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Cardinals Newsbeat

Monday, November 27, 2023

Source: Cardinals adding Sonny Gray to revamped rotation

The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a deal with free agent pitcher Sonny Gray, according to ESPN and multiple reports.

Gray, 34, joins a revamped Cardinals rotation that also includes recent free-agent additions Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 27, 2023 at 10:17 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, sonny gray

Monday, November 20, 2023

Source: Cardinals finalizing deal for starter Lance Lynn’s return to help rotation

The Cardinals’ first move to restock their rotation is a retro one.

Right-hander Lance Lynn, a fixture in the rotation for years, is finalizing a one-year deal to return to the Cardinals, a source described to the Post-Dispatch. The deal is pending a physical to be completed in the near future.

The contract also includes option language for 2025 that gives Lynn the chance to earn more than $20 million over the two seasons, a source described.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2023 at 12:37 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, lance lynn

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The story behind the greatest bat flip in World Series history

Tom Lawless was never a slugger. He never hit home runs. He’ll tell you that himself, using almost any other possible description for a ballplayer.

“Never a power hitter,” Lawless said in a Zoom call. “More of a line-drive hitter, base stealer, scoring runs kind of guy. Middle-infielder. Small guy. Table-setter kind of guy.”

The most he ever hit was 13 during a Minor League season in Indianapolis in 1983. He had two over his entire eight-year MLB career. His career slugging average was .258. He had 24 total RBIs.

But on one chilly October night in 1987, at the old Busch Stadium, Lawless transformed into a home run legend.

Tied up with the Twins, 1-1, in the fourth inning of Game 4 of the World Series, the mustachioed utility-man from Erie, Pa., connected squarely on a pitch from starter Frank Viola with two men on. The ball shot off his bat, carrying over the left-field wall and ricocheting off the second deck.

It was almost impossible.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 31, 2023 at 10:39 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, tom lawless

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Cardinals’ President Bill DeWitt III: Cardinals plan to climb payroll rankings

According to DeWitt III, he expects the Cardinals “will climb the rankings” among MLB teams for payroll size. According to FanGraphs, the Cardinals ranked 14th in payroll in 2023 but will need to see their ranking rise if they want to acquire the pitching they desperately need.

DeWitt III’s comments seem to confirm recent reporting from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold, as his sources were telling him that ownership and the front office were “in agreement” about the team’s need for pitching and that payroll will have to rise to acquire pitching in the modern market.

Sources have also told Goold about a number of arms that the Cardinals’ are expressing interest in, including but not limited to, Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, Blake Snell, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Dylan Cease, Tyler Glasnow, and a variety of others. I recently ranked ten of the names that have been reported and who I see the Cardinals’ likely landing.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2023 at 02:04 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Monday, October 09, 2023

A pitching pothole KO’d the Cardinals. Can they get up and back into ‘fight for titles’?

A summer that began with pitching concerns the front office mostly deflected or denied gives way to an offseason that will be defined by how the Cardinals revive and modernize their pitching approach and personnel. They have four months to make up for more than four years of falling behind. To quote John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations, who coined the phrase in July, the focus of the winter will be: “Pitching. Pitching. Pitching.”

He called it “yeoman’s work to do to fill our rotation.”

The Cardinals have already put together a shopping list and workshopped strategies, seeking to add a handful of arms from outside the organization. Mozeliak has said that they need to “fill three rotation spots,” and internally the Cardinals have discussed adding as many as two relievers for the bullpen. They want to move swiftly on a few offers to jump ahead of the market — and the messaging. According to multiple sources, veteran starters Sonny Gray and Aaron Nola are free agents the Cardinals have identified as good fits and plan to approach to see if the feeling is mutual. Both have already won playoff games this week. Gray pitched five shutout innings with six strikeouts for Minnesota, and Nola followed a few hours later with seven scoreless and three strikeouts for the Phillies.

The Cardinals’ will, of course, multitask and explore other possibilities in the marketplace, including but not limited to lefty Blake Snell, a favorite for the NL Cy Young. There are also multiple pitchers from Japan, such as Orix’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who the Cardinals have scouted, and lefty closer Yuki Matsui. Mozeliak said he did not want to “close the door” for a reunion with lefty Jordan Montgomery, a former Cardinal and future free agent who pitched seven scoreless innings as Texas’ Game 1 winner this past week. And then there are the trade possibilities the Cardinals aim to identify in early November. There are open questions such as whether the White Sox will shop starter Dylan Cease or how much Seattle or Miami is looking for offense?

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 09, 2023 at 09:17 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Friday, September 15, 2023

Cardinals’ disappointing 2023 season can and must be turned around in 2024; is John Mozeliak up for the task?

That brings us to the front office helmed by president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. There’s no assailing his broader record of success as the Cardinals’ lead operator. First as general manager and then in his current role, Mozeliak has guided the Cardinals since the fall of 2007, and they’ve enjoyed a tremendous level of success during his tenure - 10 playoff appearances and a World Series title in 2011. One lost season doesn’t meaningfully tarnish those prior achievements, especially in light of the Cardinals’ market size and (somewhat self-inflicted) payroll limitations, but it does raise questions about the future. That’s especially the case since Mozeliak failed to address the rotation last offseason, and that flawed rotation was the prime mover in the Cardinals’ 2023 failures.

It’s hard to imagine that team owner Bill DeWitt Jr. is pondering a change at the top of baseball ops based on the current season, but Mozeliak has some things to prove in the coming winter. The Cardinals, according to Mozeliak’s own words, are committed to adding multiple starting pitchers to the rotation (presumably at the front end), which amounts to an opportunity to correct the mistakes of the 2022-23 offseason. Whether he does so via free agency or trade or some combination thereof, there’s a great deal of pressure for these additions to succeed and drive a return to relevance in 2024. If that doesn’t come to pass, then change may be afoot.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 15, 2023 at 09:32 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Thursday, August 24, 2023

‘Not how I wanted to go out’: Can Adam Wainwright’s quest for 200 revive fuming Cardinals?

One day past reaching precisely 18 years of service time in the majors and one start away from possibly reaching that elusive 199th career win, Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright came one pitch, maybe one play away from a briefer fifth inning.

But this is the 2023 Cardinals.

Whatever can go wrong will go worse.

The two narrative threads of these late-season Cardinals — their losing season and Wainwright’s quest for a winning finish — tightened Tuesday night into a rope around their ankles and tugged them ever deeper into the standings, ever faster into an undertow of frustration. A 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park dropped the Cardinals to 17 games beneath .500 for the first time this season. They’re 0-5 in Pittsburgh this season with one game remaining there. A sideways fifth inning meant Wainwright would go a ninth consecutive start without a win, two months and counting since win No. 198….

“It’s been a weird year. It’s been a funky year. We haven’t had a year like this since I’ve been here,” Wainwright said. “If you have only one of these every 18, that’s not a terrible ratio. I know everyone in here — it’s just driving them crazy. It’s driving me crazy. It’s not how I wanted to go out.”


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 24, 2023 at 04:38 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: adam wainwright, cardinals

Monday, August 21, 2023

Hochman: Jose Oquendo earns red jacket with earnest dedication to improving Cardinals players

Legend has it that after Jose Oquendo’s playing days, he was asked to teach at Harry Potter’s alma mater, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Instead, Oquendo chose to impart defensive sorcery upon the next generation of Cardinals players and prospects. And for decades, the coach Oquendo has taught fielders the magic of single-stealing, in-the-hole bolting and glove-goldening.

Regarding wizardry, Ozzie Smith might’ve been like Harry, but Oquendo was Dumbledore.

And on Sunday, Oquendo will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame as an organizational selection, which honors a significant figure in team history.

“I think his impact on the Cardinals is — not every organization has something like this, right?” said John Mozeliak, the Cardinals president of baseball operations, about the invaluable player-turned-fabled instructor.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 21, 2023 at 02:30 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, jose oquendo

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Mozeliak: Cardinals’ Deadline Focus Will Be On 2024 Club

Mozeliak says that the club won’t be “waving the white flag” but admits that “all decisions or all moves we do really will try to set us up for next year.” He goes on to say that they won’t just give players away but that they “want to get some return that’s going to help us for 2024 and that’s going to be, really, our focus as we enter the trading period.” He also admitted that there’s not really such a thing as a player who’s “untouchable” because anything can happen, but also states that “The fact is we hope we can keep our core together and then, you know, supplement it properly.”

To hear him take such a stance is hardly surprising, given their current place in the standings. They are 11.5 games out in the division and 11 back of the final Wild Card spot right now. FanGraphs currently pegs their playoff odds at just 6.3%. A hot streak between the All-Star break and the deadline could change those odds, but it seems the club is accepting that their best path forward is to make decisions with their eyes set on a fresh start next year.

The club could have also considered committing to a more significant rebuild with their sights set even further into the future, but there are reasons why it makes sense to take a more measured approach. The club came into this year with a strong roster than many predicted to win the division and that could easily be true of 2024 as well, especially since every position player on the club is still under club control for next year. The pitching staff is a different story, but some modest selling could still leave the club with a solid core for next year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 12, 2023 at 05:39 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Marlins stun Cardinals with wild win after pitcher Jordan Hicks’ brutal error

Joey Wendle hit a short bouncing ball right at Hicks in the bottom of the ninth inning at Loan Depot Park with the Marlins down 9-8. Hicks had a very simple chance to just toss the ball over to first base, where he would have recorded the second out of the inning and stop the Marlins from tying up the game.

Instead, Hicks completely sailed first base and sent the ball flying way past the bag and into the outfield. That allowed Garrett Hampson and Yuli Gurriel to score and take the 10-9 win, and sparked a huge celebration on the field.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 05, 2023 at 11:39 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Cardinals could be surprise seller of 2023 MLB trade deadline, so what is St. Louis willing to move?

If the Cardinals want to cut bait on the current season without harming their chances next year, then they’ll look to trade players in their walk years and those deemed not especially essential to the team’s 2024 fortunes. Walk-year trade candidates include lefty starter Jordan Montgomery, right-handed starter Jack Flaherty, and right-handed relievers Jordan Hicks and Chris Stratton. Yes, franchise legend Adam Wainwright is also technically in his walk year, but the Cardinals aren’t going to put him in another team’s uniform for the first time in his MLB career mere months before his retirement. Of these, Montgomery would probably net the heftiest return package. Hicks, thanks to his huge fastball and vastly better results since changing where he stands on the rubber and altering his warm-up routine, could also be attractive as a high-leverage relief option for a contender. Speaking of which, Hicks picked up a pair of saves during the weekend series against the Mets.

Others in this category include shortstop Paul DeJong, who’s an excellent fielder with occasional pop. He has club options for 2024 and 2025 that aren’t likely to be exercised regardless of who’s employing him after Aug. 1. There’s also Tyler O’Neill. He’s on the 60-day injured list with lower-back problems, and he may be on the outside looking in when it comes to the Cardinals’ crowded-when-healthy outfield situation. If he returns to the active roster in time to get some pre-deadline run, then he could be moved. Injuries and inconsisntency at the plate diminish his value, but he’s still got the tools to dream on. O’Neill isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2024 season. For some time, the Yankees have been rumored as a possible fit for O’Neill. On that front, it’s worth recalling that last season the Yanks and Cards paired up for the noteworthy trade that landed fly-catcher Harrison Bader in the Bronx and sent the aforementioned Montgomery to St. Louis.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 21, 2023 at 11:16 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Saturday, June 17, 2023

World Series hero David Freese declines Cardinals HOF invite

David Freese, whose heroics in the 2011 postseason led the St. Louis Cardinals to the World Series title, has decided after “an extreme amount of thought” to decline an invitation to join the team’s Hall of Fame, he announced Saturday.

“This is something that I have given an extreme amount of thought to, humbly, even before the voting process began,” Freese said in a statement. “I am aware of the impact I had helping the team bring great memories to the city I grew up in, including the 11th championship. ...

“I feel strongly about my decision and understand how people might feel about this. I get it. I’ll wear it. Thank you for always being there for me, and I am excited to be around the Cardinals as we move forward.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2023 at 11:07 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, david freese

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

BenFred: A sinking Cardinals season touches a new low

Even Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol has stopped publicly challenging his players. His signature bluntness is now dulled down. I’m sure he will be shredded for his positive postgame comments Tuesday. Hard to blame him for taking that route. He got crushed for challenging Tyler O’Neill to run harder at the season’s start. He took arrows for taking on something players on the team should have handled in the clubhouse but did not, leaving it to him to address. O’Neill is back to being hurt, always seemingly a week or so away from being ready to start getting ready, and Marmol is giving people the happy talk they wanted. Now he will get criticized for that, too.

He’s not the only one getting criticized, though, and no one with fingerprints on this team gets to avoid it.

As Tuesday’s losing outcome became inevitable, a beer vendor up near the ballpark’s press box was peppering his offers of cold, frosty ones with commentary about Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak. Drinking more of these beers, the vendor suggested to fans, would make fans think better of Mozeliak. Bold slogan for a ballpark employee.

In a section over, a man wearing a Stan Musial uniform had it unbuttoned to display a T-shirt he wore underneath. “Fire Mo,” it read. He attempted and failed to lead a chant: “Mo has got to go.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 14, 2023 at 05:15 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Friday, December 11, 2015


Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of the Cubs’ signing of Heyward, that this ratchets up the rivalry.

But if anything, I believe it dampens it. Even before Friday, the Cubs were a better team than the Cardinals in just about every way. Now that the Cubs took the Cardinals’ best player, the gap between these teams have widened. If anyone needs to prove this is a rivalry, it’s the fading Cardinals.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pujols, La Russa absent as Obama honors Cardinals

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday dubbed the St. Louis Cardinals the “greatest comeback team in the history of baseball” thanks to their thrilling late-season charge into the playoffs and death-defying, seven-game triumph in last November’s World Series.


Two key figures of the championship season were absent. Manager Tony La Russa retired after the series. And star Albert Pujols signed a $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason.


Tuque Posted: January 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Monday, January 16, 2012

Retrosimba: An interview with former Cardinals pitcher Al Jackson

Q: You began the 1967 season in the Cardinals’ rotation and in April pitched a one-hit shutout, beating the Astros, 4-0, in Houston. Bob Aspromonte broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the eighth. Do you recall what happened?

Al Jackson: Yes, I do _ big-time. It wasn’t so much the no-hitter. I just wanted to maintain the stuff that I had that night, the control that I had. I wasn’t throwing as good as I was earlier in the game but I also knew that when I got a little tired, I was a better pitcher because I could keep the ball down. Against Aspromonte, I got the groundball I wanted. The pitch may have been down the middle because it was hit in the hole between short and third. If I had thrown it a little further away, the ball may have gone to the shortstop. I wasn’t worried about losing the game. I just wanted to stay on top of mine.

I also had pitched a one-hitter with the Mets against Houston. Joe Amalfitano got the hit. Boxscore Later, I was asked to speak at a dinner in New York. I began by saying I disliked Italians. The room was full of Italians and they looked at me like I was crazy. Then I had to explain: the two guys who broke up my no-hitters are named Amalfitano and Aspromonte. It got a laugh.

Q: Musial was 4-for-5 in his career against you. He batted .800 against you. You were smart to put him on with the walk…

Al Jackson: I’m glad I had a place to put him. I was asked after the game, “Why would you walk him? He’s a left-handed hitter.”  I said, “Why? That’s Musial.” Just look at his record. He’s known for beating teams. And here I am in that small ballpark _ just 250 feet down both lines. I know he can hit for power down both lines. And I never thought about striking him out. That wasn’t on my mind at all.

Thanks to Heck.

Repoz Posted: January 16, 2012 at 06:32 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, history, mets

Sunday, January 15, 2012 Wainwright expresses admiration for Tebow

ST. LOUIS—Hours before taking the field against the New England Patriots on Saturday night, Tim Tebow found himself the center of discussion in the Cardinals’ interview room. Yes, these days it seems as if there is no setting that the Broncos quarterback can’t effectively infiltrate.

Putting his Southeastern Conference allegiance aside, Adam Wainwright spent several minutes expressing his admiration for Tebow, particularly for the fearless the University of Florida product shows in expressing his religious faith in a public forum.

“I am obsessed with Tim Tebow,” Wainwright said. “I’m not afraid to say it. It’s almost embarrassing to us athletes that this much emphasis is put on Tim Tebow because that means we aren’t living our lives as we should. If we did that more often, the way he is living wouldn’t be as big a story. I’m so proud of him for living out his faith.”

Tripon Posted: January 15, 2012 at 02:07 PM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, rockies

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Neyer: Who Will the Cardinals Miss the Most?

Rally squirrel, obv.

Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s website ran a poll:

Whose departure will have the biggest impact on the Cardinals?

The choices: Dave Duncan, Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols…

What I found most interesting about the poll wasn’t that Pujols finished last, but that Dave Duncan finished first, with 42 percent next to La Russa’s 30 and Albert’s 28… I’m intrigued by the notion that Cardinals fans might actually give more credit to Duncan than La Russa for the team’s recent successes. Partly because I’m not completely sure they’re wrong.

But hey, let’s make this about the Hall of Fame, since we could never get tired of that.

This isn’t an original thought, either for me or the rest of the Internet, but I believe Dave Duncan deserves, if not more credit than La Russa, at least some real Hall of Fame consideration…

In the five years before Duncan got hold of Dave Stewart, he went 30-35 with a 98 ERA+. In the next five years, he went 93-50 with a 118 ERA+.

I don’t know how much of that was Dave Duncan, how much was Tony La Russa, and how much was just Dave Stewart getting a chance to pitch. But if I were somehow involved with the Hall of Fame, I would like to know.

I would like to know that, and a lot more.

The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Robothal: Cards’ Duncan taking leave from team

Dave Duncan, one of the game’s most respected pitching coaches, is taking a leave of absence from the St. Louis Cardinals, general manager John Mozeliak said Thursday night.

Duncan, 66, is leaving the team so he can be with his wife, Jeanine, who underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor on Aug. 21, the team announced in a news release…

The team said that Mozeliak will meet with new manager Mike Matheny in the near future “to determine the team’s course of action to fill Duncan’s position during his absence.”

Duncan missed more than a month after his wife’s surgery last season, but rejoined the team for the final day of the regular season and remained with the club through the Cardinals’ march to the World Series title.

Bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist served as pitching coach while Duncan was away from the club…

Duncan is under contract to the Cardinals through 2012 with a club option for the 2013 season.

The District Attorney Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:40 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cybermetrics: Why Didn’t The Writers Vote Johnny Mize Into The Hall Of Fame?

Being that he saw his whole career…I once asked Madden the same exact thing.

He got in, via the Veterans Committee, in 1981. So it might seem a little late and silly to complain about it.

But he never he even got 50% of the vote from the writers (he topped out at 43.6% of the vote in 1971 and he got 41.3% in 1973, his last year of eligibility). If we went strictly by WAR, it seems like he should definitely be in. Even now, about 50 years from when he first became eligible, he is 55th in career WAR among position players with 70.2. He had 8 top 5 finishes and one first place. He was in the top 5 each year from 1937-40.

So he had very high career value and peak value. In Win Shares, he also had 8 top 5 finishes among position players, including 3 first places finishes. He was 104th through 2001 in career Win Shares (338) including pitchers. He also missed 3 seasons due to WW II. Bill James ranked him as the 6th best 1B man in the 2nd Historical Abstract.

...In his first year of eligibility, 1960, he got only 16.7% of the vote. Click here to see the voting that year at Baseball Reference. Twelve guys got more votes than he did that year and he had more WAR than all of them. He beat 8 of them buy 20 or more WAR. Edd Roush, Sam Rice and Eppa Rixy all got over 50% of the vote that year, a level Mize never achieved. None of them had even 52 WAR (Mize had 70.2). All but one of the 12 got in before Mize (except Lazzeri). Most were by the Veterans Committee. So they too, did not give Mize the credit he deserved.

I think the writers, and to a lesser extent the Veterans Committee, did a poor job in evaluating Mize. I hope the writers have been, and are getting, better. But when I see the voting for guys like Raines and Bagwell, not to mention Lou Whitaker being gone after just one year on the ballot, I am not sure.

Repoz Posted: December 28, 2011 at 08:53 PM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, yankees

Monday, December 26, 2011

Jayson Stark (ESPN): Strange stuff … in the 2011 postseason

The postseason edition of trivia and oddbits that Jayson Stark excels at collecting and presenting…

Here’s one I didn’t know:

All four teams that advanced to the LCS—the Cardinals, Brewers, Rangers and Tigers—got outscored by the teams they played in the Division Series … and won.

Der-K's no Kliph Nesteroff. Posted: December 26, 2011 at 09:48 PM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, brewers, cardinals, history, phillies, rangers, rays, tigers, yankees

Friday, December 23, 2011

Carlos Beltran Signs 2-Year Deal With St. Louis Cardinals, According To Report

According to a report from Derrick Gould of the Post-Dispatch, free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran has agreed to terms with the St. Louis Cardinals on a two-year contract. St. Louis emerged as a major contender for Beltran’s services this week, though the club was cautious given the veteran’s recent injury problems.

  The Cardinals and Beltan’s agent, Dan Lozano, were able to finalize a deal Thursday evening. Beltran missed significant playing time in 2009 and 2010 as he recovered from knee surgeries, and the Cardinals wanted to understand more about his health before completing the deal. The Cardinals intensified their pursuit of the switch-hitter this week.

Thanks to Doug.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2011 at 01:14 AM | 80 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Perry: Why I’m Not Mad at Pujols

Dayn’s first piece for Pitchers Hit Eighth.

This is a story without a villain:

I’m not angry at Albert Pujols. How can I be after all this? He’s provided us with too many impossible moments to chronicle and ferried us to a pair of championships. The past is unchanged, as some philosopher said at some point, probably in the original French.

...We’ll never, ever know the full complement of motivations that led him to do this. Pujols might want a new challenge after winning it all and seeing the only manager he’s ever known retire. He might believe the Angels provide him with a better opportunity to win than the Cardinals do (although there’s a self-fulfilling element to that prophecy). It could be layers of reasons. The weather. The chance to ease into the DH role in five years or so. Maybe his favorite cousin lives in Mission Viejo. He enjoys fresh, roadside citrus. Whatever. Even the most enterprising reporters aren’t privy to his thoughts.

...Most of all, to read into L’Affaire Pujols the basest of impulses is to pretend you know things you simply don’t. You’ll never know his innermost workings, the exact tenor of negotiations, or his true reasons for making this choice. Never. It makes for a tidy narrative to color him as a bad actor in all of this, but one could just as easily say the organization, after enjoying a decade-plus of Pujols for pennies on the dollar, is the disloyal party, the one who’s most transparently “about the money.” I choose not to make either case, mostly because a negotiation isn’t a morality tale.

And with that, I am sufficiently purged. I’m also ready for actual baseball.

Repoz Posted: December 17, 2011 at 05:03 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cardinals, history

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gordon: Mozeliak assembling strong clubhouse for Matheny

Not without stud-framing clips, you don’t.

This team must keep as much of the 2011 vibe as possible. The Cards will have a different feel without destined Hall of Famers Tony La Russa and Albert Pujols setting the tempo on and off the diamond, but the team can maintain a good temperament by keeping the right sort of players.

Mozeliak learned plenty while sparring with La Russa over his roster make-up. Some players can excel in part-time roles and others cannot.

La Russa placed a premium on getting optimal fits for platoon and bench roles. Schumaker is a classic case. So is Punto.

Fans tend to dismiss the impact of such players, but a strong supporting cast can keep a team keep rolling through the 162-game grind. The sturdy makeup of the 2011 team allowed it to step over fallen teams and reach the playoff bracket with its unlikely late charge.

...Fielding a team with great mental/emotional make-up will be just as important as maximizing offensive and defensive potential — especially with a first-year manager in charge.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2011 at 11:18 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals

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