The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Archive for 2010

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #4: The Pujols decade

Completing his first decade as the on-field leader of the St. Louis Cardinals, first baseman Albert Pujols racked up a series of milestones during 2010.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #5: La Russa and Duncan return

The long-time manager-pitching coach duo will be back leading the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011 despite a difficult 2010.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #6: The Penny/Lohse injuries

On consecutive days in late May, starters Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse went down with injuries that would wreck their personal seasons and arguably that of the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #7: Adam the new ace

Performance on the field in 2010 seemed to confirm the passing of the torch of ‘the ace of the St. Louis Cardinals’ from Chris Carpenter to Adam Wainwright.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #8: The real Man

2010 was a big year for the greatest St. Louis Cardinal ever, Stan Musial.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #9: The fight in Cincinnati

The St. Louis Cardinals experienced both highs and lows during a series sweep in Cincinnati on August 9-11.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #10: Puma or Elvis?

The St. Louis Cardinals added veteran Lance Berkman to be their 2011 right fielder.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #11: Garcia’s emergence

Rookie left-hander Jaime Garcia surged onto the scene for the St. Louis Cardinals, winning 13 games and finishing third in the National League Rookie of the Year vote.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #12: Herzog to the Hall

Whitey Herzog entered Baseball’s Hall of Fame and his number was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in July.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #13: The muddled middle

Middle infield play was a major concern for the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals. Not everyone is comfortable with the changes made for 2011.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #14: An even worse year at third

Third base was a major problem for the St. Louis Cardinals for the second consecutive season.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #15: Young bench, veteran stopgaps

Starting in June, the St. Louis Cardinals called on five minor league castoffs with below-average results.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #16: Zack Cox’ major league deal

The St. Louis Cardinals’ first pick in the 2010 draft received near-record money and a major league contract.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #17: Not trading Colby Rasmus

The St. Louis Cardinals’ second-year outfielder went through some bumps and bruises on and off the field.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #18: Big Mac’s return

The St. Louis Cardinals’ former slugger became their hitting coach, apologized for the past, and moved ahead.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #19: New farm director and minor league improvement

The Cardinals promoted a new farm director and filled key open positions following a minor league season of improvement on the field.

The Cardinal Nation Blog top stories of 2010 #20: Marty Mason’s firing

The St. Louis Cardinals fired their bullpen coach and promoted his replacement from within.

Counting down The Cardinal Nation Blog’s top 20 stories of 2010

Annual series looking back at the top news items affecting the St. Louis Cardinals over the previous 12 months.

Cardinals Winter Warm-Up autograph prices stabile

Autograph prices at the St. Louis Cardinals fan event, Winter Warm-Up, are generally flat to slightly down for 2011.

Cardinals and the 2011 Hall of Fame vote

Considering the candidacies of four former St. Louis Cardinals on the 2011 Hall of Fame ballot.

ERA+ from the Cardinals’ big three

Looking at ERA+ marks by the St. Louis Cardinals’ top three pitchers over the Albert Pujols years.

OPS+ from the Cardinals’ big three

Looking at OPS+ marks by the St. Louis Cardinals’ top three hitters over the Albert Pujols years.

Could a new Cardinals MV3 appear in 2011?

How does the current middle of the St. Louis Cardinals lineup compare to their 2004 predecessors?

A very different Colby Rasmus coming in 2011?

The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly remaking Colby Rasmus into a 175-pound opposite-field slash-and-run hitter.

Setting the 2011 Cardinals batting order

Looking for clues as to the most likely batting order for the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.

Cardinals hot stove update: 12/07/10

A series of quick updates on St. Louis Cardinals subjects currently in the news.

Have the Cardinals improved toughness and chemistry?

The St. Louis Cardinals have made a pair of changes to their starting lineup for 2011, in the outfield and at shortstop. What might the impact be?

St. Louis Cardinals roster risers and fallers

Which St. Louis Cardinals players may benefit or suffer from the club’s recent roster moves?

What market is there for Brendan Ryan?

The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be shopping shortstop Brendan Ryan, but will he generate trade interest?

How can Oquendo get experience without having experience?

How MLB managerial openings were filled and how St. Louis Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo stacked up.

What is behind a proposal for MLB players to become owners?

Why would a former commissioner want Major League Baseball players to push for team ownership shares?

Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Tallet

An imaginary conversation about the St. Louis Cardinals’ new left-handed reliever, Brian Tallet – using real facts.

Cardinals hot stove update: 11/30/10

A series of quick updates on St. Louis Cardinals subjects currently in the news.

WAR efficiency by NL team and Cardinals roster

Identifying how efficient each team had to be with its money to reach the playoffs and the cost efficiency of individual St. Louis Cardinals players.

Could Jeter be the missing link or another Tino?

One columnist suggests the St. Louis Cardinals should sign Derek Jeter to replace Albert Pujols.

Using WAR to identify Cardinals bargains and busts in 2010

Looking at WAR and player salaries to determine which players helped and hurt the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals.

How efficient was National League spending in 2010?

Looking at WAR and player payrolls to determine which clubs got their money’s worth.

Carpenter takes 2010 Vicente Palacios Award

Intended only in fun, this award honors the highest level of hitting futility by a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in a season.

Flipping Lopez for a comp pick

The Boston Red Sox shrewdly saw a compensation draft pick in a player the St. Louis Cardinals simply wanted to be rid of.

Cardinals add second-most players to 40-man

The St. Louis Cardinals placed seven prospects on their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, more than 27 organizations. Does it mean anything?

Wainwright repeats as Allen Watson Award winner

Adam Wainwright again takes our annual recognition for the top hitting performance by a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher.

Ranking among top sports bloggers on Twitter

Relative newcomer to social media rates among top independent sports bloggers using Twitter.

Cardinals organization roster matrix: 2010-11 off-season

The St. Louis Cardinals full system roster view reflects changes made during the entire 2010-11 off-season.

Extra wild cards, expanded playoffs shelved

Major League Baseball’s plan to add two wild cards may be off the table for 2011, but is far from dead.

Rasmus for Uggla? Really?

According to a media report, the Florida Marlins expected Colby Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals in return for Dan Uggla.

Cardinals hot stove update: 11/16/10

A series of quick updates on St. Louis Cardinals subjects currently in the news.

Could Dan Uggla become another Fernando Vina?

Even considering a trade for Florida’s Dan Uggla would require a major change in strategy for the St. Louis Cardinals, but it has been done before.

Ex-Cardinals Oberkfell and Oquendo competing for Mets job

Two former St. Louis Cardinals infielders with ties to the Mets are among the candidates for the open New York managerial job. Do they have a chance?

A happy home for Rasmus?

It is big news when Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus buys a new house – simply because it is in St. Louis!

A decade of Cardinals Gold Glove and Silver Slugger excellence

With 21 Gold Glove Awards over the last ten years, the St. Louis Cardinals almost doubled the next closest team and added another 13 Sliver Slugger Awards.

Cardinals choosing Skip over Brendan

The St. Louis Cardinals look to upgrade at shortstop over second base for 2011.

The Cardinals and minor league free agents

The St. Louis Cardinals have only six minor league free agents this year. What might that tell us?

St. Louis returns to Springfield for spring exhibition

The St. Louis Cardinals will be taking on their Double-A club in Springfield, MO on March 29.

Has Pujols’ negotiating stance changed?

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols now says he wants to get a new contract done before the 2011 season begins.

Sparky Anderson’s days as a Cardinal

A quick look back at the brief time one of baseball’s greatest managers spent in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Pujols’ odds of signing slipping under 50 percent?

Could the St. Louis Cardinals’ chance of keeping Albert Pujols beyond 2011 be heading south?

Are Titanium necklaces valuable?

Do the colorful necklaces worn by professional athletes meet their manufacturer’s claims?

Cardinals “dry powder”: Use it or lose it?

Is it better for a team to spend its entire payroll budget early or hold some in reserve?

Elias twist: Lopez tops Cardinals’ free agents

The top-ranked free agent from the St. Louis Cardinals has already been released.

New Rasmania over for-sale signs unwarranted

Word that St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus is selling his St. Louis-area home fans trade speculation flames for some.

Tejada is far from a no-brainer for the Cardinals

There is a lot of buzz about soon-to-be free agent infielder Miguel Tejada possibly heading to St. Louis. No one is talking about a major fly in the ointment, however.

Rumor: Sox offering a joyless Ludwick for Rasmus?

Word is that the White Sox are targeting St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Colby Rasmus in trade, with Chicago offering a player with a very familiar profile and red flags attached.

What is behind the Cardinals’ minor league issues?

Questioning reasons assigned to focus areas for the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system.

Limbo in Batavia continues

Rochester is back to manage the still-for-sale Batavia Muckdogs for 2011, but none of the underlying financial problems have changed.

Pujols in Boston and La Russa 2.0

Calling out a pair of interesting articles about the St. Louis Cardinals star player and his former teammate (along with his current manager, sort of).

Feast or famine: The 2010 Cardinals increased run-scoring

Looking at when the 2010 St. Louis Cardinals’ offense scored their runs indicates an increased number of blowouts compared to 2009.

As the Duncan (re-)turns?

The indefinite waiting to learn of future plans has moved from the manager of St. Louis Cardinals to pitching coach Dave Duncan.

You too can be a Bandit!

News from the St. Louis Cardinals Class A affiliate in the Quad Cities includes a key job opening and release of their 2011 schedule.

Cardinals offense year-to-year: Part two

Comparing the year-to-year change in the St. Louis Cardinals offensive results from 2009 to 2010 to the National League as a whole.

Was McGwire worth six more runs in 2010?

Comparing Mark McGwire’s 2010 St. Louis Cardinals offense to Hal McRae’s 2009 version shows six more runs scored but a 6% drop in home runs.

Where will the Cardinals coaching carousel stop?

The St. Louis Cardinals have decided upon their manager for 2011, but three coaching positions remain unsettled.

Marty Mason’s on-field scorecard

Performance of his relief pitchers was not the reason the St. Louis Cardinals fired bullpen coach Marty Mason.

An exit strategy for Big Mac?

A signal from the St. Louis Cardinals camp that hitting coach Mark McGwire may not return in 2011.

Revamping MLB’s post-season format

A quick look at two proposals to expand Major League Baseball’s Wild Cards.

Differing views on Tony La Russa’s contract

One theory suggests Tony La Russa should not sign a one-year contract to return to the St. Louis Cardinals. I disagree with the logic.

Jaime Garcia and arbitration eligibility

An apparent typo in a service time date has led to an incorrect conclusion on several prominent sites.

Original contracts from Cards Hall of Famers to be auctioned

A group of 36 contracts to go on the block includes ones signed by seven St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famers.

Is Oquendo on the managerial carousel?

Is St. Louis Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo a good candidate to move up?

Will the Cardinals’ young outfielder play every day?

Another talented outfielder from the past was traded away by the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis ranked #26 on Best Sports City list

Sporting News magazine has taken on the task of ranking cities based on sporting success.

The need for expanded instant replay made obvious

A rash of managerial ejections highlights poor umpiring decisions helping to decide MLB playoff games.

Rasmus and the Cardinals: Managing the Market?

Wondering from where and why the recent trade rumors about St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus originated.

Another waiver claim for Hoffpauir

Former Memphis and St. Louis second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir has moved from Toronto to San Diego.

Why wasn’t Descalso better prepared?

In a surprise, second baseman Daniel Descalso became the late-season third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals.

2011 Cardinals schedule check

Links to four St. Louis Cardinals major and minor league schedules already released for 2011.

Pujols’ 2010 quick hits and misses

Some statistical highlights and just-misses in another stellar season for St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols.

Another in a line of Holliday game-winners

On Saturday, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday hit his sixth last at-bat game-winning hit since August 2009.

Pags’ squeeze a rare play

Friday night’s suicide squeeze by Matt Pagnozzi was the St. Louis Cardinals’ first in three years.

Carpenter’s complete game an increasingly-rare event

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter collected his 17th complete game for the club, the most over the last decade, but few compared to past greats.

Gaston not impressed by La Russa

Toronto’s outgoing manager Cito Gaston doesn’t have much good to say about Tony La Russa.

Cardinals live chat on FOX Sports Midwest Wednesday afternoon

Catch FOX Sports Midwest’s live and interactive chat during Wednesday afternoon’s St. Louis Cardinals game. Join our discussion!

The Rangers television contract through Cardinals lenses

How might the record deal for Texas Rangers television rights affect the St. Louis Cardinals?

Pujols ties Aaron in 40-115 seasons at six

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols continues to put his name among MLB’s greats, this time for combined seasons of 40 home runs and 115 RBI.

Six questions not asked to Bud Selig

There is a much better chance that the commissioner of Major League Baseball might actually share some valuable information if asked a few tough questions.

MLB’s most 40 home run seasons

Albert Pujols is competing with some of baseball’s greatest ever as he compiled his sixth 40 home run season in 2010.

Cardinals live chat on FOX Sports Midwest Friday afternoon

Catch FOX Sports Midwest’s live and interactive chat during Friday afternoon’s St. Louis Cardinals game. Join our discussion!

Cardinals catching injury trickledown theory

How much might Jason LaRue’s injury have affected Cardinals minor league results?

2010 Cardinals possible losers vs. NL Central

With nine games to go vs. NL Central this season, the St. Louis Cardinals are on track to post a rare losing divisional record.

Pujols’ historic 36-36

Albert Pujols already has more 36 doubles-36 home run seasons than anyone in MLB history.

Yadier Molina’s five-RBI feat

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina did something that has only been accomplished 25 times in 90 years.