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Random thoughts.....

Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:15 pm

Just sitting here at the computer waiting for game four to start, and thought I'd solicit the diehards down for your opinion of this year and the upcoming year. These are admittedly overractions that will look silly later, but thought I'd post it anyway. :-)

-- Pitching
Judging from the WS so far we need a big game money pitcher. You can get by pretty good with Marquis, Suppan's, Carpenter's etc during a 162 game regular year, but you also have to have a Schilling, Pettite, Pedro (if he's not playing the Yankees :-D) for those "must win" momentum turing games. I realize that Carpenter, Marquis, Haren, Ankiel etc could very well turn into that go-to guy, but we need one who's already there. I realize that it will take some serious $$ to land one in FA, but with the departure of Morris, and Woody there should be quite a bit freed up, right? :-[

-- Bullpen
Nothing much to say here really. IMO there is plenty of ability down there if Kline comes back next year and is healthy. Tavarez has been senastional since he broke his hand, King has been great except for Berkman, and Izzy is still a solid top-shelf closer IMO. :-)

-- Defense
I'd really destroy my credibilty by suggesting something's wrong here. :-b

-- Offense
See Defense. :-b

-- Bench
I still think it's one of the better ones in baseball. Maybe it's how LaRussa uses it, but anyone of them can come in and get a big hit, lay down a sac bunt, steal a base, anything that's been asked so far this year with few exceptions. :-)

I know I'm overracting to the WS so far, but IMO it's been a complete fluke with the mistakes and slumps. Anyone have any thoughts? How completely insane am I? :*)
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Postby StlSluggers » Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:06 am

I believed before the season, and I still firmly believe, that this team does not have quality pitching. We got very lucky this year and all of our starters hit a career peak simultaneously. We would be nieve to think they could all do it again.

I do, however, think this team will be highly favored to win the division again next year. After all, the 'Stros and Cubbies have a ton of free agents this year. We have only a few. As long as we can make the "big" acquisition, I believe this team has a legitimate chance to be back in the World Series next year.

So, on that note, here's my rundown on how the Cards offseason should shape up:

Morris is gone - $12,500,000
Woody is gone - $6,562,228
Renteria is a FA - $7,250,000
We don't pay Tino Martinez anymore - $7,000,000
I believe Carp is a FA, too - $500,000 <--- What a steal!

I don't know what other big name free agents are on this team, but that's the three that I know for certain. Given those numbers, we will have $33,812,228 to use to re-sign Renteria and Carpenter. How much do they make in total? $17,000,000? That would leave us over $16,000,000 for "other purposes".

I think we're in pretty good shape. Our pitching next year will have some good, young competition. Marquis, Ankiel, & Haren will probably be fighting over the last two starting positions. Suppan and Carpenter will be in the middle of the rotation. We just need to go sign a real Number One starter. Who are the big free agent starters this offseason?

Rather than asking that one question, let me ask all of them at once.

Here are the three biggest questions surrounding the Cardinals this off season (in this order):
  1. Will they be able to re-sign Renteria or, if not, Nomar?
  2. Can they get a real ace with all of their extra cash?
  3. What are they going to do with Larry Walker?
If we do keep Walker, I have to think that the ownership puts everything they have into winning it all again next year since he won't be around ever again after that. Somebody help me out here, though. If we don't want him, what happens to him. He still has one year on his contract at something like $17,000,000. Do we trade him? Do we release him outright? If so, don't we have to pay him then?

Anyways, there's my take on this offseason. Is there anything I'm missing?
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:30 am

Here is what I am thinking for the offseason:

#1 priority is Edgar. Resign him.
Morris is gone
Woody comes back for another year.
If Carp is healthy he resigns.
I don't think Kline is coming back so we need another Lefty reliever.
I don't think Matheny comes back either. My guess is Yadier catches next year.
I have no idea what the status of Womack's contract is. :-?

The free agent SP are thin this year and I don't think Cards sign Pedro so this is what it looks like.

rotation: Carp, Woody, Marquis, Suppan, Haren/Ankiel with the other going into the bullpen

I'm not sure but I think Izzy, Edmonds, Walker and Sanders are all FA after 2005.

Jocketty is pretty creative. I wouldn't be surprised to see a trade or two.
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:39 am

I think they have to do everything they can to sign Renteria....period. I wouldn't want Nomar under any circumstances, bring up a SS from the minors before you sign Nomar please. :-t I haven't had a chance to look over the contract situations, I was waiting for the off season to start doing that which unfortunately has come a little sooner than I wanted. :-b The FA pool is quite shallow as far as stud SP's go, so there will have to be a trade somewhere I would think, but I don't really know what they could offer. :-o I completely agree about the rotation this year. Everyone performed way over their head's IMO and there will no doubt be a slight step backwards with regards to pitching. All of this will make for an interesting offseason though. ;-D
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Re: Random thoughts.....

Postby Mookie4ever » Thu Oct 28, 2004 10:55 am

SaintsOfTheDiamond wrote:Just sitting here at the computer waiting for game four to start, and thought I'd solicit the diehards down for your opinion of this year and the upcoming year. These are admittedly overractions that will look silly later, but thought I'd post it anyway. :-)

-- Pitching
Judging from the WS so far we need a big game money pitcher. You can get by pretty good with Marquis, Suppan's, Carpenter's etc during a 162 game regular year, but you also have to have a Schilling, Pettite, Pedro (if he's not playing the Yankees :-D) for those "must win" momentum turing games. I realize that Carpenter, Marquis, Haren, Ankiel etc could very well turn into that go-to guy, but we need one who's already there. I realize that it will take some serious $$ to land one in FA, but with the departure of Morris, and Woody there should be quite a bit freed up, right? :-[

-- Bullpen
Nothing much to say here really. IMO there is plenty of ability down there if Kline comes back next year and is healthy. Tavarez has been senastional since he broke his hand, King has been great except for Berkman, and Izzy is still a solid top-shelf closer IMO. :-)

-- Defense
I'd really destroy my credibilty by suggesting something's wrong here. :-b

-- Offense
See Defense. :-b

-- Bench
I still think it's one of the better ones in baseball. Maybe it's how LaRussa uses it, but anyone of them can come in and get a big hit, lay down a sac bunt, steal a base, anything that's been asked so far this year with few exceptions. :-)

I know I'm overracting to the WS so far, but IMO it's been a complete fluke with the mistakes and slumps. Anyone have any thoughts? How completely insane am I? :*)


You missed one:

-- Coaching
Is he a genius? I won't say that he made any mistakes but his teams do fall flat when it counts the most. Does he not inspire his team enough? Maybe a good bench coach would help. It was good seen Oz at the game last night. He was smiling and laughing every time the camera was on him. I also heard an interview with him yesterday on the radio - what a great guy and he still has a great love for the game. What do you think about the Wizard of Oz on the bench to counteract the stick up Larussa's butt? Just anouther random thought...
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Postby StlSluggers » Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:44 pm

You touched on a good point there, Mook. I was very disturbed by the fact that there was no "general rallying the troops" moment in Games Three or Four. All year long, I've seen the Cards players up on the railing rooting for their teammates every play of every game. All of the sudden, in the World Series, everyone was sitting on the bench with a blank stare on their face. And what was Tony doing? He was just doing his usual calculcations and not really paying attention to the spirits of the players.

They needed someone to pull them into a circle, tell them that the Series was not over even after Suppan's running blunder, and to get them pumped back up. Instead, they all got to sit back and wallow in their individual misery. As a tennis player (a solo sport), I can tell you that facing adversity by yourself is very, very hard. It's much easier when you have that leader to keep the team spirit alive when the going is tough, which it never really was for the Cards all season long.

All of that being said, I don't know what happened behind closed doors. Tony may not be so cool and collected back in the training rooms. He may give rousing speeches that we never hear about, but that's my point (and yours, too, I believe). I agree with you that this team needs a vibrant presence to get them pumped up when they are down and that person needs to be able to do it in front of the cameras, not just in a closed-door meeting.
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Postby StlSluggers » Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:04 pm

Does anybody know who the big free agent pitchers will be next season?

Taking Pogo's theory that you can make it through the regular season with the guys we have now (although, I'm not sure you can re-sign Woody unless he takes a pay cut), here's one idea:

The ownership can hold their dollars and ride the young arms through the first half of the regular season. If the offense does what it can do, we should be in the mix come next year's trade deadline. If there's a number of big free agent pitchers next year, the Cards should be able to go out and get one in exchange for a Haren and/or some other farm hand. Basically, instead of going out and getting a mediocre arm in a thin market, they could hold their hand and get a better pitcher in a better market.

All of that is contingent on the number of free agent pitchers whose contracts come up next year, but it is a possibility.

ps - Pogo, putting Ankiel in the pen would give you a phenomenal left-handed arm and would save you the money of Kline, too.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:50 pm

StlSluggers wrote:Does anybody know who the big free agent pitchers will be next season?.
Pedro and Pavano are the big ones.

StlSluggers wrote:ps - Pogo, putting Ankiel in the pen would give you a phenomenal left-handed arm and would save you the money of Kline, too
I realize but if he actually is in control of his phenomenal arm I think a left handed starter would be much more valuable. Either way I think we should try to have more than 2 left handed pitchers on the team.
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Postby StlSluggers » Thu Oct 28, 2004 2:14 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:Does anybody know who the big free agent pitchers will be next season?.
Pedro and Pavano are the big ones.

Sorry, I consider that this year. I meant next year to mean, "Who will be free agents after the 2005 campaign?"

Sorry for the ambiguity... :-B
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Postby SaintsOfTheDiamond » Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:22 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:
StlSluggers wrote:ps - Pogo, putting Ankiel in the pen would give you a phenomenal left-handed arm and would save you the money of Kline, too
I realize but if he actually is in control of his phenomenal arm I think a left handed starter would be much more valuable. Either way I think we should try to have more than 2 left handed pitchers on the team.


Most definitely. He would be much more valuable in the rotation IMO than just a lefty specialist out of the pen. ;-D

StlSluggers wrote:The ownership can hold their dollars and ride the young arms through the first half of the regular season. If the offense does what it can do, we should be in the mix come next year's trade deadline. If there's a number of big free agent pitchers next year, the Cards should be able to go out and get one in exchange for a Haren and/or some other farm hand. Basically, instead of going out and getting a mediocre arm in a thin market, they could hold their hand and get a better pitcher in a better market.


That's an interesting point though about waiting till next year for a SP. The only things I see that may go "wrong" with that is if they overpay if the deadline is approaching and they really need to make a move (sorta like the Rockies and Walker this year), although I think the front office is probably too smart to do that. The other thing is that it would have to be a guy they could sign long term, not a rent-a-player, and he'd need to be young enough to still be dominant for a few more years, IMO.

And Mook, I see what you're saying as well. Like Sluggers said though he may be different behind closed doors, but they could use a more outspoken member of the staff to help with what Sluggers said about the lack of (at least outward) intensity in the WS.
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