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November 2007

Cardinals Sign Izturis

Posted on November 30, 2007 at 2:29 PM

The Cardinals have signed former Dodger/Cub/Pirate shortstop Cesar Izturis to a one-year deal.  Financial information, so far, has not been announced.

Here are the numbers.   Offensively, he's been nothing special, though he can hit around .250 or so.  He plays Gold Glove defense, which will be nice and hopefully will help the pitching staff out a lot.

Whether he'll be the starter for the '08 Birds or a backup probably depends on how next week at the GM meetings goes.

My Ballot for the Cardinal Blogger Awards

Posted on November 30, 2007 at 12:30 AM

This is the first attempt at a Cardinal blogger collaborative project. I hope that the bloggers involved enjoy it enough to try doing more things together in the near future.

Those scheduled to post their selections today include Readin' Redbird, Redbirds Fun, CardinalsGM, Rockin' the Red, Redbird Ramblings, and CardinalsNationGlobe. Check all of them out (I'll direct link to their post when they get them up) and then come back here next week for a consolidated ballot. (Future Redbirds has theirs up now as well.)

So, without much further ado, let's see my selections for the CBA. My selections are noted in bold.

  Continue Reading

Stirring the Pot

Posted on November 29, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Bernie loves to get people riled up sometimes, I honestly believe that. Take, for example, his latest tease over at the Pressbox:

They have their eye on one guy who had a poor 2007, but who has been good in the recent past.

--B


Of course, that sent everyone into a guessing spree. Bernie then ruled out Dontrelle Willis (good), Matt Morris (good) and Cliff Lee (probably good). He doesn't seem to say whether it's a free agent or a trade, but the assumption on the thread was made that they were talking trade.

Some of the names tossed out included Kevin Millwood, Jeremy Bonderman, Randy Johnson and our focus from earlier in the week, Mark Prior. There are too many names and too many possibilities to really start making guesses and discussing if it is a good or bad thing the team is looking at them.

That said, last week there was a mention at the end of Derrick Goold's blog entry about the shortstop situation that I found pretty interesting:

Breaking News that Hints at Future News: The Cardinals put a claim in on Cody Haerther a few days after losing him in the waiver process and successful re-claimed the outfield prospect. Haerther is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder — familiar, eh? — and his addition to the Cardinals 40-man roster puts them at the limit. Teams do not like to go into the winter meetings with a full roster, especially when the Rule 5 draft requires an open spot to participate. The Cardinals do not plan on reaching the meetings with a full roster.

Could this be the move that Goold was speculating about? That would mean that it would be at least a 2-for-1 type trade if it was to free room up on the roster. Which probably means that it would be someone with some potential to be worth two men off the 40-man.

It's a lot of speculation, but since the Rule V draft is a week from today, we will have to see something soon, even if it's just someone being waived.

Also stumbled across this at MLB Trade Rumors:

Probably since they hope to include him in a Johan Santana deal, the Red Sox won't trade Coco Crisp until that situation is resolved. The Rangers liked Crisp, but are considering interesting alternatives: Rocco Baldelli, Jim Edmonds, and Juan Pierre. (emphasis mine)

I'm sure the Rangers may have inquired about Edmonds, but I really don't see him going anywhere. He just opened the restaurant, he's a 10/5 guy so he can veto a trade, and he really seems to like St. Louis. You know, all the stuff I said two weeks ago.

Oh, and here's another one at MLBTR that was just mentioned at CCH:

 McCalvy says Melvin confirmed having internal discussions about Scott Rolen.

Another one I can't see happening, though imagine the improvement from Ryan Braun to Scott Rolen at third for the Brewers.  They are already going to be the favorites next year, in my book, but that's just be the icing on the cake.  That said, I can't see Mozeliak getting good value from Milwaukee for him and you know he'd be beating the Cards constantly if they traded him in the division.  Seems a non-starter to me.

The Ownership Question: Part IV

Posted on November 29, 2007 at 9:50 AM

We've hashed out ownership against so many different standards, but what we've not looked at is this ownership, led by Bill Dewitt, and prior ownership under the Anheuser-Busch brewery after the death of August "Gussie" Busch.

A quick recap for those that aren't up on Cardinal history. Anheuser-Busch bought the Cardinals in 1953 and Gussie, as head of the brewery, was also in charge of the team. Gussie was well-regarded as an owner (barring that little spat with Steve Carlton) and fielded strongly competitive teams for the most part. He was so highly thought of that he has a retired number, something no other non-playing Cardinal achieved. (Jack Buck just has the microphone.)

Gussie, as far as I can tell, was active with the Cardinals until his death in 1989. After that, the corporate heads took over the team, with noticeable results. Let's compare some numbers from 1988-1994 and from 1995 to the present to see where we are coming from.

  Continue Reading

The Ownership Question: Part III

Posted on November 28, 2007 at 9:39 AM

OK, Part I we looked at payroll in relation to the rest of the league. Part II, payroll in relation to market size. Now, let's compare how the Cardinals are doing against their divisional rivals. Because it's possible to be in the top 5 in baseball and only the top 3 in your division--ask the teams in the AL East how that spending goes for them.

Let's take a look at the average payrolls for all the NL Central teams over this 13 year span.






























Team Average Payroll
Chicago $66,299,059
Cincinnati $48,007,281
Houston $58,985,789
Milwaukee $38,514,390
Pittsburgh $32,493,298
St. Louis $66,698,830

So, with this ownership, the Cardinals are outspending everyone in their division. While that doesn't guarantee titles, obviously, it should indicate a competitiveness and a willingness to win.

  Continue Reading

Dealing With The Devil

Posted on November 27, 2007 at 5:01 PM

Some of the biggest news of the day (besides the always-inevitable Mike Hampton injury) is the news that the Cubs are actively looking to deal Mark Prior.

If you've been a (relatively) long-time reader, you'll note that I discussed the Cardinals getting Prior back about a month ago. That scenario, though, assumed that the Cubs would non-tender Prior, making him a free agent and costing the Cardinals only cash.

If you start talking about trading, though, that brings in another set of issues. I mean, it's the Cubs. A divisional rival at best, a hated enemy at worst. Do you really want to trade a player that might be useful to Chicago in exchange for the unreliability and potential disaster that Prior could be?

In my mind, it depends on what the Cubs want in exchange. If they are likely to non-tender and they are just looking for a warm body or someone a little cheaper, giving them a AA player or two for him wouldn't bother me any. Sure, it's possible they'd pan out, but the odds would be against them. Now, if the Cubs were holding out for MLB-ready talent, people like Bryan Anderson or Jamie Garcia, I'd say have a nice day.

I can't see them doing that. Right now Prior's value is about as low as it gets. He won't be ready until mid-season at best, he's a free agent at the end of the year, there's just not much people would give for him, I don't think. I understand that the Padres may be interested, so you don't want to get into a bidding war, but if you were ever going to jump on a potential reclamation project, this is the time. You have to figure that '08 will be a struggle anyway, but imagine the second half if a healthy Carpenter and Prior joined the rotation with Wainwright. If the team could stay close at the All-Star Break, they could make a run.

Something to keep an eye on, at any rate.  The ownership discussion will continue tomorrow.

The Ownership Question: Part II

Posted on November 27, 2007 at 11:22 AM

In Part I, we looked at payroll in relation to other payrolls at the time and as a percentage of total MLB payrolls. Today, let's take a look at payroll in relation to market size.

There are different ways to look at market size. Here's a study that measures it by television households. As you can see, this way puts the Cardinals 26th, just after Colorado and right before Pittsburgh. There is also a listing at BaseballAlmanac.com with population that shows the Cardinals close to the bottom as well, this time ahead of Colorado but trailing San Diego.

Granted, the market size is probably neither of these, when you take into account how far-flung Cardinal Nation is. It probably looks more like this map. However, using the St. Louis area is probably the best for any kind of analysis. While some of us here in Arkansas are big Cardinal fans, we may not get to a game in two to three years and can't be counted on a regular basis. Besides, we need numbers to do some of this, so the Baseball Almanac report will do.

While the population figures are for the year 2000, they'll work for us on a general basis. Most likely all populations have grown somewhat, but I don't think there have been many major shifts.

  Continue Reading

The Ownership Question: Part I

Posted on November 26, 2007 at 12:14 PM

First off, hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The break was great and hopefully it got Cardinal management recharged and ready to make some moves.

On one of my brief trips online this weekend, I found someone again making the tired "ownership is cheap and doesn't care" argument at CCH. While I outlined my thoughts there, it led me to do some research.

I found a great site that listed out payroll on a yearly basis, so I took the payroll totals of every team from 1995, the year this ownership group took over, to 2007. The general data can be found here, but I'm going to spend a couple of days going through what I learned.

Let's take the most basic idea first. Where have the Cardinals ranked out of 30 teams (well, 28 before 1998) in total payroll?

  Continue Reading

What Others Are Thankful For

Posted on November 21, 2007 at 11:02 PM

Hey, I've got some time tonight. Let's see what everyone else is giving thanks for this year!

John Mozeliak: That Chris Antonetti didn't want to leave Cleveland.

Mark Mulder:  That he's left-handed.

Billy Beane:  That Mark Mulder's left-handed.

Scott Rolen:  That Larry Bowa isn't TLR's bench coach.

Albert Pujols:  That this year's ninth-place finish in the MVP award gives him more motivation.

Brad Thompson:  That there are no puppies around to kick.

Jason LaRue:  That he can now play on the good side of Missouri.

Tony LaRussa:  That they make tofu turkeys.

Walt Jocketty:  That he no longer has to put up with Jeff Luhnow.

The St. Louis Cardinals:  That they play in the NL Central.

Hope you all have a great day!

A Cardinal Thanksgiving

Posted on November 21, 2007 at 9:57 AM

Tomorrow, as you all know, we stop to say thanks for the many blessings the Lord has given us.  This list below is what we as Cardinal fans can be thankful for.  Of course, there's the family, friends, country bit and I'm not suggesting these take precedence.  But, strictly from a Cardinal perspective, thanks for:

Ownership.  OK, let's get the controversial one out of the way first.  Lots of people don't feel that this ownership is much of anything to be thankful for.  They feel that Bill Dewitt and company are cheapskates who know that the devoted fans of St. Louis will come to the ballpark no matter what product is out there, especially with the new stadium.  Let's say that's true.  I don't believe it is, but I'll even give you that.  When the team was up for sale, there could have been investors from another town who said, "Hey, who cares about tradition?  I want to see the New Jersey Cardinals instead!"  Keeping the team in St. Louis should give them some thoughts at this time of year, if nothing else.

Then, they spent enough to put a great team together in the middle part of the decade.  Cynics will say they did that to keep interest up to get a new ballpark.  Fine, believe that if you want.  It doesn't take away from the fact that we saw two 100 win teams in a row followed by an improbable World Series title.  Some of the credit--and the thanks--have to go toward them as well.

Plus, they locked up Albert Pujols to a long term deal.  We'll talk about him next, but anything that keeps El Hombre in Cardinal Red is a very good thing.

  Continue Reading




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Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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