The Ryan Franklin situation has reached a cartoonish level of absurdity. Enough already. We've been through for three months now... we all like Ryan Franklin, he's a great guy, he's been a terrific pitcher the past several seasons. We all respect what he did for the organization, but this can't continue any longer.
Tony La Russa gave him another chance last night to protect a six run lead, but Franklin couldn't do it and was removed after a third of an inning. As he sat in the dugout he looked dejected, frustrated and maybe even a little embarassed. He's a proud guy, and this has to just be eating him up inside. I'm sure it's affected his personal life to some degree. How could it not, when you've become a punching bag and punch line.
Franklin still has his velocity. He's throwing in the low 90's, but his control within the strike zone is erratic and he has almost no movement on his pitches. That equals batting practice for a major league hitter. The Cardinals simply can't continue to waste a roster spot on Franklin when they have a desperate need for quality relievers. Franklin's not about to just retire. The Cardinals owe him about $1.5 million for the rest of this season. He'd be a fool to walk away from that. But enough already! The Cardinals need to either put him on the disabled list, designate him for reassignment, or just send him to Memphis.
This has gone on for half a season now and it's not getting any better. If anything, it's getting worse. At this point they'd be doing Franklin a favor by moving him somewhere else. It's painful to watch a good man go down in flames game after game. It's also painful to see what it's doing to the Cardinals season. Today could be the day the Cardinals finally pull the plug. It's definitely time.
Doug Vaughn is part of the News 4 Sports Team. He can be contacted at email@example.com