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.)
At least the Tigers have the full free agent period to look for a replacement. Seemed to work out okay for my Cubs when they approached last offseason with the assumption that neither Prior or Wood would be counted on for anything.