Phillies Third Baseman Franco is Suspended from Dominican Team
Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco usually plays for his hometown team in the Dominican Republic, Los Gigantes del Cibao. While some play in the WInter League to work on pieces of their game to enhance their status as prospects, Franco usually plays to take pride in his home country. Franco missed Sunday's playoff game with team after being suspended.
Red Sox reporter Marino Pepén posted what appears to be someone's Snapchat photo with a San Francisco De Macoris ecofilter.
The person who took the picture notes that while it is 6:00 a.m., the members of Los Gigantes are drinking, circling five faces, including one of Franco. The Dominican Winter Leagues were to continue Sunday afternoon, with Los Gigantes set to play at 4:00 p.m. local time (despite what the images says). Staying out that late sends the message that the playoff game is not important for proper preparation.
Franco is the highest-profile player among those suspended. The other players are first baseman Garabez Rosa, outfielder Moisés Sierra and backup catcher Eduardo De Oleo. Rosa and Sierra are minor league journeymen in professional baseball, while De Oleo, who is just 24 years old, is a minor league free agent and generally not considered a prospect in baseball.
The incident brought further disappointment to a team that while winning the regular season, has lost six of eight playoff games in a "round robin" format. The poor performance led to the firing of manager Pedro Lopez, who was named Manager of the Year for the regular season.
Franco acknowledged his behavior to ESPN Deportes, offering an apology: "I apologize to the team, the fans and our sponsors. It is not something that will happen again."
The apology must have been sufficient, as after Sunday's game was rained out, the suspensions were lifted. The playoff series continues Monday against different opponents. Four teams are in the tournament, which will be extended to January 11 after today's rainouts.
Franco is batting .200 in the playoff series with a double and three runs batted in.