Baseball players are known for playing pranks. There's a lot of sitting around, and things can get a bit infantile. Sometimes though the hoaxes can get fairly elaborate.
Jeff Francoeur has had a a fairly respectable 10-year major league career, mostly with the Atlanta Braves. He was released by the team, but signed with the San Diego Padres who sent him to their AAA minor league affiliate. For some reason, the team decided to convince him that one of their teammates, Jorge Reyes, was deaf. He isn't. But the entire team got involved. They even got others outside the team to play along with the prank.
And they made a little video about it. Before it was completed, they showed the film to Francoeur -- and filmed that and included the footage in the finished product.
The video isn't as hilarious to the outside world as I'm sure it is to those involved. And it would have been nice to have footage of Francoeur reacting with Reyes. But still, the fact that Francoeur clearly has a great sense of humor about it all and takes it in great fun is what makes this a fun thing to watch.
(I'm sure he also appreciated the reason he was selected. Not just for being good-natured and gullible, but also as a someone who's played in the majors and has a good chance of going back, he probably has made more money than the rest of the minor league teammates combined. So, minor leaguers like to toss in a bit of chiding for that when at all possible.)
Making this all the more fun is that I sent a note about this to a friend who I thought would love it. It turns out that he not only knew about it -- he knew about it while the hoax was going on!
It turns out that his son who plays in the Little Leagues takes it all very seriously and does off-season batting instruction. One of the people involved is a minor leaguer, Cody Decker, who plays on that El Paso minor league team doing the hoax. My friend's son and Decker became friendly and were exchanging emails. That's how he got told about this "epic prank" that the team was in the process of playing on Francoeur.
So, here's the video. I don't understand the name of the film, though. On Jeff Ears. I have to assume it's an inside joke.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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