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 Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.