Posts Tagged ‘Tony LaRussa’

The St. Louis Cardinals are all about legacy. It’s impossible to go to and not be reminded of the long line of Cardinal greats that have defined the organization over its 121 year history. From the mini statues outside, to the retired numbers below the scoreboard, to the video clips of the history of the team that play throughout the game, all the way BACK outside to the biggest statue of them all, Stan Musial, which greets fan approaching each of the last two incarnations of .

With the retirement of Tony LaRussa’s #10 last Friday night, the legacy of Cardinal greats gained a new immortal. He joined Rogers Hornsby (no number), Ozzie Smith (1), (2), Musial (6), Enos Slaughter (9), Ken Boyer (14), Dizzy Dean (17), (20), (24), (42), (45) and former owner Gussie Busch (85). In addition to those, a microphone was appropriately retired for late broadcaster . It is a truly elite class of figures in not only the organization’s history, but history of the game.

LaRussa deserving had his #10 retired, however there are a few other omissions that need placement in Busch as well.

 However, the working policy of late has been to only retire numbers of figures that are entering the Hall of Fame. While this is a great policy that truly makes the selections that are forever immortalized as the class of all Cardinals secure, it overlooks a major part of what makes the organization what it is: a ton of great, great players. These are the guys that, when looking back on an era, can’t help but mentioned as often as their Hall of Fame teammates. And the Cardinals are a with more of those guys than nearly any other .

Along with the long line of era defining non-HOFers, there is a curious string of long-enshrined members of Cooperstown that are still missing from the ranks of retired Cardinal figures. What gives there? If there’s going to be a rule, it needs to apply overall. Service time be what it is, there’s some clearly defined Cardinal greats that are missing. There are also eras of legendary guys that are backlogged because of it.

So who are the some of the most obvious on lookers that aren’t fully acknowledged for their fantastic individual contributions to Cardinal history? Here’s a few of the primary candidates, along with why they should be mentioned, as well as why they aren’t still.

(Cardinal years in parentheses)

Mike Shannon-Third Baseman/Announcer: (#18, 1962-Present): Shannon was a member of some of the greatest teams in the franchise’s history in the 60’s, but his greatest contributions came after the field was behind him. Along with Buck, he formed one of the best commentary combinations in the history of the game, and has followed in the legendary footsteps ahead of him very well, providing many memorable calls of his own as well now. This is probably a foregone conclusion at this point, but it would be good to get done while he is still contributing to the team.

 

For more candidates that should be acknowledged along the walls and halls of Busch Stadium, as well as two eras of the team that have definite all-time greats that may never be properly honored, head over to St. Louis Sports 360 here: http://stlouissports360.com/tonys-10-retired-cardinals-numbers-active/

 

Also for more on the Cardinals of the present and their road to try to add more decorations above Busch, follow me on Twitter @CheapSeatFan.

The NL Central was baseball’s strangest division in 2010. In the first half, it was home to a crazy, four-way run at the top of the division, even including the long suffering Pittsburgh Pirates outdoing it’s champion by five games the year before in the Cincinnati Reds. In the second half, the Milwaukee Brewers pulled away and locked up the division rather easily…all while the St. Louis Cardinals were in the midst of beginning the most indomitable run the game has ever seen. And that was just the beginning.

2011 Standings

  1. Milwaukee Brewers (96-66)
  2. St. Louis Cardinals (90-72)
  3. Cincinnati Reds (79-83)
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates (72-90)
  5. Chicago Cubs (71-91)
  6. Houston Astros (56-106)

In the end, the Cardinals took out a Brewers team that had owned them for much of the season in the National League Championship Series, before capping their incredible run by winning the most thrilling World Series title in a generation. However, the highlights didn’t end there as in the winter, no division was more impacted by subtractions. Albert Pujols and Tony LaRussa left St. Louis, Prince Fielder left Milwaukee, Carlos Zambrano left Chicago. Well, the last one wasn’t bad at all, but you get what I’m saying. In between it all, league MVP Ryan Braun battled and avoided a steroid suspension, Theo Epstein came to Chicago to start baseball’s longest rebuilding project and the Astros were sent to the American League after this year. To just call it a busy winter in the Heartland is the understatement of the year.

The Cardinals turned rocky start into a historic finish last year, but much has changed since last October under the Arch.

So what does 2012 hold? Will the Cardinals’ new era carry the success over from the one that just end so high, and so suddenly? Can the division’s last two champions in Cincinnati and Milwaukee ground on the out of the blue champions from their division, or will one of the less heralded clubs make another unexpected run and finish it up this year? One thing for certain is it will be a neck to neck….to neck fight all the way through.

All-Division Team

Catcher: Yadier Molina, Cardinals

First Baseman: Joey Votto, Reds

Second Baseman: Brandon Phillips, Reds

Third Baseman: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers

Shortstop: Starlin Castro, Cubs

Left Field: Ryan Braun, Brewers

Center Field: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

Right Field: Jay Bruce, Reds

Greinke had a strong National League debut, including an 11-0 mark at home.

Starting Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Brewers

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

Starting Pitcher: Yovani Gallardo, Brewers

Starting Pitcher: Matt Garza, Cubs

Relief Righty: Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers

Relief Lefty: Bill Bray, Reds

Closer: John Axford, Brewers

Top 10 Players

  1. Ryan Braun, Brewers
  2. Joey Votto, Reds
  3. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
  4. Brandon Phillips, Reds
  5. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals
  6. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
  7. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
  8. Zack Grienke, Brewers
  9. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
  10. Starlin Castro, Cubs

Castro will be the talent the Cubs rebuild around, as he became the youngest hits king in NL history last year at 21.

Lineup

  1. Reds
  2. Cardinals
  3. Brewers
  4. Pirates
  5. Cubs
  6. Astros

The Reds lineup features two of the best young batters in the game in Votto and Bruce, with the versatile Phillips capable of being both a prolific leadoff hitter and cleanup guy as well. The Cardinals bring back a new type of lineup, but still is the most versatile group in the division, with Carlos Beltran making the lineup more versatile, if not better, than it was a year ago.

Votto is now hands down the class of NL first baseman, and brings a .313 career average into '12.

Rotation

  1. Brewers
  2. Cardinals
  3. Reds
  4. Cubs
  5. Astros
  6. Pirates

The Brewers staff remained intact and has the potential to boast two Cy Young candidates in Greinke and Gallardo, along with strong backing in Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf. The Cardinals staff as a whole could eclipse them if Chris Carpenter makes a quick return. Veterans AJ Burnett and Eric Bedard bring needed experience along with suspect injury records, to Pittsburgh.

1-2 Punch

  1. Brewers (Grienke & Gallardo)
  2. Cardinals (Wainwright & Garcia)
  3. Reds (Cuerto & Latos)
  4. Astros (Rodriguez & Norris)
  5. Cubs (Garza & Dempster)
  6. Pirates (Bedard & Karstens)

A full healthy Wainwright and Carpenter combo puts the Cardinals at the top of this list, but until that’s a reality, the Brewers’ duo reigns supreme. Bud Norris is an ace in waiting in Houston, whether Wandy Rodriguez is finally dealt or not. If Latos can regain his All-Star consistency of 2010, the Reds will finally have a front line starter to lean on.

Wainwright's return gives the Cardinals annual Cy Young contender, and the largest impact addition of any NL club.

Bullpen

  1. Cardinals
  2. Brewers
  3. Pirates
  4. Reds
  5. Cubs
  6. Astros

The Reds bullpen was primed to be one of the best in the division after gaining Sean Marshall and Ryan Madson this winter, but Madson is lost for the year due to Tommy John surgery and it throws their pen into disarray. The Brewers feature the division’s best 8-9 combo in K-Rod and Axford, who led the NL in saves a year ago with 46. The Cardinals bullpen came into its own down the stretch a year ago, and it is most prepared top to bottom to be strength this season.

Tablesetters

  1. Cardinals (Furcal & Beltran)
  2. Reds (Phillips & Cozart)
  3. Brewers (Weeks & Morgan)
  4. Pirates (Tabata & Presley)
  5. Cubs (DeJesus & Barney)
  6. Astros (Schafer & Lowrie)

There are no true burners in any of the leadoff positions in the Central, but they still will be highly productive in other ways. Weeks could lead the Majors in leadoff homers, while if Furcal & DeJesus have rebound seasons at the plate, could provide long needed sparks to the top of St. Louis & Chicago’s lineup. Jose Tabata is an underrated leadoff talent in Pittsburgh.

Heart of the Lineup

  1. Reds (Votto/Rolen/Bruce)
  2. Cardinals (Holliday/Berkman/Freese)
  3. Brewers (Braun/Ramirez/Hart)
  4. Pirates (McCutchen/Walker/Jones)
  5. Cubs (Castro/LeHair/Soriano)
  6. Astros (Martinez/Lee/Bogusevic)

A good year from Scott Rolen was a big difference between last year’s 79 win club, and the 91 win one the year before. He’s the balance the team is built on. Same goes for Berkman in St. Louis, who held together a team that had a rollercoaster summer & fall. The Pirates lack a true power hitter, but have a lot of promise in their lineup. Castro led the NL in hits a year ago, and now will be counted to be the primary run creator for the rebuilding Cubs.

Braun won his first MVP last season, beat a PED suspension in the winter, and now returns to lead the Crew without Fielder for the first time.

Bench

  1. Reds
  2. Cardinals
  3. Brewers
  4. Pirates
  5. Cubs
  6. Astros

Ryan Ludwick, Miguel Cairo and hot prospect Devin Morasco lead a versatile Reds bench, which will bleed into the everyday lineup to diversify the Cincy attack. Allen Craig and Skip Schumaker are starters on a lot of clubs, and once healthy will be counted on heavily in St. Louis. Carlos Gomez is a Gold Glove caliber centerfielder that also puts plus speed on Milwaukee’s bench.

Defense

  1. Reds
  2. Cardinals
  3. Pirates
  4. Astros
  5. Brewers
  6. Cubs

In a subpar defensive division, the Reds still standout as the best defensive team in the NL. Rolen is arguably the best to ever do it at third base, and still hasn’t lost many steps. Phillips & Votto are both Gold Glovers from a year ago, while Bruce both covers ground and has the best outfield arm in the NL. Furcal shored up the St. Louis infield defense tremendously, and Berkman moving to first and Beltran taking over right will improve the overall St. Louis guard. Molina may be the best defender at any position in the game.

Speed

  1. Pirates
  2. Astros
  3. Brewers
  4. Reds
  5. Cardinals
  6. Cubs

Another area the division is not great in; it actually gives the Pirates a source of clear strength. McCutchen has 20/20 capability, while Tabata, Presley and Barmes all are good base runners as well. Jordan Schafer could be solid threat out of the Houston leadoff position, and Drew Stubbs is a threat for 30 steals for the Reds.

McCutchen was handed a six-year extension to continue to blaze the Pittsburgh outfields for the foreseeable future.

Manager

  1. Dusty Baker, Reds
  2. Ron Roenicke, Brewers
  3. Clint Hurdle, Pirates
  4. Dale Sveum, Cubs
  5. Mike Matheny, Cardinals
  6. Brad Mills, Astros

With Tony LaRussa gone, Baker has the biggest gap in both experience and ability from his divisional contemporaries of any manager in the game. The ability to steal a few games and win them from the dugout is crucial, and Baker has that ability. No manager has had to shoulder a more immediate burden than Matheny will, how he reacts will be major on how the Cardinals push through the summer.

Finances

  1. Cubs
  2. Cardinals
  3. Reds
  4. Brewers
  5. Astros
  6. Pirates

The Cubs always have a good amount of resources on hand, and are constantly being freed of the glut of terrible contracts that have been an anchor for the last few years. New team president Theo Epstein and new GM Jed Hoyer won’t spend recklessly, but they are in position to make some big additions if needed. The Astros could look to make a few moves soon to prepare for their AL debut next year.

Impact Additions

  1. Mat Latos (Reds from Padres)
  2. Carlos Beltran (Cardinals from Giants)
  3. Aramis Ramirez (Brewers from Cubs)
  4. Sean Marshall (Reds from Cubs)
  5. David DeJesus (Cubs from A’s)

This category could just as easily be dedicated to everything that was lost from the division this winter, but life goes on. The Reds traded a world of talent to land Latos, so they are truly all in on his ability to stabilize a pitching staff that was among the league’s worse last year. Beltran was the Cards’ big signing in the wake of losing Pujols, just as Ramirez was for the Brewers after Prince Fielder booked. Both will have to play vital roles if both teams are to continue to compete at their level from a year ago.

Breakthrough Candidates

  1. Jason Motte, Cardinals
  2. Mat Gamel, Brewers
  3. Bryan LeHair, Cubs
  4. Bud Norris, Astros
  5. Tyler Greene, Cardinals

The Cardinals blew 24 saves a year ago, second worse in baseball, before Motte finally provided an answer late. If he can continue his shutdown ways into this year, he could be the breakout late innings man in the league. Bryan LeHair tore Triple A apart last year, and now will be counted on to keep it going at the top level.

Norris is a great up and coming talent in Houston, he's just not surrounded by much that lets it turn into many wins.

Rookies/Prospects to Watch

  1. Zack Cozart (Shortstop, Reds)
  2. Devin Morasco (Catcher, Reds)
  3. Anthony Rizzo (First Baseman, Cubs)
  4. Brett Jackson (Center Field, Cubs)
  5. Shelby Miller (Pitcher, Cardinals)

Cozart made a big impact in short amount of time last year, hitting .324 in 11 games before Tommy John surgery ended his year. He’s got the talent to be a front runner for the Rookie of the Year this season. Rizzo has been traded twice in two years, but mostly because of the major talent he holds. If he gets a chance to make it to Chicago this year, it could be the chance he gets to show it.

2011 PREDICTION

  1. Cardinals
  2. Reds
  3. Brewers
  4. Pirates
  5. Cubs
  6. Astros

It’s as close a divide between the top three teams in the Central as any division in the game. There are guarantees from each squad; the Brewers will pitch well, the Reds will hit and the Cardinals will do a bit of both well to balance it out. However, there are more guarantees from the guys in St. Louis than the other two. The Cardinals will enter the season not at full strength, due to three key injuries tailing in from Spring Training. However, they will regain Carpenter, Schumaker and Craig into the season, as well as Wainwright out the gate, who finished in the top 3 of the Cy Young races in ’09 and ’10.

The Reds have just as much balance as the Cardinals do, as well as nearly as many elite players as well. They have a great deal of depth, and will have no problem scoring runs. But the rotation is far from proven and has talent, yet no definite stopper. Also, the bullpen has the unenviable task of figuring itself out midseason after losing it’s newly signed closer for the entire year. Roenicke also has his share of issues to sort out in the runs producing department outside of Braun, in addition to finding new depth for a bullpen that lost multiple key contributors.

The Pirates have the talent, and can put together a run, but their pitching is already banged up and there’s little time to waste getting back in the race. The Cubs are still in contract unloading mode, and have stated a desire to rebuild from within, which takes time and makes for rough years. The Astros are baseball’s youngest team and play like it. Another finish at the bottom of baseball could be the landing spot.

While some parts won’t return, the vast majority of the hottest team baseball history will in St. Louis, and they’ll only get better as the year goes. In the end, shared experience, assured stability, a momentum carry over and a few big additions will pull the Cardinals to the top of the Central for the first time since 2009 and in position to have a chance to repeat as champs.

That’s it for the division-by-division previews this year in the CHEAP SEATS, but tomorrow I’m bringing it all together and take a look at all the in-between the lines predictions and finish up with some World Series picks just in time for the first game of the year. Til then, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.

It’s time to round down another year in the CHEAP SEATS, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time to make fun of myself again. In the sports writing/predicting/claim staking world, there’s a lot of chance to hit the ball out the park…or strike out swinging, tee ball style. Many folks like to cover those errors up, find ways to make them not seem as bad as they were.

Well not me. I embrace the foolery that I do here, because hell I’m wrong sometimes and deserve to be chastised for it first-hand.  The good thing here: I got better from last year, in 2010’s edition of this column, I was littered with an amazing amount of “WTF was I on?” moments. But luckily this year, there were less “Bengals go to the Super Bowl” predictions or the Rams will win once claims (although both of those clubs will reappear again in this year’s version as well, for opposite reasons). This year, it’s more about, good and bad ideas. And it’s safe to add a VERY in front of the bad.

Yeah, I can relate. It looked like I was on beer & pain pills too writing some of this. But I kept my gig.

However, you’ll get all of that here shortly, so without further delay, here is the Worst of the CHEAP SEATS in 2011, including some straight snores, overly ambitiously boring efforts and the usual awful predictions that have me looking the other way every time the topic is brought up now. Check em out and if you had some personal favorite awful things I did…well keep that to yourself! Trust me, I know already.

10. Touch Em All: Final MLB Preview (March 30): Man, I really believed in the Red Sox this year. I mean by reading this it seemed like they had already won the Series and it was a season recap. Well needless to say after an epic pitching collapse and fall off the map, I came up wrong here in handing them another World Series off the bat. I even tossed Jon Lester a Cy Young in the process. At this rate, you’d figure I may have predicted a Ted Williams defrost and mid-season return to grab his first ring too.

In my defense, there was no way I could have predicted that chicken in beer in the dugout would come into play either. But still, I’ll take my lumps.

9. A Passing Interest (July 27): This was a terrible idea from the jump: to write a prediction on where players would fit in…while ESPN was announcing where they were really going. Terrible, terrible idea. What’s even worse? Tossing in a byline like this…

Kolb represents one of the few long term fixes for many of the teams in need...if Philly lets him loose

I actually said & believed that. Yeah…moving right along.

8. MLB Power Poll Series (April – June): This was a good idea, in theory: Following each team in baseball, game-by-game, every week and showing how they are doing against each other with some analysis too. Oh wait, that’s an awful idea that took 4 hours to write every Monday.

7. NFL’s 10 Greatest Wide Receivers (August 3): This started off as a tribute to Randy Moss’ retirement, but quickly became completely redundant and about as anti-climactic as any of the Lineup series list could have possibly been. I believe countdowns should have some drama, and while waiting to see who got the nod for #2 between Moss and TO could is guaranteed to spark some arguments, #1 was pointless. I mean when Jerry Rice, at his position, is stacked up against anybody it’s over. A list of most exciting ways to tie your shoes would be better.

6. NFL Lockout Is Almost Over…But Is This A Good Thing? (July 20th): What the F**k? Of course it is? Moving right along…

Because none of this was a good idea right? None of it....SMH.

5. Bradford’s Big Debut, Outside the Numbers (August 16): In this piece, I championed Bradford beginning to master the little things and about how his performance meant a lot more than his numbers on the board. Four months and 15 games later, those numbers still haven’t shown up for Savior Sam, and not coincidentally, not many numbers have been put up in the Rams’ win column either.

4. The People’s Choice NFL Top 50, Parts 1 & 2 (September 16/19): This is usually a nice bit of debate piece over who’s the best in the NFL before each season. This year I took it a step further and let folks cast ballots on who they’d put in their top 50 for it to be more than just me. After taking in a number of ballots that were spread out all over the place (including a few that didn’t have Patrick Willis, Michael Vick or Ray Lewis on them at all), it became a mess of epic proportions. Next year I’ll stick to casting & posting my ballot maybe again. (PS: In a small victory a few weeks ago, I got the caster of the Ray-less ballot to admit the error in his ways).

3. CSP’s 2011 AFC North Fearless Predictions(September 6): I’m just going to leave the Bengals alone. Last year, coming off a strong season, they picked up TO and looked ready to go over big…and went 4-12. Coming into this year, they dumped everything that resembled that club, lost their best defensive player Johnathan Joseph, made no change on the sidelines and started a second round rookie at QB…and are a game away from making the playoffs. Me? I gave them a chance of winning a grand total of 1 game this year in this year’s preview. I give up, I’m skipping them next year.

2. Late Registration-NFL Rookie QB ETAs (August 10): This was a colossal exercise in foolery right here, mostly because I was proven wrong right away by the first possible suspect that could do it. After I humbly predicted it would be week 10 before Mr. Newton took over the reins in Carolina, he went out and threw for 850 in his first two starts…in the first two weeks of the season. Christian Ponder joined in the prediction crashing party as well, as did Blaine Gabbert. At least in Blaine’s case, it may have helped if I was right though.

I feel like he's been laughing at me all year now...or least for 10 weeks. My bad man.

1. You Gotta STFU…Tony LaRussa (September 28): This may be the worst timed piece in the history of the site. While it held some weight several times over many years, picking the end of September 2011 to tell Tony LaRussa to shut up and get out the way was pretty stupid. He’d only guided the Cardinals back from the grave and was in the middle of the greatest stretch of coaching his career ever saw. And that’s saying a lot for guy that might as well go stand in the Hall of Fame and wait for his plaque to come take his place.

The “STFU Series” is on point and is my way of straightening out the mess some folks make for themselves watching these games. But in this case I may have been better off taking my own advice.

At any rate, come back a bit later for the BEST of CSP, including what rounded out as my best works to date on a pretty good year in sports for the Cheap Seat Fan. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter at that same name.

Back to the future is the vibe with the most recent string of big news coming out of . After the sudden (yet not completely unexpected) retirement of , the St. Louis quickly ended their search for a successor by going with a familiar face from TLR’s tenure.

will be announced today as the new manager of the Cardinals, closing out a coaching search that included a variety of different options and ways the team could have went in. And in going with Matheny, the team will get a world of game experience, but no management (or even big league coaching) experience. This is general manager John Mozieliak’s first coaching hire since taking over control of the team in 2007, and it is a radical departure from the course the team has been on historically.

Take this for the lineage of Cardinal leaders: with the exception of Mike Jorgensen, who briefly stood in as interim manager in 1995, the last three managers of the team are, or will be soon, members of the National Hall of Fame. From ’s run throughout the 80’s, to who replaced him and finally to franchise’s most winning coach of all-time in LaRussa. Not to mentioned other HOFers such as , Frankie Frisch and Branch Rickey, there’s no shortage of expectation that comes with leading the St. Louis’ flagship sporting institution.

Matheny went from darkhorse candidate to heir to a lofty role in the baseball universe in just two weeks time.

Enter Matheny, who’s lack of experience (0 games as a MLB coach in any capacity) is a worry point for many, and justifiably so. There is a lot of nothing here: nothing that says he can’t do it, but nothing that says he can either.

 

 

There’s a lot to consider here with this move. It’s neither doomsday or business as usual. Check me out at St. Louis Sports 360 to see the rest of THIS ARTICLE and my extensive covering of all things Cardinals related here: http://stlouissports360.com/

And follow me on Twitter for more on this and everything else between at @CheapSeatFan.

You Gotta STFU….Tony LaRussa

Posted: September 28, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
Tags: , , ,

Dear Tony,

It’s been great. I mean the proof is in the numbers. You’ve done one job for 33 years, and anytime you get a chance to do that, you’re doing something right. The point of your job is to win, and you got that part down as well. You’ve won over 2,700 times and are sure to chill in the Hall of Fame until time ends or the building gets foreclosed on. Legacy = secure.

The feeling is mutual my man....it's about that time.

I’m going to write this as my letter of resignation from my support of you being the manager of my St. Louis Baseball Cardinals. Trust me; it’s you, not me. And it’s a shame, because it didn’t have to end this way. I remember when you first came to town and ushered us out of the dark days that are known as the early 90’s and put us back where we rightfully belong, the Playoffs. After that, you brought one of your protégés from Oakland over and he lit up the ballpark and ran up what I imagine to be a helluva repairs bill on scoreboard bills. Even then, the best was yet to come.

The mid 2000’s were some of the greatest years of my life. The back-to-back 100 win seasons were magical. Along with graduating from college, having shrimp tacos for the first time and losing my virginity, winning the World Series was the absolute biggest moment of my young life. You brought together a struggling team, which was limping at best, together in 2006 for the improbable moment and carved your success at a level that it’s even equaled Whiteyball on the field.

But that’s where it ends.

Whitey Herzog is loved; idolized even. He let the product shine and still won. No issue came from him that ever overshadowed the team. Somehow along the way, you didn’t master this craft. Your presence stands over the team with a presence even Darth Vader would have to give props to. With a resume that should have you on par with the family whose name graces your place of employment in St. Louis, you’ve managed to make yourself the enemy of the state in Cardinal Nation. The 2011 season has been case in point, after case in point of why this has to end between us.

This summer has showcased everything that has been good and bad about you, only magnified by like two million times (exactly what you’re pulling down to put us through this all). Whether it’s refusing to abide by regular baseball logic, like assigning concrete roles to your team (all 26 of those blown saves this year aren’t on you, but failing to appoint a closer for a month when we are in second place is plain stupid), and there’s more. The eccentric ideas over the years, like hitting the pitcher eighth and turning this National League standard bearer into an offshoot of an American League-style team was always ridiculous. Look, we’re the Senior Circuit, leave all that contrived AL-style BS over in Oakland. And then, there’s the complex.

The superiority complex is the black cape that flies over your whole “Emperor of Baseball” thing you do after every game. How about this? Just answer a question one time, instead of running that snappy, “Why are you speaking to me, simpleton?” routine. Anybody that has challenges your authority on any level as been ushered out immediately. Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and most infamously, Colby Rasmus: all drummed out for daring to look the king in the eye and not blink. And for what? Because you know everything that is to be known? Are you Charles Xavier? Of course not, because he’s not real and no matter whom much you want for it to be, your wall of infallibility isn’t either. If that was the case, your team wouldn’t be in a dog fight with the worse team in baseball to make the Playoffs. Because you’d be on your 161st win of the season tonight.

In the end, it’s going to be what it’s going to be. Whether something shakes out or not, this 16th version of your reign of the Cardinals has to be the last one. A whole book worth of pages are turning at once, and I can’t take another summer of bending AND breaking to your solo vision of what the team has to be. This isn’t to not be grateful for what you’ve done, but I’m not the same person I was in 1996 anymore, and neither should my baseball team of natural support be either. I fully support you getting your due from us in the long-haul, which includes a number retirement and life-long local TV sponsorship deals, but for now…?

 

You Gotta STFU Bro.

The “Colby Rasmus vs. the St. Louis Cardinals Era” finally came to a close yesterday, mercifully. It’s the end of what was like watching cancer in sports rumor/relationship form. Over the last month, the endless and increasingly shallow positioning and gesturing by John Mozeliak on Rasmus’ availability and value to the club. The goal of this tactic now was clearly just to try to rebuild his stock, which was so severely damaged after two plus years of public bickering over him, which was perpetuated by the team. However, in the end what the club did (once again – never forget Dan Haren and Daric Barton for Mark Mulder, as well as Chris Perez for Mark DeRosa…never forget) was get frustrated and make a rushed move that has little return that even makes much sense in the short term.

 

There's no doubt Rasmus had to go, but what does the return out to?

The deal, which moved Rasmus along with bullpen arms Trevor Miller, Brian Tallet and P.J. Walters, to the Toronto Blue Jays for starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, outfielder Corey Patterson, relief pitchers Mark Rzepcyzski and Octavio Dotel, along three prospects to be named, is most likely the sole move the club will make in trying to pull away from the pack in the National League Central. In order to do so….

 

See the rest of this article, including where this places the Cardinals in both the now and immediate future at StLouisSports360.com