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Mets closer Frank Francisco on the Yankees: “I can’t wait to face those chickens”

Jun 22, 2012, 10:10 AM EST

New York Mets Photo Day Getty Images

I’m not sure what could possibly compel a struggling second-rate closer with a 5.14 ERA to talk trash publicly against the Yankees, but Mets right-hander Frank Francisco took the media bait and did just that.

With this weekend’s Subway Series starting at Citi Field tonight, Francisco was asked for his thoughts about facing the Yankees and told Mike Puma of the New York Post:

I can’t wait to face those chickens. I want to strike out the side against them. I’ve done it before.

And then according to Puma he perhaps had a brief moment of self-awareness and said: “I think I’ve said too much already.”

Francisco spent the first seven years of his career in the American League before signing a two-year, $12 million deal with the Mets as a free agent this offseason, so he’s indeed faced “those chickens” plenty before. And he’s pitched pretty damn well too, posting a 3.29 ERA, .229 opponents’ batting average, and 24/10 K/BB ratio in 27 career appearances versus the Yankees.

Puma even looked back at the game logs and found that, sure enough, Francisco struck out the side against the Yankees on May 21, 2004, whiffing Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Jason Giambi in order. So, you know, that totally gives him the upper hand this weekend. Or something.

As you’d expect none of Francisco’s teammates were dumb enough to take the same bait, especially after the Yankees swept the Mets at Yankee Stadium just two weeks ago.

  1. djdvd - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    Maybe your team should try just winning a game against them first. You know, baby steps.

    • barrywhererufrom - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      The only chicken in the subway series is that chicken shit franchise called the Mets!

      • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Frankie just guaranteed a sweep; guess by which team.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    They’re not chicken, you’re a turkey!

    • number42is1 - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      OMG! Amazing! i’m willing to bet that 90% of the people here have no idea what that is in reference to

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      COWABUNGA!

  3. danaking - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Francisco might figure he’s safe, since the Mets might not need a closer this weekend.

    • sdelmonte - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      Not on Sunday, at any rate, when RA Dickey returns to his seat of power.

      • bigleagues - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        NO DOUBT!

        If the Yankees found Wakefield frustratingly difficult, just wait until they see the new and improved edition of his protege.

        Dickey has taken the craft to a new level.

      • Jeremy T - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        I’m not sure “frustratingly difficult” is the right description of how the Yankees felt about Wakefield. For his career he was 12-18, 5.08 ERA, 1.41 WHIP. Now I realize those stats aren’t perfect, and I guess it’s possible the end of his career tainted the overall results, but as a whole the Yankees did pretty well against him. That being said, Dickey appears to be something almost entirely new, and as a Yankee fan I’m not at all looking forward to Sunday.

      • bigleagues - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:23 PM

        Jeremy,

        With all due respect . . . when you view things only in the aggregate you can miss the actual history behind the bigger picture.

        If you were only speaking of the first 1/3 and the last 1/3 of Wakefield’s career vs. the Yankees, then you are absolutely correct. But the middle 1/3 was different.

        Wakefield was never particularly dominant during any stretch of his career against the Yankees, but he frustrated and flustered them pretty consistently from 2001 – 2006. In either 2004 or 2005 Torre and some other Yankees players said as much (there are videos on Youtube of some of these comments).

        This was the 2004 season vs. the Yankees:

                                                            
        I              Split W L  W-L%  ERA GS   IP  H  WHIP
            New York Yankees 1 0 1.000 1.83  3 19.2 12 1.017
        

        Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 6/22/2012.

        Or the 2005 season, in which he had his way with them in 3 of his 6 Starts, and kept them close in a 4th . . . and included 2 CG.

                                                                                               
        Gtm               Date Opp Rslt Inngs      Dec DR    IP   H  ER BB  SO           Exited
        3                 Apr6 NYY W7-3           GS-7 99   6.2   3   2  2   4 7b 1– 2 out tie
        7                Apr11 NYY W8-1  GS-7   W(1-0)  4   7.0   5   0  2   5     7t 3 out  a6
        May                    Opp Rslt Inngs      Dec DR    IP   H  ER BB  SO           Exited
        47               May27 NYY L3-6  GS-6   L(4-4)  5   5.0   4   4  7   3 6b 1– 0 out tie
        July                   Opp Rslt Inngs      Dec DR    IP   H  ER BB  SO           Exited
        91               Jul17 NYY L3-5    CG   L(8-8)  6   9.0   5   5  3   5     9t 3 out  d4
        September/October      Opp Rslt Inngs      Dec DR    IP   H  ER BB  SO           Exited
        142              Sep11 NYY L0-1 CG(8) L(15-11)  4   8.0   3   1  1  12     8b 3 out  d1
        161               Oct1 NYY L4-8  GS-5 L(16-12)  3   5.0   7   7  0   1     5t 3 out  d5
                                                          225.1 210 104 68                  151
        

        Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 6/22/2012.

  4. bigleagues - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    To paraphrase the infamous Ernie Anastos quote . . .

    “I guess it takes a strong man to make a tender statement . . . keep f**king those chickens, Frank”

    • cleverbob - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      I don’t get his co-anchors’ reactions. It’s a perfectly cromulent phrase.

      • bigleagues - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        LMFAO!

        Among the reasons I love HBT . . . I learned a new neologism today!

    • Old Gator - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      All those years with Roger Grimsby and Jim Bouton finally bore fruit….

  5. shanabartels - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Bock bock bock… didn’t he blow a save, like, two days ago?

    • ikedavisnose - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      No but he loaded the bases, walked in a run, and got pretty damn lucky. I was at the game and damn I hate Frank Francisco

  6. The Common Man - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    I love Frank’s confidence here. And he’s not a liar, he did strike out the side against the Yankees before…in 2004: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TEX/TEX200405210.shtml. I’m not sure how that’s going to help him tonight though.

  7. kopy - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Well, I give him credit for not lying when he said he’s struck out the side against them before. It seems like any time a player has recelled a game situation lately, the logs prove him wrong.

  8. mybrunoblog - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    You know what? Most modern athletes are so polished and politically correct it is refreshing to see somebody say what they feel. Yes Francisco comes off as a little silly but so what? Let’s play some ball and see who is better!

  9. sdelmonte - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    I would say it’s really dumb to give the Yanks bulletin board material. But since when do the Yankees even use bulletin board material?

    • mybrunoblog - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      I think the whole “bulletin board material” thing is blown way out of proportion. Typical pro athletes dont need lame quotes from opponents to motivate them to play at a high level. Think about it. You think Jeter, Teixeira, Cano and the others are sitting around the locker room saying ” He said that! Damm. Let’s really try hard now”

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        I know they use whatever edge they can get. I have heard them specifically mention people running their mouths in the paper…on the news, etc… Coaches also continue to post these things in the locker rooms to ensure everyone see’s it. Granted…I agree with you in that I don’t think they say “let’s really try hard now.”
        But I know (without reservation) they say…”he said that?”

  10. djpostl - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    So priceless coming from a scrub with an ERA of 5.14.

  11. thomas2727 - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    I was at the game when Francisco threw at chair at those chicken A’s fans.

    They are really Raiders fans just passing time in the off season.

    • fissels - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      It was in the Black Hole right?

  12. The Dangerous Mabry - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    The great part is that of all the things he could say, he chose to call them chickens. I can’t even imagine what that means in this context. They’re afraid? I don’t think the Yankees could possibly be afraid.

    Perhaps he just meant they’re a bunch of flightless bipeds, which is more or less accurate. At least it led to a completely ridiculous cover on the Post.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Jun 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      And without an edit function, I’ve got no way to try different ways to post this image…

      Does that work?

      • Jeremy T - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        Oh Post… never change

      • sabatimus - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        Hahahaha that’s great!

  13. fissels - Jun 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    One more reason to hate the Mets

    • mybrunoblog - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      I haveI never hated the Mets but after Bill Maher became a part owner….umm……well………

      • fissels - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        Now it’s my main reason for hating them. Maher is a disgusting buffoon.

    • marinersnate - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      Or 209,792,900 more reasons to hate the Yankees.

  14. barrywhererufrom - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Frank Francisco the same pussy that throws chairs at fans! him calling anyone a chicken would be like Obama calling Jimmy Carter inept as a president!

    • dexterismyhero - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Touche’

    • pisano - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      barry…. now there’s two horses asses that drink out of the same trough. Between the two of them it’s a wonder China hasn’t taken over the U.S.

  15. pisano - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    With a 5.14 era, you better not talk shit on any minor league team, let alone any major league team. What a moron.

    • dexterismyhero - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      With a 5.14 era, you better not talk shit on any minor league team. What a moron.

      Fixed it for ya…..

  16. stlouis1baseball - Jun 22, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    What I appreciate is that in the last few days we have had two…count em’…two guys go all ole school w/ their insults.
    Davey Johnson calls Joe Maddon a “wuss” and Francisco calls the Yankees “chickens.”
    Very nostalgic.

  17. bbk1000 - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    I love this stuff, it adds to the series.

    That said, at least Mets fans are real fans. Yankees fans are bandwagon fans at best.

    Many of them are Cowboys fans, Steelers fans, etc. They choose teams that are good or expected to be good year after year.

    My friends kid told me recently he was a fan of the Yankees before they were good…..he’s 17 years old….his old man has been using that same line since 1996….

    • yankeehatersaredelusional - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      You’re delusional, as stated by my username
      It’s clueless idiots like you that make the mets franchise a joke, of course they’ll have bandwagon fans, they’re SUCCESSFUL
      Maybe the mets should take a hint

    • djpostl - Jun 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      Rofl, and most Mets fans didn’t give two shits about them before ’86 if they are in a certain age range.

      And I don’t know what part of the country you’re in where you’re meeting Yankees fans who like the Steelers or the Cowgirls tbh.

      Probably west of the Hudson, where the only baseball fans worth mentioning are Cardinals fans.

      • bbk1000 - Jun 25, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        You obviously don’t live in the NY area…. The Yankees/Cowboys fan base was around long before the agreement was made official….

        Please help yourself…

        As far as delusional goes, we already know you probably have the IQ of a small shrub, please stay a fan of the Yankees…

  18. jimeejohnson - Jun 22, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    At least he didn’t call them “turkeys”.

  19. kev86 - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    What are the Yankees going to do about it? Nothing! Chickens!

  20. gnyy69 - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    The Yankees don’t have to do anything about it. When Frank Francisco gives up 2 or more runs then he will have to just shut up. Anyway his era is 5.14 & will continue to rise. So look out Francisco.

  21. toasale - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    I wish my dumb ass mouth could earn me 12 mil. Hey FF you are closer to crap for brains than I’ve thought about you a few years ago.

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