For the past few weeks, San Diego Padres minor league outfielder Jeff Francoeur has been the victim of an elaborate prank perpetuated by his new teammates.
After being cut by the Cleveland Indians during spring training, Francoeur, 30, signed with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas. When he joined the team in March, Francoeur’s new teammates crafted an elaborate prank by pretending en masse that pitcher Jorge Reyes was deaf.
The Chihuahuas posted a video on YouTube Saturday entitled “On Jeff Ears,” which documented the progression of the prank and Francoeur’s utter lack of awareness about his teammates’ antics. “I really just ... I can’t believe it,” Pat Murphy, the team’s manager, said in the video. “[Francoeur] seems like he’s got his stuff together and for him to not realize this is epic.”
The video features an “interview” with Francoeur, in which the outfielder discusses his admiration for Reyes. “It’s been a lot of fun to play with Jorge,” he said. “He’s overcome, obviously, a lot. Being a deaf baseball player is very tough in this game, and to see the way he’s done it and handled himself has been awesome.”
El Paso’s players were merciless in their mockery of Francoeur, referring to him on several occasions as an “idiot.” In his defense, the team went to great lengths to convince Francoeur that Reyes was actually deaf. One time, “We all yelled, ‘heads up,’ and everybody moved except Jorge, [who was] playing it off, and Francoeur was like, ‘that’s amazing, he’s the only one who didn’t move,” the team's manager said.
The video, which was compiled by Chihuahuas first baseman Cody Decker, contains several classic stories about Francoeur’s gullibility as well as the MLB veteran’s reaction to learning that Reyes isn’t deaf. It can be viewed below.
[h/t For The Win]