Under what possible circumstances could Royals RF Jeff Francoeur find himself the subject of repeated CSTB references in early December? Sadly, neither occasion coincides with Francoeur’s retirement, but instead concerns ESPN’s recently-aired, “You Don’t Know Bo” documentary. While admiring of Bo Jackson’s multi-sport highlight reel, Sports Media Watchdog’s Mike Silva argues, “though he was, at times, a borderline All-Star in baseball, he would have best been served at being a full-time football player.” (SMW link lifted from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
For as much of a specimen Jackson was on the baseball field, he was a high-strikeout, low average home run hitter. His best season, 1989, saw him strikeout 172 times to just 39 walks. Today, his career .309 OBP would overshadow any of his muscles or athletic plays on the field. From 1986-1990, there were 141 players with a higher Wins Above Replacement than Jackson. Among them were Brett Butler, Mike Greenwell and current Mets third base coach Tim Teufel. None of those individuals had national commercials or an ESPN documentary made about them.
Bo Jackson could have been a Hall-of-Fame NFL running back. In baseball, he was nothing more than another high-strikeout power hitter in an era full of them. If we had the knowledge of what makes a good ballplayer courtesy of some modern day statistical theories and common sense, Bo Jackson probably would be treated with as much skepticism as another Kansas City Royals outfielder – Jeff Francoeur.