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December 2007

Year In Review: Top 5 Cardinal Stories

Posted on December 31, 2007 at 12:30 AM

The United Cardinal Bloggers strike again, this time with a recap of 2007. We each selected the five stories that we thought were the most important for 2007 in relation to the Cardinals. Check out CardinalNationGlobe, CardinalGM, Readin' Redbird, Rockin' the Red and Stan Musial's Stance for their takes. (I'll direct link to their stories when they are up.)

And, after the jump, my selections:

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The Phenom

Posted on December 28, 2007 at 1:30 AM

With the Cardinal offseason not providing much fuel for the hot stove, Cardinal Nation is getting warm with thoughts of the Next Big Thing, Colby Rasmus.

Derrick Goold had the piece in the Post-Dispatch earlier in the week and has amplified that with more stats in his blog.

He tops all the prospect lists over at Future Redbirds.

Larry broke down those that, like Rasmus may, jumped over AAA to the majors.

Various other media outlets have written stories or profiles of the outfielder.

So will he make it?  Will he start out in St. Louis in '08 or Memphis?  When will he take his rightful place as the heir of Edmonds?

With numerous players that can play a passable center field, players like Ankiel and Schumacker, I think that it's likely Rasmus will start in Memphis next season, but I'd expect him up by June or so unless he really struggles at AAA.  It's possible his energy and fresh approach will help inspire the team as Ankiel's callup did last August.  Since besides the normal excitement that is provided by Albert Pujols there may not be much to watch on this team, the front office may feel a bit pressured to move him up quickly.  Then again, if he hits well in Memphis, there's really no reason to have him wait any longer.

I'm excited to see what he can do.  I hope he plays his way on to the team from the word go.  It's been a long time since the Cardinals had a prospect this highly touted (at least in the field) and it'll be a lot of fun to see him go to work.

Slow, Slow, Slow

Posted on December 27, 2007 at 9:33 AM

Talk about a dead period. This time between Christmas and New Year's is terrible for baseball news, it appears. Just running down the headlines on Pro Sports Daily's rumor site, there was only one story yesterday (about the Reds still wanting to make moves) and most everything over there deals with Johan Santana, with an occasional dash of Eric Bedard.

Really more of the same at MLB Trade Rumors. Lot of rehashing of Santana. Doesn't part of you wish that the Twins would either fish or cut bait? Take him off the market or send him somewhere, I don't care anymore, just do something! Though if Santana winds up a Yankee or a Red Sox, it's very disheartening.

We congratulate Deaner at CardinalNationGlobe for having heat in his house again. That also gets him back into the Cardinal blogosphere, which is a good thing as well.

Keep following Pip's Twelve Days of Cardinal Christmas. It's great already and there's only been two days!

Looks like there are four of us so far for the next United Cardinal Bloggers project. Readin' Redbird, CardinalsGM and CardinalNationGlobe have all indicated willingness to participate. Always looking for more, though!

Cross One Off the Shopping List

Posted on December 26, 2007 at 2:10 PM

Mark Prior is going to pitch for the Padres.

While I would have liked the Cardinals to get him, the fact that he just wanted a one-year deal--and, apparently, that's what he got from San Diego--wouldn't have worked out for St. Louis during their rebuilding year.  However, if he has a strong 2008 (whatever portion he actually pitches) the Cards should keep him in mind for '09.

Back to the Grind

Posted on December 26, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Before anything else, I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas. I spent four days off line for the first time in ages and just enjoyed the season and the family. I hope you got everything that you wished for and more besides.

I meant to note this last week, but over at Stan Musial's Stance, there's a discussion on the informally retired numbers and whether they'll ever make it up on the outfield wall. Check it out and add your two cents.

As far as I can tell, the Cardinals took the holiday time off as well, as only the small news of Cliff Politte signing a minor league contract cracks the public consciousness. There's no telling what they are working on behind the scenes, but I doubt there will be anything big happening between now and January. As for Politte, another arm that has a chance to make an impact in the bullpen. No risk, medium reward. Nothing to get excited about, but he could be another Percival type next year.

In case you have some grievances out there, Erik at Future Redbirds has up his Festivus Pole. I've got a feeling some at CCH would like to have at ownership this time of year. 'Course, those are the ones who have at ownership every day of the year, so it's not much of a stretch.   Also, Pip at Fungoes has started the Cardinal Twelve Days of Christmas.

Generally, you may notice some snow at the top of the blog and throughout the page. Wordpress has that as an option between now and January 2, and since it's the closest thing to snow we're going to get around these parts, I clicked the box.

Also, I have e-mailed those Cardinal blogs that participated in the last blogger project with a new idea. If you did not participate last time but are interested in this project, aimed for December 31, e-mail me (cardinal70 at gmail).

Quick Hit

Posted on December 20, 2007 at 9:26 AM

Just a short note, since I don't have much time today.  Not a lot going on in Cardinal Nation anyway.

Cards are keeping an eye on Mark Prior, which is nice to know.  Of course, I've advocated for him in the past, though apparently he just wants a one year deal.  That's not what the Cardinals need, since he won't be around until June or so.  If there's a team option with it, then that's another thing.

Cards missed out on Carlos Silva, which is not a bad thing.  Silva would be an interesting Cardinal, since he's very much a pitch-to-contact, ground ball type, but at those prices, St. Louis was smart not to spend much time looking.  Hopefully they are doing the same with Kyle Loshe.

May not get a post up tomorrow and who knows with the holidays when I will, so in case I'm not back until after Christmas, have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and always remember the reason for the season.

New Cardinals, Former Cardinals

Posted on December 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM

The Cardinals made a minor move yesterday, signing D'Angelo Jimenez to a minor league contract.  There are a couple of things that come to mind when I hear about Jimenez.  One is that, when they were coming up in the Yankee organization about a decade ago, observers were split on whether he or Alfonso Soriano would be the better player.  That comparison doesn't happen much anymore.  And, secondly, I remember he had a pretty solid year for the Reds a few years back.  Looking through that PD article, they note it was 2004, with a .270/12/67 season.  Boy, if the Cardinals got anything close to that, they'd be thrilled.

His signing, however, is just one of those insurance things.  If Jarrett Hoffpauir needs more time at Memphis, then Jimenez could be the backup guy on the bench.  You figure that Brendan Ryan and Adam Kennedy will be the usual starters in the middle infield, but Cesar Izturis and Jimenez could be the backups.  Jimenez can play third base as well, which ups his value.

Then we have our former backup catcher, Gary Bennett.   Not as bad of a week as you'd expect for someone named in the Mitchell report.  Bennett admitted he used HGH, then signed a new contract with the Dodgers.  Which is surprising, because Bennett isn't that great with extra help, but anyway.  It just goes to show me that the culture of baseball hasn't done much changing with these allegations and admissions.  You aren't going to be punished.  You aren't going to have that much of a stain on your reputation, especially if you come out and admit it.  I mean, how much focus on Andy Pettitte has there been versus Roger Clemens?

There's the big focus on Bonds and Clemens, but other than that, the steroid stuff is going to just go away, I think.  Hopefully the testing and the mindset has been changed enough that it won't happen again, but without serious punishments for those that did it, I wonder if that's the case.

Site note: I plan to use Wordpress's new option for tags to take former Cardinals out of the categories section.  So in case you start looking, now you know.

Lineup Retrospective

Posted on December 18, 2007 at 10:17 AM

A thread over at CCH got me wondering if anyone had done a comparison of the Cardinal offense with the pitcher hitting eighth compared to when the pitcher was hitting ninth. I figured I could do a rough calculation, see what the numbers told us.

First off, since the switch happened very early in August, I took the April-July numbers from's stats page and used them for the pitcher-hitting-ninth group and the August-September for the pitcher-hitting-eighth. I didn't figure a few games here or there would skew it too much.

No park adjustments, etc. done either. Like I said, this is just quick and rough.

  Continue Reading

More on the Edmonds Trade

Posted on December 17, 2007 at 9:34 AM

Well, we've had a weekend to digest the big news of the offseason, and it still doesn't sit well with some people.  It is interesting, though, that the trade was Edmonds' idea.  Apparently Jim was a little disappointed with the answers to the playing time question he was getting.  Which is probably fair--if he played like he did last year, both Ankiel and, later in the year, Rasmus would probably cut into him playing every day.  Plus we know that TLR doesn't like to put Edmonds out there against lefties anyway, so he probably was looking at less than 100 games in the field unless his offensive numbers bounced back.

Doing some reading of articles, it doesn't appear that the organization is quite ready to give Rasmus the job in center yet, which is understandable.  I do think he'll make a fairly early '08 appearance, though, for various reasons.  One, there probably won't be anyone just dominating the position.  Two, it gets him experience in a season that's pretty much a loss anyway.  And three, it could keep some heat off of the front office if there is a slow start after a fairly disappointing offseason.

It will seem very strange, though, not to see number 15 out patrolling the Busch Stadium grass next season.  To think that the fourth-leading home run hitter in Cardinal history was obtained for a pitcher that had just had a career year (and most everyone expected to revert to his norm) and a middle infield prospect (that is now back with the Cards).  When Walt was on, he could make some moves, couldn't he?  It will be interesting to see if there isn't some groundswell in a couple of years to retire his number as well, like there is with fan favorite Willie McGee.  Heck, retire them on the same day.  Two center fielders, one 15, one 51.  It's perfect!

Of course, more and better analysis at VEB today and the weekend posts as well.

So Long, Mr. Edmonds

Posted on December 15, 2007 at 8:33 AM

It's rare when I get a Saturday post up, especially this early, but the news I saw last night before going to bed about Jim Edmonds being traded to the Padres meant I had to get over here and write.

The dismantling of 2006 continues, as key players Jeff Suppan, Jeff Weaver, David Eckstein and now Edmonds are all in different locales.  The others I understood and expected, but this one really surprised me.  I'd written a couple of times over here that I thought Jim would stick around, especially with that new restaurant having just opened.   I guess the idea of going home and playing for a winner in his last season was pretty appealing.

Which makes you wonder if this was more about him than the Cardinals.  I know that the prospect that the Cardinals are getting back, third baseman David Freese, is supposed to be a pretty good one, but he's just in A ball.  Some of you may remember the last trade of a star for an A baller in Cardinal history.  (OK, the last one I can remember without looking up.)  Lee Smith was sent to the Yankees for pitcher Rich Batchelor.  Batchelor never amounted to much (though I do think he got a cup of coffee with the Birds eventually).  I would hope that Freese will do more than that.  I also hope that the Cardinals didn't take on too much of Edmonds' salary in the deal, since that has to be the point of the deal in their eyes.

But Mozeliak may have thought that, with '08 being pretty much a lost season, Edmonds deserved to go out better than that.  If 2008 truly is his last season, at least he'll be on a competitive team with a chance to go deep into the playoffs.

And, hey, the last time we traded a St. Louis icon to San Diego, it worked out fairly well.  Remember Ray Lankford for Woody Williams?

But we thank Jim for the memories.  The walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 2004 NLCS stands out, of course, as do many of his home-run or base-hit robbing catches.  The one that stands out over all others, though, is The Catch in Game 7 of the '04 NLCS.  That will be replayed so often in the talk about his trade, because it was one of--and possibly the--most important catches in Cardinal history.

Good luck, Jimmy.  And a standing ovation awaits you when the Padres come to Busch July 17.

And I guess this means the Colby Rasmus era might be starting earlier than we thought.





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2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
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2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
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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%)

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%)

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%

Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%

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