Disappointment comes in many forms, especially when you are a true fan. A little bit of me dies inside every time St. Louis signs a former Cub, but that is just silly, right? The bigger trouble is knowing that former Cards will play in other uniforms, but does it have to be the Royals and Brewers!?!?!
The Rich Hill move did surprise at least this corner of the PH8 triangle, but I am all for competition. Of course that just leads me to former Redbird Kiko Calero, who is still on the market. Matthew Leach’s recent post and inbox further push the signing of any more arms to the back-burner in favor of bench help (sorry Nick, no Smoltz in your stocking it appears).
Since I started at the end, let me back up to where this saga all began. The Cards Caravan came through my hometown on the 16th, and my expectations were high. Mind you it has been a long time since I was part of the ‘media’ scene, and this should have factored into my thinking more. David Freese and Kyle McClellan answering questions in the local college gym sounded great, except the whole thing was scripted.
So yes, chalk one more up in the ‘failed to meet hype’ category for yours truly but that is becoming common practice anymore unless Pujols is involved. Matt Holliday and Mark McGwire are sure to get their share of the pub in 2010, but the No. 5 clock to FA never seems to become a dead topic.
Getting the best player in the game signed for life has to be top priority for St. Louis, but there are other holes to fill before March. Bernie Miklasz puts it on paper much better than I in this post, and I agree with much of what he is saying. The Cards have money available for two or maybe three of the group still on the market depending on how things shake out.
Andrew’s take can be found here, and one name in particular stands out for me. Felipe Lopez is no stranger to the club and fills a few of the check marks left on the Pre-ST wish list. The price may be right for another reunion, as Lopez found his game again while auditioning with St. Louis in 2008. He provides insurance at a few positions, and I’m sure TLR will not hesitate to try out a few more.
Ending this on another sad note wasn’t my intention, but one question from Leach’s chat concluded what what pretty much a done deal. I have to give props to Marcus B. from Jacksonville, Ill who must be one of our three loyal readers with this gem — “What are the odds of Molina batting ninth with the pitcher eighth? This would keep the double plays at a minimum with Yadi, as the pitcher could sacrifice any runners over and leave a runner or two in scoring position.”
As I’m sure most of you can guess, Matthew was not so kind with his reply — “Virtually nil. The Cardinals are very unlikely to bat the pitcher eighth this year. Even if they do, Molina is not the guy they would use. La Russa likes on-base ability but also speed in the nine spot, if at all possible. He also likes Molina hitting in an RBI spot in the lineup. Molina has a career .269 batting average, but is .296 for his career with runners in scoring position.”
Does anybody else get small chance out of that…all PHE needs is a miracle at this point, anyone have Albert’s number on speed-dial?