got to admit he seems like a heck of a nice guy. In fact, there are scores of Mets fans who seem to hate him because of that fact. But anyway, there's a group of A's fans who are also big Francoeur fans -- and for good reason.
The fans in section 149 likely cheered each of Francoeur's six plate appearances in Wednesday's Oakland victory. During the first inning, the Royals right fielder had 20 pizzas sent to the group of fans along with a signed bat and a note that said: "Right field bleacher crew, keep making bacon."
For Francoeur, it was repayment for the gift he got Tuesday (which was given to him for his generosity last season -- see how all this generosity and selfishness just turns into a cycle of goodness? Mets fans have gotta hate that).
Anyway, this all started last season, when a group in the Oakland stands decided to celebrate "Bacon Tuesday," bringing homemade bacon treats to the game. Somehow, during the game, Francoeur got to talking to the fans, who asked him if he liked bacon.
"The first time we came out here last year, I started playing around with them," Francoeur told reporters (via MLB.com). "We were here twice last year, and toward the end, they started liking me. They asked me if I liked bacon, and I really do love bacon, and told them."
According to the Hardball Times, the group saved a plate of bacon goodies for Francoeur. The next night, Francoeur found some of the fans and tossed the group a baseball with a $100 bill wrapped around it. On the ball, he wrote, "Beer or Bacon Dog on me. Jeff Francoeur."
"Baseball is fun. We can take it too serious sometimes," Francoeur told reporters, including the Associated Press, before Wednesday's game. "This is something more than just baseball. That right-field section are here every home game, they cheer for every [A's player]. They are diehards. I just enjoy them out there. It's a lot of fun. You don't get to build relationships like that every day."
Tuesday night it was once again "Bacon Tuesday" and the group had T-shirts made this time, presenting one to Francoeur during the game's second rain delay. He asked the group to sign another one for him, as well as another for his wife.
Here's video of a grateful Francoeur:
"Next year, I guess it will be the third annual, and I'm going to get here early and eat bacon with them int he parking lot," Francoeur said [MLB.com]. "It's been great, something special."
MLB.com has even more video from the celebration. Really, Francoeur is a lot like bacon, he may not be the best for you, but he's impossible not to like.