The Mets started the year off with Ryan Church as their starting right fielder in his second year with the team.
Though an average batter, Church has a great glove in right field.
Ryan Church routinely made spectacular plays but just couldn't do much with the stick.
He also wasn't on manager Jerry Manuel's good side. Jerry Manuel won't admit it, but he disliked Church, which is putting it nicely.
Jerry would usually ignore Church in the dugout and, most likely, also in the clubhouse.
Both of them put up with each other, but Church got on Manuel's last nerve when he missed third base.
Yes, if you don't remember the game against the Dodgers then you're lucky.
It went into extra innings, and the Mets wound up losing.
Two of the major reasons why they lost is that Ryan Church could've scored the go-ahead run but did not make contact with the third base bag.
I'd rather not talk about reason two.
It seemed that ever since that game, Manuel was looking for a way to get rid of Church.
Manuel's wish was granted by Mets general manager Omar Minaya, when he traded Church to the Atlanta Braves for Jeff Francoeur.
This move was a shock to all Mets fans, as no one really expected Church to get traded.
But Church was gone, and now we had Jeff Francoeur.
The trade gathered mixed reactions from the fans, but I was thought it was a good move.
The Mets were in desperate need of a new face in the clubhouse, which Francoeur gave them, as well as a whole lot of potential.
Jeff Francoeur was drafted in the first round of the June 2002 amateur draft by the Atlanta Braves.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Ga., Francoeur rushed through the Braves' minor league system and was named their top prospect.
Francoeur made his Major League debut on July 7, 2005, putting up some impressive numbers to finish third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
There were many good things about Francoeur, such as his strength and great arm. But there were also bad things that would later catch up to him and get him traded.
Despite his horrible plate discipline and abundance of strikeouts, he put up great numbers.
He looked like he was going to be among the best players in the league for a long time to come.
Everything was going smoothly in his first two full years in the majors.
Then 2008 came.
Francoeur experienced the worst slump of his career. He finished the season with a line of .234/.300/.324.
Francoeur came back in 2009 determined to go back to his old self, but that didn't happen.
He continued to fall short of his potential, and the Braves agreed with the Mets to trade him for Ryan Church on July 10, 2009.
Francoeur needed a new start, and that's what the New York Mets offered him when he was traded.
Though he did very well for the Mets, despite not getting them to the playoffs, he did show that he is a talented player.
The Mets made it clear this offseason that Jeff Francoeur is going to be their starting right fielder next year.
I agree with the Mets, and I'm happy that they kept him because he showed some flashes of his old self while playing with his new team.
At only 25, Francoeur is still learning the game.
The Mets are going to work on his plate discipline next year, and, if he can improve, he will be a dangerous player in the Mets lineup.
His power is what the Mets needed.
If they can get another power bat to pair up with Francoeur and everyone else, then their home run problem should be fixed.
Francoeur also is one of the best fielders in the league and earned a Gold Glove for it.
He has the best arm in the league and that should help the Mets forget about Church's rocket of an arm.
Francoeur may not be getting much attention now, but if he keeps up what he did for the Mets last year, he's going to be a big thing in the Big Apple.
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