Thursday, April 3, 2008

Some Things Never Change

So the season started off on a bad foot. Cardinals up 5-1 (against a lefty mind you)....down comes the rain. Hard enough and long enough to call the game. And because of the "rules" the game and the stats don't count and they have to completely restart the game.
So of course the next day, Opening Day: Take 2, the Cardinals get a great pitching effort from Lohse, only to get no run support and to have the bullpen (namely Franklin) blow things in the 8th. That type of thing seems to have happened all to often to this team in the past year or so. Getting half of a team effort. Last year it seemed to be one or the other...pitching was great and hitting was horrible or the other way around. And to see the of the teams strongest aspects last year, fall apart like that does not bode will for this team. I know I was the first game of the year. But that bullpen HAS to be just as good if not better then last year. Because it's going to be tested virtually every game.
Now last night was a breath of fresh air. The hitting was there...granted the majority of the big hits came late in the game, but at least some key guys contributed. Ankiel and Ludwick had GREAT games at the plate. Pujols was pretty patient...getting 3 walks. And it seems Kennedy has contributed more in the first two games then he did all of last year it seems.
An afternoon game today...I LOVE afternoon games. I actually get to listen to it while at work. Gotta love that. The only thing that scares me now is how well the guys did last night. Seems like the past few years they can't ever string together multiple solid games in a row. But's a new year right!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gaffe of the Glaus

Not a good way to start the season - a loss, and at the hands of our new acquisition. Glaus gave up the game-winning run on a throwing error. I hope we don't see this too often. We'll just blame it on Ryan Franklin....or the rain from the day before. The upside is that Kyle Lohse looked decent in 5 scoreless innings. And we don't have to worry about Kip Wells turning into a star....sure he had a decent outing, but so did Marquis at the beginning of last year, and now the Cubs' fans are seriously regretting having picked him up.

Friday, March 28, 2008

New Season all around

Well after our off-season that lasted a whole 189 days I figured it's time to get back in the swing of things....especially with the Cardinals opening day a mere 3 days away!!
The Cardinal's off-season was one of change. Some of you may view it as good change others maybe thing they were changes that will doom the organization. The first move was to "relieve" Walt Jocketty of his GM duties. WJ has long been considered one of the better GM's in the game and when the news first came out I thought it was a big mistake. But after looking at where the club had gone in the past few years it was apparent that a change at the top was probably the best choice. Under WJ's direction we did win a World Series, but we also found the team with little to no farm system and a few aging players with lengthy contracts. So thank you for bringing in so great players WJ, but it really was time to move on.
The next change came as we watched two fan favorites leave, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds. To many fans Scott Rolen had lost his "fan favorite" title. The guy no doubt played in pain, and he is still one of the best 3B in the game. But this is the second time that he was traded due to conflicts with his manager. In no way am I saying LaRussa had no fault in the feud between the two, in fact I felt Tony did a HORRIBLE job during the winter meetings when he called Rolen out. But it was time for both of those guys to go. Jimmy was one of my favorite Cardinals in a long time. The guy played all out all the time which is why he is so banged up at the end of his career.
So those three moves alone meant that the Cardinals had changed directions. They were going to go younger. With the dismissal of WJ, who has always been one that liked veteran players more then the youngsters, the organization was making a statement that they were going to try to build up a sorry excuse for a farm system. And in many ways that has already happened. With guys like Colby Rasmus and Chris Perez the Memphis team seems pretty stacked this year (at least compared to years past). The trade of Edmonds opened up a huge hole in the outfield. But it also meant that much younger players, with more upside, were going to get a chance to play on a more regular basis. And the trade of Rolen just meant that we got out of $11 mil in 2010.
All in all as scared as I was about this team at the end of last year. That fear has turned into curiosity. When will Rasmus get the call? How long with Tony stick with the coaches son before finally putting Barton in? When will our other starting 5 be back? Think about this folks....Clement, Piniero, Mulder and Carpenter. That's a solid 1-4 a few years ago!! ;) How long before Ryan takes over at SS? And perhaps the most troubling question for us Cardinals long will we have Pujols for this year??
Stay's going to be interesting.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What a season

Wow has it really been almost two weeks since we've posted anything on here?!?! Maybe it's the moving to a new home that kept me from posting....or maybe it's the fact that the Cardinals have fallen of the face of the earth since the last post. Either way the first two games of this Phillies series is the perfect comparison to the Cardinals season. The first game...a total blow out for most of the game, down 11-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th. They score three runs during that half inning to at least make things SOMEWHAT less embarrassing. Then all of the sudden they have a scoring outburst and eventually pull within one (sound familiar?!?!) only to let themselves down and lose by two. The next night rolls in. The Cardinals take an early lead but can't hold on letting the Phillies tie things up, the go extra innings only to allow three runs in the 14th to make it look like the game wasn't as close. Justin just made the comment that when you think about it, this was one heck of a managing job by Tony. 21 of 25 on the opening roster have spent significant on the DL. He's lost his best pitcher after one start. And now has lost his best player for the last week and a half of the season. He's had to deal with the death of Hancock, his own DWI, Juancion getting smacked in the eye by a foul ball, season ending surgery for Rolen (again), substance abuse problems for Spiezio etc ect. Yet up until these last two weeks he had his team RIGHT there. Fans can be as upset with him as they want....but there's only so much you can do with AAA players. Last year Cubs fans used the excuse that they had so many injuries and that was the reason for finishing in last place in a bad Central Division. I think Cardinal fans could argue that this season has been much more of a challenge then what the Cubs had to face last year....yet the Cardinals won't find themselves in last place.
So here's to giving Tony another contract and extending Duncan and Jocketty. But more importantly here's to hoping that ownership will actually open their pocket book a little more and give them more room to work with.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Take the good with the bad

Or so they say. And the Cardinals have had their fare share of "bad" this year. Beyond the injuries, the Cardinals have faced some crazy stories during this year, from Tony's DWI, Hancock's passing, losing their ace for the year, Encarnacion's freak season (and potentially career) ending injury.
All that, yet the return of Rick Ankiel has seemed to bring SO much joy and excitement to Cardinal nation that a lot of that bad stuff seems like forever ago. The 28 year old is having a stellar year even though it's only a month old. And on what could be considered a "career day", news comes out that he might of used HGH back in 2004. Now granted this article says NOTHING about him taking it after it was banned, and it was also well after his phenomenal 2000. But this couldn't have come out at a worse time. This team has been so resilient all year. And if by some miracle they are able to make the playoffs, I would venture to say it would be Tony's greatest managing yet....even over last year!!! How this team has overcome the injuries and stories that have happened to them this year is beyond me. They have two everyday players who have not been on the DL at some point during this year, and they will have to play the rest of the year without 3 starters and their ace. I don't care how bad the central is, it's an amazing story that they are still in this thing. And I think that no matter what happens, Cardinal fans need to step back and think about that for a second before they complain about the "off" year (that's if they miss the playoff's).
On a side note, one of Tony's better friends, Jim Leyland, said the other day that he fully believes that not only will Tony be managing next year but he thinks that it will be in St. Louis. Take it for what it's worth.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Well Rolen is now on the DL today....and could be done for the year. It's not a HUGE loss on the offensive side of things...but I have a feeling they're really going to miss that glove over at the hot corner.
In related news the Cards have acquired Russell Branyan from the Phillies on Friday. More then likely he'll platoon with Brendan Ryan until/if Rolen comes back.
Mulder is penciled in to start sometime next week with the Cardinals. They will probably go with a 6 man rotation from here on out. Mulder has looked OK in his rehab starts...the biggest test will be tonight when he pitches in AAA.
That last series hurt at least a little bit. It wasn't a huge series loss, but since the Cards actually LOST a game to the Cubs, it hurts. But the trend continued...losing to teams that they SHOULD beat (except against Oswalt..that guy is a ton). But with 5 games left with the Cubs and three with Milwaukee, they've still got a decent shot at winning this thing. Go get 'em boys!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yet another huge week

Well the Cardinals have climbed back into the race and it has been in large part due to the pitching staff. Viva El Birdos has a good article about how well the starters have been, and not just for the past few weeks. Just to sum it up the Cardinals pitching staff is tied for the best ERA since June 15th with San Diego. That's a stat that needs to be talked about in regards to the resurgence of this team.
Every Cardinal fan hoped, but few expected that the final month would still be important for this team. In fact the day I heard that Carp was done for the year I myself posted on here that the season was dead. No matter what happens, this season has been better then what most of us thought it would be. And were as most will consider last years team Tony's greatest coaching venture to date....if the Cardinals can make the playoffs this year (just make the playoffs, not win in the playoffs) one could argue that THIS season is his greatest achievement.
This week will prove to be another key week for the Cards as they face, the Astors (who are set to fire their manager and GM this afternoon), Reds, and Pirates. The problem with these teams, is that the Cardinals always seem to lose to the teams they SHOULD beat..and they should be all three of them. Come on boys...keep up your winning ways...and good pitching!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


verdict is in - Russel is not going to sign with the Cards. and let me just say that i'm really not a fan of this article by jim gordon...i can understand his frustration and it sort of feels like it's a waste, but walt thought things would get done. but cam's right, you can't pay $1.4 million for a 4th rounder...and let's not forget that at least he isn't with another organization this year. that's a small conciliation, but still

on the upside - we're only 4.5 games from the brewers and 3 behind the cubs. i'm still pessimistic, but they're making a real push. we'll see what mulder does in his rehab start.

Signing deadline

Well midnight tonight is the deadline to sign the players drafted in this years first year player draft. If you don't sign them they can go back to school or whatever without much of a penalty to them while the team drafting loses out on the pick. The Cardinals have two picks unsigned including one huge one, Kyle Russell. Russell lead NCAA division one ball last year with 28 HR's, yet he fell to the 4th round. Many people considered him the best "power bat" of this years class, the problem is that he's is THE all or nothing player. He strikes out a ton along with those long balls. He drawn the likeness of Russell Branyon (tons of power but never amounted to much of anything) but also Adam Dunn. The problem right now is that the Cardinals are trying to sign him to (or at least close to) the market price for a 4th rounder, while Russell's camp is trying to sell him as a possible 1st rounder and therefore trying to get him 1st round money (kind of like Brady Quinn). This makes a point. The guy did lead the Div 1 in HR's last year. The biggest problem with that argument is that Russell did NOTHING in the short leagues that he has played in since being drafted. Granted it was only a small sample size...but he sucked it up until the end.
Either way, supposedly talks haven't developed into anything and Russell has informed some people down there in Texas that he'll be coming back next year. If this is true the Cardinals will probably be getting a lot of grief from their fans....but paying first round money for a fourth round pick is a bit of a stretch...especially when you haven't showed that you can deal with wooden bats. But you'll have those fans out there that will run with this and call Jocketty and company cheap. It's a lose lose situation in some respects. But hey....there's still time!!!

Friday, August 10, 2007


That was one of those moments that even if your not a Cardinal fan, heck even if your not a baseball fan, that was an amazing moment last night. My wife, who could care less about baseball most of the time, even stopped and watched the story that the local sportscaster did on him. That was a moment that every Cardinal fan had to feel good about. As much grief as fans have given not only him but mostly the front office for sticking with him as long as they have, and as horrible of a season the Cardinals are having right now, that was by far the best moment of the season. And you could see it in that dugout. If you had no idea what was going on, you would have thought the Cardinals had just won a huge playoff game or something. LaRussa was jumping around like he NEVER does during the regular season, and that stadium was going NUTS!!! I mean how crazy is it that the pitching starved Cardinals just got 7 shut out innings from Joel Piniero, and it is nothing more then an afterthought right now. The Cardinals just beat one of the best pitchers in the national league and nobodies talking about it. Like Mike Shannon said last night, this could very well be a HUGE spark for this team. It seems like there is always one game that people can point to and say "Ever since that game...." and if the Cardinals are able to pull of this crazy comeback, this will be that game.
Welcome back to the bigs Rick Ankiel. You have worked so hard to get back to this point....enjoy it!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Here he comes!!

According to KSDK in St. Louis, the Cardinals have called up Rick Ankiel. He's been crushing the ball down in Memphis, but is pretty much an all or nothing batter. He was expected to be called up in September when the rosters expanded. But if Frank Cusumano is right, we're going to see him earlier then we expected. If this is true he's gotta stay up the rest of the year or have to clear waivers if he can't handle it. Here we go!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


This one if for our brother, Jason. A while ago he called up saying he thought it would make for a cool post if we listed the music that the closers came into the game with. Well....this Wikipedia page takes it one step further.

Now to the Cardinals. Who knows what to expect from this team anymore. They beat the Brewers 3 out of 4 including some rather impressive comebacks. Only to follow that up with losing 5 of 6 to the Pirates and Nationals. Only to follow that up with a somewhat decent game on Monday (they really had one good inning (scoring 10 runs in the 5th but getting shut out the other 7 innings). Followed by the offense taking another day off while Anthony Reyes was on the mound. The good news though...the Brewers are showing they haven't really been able to handle the pressure, and the Cubs have fallen apart without Soriano. I still don't think there's much of a chance the Cards make the playoffs. Mulder is at least getting ready to make some rehab starts. But word is is that it will take 4 or 5 starts before he'll MIGHT be ready. That's roughly another 20-25 days. But they are saying (they being the medical staff) that Mulder NEEDS to start this season to get him ready mentally and physically for next year. More of the waiting game for Cardinal fans.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What happens next?

So we didn't move Eck, Juan, or any of our pitchers...our pen is still intact. We'll see what Piniero does for us and if Duncan can resurrect even a shadow of what this pitcher used to be. his arm is conditioned as a relief pitcher, so it will be interesting to see if they dump him into the rotation right away.

Skip was sent down to make room for Piniero - he was batting over .300

Maroth is going to head down for the next month - rumor has it that they'll be asking him back around September.

with the Cubs matching the Brewers for the division and the Cards 6 could be an interesting last couple of months. come one're our Luke Skywalker, our Frodo, our Harry Potter...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Pitcher coming into town???

Update: Here's the official release from the Cardinals

According to John Hadley of KTRS the Cardinals have acquired Joel Pineiro for a player to be named later. He had a few decent years with the Mariners back in '02 and '03, so as always....we'll see if Duncan can work his magic.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Trade Deadline

I love this time of year...even if the Cards stay put. The sad part though is that there isn't any HUGE name being tossed around out there. Mark Teixeira is the biggest name out there, and many people think that once he leaves hitter friendly Arlington his numbers will dip. There aren't any big name pitchers out there at all...unless you consider Jose Contreras a big name. One thing that does appear clear, is that Kenny Williams (the GM of the White Sox) appears to be taking the roll as the Scott Boras of GM's (that is if the reports about him are true). One report had him asking for Hideki Okajima (one of if not the best set up man in baseball this year) for Jermaine Dye. In 50+ innings this year Okajima has only allowed 5 ER. Meanwhile Dye has been pounding the ball to the tune of .235 and is in his walk year. Ah the greed of the human race.
On the Cardinal front there have been a few rumors out there regarding some STL players. One has the Cleveland Indians wanting Troy Percival. With how much the Brewers gave up to get Scott Linebrink, I would be more then willing to explore that if I were Walt. Another rumor had Anthony Reyes going to Philly for OF Michael Bourn. I don't know much about Bourn, but from what I've heard he's a Juan Pierre with a better arm and a better eye. He won't hit for power but has a ton of speed....and of course is young. The biggest problem with getting Bourn would be that in a few years we would have two guys in our OF that although they would be young wouldn't really be the power threat that outfielders have become these days. As far as Reyes goes, in my opinion the Cardinals either need to keep him in the rotation or trade him. His AAA numbers are great and one would like to think that if given a fair shake (the past two years TLR has come out and said that he would have to fight for a rotation spot when everybody else thought it was clear he would get one..especially heading into this year). Reyes didn't pitch BAD in his first 8 games. During those games he never allowed more then 4 ER's...but didn't get any run support (during that time the Cardinals scored a TOTAL of 8 runs!!!!) I say throw him out there and give him the confidence that he is staying up no matter what...and see what happens. Maybe he does flop and maybe he does need a change of scenery, but at least give him a chance to flop with an offense that might actually give him some support now. And if you want to send him back him!! Don't toy with the guy. Get a prospect or two out of him and let him "fail" with somebody else. All in all I think if given TLR and Duncan's full confidence, he could be a solid pitcher.
And finally, as far as Izzy goes. A week or two ago it was thought by many (including myself) that Izzy was the most likely Cardinal to be traded. However, word has it that Izzy has told Walt he wouldn't waive the no trade clause that he has earned through his 10\5 (10 years in the majors and 5 with the same team). He likes it hear and wants to retire with the Cardinals. As a baseball fan I love to see that loyalty. Kind of like Biggio and Bagwell down in Houston (although they spent their entire career with Houston...which is unheard of these days). Now that your bum hip is all better...we love you in St. Louis too Izzy. And with a reasonable $8 mil option next year, the front office wouldn't mind having you back either I'm guessing.

Monday, July 23, 2007

THE key week

This week right here could very well determine the rest of the season. This week the Cardinals face both the Cubs and Brewers. And that's important for two reasons. If they can gain ground on both those two teams this week the team will feel they still have a shot, and it could determine if they are going to be buyers or sellers or neither. Like we've said before they don't have much to sell, but if they get out of this week in a further whole then what they enter it with....we could see Izzy or Franklin being dealt. As much as I would love to see Izzy finish out his career in Cardinal red, he could fetch us some decent young talent....nothing huge, but decent. Plus, he is still somewhat of an injury risk with that bum him. He's having a GREAT year stat wise and his stuff is looking pretty stinking good too, and good relief is selling at a high premium.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Burning Holes in our Pockets

Mulder and Carpenter - let's hope they don't turn out to be our Wood and Prior. The abscence of Carp is going to leave us with a huge gap - and our inability/reluctance to move some aging money (Rolen) isn't going to help matters next year. Our farm system is descent, but it isn't very deep.

Maybe we should have tried to get the whole Duncan family! Dave Duncan's other son, Shelley, finally got called up to New York the other day. He's already hit a couple of homeruns!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pack it in

Watching the Cards losing to ATL already 5-0 and heard the news we were dreading.....Carps done for the year and probably a good chunk of next year too. Time of death......7:46 ET July 19th.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rusty Rolen

Scott Rolen left the team in Florida to have his shoulder checked out. Brendan Ryan is said to be our guy tonight facing Dontrelle Willis. He's heading out with some issues in his left shoulder. At least this time he is speaking up when he's hurt rather than keep things under wraps from Tony.

Ol' Doc Paletta is earning his check this year! Seems like the only reliable player whose body isn't falling apart is Albert Pujols. The upside is that if we can keep things close enough with sending out a minor league team everynight, maybe next year we can have another serious run at the October Classic.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

No news

Well...still no news about Carpenter. One would like to think that the ol' "no news is good news" saying would be true in this situation, but I don't think that is the case. I haven't heard anything at all as to if the swelling is gone, last I had heard it had at least gone down. What scares me the most is that Paletta was wanting to talk to other docs before diagnosing.
My question is, is that if it's arthritis and nothing there really anything that can be done except take anti-inflammatory meds? Can surgery fix it and if so what kind of recovery time are we looking at here??? Stay tuned for more information.
As far as the rest of the team goes, it sounds like Jimmy ballgame might be coming back as soon as Wednesday. He sprinted around the bases the other night and seemed fine. At this point he just has to pass a conditioning test before being activated.
If you're wondering if the Cardinals will be able to pick up a starter before the trade this point I don't see any impact pitcher being added. Even though the starting rotation is obviously the weakest link on the team (tell me again why Thompson got yanked from the rotation???). With Javier Vazquez may be the best SP on the market, and if that's the case Kenny Williams is going to try to squeeze as much as he can out of the team that wants him. And with the farm system finally starting to make some noise, now doesn't seem like the time to deplete it again. I'm thinking there won't be many (if any) additions until MAYBE the off-season.
It also doesn't appear that the Cardinals will be sellers at this point. They only have a few players that seem to be a logical choice to move (Izzy probably the best trading chip they've got and they have an $8 mil option for next year on him). Plus, as weak as the Central is, no matter how bad the Cardinals seem now, the team believes they are not out of it. Especially with the Brewers losing Sheets for at least 15 days (although I'm not sure how much they're actually losing by bringing Gallardo into the rotation), and the Cubs being....well the Cubs.
And the beat goes on......