Monday, March 26, 2007

Redbird Report

March 20, 2007
St. Louis 13, Los Angeles 0
Winning pitcher - Anthony Reyes (3-0)
HR: Chris Duncan (5), Yadier Molina (1)

March 22, 2007
Florida 2, St. Louis 1
Losing pitcher - Chris Carpenter (0-1)

March 23, 2007
St. Louis 1, N.Y. Mets 2
Losing pitcher - Ryan Franklin (1-1)

March 24, 2007
St. Louis 4, Washington 2
Winning pitcher - Josh Hancock (1-0)
SV - Kelvin Jimenez (2)

March 25, 2007
Baltimore 6, St. Louis 5
Losing pitcher - Russ Springer (0-1)

March 26, 2007
St. Louis 3, Florida 1
Winning pitcher - Adam Wainwright (3-2)
SV - Brad Thompson (1)

Busch Stadium is now smoke-free.

UNLV's head basketball coach Lon Kruger was recently in St, Louis for the NCAA Tournament. Turns out that he used to play baseball.
Kruger, 54, can't wait to get to St. Louis and watch UNLV practice this afternoon.

"We've always enjoyed St. Louis," he said of his family, which includes son Kevin, a starting guard for the Rebs. "I have some former teammates (mostly baseball ones) and a lot of friends there."

Kruger grew up in Kansas, but he had a soft spot in his heart for the St. Louis Cardinals. After all, they signed him to a Class A contract in 1974. Kruger chose to play basketball in Israel and his baseball career fizzled.

Yet the next phase of his basketball career was just beginning. Good thing, too

"I was a Cardinals and Royals fan," said Kruger, a pitcher. "But after the Cardinals signed me, I didn't get back in time for spring training because I was playing basketball overseas."

The Cards didn't lose any sleep over Kruger's absence and he surmised it was time to get serious about basketball. He began to wonder if coaching suited him.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cardinals Roundup

When the season starts, I hope to have more frequent posts. However, with the opening of the season coinciding with Passover, it won't be all that easy to do.

Here's recaps from spring training games since my last post.

March 12, 2007
Atlanta 1, St. Louis 3
Winning pitcher - Ryan Franklin (1-0)
SV - Dennis Dove (1)
HR: Rick Ankiel (1)

March 13, 2007
St. Louis 2, Minnesota 5
Losing pitcher - Ricardo Rincon (0-1)

March 14, 2007
St. Louis 2, Washington 2
HR: Scott Rolen (1)

March 15, 2007
Los Angeles 3, St. Louis 2
Losing pitcher - Adam Wainwright (2-1)
HR: Chris Duncan (3)

March 16, 2007
St. Louis 6, Atlanta 6
HR: Chris Duncan 4, Edgar Gonzalez (3)

March 17, 2007
St. Louis 9, Atlanta 5
Winning pitcher - Brian Falkenborg (2-0)
HR: Scott Spiezio (2)

March 18, 2007
N.Y. Mets 4, St. Louis 5
Winning pitcher - Andy Cavazos (1-0)
SV - Randy Flores (1)

Dennis Dove is enjoying his experience in spring training so far.

Jim Edmonds and Juan Encarnacion will likely be on the DL when the season begins.

Adam Kennedy is expected to be the starter at 2B for most of the season.

La Russa is happy with Braden Looper's outings during spring training.

The Cardinals sent Rick Ankiel and Randy Keisler down to Memphis.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

2007 Awards and Championship Predictions

It's that time of year to predict who I believe will take home some extra gear at the end of the 2007 season. Some of my choices were very hard, especially when it comes to the AL Rookie of the Year award.

First, the awards.

National League
Rookie of the Year: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
There are plenty of quality rookies out there that are expected to make the opening day roster. I like what I see in the prior stats of Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Pelfrey, and Chris B. Young. Factor in the Colorado air and I think that Troy Tulowitzki will put up some very great rookie numbers. Tulowitzki is compared a lot to the 2004 AL ROY Bobby Crosby. Pelfrey is my second choice as it's not yet known as to whether or not he will make the opening day roster for the New York Mets but when you add on all the other stuff, he's a top candidate for the award.

Most Valuable Player: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Pujols is the best player in baseball and he's a player who will rank in the top three for average, home runs, and RBI's. At the end of the season, it will be the Cardinals and not the Phillies playing in the postseason.

Cy Young Award: Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
Carpenter will finish this season with stats similar to or better than he performed in 2005, and much better than 2006. Carp would have had better numbers, win-wise, in 2006 had Isringhausen not been injured.

Manager of the Year: Tony La Russa, St. Louis Cardinals
There's no Joe Girardi to compete but La Russa will find a way to get the National League to win the All-Star Game.

American League
Rookie of the Year: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
This was a hard decision for me in choosing between Gordon and Delmon Young. Here's a look at Sportsline for their stats in 2006. Look at the stats alone in Double A for Alex Gordon in 130 games: .325-29 HR-101 RBI -111 R-22 SB(.427 OBP-.588 SLG). Sportsline calls him the left-handed David Wright. They also say that he can put up numbers similar to that of Albert Pujols, and I agree. Believe me when I say that Alex Gordon is the player that Kansas City needs to build around. He's on all my fantasy baseball teams as he is the real deal. Look for a great season out of him this season. KC was wise to let him wait to this season to make the majors and move Mark Teahen to the outfield.

Most Valuable Player: Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
This, too, was a tough decision as there are so many MVP-caliber players out there like Morneau, Jeter, Ortiz, Mauer. I think that Morneau will repeat here.

Cy Young Award: Johan Santana, Minnesota Twins
'Nuff said. This guy is the best pitcher in the American League right now although Roy Halladay ranks up there as well. Halladay would be my runner up choice.

Manager of the Year: Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins
I don't know why but I just got this feeling that it's gonna be a breakout year for the Twins again.

All-Star Game: National League
They will find a way to win.

National League Division Champions:
East: New York Mets
Central: St. Louis Cardinals
West: San Diego Padres
Wild Card: Los Angeles Dodgers

American League Division Champions:
East: Toronto Blue Jays
Central: Minnesota Twins
West: Oakland Athletics
Wild Card: Kansas City Royals

World Series: St. Louis over Minnesota in 5 games

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cards roundup

My apologies for no posts in about half a month. I was on spring break last week or I would have been posting more frequently.

Let's start out with the results of all the Cards spring training games.

February 28, 2007
St. Louis 6, Florida 3
Winning pitcher - Adam Wainwright (1-0)

March 1, 2007
N.Y. Mets 4, St. Louis 3
Losing pitcher - Tyler Johnson (0-1)
HR: Chris Duncan (1), Edgar Gonzalez (1), Scott Spiezio (1)

March 2, 2007
N.Y. Mets 6, St. Louis 5
Losing pitcher - Josh Kinney (0-1)

March 3, 2007
St. Louis 8, Florida 1
Winning pitcher - Troy Cate (1-0)

March 4, 2007
St. Louis 12, Florida 3
Winning pitcher - Anthony Reyes (1-0)

March 5, 2007
Houston 5, St. Louis 0
Losing pitcher - Mike Smith (0-1)

March 7, 2007
St. Louis 11, Los Angeles 1
Winning pitcher - Braden Looper (1-0)
HR: Chris Duncan (2), Edgar Gonzalez (2), John Rodriguez (1), Skip Schumaker 2 (2)

March 8, 2007
St. Louis 2, Minnesota 1
Winning pitcher - Brian Falkenborg (1-0)
SV - Kelvin Jimenez (1)

March 9, 2007
St. Louis 4, Florida 1
Winning pitcher - Anthony Reyes (2-0)

March 11, 2007
Atlanta 6, St. Louis 3
Losing pitcher - Tyler Johnson (0-2)

St. Louis is currently 7-4 in spring training play.

Adam Wainwright plans to make a smooth transition into the pitching rotation.

Tony La Russa and Scott Rolen have made their peace.

While currently sticking to a one year deal for much of the young players, the Cardinals plan to lock in Yadier Molina for a long term deal.

David Eckstein has definitely made it. He went from being a walk-on at the University of Florida to the World Series MVP.

The Cardinals reached agreements with 18 players.
Among the notables to agree on Tuesday were catcher Yadier Molina, outfielders Chris Duncan and John Rodriguez and right-handers Adam Wainwright, Anthony Reyes, Josh Hancock, Josh Kinney and Brad Thompson and lefty Tyler Johnson.

All 18 players have yet to reach the required service time to be eligible for arbitration. That puts them in a category where the club has the option to renew the player's contract at an assigned amount. However, all 18 signings represented agreed-on deals between player and club -- no one was renewed.[...]

The complete list included pitchers Troy Cate, Andy Cavazos, Dennis Dove, Brian Falkenborg, Blake Hawksworth, Hancock, Johnson, Kinney, Chris Narveson, Reyes, Thompson and Wainwright, as well as Duncan, Molina, Rodriguez, outfielders Cody Haerther and Skip Schumaker and infielder Brendan Ryan.

"It's always a little tougher to reach a quick agreement after you've won a championship," Jocketty said. "But I think everything went well. Mo [assistant general manager John Mozeliak] did the majority of them, and I thought he got it done well."

Jocketty said that the club holds some interest in signing Molina to a long-term deal, but that no imminent action is expected on that front.
I'd like to take this time to remember a Cardinals fan who recently passed away: former Missouri Senator Thomas Eagleton. Eagleton was the Democratic VP candidate for all of a few days.
McGovern and Eagleton shared more than the same liberal political bent. Both were passionate followers of the St. Louis Cardinals. McGovern said he would often travel to St. Louis and stay with the Eagletons, usually taking in a Cardinals game or two.
If this keeps up, it's the beginning of the end for Jason Isringhausen.

Josh Kinney is out for the season. What a shame.

MLB still does not get it, do they?