The Mets won last night, but clearly, something's going wrong with that team, sublimely timed for the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. Over at Nyjer Please, they've got some "inside" info that the team no longer gets along. And the problem seems to be ... Julio Franco?
Julio Franco, who recently celebrated his 89th birthday, is becoming a "clubhouse cancer". Since the losing streak, my source told me that Franco has become the ringleader of a "racial divide" in the clubhouse between the Latinos and non-Latinos. While it isn't a straight divide, it was painfully obvious there was something going on during last night's debacle at Yankee Stadium, where the Latinos were sitting in the dugout while the non-Latinos were on the dugout railing the entire game.
We find it amazing that Franco could ever be considered a clubhouse cancer, considering, well, he is actually older than cancer. We are always wary of the whole "Latinos vs. non-Latinos" subplot people like to ascribe to the Mets — or any other baseball team — because it always carries a smack of the "they're taking over our game!" xenophobia you see from time to time. But if there is a revolution, we do fully expect Julio Franco to be leading it.
(UPDATE: Metsblog wants to make it clear it has nothing to do with this story. In fact, it would be safe to call them "skeptical.")