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, 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.