Blogger’s Block

Really tough to figure out a good post for a day like today.  The Warm-up is over, so the news flood is over.  We’ve talked about most of the facets of the ’08 team already.  Which means, when you can’t figure out what to say, find people that can (and do it better than you do anyway.)

Good discussion of what to do about Jason Isringhausen over at VEB today.  I think most of us have just naturally assumed that Izzy would be let go at the end of the season so that the Cardinals could get the draft picks.  But with him saying he’d like to stay in St. Louis, that’s not a slam dunk move.  I like to see the home town guys stick around, but I don’t know if keeping him will be worth the price tag, especially if that keeps us from making a bigger move in the free agent market next year.

Also, the All-Time Cardinal Team Simulation is going on over there.  You can use this handy-dandy page to keep up with the results and find links to the writeups.

Deaner faces a big dilemma, one that comes to most of us in fandom.  Help the man decide what to do about his cap.

There were some unhappy fans due to Albert Pujols’s lack of interaction in his autograph line during the Warm-up.  Tom at CardinalsGM asks if players owe the fans some niceness in those situations.

There’s always plenty to read at Future Redbirds.  Erik has gone back and done a retro review of Yadier Molina’s minor league numbers inspired by Molina’s new contract.   Kujo examines Molina as well over at Rockin’ the Red.

Dan at Get Up, Baby! hits a few of the highlights from the past week.

Mike didn’t take kindly to the news that Hal McRae would be wearing #15 this year.  I can’t say that I blame him, unless it is supposed to be some sort of honoring-the-player thing.

I’ve added a couple of new blogs to the rolls.  I Bleed Cardinal Red and View From the Cheap Seats.  Check them out when you’ve got the time.

Tomorrow, we’ll see what some non-Cardinal blogs are talking about, so if you have a favorite baseball blog you want to lift up, post it in the comments and I’ll take a look.

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Transitioning

The last word on the Rolen trade: here’s a wrapup of his introductory press conference in Toronto. Sounds like he’s got a weight off his shoulders (no pun intended) and is ready to move on. I wish him the best up there and hope that he can get Toronto past those big obstacles that are the Yankees and the Red Sox.

So it’s over and we’ve got to move on. But to what?

It’s still just under a month until spring training. We pretty much know the starting lineup, or at least the players that will be in it. Shortstop still is up in the air, but all the options are likely on the roster. The rotation is pretty much set, though there has been talk that the Cards would try to pick up some sort of veteran innings-eater to help hedge against all the injury and rehab possibilities. Really, the signings are probably pretty much done.

For today, let’s talk fantasy. The numerous fantasy baseball leagues at CardsClubhouse are into their second week of drafting. Which Cardinals will draw the most interest from the average fantasy baseball player?

Obviously, Albert Pujols will be at the top of most people’s draft lists. His slightly-below-his-standards season last year might bump him out of the consensus #1 overall slot, but he’ll still be gone before the first round is over. The excellence that he has year in and year out can’t be overstated.

There will be a number of people taking Adam Wainwright as well, especially if they look past his overall numbers to what he did in the second half of the season last year. Wainwright and Jason Isringhausen may be the only pitchers that get much of a look from players, though.  Most people will take a wait and see approach with Mark Mulder, though perhaps Joel Pineiro might be attractive to NL-only players.

Back to the offense.  Troy Glaus will get some late-round attention, especially with him switching to the “easier” league.  Chris Duncan will go around the same time, maybe a bit earlier if people think he’s completely healed up.  Rick Ankiel will have people taking a few fliers on him.  With catching as tough to come by as it is, Yadier Molina’s season from last year should get him taken in the mid-to-late rounds.  And those with minor league systems might take a shot at getting Colby Rasmus.

Other than that, there probably won’t be much interest in the Cardinals from the fantasy players.  It’s not exactly the 2004 team in that regard.

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 First Annual Cardinal Blogger Awards

The votes have been cast. Now let’s see who won!

First off, a comment from Kujo at Rockin’ the Red for a new title for the group:

How about Cardinals Bloggers United, in the likeness of the soccer hooligan firms in England?

That’s not bad. Those involved, what do you think? Or perhaps United Cardinal Bloggers would be more your style? If we are going to keep doing projects, we gotta find a name. And I do hope we keep doing projects.

OK, to the awards. I’ll post some quotes from those bloggers that elaborated on their selections.

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My Ballot for the Cardinal Blogger Awards

This is the first attempt at a Cardinal blogger collaborative project. I hope that the bloggers involved enjoy it enough to try doing more things together in the near future.

Those scheduled to post their selections today include Readin’ Redbird, Redbirds Fun, CardinalsGM, Rockin’ the Red, Redbird Ramblings, and CardinalsNationGlobe. Check all of them out (I’ll direct link to their post when they get them up) and then come back here next week for a consolidated ballot. (Future Redbirds has theirs up now as well.)

So, without much further ado, let’s see my selections for the CBA. My selections are noted in bold.

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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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The Rest of the PECOTA Story

Earlier, I compared the Baseball Prospectus PECOTA numbers and the community projections by Viva El Birdos and CardsClubhouse to the actual stats of some of the Cardinals. The ones in the previous post were players that had already been shut down for the year. With the season well over now, it’s time to reflect on the others that we projected before the season began.

Jim Edmonds

Source AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB BA OBP SLG
CCH 427 73 117 25 1 24 82 64 .274 .369 .506
VEB 425 79 116 21 1 25 86 69 .273 .375 .504
PECOTA   62   19 1 21 65 59 .253 .358 .482
Actual 365 39 92 15 2 12 53 41 .252 .325 .403

Edmonds, like most every player on the Cardinals, battled injuries throughout the year. The extent of his offseason surgery was probably underplayed in the minds of the Cardinal projectors, as Edmonds never quite got his groove on in 2007.

Edmonds is the only hitter that was left (surprisingly, we didn’t do Mr. Pujols, probably figuring it was too easy!), but there are three pitchers left to examine.

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