Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where are they now - the 2006 World Champion Cardinals

I'm doing this mainly because I saw Hector Luna play yesterday in a minor league game. Luna played for the Cards in the first half of the season until being traded for Ronnie Belliard.

Position Players:
Yadier Molina (C): Molina is still the starting catcher for the Cardinals. In January 2008, he agreed to a 4 year $15.5 million deal with a club option for a fifth
Albert Pujols (1B): Still starting at 1st base...seven-year, $100 million contract extension with a $16 million club option for 2011 on February 20, 2004
Aaron Miles (2B): platoons for short stop and second base with the Cardinals after resigning one year contracts for both seasons
Scott Rolen (3B): Traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for 3B Troy Glaus during the past offseason
David Eckstein (SS): Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays during the past offseason
So Taguchi (LF): Signed as a Free Agent with the Philadelphia Phillies during the past offseason following his release from the Cardinals
Jim Edmonds (CF): Traded to the San Diego Padres during the past offseason for minor league 3B David Freese. Relased by Padres in May and signed with the Chicago Cubs
Juan Encarnacion (RF): Currently on the 60 Day DL. struck in the face by a foul ball last year when Aaron Miles was batting
Chris Duncan: Still with the Cardinals, though currently on the DL
Scott Spiezio: Released following a DUI in 2008. Braves signed him to a minor league contract
Hector Luna: Traded midseason in 2006 for Ron Belliard. Claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians last season, and currently playing with Syracuse (AAA) in the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Ron Belliard: Signed as a Free Agent with the Washington Nationals in early 2007
John Rodriguez: Following release by the Cardinals in 2006, he signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets this past June.
Gary Bennett: Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Dodgers during the past offseason. Currently on the 60 Day DL
Preston Wilson: Resigned by the Cards in 2007 but a knee injury in May kept him out for the rest of the year. Currently an unsigned free agent
Skip Schumaker: He's the current usual starting LF for the Cardinals
Timo Perez: Granted free agency at the end of 2006 and signed as a Free Agent with the Detroit Tigers. Currently on Tigers' 40-man roster
Larry Bigbie: Released at the end of the 2006 season. Following the release of the Mitchell Report, he agreed to a deal to play for the Yokohama Bay Stars in the Japanese Central League
Jose Vizcaino: Declared a free agent at the end of 2006. Not currently playing for anyone.
John Gall: Released midseason in 2006, and signed with the Lotte Giants in Korea. In 2007, he signed as a Free Agent with the Florida Marlins. Currently with AAA-Albuquerque (Florida Marlins) but will miss the entire month of August so that he can play for Team USA in the Olympics
Mike Rose: Following the 2006 season, he signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Indians. In December 2007, Rose signed a minor league contract with a spring training invite for the Colorado Rockies. He was released during spring training. This year, he signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League
John Nelson: Played with Iowa and Memphis in 2007. In 2008, he signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball

Pitchers:
Jason Marquis: After 2006 season, Marquis signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.
Chris Carpenter: Signed with the team through 2011 with a club option for 2012. Missed most of 2007 and all of 2008 so far due to injury
Jeff Suppan: Following 2006 season, Suppan signed as a Free Agent with the Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Weaver: At end of the 2006 season, Weaver signed as a Free Agent with the Seattle Mariners. In April 2008, he signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. On June 12, Weaver requested a release from his contract. By July 5, Weaver signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians
Mark Mulder: Following 2006, January 10, he agreed to a two-year $13 million contract, with performance-based incentives and a club option that could take the deal to three years at a possible $45 million. Mulder played this season but results have been unimpressive thus far
Anthony Reyes: Played a combo of gaves with both the Cards and Memphis since the start of 2007. Currently on a rehab assignment with Memphis
Sidney Ponson: Released in July 2006 by Cardinals and then signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees. Released by the Yankees in August 2006, and in January 2007, he signed as a Free Agent with the Minnesota Twins. The Twins would designate him for assignment in May 2007. In March 2008, Ponson signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training with the Texas Rangers. He was called up in April but has since been DFA'd. In June, he signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees and has since made a start back in June.
Jason Isringhausen: Returned as a closer in 2007 and put up career numbers. Currently a set up man for the Cards after being removed from the closer's role in May
Randy Flores: Still a left=handed pitching specialist for the Cardinals
Josh Kinney: Underwent Tommy John surgery last season.
Josh Hancock: Deceased in April 2007
Adam Wainwright: In March, he signed a four-year deal with the Cardinals worth $21 million, with two club options for 2012 and 2013 that could push the value of the deal to $36 million. Currently rehabbing and should be back later this season
Jorge Sosa: In January 2007, Sosa signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets. DFA'd by the Mets this past May, Sosa signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros, but would be released in July.
Braden Looper: In final year of a three-year, $13.5M contract with the Cardinals. Converted to a starter during the 2007 season.
Brad Thompson: Since the start of 2007, Thompson has split time between the Cardinals and Memphis.
Brian Falkenborg: Released in 2007 and signed with a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Called up in June
Tyler Johnson: Injured since 2007 and has missed both seasons thus far.
Chris Narveson: Agreed to a minor league contract by the Milwaukee Brewers on December 3, 2007

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cards vs. Brewers

The Cards tackle the Brewers for second in the division and first in the wild card race!

July 21, 2008
Milwaukee 6, St. Louis 3
Losing pitcher - Ryan Franklin (3-3)

July 22, 2008
Milwaukee 4, St. Louis 3
Losing pitcher - Kyle McClellan (2-5)
HR: Ryan Ludwick (23)

July 23, 2008
Milwaukee 3, St. Louis 0
Losing pitcher - Braden Looper (9-8)

July 24, 2008
Milwaukee 4, St. Louis 3
Losing pitcher - Ryan Franklin (3-4)

The Cards move on with a 57-47 record.

Cards vs. Padres

And let the second half begin!

July 17, 2008
San Diego 3, St. Louis 4
Winning pitcher - Kyle Lohse (12-2)
SV - Ryan Franklin (13)
HR: Rick Ankiel (21), Troy Glaus 2 (16, 17), Joe Mather (2)

July 18, 2008
San Diego 7, St. Louis 11
Winning pitcher - Kyle McClellan (2-4)
HR: Rick Ankiel (22), Ryan Ludwick (22)

July 19, 2008
San Diego 5, St. Louis 6
Winning pitcher - Todd Wellemeyer (8-4)
SV - Ryan Franklin (14)

July 20, 2008
San Diego 5, St. Louis 9
Winning pitcher - Brad Thompson (2-2)
HR: Troy Glaus (18), Aaron Miles (3)

The Cards move to a 57-43 record for the season.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All Star Game

Former Cardinals honored before the game during the honoring of 49 Hall of Famers able to make the game:
P: Steve Carlton, Dennis Eckersley, Bob Gibson, Bruce Sutter
1B: Orlando Cepeda
SS: Ozzie Smith
OF: Lou Brock

Current or former Cardinals that made either All Star roster: Albert Pujols, Ryan Ludwick, Dan Haren and J.D. Drew.

That made for a total of 11 current or former Cardinals represented.

Now for all of the Hall of Famers that did make the game:
P: Steve Carlton, Dennis Eckersley, Bob Feller, Rollie Fingers, Bob Gibson, Ferguson Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Phil Niekro, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Robin Roberts, Bruce Sutter, Don Sutton, Goose Gossage and Whitey Ford
C: Gary Carter, Yogi Berra
1B: Orlando Cepeda, Harmon Killebrew, Eddie Murray, Tony Perez and Willie McCovey
2B: Rod Carew, Bill Mazeroski and Ryne Sandberg
3B: Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, George Brett and Wade Boggs
SS: Luis Aparicio, Ozzie Smith, Robin Yount, Ernie Banks and Cal Ripken Jr.
OF: Lou Brock, Billy Williams, Ralph Kiner, Willie Mays, Tony Gwynn, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, Dave Winfield, Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson
DH: Paul Molitor
Managers: Earl Weaver, Tommy Lasorda and Dick Williams
Front Office: Lee MacPhail

George Steinbrenner delievered the ceremonial first pitch balls which were thrown by Goose Gossage, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson to current Yankees that were at the game: Reggie Jackson threw to Alex Rodriguez, Yogi Berra to Joe Girardi, Whitey Ford to Jeter and Goose Gossage to Mariano Rivera.

I would have liked to have seen Stan the Man and Red in attendence but I guess they were unable to make the trip due to their health.

When they introduced the managers, I thought they skipped the catchers but given the fact that Yogi Berra is one of the greatest Yankees of all times, it made sense to do that position last...not just that but unlike the other positions, the starters were introduced before the Hall of Famers.

All 63 players saw action including UK alumnus Brandon Webb, who just pitched this past Sunday.

Monday, July 14, 2008

2008 Midseason Awards

We've reached the halfway point of the 2008 baseball season and it's time to update my award picks based on statistics and the standings. As you may recall, my original picks were made with this posting here.

Based on the current standings, here is what the playoffs look like.

National League
East: Philadelphia Phillies
Central: Chicago Cubs
West: Arizona Diamondbacks
Wild Card: St. Louis Cardinals

American League
East: Boston Red Sox
Central: Chicago White Sox
West: Los Angeles Angels
Wild Card: Tampa Bay Rays

And for the midseason awards...

National League
Most Valuable Player: Chase Utley, PHI (25 HR)
Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, SF (11-2, 2.57, 135 K)
Rookie of the Year: Edinson Volquez, CIN (12-3, 2.29 ERA, 126 K)

American League
Most Valuable Player: Josh Hamilton, TEX (21 HR, 95 RBI)
Cy Young: Roy Halladay, TOR (11-6, 2.71, 121 K)
Honorable mention: Joe Saunders, LAA (12-5, 3.07, 63 K)
Rookie of the Year: Evan Longoria, TB (16 HR, 53 RBI)

Cards vs. Pirates

July 11, 2008
St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 0
Winning pitcher - Kyle Lohse (11-2)
HR: Rick Ankiel (20), Ryan Ludwick (19)

July 12, 2008
St. Louis 11, Pittsburgh 12
Losing pitcher - Chris Perez (2-1)
HR: Troy Glaus (14), Ryan Ludwick (20)

One of the weirdest games ever...

July 13, 2008
St. Louis 11, Pittsburgh 6
Winning pitcher - Russ Springer (2-0)
HR: Troy Glaus (15), Ryan Ludwick (21), Aaron Miles (2)

The Cards go into the break with a record of 53-43.

Cards vs. Phillies

July 8, 2008
St. Louis 2, Philadelphia
Winning pitcher - Joel Pineiro (3-4)
SV - Ryan Franklin (12)
HR: Rick Ankiel (19), Ryan Ludwick (18)

July 9, 2008
St. Louis 2, Philadelphia 4
Losing pitcher - Kyle McClellan (1-4)

July 10, 2008
St. Louis 1, Philadelphia 4
Losing pitcher - Braden Looper (9-7)

The Cards move to 51-42.

Trade Talks

I know it's satire but Bob Gibson is making a comeback.

In more serious news, on Baseball Tonight last night, Peter Gammons thinks the Cards are a leader if Toronto does decide to move A.J. Burnett.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

RIP: Dave Ricketts

The Cardinals have lost another member of the family. Dave Ricketts, who worked with the catchers for the Cardinals after playing, died of cancer at the age of 73. May he rest in peace.
Dave Ricketts shaped generations of catchers as a coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and will be remembered for his “passion”, his “zeal for life” and a contagious eagerness to teach, friends, teammates and pupils said Sunday after learning the longtime coach had died early Sunday morning.

“I learned a lot from him,” said Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo. “I learned how to teach. He was a friend and a good mentror. He had a great passion for teaching, and he knew how to get his point across in a unique way. He made sure you understood it. If he needed to repeat it 100 times or 1,000 times, he would do it until you got it done.

“He didn’t quit on anybody.”

Ricketts, who played for the Cardinals in the 1960s and returned later as a coach and instructor, died a day after his 73rd birthday. He had been battling cancer. He lived in St. Louis.

A native of Pennsylvania, Ricketts finished his major-league playing career as a Pirate and went onto coach for the Pirates at the major-league level. Former Pittsburgh pitcher and current broadcaster Steve Blass remembered as the hardest-working coach he’s had been around in 49 years with the game.[...]

Manager Tony La Russa placed Ricketts in the category of the Cardinals’ Mount Rushmore of coaches, which includes longtime minor-league instructor George Kissell, the keeper of the Cardinal Way, and Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst. It was the young catchers who worked mostly with Ricketts, but it was the entire organization that benefited from Ricketts’ presence.

“Sometimes the word ‘great’ gets over-used, and it’s a shame,” La Russa said. “There have been some truly great Cardinals who have come through the organization, but I don’t know anyone greater or more beloved than Dave Ricketts.”

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Cards vs. Cubs

Jim Edmonds returns...but in a Chicago uniform?!?

July 4, 2008
Chi. Cubs 2, St. Louis 1
Losing pitcher - Braden Looper (9-6)
HR: Albert Pujols (18)

Pujols' 18th home run of this season was also the 300th home run of his career.

July 5, 2008
Chi. Cubs 4, St. Louis 5
Winning pitcher - Kyle McClellan (1-3)
HR: Rick Ankiel (18)

July 6, 2008
Chi. Cubs 7, St. Louis 1
Losing pitcher - Todd Wellemeyer (7-4)
HR: Ryan Ludwick (17)

Dang it, Brewers, why did you have to tie us for second?!? The Cards are now 50-40 this season with one more week until the All-Star break.

All-Star Rosters Announced

American League
Starting Lineup
C - Joe Mauer, MIN
1B - Kevin Youkilis, BOS
2B - Dustin Pedroia, BOS
SS - Derek Jeter, NYY
3B - Alex Rodriguez, NYY
OF - Josh Hamilton, TEX
OF - Manny Ramirez, BOS
OF
Ichiro Suzuki, SEA
DH - David Ortiz, BOSยบ

Pitchers
Justin Duchscherer, OAK
Roy Halladay, TOR
Scott Kazmir, TB
Cliff Lee, CLE
Joe Nathan, MIN
Jonathan Papelbon, BOS
Mariano Rivera, NYY
Francisco Rodriguez, LAA
Ervin Santana, LAA
Joe Saunders, LAA
George Sherrill, BAL
Joakim Soria, KC

Reserves
C - Dioner Navarro, TB
C - Jason Varitek, BOS
1B - Justin Morneau, MIN
2B - Ian Kinsler, TEX
SS - Michael Young, TEX
3B - Joe Crede, CWS
3B - Carlos Guillen, DET
OF - J.D. Drew, BOS
OF - Carlos Quentin, CWS
OF - Grady Sizemore, CLE
DH - Milton Bradley, TEX

National League
Starting Lineup
C - Geovany Soto, CHC
1B - Lance Berkman, HOU
2B - Chase Utley, PHI
SS - Hanley Ramirez, FLA
3B - Chipper Jones, ATL
OF - Ryan Braun, MIL
OF - Kosuke Fukudome, CHC
OF - Alfonso Soriano, CHC

Pitchers
Aaron Cook, COL
Ryan Dempster, CHC
Dan Haren, ARI
Brad Lidge, PHI
Tim Lincecum, SF
Ben Sheets, MIL
Edinson Volquez, CIN
Billy Wagner, NYM
Brandon Webb, ARI
Brian Wilson, SF
Kerry Wood, CHC
Carlos Zambrano, CHC

Reserves
C - Russell Martin, LA
C - Brian McCann, ATL
1B - Adrian Gonzalez, SD
1B - Albert Pujols, STL
2B - Dan Uggla, FLA
3B - Aramis Ramirez, CHC
SS - Cristian Guzman, WAS
SS - Miguel Tejada, HOU
OF - Matt Holliday, COL
OF - Ryan Ludwick, STL
OF - Nate McLouth, PIT

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cards v. Cubs

The Cubs and Cards have an Independence Day series coming up.

I recently wagered with a Cubs' fan friend of mine over the outcome of the last Cubs/Cards series. The Cards snatched the series in a Sunday night rubber match and my friend - as per our wager - was obliged to place a framed photo of Willie McGee on his desk.

The next matchup begins Friday. The Cards are back up to 13 pitchers. Mulder looked to have some serious potential after his brief outing last night.

The question is this: Do I reissue the wager in the name of keeping Mr. McGee on my friend's desk? Will the Cards snag another series from the Cubbies?

Cards vs. Mets

June 30, 2008
N.Y. Mets 1, St. Louis 7
Winning pitcher - Kyle Lohse (10-2)
HR: Chris Duncan (5)

July 1, 2008
N.Y. Mets 7, St. Louis 4
Losing pitcher - Todd Wellemeyer (7-3)
HR: Rick Ankiel (16)

July 2, 2008
N.Y. Mets 7, St. Louis 8
Winning pitcher - Ryan Franklin (3-2)
HR: Rick Ankiel (17), Chris Duncan (6), Troy Glaus 2 (12, 13)

July 3, 2008
N.Y. Mets 11, St. Louis 1
Losing pitcher - Mitchell Boggs (3-1)

The Cards moved to 49-38 on the season.

Cards vs. Royals

The Cards took on the Royals for the final interleague series during the 2008 season.

June 27, 2008
St. Louis 2, Kansas City 7
Losing pitcher - Joel Pineiro (2-4)
HR: Troy Glaus (11)

June 28, 2008
St. Louis 5, Kansas City 1
Winning pitcher - Mitchell Boggs (3-0)
HR: Rick Ankiel (15)

June 29, 2008
St. Louis 9, Kansas City 6
Winning pitcher - Chris Perez (2-0)
SV - Ryan Franklin (11)
HR: Jason LaRue (3), Albert Pujols (17)

The Cards finish the series with a 47-36 record on the season.

Cards vs. Tigers

June 24, 2008
St. Louis 8, Detroit 4
Winning pitcher - Braden Looper (9-5)
HR: Brian Barton (2)

June 25, 2008
St. Louis 7, Detroit 8
Losing pitcher - Kyle McClellan (0-3)
HR: Rick Ankiel 2 (13, 14), Skip Schumaker (6)

June 26, 2008
St. Louis 2, Detroit 3
Losing pitcher - Mike Parisi (0-4)

The Cards finish the series with a 45-35 record on the season.

Cards vs. Red Sox

June 20, 2008
St. Louis 5, Boston 4
Winning pitcher - Kyle Lohse (9-2)
SV - Ryan Franklin (10)
HR: Jason LaRue (2), Yadier Molina (4), Skip Schumaker (5)

June 21, 2008
St. Louis 9, Boston 3
Winning pitcher - Mitchell Boggs (2-0)
HR: Rick Ankiel (12), Troy Glaus (10), Aaron Miles (1)

June 22, 2008
St. Louis 3, Boston 5
Losing pitcher - Mike Parisi (0-3)

The sweep just was not meant to be but the Cards shelled Daisuke Matsuzaka to give him his first loss of the season. The Cards finish the series with a 44-33 record.