Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: trades

What I Have Learned- Saying Goodbye to the Boog.

 Yesterday my favorite spinning shortstop was dumped.  The Cardinals sent Brendan Ryan to the Mariners for an A level pitcher with a questionable future – which pretty well shows how much they wanted to rid themselves of Brendan
Sure, we knew this day was coming.  The Cardinals had been trying to give ol’ Brendo away for at least a month now.  But that doesn’t make it any easier to lose a favorite player to a team on the other side of the baseball universe.
What probably surprised me the most in my stunned state of the blues yesterday was the internet response from Cardinal Nation.  Reading the comments of the many Brendan fans who were just as disappointed was comforting.  That sense of community and commiseration helped ease the sting.   But seeing the numerous criticisms of Brendan from those who were relieved to see him go was also therapeutic – in a tough love sort of way.
Being a real baseball fan isn’t all popcorn, peanuts and World Series wins.  As I am forced to realize more and more by living through these trades and baseball business decisions, getting too attached carries obvious emotional risks.  Rosters change, hot corner rookies get injured and rumors of baseball politics may rob us of the romance of the game. And not everyone loves and appreciates the same players – well, other than Mr. Pujols, of course. 😉
In the short time that I have followed the Redbirds I have survived other (some would say “bigger”) heart-breaking baseball separations: David Eckstein, Scott Rolen, Jimmy Edmonds, and Ryan Ludwick – just to scratch the surface.  In fact, I was reminded yesterday by my oh-so-patient Hubby that I have had similar (albeit less tearful) reactions to the departures of Joe Mather, Blake Hawksworth, Joel Piniero, Brad Thompson, Brett Wallace and a pocketful of other AAA Memphis boys.
So, my dear Brendan Ryan is the newest roster casualty and here I am being all grown-up about it!  Maybe I am getting better at this process.   Okay, okay… if we don’t look back at last week’s blog posts, that is.  😉
Does it hurt? Absolutely.
Will I boycott the Cardinals?  Nah….
I will wish Brendan luck in Seattle and probably watch some Mariners baseball in 2011. I will pick some new favorites and find more reasons to love my team. However,  I will also inwardly enjoy the thought of rubbing the Cardinals’ collective nose in it when Brendan’s defensive wizardry ends up in the web gem video highlights or when he wins the Gold Glove. But dreaming of revenge is just a natural part of the healing process, right?
Baseball may be a game of hitting and catching, winning and losing, but it certainly is not just a game of numbers. The drama of player personalities and the passion of the fans are just as important to the vitality of the game.  I certainly love the boys. I love the stories.  And though it brings the occasional heartbreak, I know that -for me- baseball is worth the occasional heartache.
Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training camp in 2 short months.  That should give me time to get over it.  😉
Go Cards!

Bye-bye Luddy

At least Ryan Ludwick’s last play as a Cardinal was an important one: scoring the only run of the game early this morning for a 1-0 return-to-first-place victory. And he scored that run after being on base via a pinch-hit double to lead off the 10th inning.

There seems to be much shock over the trade of Luddy to the Padres in a three-way trade that brought Jake Westbrook to the Cardinals. (The Cards get prospect Nick Greenwood from the Padres too.) With just under an hour left until the trade deadline, maybe John Mozeliak still has another move in the works to address the Cardinals seemingly biggest need: a bat to help them score runs. We shall see.

Luddy is definitely a fan favorite – which was especially apparent in the Twitter reaction to this trade – and one of our favorites here as well. We even celebrated Ludwick Appreciation Day back in May. So we are definitely sad to see him go at this point in time, even though we are (reluctantly) happy for the opportunity he now has with the Padres – he has better offensive numbers than any of San Diego’s current outfielders. And, long-term, we knew that perhaps he wasn’t part of the Cards future following this season. But that was to think about during the hot-stove season. I honestly was blindsided that seeing him score that run early today was the end of his Cardinals career.

Matthew Leach has a great summary of Luddy’s career:
Ludwick, 31, has revived his career as a member of the Cardinals since signing with the organization as a Minor League free agent in 2007. He was an All-Star in ’08 and in four seasons with St. Louis has hit .280 with a .349 on-base percentage and a .507 slugging percentage.

In 2010, Ludwick has a .281/.343/.484 line with 11 home runs, 43 RBIs and 44 runs scored in 77 games. He missed nearly a month with a strained left calf, returning last weekend for the Cards’ series against the Cubs.

He would be a third-year arbitration-eligible player this winter, though, which means he will almost certainly receive a significant raise for the 2011 season. Rookie Jon Jay has impressed in his first 48 games, hitting .396 and slugging .604, evidently convincing the club that he is ready for a bigger role in the short term. The deal might also open up some playing time for rookie Allen Craig, who is hitting well at Triple-A Memphis.

In closing, here’s a tweet from our friend Neal Bradley that sums up our thoughts perfectly. “My final say on Ludwick. He played like a Cardinal should. Not perfect, but always 100% effort and 100% class. Good luck Luddy (until Oct).”

Oh, yes, welcome Jake Westbrook! We’ll think about you a little later.

Your weekend project: the chance to be Mo

The Cardinals are on a roll after the All-Star break, winning Thursday and Friday against the Dodgers and scoring 15 runs in the two games while giving up only 5. Also on Thursday, general manager John Mozeliak was given a three-year contract extension. That will keep him on as GM through 2013 with an option for 2014, which means he has some pretty important decisions coming up.

So, as a project this weekend, let’s pretend you’re Mo. Two questions for you:

1. What moves, if any, would you make in the next two weeks before the trade deadline? Who would you trade, from the major or minor leagues, and for who?

2. What are your plans for Albert Pujols?

Let’s hear your thoughts!

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