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January 2008

My Personal Cardinal All-Star Team

Posted on January 31, 2008 at 7:00 AM

As I said in my introduction earlier in the week, I have organized some of my fellow bloggers into a group that we refer to as the United Cardinal Bloggers.  What we typically do is post our answers to a question of some sort all on the same day.  At the end of November, we did the first annual Cardinal Blogger Awards and at the end of December, it was our selections for the top 5 stories of the year. 

Today, the third in our series has everyone selecting their own personal Cardinal All-Star team.  There were no particular criteria—it could be the best at each position, personal favorites, players they’d actually seen play, anything the blogger wanted to do. (Check out CardinalsGM, Stan Musial's Stance, Redbird Ramblings, CardinalNationGlobe and Rockin' the Red.)

Most of mine are players that I’ve seen, though some of the obvious classic players made the cut as well.  These are more of my favorites than the definitive roster of Cardinal greats.  I’d take this team against most others, though!

  Continue Reading

Santana and the Mets

Posted on January 30, 2008 at 9:31 AM
Being that it's the biggest deal in a while to come down the pike, I guess I should mention a little something about the Johan Santana trade, even though it's not really connected to the Cardinals.  For complete coverage and a very happy blogger, be sure to check out Loge 13.

While it's a "rich get richer" scenario, it also is an underdog story.  And when was the last time the Mets, they of the large market and large payroll, were an underdog?  But getting Santana kept him out of the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry, which needs no more attention.  Everyone expected one of those teams to snag him, so getting him into the NL, the "weak sister" according to most experts, was a coup.

And, of course, this really pushes the Mets into favorite status.  If Pedro comes back at anything approaching his norms, they'll have a nasty 1-2 punch.

The Cardinals play the Mets June 30-July 3 in St. Louis.  If he's healthy (and he should be), it's almost a guarantee they'll see Santana then.  Should be fun!

Looking at the 25-Man

Posted on January 30, 2008 at 7:00 AM

With Todd Wellemeyer coming to terms on a new contract, GM John Mozeliak stated that he probably wasn’t going to bring in any more pitchers.  If that’s the case, I think pretty much all the candidates for the 25 man roster are available.  So, who does it look like has a chance to comprise the 2008 squad?

Catchers
Bryan Anderson
Jason LaRue
Yadier Molina*

Infielders
Troy Glaus*
Jarret Hoffpauir
Cesar Izturis
D’Angelo Jimenez
Adam Kennedy
Aaron Miles
Josh Phelps
Albert Pujols*
Brendan Ryan
Scott Speizio

Outfielders
Rick Ankiel*
Brian Barton
Chris Duncan*
Ryan Ludwick
Colby Rasmus
Skip Schumaker

Pitchers
Matt Clement*
Randy Flores
Ron Flores
Ryan Franklin
Jason Isringhausen
Tyler Johnson
Josh Kinney
Braden Looper*
Chris Perez
Joel Pineiro*
Anthony Reyes
Russ Springer
Adam Wainwright*
Todd Wellemeyer

*--Starter

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Cardinals and Arbitration

Posted on January 29, 2008 at 8:00 AM
1999.

People were worrying about Y2K.  The Yankees were in the midst of a dynasty of sorts.  And it was the last time the Cards went to arbitration.  The Cardinals won that case, so it's likely been much longer since they lost one of these hearings.

This year was no different.  Three players were eligible--Yadier Molina, Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer.  The latter two settled for a one-year contract, Molina got a long-term deal.

Is it coincidental that this long run of non-arbitration has been one of the more successful periods in Cardinal history on the field?

You'd like to say yes.  You'd like to say that the fact that the Cardinals don't get into mudslinging, as it were, with their players in an arbitration hearing helps build team chemistry and a winning attitude.  Perhaps there is something to that.

(Besides, could you imagine Albert Pujols in an arbitration hearing?  "Yes, we know he's the best hitter out there.  Yes, we know he's won a Gold Glove.  Yes, we know he's possibly the second-best player ever to don a Cardinal outfit.  But he has not cured cancer in his spare time, which is why we are not offering him part-ownership, like he wants.")

However, with the turmoil and squabbling that has pervaded the LaRussa era, starting with Ozzie, more recently with Scott Rolen and now apparently moving on to Adam Kennedy, I don't think you can credit a happy environment to the run of success.  Sure, it probably could have been a lot worse in the clubhouse, and the overall atmosphere has likely been pretty positive, but when the manager and players tend to have it out in the press, it's not all fun and games.

All in all, though, I'm glad that the Cardinals are able to come to terms with their arbitration-eligible players.  It keeps them from being stuck with a contract they really don't want and helps manage the cash flow.  Hopefully they'll be able to do this for many years to come.

New Digs, Same Stuff

Posted on January 28, 2008 at 6:37 PM

Welcome to the new place! 

Some of you are coming over from the Wordpress blog, having read me some the last few months.  Glad to see you.  I hope you’ll feel as at home here as you did over there and make it a daily stop.

Probably a number of you are coming from one of my fine neighbors here on the Blogs by Fans network.  Nice to meet you!  Let me tell you a little about myself.

I’m a 32-year-old CPA in Arkansas, married to a wonderfully tolerant woman (which gets tested yearly between March and October) and have two kids, a three-year-old son who is really starting to get into baseball and an eight-month-old daughter who doesn’t realize she’ll be really into baseball in a year or so.  Besides this blog, you can find me in an administrative capacity over at CardsClubhouse, either moderating the forums, organizing the fantasy baseball leagues or creating YNOT games.

I recently documented how I came to be a Cardinals fan, but the short version is I really grew up in the tradition and very glad that I did.  And, as is typical in Cardinal Nation, I’m passing that down the line as well.

What will you find here?

Well, I’m not really a sabermetrician.  I’ll do a few things with stats now and again, but you won’t see a lot of VORP or things like that.  I know there’s a lot of value to those stats, but I’m not quite hip enough to keep up.

I don’t have any inside sources.  You don’t run into too many people connected to the Cardinals down here.  (Though, interestingly, I used to have a couple of ties to the assistant trainer of the Cardinals.  He’s now the Cubs head trainer.)

All I’ve got is my view on what’s happening.  A lot of reaction, a decent bit of second guessing, maybe a little predicting.  I also head up the United Cardinal Bloggers and we, from time to time, do a blogging project.  In fact, one is scheduled for Thursday, so stay tuned for that.

I hope you’ll like what you see and will come back often.  I’m glad to be part of the neighborhood, so to speak, and I’m looking forward to seeing how things go in the future.

Cardinal NRIs

Posted on January 26, 2008 at 12:43 PM

Matthew Leach has posted the spring-training non-roster invitees. (Hat tip: Future Redbirds)

Looks like there will be some fun names to follow, especially for those that make it down to Florida to watch the games. Colby Rasmus will be there. David Freese, the player we received for Jim Edmonds, will be there. Jamie Garcia, Chris Perez and P.J. Walters will be there.

Looking forward to seeing how some of these prospects due against MLB-level players (or as much as you can tell in spring training).

Spanning the Globe, AL Style

Posted on January 25, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Yesterday, we took a tour around the National League. Today, let's hit the junior circuit.

  Continue Reading

Spanning the Globe, NL Style

Posted on January 24, 2008 at 11:43 AM

One of the great things about having XM radio is being able to hear other teams' broadcasts, getting a general idea of what the fans in that market are thinking about (plus, of course, all the great voices!) Thanks to the internet, we can do that daily. The next couple of days, we'll take a look at each team that doesn't play in St. Louis. I'll have a blog link and a newspaper link, with a little discussion tossed in there as well. Blogs, for the most part, come from the team lists at striketwo.net.

And, without further adieu, let's look around the National League:

  Continue Reading

Blogger’s Block

Posted on January 23, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Really tough to figure out a good post for a day like today.  The Warm-up is over, so the news flood is over.  We've talked about most of the facets of the '08 team already.  Which means, when you can't figure out what to say, find people that can (and do it better than you do anyway.)

Good discussion of what to do about Jason Isringhausen over at VEB today.  I think most of us have just naturally assumed that Izzy would be let go at the end of the season so that the Cardinals could get the draft picks.  But with him saying he'd like to stay in St. Louis, that's not a slam dunk move.  I like to see the home town guys stick around, but I don't know if keeping him will be worth the price tag, especially if that keeps us from making a bigger move in the free agent market next year.

Also, the All-Time Cardinal Team Simulation is going on over there.  You can use this handy-dandy page to keep up with the results and find links to the writeups.

Deaner faces a big dilemma, one that comes to most of us in fandom.  Help the man decide what to do about his cap.

There were some unhappy fans due to Albert Pujols's lack of interaction in his autograph line during the Warm-up.  Tom at CardinalsGM asks if players owe the fans some niceness in those situations.

There's always plenty to read at Future Redbirds.  Erik has gone back and done a retro review of Yadier Molina's minor league numbers inspired by Molina's new contract.   Kujo examines Molina as well over at Rockin' the Red.

Dan at Get Up, Baby! hits a few of the highlights from the past week.

Mike didn't take kindly to the news that Hal McRae would be wearing #15 this year.  I can't say that I blame him, unless it is supposed to be some sort of honoring-the-player thing.

I've added a couple of new blogs to the rolls.  I Bleed Cardinal Red and View From the Cheap Seats.  Check them out when you've got the time.

Tomorrow, we'll see what some non-Cardinal blogs are talking about, so if you have a favorite baseball blog you want to lift up, post it in the comments and I'll take a look.

A Short Followup

Posted on January 22, 2008 at 11:05 AM

Found this link via MLB Trade Rumors. Apparently John Mozeliak says that he's not necessarily done with making moves this off-season.

Which, to me, is kinda interesting. What else could Mozeliak be working on?

The starting lineup is pretty set, as far as we know. We don't know who will be shortstop, but there are a lot of options there. There are more starters than starting rotation slots already and the bullpen is pretty strong. The bench is likely full as well.

Seems to me that, if something does happen, it'd either be of the "minor league signing" variety or a trade. I can't imagine what he'd package together to get, but I'd hope he's thinking about another big bat. The pitching staff, of course, could always be upgraded but I'm thinking that is passable now.

It'll be interesting to see if anything does happen. I'm leaning toward nothing until about the first week of spring training games, maybe mid-March. If I remember right, that's about the time we got Edmonds back in 2000.

Oh, and you'll see TLR still isn't over the whole Rolen thing again in that link. At least make your comments funny, Tony. That one is pretty lame.

EDIT: Joe Posnanski's blog about the St. Louis writers dinner looks pretty interesting.





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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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