June 19, 2018

Scraping Bottom

January 24, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

The biggest news in the last few days in Cardinal Nation has been the signing of Nick Punto.  When that’s your biggest news, you know things are quiet.

Punto is probably fine, as far as he goes.  The problem is, he just doesn’t go that far.  As Joe Strauss not-so-obliquely implied, whenever the official press release on the signing includes the word “gritty,” you aren’t expecting much from the offensive side of things.  When the first thing you think of after looking at his numbers is, “Hey, that reminds me of Aaron Miles”, well, you don’t expect a lot out of the transaction.

Punto does give some insurance at a few positions, in as much as insurance means someone that can stand at the position and not make a fool of themselves.  He’s pretty good with the glove, as far as I can make out, but again you just don’t want him playing very much.  He’s not likely to be much of a pinch-hitter, but he is a “gritty veteran,” which means that a lot of the fanbase will probably be moaning much of the season as he gets much more playing time than he should.

Hopefully, it won’t be much of an issue.  If David Freese stays healthy, if Ryan Theriot hits at a decent level, if Skip Schumaker is still on the team then Punto probably won’t be seen all that often, save maybe in a late-game double switch.  As noted in the above article, it does seem to indicate Daniel Descalso is ticketed back to Memphis, but I’m not sure that’s a terrible thing.  He could probably do as much as Punto, but he might develop a little more at AAA.

Besides that, the news that affects Cardinal fans the most may be the time-share arrangement Fox Sports Midwest has worked out with its TV guys.  I think a lot of fans might be happy that Al Hrabosky will have his role somewhat reduced, but it comes at the expense of having Ricky Horton on games more.

I talked about this some when I was doing the writeup of the FSMW tour from last season.  Cal Eldred is my pick for best former player working with the television side of things.  He’s good, interesting, and laid-back.  I don’t mind Al as much as others do, and that opinion of course went up after our long talk with him last year.  Horton, though, even though he seems like a nice guy, comes across a bit too chipper, a bit too much of a homer, when he does games.  I’m not sure I’d have expanded his role like they did, especially at the expense of Dan McLaughlin.

If this kind of thing interests you, though, I want you to mark your calendars for February 2.  That night’s UCB Radio Hour, which will be the first under the new Ivie League Productions banner, will have us talking to Geoff Goldman of FSMW.  We’ll talk about the TV schedule, the broadcasters, and other related topics.  Should be a fun time!


4 Responses to “Scraping Bottom”
  1. dondbaseball says:

    As a Cardinal fan, be grateful as you could be stuck with Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling doing your games. Terrible and no sign of hope in the near future for Yankee fans. This is the one case of actually being envious of Mets fans…

  2. Glenn Reeves says:

    I like the Punto pickup. He’s a defensive upgrade at all three infield positions which is something the Cards need after idiotically dumping Brendan Ryan. McLaughlin and Hrabosky are both terrible, Hungo a big disappointment because I liked him so much as a player. What I’ve heard from Horton I like him a lot better than McLaughlin.

  3. @dondbaseball – I completely agree. How the biggest team in baseball would be stuck with those kind of announcers is beyond me. Plus there’s nothing like Mike Shannon on the radio anyway…..

  4. @Glenn Reeves – Dan doesn’t bother me that much. Really, Al doesn’t too much either, save from the occasional eye roll. Ricky’s just too much of a homer for me. Dan and Al are as well, don’t get me wrong, but I think Ricky would try to sell a Pujols broken leg by, “Gee, isn’t it great that a guy like Mark Hamilton finally gets a shot at the bigs?”

    As for the Ryan trade, I agree, not one I would have made. It does seem like it was completely a chemistry thing, though since no player has seemed to cry too many tears over his trade, maybe there’s something to that.

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