Granted it may not last, depending on how he does over the long haul. But for tonight I feel so damn happy for that kid. I remember starting to follow his career when he was in the minors, striking out people at a crazy rate. Seeing his pitches for the first time and realizing he had devastating stuff. And then watching it all fall apart.
I have literally never seen Tony La Russa happier than after that homer. It's waaaaaaaaaaaay too early to count on Rick as a starter next year, but this is a good start. He, Duncan and Ludwick could make a great young infield in '08 if the Cards can unload Encarnacion and Edmonds, even if they must eat part of their salaries (and they'll have too.)
I think too many people talk crap about Bobby Valentine, most of whom couldn't coach a little league team. Valentine is one of the most knowledgeable baseball people ever. Is he a great Coach? No, but he is a good one.