Jeff Francoeur is many things.
He’s powerful. He’s hit more than 100 home runs during his career in the big leagues.
He’s strong armed. He’s known for his ability to gun runners down from the outfield who are trying to take one too many bases.
And after his teammates down at AAA El Paso released this video, there’s proof that he’s definitely gullible too.
Francoeur signed with the Padres in March after failing to make Cleveland’s Major League team this Spring. He was immediately assigned to the Padres’ AAA affiliate in El Paso, where players and coaches were waiting for a victim for a devious and elaborate prank.
The trick seems slight at first. They got Francoeur to believe that pitcher Jorge Reyes was deaf. The beauty is in their commitment and persistence to the gag. They kept it going for over a month before finally revealing to Francoeur that he had been fooled.
Naturally that took a well coordinated effort that involved everybody from the coaches, trainers, waitresses, to even Reyes’ wife. The team had to maintain the ruse during practice, games and leisure time. And of course, Reyes was the most valuable player in all of it. He had to sacrifice a little bit, giving up listening to music in the clubhouse and basically staying silent.
Thankfully the account was documented on video, including Francoeur’s reaction to learning he’d been pranked.