Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Monthly Archives: October 2010


Sooo glad the World Series is finally here. I am really looking forward to this one. Sorry to my friends out east, but elated we finally have a Series without the damn Yankees, the bloody Sawx and the fightin Phillies. 

I’m ready for some new blood and nothing makes me wanna scream more than when I hear the east coast whiners cryin about the upcoming low ratings. Oh paaaaallllllleeeeeease! Like no one in the great US of A wants to see a WS without the same ole same ole. 

To hear the ESPNers talk, you’d think Dallas and San Francisco were tiny little burgs in the middle of nowheresville that are still waitin for cable tee vee. I’ve met enough easterners, specifically NYers, who think the country miraculously drops off at the Hudson River. Well, too bad-so sad, cause the rest of the country is ready for this series. 

I’m a National League girl. Can’t imagine cheering for an American League team. Maybe the Royals. Maybe. I am really excited to get behind the Giants. This is a great team to root for. And by great I don’t necessarily mean talented. This is a motley band of misfits known as the Dirty Dozen. They have everything I wish the Cardinals had shown.They play as a team with joy and passion. They’re loose, positive and easy going. They persevere. They play a hard nine. They wear orange and black. Cool.

Their home is the beautiful privately financed AT&T Park, located in the world’s most lovely setting, where booming homers land out in McCovey Cove. They play in a gorgeous, zany, liberal city with great food and crazy, creative, innovative people. They choose people to sing God Bless America that wear sequins and a replica skyline on an humongous hat. One of their best selling tees says ‘Let Timmeh Smoke.’ (and they ain’t talkin bout his fastball.) 

And they have two of my all time favorite players that don’t wear the Birds on the Bat. Timmeh Lincecum, who looks like a surfer dude, loves to drop the f bomb, and pitches like the Freak he is. I love that dude. 


And then there’s closer Brian Wilson with a Mohawk 
haircut, a dyed jet-black best-ever real but fake-lookin 
beard and um..several tattoos. The guy is seriously gloriously hysterically out there and, maybe just maybe, a little insane. I love that guy. 

Oh…and of course they have a 1,000 year old rookie catcher named Buster. Posey.

You can’t make this stuff up. Gotta love this team. 

GOOOOOOO GIANTS! Win for the N.L. Win for real baseball. Yo!

All photos from MLB and San Fransisco Giants. 

Boredom Buster – Answer Reveal

If you missed our game yesterday, we were giving you a chance to show off how well you know your St. Louis Cardinals!  We asked how many of the 2010 Cardinal players you could recognize by just their eyes.

And now the big reveal….. *drum roll please*

The Answers

Chris Carpenter -1, 10
Ryan Franklin – 14
David Freese – 16
Jaime Garcia – 7
Blake Hawksworth – 17
Matt Holliday – 4, 21
Jon Jay – 13
Josh Kinney – 18
Jason LaRue – 23
Tony LaRussa – 26
Kyle Lohse – 6
Felipe Lopez – 19
Ryan Ludwick – 9
Aaron Miles – 27
Trevor Miller – 12
Yadier Molina – 11
Jason Motte – 8
Brad Penny – 25
Albert Pujols – 2
Colby Rasmus – 24
Dennys Reyes – 15
Brendan Ryan – 3, 22
Skip Schumaker – 5
Adam Wainwright -20
Thanks for playing!  
Go on, fess up…. how did you do? (without peeking, that is!)  =)

The World Series starts tonight on Fox!  
Play Ball! 

Boredom Buster: How Well Do You Know Your St. Louis Cardinals?

It feels like FOREVER since Cardinal baseball was on my television!

I am bored, I miss the boys, and while this round of postseason baseball has been entertaining and exciting (both powerhouses, the Yankees and the Phillies, got kicked off the island,) it just isn’t the same without our beloved Cardinals.

So, you see, I had this idea back in the middle of the season, but knew I should really wait to create this post until the offseason – in order to keep busy when there was no baseball to watch.
Well, I’ve never been good at waiting….at least I made it past the ALCS and NLCS, right?
Here’s the game:  Can you correctly identify the 2010 Cardinals by their eyes alone?
(No cheating or copying off your neighbor!)
Answers will be coming in another post soon.

Okay, okay…. for those of you needing a little help, here is an alphabetized list of the players included above. =)

Chris Carpenter (2)
Ryan Franklin
David Freese
Jaime Garcia
Blake Hawksworth
Matt Holliday (2)
Jon Jay
Josh Kinney
Jason LaRue
Tony LaRussa
Kyle Lohse
Felipe Lopez
Ryan Ludwick
Aaron Miles
Trevor Miller
Yadier Molina
Jason Motte
Brad Penny
Albert Pujols
Colby Rasmus
Dennys Reyes
Brendan Ryan (2)
Skip Schumaker
Adam Wainwright

Good Luck!  

Memories Wrapped in Baseball

I was in Texas this past weekend for a family Fall Break trip to San Antonio. We took the kiddos to the Alamo and the Riverwalk.  We saw the Shamu family, dolphins, sea lions and penguins at Sea World.  We lounged by the pool, rode bikes, played catch on the grass and truly enjoyed our time together having fun.

And of course, each evening we ended up back at our hotel in time to watch Postseason Baseball.
We were in Texas when the Rangers won the ALCS (their first championship in franchise history) against the Yankees.  It may not have been a typical postseason memory – being there in the ballpark– but I smile when I think of how my kids will remember the 2010 baseball postseason.  We were all tucked into our beds watching the games together in a hotel room, exhausted from each day’s adventures and falling asleep to the sounds of October baseball.
Ryan Madson  – my reason to cheer the Phillies (vs the Giants)
photo from dailypostal.com
The youngest of our clan never made it into the 6th inning of any game.  His sister lasted to the end of the first game, but by the last night – when the Giants won the NLCS over the Phillies – she too tuckered out before the 7th inning stretch.  (Plus she was the sole Giant fan of our bunch, so she was disappointed to find out the next morning that she had missed the celebration.)
I certainly treasure the fact that our family memories have been wrapped in baseball over the past few years. 
No matter where we travel or who we are with, baseball can always make a nice side-story, enriching the experience and bringing us together at the end of a long day.
Enjoy your week, Cardinal fans. 

Who Do We Like On ESPN

My friend, John P.Wise, founder of the website, One Great Season (link below) produced an unscientific survey of who we like and dislike on ESPN. He asked some of his writer and blogger friends to send him a list of around ten on air personalities on the WWL that we like and ten we dislike with a short quip explaining our reasons.

Thought it would be fun to start a conversation with our readers since we all have our faves on ESPN. Following is the list I sent to him with my choices. You will find the results of the survey on his website. (link below)
Neil Everett-Smoothest and wittiest SC anchor. Perfect for late night when you want the facts and a little entertainment.
Kirk Herbstreit-Most knowledgeable of all CFB experts and perfect on Gameday. Hunky delight.
Ron Jaworski– His NFL Matchup show, hidden in some god-awful early morning slot on Sunday, is required viewing if you want to really understand the game of football. Love Jaws and everything he does. Often imitated but irreplaceable.
Linda Cohn-One of my heroines and still my favorite female SC anchor. Funny, smart. Makes it look easy. Great laugh.
Tim Kurkjian-Huge crush on my little baseball nerd. He gets why baseball is more about emotion and history than all other sports.
Tom Jackson-Old school. Gives us the info and gets out of the way of the pre-game hoopla.
Jay Bilas– Very bright, knowledgeable, fearless and I pray he does the college hoops game I’m watching.
Tony Kornheiser– The man I think of when I think of an old school sports reporter. Smaht. Loves the game. Crotchety. Makes me laugh.
Michael Wilbon– Perfect partner to Kornheiser. Wry. Just gets why we love sports. Love PTI.
Chris Carter-Fearless and says what he believes.
Wright Thompson-Perfect features reporter. Knows less is more in choice of words. Paints the emotion of a story with his simple words. ESPN should feature him on camera much more. His piece on New Orleans and the Saints was pitch perfect.
Skip Bayless- His whole spiel is irritating. He’s wound too tight and the outrageous things he says to get attention just gets old. Forrest Gump of sports. Been to every sporting event known to mankind. Am I right?
Jim Rome– Like Bayless he seems to dislike athletes in a personal way that is unappealing. Gives preferential treatment to those who appear on his show. Arrogant.
Chris Berman-Used to love him, but he has outlived his sell by date. Seriously induces migraines.
Dick Vitale-Enough already. Go away. Seems to gives his coaching pals a pass. i.e.-Calipari.
Dana Jacobson– Moody. Comes across like she doesn’t want to be there. Thank God she’s actually not there all that often. Chick takes more vacations than George W. did.
Rick Reilly– Grew up reading him in SI. Love to read him, just don’t like to watch him. Ego on overdrive.
Craig James– Why does he still have a job? 
So do you agree or disagree with my choices? Let me know. Would love to hear some of yours. 
Please check out John’s site to see the results and also to read some great posts about college football. John spent last fall traveling around to a different major college football game each weekend and created his website so people could follow along. His website grew so popular that he has continued it. It’s a great source for all sports, most especially college football and basketball. He is currently writing a book about his year on the road.
(photos from ESPN)


Trying to find my postseason groove

Logo Credit: MLB.com
Ok, so I have found myself getting into the postseason a little bit more than I expected I would. Yeah, I was really bitter a couple weeks ago and I really just wasn’t feeling it. Then, as game 1 of the NLDS started, I was a little more interested. Sad thing about it all…is the team I have been forced to cheer for. So,who have I been cheering for?
The Phillies. Um, excuse me?!
Yeah, the -gulp- Phillies. My reasoning?
Because, as I said on twitter last Wednesday, having a postseason team to root AGAINST is almost as fun as having a team to root FOR. So, take a breath, I am technically not rooting for the Phillies, just against the teams they play. From the moment the Cardinals were *officially* eliminated, I was ready to root for any team that would be playing against the Reds in the postseason regardless of who they were playing. Of course, I am not the only one who was doing the same – my sentiments have been echoed across Cardinal Nation. But, for not being excited about postseason at all, this was the one thing I was looking forward to. Now, that the Reds have been swept right out of the postseason, I am happy – not to mention, watching Brandon Phillips bawl like a baby in the dugout after the sweep and Johnny Cueto being the LP was just icing on the cake. Now, I am looking forward to the pitching match-ups in the final four teams. (Sort of still rooting for the Phillies since they are taking on the Giants, even as much as it makes me sick to see the Phils in the World Series again).
Cliff Lee & Teammates celebrate his CG and series win.
(Oh hey…there’s a MOLINA!)
Photo Credit: J. Meric, Getty Images
The LCS starts tonight, with the AL going first – Yankees vs. Rangers. I am really excited for this series. There have been stories about how the Yankees were hoping that the ALDS between the Rangers and the Rays would be stretched to a Game 5. I came across this article while doing research for my graduate classes. The Yankees were hoping this because it means that the Rangers starting pitcher would be out of commission until Game 3 of the ALCS. Sounds like a pretty decent reason to cheer on your potential opponents. However, I have never been one to believe in doing better with time off or that it really matters when which of your ace pitchers will be starting. If you have done well enough during the regular season, you should do well even without it being in the order the team desires. The Yankees may be excited that they don’t have to see Cliff Lee until Game 3, but when that game comes, they might need to be shaking in their boots. Cliff Lee pitched an amazing Game 5 of the ALDS – a complete game, 6-hit, one-run game with NO walks and 11 strikeouts. As long as the offense shows up that game, I think the Yankees might be regretting their wishes.

I am also a believer in momentum. Not a “momentum-beats-all” believer, but I believe that it exists. The Yankees haven’t played since Saturday – 5 days off – and the Rangers have only had 2 days off. I think that plays a factor in the outcome of the LCS. During the regular season, no one has that many off days – no one really even gets 2 off days except for during the ASG. So, do I think the Yankees have been sitting around too long waiting for their opponent? Yes. I think that the Rangers have a good chance of coming in and winning. The Rangers won all of their road games (another reason for the Yankees to be worried about Cliff Lee in Game 3, since it will be in New York) in the ALDS, and I think that they have what it takes to make it to the end. The series might last all 7 games, but I think they can pull it off. After all, do we really want to see the Phillies and the Yankees in the World Series
again? I will be rooting for the Rangers this series and for the Giants to lose. I really don’t think I could stand seeing Tim Lincecum winning a WS Ring – even if that does mean the Phillies are playing for the title again. If it ends up being the Yankees in the World Series, you can count me out this year. I’ll just wait for the Cardinals to take the crown next year. 🙂
Everyone enjoy the rest of the postseason. Not much time left before there is no actual baseball being played and we are being bombarded with trade rumors. And while I am anxious for awards season, I am dreading this offseason. Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best news on a certain first baseman. 🙂  


To Cooperstown or bust. In our United Cardinal Bloggers we have been doing a daily roundtable answering a question posed by each of the members. Yesterday we were presented with a list of former Cardinals. Our task was to decide which player should be inducted into the Hall Of Fame first. The list included, along with others, Curt Flood and Ted Simmons. (to see the complete list as well as today’s UCB post which includes the player I eventually chose, as well as the players chosen by all those involved, please go to http://retrosimba.com ).
This was a hard question for me because I happened to think they are all deserving for various reasons. After researching each player I went back and forth between Curt Flood and Ted Simmons. My head told me Ted Simmons. My heart told me Curt Flood. I thought I’d give the case for both of them here and let you, our readers, decide which one of these you would choose.  
The fact that Curt Flood is not in the Hall of Fame is an inexplicable omission. Curt belongs for two reasons: what he did on the field but even more so by what he accomplished off. His courage has impacted every player that plays the game. 
Curt’s accomplishments on the field can probably be argued as being HOF worthy. But they ARE worthy in my opinion. He was a superbly talented ballplayer. Sports Illustrated referred to him as the best defensive CF in major league baseball. This was at the same time Willie Mays was still showing his defensive prowess in the National League. Flood had a 15 year career in center field. He finished in the top ten in batting every year from 1963-68. His lifetime batting average was .293. His career OBP was .347, SLG was .390 and his OPS was .732. His career high BA was .335. He had 1,861 career hits. He was a seven time consecutive Gold Glove winner and a three time All Star. 
He helped the Cardinals win two World Series. He was one of the top defensive center fielders in Cardinal history. Only Willie Mays and Richie Asburn played more games in CF in NL history that Flood.
Off the field, Curt Flood social significance is unchallenged. Flood challenged the notorious reserve clause which tied players to the clubs that owned their contracts. In 1969 when the Cardinals attempted to trade Flood to the Phillies, he refused to move. It wasn’t about the money. He simply wanted to remain a Cardinal or have a say in where he was traded. Taking this to court, he went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Flood, with the backing of the Major League Baseball Players Association attempted to break a system that was the equivalent of 20th century indentured servitude. The Supreme Court ruled against Flood, but Flood’s actions set in motion a series of events that led to the elimination of the reserve clause and the beginning of the system of free agency, which most Major League baseball players today take for granted.   
That was Curt Flood’s greatest accomplishment. He elevated the game for generations of players by his courage and willingness to stick by his belief: that he was not property, but a human being with rights. He sacrificed and shortened a terrific career to do so. Curt Flood died of cancer in 1997. For his contribution to our beloved sport, Curt Flood deserves to be inducted in the HOF.
Ted Simmons, one of the Cardinals greatest catchers, should, without a doubt, be a member of the HOF. Voters have traditionally been stingy with their support for catchers. There are only fourteen in the Hall. Ted also had the misfortune of playing in the era of a HOF catcher you might have heard of…Johnny Bench. 
Ted should make it on hotness alone.
His offensive numbers alone make him more than worthy. Simmons played in the majors as a switch hitting catcher for 21 years. Ted stood out as one of the most feared hitters in the NL. He hit for an extremely high average for a catcher. 
His lifetime batting average was .285, hitting in the top ten six times. He’s tied with HOFerYogi Berra and better than HOfers Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk. He hit higher than .300 seven times. His career OBP is .348, his SLG is .437, and he has a .785 OPS. 
Simmons has 2,472 lifetime hits, more than any catcher in the HOF. Simmons also had great power, hitting 483 doubles which ranks second among all HOF catchers. 
Simmons had 1,389 RBI in his career. That total is higher than every catcher in the HOF except for Yogi Berra. He drove in at least 90 runs eight times in his career, ranking in the NL top 10 in RBI six times.
Simmons hit 248 home runs in his career. Only four of the fourteen HOF catchers have hit more.
He received MVP votes seven times, including three top 10 finishes. He was an 8-time All Star. He won the NL Silver Slugger Award. He had six 20-Home Run Seasons and three 100 RBI Seasons. 
Ted Simmons had an extremely long career at catcher, playing in 1,771 games at that position.  The Cards did not provide him with a great pitching staff.  Simmons still had a career fielding percentage of .987.  He did work with one great Cardinal pitcher and Hall of Fame starter, but only had the chance to catch Bob Gibson during the last five years of Gibby’s career. 
He was considered adequate defensively, but won no Gold Gloves. During most of Simmons’ career as a catcher, Johnny Bench won the Gold Glove for the NL catcher every year.  
Simmons’ numbers are definitely worthy, as he ranks in the top 10 among all-time catchers already in the Hall of Fame in a number of categories. He ranks 5th in runs, 1st in hits, 1st in doubles, 4th in HR’s, 2nd in RBI, 6th in BA, 4th in games caught, and 6th in fielding average. 
He did finally get off those terrible 70’s Cards teams and to the1982 World Series in his days with the Milwaukee Brewers. Ironically they lost to the Cardinals. 
Nicknamed “Simba”, his absence represents one of the Hall of Fame’s most startling omissions. 
(photos courtesy in order-HOF, redbirdrants.com, HOF, cinenema.com)

And Then There Were Four

Cliff Lee (AP photo) celebrating the Rangers ALDS victory
Last night I watched as the Texas Rangers won their first (ever) postseason series in franchise history.  Cliff Lee topped off the night with a complete game gem to beat the Rays 5-1.  The Rangers expertly navigated the bases as if their lives depended on it.  It was beyond good baseball.  It was fun!   
While I do still bemoan the fact that my Cardinals are long gone for the season, I must honestly admit that our 2010 Cardinals would most certainly have been outplayed last night. 
Nolan Ryan’s Rangers were aggressive with brilliant base running, phenomenal offense, pitching magnificence, manufactured runs and stolen bases. It was brilliant, scrappy baseball magic strung together in a way that I have really only read about.  Visions of Whitey Herzog’s Cardinals – and what their version of smart small ball must have been like – were flashing before my eyes.
Maybe it was just the excitement of yesterday’s do-or-die postseason battle, but for the first time in a long time I was enjoying baseball for the pure energy of the moment – and I loved it!
If you are reading this today, I am guessing you too are one of the loyal (aka stubborn) baseball fans still fighting the good fight and savoring the last vestiges of the 2010 MLB season?   
The Reds, Rays, Twins and Braves are all out, and the party is down to four.
Rangers versus Yankees (ALCS)
Giants versus Phillies (NLCS)
Warning: wavering, indecisive, attempt at an opinion-forming train-of-thought paragraph ahead:
Personally, I find it hard to cheer for the Phillies. (See: Friday May 7th CDD post )
But after their stomping of the Reds, I have a very, very small fondness in my heart for that scruffy bunch of mugs.  And since another Yankees/Phillies World Series seems unfair and unimaginative, I guess I need to cheer for the Rangers?  But then again… I really like that Derek Jeter… and Mariano Rivera … and David Robertson (my new happy pitcher fascination). 
Hmmmm… the only team I don’t want to see in the World Series would be the Giants.  That Tim Lincecum is just so hard to watch. You know what I mean….right?  😉
But no matter… Whether the Rangers continue to impress or the big money superstar teams run away with it all over again, I’ll be watching.
Don’t look now, but there may be only 3 weeks of baseball left!
Savor the postseason, play ball!
And in case you missed it! —The UCB (United Cardinal Bloggers) October Project is in full swing with a roundtable discussion that keeps the baseball talk front and center.  Each day is a new topic and today the bloggers chimed in on how they are spending October.  Who is watching postseason baseball?  Who has moved on to football?  How do you compare to the other Cardinal faithful?  Check out today’s answers here (link pending).

Delayed Reaction: LOL Reds

I know, two days later and I’m talking about the Reds losing. Welcome to my busy and random world. Anyway, I was thinking about this time last year, and how awful and pathetic I felt to be a Cardinals fan, having just watched my team flush away the season with some rather lackluster play and a quick three game sweep by the Dodgers. I even made the seven hour trek to St. Louis for game three after lucking into some tickets last minute. I was fairly convinced that I could turn things around and help the team climb back into the NLDS. That didn’t happen, obviously…

I really enjoyed that Braves/Giants series. It felt like watching the Braves games I used to catch all the time on TBS as a kid (yes, I was a kid in the 90’s… sorry). Turner Field was electrified last night, and despite the loss, the atmosphere of that game was a fitting send-off for Bobby Cox. I never had a problem with Bobby (Leo Mazzone was another story… watching him rock away in the dugout made me crazy) and actually enjoyed seeing him get tossed all the time. While I was fairly surprised to see it happen in the playoffs, it almost seemed fitting for it to happen to him.

I did a pretty horrible job picking teams so far, didn’t I? Last week I went for the Phils, Twins, Braves and Rays.
Let’s face it, the Phillies should have won that series, plain and simple.
Picking the Twins was a hopeful thing, not a ‘I actually think this could happen’ pick. Beating the Yankees in a short series is no simple task, so losing that one didn’t really surprise me.
I assumed that the Braves/Giants would be a crapshoot, and I think that was the series I wavered on the most. At times I forgot who I was rooting for and cheered for both teams.
I did not expect the Rangers to make it out alive. They have impressed me. Unfortunately, I pretty much assume that no matter which team comes out on top, they will probably lose to the Yankees in the ALCS. Part of me wants to remember that it’s a funny game (“… eh Monty?”), but the rest of me knows that they are the d*** Yankees for a reason.

Anyway, I did actually do some writing about the Cardinals for today (crazy, right?), but you have to head over to Baseball Digest to read it. I like to-do lists, so I started one for Mo and the front office to hold on to as the offseason really starts to set in. Head over there and give it a read, okay?

One last thing about last year. I might not have been able to turn the team around in the NLDS, but at least I didn’t cry like Brandon Phillips. Just sayin.

UCB Roundtable – Day 4

Welcome to Monday’s Girl Talk… except, this week, we let the boys join in! Before you gasp in shock, let me explain. Each year the United Cardinal Bloggers does a roundtable discussion in October, with the bloggers taking turns asking a question. Today is ladies’s day, so read through our question and the boys of the UCB answers, then head over to the UCB website and check out the full calendar of questions and sites. Enjoy!

Our question won’t surprise most of you, given our love of the Baby Birds. We wanted to know which of our beloved Baby Birds that were wandering the grass of Busch Stadium throughout the year should be looked at as permanent members of the squad next year, either as regulars or bench guys. We also asked which players should get the longest looks in the spring and which of the boys the team should (*gasp*) cut ties with, whether through trades or releasing them. I included the names Daniel Descalso, Allen Craig, Mark Hamilton, Fernando Salas, Joe Mather, Tyler Greene, Matt Pagnozzi and Bryan Anderson, but the responses threw out a couple other names as well. I’ll toss it over to the boys, then chime in with my thoughts at the end…

Daniel (C70 At The Bat)

I think Salas has established himself as a strong bullpen presence and should be a front-runner for a bullpen slot next year.  Craig looks like he’s good for at least a platoon slot in the outfield and Descalso should be a capable bench guy, though I’m not completely sold on him taking over second for Schumaker.

As for the catchers, I think they should keep Bryan Anderson; it’s obvious they are going to keep Matt Pagnozzi.  Anderson needs to be traded, because he’s not going to get the shot he needs in St. Louis.

The rest, I don’t mind having them in the system, don’t mind them getting spot time in the bigs, but if the club can get something for them, so be it.

Dennis (Pitchers Hit Eighth)

The one player who I think should be penciled in as a regular next year is Salas. I believe that his 30 innings pitched represent just large enough a sampling to pass judgment on him, and his 3.52 ERA is lower than both Boggs and Miller. I’d like to see Craig make the team as well, but I have reservations about his ability to be effective as a platoon player or pinch hitter.  He seems like he’s best suited for an everyday slot that affords him 500+ plate appearances a year.  Unless a slot opens due to trade/injury, I just don’t see that opportunity there for him right now.
The situation at catcher deserves some real consideration.  At 23, Anderson should probably be the catcher of the future.  If Pagnozzi is the backup coming out of spring training, and the Cardinals force Yadi to sit more games, the trade value for Pagnozzi could rise.  Pagnozzi could be traded by the deadline, and Anderson could be bumped up.  If needed, Descalso may be a viable option at 2B, but I haven’t seen enough of him to feel comfortable writing his name in the lineup there.  As for Green (27), Hamilton (26), and Mather (28), they are starting to feel like “players to be named later”.

Pip (Fungoes)

One player who showed some promise in limited action was Daniel Descalso. He demonstrated excellent plate discipline and offers versatility at two positions where the team has the most doubts, second base and third base. Assuming he’s not traded this winter, Bryan Anderson should get some exposure not for a spot on the 25-man roster but in order to showcase his talent for a trade.

Which players should the team consider cutting ties with, whether through trades or releasing them?
Anderson, certainly, because he is blocked as both a starting catcher and a backup. Craig and Mather offer largely the same skill set, so the team needs only one. And depending on what happens with Albert Pujols, Mark Hamilton will either be superfluous or a good-buy (and goodbye) replacement.

Joseph (The McBrayer-Baseball Blog)

Joey Bombs Mather, may not get anything in return.

Dustin (Welcome To Baseball Heaven)

As far as guys who could become permanent members of the squad next year I’m leaning towards Salas, Pagnozzi and Allen Craig. Fernando established himself as a viable option out of the pen as a middle reliever this past season. I could be wrong but I’m assuming with a solid spring that Matt Pagnozzi will be Yadi’s backup next year. I’m thinking Allen Craig will get the nod over Joe Mather as an outfield bench option. I’d also like to see Descalso get a long look next spring as a utility guy in the infield.
That leaves names such as Mather and Greene on the outside looking in. I do bounce back and forth a lot on what to do with Craig and Mather, but the organization needs to make a choice and possibly move one. As far as Tyler Greene I just don’t know. He seems to have a never ending case of the yips every time he makes an appearance in St. Louis.

Mark (RetroSimba)

Salas should help the bullpen in 2011. He could be an upgrade over Hawksworth. Craig is a better hitter and run producer than he showed in the majors this year. He should have a role as a bench player with St. Louis in 2011. Descalso should compete for a utilityman role.

I agree that Anderson should be given a long look in the spring, and Cards should make a decision to keep him or trade him.

I agree that Mather and Hamilton have no futures with this club, and should be traded.

Tom (Cardinals GM)

Salas is in. He looked sharp and deserves a bullpen shot. Craig I would keep as an extra outfielder,. He show the prowess to get some hits and a spot starter.  

After that, I am not handing out spots just yet. I believe the backup to Molina will be/and needs to be a veteran (can you insert walkaway Dioner Navarro here?) Pagnozzi needs more daily reps in Memphis. Anderson needs to be somewhere else, in a package trade and Delscaso just needs to show us in Spring Training he is ready. The rest can play AAAA ball

Cole (Redbird Report)

I’d say Fernando Salas. He was solid just about every time he stepped out there this year. Also, you can’t ignore his 19 saves and 0.98 WHIP that he posted in AAA this season. He clearly has good stuff, and it wasn’t just at the minor league level. 

In 27 games with the Cardinals, Salas posted a 3.52 ERA and struck out 29 in 30.2 innings pitched. With Franklin aging (and struggling) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Salas get looks in the ninth inning next year. He’ll certainly be an eighth inning guy at the very least.

Bill (I-70 Baseball)

I am of the belief that a good portion of the Cardinals Minor League system are nothing more than career minor leaguers.  

Craig, Mather, Greene could all be traded or cut loose and I honestly would not notice or care (sorry, Erika). 

That being said, as for “long looks” next Spring, I would like to see Descalso, Anderson, and Pagnozzi be given every opportunity to play themselves out of a job.  Fernando Salas needs to be a part of this bullpen.  

Hamilton is intriguing, but projects as a first baseman.  Let’s hope he’s blocked.  

Finally, I think there are a few guys that need to get a look in Spring to determine where they belong this year.  Guys like Matt Carpenter and Darryl Jones need to be evaluated and determine where there future is and how quickly it is coming.

Goodness. Not much love for some of our favorite Baby Birds, is there? Last I checked Erika hadn’t read any of these responses… I think we should all be crossing our fingers that she hasn’t made it this far into today’s post. If she has, sorry dear, but I’m going to probably agree with all of the above.

I want Pags and Anderson given shots to make it on the roster as Yadi’s back-up, but whichever one doesn’t make it should probably just be traded ASAP, because it’s not worth keeping them both around anymore.

I think Descalso will become next year’s Tyler Greene if he doesn’t make the roster. He’ll be the first one up to be the bench guy. In all honesty I want him to have a strong spring and oust Skippy for second base, but I’m not sure he’ll get that much of a chance.

Salas is here to stay. He put it a lot of miles this year between Memphis and St. Louis, and played well everywhere he went. Keep him around.

Craig needs consistent playing time. If he can get it in St. Louis and finally put up the numbers he’s been putting up in Memphis he’ll stick. If not, sayonara.

The rest? You all know I love Joe Mather, but I don’t see him ever being anything more than a AAAA guy (*sheds a tear*). Tyler Greene has never impressed me at the big league level. Ever. His defense isn’t as good as Brendan, his bat isn’t as good as Skip, and I have to believe that there will be someone standing at third not named Tyler Greene. I like the look of Mark Hamilton, but if he is manning first for the Cardinals in the coming years, that means Albert is not. I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with that idea.

Now, we just included players that were actually on the big league squad at some point this year. There are still plenty of names and faces coming up through the ranks of the Cardinal minor league system… but it might be awhile before the calvary comes riding in. Just sayin’.

Thanks to Daniel and the rest of the UCB team for letting us join in on the fun, and be sure to check in over at the official site to see some of our responses to other questions throughout the month of October! Oh hey, while I’ve got you here, yesterday my newest post went up at I-70 Baseball, checking out the Cardinals from 1900-1905. Give it a look and let me know what you think!

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