Posted on March 5, 2009 at 9:43 AM
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
It's really hard to have a big spring training game. The stakes are as low as they get, as I'm pretty sure players don't even bet steak dinners on the outcome. (Better not--I hear that's how Pete Rose got started.) Your B and C squad get a lot of playing time in most of the games. Pitchers are trying something new, not caring if it gets hit to or over the wall. You just have a low-stress, who-cares type of attitude about these games.
So when an All-Star team from the Dominican rolls into town, people sit up and take notice
. The difference from facing the Mets scrubs to facing a lineup of David Ortiz, Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez. The buzz factor has increased by about 100.
Our resident Dominican, Albert Pujols, won't be playing in this game. No need to worry about loyalties or getting too excited in what still is a spring training exhibition. (Does this one count on the spring training records?) I'm sure AP will have a lot of fun cheering for both sides.
Todd Wellemeyer gets his second start of the spring. He knows it'll be a good test for him.
"I'll kind of know where I stand," said Wellemeyer. "I'm going to be
seeing the best of a lot of teams' guys. It will be cool to face them
this early in the year."
We may have a pretty good feel for how far along Wellemeyer is by the end of the afternoon.
The off day also gave writers a chance to ruminate on the struggles of top prospect Colby Rasmus
. There's no doubt it looks like Rasmus is really forcing things, which comes as a surprise after last year's strong spring. He had more of an opportunity to make the squad this year than last, which would seem to mean less pressure to be perfect. Hopefully he'll be able to make adjustments and have a strong kick to the spring finish line.
On the lefty front, it appears that the Cards might not be all that excited about any of the guys after Trever Miller. They are reportedly kicking the tires on some of the lefties still out there
, now that prices are dropping. It'd be pretty impressive if they were able to get Will Ohman after waiting this long.
Today I'm kicking off a project and I hope that all of you will help me with it. I was listening to ESPN Radio a couple of days ago and the host was talking about "approval ratings" for players. How he gave a certain basketball player a 90% because of what he did on the court but that certain tendencies (like flopping or acting) drug it down a little bit.
I want to take that concept into Cardinal Nation. What is your approval rating on certain Cardinals? There are two things to take into account when you are coming up with your number. Weight them however you want, of course. There's nothing objective about this exercise.
The first part is, of course, their play on the field. I imagine most of you would give Albert Pujols a 95 or higher on that part of his rating. Maybe his baserunning drives it down from 100 for you, though, or maybe he pops up too much for your taste.
The second part is your impression of them off the field. Some of you may have had contact with them and that influences your rating. Perhaps you ran into Pujols on a surly day, so you'd give him a 50 on his personal aspect of the rating because that's always lingered with you and shaded how you look at him.
Put them together and maybe AP gets an 85 in your book.
I'm going to be doing this for a few days (however long there is interest) with a player or Cardinal figure each day. We won't start with Pujols--I think those scores might be more uniform than others. Let's start with the manager, Tony LaRussa
You can put your score (with explanation, if you want) in the comments here. I'm also planning a thread at CardsClubhouse
and a FanPost at VEB
, so either of those spots will be acceptable as well. I'll average all the scores and present Cardinal Nation's approval rating of the manager in this space tomorrow!
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