The biggest news in the last few days in Cardinal Nation has been theÂ signing of Nick Punto. Â When that’s your biggest news, you know things are quiet.
Punto is probably fine, as far as he goes. Â The problem is, he just doesn’t go that far. Â 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. Â 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. Â He’s pretty good with the glove,Â as far as I can make out, but again you just don’t want him playing very much. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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 theÂ time-share arrangement Fox Sports Midwest has worked out with its TV guys. Â 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 theÂ writeup of the FSMW tour from last season. Â Cal Eldred is my pick for best former player working with the television side of things. Â He’s good, interesting, and laid-back. Â I don’t mind Al as much as others do, and that opinion of course went up after ourÂ long talk with him last year. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â We’ll talk about the TV schedule, the broadcasters, and other related topics. Â Should be a fun time!