Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Welcome back, Tony

It's great that Tony La Russa has decided to return to the St. Louis Cardinals. Sadly, Walt Jocketty won't be coming back.

I'm taking somewhat of an off-season hiatus and blogging when I can.

But how do you feel about Tom Glavine becoming a pitcher for the Cardinals?
Now the Cards can plow ahead with their plans for ’08. The retention of pitcher Joel Pineiro was an excellent first move. (And an early indicator that La Russa would return.) Pineiro bought what Duncan was selling and he did good work for this team.

Interim Cards GM John Mozeliak got the green light to give Pineiro a two-year, $13 million deal to keep him out of free agency. DeWitt’s approval proved he really is willing to bump his payroll up a notch for next season.

Now the Cards can move on to other issues, like what to do about free-agent shortstop David Eckstein, how to fill the void left by Juan Encarnacion’s eye injury and what else can be done to shore up the pitching rotation.[...]

He wants his new GM to work with player development czar Jeff Luhnow to make this happen. He needs his manager to buy into that commitment.

La Russa has no trouble integrating young players. We saw that last year, when pitchers Adam Wainwright, Tyler Johnson, Josh Kinney and Anthony Reyes played huge postseason roles.

We saw it again this season as Chris Duncan, Brendan Ryan and Rick Ankiel assumed big roles. Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Brad Thompson grew on La Russa’s watch, too, as Tony proved willing to give younger players lots to do.[...]

Albert Pujols battles on for La Russa, which is all you need to know. Jim Edmonds and Jason Isringhausen want to finish their careers in this program, which is also telling. Future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine has shown some interest in finishing his career here, too.

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