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From Rumor To Reality

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 7:04 AM
Filed Under: Approval Ratings | St. Louis Cardinals
(Edit: The title should be From Report To Reality, per Derrick Goold.  I won't argue the point, because I'd absolutely lose, but I can't change it now.  When you read the definition of rumor, you understand where Derrick is coming from because it tends to be questionable whether it is truthful, which obviously wasn't the case of this deal.  I regret the error, though it's nice to know that Derrick is at least seeing the titles of these posts!)

After days of hearing that the Yadier Molina contract was only a matter of time, it turned out that Thursday afternoon was that time.

Molina's new deal, which doesn't overwrite the last $7 million year of his old contract, starts next year and runs out until 2017, with an option for 2018.  There's no deferred money, something that's a little different.  Not that every contract has it, just that a lot of them do (or did--not sure if it's as common as it used to be).  Roughly $15 million a year, which makes him the second-highest paid current Cardinal, behind Matt Holliday.

It seems like a lot, it really does.  That said, it looks like the Cardinals can afford it, as Molina should earn his money in the short run without much trouble and by the time the contract could become problematic, they should have young talent on the club helping keep payroll low and keeping Molina from being an albatross.

From the fan side of things, there's nothing not to like.  The Cardinals keep one of their major pillars and we don't have to worry about another drawn out winter where we stay up until midnight because Molina could be signing elsewhere.  The pitchers love throwing to him, if the comments in the story are any indication, and he's a hard-working defensive catcher with a good enough bat to be dangerous.  It's tough to find all of that in one package.

I still worry about how much he's been used and I hope that Mike Matheny will rest him a bit more often this year, which may be easier if Tony Cruz or Bryan Anderson step up to be a solid backup.  However, I'm very glad that the Cardinals have kept Molina in the fold.  Now the front office can take a bit of a breather, at least until they want to tackle Adam Wainwright.  There's time on that front, though.

Not much happened in camp yesterday, with Matheny giving them a short workout to reward them for a good week of work.  During the work, though, Tyrell Jenkins threw some batting practice.  Apparently it was pretty impressive (though Alex Cora's not necessarily the best one to judge) and it adds a little more knowledge to a guy already ranked with the top prospects of the organization.  However, the best part might have been this comment from Matheny after Jenkins expressed displeasure at a pitch he threw.

"[Chris Carpenter] does that, that's intensity.  You do that, that's you being 19."

Approval Ratings time.  Today's player is Matt Holliday.  Holliday, like it or not, is really the focus of the offense now.  There are good players all around him, but he's the guy that's going to be hitting in the #3 slot.  He's the guy that pitchers aren't going to let beat them.  And he's the guy with the biggest contract on the team.

Last year, Holliday cracked the 90% range.  This year, he garnered five 100s, a low score of 70, and a rating of 87.3%.  Besides just the fluctuations in voters (who and how many), the score might be reflecting his rough 2011, when he produced when he was on the field, but the freak injuries kept him away at times.

On the media side, it's Al Hrabosky's turn.  Al and his partner Dan McLaughlin (who will be in this space come Monday) didn't fare well in a recent Fangraphs survey of fan opinion on their broadcasters.  Last year, Al came in around 63%, but that was 10 points higher than any of the previous years.  Is he growing on people or was last year a fluke?

Apparently, it's the former.  Al still has his detractors, as he got a number of 0 scores (in fact, one guy did this survey just to give Dan and Al zeros, not rating anyone else), but he also received a 95% mark from at least one person and comes in this year at 66.4%.  It's still not a high mark, but much better than the mid-40s he was at a couple of years back.

Our final rating of the week focuses on the general manager.  There's no doubt that John Mozeliak will go down in the history of this organization as a history-making GM.  Not only for last winter's negotiations, but the team has won a Series under his reign and his deal at the deadline last year was the reason why.

That's for history, though.  Where does he stand now?

This year, Mo comes in at 85.4%, which is up about 10 points from last year's mark and right in line with the first time he was on this form.  While there were a few low marks--including one 0, which was a surprise to me--there were numerous ones in the 90 range.

If you missed it last night, Episode 17 of Conversations With C70 went up.  You can listen here on the site with the player on the right or head on over to the actual podcast page.  I chat with Matt Sebek of Joe Sports Fan and Matt's always an interesting person to talk to.

There's baseball to listen to this afternoon if you have the MLB At Bat app.  It's Seattle and Oakland, but it's baseball!  Cardinals start playing games Monday, which gives us something to look forward to.  Today's Playing Pepper covers the Tigers, so come back for that!

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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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