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#pounditSaturday, December 4, 2021

Willson Contreras responds to Jeff Francoeur saying he wishes he punched him

Jeff Francoeur apparently has some regrets over the way he handled an incident with Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras two years ago, and he decided to voice them while working the broadcast of the Cubs’ game against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

Contreras said something to Braves catcher Tyler Flowers and then motioned toward the Atlanta dugout after hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the second, which resulted in the benches clearing. Francoeur, who calls games for the Braves now, took the confrontation as an opportunity to talk about his own dealings with Contreras, and he said he wishes he threw a swing at the Cubs star when he had the chance.

“Quite frankly, I wish I had just thrown a haymaker and been done with it,” Francoeur said of his 2016 dust-up with Contreras. “If I knew that was my last year, I would have.”

Contreras has always been known for wearing his emotions on his sleeve. The incident Francoeur was referring to came during a 2016 game in which the former Braves outfielder was brushed off the plate by a pitch from Cubs reliever Hector Rondon. Contreras pointed at Rondon as if to say “atta boy,” and Francoeur didn’t like it. The benches cleared, but not much happened.

Following Chicago’s 8-3 win over the Braves on Monday, Contreras was informed of what Francoeur had said about him on the broadcast. He said the remarks “makes me laugh” and that Francoeur should show more respect in his new role.

Francoeur doesn’t seem to regret his commentary, however, as evidenced by his response to a fan who commended him for having his former team’s back.

Contreras has even irritated his own teammates with his showy antics, so Francoeur is not alone with his opinion. Whether or not he should voice it as a broadcaster is something his employer may discuss with him.

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