It’s A Long Story

Two things that contributed to bad defensive plays in that game:

1) Bobby starting Prado instead of Scooter.

2) Eric Byrnes.

And if you can figure out how Byrnes was to blame, well. You’re probably some form of me, accessing this blog from another dimension. Hi.

Totally unrelated, Bethany asked that I post the transcript of the famous Our Katy Temple interview with Heap and Frenchy last year.

I refer to Katy as “Reporter” in the first half, because we just weren’t on a first name basis yet. You will note that, by the second half, we were. I’m pretty sure “Host” was Jerome, judging by the style of his inane commentary.

Host: Well, a big night for both Brian McCann and Jeff Francoeur, two ripping homeruns! And if you think they have fun on the field, you should see them together off of it. Guys are a riot! But, uh, huh huh, don’t take my word for it. Our Katy Temple invited the two to lunch and our cameras tagged along.

(Okay, let me set the scene here: they’re sitting at a table in a closed off part of a restaurant with a female reporter, Frenchy is wearing a long sleeved, tight white t-shirt that looks like something out of Andruw’s closet, and a white and powder blue hat. Heap is wearing the same shirt he wore during the All Star parade, as far as I can tell. Frenchy has his elbows on the table and is leaning forward, Heap looks kind of nervous because he’s sitting closer to the reporter. Frenchy is drinking Coke and Heap is drinking water!)

Reporter: First of all I would like to say that two of the most popular young men in Atlanta are having lunch with me. I’m very, very, very flattered, thank you for coming.

(They grin)

Heap: Thank you for having us.
Frenchy: Glad to be here.

Reporter: First full season for both of you. Highlights. Favorite part about it.

Heap: Uh. (Looks at Frenchy)
Frenchy: (Laughs) Umm, probably just. Being able to come out of spring training knowing you were on a big league team knowing you have a spot, whereas the last three or four years you’ve always gone down there trying to prove yourself to get to high A, AA, and, you know, obviously having Bobby always having your back like that, just. You know. It’s been an up and down season but we’ve had some good runs and some bad runs, it’s just been fun and a good experience—learning experience for me this year.

Reporter: (To Heap) How about you?

Heap: I would say . . . kinda the same thing. Uhh, it’s all been a learning experience. It – just the job security that, that, you know, we both have now, it’s, uh. You don’t have to go to spring training and try to hit .400 for next year. Cause you know it’s your job. So it’s a little easy on that.

(The food comes. It’s two big plates of greasy looking stuff)

Reporter: Alright, guys, lunch time. The perfect healthy pre-game meals!

Heap: Right.
Frenchy: Wow.

Reporter: Look at that! Is that okay, for you to eat?!

Frenchy: This is Brian’s favorite meal, here, chili cheese fries.
Heap: (Laughs)
Frenchy: You should see the way this guy can put this down! It’s unreal.
Heap (Still laughing)

Reporter: But that’s not going to up- you must have stomachs of steel to be able to eat that before a game.

Heap: No, it’s, uh–
Frenchy: (Putting a napkin in his lap) Yesterday I stopped at the Varsity and threw down three chili dogs, so it’s no big deal.

Reporter: Well, that’s what happens when you’re twenty two.

Heap: (Laughs)

Reporter: It won’t always be that way.

Frenchy: No.
Heap: No.

Reporter: When did you guys first meet?

Heap: Uh, we were with the Mustangs.
Frenchy: Twelve. Twelve years old.

Reporter: Not the Mustangs! What color were the uniforms?

Frenchy: Burgundy.
Heap: Burgundy. (laughing) And yellow.

Reporter: What number, what number? (pointing at them)

Heap: I don’t remember.
Frenchy: I was twelve. I’ve always been twelve, my whole life, until–

Reporter: After?

Frenchy: My dad.

Reporter: So then, was that it? Friends?

Heap: (Shakes his head in disbelief) It was weird. I mean, I see him do it with people like, he has this thing about him that, you know, he’s not afraid to talk to anybody. And, I see him make friends, that, he doesn’t even know anybody and he’ll go up and talk to them, and I’m like, Man, he did that to me when we were twelve years old! I didn’t say anything, I was all, you know, shy and this and that, and then, we became really good friends from that point on, and, uh, it was kinda weird because we got to play with each other for two years and then high school came and we got to, to play ’em every year, so it, it’s something that (shrugs) just happened overnight I guess.

Reporter: Duluth High School, Parkview High School. What was it like when you would play against each other?

Heap: (Looks at Frenchy, looks embarrassed)
Frenchy: (Grins) It was fun.
Heap: Not good.

Reporter: He just hit homeruns, right?

Frenchy: Nah, don’t let him – his senior year, though, we won 6-2, we won almost every year, but he hit two homeruns his senior year against us. And, uh. Solo shots, though.

Reporter: Not that you remember. He remembers specifically (points to Heap).

Heap: Oh, I remember, too. (Laughs)
Frenchy: (Laughing) He remembers.
Heap: I remember, because I remember–
Frenchy: We had him struck out one time, though.
Heap: I remember running around second base after a homerun I glanced out there–
Frenchy: He pointed out at me–
Heap: And he was, he was goin’ nuts.
Frenchy: But I was– That was like the first homerun. The second homerun, there was a 2-2 count, and we had it–
Heap: Tim Gustafson
Frenchy: Tim Gustafson, who signed with us — pitched for us–
Heap: Pitched at – yeah.
Frenchy: Had him struck out on an inside fast ball–
Heap: (Shakes his head)
Frenchy: Oh, I was screaming from centerfield:
Heap: It was inside.
Frenchy: “What are you doing?! Call it!”
Heap: It was inside.
Frenchy: I was going crazy in centerfield.
Heap: (Shakes his head) Inside.
Frenchy: And then he hits a homerun on the next pitch, and that’s when you – Unreal.

Reporter: (To Frenchy) You love football, you still have– that was one of the things Brian Jordan said about you, is that, he loves you because you have that football mentality.

Frenchy: I love having a football mentality, I think sometimes it can hurt me, though.
Heap: (Stares at nachos on the table)
Frenchy: Just to get, yeah, or when you go up to bat or when you do something or you want something so bad that, I think that causes a little of the impatience. In football, you can’t really be patient, you know, I mean, you go do it, and then you just rest between plays, where in baseball you gotta be able to have that relaxation, and I think I’m starting to get that a little bit, starting to learn, um. You know, but. (Shrugs)
Heap: (Still staring at nachos)

Reporter: Yeah, cause football players are, I mean, they’re overaggressive.

Frenchy: Yeah, absolutely.

Reporter: They have to be, I mean, it’s either– Someone’s gotta get hit.

Frenchy: Yeah, or you’re gonna get killed.

Reporter: What about now, roommates? I’ve seen the house, I know. And it’s definitely different personalities, right?

Heap: Yeah. You know, uh —

Reporter: Who’s a bigger slob?

Heap: I don’t know. I don’t know anymore. I, I—(glances at Frenchy) it used to be me.

Reporter: Have you cleaned up your act?

Heap: But I, er, now–

Reporter: Look, look. (pokes at his shirt)

Frenchy: Will you–
Heap: Now that I have my house–
Frenchy: Will you please–
Heap: And he, and, and it’s not–
Frenchy: Will you please tell everybody where you put your laundry? In your bathtub.
Heap: (Ignores him) Now it’s my house, I take–
Frenchy: He has a bathtub and a shower, like a [something incomprehensible. “a jacuzzi”?]
Heap: I take a little more respect of my house than he does.
Frenchy: He throws his stuff–

Reporter: (Also ignoring Frenchy) You take more pride–

Heap: Well, it’s your own house.
Frenchy: He throws his stuff in the bathtub–

Reporter: And what’s wrong with that?

Frenchy: Who throws their laundry in the bathtub?! That’s, that’s called, uh, you get a, you get, uh (trying to come up with the word “hamper”)
Heap: That’s for, like. That’s for when we get home from road trips.

Reporter: So, it’s there. I remember, (points to Frenchy) didn’t you have to go take his drycleaning before road trips?

Frenchy: Oh, absolutely. (Looks at Heap, grinning) I have to do it all the time.
Heap: (Laughing, rolling his eyes) Here we go. You’re – you’re lying, you’re lying!

Reporter: (To Heap) Are you becoming, are you becoming more mature?

Frenchy: He’s becoming better since he got his own house.
Heap: Let me tell you the truth. This is the truth. I have my house, okay?

Reporter: It’s a nice house. Uh-huh.

Heap: He lives at my house. I take more pride in the house than he does. (Looks at Frenchy) Is that true?
Frenchy: I mean, it’s your own house now. Probably, yeah.
Heap: There you go. So why would I—I would—I don’t leave—I mean–
Frenchy: But you’re a slob in your own house.
Heap: Well, I mean–
Frenchy: And, and I would probably put a couple pictures up, decorate the place a little bit, but–
Heap: I’m waiting for all these guys to move out of my house.

Reporter: I don’t blame you.

Heap: I know.
Frenchy: I’m movin! November, I’m gone.
Heap: Yeah, right. Hey, I guarantee you, he’s not–
Frenchy: You mark it, by November I’ll be in my own house.
Heap: (Laughs) No, he won’t.
Frenchy: I mean, I just got engaged, I gotta get a house at some point.

Reporter: You would think.

Frenchy: Or, or unless, Bri—think me and Catie could live with you, is that right?
Heap: I’m saying this on TV: he will be at my house for spring training.
Frenchy: Aww, not a shot.
Heap: Wanna bet?
Frenchy: I will be out by November, December.
Heap: Naw, I don’t—naw, but we’re—but no–
Frenchy: We’ll bet dinners for spring training.

Reporter: Can Jeff and Catie live with you?

Heap: Absolutely.
Frenchy: Maybe I’ll be there then, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll pay some cash.

((Note: They of course cut the interview in half here.))

Host: Alright, last week we brought you part one, long time friends Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann getting together for a casual chat with our Katy Temple, talking about their tremendous relationship. They’re really tight. Well, tonight it’s part two, and among the topics: spilling the beans on their teammates. (Laughs) Enjoy!

(Okay, and while he’s saying all of this there is a TV behind him showing Frenchy and Heap eating cheese fries and nachos, Katy staring at them dreamily. It was pretty excellent.)

Katy Temple: Are you good teammates because you’re good friends, or are you good friends because you’re good teammates?

(They look at each other and grin; I can’t even describe how cute Heap is here, but he jerks his head kinda and stares at Frenchy’s shoulder and it, well, it’s damn cute.)

Frenchy: (Grins) We’re good friends, foremost, and I think that’s the most important thing, it’s like anything, you know. I love watching Brian play baseball, I think he’s one of the best two or three catchers in the game, and it brings me pleasure to watch the way he plays because he’s so good, but at the end of the day, I don’t care how he does on the baseball field. When we get outside and we go home and hang out, and it’s not like that determines it for me.

Heap: Yeah, if I strike out with the bases loaded, two outs, I don’t think he’s gonna talk to me when we get home, but, naw, he—exactly, with friendship, you know, baseball is what we do, but friendship’s for, you know, something we’ll have for the rest of our lives, so that’s not even close, we’re, you know–
Frenchy: Like they always say, blood is thicker, and I think, you know, for us, it’s—You know, Brian’s always been special to me cause it’s, he’s always helped me out, with playing ball, too, especially this year, like I said when I got started out, if it wasn’t for probably my dad, and. You know, my fiancée and Brian I wouldn’t have gotten through, that was tough for me, especially out in San Francisco, I was ready to jump off the Golden Gate bridge out there–

KT: That was pretty bad.

Frenchy: (Looks at Heap, grins) Oh, yeah. And, uh, but, you know. Friendship’s a lot more important than baseball.

KT: I know you both have different relationships with John Smoltz.

(Frenchy picks at the chili fries)

KT: Jeff, he’s told me that you’re a younger version of him.

Frenchy: (laughs)

KT: And (points at Heap) you obviously have a special connection as his battery mate. Tell me something about John Smoltz that we don’t know.

Heap: (To Frenchy) You know him more than I do.

Frenchy: I have to say that people for the most part probably think he’s more even keel, but when we get out on the golf course, it’s a rollercoaster out there, I mean that guy will be just the nicest guy for three holes, and then all of a sudden he’ll make a bogey and he just won’t talk to you! And, the funniest story was at spring—no, it wasn’t spring, it was like, the third, fourth week of the season when we were in Florida this year, and we went out and played Seminole golf course and Bear’s Best in Florida on an off day, and uh, I got to the joking around part during the second 18, we were real tired, we were going on like three hours sleep, and I kinda pulled his bag, the little thing that holds his bag, so when he started the cart his bag fell off. Well, I did it before he went up there, and he three putted for a bogey, so he was in the worst mood. I just remember him getting in the thing and what he said to me I’ll never forget. He [something incomprehensible] and said “My wallet runs a lot deeper than yours.”

(Heap grins politely at Katie like he’s heard this story a thousand times)

Frenchy: And I just remember dying laughing, it was the funniest thing, cause I was like, uh oh, I’m about to lose a lot of money.

KT: (To Heap) What do you do when he’s struggling, how do you handle it?

Heap: When he struggles I just stay out of his way. (Grin) He doesn’t want to talk, you know, much, but, you know, I, uh. Very rarely does he struggle more than once or twice.

KT: How’s it been for you, as a young, young major league catcher, to face veteran, or, you know to catch for veteran pitchers?

(Frenchy, immediately bored, starts messing with his silverware)

KT: And, you know, they’re having a bad day, they’re in a bad mood, and you have to figure out what to say, what to not say, and then they think, What does this twenty-two year old kid know?

Heap: Yeah, that’s probably the hardest thing about being a catcher and being in charge, with a guy that’s been around for, you know, ten years. Like I said, I don’t know what to say. Like right now, I don’t, I just, I go out to the mound and I don’t say a word. When Smoltz is on the mound or Hudson’s on the mound, they’ve been through all this, and they, you know, I’m kinda just putting suggestions down, and they’re, they’re the ones making the final call, cause they, they’re, you know, they’re helping me out. Every time they go on the mound, and I’m back there, I learn something new. So, uh. I’m learning and hopefully in two or three years I can become a Jason Varitek type catcher and know all the hitters, but I’m still learning all the hitters and all that stuff.

Frenchy: He’s not gonna say it, but I’ve talked to a bunch of the pitchers that have said it–
Heap: Ha!
Frenchy: And they, I mean, no, and it’s good for him that they, they feel comfortable with him behind the plate, so I don’t think he has to say much because he’s calling a good game and he’s for the most part right on target with them and Smoltzie says that, you know, him and Olson have been his two favorite catchers. That’s something to say when you’ve thought about all the great ones that have caught him, so.

KT: Bobby Cox played with Mickey Mantle. Clearly he’s from a different generation. How do you think that he’s able to relate to your generation and the one above you?

Heap: He’s old school. You know, that’s for sure, he’s old school and he’s hard nosed, and that’s what, we grew up in that, and it’s something that we love. And he’s always got your back.

Frenchy: Yeah, I love it, and I think the greatest stat is he’s second all-time in ejections. And you think about it, if he takes over first place, that’s like a whole year’s worth of ejections, that’s like getting ejected every night for a full year. I mean it just goes to show you what kind of manager he is. He’s definitely a player’s manager like Brian said, I’ve never heard a guy come over from another team and say he didn’t like to play for Bobby. So.

KT: You have to love it when he gets kicked out of games.

Frenchy: Aww, I love it, he goes, he goes nuts.
Heap: It’s funny cause he’ll be sitting on the bench, like if I’m not playing, and, and it’s a close call at first, you know, he’ll be like, “Was he safe guys, or out?” You know and everyone’s like, “He was out!” and he’ll run out there–
Frenchy: And he’ll just run out there.
Heap: (Laughing) He won’t even see the play and he’ll ask everybody, and everybody says he’s safe and he’ll run out there and argue it!
Frenchy: He’s the ultimate.

KT: And you guys stay in the dugout just giggling.

Heap: Aw, it’s awesome.
Frenchy: He’s awesome, he’s always got your back.

KT: At this point in your life, what are you most proud of?

Heap: (Looks at Frenchy) Go ahead.
Frenchy: I think for me I’m most p–
Heap: You better say getting engaged. (Hits him, points to Katie, laughs, points to the camera) You know, I’m just helping you out!
Frenchy: (Laughs) Abs—absolutely (laughs, looks at Heap)
Heap: (Still laughing)
Frenchy: (Grinning) Yeah, no, you know, absolutely–
Heap: (Waves his hand) Cut, edit!

(They both crack up)

((They end the interview there.))







15 responses to “It’s A Long Story”

  1. RainIsBeautiful Avatar

    So cute! I wish I had seen the video on this, but I can totally picture the interview. Thanks so much for the transcript. :)

    1. Jenny Avatar

      You’re welcome. I really want to upload the video from my Tivo, but apparently it’s complicated. Someday!

  2. Brave Dawn Avatar

    Oh my goodness, that is great. I would love to see the video.

    1. Jenny Avatar

      Yeah, it’s completely classic. Frenchy talking over him the whole time, and the way Heap totally defers every question to him anyway — it’s great. I’ll try to put the video on the site at some point.

  3. Bethany Avatar

    That was great, I love those guys! Thanks for posting it!

    1. Jenny Avatar

      You’re quite welcome!

  4. RainDelay Avatar

    You know I don’t get why Bobby thinks that Scooter needs to be platoon. For most of/if not all of this season he is the best Secondbaseman not named Utley. It’s frustrating, and when Bobby is asked you get the “I’m just trying to get (insert player here) at bats”.

    What a bunch of bunk. As a Major League Manager, your job is to field the best 9 players you’ve got – day in and day out. Period. How. Hard. Is. That?

    Most of his platoons and what not I can deal with, I think our two headed LF monster is great. But Scooter is holding his own,and is proving to be a Major League caliber(tm) 2nd Baseman.

    1. Jenny Avatar

      I never like the platoons. Never. There is usually one guy who is the obvious choice if you want to, I don’t know, WIN, and then the guy Bobby wants to get some at-bats (remember Heap platooning with Pratt?? That went on for at least three months, depending on lefty or righty starting pitching, before Bobby wised up).

      Diaz is the exception . . . even when we had to suffer the misery of Langerhans at the plate every once in awhile, I think Matty needs a platoon for some reason. When we tried to let him claim the position (very briefly, admittedly) I think the pressure got to him, and he’s just that kind of guy. He’s fine in individual at-bats in terms of high pressure situations . . . but I think he’s comfortable sharing responsibility, and yes, the Willie platoon is a thing of beauty!

  5. Brave Dawn Avatar

    Okay, I’m gonna bite on the Eric Byrnes thing. What is the long story? How is it all related? Inquiring minds want to know…especially as he is heading into Atlanta. BTW, did you see the thing he did on the Fox Saturday pregame show a couple of weeks ago? It ran a little long, I thought.

    1. Jenny Avatar

      Oh God, when you said he was headed to Atlanta, for a split second I thought you meant we’d traded for him . . . HA. I didn’t see the thing on Fox . . . anything featuring Byrnes runs long if you ask me. ;)

      As for the explanation, eh, it’s long and probably a bit insane on my part, so I’ll email it to you.

  6. Leah Avatar

    There’s something in ESPN mag about Heap and his brother, Brad. My friend told me about it. I haven’t gotten the issue, but I’m going to see if I can find it though.

    1. Jenny Avatar

      Ooh, let me know if you do. It’s got to be hard to have your dad groom you both for baseball and then have your younger brother kick ass the way Heap has . . . I’d like to see his brother do well someday.

      1. Leah Avatar

        Ok, will do. I’ll see if I can stop by the mall on my way home from the college Monday.

        Yeah, Brad was traded to Kansas City from the Marlins and is still on the A level of the minors and he’ll be 25 in December. I’d like to see his brother do well one day as well.

  7. BTP-Admin Avatar

    My dad and I drove up from Delaware for that Sunday game at Philly. We were in the second row, right behind Jeff Francoeur. It was awesome when threw out two runners at the plate for the Braves and all the Phillies fans were freaking out.

    OMG, the Phillies fans really hate Bobby Cox. When he came out of the dugout the whole stadium was rocking with people screaming “Throw him out”.

    Philly is a pretty thug-ish city and Phillies fans are really adamant about harassing Braves fans. My dad is 70yo and some of those Phillies jerks were hassling him over his Braves jersey and hat.

    I was ticked Bobby started Prado. I was glad to see Buddy Carlyle pitch in person because I think he’s showing some potential. I just wish Bobby would stop pulling a pitcher in the 6th or 7th when they’re hot and bringing in a cold reliever.

    Oh well, this comment is getting too long !! Nice blog.

    1. Jenny Avatar

      Thanks! You guys were brave to venture into Phillie territory in Braves gear . . . those people are frightening.

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