Happy New Year!

Hope everyone is having a great 2008 so far.  We are creeping closer and closer to spring training, which means that the Cardinals should start picking up the pace on transactions pretty soon.

Here are some predictions for 2008.  Some are serious, some aren’t.  (The ones that don’t happen are the non-serious ones, in case you can’t tell.)

*The Cardinals will win between 73-76 games.  The only chance for a contending season, in my mind, is a fast start somehow, then hanging on until Carpenter gets back.  The Cardinals would need Mulder to start strong from the get-go for this to happen, I think.  Still, even with another sub-.500 season, we’ll have a lot to talk about and enjoy.

*Albert Pujols will hit .300 with 30 HR and 100 RBI.  In other news, the sun will continue to rise in the east and set in the west.

*Scott Rolen will not be traded.  After he starts off the season closer to his normal form, his attitude improves and he’s much more able to tolerate LaRussa.  With his increased performance coupled with the lack of an immediate successor, Mozeliak decides to keep him on, though rumors will fly close to the trading deadline.

*Jim Edmonds gets at least two standing ovations in his first game back in Busch Stadium.

*Even with the rag-tag nature of the starting rotation, the team will post a better team ERA than they did in 2007.

*Colby Rasmus will be on the major league roster by the middle of June.  He’ll struggle at first, but will show the form that has everyone excited by mid-August.

*The Reds will surprise people, coming in a strong second to the Brewers in the division.

*The Red Sox will not win another World Series title.  Boston has to return to losing sometime.  (Doesn’t it?)

*Brian Barton will play all season in the majors and become a fan favorite off the bench.  He will get some starts, but TLR will not overexpose him.

*Chris Carpenter will not pitch in the major leagues until August.

*The Cardinals make a big splash in the 2008 free agent pool, signing an ace for the rotation and temporarily shutting up those that question ownership.

*I’ll keep blogging away on a regular basis.

Got your own predictions?  Let’s see them in the comments.

Judgment Day

Well, apparently, we get to talk about steroids again this weekend as a national baseball conversation.

  • The Cardinal Connection: Rick Ankiel was let off the hook for his use of HGH in the past. “Insufficient evidence” is not exactly a deafening “not guilty”, but it’s close enough for baseball work. Along with Ankiel, three others got that judgment, while Jay Gibbons and Jose Guillen got 15 days for their usage.
  • The Big Story: Barry Bonds goes to court today. Here’s a primer on that situation. Most people are figuring Bonds is done, but he still plans and wants to play next year. Good luck with that one, Barry. Unless your case gets thrown out today–and it won’t–there’s little chance a team will sign him with a trial and possibly a conviction looming. He’s not going to be on the field enough to justify it.
  • The Potentially Bigger Story: Watching ESPN this morning, they said that multiple outlets stated that the Mitchell Report, with its naming of players and everything, could be released today. I can’t find anything on the net about that, but I don’t think it’d be that surprising giving the steroid-related suspensions (and non-suspensions) of yesterday. And the Mitchell report will push everything off the front page and get a lot of people talking.

Other stuff: The Cardinals selected Brian Barton in the Rule V draft. Of course, Future Redbirds is all over that. It looks like a great move to me, as far as I can tell. He should be in the outfield mix and may allow us to move another outfielder in the right trade. Whatever that trade might be.