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The End Of Spiroid

It occurred to me that this is a more appropriate post than The End Of Greg Dobbs, since, as I mentioned below, the more I think about it, the less I see any reason for another team to put in a claim on the guy. Bats who hit for a decent average without walks or power are fine if they stay in the middle infield, but not when they come from a corner. Dobbs might be claimed by a go-nowhere team desperate for a lefty bat off the bench, but there's probably a better chance that he makes it through to AAA than that for which I initially gave credit.

But anyway, the real story here is that the Mariners wound up making the right decision in the end, sticking with Gil Meche instead of Ryan Franklin. Not that Meche is anything to write home about, per se (unless you're really mad at your family), but he's got more upside than Franklin, who remains the kind of generic arm that you can find on pretty much any North American street corner. If you want to put it another way, Gil Meche is sort of the "pleather" of modern pitching staffs, whereas Ryan Franklin's textile equivalent is more along the lines of recycled cardboard. I'd rather have Gil, maddening inconsistency and all.

Although he won't be missed, Franklin does leave behind a legacy in Seattle, one of several hundred innings of replacement-level pitching, a rather whiny and self-centered attitude, and a consistent run support problem suggesting that the fans weren't the only ones who didn't like him much. Which isn't to say that it was all bad - Franklin had his useful moments, and he was incredibly durable for as long as he was a Mariner - but after allowing 226 runs in two years and getting suspended for steroids, I don't think he really deserves an appreciative sendoff.

I think it's worth pointing out that Franklin isn't going to find a better environment than this one. Flyball pitchers who don't miss bats can only surive in so many places, with Safeco being at the top of the short list, so Ryan will have to make some adjustments if he hopes to stick around in the league for more than a year or two. The best move is probably to accept a demotion back to the bullpen, where he posted reasonable peripherals in his early Mariner career, but Ryan's a stubborn guy, and he hates pitching in relief, so who knows. He was willing to be the emergency starter at the beginning of 2005, but even then he must've known that Aaron Sele wouldn't last very long, so accepting a full-time bullpen role would probably be difficult for Franklin to stomach.

I suppose it's appropriate that as Jarrod Washburn arrives, Ryan Franklin departs, as one pitch-to-contact flyball pitcher gets swapped out for another. Let's just hope we grow to like the new guy a lot more than we did the last one.