June 16, 2019

Fun at the Old Ballpark

March 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Cardinals seem to have righted the ship and are moving in a positive direction, winning both games of the weekend.  Before we talk about that, though, let’s discuss the topic making the rounds: Buster Olney’s report of a Albert Pujols/Ryan Howard trade.

First off, the Olney report is probably accurate, because when you read it, all it says was that Philadelphia might have had some sort of internal conversation about this.  I completely believe that.  I figure a lot of teams talk about what they’d give for AP, especially now that he’s in the latter part of his contract.  I doubt that it ever made it to the level of formal offer, though.
If you want a great rejection of this deal (from a Phillies fan, no less), look over at Crashburn Alley.  You can also check out Mike at Stan Musial’s Stance.  To go along with what they’ve said, let me make just a couple more points.
One, the Cardinals are willing to commit crazy amounts of money to Albert Pujols and Albert Pujols only.  If, for some reason, Pujols was to walk, I don’t think they’d spend 75% of that money on another player, which is probably what they’d have to do to keep Howard.  John Mozeliak would be much more likely to go for a team-wide upgrade, if possible, than to try to sink so much into one player.
Secondly, if the Cardinals were going to trade AP (and this also ties somewhat into number one), they’d more likely try to get 2-3 young, under team control top prospects from someone than a straight-up swap of first basemen.  The team would need the youth infusion and the way to manage payroll, since attendance would noticeably drop, I believe, with a Pujols trade.
The best thing about this rumor (and it’s probably just the first in a long line) is that it gives both sides more momentum to get a deal done, if only to stop these crazy things.

Now to the on-the-field stuff.  I was able to catch portions of the Cardinals’ win over Houston on Saturday, thanks to it being on KSDK.  It was hard to get a real good judge on things, since I was running in and out of the room and the wind looked like it was blowing quite strongly.  However, it was good to see Pujols get a couple of hits, Rich Hill do OK (though I did find Rick Horton’s comment about him not repeating his delivery interesting) and Ryan Ludwick go yard.  Looking forward to watching a bit more this weekend.

Sunday was remarkable, of course, because of who was starting against St. Louis.  Stephen Strasburg drew raves from Tony La Russa, so you have to figure he was pretty darn good.  The Cards got a couple of singles off of him, but that was it.  Thankfully, the rest of the Washington squad was, shall we say, a little more…erratic.  I don’t care what the conditions, 11 walks seems a bit excessive.

Shelby Miller got into the game as well, a little less hyped than the other first-round pick.  Still, that’s two scoreless innings for Miller, though he’s had to work out of trouble both times.  I can’t imagine him starting at AA, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his positive impression this spring would help him jump there with a good start at A ball.

The Cards have put together a little run and have started to look more like a real team again.  (Of course, the record has to look better than the Nationals’ 0-10.)  They take on the Mets again today, so we’ll see if they can keep the wins coming.

There was a really interesting article about Colby Rasmus in the Post-Dispatch.  The physical aspects of last season were fairly well documented and his overcoming of that was one reason I expected a big season from him this year.  However, to add in the family turmoil as well as the clubhouse that, for some reason, isn’t quite welcoming for the rooks, and it’s surprising he did as well as he did last year.

Even with the relative youth of some of that clubhouse, you have to figure it’s dominated by La Russa and Pujols.  And while I don’t think they go out of their way to harass first-year players or anything of that nature, and I’m sure they are willing to help when asked, you know that kind of atmosphere has to be pretty intimidating.  The expectations are high for anyone that wears Cardinal red, and if you aren’t sure you can make them, it could cause some tension.

Rasmus makes a point to say that he thinks it has made him stronger and thankfully he and his dad are reconciled.  He may not be completely comfortable in a veteran clubhouse yet, but he’s getting there.  Which is why, if you still haven’t drafted yet, you just might want Colby Jack for your fantasy baseball team.

I promised I’d start releasing the Cardinal Approval Ratings today, so let’s get the first couple out of the way.

Chris Carpenter wasn’t on last year’s ballot, but it’s not surprising that Cardinal Nation is right fond of the guy.  67 ballots were turned in and everyone registered an opinion on the ace of the staff.  Carp registered at 93.6%, a unsurprising but strong showing.  A quick glance shows more than ten 100s and a low score of 75.

Bill DeWitt was on last year’s ballot, because you always have to get a feel for what people think of ownership.  Before the ’09 season, DeWitt rated a 80.2% mark.  So, after a season where he opened up to get Matt Holliday and others plus allowed John Mozeliak to sign Shelby Miller, where does he rank with the 64 people that expressed an opinion?  83.0%.  A couple of 100s for him and a low of 60 when you toss out the strange (in my mind, at least) outlier of 25.

We’ll do a couple more tomorrow, so come back for them!

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