Okay, and this is not personal, but I am REALLY, REALLY, REALLY OVER RYAN FRANKLIN AS THE CARDINALS CLOSER. In the terms of relieving, Ryan Franklin needs to be “relieved” of his duties. I’m sorry but there is no excuses, not anymore. He can’t get guys out. I don’t want to hear the argument that he was put in a bad situation… ummm hello that is the definition of a closer, one who comes into a game in difficult situations to close down a rally by the opposing team. I don’t want to hear that he faced a red hot hitter, we all know that Matt Kemp is red hot! Do you think that Heath Bell, or Mariano Rivera or any competent closer could care less how hot Matt Kemp is? I don’t think so. I mean it wouldn’t have mattered who the batter, the fact is that Ryan Franklin simply can’t get the job done. Even in the saves he has gotten, he gives up long fly balls. I’m sorry but that is unacceptable, and there is no longer a reason for #31 to be in the game… and I mean ever. I remember saying the other day when Ryan Franklin came in, in a blow out thinking (and it was again Matt Kemp who took him deep), I remember thinking…THANK GOD THE CARDINALS HAVE A BIG LEAD, because that would have been a blown save then too. Sure he had some defensive gaffs in the Giants game, but still he put the team in that position by simply NOT GETTING BATTERS OUT. I remember that game when SF SS Miguel Tejada hit that long drive to CF, that Colby gaffed on, saying to a friend… He (Tejada) is not fooled one bit by anything Franklin is serving up. Heck, why not just put a Tee at Home Plate, and play with 10 fielders…kinda like when a hockey team pulls the goalie. I think that would be a better chance that the pitches that Ryan Franklin serves up. Again, this is not a shot at the man, I have nothing against Ryan Franklin as a person. But as a relief pitcher, I just believe it’s time to hang up the cleats. If, when the Cardinals open the next home stand of which the Cincinnati Reds are on it, Ryan Franklin is shown warming up in the bullpen ever, there is a serious problem. I’m hoping that even Tony LaRussa sees the writing on the wall….go a different direction. See if you can convince him to retire, heck make him the bullpen coach. I mean I’m not saying he doesn’t know what one needs to do to close out games, I’m just saying he’s not capable of doing it.
Now let’s talk about replacements, I said it last night and I’ll say it again. Eduardo Sanchez, as much as his stuff is nasty and closer material, is not ready to be the closer. Please don’t make the mistake of putting him in that situation yet, let him be the long inning guy and give the closer role to Mitchell Boggs. Of all the relievers the Cardinals have, he is the one that scares me the least. That’s not saying a whole lot, but it’s true. I can’t fathom Jason Motte coming in, in a pressure situation, he’s too erratic. Can we possibly convince the Cleveland Indians to trade us back Chris Perez, I believe he notched his 5th save today. Again, for the life of me I still don’t understand the thinking of getting rid of him. I know it was between Perez and Motte and the decision was based on potential. But Perez was groomed to be a closer, and Motte’s performance wowed everyone because he threw really really hard. But he was never reliable enough to close out games. So, again I would like an explanation to the thinking behind choosing Jason Motte over Chris Perez… I just don’t get it. Below, now there’s a closer.
But what’s done is done, and there’s nothing we can do about it. I’ll be honest, this was a heckuva road trip and the positives still outweighed the negatives. The bats were very lively, I mean I don’t hold anything against the offense today, Chad Billingsley was dealing and his ERA was very deceiving. I feel bad for Chris Carpenter, because he pitched his rear end off. I figured he would after his last outing was such a disaster, I knew that was a fluke and not indicative of the kind of competitor Chris Carpenter is, and its too bad that he was matched up with a pitcher who was dealing as well. But this road trip was such a positive that, in my opinion it made the Cardinals buyers (so far), not sellers at the trade deadline, and I sincerely hope they make some kind of trade for a top of the line reliever. It will be interesting over the next few months to see what team(s) start failing and who there closer(s) are ? In my world, teams like the Padres (Heath Bell anyone?) are sellers and the Cardinals can make some kind of deal. I believe the Cardinals and Padres make great trading partners, based on last year that is. So based on the fact that the Redbirds seem to have, what appears, one majorly glaring weakness. That weakness needs to be addressed going forward, but again for now Boggs is the closer, Sanchez and co. are the long relief and Ryan Franklin- well a nice retirement ceremony in front of Busch Stadium faithful would be the way to go. I know that Cardinals Nation, would give you the respect you deserve if you stepped down. What will make fans more and more wanting you to go away, is to tell the world that you still have it. Clearly, you don’t.
I’m glad that the Reds lost today too, as did the Brewers so the Cardinals are still sitting nice in the standings. Now come home, take care of business, don’t lose to the Washington Nationals and be ready for a MUST SEE series with the Cincinnati Reds next weekend. I, for one believe again that with the offense finding it’s legs, and the starters looking good that if the Cardinals address that one glaring weakness….well everything will be alright. If that weakness is not addressed, the chances of winning the NL Central diminish greatly. So again, Ryan Franklin…thank you for all you’ve done but it’s time to move on, and if you say it’s not , well…..