Franklin and his beard to stay in STL

Get those beard picks ready, St. Louis.

Get those beard picks ready, St. Louis.

I imagine this news will be on the same plane as the day I realize I want to spend the rest of my life with some lucky lady. Unfortunately, this one is in to guys who can’t close the deal against Roger Federer in the Wimbledon Finals. Some advice for you Mrs. Brooklyn Decker Andy Roddick. Quit slumming and come holler at a unemployed college grad living at home. It’s better here. Trust me.

But I digress. The Cards and All-Star closer Ryan Franklin have all but finalized an extension through 2011 per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I speak for all of us St. Louisian’s who have seen the atrocious bullpen play the last few season’s here when I say: better him than Jason Motte.

If you’re too lazy to click on the link, the Cards are going to pick up Franklin’s option for 2010, worth about $2.75 million and then pay him around $6.5 million in 2011 with incentives for being the furthest thing from Jason’s Motte and Isringhausen as possible.

Some say (don’t ask me who) that the closer spot is overrated in baseball. Not at all the case. I’d put the closer in the same category as a clutch quarterback and a franchise player in basketball. They nail down the game no matter what. Any arena. Any time. No matter the stakes.

He assumed the closer’s spot after Motte proved that despite the facial hair, the goggles and the big fastball, Eric Gagne he was not. He was forgetting the daily injection of butt juice to get him going.

Either way, Franklin took over the job in April and has converted 34 of 36 saves this season with a 1.07 ERA. Franklin is 36 years old, likely finishing his career with the Birds.

Aside from that, he’s been on point with as the late inning guy for this team and has been, in my opinion, more important that Albert Pujols. Pujols doesn’t protect 1-2 run leads in the ninth inning. Franklin did. Pujols can break tenth inning ties on the road with a swing of the bat but Franklin has to make it stick.

Not only that, but I’m pretty sure the Cards can capitalize on the fact that Franklin might be the team’s most superficially marketable player on the roster. Of course I’m talking about the beard. It’s no Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart piece but it’s pretty sweet.

If the Cards were willing to appreciate the red soul douche patch that Scott Spezio sported during the 2006 season, at least throw some money behind your All-Star closer.

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