Bizarre Hate Triangle: My Take On Beltre-Franklin-Price

Jeff · August 18, 2005 at 8:53 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

After Adrian Beltre, ahem, straightened Ryan Franklin’s collar tonight, Mike Hargrove acted quickly.

The manager informed us that Franklin’s frustration resulted in cross words with pitching coach Bryan Price, who told the hurler to relax. Franklin’s response, according to Hargrove, was “I just bleeping care.” Moreover, he assured the media, the incident was mere piffle, a tempest in a teacup.

Hargrove’s explanation — that it was a minor altercation at best — reminds me of when a Karl Malone elbow knocked out one or two of Brian Grant’s teeth during the NBA playoffs.

Grant, a peace-loving man that you nevertheless wouldn’t want to mess with, got right up in the Mailman’s mush. Malone said nothing as Grant spoke offered some spirited discourse his way.

Reporters asked Grant what he said, and The Rasta Monsta (one of my favorite NBA people) just smiled, and then said “You know, I heard he likes to go fishing. So I just told him, hey, you and me should get together in the offseason and go fishin’.”

This was clearly, in Colonel Potter parlance, horsepucky.

But he kind of had to say something like that. He wasn’t going to tell the real story. Neither is Hargrove. He’s going to tell us there’s no beef between Beltre and Franklin, and that Beltre was barely involved.

I believe him that Beltre was sticking up for Price. But I think Beltre probably did a little more than ask Franklin to take him fishing back in Spiro.

Well, maybe fishing in the Fredo Corleone sense.


79 Responses to “Bizarre Hate Triangle: My Take On Beltre-Franklin-Price”

  1. Ty on August 19th, 2005 9:16 am

    Nobody liked Franklin in the first place, so there isn’t any “chemistry” to lose. It’s kind of hard for me to care what happened. If it was between Hargrove-Beltre-Sexson, then I might be a little concerned.

  2. goodbye baseball on August 19th, 2005 9:21 am

    49 said: He’s not just a crappy pitcher, he’s a human being, and it’s perfectly understandable to blow up a little bit.

    All that is true, but he’s also supposed to be a professional. And Franklin’s behavior this whole season, not just last night, is clearly unprofessional. (Excuses, bitching about the rotation order to the press, confrontations with opponents and teammates alike, testing positive for illegal substances, etc.) It can’t be tolerated when his record is 6-13 and his ERA is 5.10. There’s a time and a place to go off: in the hallways or clubhouse and anywhere that cameras aren’t around. Since that advice obviously wasn’t heeded, Ryan should take a long, hard look at himself in the mirror.

    Perhaps he’s a small-time boy devoured by the harsh spotlight of big-time competition. If that’s so, maybe he should just realize he’s gone as far as he can go with his ability, retire, and do something else with his life.

  3. Joel E on August 19th, 2005 9:25 am

    49: Yep, chemistry is just something people notice when teams happen to win a lot. Perhaps it actually improves a team but who can measure that anyway?

    I was so happy last night to see some actual emotion in that dugout. Back in the Jr. days, I remember it was a somewhat normal thing to hear about clubhouhse scuffles. But it’s been Stepford-like quiet for years and that has bugged me.

    I’m looking to Beltre to take some leadership in that dugout. And last night was a good sign.

  4. paul on August 19th, 2005 9:33 am

    Who here would take Barry Bonds and all he can do on the field WITH all the distraction and “chemistry” he provides in the clubhouse?

  5. paul on August 19th, 2005 9:37 am

    I’m looking to Beltre to take some leadership in that dugout. And last night was a good sign.

    How was his action a sign of leadership? Wouldn’t a leader have prevented an altercation like this, perhaps with words or actions as he noticed Franklin’s emotions heating up throughout the season?

    Also, then are you willing to say the Grover did not provide leadership because he didn’t break up the altercation?

  6. Steve Thornton on August 19th, 2005 9:39 am

    Depends on whether you’re trying to be good role models for babies, or trying to win baseball games. Barry Bonds wins baseball games. Look at the Giants without him. No one else in the game — in the history of the game — has that kind of impact. Even at 40+ he’s far more valuable than anyone on this team, even Ichiro. Assuming he plays again.

  7. Ty on August 19th, 2005 9:43 am


    Nobody actually knows the whole real story. I mean, it’s possible that Beltre was just restraining Franklin… There are mixed stories, so it’s hard to tell what really happened.

  8. Gomez on August 19th, 2005 9:46 am

    Not with those knees. What good is the best slugger in the game if he can’t play a full season, and comes and goes as he pleases? Keep in mind you have to pay him huge money no matter what.

    Basically, there is a delicate balance between talent and attitude, and if you have a bad enough enough, it doesn’t matter how talented you are. If you’re too much of a distraction/problem, it isn’t worth bringing everyone else down just because you’re talented.

    And Franklin isn’t even all that great to begin with.

  9. Gomez on August 19th, 2005 9:47 am

    bad enough attitude, rather than bad (enough x 2). And the first paragraph was in reference to Bonds.

  10. Joel E on August 19th, 2005 9:52 am

    If Beltre was restraining Franklin, then that’s fine and it’s probably less than we’re all making it to be. But if it were more, and he were actually sticking up for Price, then such a quarrel can’t be a bad thing. I tend to believe (and I think most people do) that Franklin is the one who needs to be put in his place here. Why are quarrels in the dugout a bad thing?

    At a point, I’m sure clubhouse bickering gets to be too much, and detrimental to the team. I don’t think the Mariners, as a team and as an organization, are in danger of approaching that; I think they could use a little fire.

    If chemistry is simply “getting along and playing nice with others”, then these Mariners have chemistry, and last night’s event was an aberration.

  11. Steve Thornton on August 19th, 2005 10:00 am

    Professionalism: we’re not talking about soulless office drones, we’re talking about young guys doing hard physical labor. Just because they get paid a lot of money doesn’t mean they aren’t busting their asses. Visit a construction site sometime — when the roof is falling in — and see if the “professionalism” on display resembles a white-shoe law office much.

    We’re also talking about a guy who has been on the verge of losing his career all season long. Have you ever been fired? Have you ever worked for a long time, flailing hopelessly, knowing that you’re inching closer and closer to that day? For a company that’s getting taken to the cleaners for the second year in a row? Knowing that a significant part of their failure is YOUR failure?

    You think these guys don’t know they suck? In front of millions of people? Do you know what that feels like?

    I swear, some people, including many in the media, act like Ryan Franklin and the others are doing it on purpose. If only he could suck it up, try harder, make an adjustment, show some professionalism, they would be winning. But the truth is, they’re just not good enough.

    Do you know what it’s like to not be good enough?

    Don’t get me wrong; I’m no Ryan Franklin fan. I’ll boo him like crazy the next time I see him pitch. Spiezio and Thornton too. I wish the whole lot of them were gone, gone, gone. But I’ll boo them for playing bad, not for showing frustration in the dugout or anywhere else. They SHOULD be frustrated. They SHOULD be mad. Why should they act like lawyers in court?

    Besides, players fighting in the dugout is really funny. Maybe today Spiezio will chuck the water cooler onto the field, that would be hilarious!

  12. Steve Thornton on August 19th, 2005 10:08 am

    Players with bad attitudes don’t bring down players with good attitudes.

    Manny Ramirez has a well-documented bad attitude, and he’s been carrying his team. Pedro Martinez is a headcase, and one of the best pitchers in history. Barry Bonds is reportedly (key word there) the biggest jerk in the world, and neither you nor I have ever seen a more valuable player. Rickey Henderson was clubhouse poison, and few players in the history of the game have helped his team more.

    What drags down teammates is sucky baseball playing, not “attitude” or “chemistry” or clubhouse demeanor. The Mariners have always been lovestruck for good clubhouse guys who suck and hurt the team’s chances to win. Dan Wilson, Pat Borders, Willie Bloomquist. You could just as easily argue that the opposite of clubhouse turmoil isn’t chemistry, it’s complacency. We don’t care if you make out 75% of the time, as long as you’re a good guy and help with the towels.

    As far as Barry Bonds goes, two weeks of him would help this club more than all of the bench players we’ve had for the past two years combined. In terms of value added, a week of Bonds surpasses Willie Bloomquist’s entire career, attitude or no attitude.

  13. paul on August 19th, 2005 10:08 am

    In Russia, water cooler chucks you!

    I always wanted to make a lame Russian joke. (What was the name of that Russian comedian? Wasn’t he popular in the 80s?)

    Did Bonds drive away Kent? I know about their feud and I know Kent has a home in Texas but now that he is in LA I’m not sure why Kent left SF.

  14. Dave in Palo Alto on August 19th, 2005 10:18 am

    I agree with you that Franklin is and should be frustrated, but Franklin distinguishes his particular brand of suckiness with this uncanny ability to blame everyone but himself for his problems. As sucky as Sele, Meche, Thornton are and have been, I didn’t see them go out of their way to blame what is, in fact, one of the better defenses in the game, for their failures. You’d think a guy who was suspended for taking roids would show a little more humility when he comes back.

    I know HE CARES, DAMMIT, HE CARES, but from all I can tell he’s a jerk.

  15. Dave in Palo Alto on August 19th, 2005 10:19 am

    Yaacov Smirnov. Reagan’s favorite. Now appearing at that place that lost it’s liquor license near the Texaco.

  16. Jeff on August 19th, 2005 10:22 am

    You know, Yakov still does five shows a week in Branson, Missouri.

    And check out the photo of him with GWB. Nice Sy Sperling hair, Yakov. “In Russia, Hair Club owns Men!”

  17. goodbye baseball on August 19th, 2005 10:39 am

    Steve, as a matter of fact, I was cut three times trying out for my high school baseball team, and I should’ve been. I was also fired from my first professional job — after four months. So yes, I know exactly what it’s like to not be good enough at doing something. I also learned from my mistakes and am going on nine years in my second job. I also am quick to take the blame when I deserve it, and I have deserved it at times. I also get angry at others when it’s warranted. I have also seen my share of colleagues and one boss display Franklin’s tendencies of whining and blaming others for his own mistakes.

    That doesn’t mean I’m suggesting these players shouldn’t get angry. Hell, they get mad all the time; in public they usually take their frustrations out by throwing gloves, slamming helmets, and hitting or throwing water coolers as you pointed out. I would imagine these knockdown-dragout arguments occur frequently in the clubhouse with no media around. (It’s amazing what books about teams from years gone by have revealed, but that’s another subject for another time.)

    As for whether fighting in the dugout is funny, it can be, especially when Bonds and Kent went at it. But it’s sad in Franklin’s case. When you combine Franklin’s poor pitching with lousy behavior and this incident, I see a guy who has been in the organization 13 years, is now 32, and has a 33-48 record to show for it. He’s not good enough, and he should retire after this season.

    By the way, my best friend is from a family of firefighters and I have family friends who are cops. I understand there’s a differnt type of professionalism in blue-collar jobs vs. white-collar ones.

  18. Colm on August 19th, 2005 10:43 am

    Nice New Order reference Jeff.

  19. jephdood on August 19th, 2005 10:51 am

    Can he maybe go back down to the ‘pen? Rememeber awhile back he was down there and was pretty successful. Nellie has no business being here at all IMO, so stick Franklin on the bench behind the left field wall far away from Price. That is, unless he starts bitching about not starting again. Then you can whip out the release forms.

  20. Jim Osmer on August 19th, 2005 11:02 am

    I also believe last year Franklin openly complained about Wilson’s game calling. If he felt that way, the media does not need to hear it. Similar to his blaming his defense the last two starts.
    If the schizo from spiro was pitching like pedro then we would put up with him. He is only in the rotation because of injuries.
    I would put him down in the bullpen where Eddie and Nellie will keep him in line. Or leave him in a room with Norm Charlton for 20 minutes. Attitude correction.
    Oddly enough Grover had both Belle and Manny in Cleveland and weathered their attitudes pretty well. Helps when you win though.

  21. johnb on August 19th, 2005 11:06 am

    I think Franklin, Price and Beltre were discussing doing some “Okie Noodling” in the off-season. Beltre was just demonstrating his technique.

  22. Saul on August 19th, 2005 11:13 am

    I follow the Giants almost as close as the Mariners (actually in San Fran right now with my dad for a month). As far as Bonds having a bad attitude, that is more with the media and the fans. I’ve never seen or read an interview or quote from a Giants player that would indicate he is anything less than a great team mate. I recall even on rehab he took some time to work with some of the NRI’s in Spring Training on their swing.

    Yes, the one notable exception was Jeff Kent several years back. He and Bonds hated each other. As I understand it, Kent chewed out a young player for a mistake he made and Bonds got up to defend the player, and a fistfight broke out between the two. I think Bonds and Kent was a case of two great players who each thought they should be number one.

    Of course, its possible Bonds’ other teamates don’t like him and just speak nicely for the press. I do know he out of all players on the team has a recliner by his locker.

  23. troy on August 19th, 2005 12:00 pm

    Steve Thornton, I totally agree with you about chemistry – it’s totally overrated. A couple of players or players and coaches or players and ballboys or players and whoever getting into it in the dugout/clubhouse/parking lot isn’t really a big deal. I don’t hold this one against Franklin, assuming he was just mad at himself as reported.


    I’m sick of his whining. Jim Osmer quoted him in #31 as saying:
    [blockquote]The home run was one thing, a bad pitch. But we had a chance to turn a double play (in the bottom of the first) and didn’t get one. When you make the pitch you want and get the grounder you want and don’t get the result you want, that can be frustrating, sure.[/blockquote]If he really said that (can anyone confirm?), than Franklin is a grade A ahole. Want to cuss your teammate out in the dugout? Fine. Want to smack him around a bit for not getting making a play? Go right ahead. But when you face the media and for the umpteenth time find someone else to blame for your own sucktasticness, and that “someone” happens to be the defense that has bailed your sorry tail out time and again throughout your overrated career. . . well, after some BS like that. I wouldn’t blame the defense one bit for forgetting how to field next time he’s “pitching to contact”.

  24. Jim Osmer on August 19th, 2005 12:05 pm

    #73 exactly
    Franklin is a 10-29 pitcher the last two years. It really does not matter why he loses, he just loses. The man takes no responsibility for his performance. I wonder how he would look pitching in front of a bad defense or in a hitter’s park.

  25. Jim Osmer on August 19th, 2005 12:18 pm

    Here is how I look at Ryan Franklin
    year Franklin W/L Team W/L diff
    2003 11-13 (.458) 93-69 (.574) (-.116)
    2004 4-16 (.200) 63-99 (.389) (-.189)
    2005 6-13 (.316) 52-68 (.433) (-.117)

    by contrast Meche’s W/L % the last three season are .536/.500/.556

  26. DMZ on August 19th, 2005 12:19 pm

    W/L is a terrible way to measure a pitcher’s effectiveness, as it depends so heavily on events out of a pitcher’s control.

  27. Jim Osmer on August 19th, 2005 12:23 pm

    I knew you would say that (be open minded here), but I think it makes the point that Franklin is more likely to lose than his peers in the rotation.

    3 seasons is a pretty big sample size to blame on “things out of his control”

  28. Darius on August 19th, 2005 12:26 pm

    Double digit games won by Franklin in 2003!!

    Seriously, the true irony in all of this is that Franklin can be called “overrated” through all the games he has pitched. :O

  29. troy on August 19th, 2005 12:58 pm

    Osmer, DMZ’s right. Franklin’s not a bad pitcher because he has a bad W/L record. He’s a bad pitcher because he’s completely relient on his defense to make outs for him. Which is why it’s so ironic that he would have the balls/ignorance to criticize that defense.