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March 3, 2009 at 11:06 pm ET
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United Cardinals Bloggers Roundtable

Hopefully he stays on course and healthy.Daniel Shoptaw, of C70 At the Bat, has organized a cavalcade of United Cardinals Bloggers roundtables. Each day for 25 days someone posits a query about the Cardinals and we take turns weighing in. My question was: Ryan Ludwick had a phenomenal, out-of-nowhere season last year. Do you think he can repeat? What are the expectations? What would be considered a disappointment? What would be considered awesome? Staying the same? What would be considered middle-of-the-road?

Aaron Schafer, of Riverfront Times- the Rundown:
Personally, I think that Ludwick will likely fall off a bit in terms of batting average this season, as pitchers have a chance to find and exploit his swing. (He closed up that hole inside quite nicely, but he is still a little vulnerable to hard stuff away.)

Pitchers will probably be a little more careful with Luddy as well, leading to less good pitches to hit. Along with that, though, I think he’ll probably increase his walk rate a little, though probably not quite enough to make up for the lower BA. I also think his power numbers will remain fairly steady, likely in the 30+ HR range.

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February 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm ET
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Killer Crabs and Bill Parcells

Parcells must have loads to contributeEven though the Cardinals failed to make any noise this offseason, spring training at Roger Dean Stadium is buzzing with excitement.テつ Position battles and injury reports abound.テつ Breathe easy Cardinal Nation, it’s not Chris Carpenter.テつ Yet.テつ No, the most intriguing injury so far is to Todd Wellemeyer.テつ Enjoying the balmy niceties of Jupiter Florida, Wellemeyer was viciously pinched on his pitching hand by a vindictive crab.テつ Not to worry though.テつ A butterfly bandage was enough to stop the bleeding and embarrassment suffered by the Cardinal righthander.テつ He was still able to make his live batting practice session today.

Other nagging injuries to Cardinal players include:

David Freese:テつ sore Achilles tendon; possibly brought on by a land shark encounter

Brendan Ryan:テつ strained wrist; most likely from fending off a muscly beach bully

Khalil Greene:テつ achy shoulder; seagull attack

Chris Carpenter, be on the look out for giant squid or a fat guy with a lawn chair and an oversized can of chili.

In other news, Tony LaRussa has invited another one of his famous pals to attend camp and scare the rookies attempting to make the team.テつ Notorious for knocking around with the likes of Bobby Knight, Bill Belichick and Jon Anderson the lead singer of YES, this year Tony brought along former NFL coach Bill Parcells.テつ Parcells was seen hugging Albert Pujols, eyeing the 2nd base competition and milling around aimlessly.テつ Another banner year in Jupiter, FLA.

Celebrities not asked to join the camp included former Arizona Cardinals coach Denny Green, Captain Harris of the Police Academy movies, the new Asian lead singer of Journey, President Barack Obama (for Chicago reasons, not to fuel Ozzie Smith’s claim that Tony is racist) and Lassie’s bones.

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February 19, 2009 at 5:12 pm ET
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Kennedy Out, 2nd Base Up For Grabs

If Kennedy had showed this kind of intensity while in St. Louis he might still be thereThe revolving door of second basemen in St. Louis continues.テつ Last Monday Adam Kennedy’s contract was bought out by the organization and he was given his walking papers.テつ Underwhelming offensive numbers the past two seasons and a dicey relationship with Tony LaRussa were reason enough for the Cardinals to give up on their former 1st round draft pick.テつ A week after his tenure with the Redbirds, Kennedy was signed to a minor league contract by the AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays.テつ Since the Cardinals paid Kennedy’s contract in full, just to make him go away, he’ll most likely be a $4 million pinch hitter/bench player for the up and coming Rays.テつ While AK will be cruising on easy street thanks to his inability to perform in St. Louis and Bill DeWitt’s wallet, baseball in The Lou must go on.テつ Here is a list of the potential candidates to vie for the starting spot this spring.

Skip Schumaker

Last year’s leadoff man and versatile outfielder is the top contender to take Kennedy’s place.テつ Skip earned his chops as a shortstop in college, so he has experience in the middle infield, but this is still not an easy transition.テつ Had the Cardinal brass tuned into bugsandcranks last year and heeded my advice, Schumaker could have had an entire offseason to train as an infielder.テつ Needless to say, they did not.テつ But the Cards desperately want to keep his bat in the lineup, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

Brendan Ryan

The upstart kid who showed promising potential in 2007, flopped last year.テつ Ryan is decent defensively, but erratic, and his offensive stats last season leave more than a little to be desired.テつ Word on the street is that LaRussa and company are none to pleased with Ryan’s cocksure attitude either.テつ Most likely a bench player at best.

Brian Barden

Good glove.テつ No bat.テつ It’s a simple as that.テつ Barden had decent minor league production, but the organization doesn’t feel his bat can adjust to Major League pitching.テつ Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t come up for more than a cup of coffee.

Joe Thurston

The Cardinal scouts are high on this kid, who hit .316 with 11 homeruns and 64 RBI for the Red Sox Triple A team last year.テつ With a good showing in Jupiter this spring, along with his defensive prowess, Thurston could challenge for the starting spot or at least be a valuable utility man off the bench.

Tyler Greene

There is something about Greene that the organization loves, but the kid just can’t put it all together.テつ He seems to have all the talent in the world, but the Cardinals keep waiting for something to click.テつ Don’t expect to hear that click this year.テつ The Cards have a penchant for overvaluing their prospects and could be going down that road with Greene.テつ It doesn’t matter how much potential a guy has if he never puts it all together.

Jarrett Hoffpauir

This 25 year old is still waiting to get to the bigs.テつ A so so bat and decent defensive abilities give him a shot, but don’t be surprised if he’s still waiting at 26.テつ He’ll most likely split time at AAA Memphis with one of the other guys who don’t make the cut.

Best case scenario is that Skip handles the transition to second and the Cardinals don’t have to bother with the rest of the candidates.テつ Even if he struggles a bit at the beginning, it would most likely have to take nothing short of a Pujols-esque spring by one of the other kids, to bump Skip from the starting spot.テつ Plus his move would create a crucial vacancy in the outfield for the much anticipated Colby Rasmus.

Assuming everything goes according to plan (which it probably won’t), he’s what the lineup could look like on April 1st…

Skip Schumaker – 2B

Colby Rasmus – CF

Albert Pujols – 1B

Ryan Ludwick – LF

Rick Ankiel – RF

David Freese/Bret Wallace – 3B

Yadier Molina – C

Pitcher

Khalil Greene – SS

Prognosis:テつ Good, not great.テつ The potential is there, but will it come to fruition?

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February 9, 2009 at 6:13 pm ET
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I’m Back and Kennedy’s Gone

Nice mugshot, Kennedy.Hi. I’m Andrea Reiher. I occasionally write for this website. I used to write a lot more often when the St. Louis Cardinals actually did something. I can’t remember the last time an off-season felt so long and boring. But now…

The Cardinals have released 2nd baseman Adam Kennedy. He is free to sign with any club he wishes and frankly, I’m okay with this. I don’t love Kennedy. He’s 33 years old and he hit .280 in 2008 with a .321 on-base percentage. He also had a right little fit towards the end of the season about wanting to be traded. Well, you got your wish, Adam.

However, I wish we had made this decision before we let Aaron the Gnome escape to the Cubs.テつ I’ll be honest, I have a soft spot for Miles. He hit .317 with an on-base percentage of .355.テつ I felt better with him in the lineup instead of Kennedy.
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February 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm ET
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The Yankees Are Insane, Cintron Strikes Again and Other Recent Developments

All the Steinbrenners are nuts.The Yankees Are Insane

Cardinal fans are about as excited to have Adam Kennedy for a starting second baseman as they would be to find a soiled adult diaper in their pillowcase.テつ The current list of reserves, stretching nearly as long as Lisa Kudrow’s neck, seems equally unsatisfying.テつ Perhaps sensing an air of pessimism, the Cardinal brass went window shopping for a new middle infielder and stumbled onto Robinson Cano.テつ The Yanks have been dangling Cano all offseason and when the Cards came calling, fans realized just how crazy the son of Steinbrenner actually is.テつ Trade rumors speculate that in return for Cano, a lead gloved, declining bat coming off a down year, the Yankees wanted… Adam Wainwright.テつ I realize that New Yorkers think all Midwesterners are bumbling hayseeds, but even 3-fingered Jimbob who runs the dairy farm wouldn’t make that deal.テつ The Cardinals may not be making many moves this winter, but they’re not about to turn over their staff ace for an overvalued second sacker.テつ The Yankees are insane.

Cintron Strikes Again

The Troy Glaus-Scott Rolen swap last year couldn’t have worked out better for the Cardinals.テつ Glaus was a formidable presence in the middle of the lineup; launching 27 homeruns, driving in nearly 100 and hitting well above his career average.テつ He also played Gold Glove caliber defense at third and stayed healthy the entire season.テつ Then the wheels came off.テつ An achy shoulder was left untreated until January and Glaus suddenly required surgery that could keep him on the shelf until as late as June 1st.テつ The Cardinals’ medical staff has a horrible track record of evaluating injury, estimating timetables, managing surgeries and informing the masses of what is actually going on with their bandaged athletes.テつ This makes them the prime suspects behind Glaus’ ill-timed surgery.テつ Of course, there is always the possibility that while at the mall, picking up a new iphone, Glaus, not paying attention, crashed into Alex Cintron near Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.テつ The shoulder was crushed and Glaus is out.テつ How can a man so bad at baseball cause so much damage against the Cardinals?

Mozeliak Done Taking Crap

Second year GM, John Mozeliak, has been taking a lot of flack this hot stove season.テつ Fans are frustrated over the lack of moves made, holes that remain empty, increased ticket prices and sob stories about the team having no money.テつ The blogs and call-in shows are buzzing with angry comments about Mo and his lack of following through on several promises he made last October to aggressively improve this team’s chances of returning to the post season.テつ Well, apparently the GM had heard enough.テつ Mozeliak entered an online chat room and bashed a taunting poster in cyberspace.テつ Not the ballsiest of moves for a man in his position, and not one of the smarter ones either.テつ If anything, I feel Mo lost a little of Cardinal Nation’s respect here and mostly just made himself look silly.テつ What’s next?テつ Dress up in drag and have a cat fight with a bag lady outside of the stadium?テつ Mozeliak is clearly Bill DeWitt’s puppet, but at least we now know he’s a puppet with a girlish mean streak in him.

Cubs Suck

Since Busch Stadium II was demolished in 2005 fans have been waiting patiently for something positive to come out of the stagnant, mosquito haven known as “Ballpark Village.”テつ All it took was 3 1/2 years, a snow storm and a dedicated fan with big feet.テつ Too bad this vulgar mural will have melted by the time the All Star game rolls around.テつ We certainly know there won’t be a “village” of bars, restaurants and hotels for everyone to enjoy.テつ Since the eyesore doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it’d be nice to find a way to stick it to the Cubs year round.テつ Anyone know a good gardener?

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January 12, 2009 at 7:49 pm ET
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Predicted Lineup: Imposing or Impotent?

Ludwick's production will be a huge factor in the team's success in 2009Since the only relevant topic germane to the the Hot Stove season involving the Cardinals is their inability to participate, I thought focusing on the pieces that are currently in place was a more sensible topic of conversation.テつ Save the “addition” of Khalil Greene the Cardinals are more or less standing pat with the combination they used in 2008.テつ The offense was surprising last year, but can a Cardinal fan be expected to think that the starting 8 will repeat their performances from a year ago?テつ Or better yet, sit idly by as the surrounding lineups in the division become more formidable?テつ They shouldn’t, but it’s not as if they have a choice.テつ Here’s a brief synopsis of what Cardinal Nation will be cheering or cursing come April.

Left Field…テつ Skip Schumaker

Positives: The scrappy, line-drive hitting leadoff man had a break out campaign in 2008 once he was given consistent playing time.テつ Providing a solid bat in the top spot Skip hit .302, popped 8 homers and drove in 46.テつ Look for him to reek more havoc in 2009.

Concerns: Tony LaRussa’s perennial carousel of outfielders could cut into Schumaker’s playing time.テつ That or a bump to the 9 spot in the order could cause his numbers to dip.テつ He also struggled against lefties, which could be exploited in the future.

Center Field… Rick Ankiel

Positives: Baseball’s 2nd best feel good story of the year (see Josh Hamilton) was Ankiel’s ability to convert from a ticking time bomb on the mound to a legitimate power threat in the box.テつ He blasted 25 long balls and drove in 71, all while playing immaculate defense in center.テつ With another year under his belt Rick the Stick has true All Star potential.

Concerns: A constant injury risk, Ankiel missed significant time down the stretch and being prone to extreme streakiness, saw his average fall to a modest .264 by year’s end (one point above Cesar Izturis).テつ He’s the Cardinals’ best piece of trade bait, but if he stays put beware of the head case factor, should any more pesky HGH allegations pop up.

First Base…テつ Albert Pujols

Positives: The National League’s reigning MVP still has nothing but upside, and you can expect another HOF caliber season from baseball’s best player.テつ This could be the year King Albert hits 50.テつ Enjoy the ride.

Concerns: None.テつ Injuries, although ever present, don’t really seem to affect Albert as detrimentally as other players.テつ And if he’s completely healthy… look out.

Right Field…テつ Ryan Ludwick

Positives: Luddy had the mother of all break out seasons.テつ Solid defense, heads up play and a team first attitude were perfect compliments to his MVP caliber numbers.テつ He should finally provide Albert with some legitimate protection in the lineup.テつ Look for him to exploit pitchers that still don’t believe he’s the real deal.

Concerns: Ludwick’s numbers may be hard to replicate due to having such a complete season a year ago, but they shouldn’t fall off dramatically.テつ He’s been an uber talented hitter at every level and is finally producing consistently due to the simple fact that a team gave him a legitimate chance to compete.テつ Surprisingly, he doesn’t hit lefties that well, but showed improvement towards the end of the year.テつ Watch out for Tony’s shaky hand when it comes to writing up the lineup though.テつ Luddy might lose some time to Chris “My Daddy is the Pitching Coach” Duncan.

Third Base…テつ Troy Glaus

Positives: Trading Rolen for Glaus was like swapping a paint by numbers for a Picasso.テつ Rolen struggled while Glaus blossomed and the sure handed linebacker played an incredible 3rd base, losing the Gold Glove not to a superior player, but a flashier name.テつ Not to mention he hit 27 bombs and drove in 99 after a horrid start that saw him hit only 3 homeruns through May.テつ Look for him to build on the final 2/3 of 2008.

Concerns: His streakiness and penchant for striking out could hurt the offensive production of the team, and he has been an injury risk in the past.テつ Hope that he stays healthy or the Birds could be in big trouble.

Shortstop… Khalil Greene

Positives: The new addition from San Diego had a fine offensive season in 2007, smacking 27 homeruns and driving in 97 in one of the most notorious pitcher’s parks in the game.テつ So we know the ability is there.テつ He’s also well above average with the glove, and if given the opportunity, can change the outcome of a game with his defense.

Concerns: A .248 lifetime average says it all.テつ Greene struggles to get on base consistently and is more adept at striking out that Glaus or Ludwick, or even Jim Edmonds.テつ 100 K’s in 389 at bats last year has the Cards praying for a big bounce back season.テつ He’s looking for a fresh start, but if he struggles early don’t expect big things down the stretch.

Catcher…テつ Yadier Molina

Positives: One of the best defensive catchers in the game is finally developing into a dangerous presence in the batter’s box.テつ Yadi has his first .300 season in the bigs (.304) and showed an uncanny ability to come through with 2 outs.テつ Find me a team in baseball that would be disappointed with 7 homeruns, 56 RBI and a .304 average attached to Yadi’s defensive abilities and I’ll jump off a bridge.テつ His offensive numbers have improved dramatically the last 2 seasons.テつ Look for that trend to continue.

Concerns: Yadi has had trouble in the past getting off to a good start, and then he tinkers incessantly with his stance.テつ Beware of a cold April because it could tank his stats for the season.テつ But his numbers the past 2 years may be indicators that he has moved past that stage of his career.テつ A slight dropoff may occur, but Yadi could be a prennial .300 hitter for the next 4 or 5 years.

Second Base…テつ Adam Kennedy

Positives: Kennedy was twice the player in 2008 that he was in 2007, but that’s not saying a whole lot.テつ His defense did turn out to be much better than advertised and he showed that he has a little bit of gas left in the tank, hitting .280 over 339 at bats.

Concerns: Kennedy is a year older, a year slower and one more glaring year past his prime.テつ A lot of his production last season came after he requested a trade and was perhaps showcasing his abilities for other teams.テつ Don’t expect much this season.テつ And knowing LaRussa, Kennedy will most likely find himself in the doghouse within the first couple months and see his playing time drop off dramatically.テつ Look for an unknown youngster to step in at some point, and struggle just as often.

So there they are.テつ Not the most imposing group in the National League… or even in the division, but there are some brght spots.テつ What ownership needs to realize is that with one or two keys moves, this could be a devastating lineup.テつ Not the Murderers Row of 2004, but a well balanced group that has the ability to nickel and dime you or pound you into submission. However, if Greene turns out to be a bust, Yadi and Ludwick regress and anyone gets injured, this team couldn’t go toe to toe with the Pirates Double-A club.

Just think what a trade for Brian Roberts or Michael Young could do to this offense.テつ The Cardinals finally have a surplus of legitimate talent in their farm system.テつ It’s time to use it to their advantage.テつ If they wait too long they could wind up with 20 Manny Aybars.

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January 5, 2009 at 7:08 pm ET
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Aaron Miles: Traitor or Cardinal Spy?

On the last day of 2008 middle infielder and fan favorite, Aaron Miles, became the worst thing imaginable to any supporter of Cardinal Nation… a Chicago Cub.テつ It’s hard to blame the guy for leaving after the Cardinals non-tendered him two years in a row, but the fact that he went to the Cubs just makes it all that much harder to stomach.テつ Miles seems to be openly frustrated with the organization as a result of the way he was treated, and it’s hard to blame him.テつ But Miles rejuvenated his career with the Redbirds and maybe the little scrapper still has a soft spot for the Cards.テつ Which brings up the very interesting question:テつ Are Miles and GM John Mozeliak in cahoots and Miles has been planted in the Chicago organization as a secret spy?

Not long ago Miles dispatched perennial scapegoat and doghouse resident, Juan Encarnacion, with a well placed foul ball to the face.テつ Perhaps his hidden talent can be used on Alfonso Soriano or Derrek Lee?テつ He could also listen in on managerial meetings undetected, due to his size, and relay the info to the Cards front office.テつ It would be a hell of a plan.テつ Unfortunately, I don’t think Mo is that crafty.テつ And Miles seems genuinely pissed off.

After having a stellar season with the Cardinals in 2008 (.317, 4, 31) and being shown the door, he had this to say about landing in Chicago.テつ “Being a Cardinal was great, and that part is over now. Now I’m ready to be a Cubbie and play the game the right way.”テつ Ouch.テつ I refuse to believe that the Cardinals play the game the “wrong way” and even if they do, there is no way that the Cubs are the model of perfection when it comes to playing America’s pastime.

Miles also seems a little vindictive and (not in so many words) vowed to make the Cardinals pay in 2009, saying he’s going to “show St. Louis that they let somebody go that maybe they shouldn’t have.”テつ Big words from a small man.

Fans are sad to see Miles go, and watching him in Cubbie blue this spring will be gut-wrenching, but the little man got his due.テつ He got $5 mil, a starting job at second and a fresh start across the river.テつ So maybe he did pull a Benedict Arnold (or Jim Edmonds, as it is now known) but it’s hard to blame the guy.テつ And there’s always that chance that the secret plan is intact.テつ One can hope right?

Sure.テつ But in reality we all know that Mo is a puppet for DeWitt and his cost-cutting henchmen, just like we suspected when Jocketty was canned.テつ The spending will continue to decrease and the Cardinals’ role in the hot stove season will become less and less exciting… or relevant for that matter.

The most unfortunate thing is that now the Cardinals will be known as the team that is officially too cheap to sign Aaron Miles.テつ Not a sparkler for the old resume.

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December 29, 2008 at 7:03 pm ET
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This Just In: The Cardinals Are Boring

After a holiday hiatus, the Redbird ramblings at B&C are back.テつ And in case you’ve been left wanting over the past couple weeks, don’t worry.テつ You didn’t miss anything.テつ Watching the Yankees stock pile marquee free agents and run up a tab of over $400 million on three big names over the past month has been frustrating for the baseball world outside of the YES network.テつ But it’s been exponentially frustrating in Cardinal Country for one painstaking reason: We’re tired of this organization doing nothing.

Baseball fans come to expect the gluttonous spending out of New York, but it gets harder and harder to watch as the Cardinals continue to do less and less each passing year.テつ The Yankees aren’t even the problem, they’re just rubbing salt in the wound.テつ The organization is getting too comfortable standing pat while division foes make lavish moves all around them.テつ The knowledge that money will come flowing into Busch III regardless of what level of product is on the field has given this greedy ownership group an air of confidence that could crush this franchises’ playoff hopes for years to come.

The lack of spending or failure to improve through trades isn’t even the worst part of this wretched scenario.テつ It’s the fact that Bill DeWitt thinks he can pull the wool over the collective eyes of Cardinal Nation.テつ It’s bad enough that the National League’s most decorated team has become an ancillary character in baseball’s hot stove season, but the fact that ownership keeps crying poor house and then saying that they came in a close second for such and such player is what really steams the Redbird faithful.

Take the Brian Fuentes situation.テつ He was asking for 3 years $33 million.テつ (Yes, I know that is a lot of scratch for a setup man/closer that lost his job to Manny Corpas in 2007, especially considering that K-Rod got only slightly more at $37 mil, but that what this ridiculous market dictates.テつ And the Cardinals need to play ball if they don’t want to get left in the dust of the Cubs, Astros, Brewers, etc.)テつ The Cardinals offered 2 years $16 million.テつ That is a slap in the face to Fuentes and to the Cardinals fan base.テつ If two companies wanted you for a position and one offered you $80K a year and the other offered $40K, what would you do?テつ Exactly.テつ The Cardinal ownership group seems to live in this fantasy world and thinks that because St. Louis is filled with passionate, knowledgeable fans that every player will come here for a “special home team discount.”テつ What other team with a solid revenue stream relies on burnouts, has beens, clubhouse cancers and scrap heapers?テつ Or “low hanging fruit”テつ to put it as eloquently as John Mozeliak.

Then there is the tale of C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.テつ After the players had signed their monster contracts the Cardinals came out and said they were major players and finished a close second.テつ Does any Redbird fan actually believe that?テつ Cardinal supporters have been held at bay by a laundry list of buzz words spoon fed to the media by the organization to give the illusion of a productive off season.テつ Beware.テつ It is purely a smokescreen.テつ Recognize any of these?

“We’re going to be very aggressive this off season.”

“We’re major players in the free agent market.”

“We’ll be actively addressing the team’s pressing needs.”

“We’re going to build from within.”

“There isn’t anything all that attractive out there right now.”

“We like what we’ve got in place.”

“We’re not going to make a deal just to make a deal.”

“We won’t overpay for mediocre talent.”

“We’re exploring some very interesting trade options.”

“This guy is our number one priority.”

Smokescreen.

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December 5, 2008 at 4:38 pm ET
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Cards Aquire Crummy White Rapper To Play Shortstop

This is US History. I see the globe right there.No, Vanilla Ice is not the newest member donning the birds on the bat.テつ The St. Louis Cardinals have recently finalized a deal sending two prospects to the San Diego Padres in exchange for shortstop Khalil Greene.テつ Greene, known more for his penchant for writing rap lyrics than his .213 batting average last year, is an interesting signing.テつ Coming off what can be politely called “a down year” the Cards traded for the Jeff Spicoli lookalike in hopes that he would have a bounce back campaign in 2009.テつ God forbid a team that consistently draws over 3.5 million fans a season and sells merchandise out the wazoo would try to sign a concrete, impact free agent for a little more cash instead of always snatching the low hanging fruit…テつ But, what are you going to do?テつ That’s Bill DeWitt for you.

Fortunately there is a silver lining.テつ These low risk maneuvers have, on occasion, benefited the team in the past, and Greene could have some real upside.テつ But as Cardinal fans are well aware, there are two sides to every story.テつ Here’s a look at the pros and the cons of St. Louis’ newest middle infielder.

Side A:テつ The Positives

  • The Birds got him for virtually nothing.テつ Mark Worrell and a player to be named later were the modest package given to the Padres for Greene, and unless that PTBNL turns out to be a Jeff Bagwell or a John Smoltz, the Cardinals didn’t sacrifice much.
  • When healthy Greene has surprising pop for a middle infielder.テつ In his last full season (2007) he belted 27 homeruns and drove in 97, all while playing in the most pitcher friendly of all ballparks.テつ Take him out of Petco and he really shines.テつ That same year, Greene hit .288 with 15 homers, 57 RBI and 29 doubles in 320 at bats in other stadiums around the National League.
  • He’s good with the leather.テつ A tick below Cesar Izturis in the fielding department, Greene will fit right in to the Cardinals’ defensive minded team strategy.テつ And with his superior offensive ability over the light hitting Izturis, makes a sound upgrade at the position from last year.
  • He will make $6.5 million in 2009.テつ Five years ago that would seem like an awful lot to pay for a questionable shortstop, but this day in age it could be considered a steal.テつ If Greene reverts to his 2007 form and the Cards get a 30-100 man to plug into the 6 spot in the order, all for the bargain basement price of $6.5 million… well, then I’d call that a steal.
  • He’s making his own rap album.

Side B:テつ The Negatives

  • With Greene it’s basically feast or famine.テつ Pop from a middle infielder is nice, but the former Padre has a .248 lifetime average to compliment a miserable .304 on base percentage.テつ The addition of power is always a plus, but with Greene constantly swinging for the fences he has racked up a considerable amount of stirkeouts.テつ Last year he struck out 100 times in only 389 at bats.テつ For his career he strikes out once every 4.6 at bats.テつ Not exactly disciplined.
  • He could be a head case.テつ After that magical aforementioned 100th strikeout, Greene punched a storage unit, breaking his hand, and was lost for the season.テつ You think Tony LaRussa is going to let something like that fly?テつ Think again.
  • Is he past his prime?テつ Greene, at 29, is no spring chicken, but he isn’t exactly old either.テつ His most productive season came at age 27, which is typical, but then he bottomed out a year later.テつ The question is: Was last year a fluke or was it his breakout season that was suspect?テつ Hopefully for the Cardinals it was the former, and Greene can pick up where he left off at the ripe age of 27.
  • He’s making his own rap album.

Only time will tell if this move works out for John Mozeliak and the Cardinals, but it seems low risk/high reward, so I applaud Mo for taking a shot, as apposed to doing nothing (i.e. retaining Izturis).テつ But if he does turn out to be a bust, the Cardinals will have 6.5 million reasons to think twice before going after the next piece of low hanging fruit.

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December 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm ET
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The Cardinals Get Another Mediocre Middle Infielder. Just What We Needed.

Spicoli, no?I am now pretty certain that Johnny Mo reads Bugs & Cranks.テつ He obviously saw my post yesterday about how snooze-a-riffic this off-season has been so far and he decided to take action!テつ The Cardinals have finally made an off-season move!テつ It appears we are going to acquire shortstop Khalil Greene from the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-handed pitcher Mark Worrell and a PTBNL.テつ The details are still sketchy.テつ Still… WE GOT THE JEWISH GUY!テつ WE GOT THE JEWISH GUY!テつ Haha, sorry.テつ That’s not what we should focus on.テつ We should focus on the fact that he missed the final two months of the 2008 season with a broken hand, an injury that he suffered when he punched a storage unit. Hmmm…

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