Thursday, December 30, 2004

What are they thinking

I know spelling Polanco is tough and Grudzielanek is even tougher, but I wouldn't spell either of them A-L-O-M-A-R. The rumor according to the Post-Dispatch, the most reputable new source source since The Inquirer, is that the Cards agreed to a deal with Roberto Alomar for one year 500,000. That would be a reasonable salary to give Alomar, as a coach. I don't know about you, but when I think of washed up, the first name that I think of, after Mo Vaughn of course, is Roberto Alomar.

Yes Alomar far and away the best second baseman in the league for nearly a decade, but this is not your father's Roberto Alomar. He only played in 56 games last year, and didn't play well. There is no reason to think that he can cut it anymore. I am hoping that someone is playing tricks on the Post, sort of like the Morris-for-Millwood deal. They would be better off spending the half a million on this fantastic piece of work, and letting Marlon Anderson and Bo Hart play (or Eckstein at second and Luna at short.) Ok, I have vented my anger, I will relax and think about Mark Mulder.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Run in with Greatness

Well maybe the title of this post is a little over the top, but Sunday night I did see Ray Lankford out at Growler's Pub. It took me a while to even notice him, but once I did I couldn't stop peaking over at him and feeling like a 14 year old girl with a crush. I can tell that he is my kind of guy, because he stayed until the bar closed (I know because they had to kick me out too.)

There are a lot of good Lankford memories from the last 14 years. A lot of strikeouts too. I think this year may have seen Ray Ray's final big league strikeout. Even though he will never be in a hall of fame or have his number retired, he will always be pseudoworshipped in the STL. Anyone who spends that long on the Cards and has a good smile should have plenty of commercial deals with Bommerito, Imo's, Dirt Cheap, or whatever local business is targeting sports fans. So here's to you Mr. Lankford, thanks for always being just good enough.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas time

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Everyone! I hear that there is a basketball game between Shaq and Kobe today, did anyone else hear about that?

Well I have that holiday spirit, I figured I would come up with gifts for some of our favorite baseball players.

To Albert Pujols: A birth certificate proving he was born January 16, 1980.
To Jim Edmonds: Permission to swing at every fastball higher than his nipples
To Scott Rolen: A long line of Phillies fans with no media around, so he can tell them off (or kick them) one by one and not come off as the bad guy.
To Matt Morris: consistency
To Rick Ankiel: A one year continuation of the title "Left Arm of God"
To Mark Mulder: Run support, well that's not really from me
To Jason Isringhausen: 6 mph on the fastball
To Ray King: Food and lots of it
To Edgar Renteria: Boos and lots of them if you ever slump, once again not from me
To Mike Matheny: Happy Trails, Tony Kornheiser style
To Yadier Molina: Starting, Duh
To David Eckstein: Walker, Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds (who needs Vlad)
To Larry Walker: A ring, I hope
To Reggie Sanders: Resign that lease buddy, I know that feels good
To Jeff Suppan: I forgive you for the worst baserunning EVER!!!!!

To Sammy Sosa: Cork soaked in Steroids, a big bowl full
Also to Sammy Sosa: A bowl full of pepper, sneeze inducing pepper
To Dusty Baker: Another year with out a closer
To Jason Dubois: A lot of playing time
To Roger Clemens: Membership to golf club of your choice
Also to Roger Clemens: A video camera so someone can tape your kid little league games for you
To Barry Bonds: Coal, you have been naughty, Bad Barry, BAD!
To George Steinbrenner and John Henry: Nothing, you already have everything
To all the readers of "Cards Fan in Cubs Land": 10 bonus points in life!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Eckstein

As White Sox Announcer "Hawk " would say: David Eckstein, YES!!!!

If you gave me the choice of Edgar Renteria at 4 years 40 million, Orlando Cabrera at 4 years 32 million and David Eckstein at 3 years 10.25 million, I would choose the Eck-meister. First off, he is a better hitter than Cabrera and can hit at the top of the order, which the Cards desperately need. He is the worst fielder of the three, but he is not a liability and will only get better with Scott Rolen gobbling up every ball hit to his right. All three guys are within a year in age, and they each have a championship ring. Eckstein won't hit quite as well as Edgar but since he is leading off maybe we should compare his bat to Womack. He had almost as good an OBP, meaning he should score a lot of runs with the big 4 behind him. He never strikes out, ever. He is a threat to swipe some bags, not Womack speed, but he took 16 each of the last two years. From what the Angels blogs indicate, Eckstein is a fan-favorite-good-person-type-of-guy, so he should fit in well in the clubhouse and be a positive addition. As an added bonus Eckstein can move to second base if we need him too, either temporarily or permanently. It is still a possibility that the Cards could trade for another shortstop and Eckstein could be the secondbaseman. I don't trust any stat about fielding, but it seems like if range and arm strength are lacking, second base would be a good fit.

So, even though the Cars will suffer a drop off at short, they did pretty well considering the shortstop market (40 for Edgar, 32 for Cabrera, 16 for Guzman, 12.5 for Vizquel)
Bobo Hilario gives the David Eckstein deal two thumbs up

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Wait a second, those guys aren't infielders

The Cards ended up saving 410,000 on Taguchi by non-tendering him and them signing him, pretty good move. That money alone nearly pays for Mike Myers. As a Cardinals blogger I now have a very very difficult decision to make. Should talk about Mike Myers the serial killer way, or the Wayne's World/Austin Powers way. It is a toughy, I will keep you all posted. Mike Myers, I suppose, is Steve Kline's replacement, and although he doesn't get as many outs, he is just as fun to watch. He has that big submarine delivery from the left, and if real life is anything like MVP Baseball that is tough for players to see the ball.

Now Tony has to decide who is going to be on the opening day roster. Myers ahould round it out right now. There are 26 players there will probably be fourteen hitters, with the 8 starters, Taguchi, Anderson, Luna, Mabry, Diaz, and Cedeno. (Although Diaz or Luna or Mabry could get beaten out of a job in spring training.) That leaves 12 pitchers. There is the rotation, Mulder, Carpenter, Morris, Suppan, Marquis. Then you got Izzy, King, Tavarez, Ankiel, Myers with safe spots. That means Cal Eldred, Al Reyes, and Mike Lincoln have to battle for the final spot.

If the Cardinals do not sign both a SS and 2b, and start Luna or Anderson, that opens a spot for Scoot Seabol, Bo Hart, John Gall, or Colin Porter. If Morris starts the season on the DL, and Ankiel moves up to the rotation, there is a group of youngens, waiting to get into the pen. Jimmy Journell and lefties Carmen Cali and Randy Flores would be the first to get a look. Then again when Walt Jocketty is the GM, I really should not be talking about this in December.

Im gonna try ending my posts this way some times now:
Cards Trivia what country comes third in Cardinal population after the US and Dominican Republic? First person to post the right answer gets 5 points.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Random Stuff

Well, only 57 days until pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter. Here are some things to ponder while you wait:

  • How great is the J.D. Drew deal looking now? Sure he had a great season, but there is no way the Cards could have come up with 5 years , 55 million like the Dodgers. Also, Marrero is now in KC, as the Braves traded him for Jorge Vasquez a 26 year old minor league pitcher.
  • Where will the Cubs play next year? The city says the safety nets aren't enough, maybe they will just have to forfeit all the home games, or play without fans.
  • Since Mulder and Marquis are big time ground ball pitchers, maybe the Cards can sacrifice batting for fielding on the needed middle infielders.
  • Does anyone else have very little faith in Isringhausen? I need to see a couple of dominant saves out of him in April before I jump back on the bandwagon.
  • Do the Cubs really think that anyone is interested in Sammy Sosa? Perhaps someone will take him and pay 5 million of the 17 million this year, but 5 million is not enough for them to compete with the Yankees for Beltran. They should start looking at cheaper, older, more crippled people like Mags, or Juan Gone.
  • Are the Cubs ever going to realize that their top priority this offseason should have been a closer? They focused on Nomar, and now they are only focusing on Sosa, meanwhile Kolb, Percival and Benitez have moved, and there are no real closers out there. Sort of like how the Cards focused on Renteria and missed out on starting pitching. Oh wait, we got Mulder, BITCHES!
  • How old is Albert Pujols? I don't care if he is 28, he is still the best 28 year old in the game.

Well, hopefully tommorrow I will have plenty to write about the Cards new middle infield. Until then, be thankful you are not this guy.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

St. Louis Fan adds Renteria Jersey to Closet of lost dreams

Yesterday, December 20th, Eric Malhoney placed his Edgar Renteria Jersey into his closet of lost dreams. Renteria signing with the Boston Red Sox for four years forced Mr. Malhoney to do what he never wanted to do.

The story of this jersey is as long as it is boring. Eric bought the Russell Athletic jersey in June of 1999, Edgar's first year on the Cards. Since then he has worn it to 38 Cardinals games, each time chearing on Renteria more than any of the other players. Eric explains, "Edgar wasn't as flashy as Pujols or Rolen, but he was the heart of the team, and my favorite (freaking) player." Then in the fifth inning of a game on August 8th, 2001 Eric's friend Jeff Peterson spilled nacho cheese on the jersey. "You can still see the stain now, cheese just doesn't come out like beer, it really bummed me out, so I punched Jeff in the leg." But that minor incident does not even compare to the dissapointment Eric felt a week ago when he found out that Renteria had signed a 40 million dollar deal with the Cardinals newest enemy. "I felt devestated, I wore the old guy out one last night on a farewell tour of some sports bars, then I had to hang it up."

The jersey is now sitting between a Kurt Warner Rams jersey and a Brett Hull Blues jersey in a downstairs closet that is out of the way and rarely used. When asked why he will not keep wearing the $70 shirt to support the team he explained, "No way, people at Blues games wearing Shanny jerseys are just tools," he continued, "I will probably get a Yadier Molina one next, that kid can play, and noone else has one so everyone will be like 'dude thats sweet' just like when I first got the Edgar one." Jeff, of nacho cheese fame, has offered Eric five dollars for the jersey. When asked for comment Jeff said, "I saw one sell on eBay for like 20 bucks, people in Boston like them because they are sorta retro already, It's like insta-retro"

Orland-NO Cabrera

Well Anaheim gave Cabrera the contract that I was afraid the Cards would give him. 8 million a year is too much for that guy, he can hardly hit. It is unfortunate that teams are so spend crazy this winter. Now the talent level at both middle infield positions is dwindling, and the idea of a Hector Luna and Marlon Anderson starting opening day is closer to a reality. Now that Cabrera is out, here is the list of free agent shortstops. That list is not pretty, a couple of names were added to the list yesterday for non-tendered players. David Eckstien was added, but he'd make a better second baseman that shortstop. Devi Cruz is not a terrible option, he hits for a descent average, and if he learned the patience that most of the Cardinals hitters have, he could be a lot better. His fielding is a drop off from Renteria or Cabrera, but he would come a lot cheaper. The rest of the free agent shortstops are crap. There is washed up crap (Barry Larkin, Rich Aurilia), Cub-reject Crap (Alex S. Gonzalez, Ramon Martinez), never heard of crap (Cody Ransom) and human glove crap (Pokey Reese).

Since the Dodgers signed Jeff Kent the let Alex Cora go non-tendered. Cora doesn't hit for a great average, but his OBP is a very solid .364. He is good in the field. Also, he is one of those bat left, throw right guys and that is pretty cool.

In other news Steve Kline got a good 2 year $ 5.5 million deal with Baltimore. It's ok he's a cubs fan, we don't want him around anyway. That clears the way for Ankiel to be the second left arm out of the pen. But I am wondering if that will ever happen. If Morris does not heal in time for the season and Ankiel starts 5 or 6 games better than, say, Jason Marquis then Ankiel could end up in the rotation all year and Carmen Kali or Randy Flores could be called up for a second left arm in the pen. Second news the Cards let Taguchi go non-tendered. They must figure that 1.2 million is a hefty salary for a bench player. The Cards will need someone to back up Edmonds now. He plays a "somewhat aggressive" style and hurts himself occasionally. Hopefully Cedeno can be that guy. Otherwise cub rejects Tom Goodwin and Doug Glanville are out there, and they can be pinch runner/centerfield backups.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Placido Polanc-NO

Ok, so I did another crappy title.

Polanco accepted the Phillies arbitration, meaning he will stay there for another year.

So with Polanco out of the pitcure, the Cards have three options:
1) Go find a free agent
2) Make another trade, like they did for Womack last year
3) Let Anderson and Luna and maybe, Bo Hart compete/split time

Here is the list of free agent second basemen. Most of these guys are not everyday-worthy. Roberto Alomar is pretty much an antique, Ricky Guiterrez and Enrique Wilson are bench players, and not very good ones. Desi Relaford is one of the best utility infielders around, but once again he is a bench player, and the Cards have Mabry, Luna, Anderson, to back up in the infield. Ray Sanchez sucks and is old. That leaves our old buddy Miguel Cairo and former Cub/Dodger Mark Grudzielanek (who will know me referred to as Mark G. since I had to copy and paste his name.) Of these two I like Mark G. more, He hit over 300 last year with and OBP of 347. So, he could fit into the lead off spot. He played in half the cubs game last year, splitting with Todd Walker, and he lead off most of the time. Unlike most of the Cubs he was a good contact hitter, wich held him to 32 strike outs in 257 ABs. In other words, he is a slow Tony Womack. He is above average in the field. Miguel Cairo on the other hand would be a cheaper option, and someone that already knows his way around Busch. We could probably sign him for 1 to 1.5 million a year, instead of the 2 to 2.5 that Mark G. would demand. Cairo is also younger, and faster. The disadvantages of Cairo are a few points on the batting average and slugging, and a lack of reliability in the field.

If the Cards sign Cabrera, he is not a good hitter, he will probably bat in the 7th spot ahead of Molina, so it would be nice to have someone with a good bat in the 6th spot. Signing Mark G. add putting him at the top could give the Cards a pretty good line-up. Something like this:

1) Mark G. 2b
2) Larry Walker rf
3) Albert Pujols 1b
4) Scott Rolen 3b
5) Jim Edmonds cf
6) Reggie Sanders lf
7) Orlando Cabrera ss
8) Yadier Molina c
9) Mark Mulder P <----- (I really like seeing that written there)

That gives right, left, right, right, left, right, right, right, left/right. Mabry can be subbed in for Sanders when a pitcher is much better against righties.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

My Wish is Walt's command

So yesterday I was ragging on Jocketty for not doing anything, I wake up this morning and Mark Mulder is a Cardinal. Way to go Walt. Some may say that we gave up too much but I really like this deal. Dan Haren is a good young pitching prospect. But he is 24 and Mulder is only 27. So I would rather have a proven ace than a guy with potential. Calero is tough to give up, but there are a lot of guys waiting to get up into our bullpen, like Al Reyes and someone had to go anyway and many people don't realize Calero is already 29. Daric Barton is also just potential. He put up huge numbers in A ball but that is A ball. Also from what I read he is lousy behind the plate, so he may be well served to play in the the AL where he can end up as a DH.

Comparing Mulder to Hudson, who was big A on the trading block, I like the Cardinals deal better than the A's. For one, Mulder is signed for the next two years instead of just one. Second, Mulder is a lefty, and it will be nice to have a lefty at the top of the rotation. Houston and Chicago both have some solid left handed bats and Mulder has a sharp slider that should give him the edge against them. If Morris takes longer than expected to heal and Ankiel gets in the rotation for a while, the Cards will have a very balanced rotation with two righties and a lefty. When Morris does get in the mix, the Cards will now have five 15 game winners in the rotation. Not quite the big names that the Cubs have, but more effective.

Mulder is somewhat of a question mark, just like Morris, Carpenter, Ankiel. In 2004, he pitched two different season. He was the first half Cy Young and started the All Star game. Then, he fell apart in the second half and really struggled. He pitched 4 million innings (225 2/3) which surely played a role in his collapse. Compared with the A's the Cardinals middle relief is an unstoppable force. That should cut down Mulder's innings and help him last longer into the season. Mulder also has had hip injuries two years ago, but last year that didn't bother him, so I am hoping he's all good now.

Thank you Mr. Jocketty you are the man. Please sign infielders.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Paging Walt Jocketty

Has anyone seen Walt Jocketty, anywhere? Just to let you know this posting will be all bitching.

I have been away from the internet for the last week, the hottest stove week of the year. In that time things have fallen apart big time. Renteria Gone, Matheny Gone, Hudson Gone, Big Unit nearly Gone, Clement Gone. Lets go through these and complain.

1) I was informed by every media source that the Cradinals were putting all of their efforts into Renteria. There was a rumor that they offered four years 36 million at one point, but they cannot go to 40 million to get him? I agree that Boston overpayed, but some times you have to over pay. Now we are planning on over paying for Orlando Cabrera instead. 2) The Matheny deal I am cool with. I did not want around for three more years and certaintly not at the value the Giants gave him. We offered him two years 4 or 5 million he got 3 years 10.5 million, good for him. 3) Tim Hudson is now a brave, that sucks. They got him for not a whole lot Charles Thomas, a promising outfielder, Juan Cruz a horrible starter/long reliever that the Cubs got rid of a year ago, and Dan Meyers a triple A pitcher. The Cards don't have a young outfielder like Thomas that they could have offered, but a package with Haren and Calero, would have been a lot stronger than Cruz and Meyers. Considering Renteria is gone and Morris took a 10 million dollar pay cut, the Cards would have had a good chance at resigning Hudson beyond 2005. 5) Now it sounds like Randy Johnson is going to the Yankees in a deal that screws the Dodgers. There was about a two week period where noone was talking about Johnson before this deal came up, so why didn't the Cards step in and become the leading contender? 6) Like I posted earlier, I think Clement would have been a perfect fit in St. Louis. Now he is also a Red Sock. They got him for 3 years at 25.5 million, which is exactly the Cards price range. Apparently, Jocketty never even thought about going for Clement. We could have stuck it to our biggest rival, but instead the Red Sox stuck it to us again, as they have been for the last few months.

Now take a look at the list of folk the Cards have signed. Not exactly people that scream world series. This is the year that the Cards should get players more than any other year. Players want to win, they like playing for a contender. We have that bargaining chips that a player like Randy Johnson, or Matt Clement can come here and win. There have been rumors about the cards with lots of people but none of them have come true. "They" say we are going to get Cabrera but anything more than 5 or 6 million a year is too much. He is a lousy hitter, and good, but not great in the field. "They" say we are going to get Polanco. That's fine, but is he going to lead off. He had about the same OBP as Womack last year at .345, but he doesn't have the speed. Also, when are we gonna resign Ankiel? I want to see a compatition for the last starter spot with Haren. Also, Morris is no guarantee to be able to pitch. Nor is Carpenter with his funky injury thing.

Please Mr. Jocketty, DO something.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

One More(is) Year

Don't you hate annoying titles like that one. When I am up here in Chicago and I pick up the Sun-Times, I know that I am it's coming and then, BAM! I see it and am filled with dissapointment. Not that the St. Louis Post Dispatch is a wonderful paper, but I am glad I don't come home to things like, "Albert Has Hits Coming Out His Pujols."

Anyway, the Cards signed Morris to a one year deal. There still isn't a set value for the arbitration deal. But, once I find out how much they gave him I can begin to complain about it. It is a shame I am saying that, because I was one of the Morris's biggest supports. I can identify the moment I lost faith in Morris. It was the first Shawn Green homer in game three of the NLDS this year. I stuck with him after his numerous collapses this season. Going into the playoffs I thought he was goinging to bring the A game and be the win machine he was 3 or 4 years ago. Instead he gave up more dingers, and ended up 0-2 in the playoffs. He is saying that surgery will fix everything, but I don't buy it. I think the Cards still need to get an Ace like Johnson, Hudson, or at least Clement to round out the order.

The Cards agreed to arbitration deals with Eldred and Mabry too. Thats a relief since we won't have to try to get anyone as ridiculous looking as Antonio Alfonseca.
Also, Mabry surprised me with some very good left handed pinch hitting and spot starts in left. He will certainly get some time if Sanders struggles.

Apparently Walt Jocketty is one of my 5 readers, since the Cards offered Matheny the exact deal I suggested 2 years at 4 million. Let's hope he takes it.

In Cubs news, they gave Nomar 8 million for one year and signed the Twins catcher Henry Blanco for 2 years at 2.7 million. Neither of these are particularly good deals. Nomar could be worth every penny if he plays 150 games and bats like it's 1997. He could also miss half the season and force Neifi Perez to play. Blanco is a good catcher, probably to good to be a backup, like he will be behind Michael Barret. Therefore the Cubs will be giving their once a week guy over a million bucks.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Womack got away, oh well

Well, the Cards focused let Womack slip away to the Yanks. It's unfortuante, but not terrible. I doubt that Womack will play as well next year as he did this year. If he hits over 300 for the Yankees, I will be surprised.

But that does leave a question of what the Cards do now. There are a number of subpar place fillers on the club already. Marlon Anderson started in Philly a couple years ago, Hector Luna showed he can paly second well enough, and of course there is everbodies favorite Bo Hart. And then there is the free agent market, which for the most part if full of past-their-prime, high salary guys like Jeff Kent and Roberto Alomar. Also, there are former Cards Miguel Cairo and Placido Polonco, who could both come in and play alright. The main concern is not with replacing Womack's glove as much as his legs. I, for one, am not thrilled about any of the names I just listed appearing at the top of the lineup card. The Cards seem to be waiting for the Renteria situation to play out before they spend any money on a second baseman. It seems like the Cards may have to try several people at leadoff. It could end up being like the Cubs lineup the last couple years, where they had no leadoff man and hit a lot of solo home runs. The Cards might as well get Grudzielanek and make it official.

In other free agent news, the starting pitchers seem to be signing pretty slowly. That could be good for the Cards as it will let them take care of Renteria before they need to go all out for an Ace. That being said, I wouldn't mind hearing that they signed someone tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Clement?

I know this is a sports blog and I am supposed to bitch about everything that the cardinals management does, but I have to say from what I am hearing they are doing good things. First, the Renteria offer was heavily backloaded, which means they are willing to sacrifice some money down the road to try to win this year. Second, they are going to arbitration with Womack meaning he will probably stay on with a one yeat deal around 3 million. THat leaves the starting pitcher question wide open.

It seems like the second choice, next to the Big Unit is Tim Hudson. He has one year left on his contract with the A's and will demand big bucks once that runs out. So, if we traded for him it would probably only be for a year and the Cards might have to give up a young pitcher and hitter, such as, Dan Haren and Collin Porter. Still, I think this would be a good deal. Hudson makes 6 million next year, if the Cards pick up the whole thing, that is still a Renteria and a Womack cheaper than Randy Johnson. In addition, I think Hudson could be lights out candidate here. He has that nasty splitter that gets a lot of ground balls. So if Marquis can be a 15 game winner here, then Hudson should be a Ace, or even Cy Young candidate. Plus if he does come here, there is some chance that he will resign. It happened with McGwire, Rolen, Edmonds, Woody. They come with one year, or a few months left on the deal and they love St. Louis so much they stay.

There are also a lot of free agent pitchers out there that the Cards would need to trade youth to get. Hopefully, Walt is talking to most of them. But there is one name that I have not heard connected to the Cards. He's someone we know well, he's a free agent that is not considering resigning, he's young, he's talented, he's Matt Clement. Why not Clement? We are considering resigning Morris to a one year deal instead of going after Clement, why? Compared to Morris, he is cheaper, better, younger, and less risky. Sure he didn't have as many wins last year, but ask the fellows at Oldstylecubs.com about that. Or read any of Clement's box scores (especially July) from last year they all read like this 7 1/3 innings, 2 runs 2 earned, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, LOSS. (Check out the Game I went to) With the run support that Morris got last year, Clement would have been a Cy Young candidate. He was their most consistent starter and the Cubs ace for the first half of the year. He made 6 million last year, and can probably expect a bump to 7 or 8 for his next year. I am sure he would except something around 3 years 22 million, which the Cardinals could handle. But instead there are rumors around Mr. Overrated Russ Ortiz. Of course, Jockety isn't one for leaking his deals (Larry Walker) so maybe he's working on this right now.

Offseason Crap

Ok so the Cards just missed the big trophy, offseason time, what will they do now? Of course the big name everyone wants to talk about is Randy Johnson. If the Cardinals had the Big Unit in the World Series they probably still would have lost but maybe not. They would have taken game one and from there on things may have changed. ESPN.com suggests that the D-Backs asked for the threesome of Ankiel Haren and Calero, which is ridiculous. If Jockety made deals like that the Cardinals might as well change their name to the Reds or Pirates. Giving up any one of those guys, maybe Wainright, and then taking on Johnson's salary would be a reasonable deal. I would love to see that big ugly man with the birds on bat across his chest, however, the St. Louis Cardinals can not win a bidding war with the Red Sox and Yankees. So they should look elsewhere.

Here is the list of priorties as I see them:
1) Let Mike Shannon make the move to TV
2) Sign or trade for a pitcher with "Ace" type potential
3) Sign Edgar
4) Offer Matheny a two year deal
5) Sign Womack or another solid second baseman, preferably a leadoff man

I'm sort of torn on the first one. I am not a big Shannon fan. However, if Shannon was on TV you would still be able to watch and know what is happening, as opposed to his radio work where you usually don't know who's up from the 5th to 8th inning. I could always mute and have a good time on TV. Then again, Shannon's crazy rambling may actually be fun during TV. Plus radio broadcasts would improve.

Point number two I have my list of who I want, that is the next point.

Point three, apparently the deal being discussed is 4 years 32 million which seems perfect to me. That wouldn't brake the bank for a starter, it would lock Edgar up for a long time, but not too long. And it would make Edgar one of the better paid shortstops in the league. Not as much as the big three shortstops signed a few years ago, but it's more than Tejada is making. That would lock up Pujols, Rolen Renteria long term, and we have Edmonds two more years, so the core of the line-up would stay in tact.

The Matheny question is a tough one, he is the best defensive catcher in baseball. He helps our pitching staff emmensly, but Molina is waiting to come into his own. Ideally we would sign Matheny to a one year deal to stay aroung, mentor Molina and split time. But, if I were Matheny and was offered that deal I would say HELL MOTHER FUCKING NO!!! He's 34, so he won't get a better deal next year than he will now. He has won three out of the last five gold gloves. He should be able to get a deal for 3 or 4 years at 3 million a year or so and that he should jump on it. His batting is not good and never will be. At times this year he looked helpless at plate. Catchers usually don't age too well, so I think if Matheny is getting 4 million dollars in 3 years, someone will be overpaying. But I think offering him a two year deal in the neighborhood of 5 million would be wise. With Haren, Ankiel, Calero, Marquis, Reyes, and possibly Wainright all developing in the Big Leagues over the next two years, it would be nice to have Matheny calling the pitches. In two years Molina won't be a question mark, he will be itching to be the starter.

The rumors seem to say that Womack will not be coming back, he may even go to the Cubs, where he rode the bench for part of 2003. I am fine with that, I don't think the 35 year old Womack will play like he did last year again at bat, or in the field. There are a bunch of free agent second basemen out there, mos tof them are old guys, and few of them have lead-off skills, but there are interested names. Cardinal Killer Jeff Kent is a possibility if Renterai gets away, that money could be spent on Kent, and Luna could get a chance at short or a cheap free agent (everybodies, favorite, Ozzie replacement Royce Clayton) could be found. Otherwise a list includes Placido Polanco, possibly the best name the Cardinals have ever had except Stubby Clapp. Ex Cub and Red Sock Todd Walker is also out there.

In another not, how bout this steroid drama thats coming out now? I don't know about you guys, but I love rubbing cream all over myself when I have no idea what it is. What did you think Barry, it was horse semen?