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Byline: Joe Strauss
June 30--BALTIMORE -- For several long moments after Tuesday night's 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles, Ryan Franklin walked the clubhouse with an ice pack strapped to his right shoulder. Franklin, 38, had performed the ritual hundreds of times before. But this time he wore the ice pack over his uniform, as if sensing when he took it off he might never again put it back on. If that was indeed Franklin's premonition, it came true Wednesday afternoon when the club gave its tortured former closer his unconditional release. On the doorstep of the season's midpoint, the Cardinals severed ties with a pitcher who signed as a 2007 spring training Dumpster dive, ascended to an All-Star closer in 2009, then converted 27 of 29 save chances in 2010.
General manager John Mozeliak notified Franklin of the team's decision Wednesday afternoon after meeting at Oriole Park at Camden Yards …