LaRoche learning from Franco at first
“First, lie about your age. Tell them you’re fifteen. Play your cards right and you’ll play until you’re fifty.”
Adam shouldn’t take on Julio’s batting stroke as a model — I don’t think it would work for anybody else — but his work ethic is something to strive for.
Great article. I know it’s been said many times before, but whenever Franco decides to hang it up as a player, the Braves MUST add him to the staff as a coach. He seems to have an infectiousness that rubs off on the younger guys around him.
Let me preface this by saying that I have no reason to think this is true, but how come Julio isn’t among those who is suspected of using steroids?
He was never this big 10 years ago. Then he disappears to the Mexican League for a year and comes back looking like Tony Atlas?
Do media types ignore him because he’s not a star setting records any more or because he’s such a nice guy? Maybe they’re working their way down to him, I don’t know. But I can’t imagine there are many 45-year-olds in the world built like Franco …
Yes, I realize there also aren’t many 45-year-olds playing major league baseball, so maybe Julio’s a true freak of nature, but still …
I didn’t link it, but there’s a story in the AJC today where Julio denies Andy Van Slyke’s claim that he (Julio) is on the juice.
As Mac notes, Andy Van Slyke has accused Julio of steroid use. I suspect it’s jealousy and cognitive dissonance on AVS’s part – Julio is two years older than him, and he couldn’t cut it physically to play past age 35, while Julio is still around. He needs to justify that to himself somehow, is my guess.
As for why Julio isn’t normally mentioned – well, I guess most people tend to assume that steroids primarily increase power hitting, and Julio isn’t noted as a power hitter at this point in his career (though he slugs well against lefties).
He’s capitalized on a good batting eye, decent reflexes, and just slapping the ball all over the place. Despite that few guys have ever played as hitters as long as he has, it’s certainly conceivable that he’s doing what he’s doing without the aid of steroids.
But you neglect to mention Julio’s main contention: he IS on the ‘best juice ever’ – the juice of Jesus!
What a great soundbite.
I love how Franco’s song that they play when he comes to bat at the Ted is something to the effect of “God Is In Control”. It makes for nice juxtaposition with Crazy Train and ‘welcome to Atlanta where the players play’
Andruw actually switched it last year from “Welcome to Atlanta” to that Ludacris song that goes “Move b****, get out the way!” Lockhart had some cheesy Christian rock as well, if I recall correctly.
Troy – indeed you are correct! I’m not a religious dude, but I thought that was the best response I’ve heard to any of the ‘roid charges
Julio on steroids…that’s laughable. The people who make these kinds of ridiculous charges really haven’t the first clue about what steroids do. As for Julio being bigger than ten years…let’s be realistic here. Men are capable of getting stronger well into their fifties. That’s just a simple fact. Another fact is, if Julio was on the juice, he wouldn’t be flexible enough for his goofy stance, and he’d be on the DL half the season.
As old as Julio is, if he was on steroids, they would probally detiorate his muscle mass, and cause him to be highly prone to injury. I think its a bunch of bull, and Van Slyke is just jealous.