Jocketty to the Reds

So I get back from working out of the office and I see that our old friend Walt Jocketty is in the news again.  He’s taken a job with a divisional rival.

It’ll be interesting to see how this influences the Reds in the coming weeks.  Jocketty is definitely going to a situation where he can be comfortable.  He’ll have an established manager in Dusty Baker, which he’s used to.  It won’t be the same as his relationship with LaRussa, of course, but Baker and Jocketty will most likely think along the same lines.  Baker’s never been one to be overly obsessed with the numbers of the game.  (Especially that pesky pitch count one…..)

Apparently those rumors of the Jocketty/TLR move to Cincinnati that floated this summer had a little more basis than we probably thought at the time.  If I were Wayne Krivsky, I’d hope that the Reds got off to a quick start this season.  His seat just got a little warmer, and it was already on the hot side.

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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What Others Are Thankful For

Hey, I’ve got some time tonight. Let’s see what everyone else is giving thanks for this year!

John Mozeliak: That Chris Antonetti didn’t want to leave Cleveland.

Mark Mulder:  That he’s left-handed.

Billy Beane:  That Mark Mulder’s left-handed.

Scott Rolen:  That Larry Bowa isn’t TLR’s bench coach.

Albert Pujols:  That this year’s ninth-place finish in the MVP award gives him more motivation.

Brad Thompson:  That there are no puppies around to kick.

Jason LaRue:  That he can now play on the good side of Missouri.

Tony LaRussa:  That they make tofu turkeys.

Walt Jocketty:  That he no longer has to put up with Jeff Luhnow.

The St. Louis Cardinals:  That they play in the NL Central.

Hope you all have a great day!

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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More Walt Reflections

As the surprise starts to wear off of Wednesday’s removal of Walt Jocketty from the GM position he held for 13 years, more thoughts and reflections.

First off, there’s no doubt that Walt’s tenure in St. Louis should be termed a success.  I mean, there’s a new World Championship banner, which could give validation to just about anyone.  Toss in two 100-win teams and seven post-season appearances in that span and his name will be in the conversation when it comes to legendary Cardinal GMs.

His ability to get the best end in a deal will be remembered, even if that trait took a damaging hit with the Mark Mulder trade.  He was able to send prospects for established stars until the game caught on.  Save the franchise-changing trade for Mark McGwire, his fleecing of the Angels to get Jim Edmonds for a pitcher that was coming off an obvious career plus an untested rookie is probably the high water mark of his wheeling and dealing, though the Drew/Marrero for Marquis/King/Wainwright deal has potential to be big as well.  But even his lesser deals, bringing in players like Will Clark, Darryl Kile, Woody Williams and Larry Walker came up golden.

It just doesn’t seem like things have been the same since the Mulder deal and its obvious disadvantages.  I’m sure that the deal will be rehashed again and again—personally, I think the debate has been done to death—but after that, whether he was gunshy or just under different ownership imperatives, Walt didn’t seem to have the same flair.

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