Monday, December 20, 2010

Going to Cooperstown?

If you are planning to attend the Hall of Fame induction weekend, they've changed up the schedule for the upcoming inductions:
A new Saturday afternoon event during Hall of Fame Weekend will honor the annual award winners of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in a free event at historic Doubleday Field, highlighting the 2011 season schedule of special events announced by the Museum on Tuesday in Cooperstown.

The Hall of Fame Awards Presentation will salute the winners of the Ford C. Frick Award for baseball broadcasting excellence and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball journalism, with the presentation of the awards and speeches from the awardees at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Congrats, Stan!

Stan "The Man" Musial will be honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Musial, who turns 90 next week, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. It is the country's highest civilian honor, along with the Congressional Gold Medal. The Medal of Freedom is given for "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States or to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."

"It's so well-deserved," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "He's such an amazing, remarkable man, professional and everything that it's very exciting and it's well-deserved."

A date for presentation of the award has not been announced. Musial was one of 15 recipients named on Wednesday, the second group that President Obama has recognized since he took office in January 2009.

"On behalf of all of Major League Baseball, I am truly thrilled that The White House has honored Stan Musial with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, joining other legends of our game like the great Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Buck O'Neil, Henry Aaron and Frank Robinson," said Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. "Stan Musial is an extraordinary human being, a great American and one of the best players in the history of the game. He has long been a treasure of St. Louis, but he represents all the best of our national pastime. Today, our game salutes Stan Musial on this highest honor from our country."

"We are very grateful that President Obama will award Stan Musial the Presidential Medal of Freedom," Cardinals chairman William DeWitt Jr. said. "Not only is Stan one of the greatest players to play the game of baseball, he is also an extraordinary American deserving of the nation's highest civilian honor."[...]

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said in a statement:

"Stan Musial is the greatest Cardinal ever. And even better, he has been the kind of role model that America longs for. He has always cared about his community, his country, his fans and his teammates much more than he cared about his own glory. On behalf of millions of Missourians, I couldn't be prouder that the President has chosen to recognize our hero with the Presidential Medal of Freedom."

The announcement is the culmination of the Cardinals' "Stand For Stan" campaign, which was designed to raise public awareness of Musial's life and career and to convince the president to present Musial with the honor. Among those who participated in the campaign were Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, the state's two U.S. Senators, McCaskill and Kit Bond, and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

"We stoked the fire a little bit, but there was some traction to his candidacy anyway," DeWitt said. "It was a fun campaign. It got people involved. But we had good support from political leaders, Senators Bond and McCaskill, Durbin, all very supporting. It was well worth the effort on everybody's part to make the President aware of what Stan has done."

Westbrook re-ups with Cards

Jake Westbrook will be back with the Cards for two, possibly three, more seasons.
St. Louis locked up right-hander Jake Westbrook on Tuesday, signing the veteran starter to a two-year deal that's worth a guaranteed $16.5 million and includes a mutual option for 2013 and a full no-trade clause. Established quality starting pitchers often fetch three-year deals on the open market, but Westbrook had a strong desire to remain in St. Louis, so the deal got done for two plus the option.

"I didn't want it to get to the point where I had the [possibility] of the Cardinals maybe finding somebody else and thinking that I didn't really want to be there," Westbrook said. "I knew I wanted to be a part of this team, and I was glad to get something done now. Now I can just not worry about it. I'm looking forward to a full season with the Cardinals."

Monday, November 08, 2010

ESPN fires Joe Morgan by not renewing contract

ESPN fired Joe Morgan in a way. His contract was up for renewal and they didn't renew it.
Jon Miller and Joe Morgan's 21-year run on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" is over.

Morgan's contract is expiring and he will not be renewed. Miller's contract is also expiring though he may remain at ESPN working the "Sunday Night Baseball" series and postseason baseball for ESPN Radio.

"Jon and Joe have contributed greatly to the success of 'Sunday Night Baseball' for the past 21 seasons," ESPN executive vice president Norby Williams said in a statement Monday. "Over the last two decades, Joe went from Hall of Fame player to one of his sport's top analysts and Jon's Hall of Fame voice and tremendous knowledge of the game have connected with baseball fans everywhere. We owe them our deepest thanks for an outstanding body of work."

Miller, the play-by-play voice, received the Baseball Hall of Fame's 2010 Ford C. Frick Award. Morgan, the color commentator, was a two-time National League MVP with the Cincinnati Reds. The second baseman was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990.

Hall of Fame committee to meet next month

You can tell that when the Cards do bad that I slack off. There were multiple factors too. September was a month of Jewish holidays and October was spent getting back to normal.

Anyway, the Expansion Era Committee will be considering 12 candidates when they meet next month.
Eight former major league players, three executives and one former manager comprise the 12-name Expansion Era ballot for the Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players for Hall of Fame election, to be reviewed and voted upon at the 2010 Baseball Winter Meetings by a 16-member electorate. The results of the Expansion Era vote will be announced on December 6 at 10 a.m. ET from the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Every candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, July 22-25 in Cooperstown, New York.

The 12 individuals who will be considered by the Expansion Era Committee in December for Hall of Fame Induction in 2011: Former players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub; former manager Billy Martin; and executives Pat Gillick, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner. Martin and Steinbrenner are deceased; all other candidates are living.

The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the Expansion Era ballot features: Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).

The Expansion Era ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) appointed Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O'Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thanks, Lou

Lou, thanks for the memories over the years. Your presence as the Cubs manager will be missed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ozzie Smith backs Sandberg

As much as I hate the Cubs, I hold a tremendous amount of respect for a Hall of Famer such as Ryne Sandberg. I agree with the Wizard of Oz on this one.
Smith says the Cubs are looking at a no-brainer decision when it comes to hiring a manager to replace Lou Piniella. The obvious selection, he says, is fellow Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, who has managed at all three minor league levels for the Cubs.

"To me, there's one guy," Smith told the Quad-City Times. "He has paid his dues. He has been a standup citizen. He is a Hall of Famer. I don't know exactly what it is they are looking for, but I think it should be a no-brainer."

Smith and Sandberg never were teammates, but Smith said, "We have always had a great relationship. We had a chance to play in a lot of All-Star games together."

But while Sandberg may be headed back to Wrigley Field, Smith says he doesn't anticipate ever returning to the dugout to manage.

"People ask me if I want to manage, and I just never really have had that bug," Smith said. "Maybe it will hit me at some point in time, but at this point, it has not."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quote of the Week

"We win the right way and we lose the right way. We’ve received a lot of compliments over the years that when we lose we tip our caps and when we win we keep our mouths shut. That’s my comment...I don’t think that will go over well in his own clubhouse. Phillips is ripping his teammates — Scott Rolen, Miguel Cairo, Russ Springer, Jim Edmonds — all the ex-Cardinals over there. He isn’t talking about this year. He is talking about the way we’ve always played and those guys are old Cardinals. Tell him he’s ripping his own teammates because they are all old Cardinals.”
--Tony La Russa in response to Brandon Phillips' comments

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

David Freese Out for Season

The sad news comes from Matt:
The Cardinals received very bad news on David Freese on Tuesday, learning that the rookie third baseman requires surgery to repair tendon damage in his troublesome right ankle. Freese will miss the remainder of the season.

Freese, 27, was a valuable member of the Cardinals' offense when he was healthy, and it appeared he was close to a return to active duty. But while playing in a Minor League rehabilitation game at Double-A Springfield on Monday, he re-injured the ankle. He was removed from the game and returned to St. Louis. According to general manager John Mozeliak, it is a new injury in the same area as the one that landed him on the disabled list in the first place.[...]

Freese last played on June 27. He hit .296 with a .361 on-base percentage and a .404 slugging percentage this year. Felipe Lopez has been manning third base for the most part in his absence.
Here's to a safe recovery for the promising ballplayer.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Jake Westbrook excited

Jake Westbrook is excited to be coming to the St. Louis Cardinals organization. I don't blame him. St. Louis is one of the best baseball cities in all of the country.
The NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals were the prime players in a three-team trade today, getting pitcher Jake Westbrook from Cleveland and sending outfielder Ryan Ludwick to NL West-leading San Diego.

"I'm excited to go to a club that's contending for a playoff spot and pitch in some meaningful ballgames," Westbrook said. "That's why you play the game, to get a chance to play in the playoffs and I look forward to doing that."

Westbrook was scratched from his start today in Toronto and headed for a flight to St. Louis. He said he was sad to leave Cleveland, his major league home since 2001.

"It's tough because this is all I've known other than about a week in the big leagues with the Yankees," he said.

The deal was announced about three hours before the non-waiver trading deadline.

"Any time you're trading a veteran guy at this point in the year it's a difficult thing to do," Indians assistant general manager Chris Antonetti said. "With Jake, it's even more difficult because of his contributions on the field for almost a decade or longer.

"This guy epitomizes professionalism. I'm not sure there's a classier act anywhere in baseball."[...]

A 2004 All-Star, the 32-year-old righty was 6-7 with a 4.65 ERA in 21 starts this year. He is 69-71 overall in 10 major league seasons.
Here's to hoping Dave Duncan can help with his customary magic that he's known for.

While one era begins, the Ryan Ludwick era came to an end Friday night.
Shortly before games, outfielder Ryan Ludwick would get so adrenalized, so frothing to play that some other Cardinals coined a nickname for their wired teammate and his contagious energy.

They called it the "Luddy Launch."

There was no Luddy to launch Saturday even when one was needed to shake a stunned clubhouse and its subdued reaction to a three-team trade that landed a starting pitcher but cost a favored teammate. Ludwick, a former All-Star, was sent to San Diego to acquire a prospect used to get righthander Jake Westbrook from the Cleveland Indians. A year ago, the Cardinals' clubhouse was buoyant and energized by the addition of Matt Holliday via trade.

This year, any enthusiasm was tempered by disbelief, and many players chose their words carefully, pausing sometimes to find acceptable answers. Asked if he was surprised by the deal, Chris Carpenter waited 12 seconds before responding.

"The loss of Ludwick is something that surprised me," the ace eventually said. "In turn, you have to give up something to get something. Unfortunately it was Ryan. ... I can only speak for myself and not for everybody else. It's nice to acquire a guy like Westbrook, and it's hard to lose a guy like Ludwick. There's no question."[...]

"You're always excited when the front office is trying to make moves, but today we lost a pretty key piece of our lineup from the last few years," Adam Wainwright said. "In return, we get a really, really quality starting pitcher. You have to give to get. ... We'll definitely miss Luddy. No doubt."

Whitey Herzog's 24 retired

Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog was in St. Louis this weekend to see his former jersey number, 24, retired by the St. Louis Cardinals.
On Saturday night at Busch Stadium, the stage was all Herzog's, even though he tried to share it with members of his 1985 National League championship team. The Cardinals retired Herzog's No. 24, with numerous notations of that act on the Busch Stadium message boards, with the number to be permanently applied to the left-field wall, alongside the other retired numbers, in time for the start of the next season. A No. 24 also was affixed to the dirt behind second base Saturday.

Herzog said the retirement ceremony was tantamount to his entering the Hall of Fame. And that's the way it seemed, too, to a sellout house that accorded him a lengthy standing ovation after he and wife Mary Lou rode into the yard on a two-horse Clydesdale hitch.

In the dugout, current manager Tony La Russa and his players also applauded, and Herzog said having his number retired "is right up there" with his Hall of Fame honor.

Later, Herzog would say, "This really means a lot to me. Not that the Hall of Fame didn't. I know they kind of go hand in hand. You don't get your number retired unless you get into the Hall of Fame. But it actually means just as much to me. They're both honors that you never dream of that ever happening."

A proclamation from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's office declared Whitey Herzog Day, and the Cardinals gave Herzog a framed baby blue jersey with his 24 on it.

A dozen or so members of the 1985 team felt a part of the moment. Almost as much as Herzog.
With Herzog's 24 being retired, Rick Hummel raises the question: What about Joe Medwick? The Commish does raise a good point. Outside of honorary numbers such as Darryl Kile's 57, anyone that gets inducted into the Hall of Fame usually sees their jersey retired.
Of the Cardinals numbers we see today, enjoy seeing No. 5 and No. 10 because those numbers probably won't be worn by anybody else but Albert Pujols and manager Tony La Russa, both of whom someday also may be headed for the Hall of Fame.

But there is one other former Cardinals star whose number older fans would like to see retired. Hall of Famer Joe Medwick wore three numbers for the Cardinals - 28, 7 and 21 - in two tours here. But he wore No. 7 for eight seasons, from 1933-40, the first seven of which were the best seasons of his career.

From 1933-39, Medwick hit .306, .319, .353, .351, .374, .322 and .332. In 1937, he had 31 homers among his 237 hits and drove in 154 runs while hitting .374. That was the last time a hitter won the Triple Crown in the National League.

Besides satisfying a small but vocal group, the Triple Crown might be enough to merit retiring No. 7. Of course, they might have to tear it off the back of current star Matt Holliday, who plans to be here seven years.
With Medwick, it is more of a question of which jersey number would be honored with his wearing 3 different numbers.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ryan Ludwick traded to Padres

Prior to the trade deadline, Ryan Ludwick was traded to the San Diego Padres as a part of a three-team trade that sent Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals.

The Ludwick deal means regular playing time for the red-hot Jon Jay.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Take me out to the ballgame...

It's been a busy year so my apologies.

JTA has some fascinating history behind the song.
At the ballpark this summer, when you rise for the seventh-inning stretch to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” stretch a bit taller -- one of the song’s writers was Jewish.

The unofficial song of America’s pastime, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is the product of a Jewish-Episcopalian collaboration: Jewish songwriter Albert Von Tilzer wrote the melody, lyricist Jack Norworth penned the words.

Prior to writing baseball's hit tune, the lore goes, neither had attended a ballgame.

Their famous collaboration, which is sung publicly somewhere in the U.S. every day from mid-spring to early fall, is believed to trail only “Happy Birthday” and "The Star-Spangled Banner” as America’s most performed songs.

Since the sportscaster Harry Caray first began belting it out at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in the mid-1970s, and later at Wrigley Field, the song has become a regular feature at major league and minor league ballparks across America. They even sing it in Japan.

Yet considering the song’s fame, Norworth and Van Tilzen go largely unrecognized by baseball officialdom, and Von Tilzer scores barely a nod in the Jewish community. Their story resembles the song’s famous punchline: “and it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out at the old ball game.”

According to the Songwriters Hall of Fame website, Norworth wrote the lyrics to the universal seventh-inning stretch anthem in 1908 “while riding a New York City subway train.” He had spotted a sign that said "Ballgame Today at the Polo Grounds" and “baseball-related lyrics started popping into his head.”

His partner Von Tilzer already had a successful career in songwriting and music publishing in the Jewishly influenced Tin Pan Alley in New York when he wrote the music for what was to be his most enduring creation.[...]

Von Tilzer died in 1956 and Norworth three years later, but word now comes from AOL columnist Chris Epting in a story titled “Stepping Up to Bat for Jack Norworth” that in Southern California where Norworth is buried -- just a mile or two from the site of next week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Anaheim -- the stone marking his grave site is worn and barely readable.[...]

In an era of sheet music, “Von Tilzer wrote the music for 20 million copy-selling songs,” said Tim Wiles, director of research at The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., one of the authors of “Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game,' ” with whom I recently spoke by phone.

Von Tilzer, who changed his name from Gumm (originally Gumbinski), was one of five brothers from Indiana who all had careers on Tin Pan Alley and in vaudeville.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What a game

Twenty innings. 6 hours, 53 minutes.

Yadier Molina should have the Sunday night game off.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

2010 MLB Predictions

National League
EAST: Philadelphia Phillies
CENTRAL: St. Louis Cardinals
WEST: Los Angeles Dodgers
WILD CARD: Atlanta Braves

NLDS: St. Louis over Atlanta; Philadelphia over Los Angeles
NLCS: St. Louis over Philadelphia

American League
EAST: Boston Red Sox
CENTRAL: Minnesota Twins
WEST: Seattle Mariners
WILD CARD: New York Yankees

ALDS: Minnesota over Boston, Seattle over New York
ALCS: Minnesota over Seattle

World Series: St. Louis over Minnesota in five games.

National League
MVP: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals
Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
Rookie of the Year: Jason Heyward, Atlanta Braves

American League:
MVP: Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Cy Young: C. C. Sabathia, New York Yankees
Rookie of the Year: Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers

Saturday, April 03, 2010

A Loss in the Family

The St. Louis Cardinals suffered two losses within the Cardinal family this past weekend and I offer my condolences to both families.
Ninety-three-year-old Fred Kuhlmann died Saturday at his home in Webster Groves, his family says.

Kuhlmann was an Anheuser-Busch executive who inherited control of the ballclub's day-to-day operations from August A. Busch Junior in the 1980's and retired in the early 1990's.

Also announced Saturday, Annabelle Walters, the newborn daughter of Cards pitcher P.J. Walters and wife Brittney, died Friday night.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

David Freese gets 3B job, Lugo traded

With only a few days to go before the regular season starts, we now who our fith starter is along with our starting third baseman.

Jaime Garcia is the fifth starter.

David Freese is the starting third baseman.

Julio Lugo has been dealt from the Cardinals to the Orioles for cash or a player to be named later.
Heading into Spring Training, Lugo was set to be the Cardinals' backup infielder. But the acquisition of Felipe Lopez in late February meant Lugo didn't have an identified role off the bench.

Before he walked out the door on Thursday morning, though, Lugo had nothing but good things to say about the Cardinals.

"They were honest to me," said Lugo, who added that he never requested a trade. "They did everything they told me they were going to do. It didn't work out here. They told me if I get a better situation, they were going to trade me. I'm happy they did it.

"I have a lot of respect for those guys, and I loved it here. I wish I could come back. I really liked it over here. This is one of the best places I've been."

With Lugo gone, the Cardinals' 25-man roster -- barring injuries -- is set.

Allen Craig, Nick Stavinoha and Joe Mather -- who were competing for the final two reserve spots -- will all make the team. Craig and Mather each has experience as corner infielders and could be the second backup to Lopez, who could end up getting 400 to 500 at-bats this season.[...]

Lugo is owed $9 million this season, and he has a $9 million vesting option for 2011 that's unreachable because he hasn't compiled the necessary plate appearances since 2007. The Red Sox are on the hook for all of Lugo's 2010 salary.

Acquired from Boston in exchange for Chris Duncan in late July, Lugo batted .280 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 88 games this past season.

In spring, he battled a groin injury and hit .242 in 10 games.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Carp gets the nod

Chris Carpenter will be the Opening Day starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals when the Cardinals open their season in Cincinnati to face the Cincinnati Reds on April 5th.
Kyle McClellan's bullpen assignment was only the second-worst-kept secret in Cardinals Spring Training. The worst-kept was also officially unveiled on Monday. Chris Carpenter, who has been on track to start Opening Day since before Grapefruit League games started, was formally confirmed as the Cards' starter for April 5 in Cincinnati.

He'll be followed by Adam Wainwright, Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse in the Cardinals' first four games. The only question for the first week of games is when fifth-starter-elect Jaime Garcia will start. The fifth member of the rotation could either pitch on Saturday, April 10 or Sunday, April 11 in Milwaukee, with Carpenter making his second start the other day.

Wainwright, the other prime candidate for Opening Day honors, will get the next-best thing. Wainwright will start the Cardinals' home opener, on April 12 against the Astros. It's a convenient coincidence that each of the Redbirds' two aces can get one of the two plum assignments.

"That's the way it's mapped out," manager Tony La Russa said. "It's not our first rodeo. Maybe our last, but it's not our first."
It's grea to see Carp making the opening day start. Here's to better success than the last opening day start for him. That was the last time I drafted a pitcher in the first round of a fantasy baseball draft.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Still alive...

I'm still alive...

1980 U.S. Hockey captain Mike Eruzione addressed the club a few weeks ago.
Eruzione was in Florida on a golf outing and in the course of the conversation over a 2 1/2 hour dinner, La Russa asked if Eruzione could squeeze in a speech to the Cardinals before Thursday's workout. Replete with a DVD of the 1980 "Miracle'' La Russa played before Eruzione entered the clubhouse, the production was a big hit with the players, who asked a number of questions.

"(The U.S. Olympic victory) was the No. 1 sports highlight of our time," La Russa said. "What's better than that?"

Relief ace Ryan Franklin said he could identify with Eruzione's remarks as a member of the underdog U.S. Olympic team that beat Cuba for the baseball gold in Sydney in 2000. Franklin said, "I think the Cubans kind of took us lightly. They beat us earlier in the Olympics and then we went out there and spanked their butts. It was cool, because (Eruzione) said Russia did the same thing with them in 1980."

Eruzione, who never played professionally after scoring the game-winning goal against the Soviets, has made a good living as a motivational speaker. But he said, "I've never done that for a major-league team. I spoke to the hockey team in Vancouver. I've spoken to the women's hockey team.

"I was a little nervous because after all, these are the best players — Albert Pujols, (Matt) Holliday, (Chris) Carpenter, (Adam) Wainwright. (Baseball) was my first love, growing up."

Eruzione's theme Thursday was teamwork.

"It's a long season," Eruzione said. "These guys have a long season. A lot of people expect them to be successful this year. But it just doesn't happen overnight."

Cardinals ace Carpenter, a hockey player through his high school days in New Hampshire, said, "I hope everybody listened because it was a pretty neat message."

La Russa said that Eruzione talked of throwing out the first pitch before a game in the Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees American League Championship Series in 2004. "And then he couldn't remember who (the Red Sox) played in the World Series," La Russa said, dryly.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Jim Edmonds to be a Cardinal again?

Via Matthew Leach:
Maybe Jim Edmonds was dead serious. Maybe it was all an elaborate put-on. When it comes to Edmonds and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, it can be tough to tell. This much is certain: Edmonds said on Sunday night that he wants to come back and play for the Cardinals in 2010.

The long-time Angels and Cards star hasn't played since 2008. Before that year, St. Louis traded him to San Diego. After the Padres released him, he signed on with the Cubs, with whom he played his last game on Sept. 26, 2008.

On Sunday night at the annual "Stars to the Rescue" benefit for La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, Edmonds said he was "challenging" La Russa to let him rejoin his old team.

The exchange started after the final bows for the event, which featured country star Dierks Bentley and comedienne Kathleen Madigan, among others. La Russa said that "someone" had sent him a text and wanted to come onstage. That someone turned out to be Edmonds, who made his way from his seat at the opposite end of the arena.[...]

"I'm challenging him to let me come back and play for the Cardinals again for free," Edmonds said to the crowd at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

Edmonds then modified his offer to playing for the league minimum, rather than for free. He and La Russa engaged in some playful banter, and at the end, La Russa quipped that he wished he had a rewind button so that he could simply skip Edmonds appearance -- but he said it with a grin.[...]

On stage on Sunday, though, Edmonds referred to La Russa as like a father figure to him, and the warmth in their relationship, rather than any strain, dominated the scene.

Neither La Russa nor general manager John Mozeliak could be reached for comment after the event ended.