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Thursday, January 26, 2012
Franco: Fred will bring back a winner

By Andrew Marchand

New Mets' Hall of Famer John Franco said that maybe in the future he would like to extend his on-field presence in the Mets' organization, but for now he is satisfied that he is able to watch his son, J.J., play as a second baseman for Brown University.

Franco, 51, spends much of his time these days flying around the country, following J.J.'s games. J.J., who used to run around the Mets' clubhouse as a little kid, is a sophomore. Before going to Brown, the Mets drafted J.J. in the 42nd round.

For John, watching his son is like coming full circle, remembering how his father used to follow him as a kid. He said his late father would have had a "big smile from ear-to-ear" if he were here to see John inducted into the Mets' Hall.

"I'm truly honored and humbled about being inducted into the Mets' Hall of Fame," Franco said. "Growing up, as a kid in Brooklyn, and starting out in the PAL and always rooting for the Mets and working my way through high school and college, having a good career here in New York, it is an honor for me, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, rooting for the team that I grew up rooting for and now am a member of their Hall of Fame. I am very honored that I was selected."

Last year, Franco worked with Bobby Parnell, but it doesn't appear as if he will have an extended on-field role in the near future.

"Right now, I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing," Franco said. "I'm doing a lot of stuff off-the-field for the organization. I volunteer my services whenever they need it for on-the-field services with any of the players. I have the luxury of doing both and I have the luxury of watching my son play college ball."

Franco, who has always maintained a strong relationship with Fred Wilpon,  believes the Mets have the right ownership in place.

"I can tell you this," Franco said. "Fred Wilpon and Jeff Wilpon will do everything in their power to get this organization back to where it needs to be. Just be patient. We have some good players here in the organization at the major league level and we have good players coming up in the minor league level. Knowing Fred the way I know Fred, he will do everything in his power to bring back a winning team here at Citi Field."