Franklin reconsiders retirement plans

Franklin reconsiders retirement plans

ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Franklin may not be ready for that farewell tour just yet.

Franklin told reporters on Friday afternoon that he has reconsidered his plan to retire following the 2011 season, though he quite specifically emphasized that the choice was unrelated to his trip home this week. The right-hander spent two days at his home in Oklahoma to tend to a personal matter. He was back in the clubhouse on Friday and is available to pitch.

Now in his fourth season as a Cardinal, Franklin has said for quite some time now that he expected to hang it up when his current contract ends -- after the 2011 season. But after consulting with a number of people, including Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, he reopened the door to playing in '12 and possibly beyond.

It's not a given that he will play after next year, but it's no longer a given that he won't, either.

"Rethinking means it's still going to be a family decision," Franklin said. "If they say, 'No daddy, we want you to stay home,' then I'll be done."

Franklin, who turns 38 next spring, is 6-2 with a 3.55 ERA and 24 saves in 26 chances. He has 37 strikeouts, eight walks and six home runs allowed in 58 1/3 innings.

"[I've been] talking with family, friends, ex-players, Hall of Famers," Franklin said. "Me and [Kyle] McClellan went over to Sutter's house the other day. I was talking to him about it. And he said, 'You've got to keep playing.' ... If I'm still able to get guys out and still have good stuff, I probably will. But if I stink, I have a 20.00 ERA, then it's time to shut it down. I'm not going to go sign a split contract or something like that."

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.