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Reversal About Fortune

Posted on February 22, 2012 at 7:11 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
The World Series MVP walked into camp yesterday.  But that wasn't the top story.

The new third-place hitter walked into camp yesterday.  But that wasn't the top story.

No, yet again the Yadier Molina contract saga took the top slot.  After saying that he was willing to negotiate throughout the season, giving the blogging class something to discuss for a few days vis-a-vis the Albert Pujols situation of last year, Yadi know has decided, "You know what? Maybe that isn't the best of ideas."

So again, we have a looming deadline over a player that hasn't played anywhere else.  Molina's at least leaving the window open until the first game, unlike his predecessor, but with talks stalled and nothing imminent, it looks exceedingly likely that Molina will hit the free agent market.

Yesterday's roundtable hasn't yet been posted (you are reading the roundtables, right?) but it dealt with what was in the system should the Cardinals need to replace Molina.  That question brings a little more urgency with this most recent news and the most monitored situation in the minors this coming year might not be Shelby Miller but rather what the backups in the system are producing.

As mentioned above, David Freese and Matt Holliday did make it into camp. (No word if they got a squash game going after workouts.)  Freese says he's ready to go, but it's got to be an extra challenge this year.  After spending a whirlwind few months as the new hot celebrity, as it were, Freese has to get back to focusing on the game.  I'm not saying that's he is going to be Rick Vaughn in Major League II or anything, just that he may have a bit more trouble getting his focus on the field.  Most likely, though, once he gets into his baseball routine, he'll be fine.  Though expect him to continue to remind his teammates he hung out with Erin Andrews this offseason.

The first minor injuries of camp have occurred as Lance Lynn and Jordan Swagerty are day to day.  Lynn really doesn't sound like it's a big deal at all and he should be back out there in a day or so.  Swagerty's is his elbow, and while the club just thinks it's some inflammation, those kind of injuries raise a bit more of a caution flag.  Hopefully it is nothing too severe as well.

Adam Wainwright threw again and this time, teammates gathered to watch.  You have to know that the position players that hadn't seen him go yet were anxious to see what kind of stuff he has returning from surgery.  Skip Schumaker and Holliday even stood in against him, which hopefully made them appreciate more the fact that they don't have to do it regularly!

Willie McGee is heading down to Florida as well, though as an instructor, not trying to beat Schumaker out of his roster slot.  (You know you were thinking it too.)  The article doesn't say if that's been a regular occurrence for him or if this is another indication of how things have changed with the new guy at the top.  I know Willie and Ozzie Smith are good friends and we all know what Ozzie's position has been, so I was curious.  If anyone knows, please feel free to leave it in the comments.

This time of year is a great time for people to put out prospect lists.  Our friends at Future Redbirds have a link to Baseball America's list, which has six future Cardinals in their top 100.  When you'd figure an average club would have about 3, that's not bad at all.  It's nice to see some recognition for the farm system after years of it being ranked near the bottom.

If you'd like a more team-specific ones, the good people over at Seedlings To Stars have their look at the Cardinal system up.  They don't rank the club quite as high as others that I've heard, but they still recognize that it's a strong system.  Head over there and revel in all of these names that could have an impact on the Cards in the next few years.

Finally, Derrick Goold is keeping up with the Mike Matheny quotes.  Yesterday's went back a ancient Greece.

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.--Aristotle

That applies to everything, of course, not just baseball.  As Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday, it can be taken to heart in how you live your personal life as well.  Plus, apparently, I need to blog more often so I can have some excellence in this spot without resorting to a guest blogger that makes me look bad!

Today's Playing Pepper will focus on the Baltimore Orioles, those long-distance cousins of the Cardinals.  Come back later and check it out!

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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)

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%)

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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