Franklin headed to Mexico

Wayne Franklin is leaving the York Revolution — again.

The man who started the first game in Revolution history has left York to sign with Tijuana of the Mexican League. A very similar situation took place last season when Franklin left the Revs to play for the Uni President Lions of Taiwan in mid-May.

The money is much better in Mexico, although the competition is considered Triple-A caliber and players are expected to prove themselves quickly — especially if you’re a foreigner. That could be a tough task for Franklin, who has struggled to regain the form he showed during the last month of the 2007 Atlantic League season.

Franklin was 4-2 in 10 starts for York in ’08 but posted a 5.47 ERA and benefited from the best run support on the team (5.6 runs a game). He also walked an alarming number of hitters (32) — tops in the Atlantic League with Newark’s Patrick Stanley — and allowed 56 hits in 49 1/3 innings. He was placed on the suspended list by the Revs and Adam Gladstone, the Revolution’s director of baseball operations, did not rule out Franklin’s return to York later this year.

“He left on good terms, they’re purchasing his contract and that gives him the opportunity to return,” Gladstone said. “I’m not disappointed. This is an opportunity where he can continue to pitch, he’ll get paid a lot more money than we can afford to pay him and let’s be honest, if we’re in the playoff race, it’s a different story. But that does not mean we’re giving up on the first half.”

The Delaware native came back to York this year and hoped to be the team’s closer. But the addition of Dave Veres put a wrench in that venture for Franklin and he eventually returned to the starting rotation. His defection to Mexico seems odd — especially after his comments following a recent start.

“I can see good things in this team and this is just like the start we had last year,” Franklin said. “But all of a sudden, things pick up and we’re playing good baseball right now.”

On the surface, this may look like a tough loss for the Revs. But a corresponding roster move will be made in the next 24 hours that will compensate for Franklin’s departure. I’ll have more on that either late Thursday evening or early Friday. 

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6 Responses

  1. As I have said in another reply, why don’t these papers ask Wayne for his reasons instead of speculating that it is for the bigger paycheck? The team from Mexico has been after Wayne for months, but his loyalty was to the York team. He so loves and respects that York team, and it makes him so happy to see a town that truly loves baseball. He sees this move as 1 more opportunity to try and get back to the majors again. No, maybe he isn’t playing the way YOU think he should, but you will never find a harder worker than Wayne. He has always been about the TEAM not himself…so you should at least respect him for that!

  2. First off, Franklin was not made available to the media before his departure for Mexico.

    Second, it’s naive to think this move wasn’t motivated at least partially by money. Even Gladstone’s comment made that clear and why else would a player go to Mexico? The accepted opinion out there is that the Atlantic League gives you a better opportunity for exposure to affiliated teams.

    I respect Franklin and his work ethic. But I think it’s important to look at this situation for what it really is.

  3. Well, I CAN look at this situation for what it really is. I know him personally, and he would be very hurt to know that people think he left for the money. Money may factor in somewhere…he has 3 boys to raise. But, when he finally decided to take the offer for Mexico, it was because he thought there was a bigger opportunity involved to get himself back to the majors if he gets into the playoffs with the Mexican team. Money has never motivated any major decision he has ever made…he just wants to play ball and raise his boys. I just worry about the backlash this assumption will bring on him if/when he comes back to York.

  4. P.S.-I just ask that you all give him the benefit of the doubt before you judge him or feel harsh towards him. Thank you Jeff.

  5. His decision to go makes sense. Players in the Atlantic League put themselves first all the time — and they should. Moving on to better opportunities is the goal of the league.

    But I’m just trying to argue the perspective of the York fan here. Franklin has left twice in two years now, and whatever his intentions, it still leaves York without a starter who has been fairly reliable.

    I’m not on a crusade to ruin Franklin’s reputation or anything like that. I think he’s a good guy and it would be a great story if he makes it back to organized ball.

  6. I understand everything that you are saying. I know he has left twice…but only because he was told of a better chance. He was offered Mexico before the season even started and kept refusing. He was again called and with a heavy heart gave into the “opportunity” hype. He truly was torn. But I understand his need to grab the chance when it shows itself. If his heart was not in York, he would not have been the first player to sign this season, and he would have went with Mexico in April. Yes, Wayne is a VERY good guy. Very humble, modest, down to earth and witty. I apologize if it seems I was accusing the papers of trying to ruin his reputation…I just want the fans to see that he did not leave just for a bigger paycheck. I want them to know that although he is trying to better his career while he can, he has loved playing for York. Yes, I am related to Wayne, but I know all of this to be true and I am not just trying to cover his tracks. (And he would kill me for doing this because he has always warned his family about trying to make excuses for him when he has a bad pitching day or the media says something we don’t like). Thank you for the chance to explain.

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