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Connections

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
If you haven't already, you must read the outstanding piece by Jenifer Langosch over at the official site, detailing the mentor/mentee (is that a word) relationship between some of the veterans and some of the youngsters coming up.  It's a fascinating look at one of the things baseball is great about, the passing of knowledge from generation to generation.  

Adam Wainwright took Shelby Miller under his wing.  Trevor Rosenthal spent the winter working out with Chris Carpenter.  Joe Kelly and Kyle Lohse became close during last season.  In every case, the experience of the veteran has helped out one of those contending for the fifth spot in the rotation.  Egos have been checked on both sides--the youngsters understand they have a lot to learn, the vets aren't too proud to share--and the flow of baseball knowledge continues.

That's the way of baseball, isn't it?  Even in that story, we see it expanded out as Wainwright first learned from Carpenter.  So right now it's Carpenter to Wainwright to Miller.  Who did Carpenter learn from?  Who did that person learn from?  If you trace it back, who knows how long that line of baseball knowledge it.  I'd guess it's a pretty extensive one and it's one of the things that makes baseball great.  To know that the past isn't relegated to history books, but in a way is still going strong in the work of a new generation.  Perhaps all sports are like that, but I feel like baseball has it stronger than any other.

Shifting gears, this weekend we learned that the Cards had made a significant offer to Marco Scutaro to play second base for them.  Now we know they also pursued Alex Gonzalez, who wound up signing with the Brewers.  There was never an offer made, but there were some serious talks, which makes you wonder just how excited they are for Daniel Descalso to be the all-time second baseman.  I don't know if it reflects on Matt Carpenter's bid to play second that much, because I expect the Cards would really like the flexibility of getting him into multiple spots and having him as a significant bench option.  I think now that no deals were made that Descalso is safe in his job, but you have to figure that if there's going to be a trade at the deadline, second base may be a focus.

Ozzie Smith has made it down to camp.  I know that I had some issues with him in the offseason, but it's always good to see The Wizard in uniform.  I still wonder how much he can teach these guys.  I mean, I'm sure he can some, but so much of what made Ozzie great was instincts and you can't teach those.  Still, it gets some Cardinal history to Jupiter, just like Willie McGee and Jim Edmonds.  Keeping the Cardinal flame alive is worth a lot!

Joe Strauss's focus today is on Allen Craig, a player Matt Holliday calls an elite hitter.  The Cardinals are still wanting a full season out of him--much as they had that desire for David Freese before last season--and when he's able to deliver that, the numbers may be very exciting.  The great thing about Craig is his flexibility as well.  There's been talk about letting Oscar Taveras get into a rotation with the outfield, so that four guys play five days a week, basically.  I'm wondering if the better idea (depending on spring results, of course) is to get Matt Adams on the bench and let him play first while Craig spells Holliday and Carlos Beltran.  Adams has less to prove at Memphis and we know Craig can do the job all over the place.  The bench needs some significant shoring up and Mike Matheny may have to get creative to do it.

Remember the Cardinal Approval Ratings form is still open.  I'm hoping to get enough to start publishing results by the beginning of March.  Also, this afternoon we'll play a little pepper with the Braves, which should be fun.  So check back!

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...And Carpenter begat Wainwright, son of Schuerholz. Wainwright begat Miller, son of Mozeliak...

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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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