Posted on March 12, 2009 at 8:38 AM
Filed Under: Approval Ratings
| Miami Marlins
| St. Louis Cardinals
Lots of stuff to get into today. Plenty off the field and, oh by the way, there was a game yesterday.
Let's take the biggest news first, though. According to Joe Strauss, the Skip Schumaker at second story isn't succeeding
. It looks like the errors are starting to pile up and change Tony La Russa's mind about this whole idea. In fact, Schumaker is starting DH today against the Red Sox, leaving Joe Thurston to make the start.
The ramifications of this are far-reaching, as we discussed on last night's UCB Radio Hour. (Download it or listen on the player here at the site if you missed it.) First of all, if nothing else happens besides Schumaker shifting back to the outfield, who then misses the cut? Brian Barton is already likely on his way to Memphis. Does this keep Colby Rasmus out of the Opening Day roster as well?
Does Schumaker himself go to Memphis to try to learn the position? If the idea was for him to keep the job past this year, maybe a month or so down there might work. I think, though, if he doesn't succeed at it in the spring, they will probably abandon the idea.
There's talk about going the trade route. Which would possibly solve two problems at once. You'd have to figure that one of the outfielders would get moved, especially if you are getting a second baseman of any quality and one that you are keeping for more than just this year. Which means that you'd still be able to keep Rasmus or Barton in the majors while having your new second baseman.
Who do you trade, though? You'd figure it'd be Ankiel, but maybe Schumaker himself would be on the block. You'd have to get back a second baseman that could lead off, though, I'd think. That'll definitely be something to watch in the next few days.
Cards beat the Marlins yesterday 8-4 as the Redbirds score one in the eighth and four in the ninth to pull out the victory. Schumaker's fourth error of the spring led to a couple of unearned runs for starter Todd Wellemeyer, who otherwise had a pretty solid five-inning outing. The starting pitching this spring has been very encouraging.
Offensively, Albert Pujols went 2-3, Brian Barden, perhaps sending an opportunity in the middle infield, went 2-2 coming off the bench. Joe Mather was the real story, though, with two hits and four RBI. At least one of the outfielders in the infield is panning out. And when you think about it, a 50% rate is about all you could hope for.
After the jump, thoughts on the Pujols SI article, today's approval ratings and today's lineup for the Sox game.
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I received my Sports Illustrated
in the mail yesterday and quickly read the Pujols story
. Written the way only Joe Posnanski can, I found it a nice read and a very enjoyable look at the superstar that wears the Birds on the Bat.
Pip, however, didn't agree with me
. Now, my level of respect of Pip is such that, when he disagrees with me, I've got to figure out exactly where I went wrong. There's not too many I hold in higher regard. That said, I can't follow that road with him, though I understand where he is coming from.
Pip's main contention is that Pujols needs to step up, ignore the union, and get tested. I contend that it won't prove anything to anyone. I mean, he's already being tested as part of baseball's new steroid policy, isn't he? Has that changed anyone's opinion on him? Maybe a few, but if you are going to think he's juicing, you probably still do. Taking a test will only have people saying, "Well, yeah, he passed, because he chose when to take it. All a publicity stunt, if you ask me."
It definitely would be nice to see someone put the union in their place, though I think this steroid issue has weakened them more than anything else in their history. The ramifications, though, could ripple beyond him. Innocent people that want to keep their privacy would be thought guilty, because if Pujols will do it, why won't you? That's one of the things about being a part of such a large group--the actions of the one reflect on the many, whether that's fair or not.
Outside of testing, though, I think this is probably the best way to prove he's clean--putting the target on his back. Because if he's taking HGH, do you think his supplier is going to be able to turn down the publicity and financial reward of taking down Pujols? Do you think the media isn't going to be looking for any scrap of rumor to attach to him?
Pujols knows this. How many other players are out there putting their entire reputation on the line? Let's assume that he wants to be in the Hall of Fame some day. After such a public proclamation, if it turns out he has been using steroids, do you think he sees Cooperstown at all? There's already questions about Alex Rodriguez making the HOF and he never went as far as Pujols in preemptively proclaiming his innocence.
Speaking of Pujols, he received the highest approval rating so far, as you may well believe. Pujols totalled a 98% rating, with a couple of CardsClubhouse voters being the only ones that had him under 90 due to their personal interactions with him that were less than positive.
Today's approval rating subject is Dave Duncan. The pitching coach has worked some miracles in the past, but he's been accused of being one-dimensional as well (see Reyes, Anthony). What do you think about the pitching coach? Your 0-100 rating in the comments, please.
We've had more UCB transcripts go up! The Cardinal Virtue asked our opinions on a Cardinal Mt. Rushmore
. Cardinals Diaspora held a discussion about scrappiness
and how it is valued by the Cardinal fan. Finally, 4thebirds.... asked about the offseason
and our opinion of how John Mozeliak did. If you've missed some of the discussions, you can find the index in this entry right here
Things that you can learn on Twitter: Cardinal Nation can breathe easier
. Future Redbirds isn't going away after all. Erik is just turning it over
Also on Twitter, today's lineup