In a text this morning, Tony Franklin, the Thunder's manager since 2007, says that he underwent successful knee-replacement surgery and is "on the mend."
"Therapy is tough," he wrote, "but (I'm) getting through it."
Franklin was bothered all season by various issues, foremost of which was his aching knee. You could see it when he walked, and especially when he made his way out to argue with an umpire.
He also missed an early portion of the season after being taken to a local hospital before a game complaining of chest pains.
In Franklin's absence, Justin Pope, a coach and a former Thunder pitcher, served as the team's acting skipper. Because minor league managerial contracts are year-to-year, Franklin is currently a free agent.
If he returns, he would only extend his franchise-record tenure at the team's helm. I, however, don't believe he will be back. The medical issues seemed almost too much to bear at times this season, and I think he will ultimately opt to stay in baseball, but with a job that is both less taxing physically and closer to his California home.
When the 2012 season begins, I fully expect that Pope will begin his first season as a professional manager.
Labels: Justin Pope, Tony Franklin, Trenton Thunder