For some reason, I was absolutely sure John Franco had flipped off the Shea Stadium crowd at one point or another — or maybe on multiple occasions — but I can’t find any documentation of it online.
All I can dig up is this story about Franco straining a tendon in his middle finger. I’ll just assume that happened when he was really viciously showing someone the ol’ state bird of New York, as Kevin Nealon once put it.
“I got your blown save right here!”
Anyway, though without the Internet’s support I cannot be 100-percent sure that Johnny has ever actually employed the gesture, I don’t imagine he’d object to being classified as one of the city’s great all-time middle-finger guys. He is, after all, a quintessential New Yorker.
Would anyone be that surprised to be cut off by a Camaro on Staten Island, only to spot John Franco behind the wheel, flipping you off? I wouldn’t, and I wouldn’t even mind. John Franco’s earned that right. Lord knows I’ve given him the same treatment after some of those blown saves.
I shook John Franco’s hand last season in the team store when he was finishing up a signing. I noticed a distinct strength in his middle finger during the transaction.