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Off Day Linkage

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 7:12 AM
Filed Under: Approval Ratings | St. Louis Cardinals
As you know, the Cardinals were off yesterday, one of three off days before the end of the spring schedule.  Which means there was less to write about, unless you wanted a breakdown of Michael Wacha's boat ride or a comparison of the haircuts and shaves of Shane Robinson and David Freese.  Yeah, didn't think so.  Thankfully, I've been needing a chance to put up some of the links and information that comes through my inbox, so today's a great time to do that.

Before we do that, though, the off-day article in the Post-Dispatch is about the Cardinals' desire to have a more consistent offense, an issue I alluded to in yesterday's post. Mike Matheny went about that by introducing some competitions and focusing on situational hitting during camp. I'm reading the book Trading Bases (a review will be coming soon) and the phrase the author uses in there in talking about returns is "12 percent smooth vs. 15 percent lumpy", that is either a even return or a return that bounces from gain to loss and back to gain.  The Cardinals' numbers from last year were that 15 percent lumpy. They led the league in a lot of offensive categories, but there were times where that offense just couldn't be found.  While in the book the lumpy is preferred, I think Cardinal fans would rather a smoother offense.  You still don't get extra points for winning by more than one.

All right, on to the inbox.

First of all, our good friend Dathan Brooks every year organizes a trip to a different stadium as part of the Bachelor Stadium Tour.  You don't have to be a bachelor to go on these trips, though you probably do need an understanding wife.  Even if you aren't interested in going on this year's trip, which will be to Pittsburgh over Labor Day weekend, head over and fill out his survey.  If you do it between now and Sunday morning, you could win two tickets to see the Jackie Robinson movie 42.  That's worth a minute of your time, isn't it?

Last summer, I was proud to hit five years in the blogging arena.  After all, it's not easy keeping up with the regular pace of putting words to screen.  However, our friend William Tasker is blowing that away.  Earlier this week at his blog, The Flagrant Fan, he reached post #3,000.  (I think they took the keyboard out of play and gave it to him as a keepsake.)  Today (or yesterday, it appears, now that I check out his post on the subject) he marks 10 years at the site.  Ten years!  That's mindboggling, especially when it's been done as well as William has done it for this whole time.  If you want to know more about William, might I suggest Episode 23 of Conversations With C70?

If you have SiriusXM, you probably listen to the baseball channel quite a bit.  (I know I did when I was a subscriber.)  Today, their Power Alley show will be carried from Cardinals camp, so you'll probably hear a lot of talk about the Redbirds and interviews with the players.  Should be a lot of fun.

If you are in the mood for a little more prospect talk (and with the crop of players we have, why wouldn't you be?), head over to Bullpen Banter.  They've got their top prospects for each team, including the Cardinals.  No major surprises on their list, but it's still worth checking out.

Sunday, the ever-reliable and fairly awesome Chris Jaffe pointed out that it had been 5,000 days since Jose Jimenez no-hit the Diamondbacks while facing Randy Johnson.  If that isn't one of the most improbable no-hitters out there, I don't know what tops it.  The rematch was the next week and Jimenez threw a two-hitter then.  That week was not entirely the highlight of Jimenez's career, but it was darn close.

One of the Cardinals' legends is going to be honored this spring.  Omaha is going to put up a statue to native son Bob Gibson in front of their ballpark.  You can read more about it, including ticket prices to the honoring dinner, over at I70 Baseball.

Finally, a couple of researchers at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom have put together the first database of baseball statues.  Want to know where a player might be honored or if there is going to be one in the area of your next vacation?  Search the database to find out.  (I guess they'll have to add that Gibson statue pretty soon!)  Interestingly, the earliest statue identified has a St. Louis connection--it is none other than Chris Von Der Ahe and can be found at his gravesite.  Go check that out and see what else you can discover!

OK, to today's Cardinal Approval Ratings. Today's player is Jaime Garcia.  I probably missed a trick by not splitting this into "Home Jaime" and "Road Jaime."  There's little doubt that his inconsistency has frustrated Cardinal fans for a while now.  Garcia didn't make last year's sheet, but his mark this year is 64.1%, which is not terribly surprising and probably not much of a drop from where he'd been previously if it'd been measured.  One commenter pointed out that he docked Garcia because he hid injuries and didn't perform after getting a big contract.  That said, Garcia is probably primed for the biggest jump of anyone for next year, because a solid, consistent year and he could move up twenty points.

We stay with the pitchers as we move to the media.  Ricky Horton joined the Fox Sports Midwest rotation a couple of years ago and the reviews among voters has been mixed.  Horton hasn't cracked 70 in the last two years and this year is no different, continuing his slight downward slope with a 65.5%.  There was one 100 in the mix, so Ricky still has some fans, but there were a lot of below 50 marks as well.  The comments that I received weren't all that positive either.  In fact, the highest praise might have been, "He's better than Hrabosky only because he can't be worse."  Ouch.

Finally, the pitching theme finishes up with Chris Carpenter.  Carp isn't listed with the active players because of the strong likelihood that he won't pitch for the team again, whether this year or in the future.  And while some did note that their opinion of the former ace had dimmed because of his unwillingness to go to spring training, there were a lot more that gave him perfect scores due to all that he's done for the club.  Average it all out and he gets a 89.8% mark, just a tick below where he was last year.

Cards take on the Marlins today back in Jupiter and we're talking Angels baseball this afternoon in Playing Pepper.  Lots of fun for your afternoon!


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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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