ARLINGTON, Texas – Jeff Francoeur, who heard from many of his

former Mets teammates duiring the Rangers’ triumphant AL Division

Series, reached out to another former Citi Field denizen this


“I actually talked to Jerry [Manuel on Wednesday] for a few

minutes,” Francoeur said of the recently fired Mets manager

yesterday as the Rangers and

Yankees prepared for tonight’s Game

1 of the AL Championship Series. “He was happy. He said he’s been


“He was actually headed to the golf course. So good for


Francoeur is neither fired nor eliminated from contention.

Instead, the affable right fielder is likely to start in tonight


Yankees ace CC Sabathia.

The Mets traded Francoeur to Texas on Aug. 31 for infielder

Joaquin Arias, and fared well, as he did when the Mets acquired him

from the Braves midway through the 2009 season.

With Texas, Francoeur batted .340 (18-for-53) with two homers

and 11 RBIs in 15 games. In his 75 games in 2009 after being dealt

from Atlanta to the Mets, Francoeur hit .311.

“Sometimes a change of atmosphere or whatever can do good,”

Francoeur said. “When I left Atlanta and came to New York, I felt

comfortable. I’ve worked hard with [Rangers hitting coach] Clint


“The one thing I try to do is get consistent with getting ready,

getting my swing ready and getting to fastballs early. That’s kind

of what I’ve done. I’ve gone back to hunting the fastball.

Something I did last year, something I did early this year and for

some reason, I got away from it and it’s been nice.”

In the ALDS, Franceour went just 1-for-8, though he delivered an

RBI double against Rays ace David Price in Game 1.

Francoeur, who never has played in the World Series, is

appreciative of the Mets for moving him to Arlington.

“I’ve talked to Jerry and I text [former general manager] Omar

[Minaya]. I’ve texted [COO] Jeff [Wilpon] and I told all those

guys, ‘Thanks for the opportunity to be where I’m at,’ ” Francoeur

said. “I imagined early in the year I’d be in the NLCS playing at

Citi Field. But instead I’ll be in the ALCS. So what the hell? I’ll

just go with it.”

As for his Mets buddies, Francoeur said: “I miss them. I kept in

touch with them all towards the end of the year and hopefully those

guys will get some guys back next year healthy, do whatever and I

wish them the best.”