Cheap Seats

Franklin and Penny

Ryan Franklin has hedged on his early season pledge that 2011 would be his last year in the big leagues.

The St. Louis closer said Friday that he may play beyond next season.

The only thing that strikes me as more odd than his announcement that he had changed his mind is the original announcement in the first place. How can anyone say with any certainty what they plan to be doing in two years -- Especially when they are a professional athlete.

Are we supposed to believe that if Franklin saves 50 games next season and is in line for an $8 million payday or better that he's going to say thanks, but no thanks? What if he hurts his arm between now and then? He might not even make it that far.

Major League players are here today and gone tomorrow. So Franklin should just enjoy the ride as he gets to pitch for his favorite team and gets a nice check to do it.

Meanwhile, Brad Penny has found out just how fleeting success can be. He, too, got the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream by signing with the Redbirds over the off-season. And he was rolling along as maybe the best pitcher on the team the first two months of the season before he came down with a "minor" injury that was supposed to cost him a start or two.

A couple of days ago, with more reports of yeti sightings in St. Louis than accounts of Penny's whereabouts, the Cardinals finally admitted the starting pitcher was done for the season.

It's a shame to see Penny's St. Louis career end like this. I don't know if the Cardinals would ask him back under any circumstances because of his health track record. But I can't imagine he's going to have too many lucrative offers on the table. Maybe Penny will take a couple million dollar deal to redeem himself in the STL.

He'd be a heckuva nice fourth starter at that price. But, with all of the other pressing needs in front of them, I can't see the Redbirds pay much more than that.