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

Cardinals Minor Matters: June 2

Manny an All-Star?

This article from the San Francisco Chronicle joins many voices speaking in outrage that Dodger Manny Ramirez could be voted into the All-Star Game while suspended. What makes this one stand out is a reminder that in 1989, Tony La Russa pulled Jose Canseco out of the Game despite the player having been voted in. The reason was less onerous – Canseco hadn’t played during the season due to injury.

Here is my take on the current problem. As usual, MLB has dropped the ball through their inaction. They can’t change the printed ballots; fine. But it would be very, very simple to make Manny’s name disappear from the online ballot. Idiots wouldn’t vote for him if his name wasn’t so easy to select.

Is that so hard to figure out?

Walking Albert

The increased level of opposing pitchers walking Albert Pujols has captured the attention of the New York Times.

Bonds strike out in Memphis

Bloomberg seemed to recap the current situation in Memphis clearly from a financial perspective and puts it into the overall municipal bonds context:

“This year, 16 municipal issuers have failed to make payments on $426 million in bonds. In 2008, 140 issuers defaulted on a record $7.6 billion. Among the latest to default: the Memphis Redbirds Foundation, which in 1998 sold $72 million in sports facility revenue bonds to help pay for a minor-league baseball franchise and a 14,000-seat stadium in downtown Memphis. Since 1999, issuers have defaulted on $24.13 billion in municipal bonds out of a total of $3.4 trillion issued, according to Thomson Reuters.”

In terms of the business side, the financial problems are making it difficult to attract a buyer for the team. The stadium is wonderful, but carries too heavy of a debt. More details in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Cardinals’ Hispanic players

The Springfield News-Leader ran an article about the challenges Hispanic ballplayers face in competing in the United States and how they work together to survive and in some cases, to excel. Unfortunately, almost before the article appeared, two of the players, Kristhiam Linares and Elvis Hernandez, were sent back to Palm Beach. Still, a nice read.

Hometown look at Lohse

With the Cardinals on the West Coast last weekend, several organizational members with area ties were featured in local papers. Pitcher Kyle Lohse, who says he is improved from his forearm injury enough to start on Wednesday, was featured in his hometown paper in Chico, CA. A more in-depth article than we often encounter in these parts.

TLR defends his name

This “in your face(book)” and tweeting world in which we live certainly brings out the kooks. Some nut created a Twitter identity calling himself Tony La Russa and posted a series of very uncomplimentary messages.

La Russa’s lawyer couldn’t get Twitter to do anything until a lawsuit was filed. Then, the objectionable content magically disappeared.

Details in the San Francisco Chronicle.

1989 A’s reunion

This article’s primary focus is on lost soul Jose Canseco. Though there is a TLR quote, as well as mentions of Mark McGwire and Carney Lansford in the context of the 1989 World Champion A’s upcoming 20th reunion.

I can’t help but include a Canseco passage:

“Last weekend, Canseco even participated in mixed martial arts “fight” with a 7-foot-2 Korean gentleman named Hong Man Choi… Maybe you saw it. In less than 80 seconds, Canseco was curled up in a fetal position on the mat, being pounded into submission.”

TLR #1 manager

So says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. That La Russa is up from number four last year despite his clubs missing the playoffs each of the last two seasons is interesting.

Duncan to Cooperstown?

ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe put together a nice little argument in favor of sending pitching coach Dave Duncan to the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Tony La Russa. It would clearly be ground-breaking.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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