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Ryan Franklin began season as Cardinals closer, but now leaning toward retirement

Oct 24, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

ryan franklin posing

It seems like a decade ago, but Ryan Franklin actually began this season as the Cardinals’ closer.

He blew four of his first five save chances to quickly lose the job and then spent two months pitching sparingly in a mop-up role before the Cardinals released the 38-year-old veteran in late June.

Franklin never latched on with another team and attended last night’s game as a fan, telling Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he’s leaning toward retirement:

I know if it started tomorrow I’d be leaning toward staying around the house. It was pretty neat to be able to take my kids on their first day of school. My wife thought so, too.

If he wants to stop playing but still remain in the game it sounds like Franklin could join the Cardinals’ front office, with Strauss reporting that general manager John Mozeliak frequently consulted Franklin about various personnel decisions over the years and has remained in contact with him since the release.

In a season that has seen eight different pitchers save at least one game for the Cardinals, including extended closer stints for Fernando Salas, Eduardo Sanchez, Mitchell Boggs, and now Jason Motte, it’s worth remembering that it all started with Franklin filling the role after saving 82 games in the previous three years.

  1. shawnuel - Oct 24, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Franky was a “different” guy. Kind of a whiner, sometimes, but anyone who can pitch fairly effectively til age 38 with his very limited stuff has accomplished something notable.

  2. stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Shawn: I don’t know that I agree with you in regards to him being a “whiner.” But I definately agree that Franky was certainly “different” and even moreso with your comment about him pitching effectively till’ the age of 38. To bad they don’t offer a (3/4) thumbs cause’ I would give you one. LOL! Regardless, he was leaning heavily towards retirement prior to last year for the very reasons he is quoted above (family talked him out of it though). With that in mind (as well as his age)…it’s probably best he hang em’ up. I wish him all the best.

  3. foreverchipper10 - Oct 25, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    If the Cards win does Franklin get a ring for time served this season or was he cut too early?

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