The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Archive for 2009

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2009 #15: Shortstop shuffle

No one could have predicted how the shortstop position would have evolved for the 2009 St. Louis Cardinals.

Cardinals rumor control getting out of control

Erroneous news on a supposed new Matt Holliday offer from the St. Louis Cardinals is amplified all over cyberspace before being pulled.

Would two years be better for Holliday and the Cardinals?

Why might both Scott Boras and the St. Louis Cardinals consider a shorter-term contact for free agent Matt Holliday?

Who just blinked: DeRosa or the Cardinals?

Is Mark DeRosa’s reported two year, $12 million deal with the San Francisco Giants out of line with the market? If not, why didn’t the St. Louis Cardinals jump in?

Cardinals minor league defense below average

Using unearned runs to measure fielding prowess, St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers don’t measure up to par.

Busch Stadium debt may hurt players more than taxpayers

Some major league clubs have advantageous leases that offer flexibility but shackle their communities. Others carry stadium-related debt.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2009 #16: Change in centerfield

The 2009 St. Louis Cardinals’ centerfield featured a transition from the veteran to the kid along with some interesting twists.

Muckdogs holding Rochester in financial muck

The Batavia Muckdogs lost less money in 2009 than in 2008, but the deficit still runs in six digits and their patron is hurting, too.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2009 #17: John Smoltz

The St. Louis Cardinals again added a future Hall of Fame pitcher nearing the end of his career but it didn’t end like in 1926.

Theories for McGwire’s delay

Why has Mark McGwire’s coming out party remained in his most familiar place – limboland?

Bighames becomes sixth Cardinal suspended in 2009

St. Louis 2009-drafted outfielder Tyler Bighames tests positive for drug of abuse.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2009 #18: Shelby Miller

The St. Louis Cardinals ventured into unfamiliar territory when making their first-round pick in the 2009 draft.

Duncan’s yo-yo agent

The agent of former Cardinals outfielder Chris Duncan is making some interesting claims.

Is Boras alone wearing the black hat?

The MLB Players Association plays a powerful, but almost-invisible role in placement of top free agents.

When chasing dollars lead to regretted outcomes

There may be something for Matt Holliday to learn from this week’s Johnny Damon saga and a similar story from over two decades ago.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2009 #19: Minors coaching turnover

Major changes occurred among the Cardinals minor league coaching ranks following an uneven 2009 season.

Cardinals lessons from Teixeira, the Yankees and stealth mode

Can the St. Louis Cardinals learn anything from a dissection of the New York Yankees’ 2008 pursuit of Mark Teixeira?

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2009 #20: Wagner Mateo

The sweetest amateur free agent signing in St. Louis Cardinals team history quickly went sour.

It’s about time for Mo to channel his inner Theo

The St. Louis Cardinals are getting to the point where they need to force Scott Boras to declare his hand regarding Matt Holliday.

Elias Ranking the St. Louis Cardinals roster

Rankings for the entire Cardinals team, not just their free agents, offer some interesting comparisons.

Help La Russa help Selig improve the game

An errant tweet pre-announced a new MLB initiative. You can get in on the ground floor.

An Atkins-Holliday comp

A pair of former big bats from the Colorado Rockies are now free agents. The St. Louis Cardinals are thinking about at least one of them.

Happy Birthday to!

This blog is officially one year old today, December 12.

Bay keeps Cardinals Holliday cooking cold while Mo stirs pot

The St. Louis Cardinals are experiencing some extra spice in their Holliday cooking due to an unwanted touch of Bay while the GM puts the heat on the super agent.

Walton joins Hadley and Claiborne on KTRS Friday evening

Brian Walton joins Friday “Sportsnight” on St. Louis’ KTRS 550 at 8:05 p.m. Central.

Cardinals spring training ticket prices this decade

The progression of St. Louis Cardinals spring training ticket prices since 2000.

Breadon outshines Busch and DeWitt as Cardinals owner

Passed over in the Hall of Fame veterans committee vote was the winningest St. Louis Cardinals owner ever, Sam Breadon.

Don’t retire Herzog’s number – a different approach

Rather than retiring the number of every new Hall of Famer, the St. Louis Cardinals need a two-tiered system.

Herzog follows top Cardinals managers to Cooperstown

Whitey Herzog and the other six most-winning St. Louis Cardinals managers in club history are either in or locks for the Hall of Fame.

Ballpark Village holding Cardinals Museum hostage

St. Louis Cardinals history remains in mothballs while development project flounders.

‘Tis the early Holliday season for Cardinals second-guessers

Why is the Matt Holliday contract situation causing heightened emotions across Cardinal Nation?

Segundo is “second” in line of Cardinals suspensions

St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguer Jefferson Segundo receives a 50-day suspension, the second from the organization since the season ended, fifth in 2009 and 16th in the last five years.

Is the international draft inching closer to reality?

Recent comments attributed to management and the union are positive, but will they actually get to work on it?

2010 Cardinals major and minor league schedules

The title pretty much says it all – links to 2010 schedules for the St. Louis Cardinals and their top minor league affiliates.

Exactly what compensatory picks will the Cardinals receive?

Based on Tuesday’s arbitration offers, the St. Louis Cardinals may get four compensatory picks, but exactly where they will fall in the 2010 draft is unclear.

Walton and Sickels on Cardinals prospects on Tuesday Fantasy Focus show

Brian Walton joins’s John Sickels and host Jeff Erickson of on Fantasy Focus on Blog Talk Radio Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Spying on Cardinals reader’s queries: November 29

Commentary on 20 search arguments that recently brought readers to

Cardinals Rule 5 available players

How the St. Louis Cardinals went from 59 players eligible for the Rule 5 draft down to 21.

A scouting market correction taking hold?

Toronto offers at least one recent indication of scouts coming back into prominence.

Cardinals prospect leftovers: November 25

A quick look at several St. Louis Cardinals prospect-related items.

MVP Mauer vs. Cy also-ran Carpenter smacks of inconsistency

Minnesota’s Joe Mauer missed the first month and won the AL MVP in a landslide while Chris Carpenter lost the NL Cy Young Award because he missed 30 games.

Collusion or just getting younger?

A net of four veteran jobs may be lost on the St. Louis Cardinals year-to-year. Does that mean anything?

Changing Cy Young scoring doesn’t change winner

Using an MVP-like scoring system for the Cy Young Award keeps Tim Lincecum on top.

Cardinals lose important instructor Radison

St. Louis minor league hitting master Dan Radison is moving to the Washington Nationals as their first base coach.

Would an expanded NL Cy Young Award vote bring a different result?

Would a hypothetical expansion of the 2009 National League Cy Young Award vote to five places have changed the winner?

St. Louis Cardinals lose one owner

Chicagoan Nick Kladis, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals ownership group, passed away on Monday.

Fixing the USAToday Salary Database

A significant discrepancy in a widely-used database reflecting the St. Louis Cardinals’ player payroll has been corrected.

Rasmus ties for eighth in NL Rookie of the Year vote

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus made an appearance in the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Cardinals minor matters: November 16

A collection of recent St. Louis Cardinals-related links of interest with a little commentary sprinkled in.

Springfield icon Lindskog heads west

Long-time Double-A Cardinals radio voice and media contact Mike Lindskog takes job in California.

Breadon among deserving Hall of Fame candidates

The St. Louis Cardinals owner during a record period of prosperity is being considered for election to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Would a Cubbies spring move to Florida help the Cardinals?

With distance a problem in spring training, would the Cardinals benefit by a possible move of the Chicago Cubs to Naples, Florida?

La Russa turns down a cold Natty Light

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa reportedly declined an offer from the Washington Nationals to interview for their managerial job.

Herzog back on Hall of Fame ballot

Former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog is again up for Veterans Committee voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Are the Jays stalking the Cardinals?

Toronto has made a habit of claiming former Cardinals off the waiver wire. Could the two rekindle trade talks, too?

Brock next Cardinal to sell off collection

St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock is currently auctioning off 78 memorabilia items.

2009 recap of Cardinals pitchers hitting eighth

Tony La Russa’s use of pitchers in the eighth spot in the St. Louis Cardinals lineup ended in late July. Did it matter this season?

Wellemeyer takes 2009 Vicente Palacios Award

Intended only as fun, this award has been created to honor the highest level of hitting futility by a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in a season.

(Brief) History of the Cardinals Allen Watson Award

Looking at past good-hitting pitchers on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Wainwright wins 2009 Allen Watson Award

Creating a new award to recognize the best-hitting St. Louis Cardinals pitcher during the previous season.

New Palm Beach GM looks to grow success

The new general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals A-Advanced club has a down-to-earth background.

Curt Flood memorabilia auction planned

Many items owned by the late Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood will soon be sold at auction.

Cardinals minor matters: November 1

A collection of recent St. Louis Cardinals-related links of interest with a little commentary sprinkled in.

The Pujols Hardware Count – 2008/2009

How many awards will Albert Pujols take home this season?

Cardinals September call-up results

How much playing time did those called up from Memphis to St. Louis actually receive in the final days of the 2009 season?

McGwire, Motives and Money

Why might Bud Selig be looking at Mark McGwire differently than he does at Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez?

Cardinals fans – Watch the World Series and be thankful

Two former Cleveland stars face off Wednesday night for other teams while the Cardinals’ aces are under contract at least three more seasons.

Mark McGwire: A polarizing figure

Summarizing the trenches dug over the return of Mark McGwire.

Was McGwire good for Holliday?

Matt Holliday’s Oakland results following Mark McGwire’s winter instruction leave some major questions as to its effectiveness.

Can the Cardinals carry an 800-pound hitting coach?

Will Mark McGwire become the next St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach? Could he do it without shedding his considerable personal baggage first?

Cardinals Minor Matters: October 25

A collection of recent St. Louis Cardinals-related links of interest with a little commentary mixed in.

Cards no better than #6 in Holliday chase?

It looks like a number of big money teams will get in on the Matt Holliday chase. Every one decreases the Cardinals’ dwindling chances of retaining him.

McGwire, Pujols and “30 million-plus”

Comparing and contrasting Mark McGwire’s recent comments about Albert Pujols’ value with a famous 2001 interview critical of escalating MLB player salaries.

Ex-Cardinals: Where are they now? Tom Nieto and Floyd Rayford

Two former Cardinals take new jobs a bit closer to their ex-home.

Cardinals passing up comp draft picks

The St. Louis Cardinals have passed up the potential opportunity for 16 additional draft picks the last four seasons.

Checking Cardinals early draft pick return

A review of the St. Louis Cardinals early draft picks over the last six years, with special focus on regular versus compensatory selections.

More on La Russa’s future

A San Francisco article offers additional insight into Tony La Russa’s future plans.

On Holliday’s protection of Pujols

Some doubt the presence of Matt Holliday in the Cardinals lineup benefited teammate Albert Pujols.

How aggressive have Cardinals minor league player movements really been?

A comprehensive look at multi-year in-season roster changes across the Cardinals minor league system leads to conclusions that may differ from prevailing perception.

Might the Cardinals let Holliday and Boras pull a “Drew” on them?

A long-term contract with a two-year out for Matt Holliday might not be as crazy as it first may sound.

Walton on Wednesday Talking Baseball Live show

Brian Walton joins’s Lenny Melnick and Paul Greco on their weekly Talking Baseball Live show on Blog Talk Radio Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. Eastern time.

After Ankiel hit the wall, is it now time to hit the road?

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel will become a free agent. It may be best for all involved for the 30-year-old to move on.

MLB spinmasters at work on down attendance news

As the old saying goes, figures never lie and liars never figure. Have it your way – 2009 is the fifth highest total attendance in history or the biggest single-season loss since Harry Truman was president.

Cardinals 2009 closing time opens 2010 offseason

To kick off the off-season, a quick look at those who may have played their last game as St. Louis Cardinals.

Cardinals NLDS optimism and pessimism

Two perspectives on the Cardinals chances of coming back against the Dodgers based on past League Division Series.

Walton on KXnO FOX Sports Radio Friday

Catch Brian Walton talking Cardinals baseball with Matt Perrault and Ken Miller on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines today (Friday) at 6:05 p.m. Central.

Holliday isn’t Denkinger or Buckner

Matt Holliday’s error did not end the 2009 NLDS, yet the blueprint for the blame game has been in place for a long time.

Reheating Cardinals NLDS game one leftovers

Historically-based factoids from the Cardinals’ NLDS game one loss Wednesday night.

Smoltz and Lohse: Different post-season bullpen histories

Now available in relief, two veteran Cardinals starters have been there before.

Meet the Cards-Dodgers NLDS umpiring crew

Dana DeMuth and his crew of five umpires have been assigned to work the St. Louis-Los Angeles NLDS.

Can the lefties stop Cardinal killer Thome?

How might Cardinals relievers Dennys Reyes and Trever Miller fare against the Dodgers’ Jim Thome in the NLDS?

Considering Carpenter’s Cy Case

Is Chris Carpenter’s NL-leading 2.24 ERA enough to win the 2009 Cy Young Award?

Walton on Monday Fantasy Focus show

Brian Walton joins’s Jeff Erickson on Fantasy Focus on Blog Talk Radio Monday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Cardinals Futures Game history uneven

An in-depth look at St. Louis Cardinals participation in the mid-summer prospect showcase shows strong representation from the 2005 draft class.

Muckdogs to remain in Batavia for third season in 2010

Rochester group will continue to try to stem continued financial losses in management of Cardinals New York-Penn League affiliate.

Don’t blame McClellan for blowing Wainwright’s 20th win

St. Louis’ ugly and costly loss on Friday night has to be hung on the manager.

Wainwright’s rare triple milestone performance

Adam Wainwright is on his way to the seventh-best pitching season in MLB this decade.

Carpenter’s record-setting grand slam and six RBI

Injured at the plate while swinging earlier this season, Chris Carpenter instead put a hurt on the Reds Thursday with his bat.

Waino, Carp and pray for the tarp

Is the Cardinals problem Bronson Arroyo, messed up baseballs or something else entirely?

Thursday live blogging on FOX Sports Midwest

I will be back as a panelist on FOX Sports Midwest’s live blog during the Thursday morning/afternoon Cardinals game. Join in the discussion!