Around Cardinal Nation

It’s been a pretty busy week for me, so I’ve not been able to examine all the Cardinal related news and blogs like I would have liked.  But in the limited time I’ve been online, there’ve been a few things that have jumped out at me. 

The biggest one is this rumor with the Pirates involving Brad Thompson, among others on our side and players such as Jack Wilson, Matt Morris and Jason Bay on the other side.  Bay is the only one in that group worth getting.  Sure, maybe you take Morris on if the Pirates take a lot of salary and if it helps you get Bay, but other than that, there’s not much value. 

Tom over at CardinalsGM really broke this deal down.  I agree with him, if it’s Duncan, Thompson and Reyes going for Bay, Morris and Wilson, you can’t do that deal.  If you could get Bay for Reyes and Thompson, you’d probably have to do some serious thinking about it, even though outfield is where the Cardinals are overstocked at the moment. 

Wilson makes no sense with the glut of mediocre middle infielders we already have.  Why bring on another one, especially at that price? 

Also, over at VEB, they’ve started the community projections.  We did this at CCH last year and you may remember seeing the results.  We’ll start them up at the Clubhouse soon, but if you’ve not had a chance to put in your thoughts on what Matt Clement will wind up with (and I need to do that), head on over there and post them. 

Finally, there was no movement on Mark McGwire getting into the Hall of Fame this year.  He received exactly the same number of votes as he did last year, putting him around 23%.  Something is going to have to give, though.  Either players like Bonds and Clemens aren’t going to get in when they are eligible or people are going to have to give a second look to McGwire.  Heck, he wasn’t even named in the Mitchell Report as a steroid user, so why does he not get a little more benefit of the doubt?  I wish he’d come out and talk about it, but if he’s not going to, should that be held against him? 

Hopefully we aren’t still having this discussion 10 years from now, but I wouldn’t put it past the baseball writers.

Year In Review: Top 5 Cardinal Stories

The United Cardinal Bloggers strike again, this time with a recap of 2007. We each selected the five stories that we thought were the most important for 2007 in relation to the Cardinals. Check out CardinalNationGlobe, CardinalGM, Readin’ Redbird, Rockin’ the Red and Stan Musial’s Stance for their takes. (I’ll direct link to their stories when they are up.)

And, after the jump, my selections:

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The Phenom

With the Cardinal offseason not providing much fuel for the hot stove, Cardinal Nation is getting warm with thoughts of the Next Big Thing, Colby Rasmus.

Derrick Goold had the piece in the Post-Dispatch earlier in the week and has amplified that with more stats in his blog.

He tops all the prospect lists over at Future Redbirds.

Larry broke down those that, like Rasmus may, jumped over AAA to the majors.

Various other media outlets have written stories or profiles of the outfielder.

So will he make it?  Will he start out in St. Louis in ’08 or Memphis?  When will he take his rightful place as the heir of Edmonds?

With numerous players that can play a passable center field, players like Ankiel and Schumacker, I think that it’s likely Rasmus will start in Memphis next season, but I’d expect him up by June or so unless he really struggles at AAA.  It’s possible his energy and fresh approach will help inspire the team as Ankiel’s callup did last August.  Since besides the normal excitement that is provided by Albert Pujols there may not be much to watch on this team, the front office may feel a bit pressured to move him up quickly.  Then again, if he hits well in Memphis, there’s really no reason to have him wait any longer.

I’m excited to see what he can do.  I hope he plays his way on to the team from the word go.  It’s been a long time since the Cardinals had a prospect this highly touted (at least in the field) and it’ll be a lot of fun to see him go to work.

Quick Hit

Just a short note, since I don’t have much time today.  Not a lot going on in Cardinal Nation anyway.

Cards are keeping an eye on Mark Prior, which is nice to know.  Of course, I’ve advocated for him in the past, though apparently he just wants a one year deal.  That’s not what the Cardinals need, since he won’t be around until June or so.  If there’s a team option with it, then that’s another thing.

Cards missed out on Carlos Silva, which is not a bad thing.  Silva would be an interesting Cardinal, since he’s very much a pitch-to-contact, ground ball type, but at those prices, St. Louis was smart not to spend much time looking.  Hopefully they are doing the same with Kyle Loshe.

May not get a post up tomorrow and who knows with the holidays when I will, so in case I’m not back until after Christmas, have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends and always remember the reason for the season.

A Cardinal Thanksgiving

Tomorrow, as you all know, we stop to say thanks for the many blessings the Lord has given us.  This list below is what we as Cardinal fans can be thankful for.  Of course, there’s the family, friends, country bit and I’m not suggesting these take precedence.  But, strictly from a Cardinal perspective, thanks for:

Ownership.  OK, let’s get the controversial one out of the way first.  Lots of people don’t feel that this ownership is much of anything to be thankful for.  They feel that Bill Dewitt and company are cheapskates who know that the devoted fans of St. Louis will come to the ballpark no matter what product is out there, especially with the new stadium.  Let’s say that’s true.  I don’t believe it is, but I’ll even give you that.  When the team was up for sale, there could have been investors from another town who said, “Hey, who cares about tradition?  I want to see the New Jersey Cardinals instead!”  Keeping the team in St. Louis should give them some thoughts at this time of year, if nothing else.

Then, they spent enough to put a great team together in the middle part of the decade.  Cynics will say they did that to keep interest up to get a new ballpark.  Fine, believe that if you want.  It doesn’t take away from the fact that we saw two 100 win teams in a row followed by an improbable World Series title.  Some of the credit–and the thanks–have to go toward them as well.

Plus, they locked up Albert Pujols to a long term deal.  We’ll talk about him next, but anything that keeps El Hombre in Cardinal Red is a very good thing.

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A Blog Rundown

There’s not much to say today that other people aren’t saying better, so let’s see what they are saying.  Of course, all of these topics can be discussed further at your local Cardinal message board.  I know the Clubhouse has threads on just about all of them.

*Molina loses out on a Gold Glove.  Bird Land really lays out the unjustice, and I have to agree.  Any catcher that stops the running game like Yadier does, that makes the first base pickoff a legitimate option, has to be the Gold Glover.  I don’t think I’d ever seen a 1-3 pickoff until Molina, and now it’s almost a regular occurrence.  Others talking about this: Bernie’s Extra Points, Deaner at Cardinal Nation Globe, and a diary at VEB.  Pujols was denied a glove as well, which was in and of itself an injustice, but nothing compares to Molina not getting one.  Hopefully next year they’ll both be able to take home the hardware.  The tough 2007 Cardinal season continues, it appears.

*Tom over at CardinalsGM gets you ready for next year’s fantasy season (because, in my mind, you never start that early enough) with a look at the top players.

*The Cardinals have declined the option on outfielder So Taguchi.  Pip at Fungoes has a mixed take on this one.   I’ve appreciated what So has done here in St. Louis, but it probably is time to move on, especially since outfield is a place the team is deep at.  Stan Musial’s Stance has a fitting tribute to the outfielder.

*Along with the daily prospect report, Erik at Future Redbirds is already looking forward to next year’s first-year draft with his projection of who the Cards will take.

*Dan at Get Up, Baby! looks back at Scott Rolen’s lost season and discusses why not to trade him right now.  I’m a Rolen fan and I’m of the opinion that he’ll be an asset for the team next year.  As Dan says, though, even if you aren’t sold on that, you can’t trade him now because his value is so low.

*Readin’ Redbird has the news that Curt Schilling is going back to Boston.  That’s not a huge surprise–a one year deal for a guy that’s legendary in the organization and wants to retire a Red Sox?  Even the traditionally unsentimental Theo Epstein had to go for that one.  And, as I’ve said, it doesn’t bother me that he’s not coming to St. Louis.

*And Whiteyball is doing a link post.  What kinda cop-out is that?

What Now?

Not much to talk about from last night’s game. Edwin Encarnacion continued his ownership of Anthony Reyes and Reyes continued not to give any reasons to keep him in the rotation. Young pitching is supposed to be inconsistent, and I wish Reyes was a little more inconsistent. That means we’d see some good starts out of him as well as bad and have a little more encouragement. My personal feeling is if Tony LaRussa comes back for 2008 (and I think he will), Reyes probably gets traded in the off-season. And he’ll possibly bloom somewhere else, but I think he may have worn out his welcome around St. Louis, especially if there are some young guys in the minors that look to be ready to make the next step up.

Pujols goes 0-4 and runs his homerless streak to 20 games. He had a 22-gamer right before the All-Star Break this year. Coming into this year, his longest had been 18 games. It’s astounding that we are talking about an off-year for El Hombre and it’s still a .318/30/89 year, with a chance to hit his 100 RBI total and, with 12 runs, 100 runs for the 7th year in a row. Hopefully he gets healed up this offseason and comes back with a vengeance in 2008.

In fact, if the schedule was different, I’d be advocating a shutdown of AP starting now. The Cards aren’t going anywhere and milestones aren’t worth risking more injury for. However, you have to respect that TLR is going to play the game the right way. With both Chicago and Milwaukee coming up, LaRussa is going to put the best team that he can out there and make those teams earn their division crown.

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