Tony Franklin acknowledged prior to Game 2 of the Eastern League Championship Series against Altoona last night at Blair County Ballpark that “it’s time to move on.”
“I am looking for something that will get me to the big leagues because that’s where I want to go. I’ve done this a long time and it’s time to do some other things.’’
Franklin received no offers last offseason and the one phone call Yankees senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman made on his behalf came too late, as the undisclosed major league opening of interest to Franklin had been filled.
Despite 925 career wins, a 16-3 playoff record, two Eastern League championships and another within reach, Franklin expressed frustration with the lack of opportunities around baseball.
“I think the record speaks for itself,’’ said Franklin, who has led Double-A Trenton into the ELCS in three of his four years as manager. “Outside the Yankees I think I have been under the radar for a long, long time. No one knows who I am. People in baseball do, but the public doesn’t and that’s been a problem for me. No one is knocking down my door after a couple of championships and maybe a third one and I wish that could change.’’
Franklin said he would consider returning to the Thunder for an unprecedented fifth season, but only after all of his job search efforts both inside and outside the organization have been exhausted.
Franklin, a former minor leaguer in the 1970′s, has been a very sucessful manager since he has taken over the Double-A Trenton Thunder. He began coaching in 1979 in the Baltimore Orioles farm system. His first manager job was with the Cubs as their short season A-ball manager in 1982. He had various managerial jobs before he joined the Yankees organization in 2007.
Yesterday in my story about the Marlins’ interest in Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, friend of the blog Mike Sommers asked me if Pena left who would be next in line for the Yankees manager position. After all, Don Mattingly is out of the organization and seems like the successor to Joe Torre in Los Angeles so there was no clear line of deliniation after Joe Girardi if Pena left.
The name that came to my mind was Franklin’s. He has done a great job with the Thunder. In four years managing that club he has finished in 1st place three times and won two league titles.
That and his knowledge of the organization probably would put him next in line to manage the Yankees in the unlikely event that Girardi and Pena both left the organization.
Either way, Franklin is a successful manager who should get a shot at managing a major league team in the future, even if it isn’t with the Yankees.