Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Jim Edmonds

Pick up Jimmy's option for another season and sign him for one year contract if need be. Like several Cards fans, many of us think that the centerfield situation should be addressed in a few years.
On Tuesday, Edmonds insisted he is committed to playing at least one and possibly two more seasons.

"I've always had that decision. But I've always wanted to play next year. I wanted to play my contract out" with the Cardinals, Edmonds said.

Edmonds said he long interpreted his connection to the club as more than a business relationship between a company and its employee. As part of that connection, Edmonds donated $1 million -- $200,000 each season from 2001-05 to the team's charitable arm, Cardinals Care. Cardinals Care unveiled Jim Edmonds Field in June 2001 in Forest Park Southeast. Edmonds also agreed to defer money from each season of his current deal.

"I did a lot of things to sign here. I gave a lot of things back," said Edmonds, who agreed to a six-year contract extension plus the club option on May 12, 2000. "I must have been naïve about it. I did those things to prove that I wanted to play here and care for this organization.

"I just thought I would play that contract out. Now being in limbo, I don't really know what's going to happen."

At least one member of the team's ownership group assured Edmonds in spring training that the club would pick up the option. Edmonds says he has heard nothing since. Asked if he took the March assurance at face value, Edmonds said, "I used to."

"I'm not really going to say anything more," Edmonds added. "I was real concerned about it, obviously, trying to figure out what the team was going to do. I have a lot of things in St. Louis I would have to take care of when I leave. We'll have to deal with it when it comes."

Edmonds 36, also became a father for the third time earlier this year, which has added to his perspective.

"Right now, I'm just concerned with taking care of my family," he said. "I have another child now. It's one more concern that I have in trying to keep my family together. That will have something to do in my thinking about what I do next."

Edmonds confirmed Tuesday that he would undergo right shoulder surgery shortly after the season ends to repair a partially torn rotator cuff, to remove bone spurs and to address an irregular joint. The eight-time Gold Glove Award winner underwent a similar procedure on his left shoulder after the 2003 season and says he has experienced no ill effects since.

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