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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The End of the Ryan Franklin Era

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 9:10 AM

I'm not gonna lie; I will not miss that beard.
  • I'm not gonna lie; I will not miss that beard.
Oh, thank god that's finally over

Not Ryan Franklin's tenure with the Cardinals, mind you; I have nothing but the utmost respect for the player Franklin was, and plenty of appreciation for the job he did. But the fact is Ryan Franklin lost whatever it was he had that made him, um, not great exactly, but able to do his job. Damning with faint praise? Well, yeah, probably. Still, he took over for Jason Isringhausen when Izzy's own age-related difficulties finally forced him to ride off into the sunset (though apparently he didn't stay there, as Izzy is currently pitching for the Mets, and doing tolerably well), and Franklin held down the fort well enough. For that alone he deserves our respect. 

I'm glad we won't have to watch him take the mound with no real chance of success anymore. I'm glad the team can move on, and Franklin can stop getting battered around just trying to do his job. 

It was usually a slightly frightening ride with Franky, but he mostly got the car where it needed to go. Now that ride is over, and I think everyone involved will be better off for it. 

The Cardinals are now much better off, because they're not carrying a player on their roster they're afraid to use in pretty much any even semi-important situation. Playing with a 24-man roster against a bunch of surprisingly decent NL Central clubs who are all running 25 guys out there just isn't going to get the job done. Good job by the front office and field management to recognize this needed to be done. You could argue it should have happened sooner, but loyalty certainly isn't the worst thing in the world.

The bullpen is better off now, because the guys who are down there won't have to soak up quite as many innings that should have gone to their phantom member. 

The coaching staff is better off now because they can focus on getting this club where they're trying to go, rather than trying to figure out a creative way to get one pitcher back on track without hurting his ego or the club's chances of winning, all without exposing him to more criticism than he was already receiving. 

Ryan Franklin himself is better off now, though I doubt it feels that way to him at the moment. He just didn't have what it takes, and it was painful to watch him. It has to be better not running out there defenseless night after night. 

In fact, probably the only people who aren't better off now are jerks like yours truly who just lost one of their most convenient whipping boys. Hell, I have no idea who I'm going to blame next time something goes wrong. 

In all seriousness, though, as glad as I am to see the team make the right decision and do what was best for the product on the field, I can't take any joy in watching Franklin head out of town. He was, in the end, a dude who did a job, and usually did it well enough. It would be nice if I could find such a noble postscript. Time caught up with him, same as it will eventually to all of us, and now he's headed back home to Oklahoma. 

Happy trails, Franky. Thanks for the good times. 

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