well, I have a couple questions about the post-trade deadline. I don't really understand how that works, I ask because the Cardinals are starting to really piss me off right now. I have been a Cards fan all my life, and I'm starting to get worried. If Jocketty's not going to do something, we might be in trouble, once we get to the world series. We need to try to get a corner outfielder or someone in the bullpen. Maybe for Wagner? Or I'm thinking Adam Dunn. I say we trade Marquis, and a couple minor league pitchers, and call up Wainright. Any other possible trades we might do? Hopefully something like we did with Walker last year. Also, when are Molina, Walker, Rolen, and Sanders supposed to come back?
I don't know where this myth emerged that the Cardinals need an outfielder. Sanders will be back for late September/the playoffs. Walker is resting for the same time frame. Jimmy is his normal K-laden/power-laden self. J-Rod is playing sweet backup with unexpected power. So is hitting .270 and is uberclutch. Gall is too soon to tell. Walt should sacrifice future prospects and payroll room for...what? It's not like there's a Larry Walker hanging out there like there was last year.
MAY I REMIND YOU AT THIS POINT THAT THE CARDINALS HAVE WON THE DIVISION. The Astros went hot hot hot and still are nine back. NL Central crown -> Busch Stadium. So the playoffs (and overly cocky message board posts) should be the ONLY concern. Come time for the playoffs, anyone you acquire will either be warming the bench or watching J-Rod or Mabry get their pinch-hit at bats.
And don't even bring up Adam Dunn's name in my presence again. Boy loves his Special K's.
No one the Cards can add to the bullpen is worth the $$$. I'm not sure where this idea emerged that anyone's bullpen is perfect. Yes, there are better closers than Izzy, but dangle him as trade bait and offer to pay half his salary and see just what half of MLB would throw at 250 Stadium to land such a catch. As for the middle relief: King, Reyes, Thompson, Eldred...well...
MAY I REMIND YOU AT THIS POINT THAT THE CARDINALS HAVE THE SECOND BEST BULLPEN ERA IN MLB. Only Cleveland can top the Birds at this point (2.91 to 3.15, with CHW close behind with 3.17.) This does not call for change. This calls for party hats and celebratory kazoos. Everyone remembers the blown saves. No one pays attention when Babyface Thompson throws two and two-thirds to keep the Cards' offense in the game.
As for Marquis: he's far from great, but I'd take him as my number five guy any day of the week. Besides, what could you get for him? An overpaid outfielder? We don't need one.
MAY I REMIND YOU AT THIS POINT THAT THE CARDINALS STARTERS HAVE THE THIRD BEST ERA IN MLB. And the most wins. Marquis is the weak link. That's a hell of a strong weak link. (An ERA of 4.00 --- omg omg that's HIGH.)
Geez, you win 105 games and all of a sudden everyone expects perfection. Chill.
There is no way the Cardinals will get Wagner. Left Handed pitchers who throw high 90's will be blocked before they get to the Cardinals. Walker was able to get to the Cardinals last year because he was a high salary hitter. They get through waivers much easier. The process for post July 31st-pre September 1st trades: Team places player on waivers. Player then can be claimed, from bottom team in same league to top team in same league. Once player clears the same league, he goes from bottom team in opposite league to top team in opposite league. Should player clear those waivers, he can be dealt to any team. Should a team place a claim on the player, the team that placed the player on waivers can either a) take player off waivers and keep player. Player can not get traded during this time period. b) work out a trade with the team claiming the player. c) let the team placing the claim take the player for the waiver fee, which I believe is $100. Option c) happened to the Yankees when blocked Canseco in 2000, and to the Padres in '98 when they blocked Myers, and were stuck with his contract. To use a potential current situation as an example: Cleveland wishes to trade Bob Wickman. They would place him on waivers, and teams from KC/Tampa through the White Sox in the American League could place a claim on him. Getting through that, the process would go from Colorado through St. Louis in the National League. Now, if Billy Wagner is the example, Wagner would have to clear every team in the N.L. for St. Louis to have a chance at him. Way too many teams that need closers in the Wild Card race for him to get through. This is why at times it is better to be a half game behind a team in August than a half game ahead, as you have the ability to block players.
Who the hell needs a closer? They should just have Chris Carpenter pitch every damn game for the reast of the season. The man has been unhittable for more than two months now. He's 8-0 in his last nine starts, with four complete games (three shutouts), a WHIP of .62 and BAA of .143, lowering his ERA by more than a run and a half over that span. He's the best pitcher in baseball right now, period, and I think is still underappreciated despite dominant wins opposite Clemens and Willis in the last two weeks. But that's the story for the entire Cardinals staff, despite being maybe the best starting five in baseball.
Fantasy Baseball #5: Fantasy All-Star Team Sorry for the lateness, but I just completed a deal to put this column on a fantasy baseball website. Part of the deal was a clause that lets me continue posting to the Wienerboard.