Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Strauss on Saturday that he’s likely to hang up his cleats after the 2011 season.
It makes sense, really. Franklin signed a two-year, $6.5 million extension this offseason, so he won’t be skipping out on a contract. He will also be 38 at that point and has obviously been paying attention to Trevor Hoffman’s struggles with old age.
“I’ve talked to guys who have retired. And they say to play as long as
they let you,” Franklin told the Post-Dispatch. “But right now I just don’t see that for
me. If I have a good year next year, somebody is going to have to throw
some serious money at me to make me stick around for a one-year deal.”
Franklin is married with three kids and owns a large plot of hunting
land outside of Oklahoma City, where he makes his offseason home. He
hopes to further develop the nearly 700 acres once he retires.
For now, he’s getting the job done in St. Louis with the same impressive consistency that he showed over the first five months of the 2009 season. As of Sunday morning, he boasts a 2.40 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 13 saves in 14 chances. The Cardinals sit atop the National League Central standings with a 38-30 record.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.