Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cards news

So sorry for the lack of updates during this offseason in which we've been buying more Cards gear.

Bernie writes that Walt has earned our trust and that we should not panic.

La Russa recently asked Barry Zito for an autograph.
Tony La Russa came to St. Louis brandishing what he argues is an impromptu legal document that binds the biggest name left on the free agent market to the Cardinals' unfinished pitching rotation.

It works only if "signed" is used loosely.

At a charity function with lefty Barry Zito on Monday night, La Russa asked the free agent pitcher for his autograph. The manager then revealed that the paper read, "I agree to pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals."

"Ignorance is not an excuse in the eye of the law," La Russa said Wednesday at Busch Stadium. "I think we got him for somewhere near the minimum."

He jests.

The Cardinals will not dance in the same ballroom as the teams wooing Zito with six-year deals and wads of cash. But as La Russa and general manager Walt Jocketty discussed their offseason with reporters on Wednesday, both stated that a pitcher who could be better than any starter still available is already on their roster: Adam Wainwright.

"I think that Adam Wainwright could be as good as any pitcher who was in the free agent market," Jocketty said. "He has the capabilities of that."
The Cards are still in the hunt for Mark Mulder.
But lefthanded pitcher Mark Mulder is taking this weekend off from free agency.

He has a prior commitment.

A Cardinal the past two seasons, Mulder will marry Lindsey Pringle this afternoon in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the notion that he wanted to pick a team before he wears the ring was false, his agent said Friday. Gregg Clifton, the lefty's representative, said no matter how many teams Mulder narrows his choices down to, the Cardinals will be one.[...]

Clifton said he and Mulder have decided that a two-year deal is most attractive to the lefty, who is coming off shoulder surgery and will not be available to pitch for the first several months of the coming season. According to a report in the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks offered a five-year deal and will not have to tweak it to meet Mulder's preference.

Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said he was awaiting an opportunity to refine the initial offer to Mulder. But the Cardinals' one-year-plus-option framework fits Mulder's design.

The Cardinals did not want to sign Mulder only to have him leave for another shot at free agency a few months later.

"I think they are still going through their process of talking to clubs and getting offers from those clubs," Jocketty said. "I think they want to do that before they make their final decision. We're still very hopeful. I think it's probably a combination of opportunity and dollars."

Mulder, 29, is among the game's winningest pitchers the past six seasons. He made 17 starts for the Cardinals in 2006 and struggled with erratic mechanics to a 6-7 record with a 7.14 earned-run average. He returned from a protracted stay on the disabled list to allow 14 runs in 4 2/3 September innings before having surgery to correct an impingement and tearing in his left shoulder. The Cardinals believe the damage in his rotator cuff explains the difficulty Mulder had getting the ideal extension of his arm.

Clifton said Friday the injury may have first developed in 2005 and help explain the inconsistent mechanics he had even while going 16-8 with a 3.64 ERA in his first season as a Cardinal.

The Cardinals are interested in signing Mulder with the idea he would be ready to join the starting rotation in midseason. Clifton is telling teams to expect 21 to 25 starts from the lefty, who is scheduled to begin throwing the first week of January. If those workouts go well, eight weeks later he'll take the mound, and from there "it all depends on how he feels," Clifton said.
Jerry Reinsdorf is not happy with Mark Buerhrle.
In an interview with MLB.com, Reinsdorf decried "the madness that is in the market today." He expressed exasperation with Buehrle, not for his subpar 2006 but for allowing himself to be photographed wearing a backwards St. Louis Cardinals cap while attending a World Series game at Busch Stadium.

"Then, we have Buehrle, who is a free agent [after next season] who walks around wearing a Cardinals hat," Reinsdorf said. "You have to think he's going to be tough to re-sign. When you have a chance to move one guy who is close to free agency and come back with power arms, you have to go for it."
Jay Randolph and Rick Horton will be teaming up for the broadcast of games on KSDK.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rick Ankiel declined new contract...

Aaron Miles got a one year deal for about a million.

The World Series Trophy is going on tour.

Rick Eckstein joins the Memphis Redbirds as a hitting coach.

Rick Ankiel was not offered a new contract but there's the possibility he could still sign as a minor league free agent.

The Cardinals hope to resign Mark Mulder.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Catching up with news....yet again...

Someone asked why I voted for Tim McCarver. He's a former member of the Cardinals. That's why!

Sioux City Explorers catcher Chris Grossman has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Old pals are managing rival teams.

Forget placing him on notice, Jason Marquis is officially DEAD TO ME.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Cards make TV movies

The Cardinals are staying with FSN Midwest but they are switching from KPLR to KSDK with regards to the weekend games starting next season.
Starting in 2007, St. Louis Cardinals free local television broadcasts will drop from 41 to 20 games in move from KPLR to KSDK with FSN Midwest picking up the slack.

In 2007, FSN Midwest, the primary television home of the St. Louis Cardinals for the past 13 years, will increase the number of regular season games it annually televises to 130 – an increase of 20 games – as part of a multi-year extension of its long term television rights agreement with the reigning World Champion Cardinals. Details on the duration of the new agreement and value of the deal were not immediately available.

Cardinals games on over-the-air broadcast television in the St. Louis area will return next season to KSDK, NewsChannel 5, the local NBC affiliate, which was the original television home of the Cardinals, airing its first game in 1947 as KSD and continuing through 1987.

KSDK will air 20 regular season games in 2007 in the first year of a multi-year broadcast package, giving Cardinals fans 150 scheduled regular season games on local television. With additional Cardinals games slated for national broadcast partners FOX and ESPN, all 162 games in 2007 are anticipated to be televised in the St. Louis area.
Nothing has been said yet with regards to Wayne Hagin and Rick Horton's future.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Rick Hummell wins J.G. Spink Award

Rick Hummell will be inducted into the writer's wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame next summer. We offer our congratulations on the award.
The Baseball Writers Association of America this morning announced Post-Dispatch baseball columnist Rick Hummel as winner of the Spink Award, and with it enshrinement into the writers’ wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Hummel, 60, received overwhelming support from the association’s membership and becomes the third St. Louis media member to be honored, joining former Post-Dispatch sports editor Bob Broeg and announcer Jack Buck.

Hired by Broeg in 1971, Hummel has reported on the Cardinals since 1973, including 24 seasons as lead beat writer and five as columnist.

"I don’t think you start your career thinking of that," Hummel said about his election. "As you go along, you’re up there at the (Hall's induction) ceremony enough times seeing other people winning, it strikes you as kind of nice. Grantland Rice, Ring Lardner. Jim Murray and Jerome Holtzman are there. Those are pretty good people on the list."

A native of Quincy, Ill., and University of Missouri graduate, "the Commish" covered the Cardinals’ 1982 world championship team and has chronicled two Most Valuable Players, three Rookies of the Year, eight managers and five NL champions. His career has bridged Bob Gibson to Chris Carpenter, Ted Simmons to Albert Pujols, Al Hrabosky to Jason Isringhausen and Red Schoendienst to Tony La Russa.

Hummel distinguished himself not only with his clear writing but also with an ability to maintain relationships at all levels of the sport. At Buck’s urging, he established an easy rapport with umpires. He sought to explain rather than create controversy and along the way gained the trust of players and club executives throughout the industry.

"The people (in St. Louis) are different, too," said Hummel, who for years competed against the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. "You don’t feel compelled to create crisis situations day after day. That’s not what they’re looking for. Would it be different if there were four papers rather than one? Maybe. But people are different here. It’s a more relaxed pace. And there is greater appreciation for the game itself."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My apologies...

I am sorry for being slow on news but I've gotten a bit busy with the management of my other blog.

Jason Isringhausen is ahead of schedule.
Less than three months after undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery, closer Jason Isringhausen insists the Cardinals should plan on him being available to pitch the ninth inning on opening day.

"I'm tired of other people doing my job," Isringhausen said this weekend. "I'm going to be ready."[...]

Noting Isringhausen's progress, general manager Walt Jocketty said Friday that the club could consider transferring Adam Wainwright to the rotation if Isringhausen maintains his current pace.
It is nice to know that Isringhausen is feeling better.

Staff ace Chris Carpenter was signed to a contract extension through 2011 with a club option for 2012.
Carpenter had been under contract through 2007, with a club option for 2008. The new deal guarantees all of his performance incentives in 2007, exercises his option for 2008 and secures 2009, 2010 and 2011 as well. The deal is reportedly worth $65 million in guarantees, and could go to $77 million if the 2012 option kicks in.

"It's a nice feeling at any time when you have security in your job," Carpenter said. "Me and my family love it here. We've enjoyed the last three years, and we're looking forward to five more great years. It's a good feeling to know that you have people that believe in you that much to invest what they've invested in me to have me around."

The Cardinals aren't done dealing, of course. Securing Carpenter's services helps out in 2009, but it doesn't change the outlook one whit for '07. So general manager Walt Jocketty will continue to try to add at least one more starting pitcher before the Winter Meetings are done.

Still, in the meantime, locking up Carpenter is plenty good news.

"It's something we felt was very important to do," Jocketty said. "It's something we've talked about doing for some time. Once the season got over and things kind of settled down a little bit, I called Bob LaMonte, his agent. ... We got it done over the weekend. Great negotiations, very little problem at all. We're extremely happy."[...]

Carpenter is now signed further into the future than any other Cardinal. Albert Pujols' seven-year deal runs through 2010 with an option for 2011, while Scott Rolen's eight-year contract ends after the 2010 season.
Two broadcasters with connections to the St. Louis Cardinals have been named as finalists for the Ford Frick Award. The results will be announced on February 22, 2007.
France Laux and Dizzy Dean both made the cut of 10 candidates for the Frick Award, presented annually since 1978 to broadcasters for "major contributions to baseball." The award is presented annually to an active or retired broadcaster with a minimum of 10 years of continuous Major League broadcast service with a ballclub, network or a combination of the two.

Past winners include Ernie Harwell, Vin Scully and former Cardinals announcers Jack Buck and Harry Caray, as well as 2006 honoree Gene Elston. The 2007 finalists were announced on Tuesday at baseball's Winter Meetings.

If either Laux or Dean is honored, it could make two St. Louis representatives in this year's Hall of Fame class. St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Rick Hummel is one of three finalists for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which is the Hall of Fame honor for baseball writing.

Laux, a charter member of the St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame, stepped into the broadcast booth at old Sportsman's Park in 1929, and for 19 years he broadcast baseball, serving as the radio voice of both the Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns. Laux drew the attention of national outlets as well, and called games for CBS Radio from 1933-38 and the Mutual Game of the Day from 1939-41.

He broadcast nine World Series and nine All-Star Games, including some of the most famous moments in both those events. Laux was behind the microphone for Carl Hubbell's memorable five-strikeout performance in the 1934 Midsummer Classic.

Dean made the Hall of Fame as a pitcher, and the Cardinals retired his No. 17. He called Cardinals and St. Louis Browns games from 1941-46, Browns games from 1947-49 and 1952-53 and called CBS' "Game of the Week" from 1954-65.

The voting electorate consists of 20 members, featuring Elston and the other 13 living Frick Award winners. Six historians and veteran media members are also part of the electorate, including Bob Costas (NBC), Barry Horn (Dallas Morning News), Stan Isaacs (formerly of Newsday), Ted Patterson (historian), Curt Smith (historian) and Larry Stewart (Los Angeles Times).
The St. Louis Cardinals will play the Cleveland Indians on March 30, 2007 in the inaugural Civil Rights game at AutoZone Park in Memphis. Here's more on that from the P-D.

Braden Looper might be starting? You've got to be kidding me!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cards offer Mulder, Suppan arbitration

The PD reports:
No longer conceding a need for three or even two additional starting pitchers, the Cardinals on Friday offered salary arbitration to only two of their seven remaining free agents, lefthander Mark Mulder and their former righthanded Mr. October, Jeff Suppan.

The club chose not to offer arbitration to pitchers Jason Marquis and Jeff Weaver, second baseman Ronnie Belliard, outfielder Preston Wilson and infielder Jose Vizcaino, although the Cardinals retain negotiating rights to each.[...]

Jocketty is more optimistic that he might retain Mulder than Suppan. He intends to speak with agents for both next week.

Mulder, who apparently agreed not to accept the team's offer of arbitration, is unlikely to pitch before next July after undergoing surgery Sept. 12 to repair a torn left rotator cuff. The Cardinals have expressed interest in signing him to a one-year, incentive-laden deal with a club option for 2008. However, Mulder's market continues to expand with the New York Mets the latest to express interest.

"At this point we may have a better chance of signing Mulder than Suppan," Jocketty said.

The Cardinals are disinclined to offer long-term deals to pitchers. Uncertainty over when Mulder might return also represents a sticking point to a one-year deal without an option attached.

"We don't like to rehab guys, build them up, then lose them," Jocketty said. "But the fact we handled it this way, we at least get some value in return" if Mulder signs elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tony La Russa backs McGwire's HOF candidacy

My apologies for the light posting this offseason in the past few weeks. I've been busy with papers and such and I imagine it will be light until after December 13th when my finals end.

Here's what La Russa had to say with regards to former Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire:
Tony La Russa will defend Mark McGwire until the end: To him, Big Mac is a Hall of Famer.

"I've believed in him from day one. I still believe in him," the St. Louis Cardinals manager said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
McGwire is appearing on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, and an AP survey of 125 baseball writers who are eligible to vote - about 20 percent of the total - showed that only one in four who gave an opinion planned to vote for McGwire.

"It would be two in five then. I'd make it two in five," La Russa said. "I can't answer for anybody else, what priorities they give and how they weigh stuff. I know what my personal opinion is, and that's the way it stays."

McGwire, a 12-time All-Star, is seventh on the career home run list with 583, but his status plummeted in the minds of many after former Oakland teammate Jose Canseco accused him last year of using steroids. McGwire evaded questions during a March 2005 congressional hearing, saying repeatedly: "I'm not here to talk about the past."
An AP poll shows Big Mac will likely fall short in the first year on the ballot. Keep in mind that a lot of people consider the first ballot to be sacred. Peter Gammons has said he will voted for McGwire on the first ballot. If I was a writer in the BBWAA, I would vote for McGwire, too.
The AP contacted, via e-mails and telephone, about 150 of the approximately 575 present or former members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America who are eligible to cast ballots. Of that number, 125 responded, including 25 AP sports writers. Most of the voters' names were obtained in the Major League Baseball media directory.

And the breakdown was:

- 74 will not vote for McGwire.

- 23 will vote for him.

- 16 are undecided.

- 5 refused to say.

- 5 aren't allowed to vote by their employers.

- 2 will abstain from voting.

That means if all the undecideds and those refusing to say voted for McGwire, and everyone else voted, McGwire would need 84 percent of the rest to get into the Hall.

Chaz Scoggins of The Sun in Lowell, Mass., was among McGwire's supporters.

"He wasn't breaking any baseball rules during his career,'' he said. "As for using performance-enhancing substances, the fact that so many pitchers have been detected using them kind of evens the playing field.''

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig wouldn't address McGwire specifically, saying it was unclear how this generation of home run hitters will be judged.

"Time will tell. We'll have to work our way through all of it,'' he said Monday night. "All we can do realistically is take care of the present and the future.''

McGwire played in the majors from 1986-2001, the first 12 seasons with the Oakland Athletics and the rest with the Cardinals.

When he hit 70 homers in 1998 - breaking the mark of 61 Roger Maris had set 37 years earlier - McGwire became a national hero for his Paul Bunyan-like physique and feats. A year later, part of an interstate highway in St. Louis was named after McGwire. Large signs at both the current and previous Busch Stadium called attention to "Big Mac Land,'' ads for McDonald's referencing McGwire.

But his reputation plummeted following allegations by former teammate Jose Canseco, who claimed in a 2005 book and subsequent interviews that the Bash Brothers used steroids together while playing on the A's.

And then came McGwire's testimony to a congressional committee on March 17, 2005, when he repeatedly avoided questions, saying time after time: "I'm not here to talk about the past.''

That appearance and those allegations are still fresh in the minds of many voters.

"He won't get my vote this year, next year or any year,'' said the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan.

When the AP conducted a survey of Hall voters during the week following McGwire's testimony, 56 percent of the 117 voters who gave an opinion said they would support his induction.

Ballots will be mailed to voters this week and must be postmarked by Dec. 31. Results will be announced Jan. 9, and inductions will take place July 29.

Players who have appeared in 10 seasons and have been retired for five years are eligible for consideration by a six-member BBWAA screening committee, and a player goes on the ballot if he is supported by at least two screening committee members.

A player remains on the ballot for up to 15 elections as long as he gets 5 percent of the votes every year. McGwire appears to be in no danger of missing that mark.

Gwynn and Ripken are considered virtual locks for election. Canseco also is on the ballot for the first time but is not expected to come close to election.

Gwynn isn't sure whether McGwire used steroids.

"I think he's a Hall of Famer, myself,'' Gwynn said. "He hit 500 or so homers, almost 600. I think we have no proof whether he did or not. Canseco said he did. He didn't perform well at the congressional hearing, and I think that will stick with people more than anything else. He's on the ballot, too. I have no control over that.''

Hall voters will face additional questions when other players accused of steroid use go on the ballot. Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro become eligible for 2011 and Barry Bonds, who plans to play next season, sometime after that.

Others view it as a matter of baseball rules. Baseball did not have an agreement with its players' union to ban steroids until after the 2002 season.[...]

"I don't plan to vote for him on the first ballot, but I do plan to vote for him,'' said former Chicago Tribune writer Jerome Holtzman, baseball's official historian.

Some players have seen their support increase over time. Jimmie Foxx got 10 votes when he first appeared on the ballot in 1947, then was elected with 179 votes four years later.
The Cardinals will be honored at the writer's dinner on January 15th.

Prospect Colby Rasmus is going to give it his best next year.

Utility man Scott Spiezio was re-signed to a two year deal for $4.5 million.

Here's an article on the future of Rick Ankiel.

Cards sign Adam Kennedy, Kip Wells

The AP reports that the St. Louis Cardinals signed former first round draft pick Adam Kennedy to replace Ronnie Belliard at second base. The Cards picked up Kip Wells, another has-been pitcher, whose career record is 57-74. In addition, Gary Bennett has re-signed for a one year deal and Eli Marrero rejoins the Cards with a minor league contract.
The Cardinals made their first big moves since winning the World Series, agreeing Tuesday to a $10 million, three-year contract with second baseman Adam Kennedy and a $4 million, one-year deal with right-hander Kip Wells.

The Cardinals also agreed to a $900,000, one-year contract with backup catcher Gary Bennett and a minor league contract with Eli Marrero, once their starting catcher.

Kennedy, selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the 1997 amateur draft, was considered the Cardinals' second baseman of the future before he was traded to the Anaheim Angels in 2000, a deal that brought Jim Edmonds to St. Louis. Kennedy now replaces Ronnie Belliard, who was acquired from Cleveland last summer and became a free agent.

The 30-year-old Kennedy hit .273 with 55 RBIs and 16 stolen bases last season for the Angels. He has a career batting average of .280 with 52 homers and 123 stolen bases.

His contract calls for salaries of $2.5 million next year, $3.5 million in 2008 and $4 million in 2009. He made $3.38 million this year in the final season of a three-year contract.

The 29-year-old Wells could fill one of three vacancies in the rotation created when Jeff Suppan, Jeff Weaver and Jason Marquis became free agents.

Wells was 1-5 with a 6.69 ERA for the Pittsburgh Pirates, then was traded to Texas on July 31 and went 1-0 in two starts with the Rangers. He finished the season on the 15-day disabled list with a foot injury.

For his career, Wells is 57-74 with a 4.46 ERA.

Wells led major league pitchers with 18 losses in 2005 and missed the first half of the 2006 season following surgery, performed in St. Louis, to repair a blocked artery near his right shoulder.[...]

[Bennett] gets $850,000 next season, and the Cardinals hold a $900,000 option for 2008 with a $50,000 buyout. If St. Louis exercises the option, Bennett could void the option but would lose the buyout.

Earlier in the offseason, the Cardinals agreed to two-year contracts with Edmonds ($19 million) and utilityman Scott Spiezio ($4.5 million).
I like all the signings except for Kip Wells. It's a definite project for Dave Duncan.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

AL & NL MVP Awards

The Most Valuable Players:
National League - Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman
American League - Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins first baseman

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pujols arrested

Pujols arrested for cocaine use. Well, this just stinks!

In Soriano news, it appears he is Wrigley-Bound! Well, he is banned from my fantasy team now! Maybe Walt will try to pursue him.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Scott Spiezio re-signed for two years

Scott Spiezio is back as a Cardinal for the next two years.
The St. Louis Cardinals re-signed utility man Scott Spiezio to a two-year contract on Thursday.

The deal runs through the 2008 season with a club option for 2009.

The 34-year old Spiezio joined St. Louis prior to last season and proved to be a versatile player for the World Series champs, playing five different positions (first base, second base, short stop, third base and left field).

In 119 games, including 61 starts. the switch-hitting Spiezio hit .272 with 13 home runs and 52 runs batted in. In the postseason, Spiezio contributed six RBI and two triples, including a critical three-bagger in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.

"You hear the term winning player," said Cardinals senior vice president and general manager Walt Jocketty. "Scott showed once again why he has been tabbed with such a label. Scott's leadership, versatility and production in the clutch are such strong qualities and we're happy to announce that he will remain a Cardinal."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Managers of the Year

No surprises here. Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland took home the American League Manager of the Year award and Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi took home the National League Manager of the Year award.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

2007 Cardinals Schedule

It's up. The Cards and Mets will play three games starting April 1, 2007.

NL Cy Young Award

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb took home the National League Cy Young Award.

While I would have preferred Chris Carpenter, I have no problems with Webb. He's a Kentucky native and played for the University of Kentucky's baseball team.

Monday, November 13, 2006

AL Rookie of the Year

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander has won the American League Rookie of the Year award.
Justin Verlander was already considered the best rookie in the American League according to two separate polls of players. On Monday, however, was the most prestigious honor of all.
Verlander completed a clean sweep of his league's rookie awards when the Baseball Writers' Association of America selected him as its AL Rookie of the Year. The longest-running of the rookie honors goes to a Tiger for the first time since Lou Whitaker won it in 1978, and the first to a Detroit pitcher since Mark "The Bird" Fidrych in 1976.

In so doing, Verlander becomes the first starting pitcher to win AL Rookie of the Year since New York's Dave Righetti in 1981. Dontrelle Willis won the NL honor in 2003.

The 23-year-old right-hander again won out in what was expected to be a tight contest among AL rookie pitchers, including Twins phenom Francisco Liriano and Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Of that group, Verlander is the only one to last the entire season without missing significant time due to injury or fatigue.

Verlander received 26 first-place votes and 133 total points, easily outdistancing Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon, who tallied 63 points and no first-place votes. Twins rookie Francisco Liriano was third in the voting with 30 points and one first-place vote. Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima was fourth, followed by Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, the Orioles' Nick Markakis and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers.

NL Rookie of the Year

Florida Marlins short stop Hanley Ramirez beat Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman by four points in the BBWAA vote for the National League Rookie of the Year.
The gifted 22-year-old Marlins shortstop posted some first-year numbers that rival some of the game's all-time greats.

Consider, Ramirez is the first National League rookie to post 110-plus runs and 50-plus stolen bases. And he is the second Major League rookie since 1900 with 115-plus runs scored and 50-plus stolen bases. Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki accomplished the feat in 2001.

Ramirez joined the legendary Ernie Banks (19 in 1954) as the second rookie in NL history to log 17-plus homers while playing 100-plus games at shortstop. And he is the fifth MLB player since 1900 to collect 45-plus doubles and have 50-plus stolen bases. That exclusive club is occupied by Hall of Famers: Ty Cobb (47/83 in 1911), Tris Speaker (53/52 in 1912) and Lou Brock (46/62 in 1968). Rounding out the list is multiple All-Star Craig Biggio (51/50 in 1998).

Such lofty standards haven't gone unnoticed as Ramirez on Monday was tabbed the Jackie Robinson National League Rookie of the Year winner by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

In the closest NL vote since 1980, Ramirez was named the winner over Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. In all, three of the top four choices were Marlins. Florida All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla was third, and right-handed pitcher Josh Johnson was fourth.

Going a step further, six of the 12 rookies who received votes were Marlins, marking the first time in league history one team has had that many contenders. Pitchers Scott Olsen and Anibal Sanchez and outfielder Josh Willingham each picked up one third-place vote.

Ramirez is the second Marlins player to claim the award. In the franchise's 2003 World Series championship season, pitcher Dontrelle Willis was presented the award.
In other news, the St. Louis Cardinals will open their season at home on April 1, 2007, against the New York Mets.
The game, a rematch of this year's NL Championship Series, will be televised nationally by ESPN2 starting at 8:05 p.m. ET, the Cardinals said Monday.

After an off day on April 2, the series concludes with games April 3 and 4.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Jim Edmonds agrees to 2-year deal

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Edmonds will stay a Cardinal!

Here is the ESPN report.
Jim Edmonds, a fixture in the St. Louis outfield since 2000, is closing in on a two-year contract with the world champion Cardinals that will pay him between $18 million and $19 million.

Agent Paul Cohen said he's discussing final details with Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty and that a deal could be in place as early as Friday night.

"He's very excited, and the Cardinals are too," Cohen said. "When you have two parties who ultimately want to accomplish the same thing and you have a history, then normally you can get it done."

Edmonds, 36, hit .257 with 19 homers this season in the final year of a six-year, $57 million contract. The Cardinals had a $10 million option for 2007 with a $3 million buyout. After midnight Saturday, St. Louis' exclusive negotiating window would have expired and Edmonds would have been free to talk money with other clubs.

Edmonds is a career .289 hitters with 350 home runs for the Angels and Cardinals. He's a four-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove award winner.
If Edmonds can average 25 homers a season for the next two seasons, he'll essentially be a lock for the HOF.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

NL Gold Glove Winners

C: Brad Ausmus, HOU
1B: Albert Pujols, STL
2B: Orlando Hudson, ARI
3B: Scott Rolen, STL
SS: Omar Vizquel, SF
OF: Carlos Beltran, NYM
OF: Mike Cameron, SD
OF: Andruw Jones, ATL
P: Greg Maddux, LAD

Congrats to Albert and Scott. Yadier Molina should have gotten one.

Cards to talk to Mulder, Luis Gonzalez

The Post-Dispatch reports today that Walt Jocketty will talk with Greg Clifton, agent for Mark Mulder. Clifton also represents Luis Gonzalez. If you remember, during the NLCS, Gonzalez was the second analyst in the booth with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.
Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said he's had a similar conversation with lefty Mark Mulder since, but Tony La Russa recalled a specific exchange during the NL Division Series against San Diego.

Mulder, his manager and the GM were talking and inevitably Mulder's future came up by way of his past.

"He was saying how Cardinals fans have never seen him, the real him," La Russa said this past weekend. "He won 16 games (in 2005), but they never saw him at his best. He has the desire, and I think we have a desire for the Cardinals' fans to see him.

"To see the real Mark Mulder."[...]

Jocketty on Thursday reaffirmed the Cardinals' interest in having Mulder return for a third season with his club and said the Cardinals may be interested in doing something different from the one-year, incentive-rich offers Mulder is bound to receive. Jocketty will travel to Arizona next week to meet with the organization's pro scouts and see the Arizona Fall League, but if the schedules can mesh, he and Clifton plan to meet. Clifton said he imagines Mulder would attend any meeting as well.

Whenever the GM and agent talk, another name is expected to come up: Luis Gonzalez.

The veteran outfielder, who will turn 40 next September, is also represented by Clifton and apparently caught Cardinals fever while broadcasting playoff games last month. Clifton said nine teams have contacted him about Gonzalez, who finished second in the NL with a career-high 52 doubles this season. Cleveland, Baltimore, Texas, Cincinnati and San Francisco are five of the nine.

The Cardinals are not, for now. Jocketty did attempt to trade for Gonzalez, a lefthanded-hitting left fielder, this past summer and said Thursday he still had interest in Gonzalez.

"I saw him during the playoffs, and he said in St. Louis that he'd never seen fans like that," Clifton said. "I've said all along, for me, I think Luis, well, you talk about a perfect fit for a guy and for a franchise. That's it. Veteran guy. In that atmosphere. He's got a lot left in the tank."

Fresh from a 16-win 2005 season that gave him a 75-35 career record, Mulder, 29, started this season a lefty in his prime with a jackpot awaiting him this winter. Clifton told Mulder recently that instead of a few fat-wallet teams being in the bidding for him, now more teams are going to be interested because "it could act like a year trial for everyone."[...]

With only two members of the starting rotation under contract for 2007, Jocketty must remake the staff, and he said Mulder's uncertain availability means he'd be signed to augment a staff, not complete it.

"You don't count on him for that need," Jocketty said. "He would be an additional guy that you would sign. You plan your staff for who you need on opening day. He would be the additional guy because when he does come back you cannot expect him to be the Mark Mulder of two years ago. You expect him to have to need time to get back to that level."

The contract comparisons that have been made are Matt Morris and Kevin Millwood, both of whom signed incentive-laden, one-year deals after injury. The Cardinals may turn to another contract for inspiration — Chris Carpenter's. Twice the Cardinals signed Carpenter as a free agent coming off a year missed because of injury.

Jocketty said it would not be prudent for the Cardinals to have Mulder signed for just the coming year. The Orioles are reportedly interested, and the Arizona Diamondbacks, with their ballpark and location, could be an attractive suitor for Mulder, who winters in the area.
Mark Mulder, when he is at his best, is one of the best left-handed pitchers in the game today. Unfortunately, this year was an off year for him but I look forward to many seasons of Mulder pitching for us and putting up HOF numbers.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Worth the read...

Jay Redfern writes a letter to his father about the Cardinals and their World Series win.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gold Glove Candidates

Here are my choices in the National League as I voted at ESPN:
1B - Albert Pujols
2B - Craig Biggio
3B - Scott Rolen
SS - David Eckstein
OF - Carlos Beltran
OF - Andruw Jones
OF - Luis Gonzalez
C - Yadier Molina
P - Greg Maddux

American League:
1B - Mark Teixeira
2B - Mark Loretta
3B - Mike Lowell
SS - Derek Jeter
OF - Gary Matthews, Jr.
OF - Grady Sizemore
OF - Vernon Wells
C - Joe Mauer
P - Jon Garland

Rumors floating

I have to take issue with Gordo on sending Scott Rolen to the New York Yankees for Alex Rodriguez. You have a gold glove defender in Rolen. Why send him away for a natural short stop who CHOKES in the playoffs?
Alfonso Soriano sweepstakes: His people are asking for Carlos Beltran money, which will pare down the list of potential suitors. Cardinal Nation covets him as a dynamic left fielder to put up front in the No. 2 slot, but we can’t see that happening.

The Phillies would love to get him, but they will have to convince one-dimensional left fielder Pat Burrell to accept a trade out of town.

The only other impact free-agent outfielder, Carlos Lee, will benefit from the Soriano sweepstakes and get overpaid as well. The Astros could really use a guy like him.
People seem to keep forgetting that Soriano prefers to play at second base.

I don't see the Cardinals giving up Chris Duncan for anyone. Sure, he had a few bad games in the outfield but he's still learning the position. Give him sometime. I'd welcome him Dontrelle Willis to the club though in a heartbeat.

As to Carl Crawford, I wouldn't give up Anthony Reyes for him. I'd send Juan packing if that were the case.

Hmmm...Bonds going to Detroit means a pay raise for Andy Van Slyke, who already dealt with him once as a member of the Pirates.
Could he land in Detroit? Jim Leyland kept him in line during their days together in Pittsburgh. But if Bonds lands in Motown, look for coach Andy Van Slyke to ask for a raise. Dealing with Barry again is not something he would cherish.
Would Van Slyke be welcome in St. Louis as a third base coach IF Jose does indeed leave?

MLB4U.com is reporting a rumor saying that Soriano has agreed in principal with the Cardinals to a 7/$70 contract. It would solve the problem with the two-hole and second base.

Ford Frick Award balloting underway

I just finished my first ballot for the Ford Frick Award at MLB.com. The fans get to choose three of the ten names that will appear on the ballot when it is sent to BBWAA. You can vote up to once a day in November.

I cast my three votes for Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, and Mike Shannon.

Candidate biography of Joe Buck:
16 years (1991 -), all with the Cardinals...Also FOX Sports lead baseball announcer, teaming with Tim McCarver...Has been with FOX for 11 seasons (1996 - )...Has won three Emmy Awards (1999, 2001-02)...Began with FOX at age 27, becoming the youngest play-by-play announcer to call a World Series since Vin Scully (25) in 1953...Has broadcast six World Series (1996, 98, 2000-03), seven LCS, six All-Star Games and Mark McGwire's 62nd home run in 1998...Began baseball broadcasting with the Louisville Redbirds in 1989...The son of Jack Buck.
Tim McCarver:
27 years, the last 11 (1996 - ) with FOX...Club experience with the Mets (1983-98), Yankees (1999-2001) and the Giants (2002), and, network experience with ABC (1984-89, '94), CBS (1990-93) and the Baseball Network (1994-95)...FOX's lead analyst, teaming with Joe Buck...Won three straight Emmys (2000-02) and has received 12 nominations as a network analyst...the only network baseball analyst to broadcast the last 15 regular and postseasons...Covered the '86 and '88 All-Star Games...Broke in as a broadcaster with the Phillies (1980-82), sharing booth space with Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn...Teamed with Jack Buck (1990-91) and the Sean McDonough (1992-93) for CBS...Played in 21 major league seasons (1959-80) and is one of seven modern-day players to play in four decades...Played in two All-Star games and won two World Series with the Cardinals.
Mike Shannon:
35 years, all with the Cardinals...The Cardinals radio announcer in KMOX, was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his popularity and performance on the air and, as a player, on the field...Broke into the big leagues with the Cardinals in 1962 and went on to star for the Redbirds' World Series championship teams in 1964 and 1967, and their NL pennant winner in 1968...Joined the Cardinals' front office in 1971 as assistant director of promotions and sales.
I did consider voting for Charley Steiner considering that he went to Bradley University.

Mulder to Orioles?

The Washington Post reports that Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder is interested in Baltimore.
Free agent pitcher Mark Mulder, formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals and thought to be one of the premier players on the market before he had season-ending shoulder surgery in September, expressed an interest in joining the Baltimore Orioles through agent Gregg Clifton. That could be a boon for the Orioles, who are looking for a veteran pitcher to add to a young staff and who have had trouble attracting marquee players.

"One of the things Mark has really benefited from is having a good pitching coach," Clifton said Tuesday. "People don't realize the draw of Leo Mazzone. Mark is a veteran guy who at least would consider Leo as a mentor."

Woody Williams expresses interest in Cards

The Post Dispatch that former Cardinal pitcher Woody Williams is interested in coming back to the Cardinals.
As the free agent filing period continued Tuesday, second baseman Ronnie Belliard, utility player Scott Spiezio, shortstop Jose Vizcaino and pitcher Jeff Weaver joined catcher Gary Bennett as Cardinals who have filed.

The flurry occurred as third base coach Jose Oquendo interviewed for the San Diego Padres managerial vacancy. Oquendo traveled to San Diego on Monday and met with general manager Kevin Towers well into Tuesday night. The Padres are expected to conclude a first round of interviews this weekend, with two finalists to be invited for a second round next week.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals will contribute four leading starting pitchers to the market. Besides Weaver, Jeff Suppan, Jason Marquis and lefthander Mark Mulder are set to file.

"We're trying to bring back as many guys as we can. But at the same time we fully realize this could be a tough market, especially for pitchers," Jocketty said.

"Our priority is to rebuild our rotation. We want to find the best quality starting pitcher and the best quality hitter. And I'm not sure who those players are right now."

Any pursuit will come after the Cardinals address center fielder Jim Edmonds' $10 million option for next season. The club has until Nov. 15 to assume the option, exercise a $3 million buyout or negotiate an extension.

Jocketty reiterated Tuesday the club's desire to bring back Edmonds for an eighth season. What he left unsaid was an organizational desire to do so for less than $10 million next season.

"We want him back with us next season," Jocketty said. "It's something I told Jim last week. I would expect to see what can be done relatively soon."

Edmonds' agent, Paul Cohen, said talks have yet to occur but indicated that lines of communication are open. "We've always had a good relationship," Cohen said. "I would expect we'll talk soon."

Edmonds is scheduled to have surgery on his right shoulder in the next two to three weeks.[...]

Former Cardinals righthander Woody Williams has told friends he would be interested in returning to the Cardinals as well. Williams, 40, was 12-5 with a 3.65 ERA for the NL West champion San Diego Padres this season.

Jocketty said he considers Anthony Reyes part of the 2007 rotation but said Adam Wainwright's role would be determined by what transpires between now and February.

Wainwright, 25, became a relief sensation after failing to win a spot in the rotation in spring training. Given a chance to close after a hip condition disabled Jason Isringhausen, the rookie delivered the final pitch of each postseason round.

"I believe Wainwright's role will be determined by what we do this offseason," Jocketty said. "If we fill the rotation with people from outside the organization, he may remain where he is. If we can't, we may have to look at him as a starter."

The issue is further complicated by Isringhausen's expected absence early next season.

Regardless, the Cardinals' bullpen is unusually settled. Braden Looper, Josh Hancock, Josh Kinney, Randy Flores, Tyler Johnson, Brad Thompson and Ricardo Rincon remain under control.

"There is far more certainty there than the rotation," Jocketty said.
There you have it. I have no problems with the bullpen. Remember, when Rincon went on the DL, he was replaced with John Gall on the roster. Eventually, Tyler Johnson found his way to the big leagues. So did Kinney.

The biggest thing to me is SP and 2B.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All-Kruk Team

The All-Kruk team? Well, anyway, Karl Ravech and John Kruk are hosting it. To be considered, the criteria are appearance/personality, hair, talent, and the golf game.

1B - Sean Casey (Ravech suggests Pujols, Howard, Berkman)
2B - Orlando Hudson
3B - Jose Reyes (Derek Jeter)
SS - Brandon Inge (Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman)
LF - Manny Ramirez (Barry Bonds)
CF - Eric Byrnes (Andruw Jones)
RF - Nick Swisher (Ichiro)
C - A.J. Pierzynski
RHSP - Roger Clemens
LHSP - David Wells
LHRP - Dennys Reyes
RHSP - Joel Zumaya
CL - Bob Wickman
DH - Adam Dunn (David Ortiz)

Bench:
IF - Nick Punto
OF - Garry Matthews, Jr.
Manager: Ozzie Guillen

Lineup order: SS, RF, 1B, LF, DH, CF, C, 3B, 2B

David Eckstein on Tonight Show Transcript

Jay Leno: Alrighty, my next guest helping the St. Louis Cardinals to their worst, uh, their first World Series in 24 years, crushing Detroit, ladies and gentleman. Here he is in action. Take a look.

Video footage - Joe Buck: Eckstein flies one into left, Monroe is ... not gonna get it. And the Cardinals lead it 5-4 here in the 8th inning of game 4.

Please welcome the Most Valuable Player of the World Series, David Eckstein! Good to see you, have a seat. Now, this is your second world series win. Different than the first?

David Eckstein: Um, A little bit different. You know, in Anaheim, we really got on a roll and we played well throughout the whole year, and were able to get it done. But in St. Louis, we had almost the worst, um, dropoff.

Jay Leno: Yea, there was a streak of like 13 or 14 in a row.

Eckstein: Yea, at the end of the season when we just couldn't win a game. And it would have been the worst, um, drop off in ever in sports history probably, and we found a way to make the playoffs thanks to the Atlanta Braves. And, um, and um, we got in and we found a way to turn it around, and it was unbelievable.

Leno: Cause I know the people didn't give you much of a chance. I mean, the USA Today said Detroit would win it in 3.

Eckstein: Hmm, definitely which...

Leno: Did you guys see that?

Eckstein: Umm...

(Tim Allen moved over and David hands him a kleenex.)

(To Tim) There you go. (To Jay) Umm, I'm the type of person that does not read the papers.

Jay: Right.

Eckstein: But in our meeting, it was definitely brought up that that was said about us. You know because we always tried to look for something to give us an edge to go out there and that means the sportswriters definitely gave us an edge.

Leno: But you know it's funny you say cause, cause I mean, obviously, a lot of people go after the but that one thing winning in three that seems to affect you more...why?

Eckstein: Without a doubt because it's pretty much saying you don't have a chance. I think the last, you know winning in three and the last one is a laugher. And so, umm, you know when we play this game, you know, I mean, you kinda take that a little bit to heart because you only need to play four games.

Leno: Now, because you're won the MVP award, and you won a brand new car. What did you win?

Eckstein: I won a barnd new corvette.

Leno: It's a great car. Terrific car. There you go, beautiful car. Is it a stick shift or automatic?

Eckstein: It is a stick shift.

Leno: Excellent.

Eckstein: Yea, right, yes. The only problem is, of course, can't drive a stick.

Leno: Okay, my next guest is one of the biggest stars...wow. Telling somebody from Detroit you can't drive a stick. So what?

Tim Allen: Geeze.

Leno: But you know you might be able to work on your exteriority (I think), you might be able to pick it up.

Eckstein: Yea, you know the funniest thing is off the baseball field, I'm probably the most uncoordinated person you ever want to see.

Leno: Really?

Eckstein: Like today, I was getting on the plane and I was getting up to use the bathroom and I come back I just drilled my head because I didn't duck to get underneath it to get into my sign. You know, so, I'd probably wreck it.

Leno: That's amazing.

Allen: You can't drive a stick, huh?

Leno: Well, what's amazing - this is your first new car? You've never had a new one? You've been making big dough for a long time, and are you just like a cheap @$$?

Eckstein: Pretty much...

Allen: But it looks like he lives with his parents. You're like...you're like

Eckstein: They live in the house.

Allen: Do they really?

Eckstein: They do. No, they, um, growing up, we never really had money. Going to college, and there's five of us. We all went to the same college. And so, um, they bought a car for the family and...

This is all I was able to transcribe so far.

Hemond had a large role...

Now that the season is over, a perfect question to now ask is who will play Cardinals manager Tony La Russa in Three Nights in August.

The Post-Dispatch compares 1982 to 2006. One difference: I was not alive in 1982.

Adam Wainwright's status as a Cardinal is most definitely on the rise. I had the chance to meet him in May at Great American. He's a nice guy and along with most of the bullpen, he was signing autographs for everyone that day.

It is kind of sad that former Cardinal outfielder Andy Van Slyke does not have a ring in his career, whether it was as a player or as a coach. If Jose Oquendo does actually leave to manage somewhere, they should bring in Van Slyke as a coach.
The downside, of course, is that Van Slyke still does not have a ring, having lost as a Cardinal in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series and as a Pirate in three consecutive National League Championship Series from 1990-92.

"I don't know how to describe it," said Van Slyke, who rarely is at a loss for words, and then he found some. "It's like you get to a championship fight and you get knocked out. It ain't no fun."

This isn't at all what Van Slyke, nor his friends, many of them Cardinals fans, had expected.

His friends are "shocked, and happy," Van Slyke said. "From our conversations before this week, it was like, 'Don't beat up on us too badly.'"
It is interesting to note the role that former Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond had in all of this.
Hemond has been in professional baseball since 1951 when he joined the front office of the Hartford Chiefs of the Eastern League. He moved to the majors the next season with the Boston Braves and has been one of the best and brightest in the game since.

These days, he is special assistant to White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams, who has the job Hemond held in Chicago from 1971-85. Hemond also was scouting and farm director of the expansion Angels from 1961-70, general manager of the Baltimore Orioles from 1988-95 and senior vice president of the Diamondbacks from 1996-2000.

It was during his time as GM of the White Sox that Hemond set the Cardinals and Tigers on the path to this year's waterlogged World Series. He did it by hiring the best baseball minds he could find and giving them the freedom to grow.

His manager was Tony La Russa. His third base coach was Jim Leyland. His assistant GM was Dave Dombrowski. And working for Hemond at the team's Triple-A affiliate before that was Walt Jocketty.
For Scott Rolen of Jasper, it couldn't have been much better.
"I don't think it gets any more special than this," Rolen said.

For the third baseman, a 31-year-old Jasper native, the Cardinals' World Series clincher against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night couldn't have tasted any better. The Cardinals, and Rolen himself, had tasted enough failure in this season, they probably would like to spit it out. But that was all gone amid a champagne and beer hurricane that quickly engulfed the locker room after the players charged off the field.

"A lot of people said we backed into the playoffs," Rolen said. "We didn't care about that. We cared that we made playoffs, and we turned it around and started playing good baseball."
Who has the recipe for wins? None other than catcher turned pitching coach Dave Duncan.

David Eckstein on Tonight Show

David Eckstein was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He re-iterated what I've been trying to tell folks for a while now: St. Louis Cardinals short stop David Eckstein is not Jewish.

Anyway, some notes from the appearance this evening:
Sitting next to Tim Allen of Detroit. He's talking about the late collapse. Talks about the USA Today winning in three. Tim Allen moved over and David hands him a kleenex. The sportswriters were able to give them an edge. Talking about the yellow corvette. It's a stick shift and he can't drive a stick.

Off the field, he's very uncoordinated. He drilled his head on the plane. He's cheap...

What?!? He lives with his parents? He drove a Nissan centra and Nissan Maxima. All the cars were handed over to him. He bought his mom a new car and took her Toyota.

Talking about the Jewish All American team. He was yelled at for playing on Yom Kippur. He's says he's not Jewish and the crowd laughs.

Looks like he's talking about Ashley Drane now, who looks young. Tim says 11? David says she usually plays someone around 15. He got accused of being a pedophile. Tim asks if she worked at a Nissan dealership. She got a Honda Civic two years ago.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Jimmy Hollywood.

Bernie reports that the Cardinals are trying to work out a two year deal with gold glove center fielder Jim Edmonds.

I'm pleasantly pleased to read this. The club has an option in his contract for 2008.

Obviously, here are the choices available. Buyout his contract for $3 million by declining the option. Picking up his option for $10 million. Decline the option by buying it out and renegotiate a new contract.

From ESPN, I've learned that Scott Spiezio, Jason Marquis, and Ronnie Belliard have all filed for free agency.

Quote of the Day

"I would also like to say that I was not personally responsible for the actions of Tyler Johnson and Chris Duncan between the hours of midnight and six on Saturday morning."
--Tony La Russa at the Cardinals celebration, October 29, 2006

A look at salary...

From the Baseball Analysts:
Albert Pujols - $15.00M - Signed thru 2010 (club option for 2011)
Scott Rolen - 12.00 - Signed thru 2010
Jason Isringhausen - 8.75 - Signed thru 2007 (club option for 2008)
Chris Carpenter - 7.00 - Signed thru 2007 (club option for 2008)
Juan Encarnacion - 5.00 - Signed thru 2008
Braden Looper - 4.50 - Signed thru 2008
David Eckstein - 4.50 - Signed thru 2008
Ricardo Rincon - 1.45 - Signed thru 2008
2007 Total so far - $58.20M
The Cardinals also control a number of players, including pitchers Randy Flores, Josh Hancock, Tyler Johnson, Josh Kinney, Anthony Reyes, Brad Thompson, and Adam Wainwright; catcher Yadier Molina; infielder Aaron Miles; and outfielders Chris Duncan, John Rodriguez, and So Taguchi. Other than Taguchi ($825,000), all of the above players earned no more than $400,000 (with 10 of the 12 within 10% of the minimum salary of $327,000). Only Taguchi and Miles are eligible for arbitration.
So Taguchi - $1.000M
Yadier Molina - 0.800
Adam Wainwright - 0.650
Anthony Reyes - 0.500
Chris Duncan - 0.500
Aaron Miles - 0.500
John Rodriguez - 0.425
Randy Flores - 0.425
Josh Hancock - 0.425
Tyler Johnson - 0.425
Josh Kinney - 0.425
Brad Thompson - 0.425
That total comes up to $6.500M

From their site, this is an easier way of showing who is locked up for next season as a Cardinal:
C: Molina
1B: Pujols
2B: Miles
3B: Rolen
SS: Eckstein
LF: Duncan
Rodriguez
CF: Taguchi
RF: Encarnacion
SP: Carpenter
Reyes
Wainwright
RP: Isringhausen
Looper
Rincon
Flores
Hancock
Johnson
Kinney
Thompson
We are still awaiting to see what happens with Jimmy's option, which will affect what pitching we go after.
OK, let's see where St. Louis stands with respect to that $25M in discretionary funds. Give $7M net to Edmonds and $7-8M to Suppan, leaving $10-11M for three other players - a starting 2B, a #5 SP, and perhaps a LF (to replace Duncan if traded).

Ronnie Belliard made $4M last year. I don't think the Cardinals will allocate more than that for a second baseman. Belliard didn't hit too well in his stint with the 'Birds but should be good for .270/.330/.400 type production. Other options include Craig Biggio, Ray Durham, Adam Kennedy, and Mark Loretta. Biggio, Kennedy, and Loretta all made between $3-4M last year.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Offseason: Free Agency Moves

Gary Bennett, crucial in sweeping the Cubs in August at Busch, has filed for free agency. Yadier will need a backup catcher. Will they go after Mike Matheny if he's healthy enough?

Parade of Champions

If you are unable to be in St. Louis for the parade, do what I am. Watch the streaming video online at KSDK. It's the next best thing to actually being in St. Louis on this lovely day.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

2006 Free Agents

You can track the 2006 Free Agents and where they end up signing over here.

Here's the list of free agents on the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ronnie Belliard
Gary Bennett
Jim Edmonds (club option)
Jason Marquis
Mark Mulder
Mike Rose (minor league free agent)
Scott Spiezio (club option)
Jeff Suppan
Jose Vizcaino
Jeff Weaver
Preston Wilson (club option)

Mark Buerhle wants to be a Cardinal

Rivalfish reports that Mark Buerhle would prefer to be on the Cardinals to start the 2007 season.
John mingled with the Buehrles throughout the game, and at one point was part of a conversation between Jamie Buehrle (Mark's wife) and one of her girlfriends. Jamie expressed that Mark hopes that Kenny Williams will opt-out of his $9.5 million Club Option in the coming week, allowing Buehrle to seek a new team. Buehrle (above in Cardinals hat), a native of St. Charles, MO, is a long time fan of the Redbirds. Jamie confirmed that he has already spoken to the Cardinals, and is hoping to start next season in St. Louis. Ultimately, where he ends up is up to Kenny Williams. Mark Buerhle himself agreed that it was "out of his control" on Tuesday night. The deadline for this decision is Nov. 1.
I'd love to see that happen.

Being the best when it matters most

With the worst record of any team in the playoffs, the St. Louis Cardinals have won the World Series. Cue Jayson Stark:
Eight teams in the American League alone won more games this year than the Cardinals. Five teams that didn't even make the playoffs won more games than the Cardinals. Twelve teams altogether won more games than the Cardinals. And no World Series winner in the history of the universe could ever make that claim.

But we'll ask again: Why is that a bad thing? Why did all those cities out there that weren't named Detroit and St. Louis act so appalled and disinterested by a World Series matching a wild-card team on one side and an 83-win team on another?

"Isn't this a way better story line," asked Detroit's Todd Jones, "than 'Why aren't the Yankees here?' "
Damn right, it is. The Yankees weren't there because they weren't the better team when it mattered.

About the Weaver deal

He proved us wrong and got us our tenth ring! Right?

KTRS 550: Mike Shannon's Call of the Final Out

2 on, 2 out, an oh-2 pitch
Wainwright has the sign he wants
he brings it home
Inge

SWING...AND A MISS!!!
The Cardinals are World Champions for 2006 as Wainwright greets the catcher and they mob the pitcher and catcher on the mound here at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals are the World Champions for 2006.
The 10th World Championship in their illustrious franchise history and it goes to number 10, the Cardinal manager, Tony LaRussa

Your 2006 St. Louis Cardinals World Champions

They all played for the Cardinals at some point in the season.

Pitchers
Chris Carpenter
Jeff Suppan
Jeff Weaver
Mark Mulder
Anthony Reyes
Randy Flores
Josh Hancock
Josh Kinney
Brian Falkenborg
Jason Isringhausen
Tyler Johnson
Braden Looper
Jason Marquis
Chris Narveson
Ricardo Rincon
Jorge Sosa
Brad Thompson
Adam Wainwright

Catchers
Yadier Molina
Gary Bennett
Mike Rose

Infielders
Albert Pujols
Ronnie Belliard
David Eckstein
Scott Rolen
Aaron Miles
Scott Spiezio
Jose Vizcaino
John Nelson

Outfielders
Jim Edmonds
Chris Duncan
Juan Encarnacion
So Taguchi
Skip Schumaker
Larry Bigbie
John Rodriguez
Preston Wilson

Gone but not forgotten
Hector Luna
John Gall
Sidney Ponson

Congrats, guys!

Friday, October 27, 2006

THAT'S A WINNER!!!!!

THAT'S A WINNER!! A WORLD SERIES WINNER!!! St. Louis has just knocked off the Detroit Tigers to take home the 2006 World Series Championship.

Unfortunately for us, it came at the expense of the lack of defense from Tiger pitchers.

The Cardinals got lucky with some botched key plays by the Tigers. In the second inning, David Eckstein drove in Yadier Molina on a bad throw from Brandon Inge to first.

The Cardinals led 1-0 before Chris Duncan made an error on a routine flyball which led to a Sean Casey HR and the Tigers took the lead, 2-1.

In the fourth inning, Verlander botched a play and Molina scored again when Weaver reached on a fielder's choice. Eckstein grounded out and So Taguchi scored. The Cardinals took the lead again, 3-2.

Duncan was removed in the seventh as a result of a bad play in the sixth.

In the seventh inning with two on, Pujols flied out. Edmonds, in what could have been his final at bat as a Cardinal, flied out. Rolen hit a two-out hit to shallow right field and Eckstein comes home easily. That hit may have given Rolen the rights to series MVP as he is batting .421 during the series.

The Tigers handed it to the Cardinals by way of errors, eight alone in the series so far after the two tonight. For the first time since 1979, pitchers had made at least one error a game.

In January, if I was asked, I never would have though the crowd would be chanting: "WEAVER! WEAVER! WEAVER!" He's an unlikely postseason hero. Here it is, in Game 5 of the World Series, Weaver is the starter and going deep into the 8th inning, striking out 9 batters. Jered Weaver was on hand, in Cardinals gear, rooting for his older brother. I tip my cap and salute Jeff Weaver on his amazing performance in the month of October!

Adam Wainwright gets the save and Brandon Inge is the final out.

For 1985. 1987. 1996. 2000. 2001. 2002. 2004. 2005. More importantly, for Jack Buck and Darryl Kile, who we lost en route to clinching the division in 2002.

Some highlights from Edmonds: "I think we shocked the world." On La Russa's management: "With these idiots we've got."

The World Series MVP is David Eckstein!

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 5

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Chris Meyers, Ken Rosenthal

Singing the national anthem is Bill Ray Cyrus.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Chris Duncan RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Yadier Molina C
So Taguchi LF
Jeff Weaver P
-------------
Jeff Weaver

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Carlos Guillen SS
Magglio Ordonez RF
Sean Casey 1B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Placido Polanco 2
Brandon Inge 3B
Justin Verlander P
-------------
Justin Verlander

I'll update the lineups when I get them.

Despite the weather, I expect a game to be played tonight, and I am praying that it is the final game of the 2006 postseason.

This postseason, Jeff Weaver is 2-2 with a 2.94 ERA in his four postseason starts so far. Since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Terry Evans on July 5, Weaver went 5-4 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 Cardinal starts. Good news for Cardinal fans, Weaver is due for a win as he picked up a loss in the last game.

Rookie pitcher Justin Verlander will take the mound for the Detroit Tigers in Game 5. Verlander went 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA this past season. In the postseason, not so much, going 1-1 with a depressing 7.47 ERA. In an elimination game, Leyland is going with Verlander rather than their ace, Kenny Rogers.

Some stats to note, Albert Pujols is 2-12, with a home run. Magglio Ordonez is 2-15, both coming off of Jeff Weaver.

I'm feeling confident and optimistic about tonight's game. Let's win one tonight for Jack Buck and Darryl Kile, members of the Cardinal family who passed away in 2002.

St. Louis 4, Detroit 2
Winning pitcher - Jeff Weaver (1-1)
SV - Adam Wainwright (1)

Jim Edmonds Update

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.com reports with what looks to be some great news on the best outfielder in MLB Baseball.
Will Edmonds return to Cards?
Jim Edmonds' post-season revival increases the likelihood of the Cardinals picking up his $10 million option rather than paying a $3 million buyout.

The free-agent market for center fielders is thin beyond Gary Matthews Jr. and Juan Pierre, the trade prices will be high for players such as the Blue Jays' Vernon Wells and Devil Rays' Rocco Baldelli and the Cardinals lack a top center-field prospect in his system.

Edmonds, 36, has pondered playing only one more season, but he has a chance to become only the fourth player in history to win 10 Gold Gloves and hit 400 homers.

The others: Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt and Ken Griffey Jr.
It's great news to me.

Ya think the radar gun is working?

From today's Post-Dispatch:
Velocity conspiracy?

Some Detroit pitchers hinted at a conspiracy when the Busch Stadium scoreboards showed lower-than-usual radar-gun readings for reliever Joel Zumaya. In truth, the system appears to be on the fritz. The first clue came when the scoreboards showed Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman throwing a 50 mph fastball past Albert Pujols. If the numbers are going to be that far off, or not registering at all, better to shut off the toy until it works properly.
Go figure.

One more

Folks, we're up 3-1 against the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.

Tomorrow night is game 5. Don't take anything for granted...YET.

It's one out at a time.

The Detroit Tigers are 27 outs away from elimination.

GO CARDINALS!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 4

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Chris Meyers, Ken Rosenthal

Today, assuming the game is not rained out, Billy Ray Cyrus with his daughter Miley (both of Hannah Montana) will be singing our country's National Anthem. Singing "G-d Bless America," is the band, Sugarland. Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch is Hall of Fame member and Cardinals legend Stan "The Man" Musial. Or not. It might be Bruce Sutter instead. Scratch both, it's Lou Brock. Colleen Schoendienst ended up singing during stretch time.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Chris Duncan RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Jim Edmonds CF
Scott Rolen 3B
Preston Wilson LF
Yadier Molina C
Aaron Miles 2B
Jeff Suppan P
-------------
Jeff Suppan

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Carlos Guillen SS
Magglio Ordonez RF
Sean Casey 1B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Placido Polanco 2B
Brandon Inge 3B
Jeremy Bonderman P
-------------
Jeremy Bonderman

Lineups are corrected now. Jeff Suppan's throwing today and I feel good about it. In his career, Suppan is 3-3 with a 3-3 record with a 2.91 ERA in eight postseason starts. Suppan was the MVP was the 2006 NLCS against the Mets thanks to two very great starts. On the other hand, against the Tigers in his career, he's 8-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 20 starts. That said, this postseason, he's been fantastic. In his last 15 innings, he's only allowed one run. The key to Suppan's pitching tonight will be to shut down Magglio Ordonez (17-43) and Pudge Rodriguez (.500) in the game.

Looking at Bonderman's stats, he's 0-0 against the Cardinals in his career with a 1.29 ERA. This postseason, he's 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts. Bonderman is a lefty. A piece of trivia, he's the player that was sent by the Athletics to the Tigers as a result of a three-team deal in 2002. Cardinal hitters have rarely seen him in their career. Belliard, who as 21 at bats against him, is only .143 against him. Wilson and Miles are both 3-6, so we could see Miles tonight even though we need Belliard's defense in the game. Eckstein is 4-10 against him. Spiezio is .267 in 15 at bats. The last time we faced him, it was a game that Sidney Ponson started for us. The Cardinals went 9-35 that day.

In a piece of trivial news, former Cardinals pitcher Sidney Ponson, who was designated for assignment earlier this season, is pulling for us to win it all. Hey, anyone who played for us this season, gets a ring!
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 24 -- Don't expect pitcher Sidney Ponson to sulk over the fact the St. Louis Cardinals are in the World Series and he is not. Ponson, who signed with the Cardinals this offseason but was released during the season, is happy to see his former team in the postseason, according to agent Barry Praver.
Speaking of offseason deals, remember the J.D. Drew trade? Anyway, Walt Jocketty would not make that deal without Adam Wainwright being a part of it. Just to think what could have been.

St. Louis 5, Detroit 4
Winning pitcher - Adam Wainwright (1-0)

Unbelieveable! Words cannot express how I feel right now. The Cardinals now lead the World Series with a record of 3-1 with Game 5 at Busch Stadium tomorrow night. David Eckstein, who was slumping, had a huge night, going 4-5. Eckstein had a clutch hit in the 8th inning when Craig Monroe extended his glove but it went off the webbing. Eckstein had three doubles alone. Rolen also had a big night, going 2-4 with a run. Miles went 1-3 with two runs and a walk. Remind me to thank Atlanta for Adam Wainwright.

The Tigers made a Curt Flood-esque mistake when Granderson fell over in the 7th and Eckstein gets a double.

How we scored:
David Eckstein doubled to left center, driving in Aaron Miles (3rd inning)
Yadier Molina doubled to left, Scott Rolen comes home (4th)
So Taguchi was safe at first on Fernando Rodney's throwing error to first, scoring Eckstein and Taguchi advances to second (7th)
Preston Wilson singled to left, scoring Taguchi, and Pujols tagged out between second and third (7th)
David Eckstein doubled to left, Aaron Miles scored what would be the game winning run (8th).

The stats to note, other than Eckstein breaking out of the slump, is Yadier Molina is hitting .308 in the series and Rolen's batting .438. Edmonds is up around .308. Eckstein's hitting .333 in the series.

When Rodney made that bad throw to first, the thought going through my mind at the moment when the Tigers made an error by the pitcher for the fourth straight game was the remarks that the late Jack Buck made in 1988: I DON'T BELIEVE...WHAT I JUST SAW. I DON'T BELIEVE WHAT I JUST SAW.

We'll see you tomorrow night.

We have a game!

At least we should have a game tonight.

In the event that we don't, Jose de Jesus Ortiz with the Houston Chronicle argues in the defense of the roof.

I don't mind a roof, as long as it's retractable. But, to keep the roof closed for most of the season, despite fantastic weather outside, that's just wrong!

2009: Busch Stadium chances of hosting All-Star Game in doubt

MLB cites open air press box.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America moved Wednesday to request that Major League Baseball withhold awarding the 2009 All-Star Game to the Cardinals until significant improvements are made to a press facility the organization considers unacceptable to host a special event.

Commissioner Bud Selig described the matter as "a real and valid" issue Wednesday and acknowledged being made aware of the writers' concerns.

"It's always a significant issue. I'm sensitive to it, and I know the issues are real and valid," Selig said. "The question is what can be done about it, and I don't have an answer about it right now."[...]

The Busch Stadium press facility has been criticized by media since the park opened this April. During construction of the stadium, Cardinals officials waived architect HOK's standard design, opting for a less costly, exposed press box offering neither air conditioning nor heat. The club originally intended to locate the press facility down the right-field line until Major League Baseball mandated that it be situated behind home plate.

Journalists weren't the only ones subject to the spartan conditions. The club placed its public relations offices in a windowless cinder block space also lacking heat and air conditioning.

Other complaints include poor sight lines from the box's second row. Media members not sitting in the front row are unable to see the stadium scoreboard or follow fly balls unless they lay their heads flat on the table.

Rotation scenarios

I blame Will at Deadspin!! No, seriously, it's the fault of the weather.

If it rains tomorrow and postpones game 4 again, games 4 and 5 would be on friday and saturday. If the weather's that ugly on Friday, games 4 and 5 would be in St. Louis on Saturday sunday. Here's some rotation scenarios:

Thursday: Suppan
Friday: Reyes or Weaver

Thursday: PPD
Friday: Suppan
Saturday: Reyes/Weaver

Thursday and Friday: PPD
Sat: Suppan
Sun: Carp

Your thoughts?

In the mean time, I'm keeping the game 4 post where it is since I fear that we could have more than one rainout this week.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

World Series: Cardinals vs. Tigers - Game 3

FOX Broadcasting Team:
Play-by-Play: Joe Buck
Analysts: Tim McCarver
Reporter: Chris Meyers, Ken Rosenthal

Trace Adkins will be singing the National Anthem and Jo Dee Messina will sing "G-d Bless America" during game 3. For Game 4, it's Billy Ray Cyrus (with his daughter, Miley) and Sugarland, respectively. All this per Tim McKernan.

Lineups
Cardinals
David Eckstein SS
Preston Wilson LF
Albert Pujols 1B
Scott Rolen 3B
Ronnie Belliard 2B
Jim Edmonds CF
Yadier Molina C
So Taguchi RF
Carpenter P
-------------
Chris Carpenter

Tigers
Curtis Granderson CF
Craig Monroe LF
Placido Polanco 2B
Magglio Ordonez RF
Carlos Guillen SS
Ivan Rodriguez C
Sean Casey 1B
Brandon Inge 3B
Nate Robertson P
-------------
Nate Robertson

Chris Carpenter takes on Nate Robertson in the first of three games to be played at Busch Stadium during the World Series. Carpenter is 3-4 in 11 starts against the Detroit Tigers with a 7.03 ERA. I'd wager to say that most of those starts were while he was with the Blue Jays. Fungoes has the career OPS records against each pitcher. Nate Robertson has never faced the Cardinals although he has faced David Eckstein, Preston Wilson, and Ronnie Belliard in prior years. Preston Wilson will likely start in the game today given his numbers against Robertson (5-5 with two home runs).

Tiger hitters vs. Carpenter:
Pudge Rodriguez 9-26
Magglio Ordonez 5-18
Neifi Perez 3-14
Sean Casey 6-13
Carlos Guillen 3-11
Placido Polanco 2-7
Brandon Inge 3-5
Curtis Granderson 2-4
Craig Monroe 1-3
Marcus Thames 1-3
Vance Wilson 1-2

Carp has to be the most careful with Pudge, Mags, and Casey.

That's a winner and the St. Louis Cardinals take a 2-1 series lead as Chris Carpenter and Braden Looper combine shut out the Tigers 5-0, thanks to some bad defense on the Tigers part.

We'll see you tomorrow night!

How we scored tonight:
In the bottom of the fourth, Jim Edmonds doubled to right, scoring both Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols scored.
In the bottom of the seventh, Albert Pujols reached on a fielder's choice but Joel Zumaya bad a bad throw to third, scoring both David Eckstein and Preston Wilson.
In the bottom of the eighth, with bases loaded for Albert Pujols, So Taguchi scored on a wild pitch.

We've managed to shut down Curtis Granderson (0-13), Pudge Rodriguez (0-11) and Placido Polanco (0-10) during the World Series. Carp was dealing, going 8 strong innings, fanning 6, and giving up 3 hits and no runs. Carp only through 82 pitches the whole game.

In the World Series, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen have brought their bats with them and are batting a combined .429 through three games. Rolen has an 8 game hitting streak. Jimmy Hollywood's career is definitely winding down and it would be sad to see him retire after this season, or sign with another team. I'd like to see another season or two from Jim Edmonds as a Cardinal but check out this article from Yahoo.
Jim Edmonds' nickname is "Hollywood," a reference to the 36-year-old center fielder's uncanny knack for coming through when everybody is watching.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa surely had that in mind when he kept putting Edmonds in the lineup against lefties this year, despite a puny .156 batting average against them.

Sure enough, facing Detroit Tigers southpaw Nate Robertson in Game 3 of the World Series, Edmonds put his name in lights yet again.

The St. Louis Cardinals' elder statesman, prone more to musing about retirement in a season plagued with injury and struggles at the plate, lined a key double down the first-base line off Robertson in the fourth inning Tuesday night for the first runs in St. Louis' 5-0 victory.
Here's a line from his press conference after the game: "I knew it might be one of the last times I played here."

In the post season, Carp was 2-1 with 3.70 ERA and 17 K. I'll have the stats updated tomorrow on here to reflect the new numbers.

St. Louis 5, Detroit 0
Winning pitcher - Chris Carpenter (1-0)

The last World Series shutout by Cardinal pitching was 1985's Game 4 against the Royals. Gibson shut 'em out in 1968 and Dizzy Dean did so in 1934.

We can win this thing. I know it. You know it. Cardinal Nation mot definitely knows it. Especially with the defense of the Tigers, or lack there of.

Letterman: Top Ten Signs A Baseball Player is Cheating

This is the top ten from Monday's Late Show with David Letterman
Top Ten Signs A Baseball Player Is Cheating

10. Tested positive for uranium
9. Always asking fans for clean urine
8. After each win, receives congratulatory phone call from Balco founder Victor Conte
7. Name on back of his uniform is "Bonds"
6. You can find him in the club house corking himself
5. Distracts opponents by throwing out the frozen head of Ted Williams
4. Somehow got 3 RBI's during the seventh-inning stretch
3. You haven't seen someone with that much Vaseline on them since the last Paris Hilton video
2. Pete Rose called him a disgrace to the game
1. His nickname is "Needle @$$"

On Dan Patrick

TLR was ready to order Jose Oquendo to have the umpires search KR and that in the end, he said no. Some of it may have had to do with his friendship with Jim Leyland.

DP: "How do you protect the integrity of the game when you let someone cheat during the game?"

"CSI: MLB" - Pitch it to CBS and you have another hit show!!

Whoever is on his show (Randy Cunningham?) around 1:30 believes that the umpires should be replaced or fired.

The thing is, it has to be ordered by the manager, not a bench coach. I just hope this does not come back to harm us.

The Clydesdales are coming tonight! Joe Morgan is now on and I'll summarize as best as possible.

Morgan thinks it should not be pushed under the rug. KR took advantage of Jeff Weaver as well. As to TLR, TLR did not want an uproar. From a mgr standpoint, he's to protect his players and pitchers.

DP: Did Kenny Rogers cheat?
KR: Yes

The World Series is a bigger issue than his relationship with Leyland.

Talking about Hal McRae's article in the USA Today and the scuffmarks in the same spot.

Does not think it's a coincidence about the postseason record now.

Gives Carpenter the edge but doesn't think he's the same pitcher now than he was midseason.

HItting coach Hal McRae calls KR out

USA Today:
"It was so blatant," Cardinals hitting coach Hal McRae told USA TODAY on Monday. "What was so strange about it was how obvious it was, in the World Series. It's a shame a guy would cheat in a World Series game. It hurts the integrity of the game.

"He wasn't just cheating by using pine tar; he was scuffing balls, too. We collected about five or six balls that are scuffed. He had to be using his fingernails or something."

Rogers, whose eight scoreless innings helped tie the series at one game apiece with Game 3 scheduled Tuesday at Busch Stadium, adamantly denied he cheated. Rogers, answering questions for nearly 30 minutes Monday, said he had only mud, dirt, rosin and spit on the base of his left thumb.

"Maybe it looked like pine tar; I don't know," said Rogers, who has pitched 23 scoreless innings in this postseason. "I'm skeptical of a lot of stuff (in baseball), too, but I'm not skeptical of my ability to pitch. My pitching isn't that dominant. ... I just know how to pitch."

Major League Baseball has no plan to investigate, according to spokesman Rich Levin, saying the issue was addressed Sunday night.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who said Monday, "I don't believe it was dirt, didn't look like dirt," met with his team before the workout to explain his reasoning for not having the umpire crew inspect Rogers.

"I was not going to be part of the BS where I was going to ask the umpire to go to the mound and undress the pitcher," La Russa said. "I alerted (plate umpire Alfonso Marquez). I said, 'I hope it gets fixed. If it doesn't get fixed, then I'll take the next step.' "

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kenny Rogers: You're being placed on notice

Umpire confirms it was pine tar

JxMetal makes a comment at VEB that he knows an umpire in Double A ball. The AA umpire called the home plate umpire to find out what went on last night. The umpire confirmed what everyone else has been speculating: Kenny Rogers had pine tar on his hand and only recieved a warning.
So I have a guy in my class who is an umpire. This season he was in double AA ball. To protect his privacy I guess I'll just give his first name, Mike. Anyways, he's friends with the home plate ump from last night.

So last night he called him up and asked him what was on the hand and the ump said it was definitly pinetar and told Rodgers to "f***ing clean his hand" He said this to him as Rodgers was walking off the field after the first inning. I didn't catch his whole conversation, but he didn't kick him out because he said it to Rodgers before LaRussa talked to the umpire.
There ya go, because Tony La Russa did not come off the bench sooner, Kenny stays in and we don't have a bullpen game for game two.

PTI on Smudgegate

(Hi. I'm Brian. You probably don't know me from Obsessions of a Cardinal Fan but you might know me from the comments section at Viva El Birdos. I'm the newest team member here at Redbirds Fun.)

PTI opened with Rogers, as you might expect.

Wilbon would have made a bigger deal of it during the game, if for no other reason than to mess with his psyche.

TK wanted La Russa to have Rogers searched on the mound.

Wilbon's right. Even if you don't find anything on Rogers, it still gets inside his head. Suddenly, he's rattled and maybe he makes some mistakes to Cardinal hitters. La Russa is a master of playing head games with the opposing team, so for him to pass up the opportunity last night was curious.

Around the Horn Coverage of Smudgegate

Due to a night class, I won't be able to focus on coverage on Pardon the Interruption unless it's in the first five minutes of that show.

On Around the Horn today is J.J. Adande, Tim Cowlishaw, Woody Paige, and Jay Marriotti. According to Jay, Obama flies coach.

The Rogers story leads off. The arguments:
Jay - Accuses MLB of covering up the story and brings up ESPN's coverage. Credits McCarver and wants to know why TLR let it go. Wonders whether we can trust baseball again. Where's Bud Selig in all of this?

Cowlishaw - Not calling it cover up. Doesn't know if it is dirt. Not a huge scandal. Gaylord Perry.

Adande - Have to ask why is cheating a part of baseball. Throw out all the players in the HOF who violated any rule. Says we shouldn't be so upset. Says he should have been ejected and that baseball is hypocritical.

Woody - Hid the pine tar, which is sticky, and when he held the rosin bag, it stuck to the hands, so he had to wash it off. He was cheating. Woody even illustrates the thing.

On PTI:
They start off with Kenny Rogers so it looks like it's dinner after this. Wilbon says it should have been important since it's the World Series and that Tony La Russa should get into his head.

Tony Kornheiser says to check his hat and glove. He says to get into Kenny Rogers' head.

Wilbon says it doesn't help that it was discovered in the second inning.

The day after...

There's no doubt in my mind that Kenny Rogers was cheating.

ESPN is making a story out of this. MLB is covering up the issue.

I wish that TLR would have gone out there to argue during the inning AS SOON as Tim McCarver had mentioned it during the broadcast. For all the flack that McCarver gets from viewers, he gets major kudos for noticing this case.

I hate that Bernie is making this a non-issue. It's an issue that won't go away. The Cards will clinch at Busch on Thursday with three straight wins.

As hot as Yadier's bat has been lately, I would have pinch hit for him in hopes of getting two runs to tie the game and go to extra innings.

In other news, anyone remember this play where Albert Pujols tagged out Chris Burke, yet Burke was called safe?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Kenny Rogers caught with Pine Tar



Photo provided by Hardcore Legend at VEB.

MLB better do something about this since the umpires should have ejected him.

Postgame updates:
Kenny Rogers is clearly a liar that's gotten in trouble once and when he gets in trouble again, he gets away with it. He states that it was just a "clump of dirt."

Any foreign substance should have been cause for ejection. Why, oh umpires, why did you not eject Kenny Rogers when he CLEARLY cheated it not 1, not 2, but 3 series now!!

When all that is Steve Phillips states that this was a missed opportunity by the Cardinals, you know something is up. I'm surprised that Tony La Russa did not make any charges of the pine tar during the press conference after the game.

Here's an article from ESPN on the issue of whether or not it was pine tar.
"It was a big clump of dirt," Rogers said after the game. "I didn't know it was there. They told me about, but it was no big deal."

When asked how he could have a big clump of dirt on his hand, Rogers replied, "It was dirt and rosin put together. That's what happens when you rub it up. … I just went and wiped if off. I didn't think it was an issue. After the first inning, it was fine. I felt I was pretty comfortable after that."[...]

After the substance was noticed, ESPN reviewed tapes of Rogers' pitching performances earlier in the postseason. The tapes revealed that, in starts against both the Yankees and Athletics, a similar-looking brown substance was spotted on Rogers' hand.
It's most likely pine tar and not a clump of dirt as the lying Rogers states.

MLB Rule 8.02
(b) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign substance. For such infraction of this section (b) the penalty shall be immediate ejection from the game. In addition, the pitcher shall be suspended automatically for 10 games.

Kenny's post-game press conference:
Reporter: What was it on your hand in the first inning? How did you take it off? And, why?

Rogers: It was a big clump of dirt. And, I went and wiped it off after the first. I didn't know that it was there until afterwards. And, then they told me, and I took it off. No big deal.

Reporter: Did somebody complain?

Rogers: No. I just saw it. No. I saw it. I didn't it was there until after the inning. And, then I went and took it off. And, it was good.

Reporter: So the umpire didn't mention it all to you?

Rogers: No

Reporter: Kenny, you say you had a clump of dirt on your hand. How can you have a clump of dirt on your hand?

Rogers: Well, it's dirt and rosin and all that stuff. Whatever is put together. So, when it's moist out there, you're going to rub up the baseballs, and it left on my hand when I rubbed them up.

Welcome readers from USA Today and Deadspin