Friday, October 21, 2005

Final Thoughts For MLB 2005

Well, the Cardinals are done. So I've come out of my room. I'm actually a little relieved I only had to spend a week there. My eyes are having difficulty adjusting to all the light now. And it was getting kinda messy. Better clean up the floor:

Just kidding.

Final thoughts:

- Thank you Larry Walker for an exciting 14 months. I wish his body would heal like a 20 year old's would. But being 42, I know what that's like. And he hung in there this year despite his pain, and he ended my last visit to Busch Stadium with a happy memory. Enjoy your retirement, Larry.

- Happy Trails to Reggie Sanders. And thanks for a magical two seasons. My biggest fear is that Walt Jocketty will not re-sign him, and his vagabond reputation will continue. Which is a shame, because the city of St. Louis is willing to be his home.

- Good bye Matt Morris. I'm sure that with starting pitching in short supply this free-agent season, someone will throw outrageous money at his beard and take a chance on him. The Cardinals know better. He's good, but not great. But thanks for a lot of exciting times.

- Welcome back, Scott Rolen, in 2006. We sure missed you the past 5 months. Actually, the past year.

- Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball. There is no longer an argument to be made.

- Taking a chance on Mark Mulder with last December's trade was a good gamble, but he is not a big game pitcher. He proved that again last night. And listening to Tony LaRussa speak after last night's game makes me think he is definitely in the doghouse. Our manager was not happy with his execution or his mental lapses. However, his status with the club is secure, I think, so that they should pick up his option for next year.

- Success sometimes breeds contentment. This club, after being SWEPT out of the 2004 World Series, did not play like it had something to prove. It played like it had nothing to prove. I know, injuries, injuries, injuries. But there was just a seeming lack of the enthusiasm and joy for baseball that I definitely saw on the 2004 team. Next year will hopefully end differently.

- Jason Marquis, by his performance on the field, proved Tony LaRussa correct in not putting him in the post-season starting rotation. Which makes Marquis' complaining about it seem ridiculous now. I think he's gone in a trade this winter.

- I think the starting pitching will be okay, but Jocketty's number one priority has got to be a more reliable bullpen. The lineup will be fine with Rolen, Eckstein, Edmonds, Molina, and that one guy...Poojoles I think is his name. Just plug in either Sanders or another free agent to play right, sign Grudzielanek, and let J. Rod or So, or another prospect duke it out for left. It worked in 2004 before Walker arrived. And then we can see what we have come July or August, with enough financial room to make a move if needed.

- Good-bye Julian Tavarez, another free agent. He'll be plucked by someone wanting to pay too much money for a steady but not spectacular set-up man. I just wish he could have worn the Zorro mask at least once.

- Good-bye Abraham Nunez, super-sub. He'll also be picked up by someone throwing money around this winter, based strictly on this year's performance. Big mistake.

- I think Grudzielanek, another free agent, will be back. Okay, let me rephrase, this. I hope he'll be back. Why? Too good of a player, and a LaRussa type player.

- The wrecking ball countdown begins. For some final, tear-inducing photos of Busch Stadium's final moments, check out the gallery at the Cardinals official website.

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