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

Cardinals fans living the Pujols grief model

I don’t want to over-dramatize the decision made by Albert Pujols to shift his place of employment from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but looking at recent Twitter and message board traffic, many fans are taking the news extremely hard, almost as if they have lost a close family member or a loved one.

Some of the most extreme reactions at either end of the spectrum almost seem unexplainable to the others. To me, it appears that different people are at vastly different phases of dealing with the reality that Pujols has left the Cardinals.

A Swiss doctor named Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, introduced the Kübler-Ross Grief Model. It is a cycle of emotional states that describe how people react to a significant negative event in their lives.

The five stages:

Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable.
Anger stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion.
Bargaining stage: Seeking in vain for a way out.
Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable.
Acceptance stage: Finally finding the way forward.

In the Pujols case, it seems few remained in the denial stage very long. At its essence, this was a very black-and-white situation. There could be no mis-diagnosis. Once Pujols’ decision was communicated, it was done. There could be no turning back or major change of course to be re-plotted.

As one might expect, the anger stage has been just the opposite. Many remain there still, however with different targets for their anger. The team took the player for granted; they lowballed and insulted him. The player said it wasn’t about the money, but lied to the fans. He put a greater value on a relationship with a man he had never met than with the countless admirers from his home of the last 11 years. The agent cited competitive bids that apparently did not exist. The wife suggested God set the course and the devil was behind negative reaction, etc…

The targets of the anger are varied, but the feelings strong. Fans threw away Pujols memorabilia while stores gave away Pujols-related stock. Others took to websites, talk radio and message boards to vent.

As some moved into the bargaining stage, they began to think about a future way out. How long might the hastily-arranged Pujols-Angels marriage last? Would Pujols flop on the field long before the decade was over? Would he eventually return to St. Louis before or after his playing days are done?

The 10-year personal services agreement that will follow the 10-year playing contract has caused considerable angst for some. These folks have such a clear vision of the future that they have convinced themselves that when Pujols becomes Hall of Fame-eligible, likely in 15 years, that he will be prohibited from entering the Hall as a Cardinal and that he will never be allowed back to Busch Stadium to be celebrated for his Cardinals success.

The Stan Musial comparisons have been worn to the bone and in some cases twisted beyond recognition. One poster actually said he would rather the Cardinals be a third-place team in return for protecting Pujols’ career-long legacy in St. Louis. That way, Pujols could truly become this generation’s Musial, even if at the expense of fielding a competitive team.

Depression set in when some learned that the deck had been stacked against the Cardinals. The Angels had a new, untapped  revenue source of $150 million per year. Their new television contract created a ready source of funds to satisfy Albert’s every desire – something the Cardinals had no realistic hope of matching.

Another source of depression for some was Pujols’ full-page farewell ad in the Post-Dispatch, driving home the finality of the divorce. Some saw it as a classy move while others characterized it as simply another item to be checked off the Pujols public relations team’s action list.

Pujols’ awkward Angels press conference/pep rally, televised nationally this past weekend, helped hammer home to some the realization that Pujols isn’t coming back. In other cases, it cycled fans back through the anger stage when the player did not seem to give his past the proper due.

Same with Dee Dee Pujols’ Monday radio appearance. It seemed to do little to move anyone toward acceptance, while sending many back into fits of anger, whether directed at the team or the Pujolses themselves. The whole thing began to feel like a “he-said, she-said” episode as claims of who offered what and when were raised and disputed.

Still others, like me, quickly moved ahead to the acceptance phase. Having followed the Cardinals for over four decades, I have seen many highs and lows over the years. This is but another bump in a long road.

The sooner everyone can reach acceptance, the sooner we can all put the loss behind and move ahead.

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111 Responses to “Cardinals fans living the Pujols grief model”

  1. crdswmn says:

    I’m there with you Brian.

    Is it Spring Training yet? :)

    • Brian Walton says:

      Not soon enough.

      BTW, crdswmn, check out this comment of yours from February 2 of this year. You apparently saw the shadow and pegged this accurately.

      • crdswmn says:

        Yeah, like I said the other day I was 90% convinced all along he was going to leave, but I didn’t want to push it too much because it was a tense time and people were sensitive about it. But, gosh darnit, the other 10% of me still took it pretty hard the first couple of days after it happened. It was like my dog died. I might still be grieving a little if Albert and his wife hadn’t cured me with their nonsensical babbling.

  2. blingboy says:

    I’m not sure what stage I’m in. What do you think?

  3. CariocaCardinal says:

    I dont think I care enough to be in any of those stages but I may be semi-obsessed with the process and the follow on comments. Mostly those by the Pujols camp. How can one doubt that they feel the love of the organization that has treated you so well for 11 years. An organization that Pujols has in the past lauded for treating its players like family. How can the fact that BDW may be a cold negotiator cause one to ignore 11 years of eing treated well and especially contrasted with a 30 minute phone call. I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    I was sad Albert had to leave, yet its just part of the game nowadays, rich teams grab the expensive players. I was a little sad, yet wish Albert well, as do DeWitt and Mo. That is never going to change. Better to love and be hurt, than never live at all. It had to happen this way.

    After I vented grief, I became happy thinking how much budget we have to invest in other ballplayers, now and in future years. A monster contract for Albert would have been a burden.

    Somebody ought to put a muzzle on Mrs. Albert. What a bunch of dopey whining.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Also helpful was the ridiculous story about how Albert and Arte fell in deep platonic love, based on one phone call. While this silly love story of rich boy meets a super rich old guy and hits him up for $254MM might have been crafted for Angels fans, it is so lame and pathetic, it helps Cards fans laugh and move on.
      Lozano needs to hire some better melo-drama script writers.

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        Helpfull indeed.

        While I hope he has a good career and breaks records I hope he never wins another World Series. And not just because I hope the Cards win em all!

    • RCWarrior says:

      PR lesson number one Jumbo…..never let the player voice discontent but if you want to make a point have a family member make said point.

  5. crdswmn says:

    Someone has found a creative outlet for their, um grief.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R-zgYXjBb9Y#!

  6. blingboy says:

    The Cards know Albert better than anyone, at least as a baseball player, but probably as a person, too. He’s been in the organization his whole adult life. They saw him up close day in and day out.

    So it could be that the 5/130 initial offer is all they were willing to do, based on what they saw every day. Even at that, they wouldn’t get their money’s worth in on field performance. But he’s an icon. He’s worth more than his on field performance.

    That would take him up to the end of career years. Then, if he has anything left and wants to play, I’m sure the team would have been happy to have a roster spot for him, at a salary proportionate to his contribution on the field.

    In other words, he was welcome and wanted as a Cardinal for life, at salary levels that reflected his contribution to the team as time went by.

    This would be the kind of sound business DeWit would consider. Albert would have made a quarter of a billion dollars or so for his career, enjoying the warm embrace of Cardinal Nation in his final difficult years on the field, without being resented for hamstringing the team by sucking up payroll far beyond his contribution. And then the red jacket years, and finally the golf cart years. A living legend. This seems like quite a reasonable proposition and, even if not accepted, certainly nothing to cause insult.

    But buisinessmen like BDW are quick studies. It wasn’t going to happen like that. Albert wanted to get paid like a superstar right up to the end, regardless of his performance, and would give up the non-monetary benefits of staying a Cardinal for life to get it. No reason to fault him for it, if that’s what he wanted.

    So it was time for damage control. The plan was to increase the length and dollars, incrementally, while being careful to trail the market. Always upping the offer only after another better offer was on the table, so that the Cards could avoid the heat, but not get stuck with the albatross. This would be a sensible way to handle the situation. Nobody who matters now thinks that the Cards final offer was insulting, even if it was made only after Bill knew it wouldn’t be accepted. Beat out by a big market team, everybody knew it might happen.

    For those nieve enough to think that we know all there is to know about what offers were made, by who, and when, then the ‘trailing the market’ theory has problems. I get that, no need to point it out.

    My alaysis of Albert’s decision is this:

    If he’d have taken Bill up on it, he’d have made $300+M or so for a career that undoubtedly would have ended well, and enjoyed a post-career that undoubtedly would have been glorious.

    By choosing to take Arte up on it instead, he makes $350+M for a career that might end well or might end ugly, and a post career that could be anything from glitz and stardom, to ignomy or relative obscurity. No way to know.

    For me, I’d take the 300M and the certain glory. I can’t help but wonder if Albert would have too, if he’d have thought about it that way.

    • Kansasbirdman says:

      Good analysis and hard to say what Id do if actually in the position but id like to think I d do the same as you

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      BB……..your analysis has merit and many accuracies ………… DeWitt knew what Lozano wanted and he helped him get it ……….. Pujols was under the impression that DeWitt makes a market sensitive bid …. at least 225/230……….. which he excepts………. he got hung out …………. DeWitt isn’t making baseball decisions…………. there are huge amounts of money flowing onshore through Fox enterprises……..the Holiday uncontested bidding was just the start of these arrangements………. AP will up everyones revenue where he is now………………. I doubt the Angels are real happy with what they are seeing…… if it was their money…..this show wouldn’t be going on……. BHSC wanted Pujols in ST Louis……thats why they assumed the stink bomb might work………… They knew where Albert was headed….their back yard……. The commissioner shot over the head of the Marlins to keep them in line……… they were just noise makers…….. Angels just waited to the BS to stop… and just followed the plan……….

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Oh yeah………..we are going to kick ass………. we have the rotation that will be set loose by early scoring………bet on it………..

        • RCWarrior says:

          I agree Also WC. I feel the Cardinals in 2012 are gonna be a force. Definitely worthy of a nice wager by yours truely. :)

          I like the Cardinals in the National League to win the pennant.
          I like the Angels to win the American League. Love their pitching.

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        It must be quite interesting going through life thinking that everything is just one big inkblot test that one can interpret how they see fit.

    • RCWarrior says:

      Bling, Albert will break every record in the book so he will have all the glory he needs plus the 50 million. And you really expect us to believe you would have just thrown 50 million away for doing the same job.

      Albert just wanted BD to kiss him on the mouth while he was effing him out of the 50 million. :) BD wasn’t willing to even give him a reach around though so Albert headed in another direction. And who can blame the guy?

      • blingboy says:

        You miss the point RC.

        Now, Albert has to break the records to get the glory.

        The 50M wouldn’t be thrown away, but exchanged for a guaranteed happy ending. A happy ending sitting on a quarter of a billion dollars in career earnings.

        That was the kind of guarantee Bill and the Cards were offering. Deidre and Albert never even saw it, being focussed on the dollar signs.

        Can you imagine beeing ‘insulted’ by such a guarantee? Even if you decided to go for the more money.

        • RCWarrior says:

          No I believe I follow you Bling. I just believe Albert believes he has many many good years left and will surely want to punish the cardinals for this snub(he considers it a snub) offer. In other words I believe Albert feels the happy ending will be in Anaheim.

      • GoCards says:

        Cardinals fans are passionate about their team and players. I am really sad and bummed by what happened. The St. Louis Cardinals are a storied franchise and Pujols already is, and will be, a storied player. If he breaks the home run record, and I think he will, he may go into the Hall with a Disney kid movie hat and jersey, not the iconic STL hat and Birds on the Bat uniform. And for any baseball historian, purist or fan of the game that is just a shame. All because somebody from a bankrupt state has money from a tv station and had a whim. Albert won’t ever say it but when he is in his 60s and looking back he is going to know he made a huge legacy mistake. He may already know it and wish he could take it back. Good luck Albert and Good luck Angels, but most of all, Go Cardinals!

        • Brian Walton says:

          Welcome, GoCards. It reminds me of this quote from another Cardinals first baseman.

          “Looking back on it, I should have stayed a Cardinal. I was very happy here. I had my best years in baseball here. We went to the World Series twice in three years. It was fun to go to the ballpark every day. I was playing for the best manager in the game. My family liked it here. My kids were in school. I considered this my home.” – Jack Clark

          • GoCards says:

            Thanks for the welcome. I am trying really hard to get to the acceptance stage and am very close pretty much going through every emotional and rational thought now. What really gets me is the large numbers paid for players. I think there was a Ken Burns thing saying from the ’20s to the ’70s ballplayers made 4x an average person. Now look at it. It’s crazy, and guaranteed, that’s just nuts. The fiscal irresponsibility is insane. Angels get a TV deal. TV needs advertisement and subscribers. Average people pay for advertised products and TV in the form of jacked up prices. I don’t go to Cardinals games although I would like to but I can’t afford to take my family of 5. I will look for the best deal and switch between satellite and cable to try to get the price down. I guess somebody is paying the prices to allow Arte and the TV network to do what they just did but I can’t help thinking there has got to be some bubble that is eventually going to burst like in the real estate market.

            • Brian Walton says:

              I know where you are coming from. My thinking has evolved to the point I consider it more like the entertainment business where a George Clooney or Brad Pitt pockets millions for acting in front of a camera. Doesn’t change anything compared to my existence, though…. ;-)

              • GoCards says:

                Brian,

                I have been trying to post to the Duk Yahoo article about Albert being in pain. I have been trying to post all day and it never goes through. This post here was the first time I have ever posted anything so I am not familiar with how this works. Any suggestions?

                A buddy of mine tried to post them for me about a half an hour ago. He said it worked but they are still not there. Is it supposed to take a long time to post?

                Maybe I could post my comments here and you could post them for me.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  Do you mean you are trying to post a link to an article on another site? If so, a simple cut and paste of the URL should do the trick. Your comment above came through, so that part of your posting here is clearly working. There are no reader comments being held by the software here. I may not be fully understanding what you are asking…

                  • GoCards says:

                    I am trying write a comment somewhere else in response to a yahoo article on another site. Nothing to do with this site. I guess I am asking you for Yahoo technical support. Sorry.

                    • GoCards says:

                      I figured it out. What I originally wanted to post must have been to long although it said I had characters left. Sorry to bother you.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      No problem. A good policy to follow on any site is to post just a few sentences of an article at most along with the link so folks can go to the original source to read the entire article.

  7. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I will tell the whole story before the end RC………….. Cardinals have made no moves…..not quite even bringing back all there WS hero’s ……………… Furcal was the beneficiary of the AP posturing………. they could trade that contract…….sweet little deal on Skipper…….that would cash out in a pinch, especially if he produces……….. Tony thought he could win BD’s heart and help AP……so he continued to do a little market preparation on his rotation………… Mo is still hopping to trade Westbrooke and/or Lohse……….. and thats not about pitching……….everyone envies the Cardinal pitching depth……..but BD sees it as a market resource still………its not about baseball………. if a few of the wealthy teams need help, they will go over the top of those NTC’s and take some of that depth………… for the Cardinals…they start to develop some more young assets and go deeper into the black at the same time……..the risk…..thats for the fans to worry about ……… you know they aren’t going to make any moves………the market is bare is you think JC Romero is a “cookie”………….. BD has his hand on the Cardinal pulse………… only his purpose can be questioned…….he is determined to squeeze some profit out of this little Tax shelter…….just to show that he could……. he’s good at it …….

    • T8Ball says:

      Since 2006, BDW2 and Co. have churned a net operating margin profit every year. At the same time they’ve been able to remain competitive in the NL and NL Central. Heaven forbid a Business man making a buck for his buddies.

      I’ve been split the past 20 years or so on what BDW2 and Co were trying to do.
      1) Are they fans/owners?
      2) Are they profiteers?
      3) Are they both? Can they be both?

      Since the dawn of time, people have bought up “hot spots” and put a Mickey D’s type establishment in it’s place to drive up the properties value………basically, my question is now ~ Are the Cards ripe for a sell? Is BDW2 and Co. ready to bolt?

      MARK CUBAN HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!! :)

      • Brian Walton says:

        Back in the 2001-02 time frame, I spent hours reading posts from those absolutely and positively convinced that DeWitt and his partners would sell the Cards after reaping five years of tax benefits. Those folks aren’t heard from very often any more.

        My guess is that the ownership has been satisfied with their investment in the team. On the other hand, if there was ever a sell-high time, this might seem to be it. Hoping the next owners, whoever and whenever they arrive, aren’t self-styled rock stars.

  8. crdswmn says:

    Beltran is just a smokescreen…………AP was the sacrificial lamb…………. Mo is conducting secret talks with Boras re Fielder……… it will all be revealed…….it’s not about baseball……….

    This could start to be a lot of fun for me. Thanks WC. :)

  9. blingboy says:

    Bosox get Punto, 2yrs/$3M

    Same as we paid for Skip.

    • crdswmn says:

      I guess we kept Skip because he could play the outfield.

      I wonder how well he shreds? :)

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      That 100% more than he got here…..thats the perfect spot for him……I’m happy for Nicky ……….. Tyler Greene is ramping it up……

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Punto cashes in. The Cards gave him only 1 year in 2011, now he gets two years at twice the salary, so 4 times better deal.
        This has been something TLR has seemed to take pride in, helping guys to good seasons, so they can make even more money, elsewhere.

  10. blingboy says:

    Somebody needs to analyze Luhnow’s first trade. Step up.

  11. blingboy says:

    I guess the Cards aren’t looking at Daren Oliver. Once was enough I guess. Will be interesting to see who the LRP turns out to be.

    Maybe Mo will work out one of those three way deals and a loogy will pop out.

  12. crdswmn says:

    The new CBA allows for the possibility of players wearing microphones during games. Any takers on whether any network will have the cajones to put one on Carp? :)

  13. T8Ball says:

    According to Rosenthal the Cards and LH relieving Romero are close to signing a deal.

    Personally, I pray it’s a minor league deal. I’m not too crazy about him.

    • crdswmn says:

      I saw that. I guess the dumpster diving didn’t end with TLR leaving.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      JC is a body builder…..he is ripped like superman…. has done time for PEDs…………. has flexibility issues……. he would not be available if he had anything to offer…………an awful lot of hot air there…………….the question coming up………… are we using the old template……….are we going to waste a BP slot on a specialist…..end up carrying a larger BP…with a weakened bench implied……?????

    • JumboShrimp says:

      I love dumpster diving. Romero got released by 3 different teams during the 2011 season. My kind of signee! None of this $254MM nonsense.

  14. T8Ball says:

    PJ Walters landed in Minnesota. Good for him. I hope he sticks.

  15. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    must have one in the dumpster…………

  16. blingboy says:

    Romero’s split vs LHB is good, career and 2011.

    He’ll be 36 before the break. Hopefully.

  17. blingboy says:

    Wonder if Stavinoah will like being a Canned Ham. Wonder if Luhnow taking over had anything to do with Stav’s decision to leave. Maybe he just gave up on MLB.

  18. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    I’m reviewing game 6……….in detail………. Tony was more concerned with AP status than he was with winning……….. I’m glad thats over……. in spades……

  19. JumboShrimp says:

    Albert led the World Champs in dingers and RBIs, during 2011. If Albert were still playing for the Cards in 2012, I doubt TLR would have quit.

  20. blingboy says:

    Tony liked Furcal in the lead-off spot. Maybe due to lack of alternative. We will see what Matheny does if Mo doesn’t give him a better option.

    I’m not sure what to think of Tony leading off with Theriot in game seven, his last as Cards manager. I’m no good with inkblots.

  21. JumboShrimp says:

    Back in spring training 2009, the Cards were hoping David Freese would be ok, bouncing back from a foot injured in a car accident. However, Freese could not get healthy.
    Mo probably remembers this lesson for 2012, with Craig’s knee problem. We hope he will be back by May, but you want a solid team opening day, because you do not want to fall out of the race early, which would be bad for ticket sales. Mo needs to add another 1B or RF this off-season.

    • RCWarrior says:

      I expect Craig to be ready but I do follow your logic Jumbo. It would be hard imo to go out and get a big name player to fill in for Craig and then have no place for one of them to play when Craig comes back.

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        It would simply be the sme situation as if they had signed Pujols so what’s the big deal.

      • Brian Walton says:

        I also do not see it that way. The current bench is very young and several of the projected starters have dealt with injuries in the past. Building depth seems prudent.

        • RCWarrior says:

          I agree there is a need for some depth, but I’m not sure a Beltran type of sign would be the way to go because then you would have Craig on the pine again…..and we all agree he needs to be getting 600 AB’s. A backup type of player….yes, not s starter type imo.

          • friendmouse says:

            I agree with you, RC. I’m tentative on what the next “acquisition” should be, but I’m of a mind that we have the pieces right now in place to be solid. I, for one, am amused and astounded that most think we need another loogy. I do not agree. We’ve got excellent RHR’s who can adequately get Lefty hitters out.
            Another confusing thing to me is the future positioning of Skip. It really sounds as if Skip’s days of playing 2nd base are pretty much through. And I think he’s just as valuable at second as he is in the OF. I think when it’s all said and done, we’ll see that Skip full-time at 2B is better than having T-Greene and De-cal platooning there. I love De-cal, but I think he’s perfect in the roles we used him in this past year…as a defensive sub for Freese (and I don’t think DD was brought in because he’s a better fielder than Freese, but because we were trying to spare the wear and tear on Freese’s ankles, and the endurance/fatigue factor), and as a sometimes SS or 2B to give a guy a rest.
            And, while I’d love to see T-Greene break out this year, there is nothing that leads me to believe he’ll do so.
            So, come June, we’ll look and see that TG and DD are hitting a combined .233 with a handful of errors. Skip’s better than that. I understand that our greatest need for Schumaker now is to play OF until Craig comes back. And that’s fine. But when AC’s back in the saddle, then, unless TG or DD are surprising us with their talents, you put the Schu-man back at 2nd base. And we’ll be just fine.

            • crdswmn says:

              I couldn’t disagree more. Descalso/Greene are so much better defensively at 2B than Skip that it is not even close. I couldn’t be happier knowing that the days of Skip as our starting 2B are over.

              I hope I don’t offend anyone, but sometimes I get the feeling that people let their admiration for Skip as a person get in the way of rational analysis of his performance on the field. Skip is a great guy, and I like him personally, but he CANNOT play 2B well, even though I may wish he could.

              • T8Ball says:

                The admiration view point is a good one to bring up.

                I believe what keeps people in Skip’s corner is that and Tyler Greene’s inability to play 2B (at the majors and minors). Catch a pop fly on a consistent basis then they’ll be ready to talk. Hit near .300 (yes it’s not a Favorite Sabre Jedi Stat, but it still holds water and leads to all Sabre Jedi Stats, Eventually the Yodas of the Sabre Flock will grow up a tad and realize their forefather/mother Batting Average is a ‘good thing’ again. Until then, they’ll continue to rebel and blame their parents like any good rebelling youngster would) and we’ll strike up a convo.

                I guess it’s the eye test, and right now, Tyler isn’t that pretty.

                • crdswmn says:

                  I am not sold on Tyler Greene, but at least he has good performance at the minor league level for one to judge. Skip has no good performance at second base at any level.

                  And Descalso passes the eye test defensively versus Skip with flying colors.

                  • T8Ball says:

                    Tyler had 4 errors in his first week back in Memphis last summer……at 2B.

                    He was promptly forbidden to play there, or Mo wanted Maloney to play him at SS exclusively. Mixture of both, I imagine.

                    • crdswmn says:

                      I can’t judge about this comment. Forbidden to play there? Sorry, T, but that sounds like hyperbole to me. Maybe Brian can address this.

                      I know some of this Skip v. Descalso sentiment has more to do with offense than it does defense. Ryan Theriot was put in to play SS exclusively because he hit better than Brendan Ryan and how did that turn out again? We got Furcal midseason, won the World Series, and Ryan Theriot is out looking for another job. Did we learn nothing from that experience? Looks like the FO did, but apparently many fans did not.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      I am not aware of anyone being told not to play anyone anywhere.

                    • T8Ball says:

                      It was an assumption, sorry. He played exclusively SS after the first week. I just tied the 4 errors in 6 games into that. Again, just an assumption, but it had its basis.

              • RCWarrior says:

                Kevlar vest on…..check
                bullet proof glass on vehicle…..check
                trusty side arm on hip…..check

                :)

              • T8Ball says:

                It will be interesting to see how the Middle infield unfolds, particularly 2B. I want Tyler to get his shot. I do wonder how long said shot will last? We still have a competitive team, so I have to believe his shot might be on the “TLR” side of a shot ~ produce and keep playing, don’t and hug the pine.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  It is kind of a two-edged sword as some want the team to use the Pujols money to improve. If they do that, 2B would seem to be a prime target.

                  • T8Ball says:

                    Improve but not at the point where we are handcuffed.

                    If payroll starts the season under 110 bench mark, then we have some room for mid season trades. We can still hang around with what we have at the moment, enough so to make some splashes in the silly summer trade season. Especially when deals are easier to make and cheaper to pull off.

                  • T8Ball says:

                    I’m also not in the Beltran/Cuddyer signing camp. A signing like that would mean at least a 3 year deal and that’s 3 years of blockage on Allen Craig, or perhaps closes the door on Berkman after this season.

                  • Kansasbirdman says:

                    Not any 2B FAs I’m aware of out there rt now

  22. blingboy says:

    We went into last season with two wishful thinking scenarios, Theriot as starting SS, and Berkman as starting RF. IIRC, Berkman in RF was percieved as the more unlikely.

    So it is not the end of the world to go in with one of those this year. Maybe a pleasant surprise, maybe move to plan B. My point is it doesn’t have to be addressed this winter.

  23. friendmouse says:

    Well, unless we make some significant acquisition for 2B, then we shall see how the T-Greene/De-cal vs. Schumaker turns out. I won’t deny that I like Skip as a person and as a ballplayer. But if he cannot play the position, then you play someone else. I’m just not convinced that Skip is an inadequate Second-sacker. Granted, there are better ones out there. There are also better CF’ers than J-Jay out there. But, trying to be as objective as I can be, I think- all things considered, we’d be better off with Skip regularly playing 2B that having the combination of TG & De-cal doing so.
    Think of this…I understand that both Schumaker and Nick Punto (Bo-sox) have signed 2-year deals worth $3MM. So, who got the better deal…the Bo-sox, or the Cardinals? Now, I love me some Nick Punto, but I’ve got to think Schumaker is a better value. If you were to place them both on “MLB e-Bay,” who do you think goes for more, and has more suitors?

    • T8Ball says:

      That’s a tough one, Mouse. One thing that sticks out the most to me is the DL. Punto road the DL 3 times last season and has a history with the DL before last season.

    • T8Ball says:

      Also, perhaps the BoSox look at that contract with Punto as we did last seasons 750K one. Boston can afford 1.5million per season.

    • crdswmn says:

      Punto would out sell Skip hands down, I guarantee you.

      We will just have to agree to disagree about Skip , FM. The numbers just don’t support you. Skip has a career UZR rating at 2b of -12.1. That’s bad.

      • blingboy says:

        crdswmn, you wonkiness is getting out of control.

        As I understand it, with a limitted sample size, UZR has to regress toward the mean, or 0, so its not as bad as all that, most likely. Descalso would not fare much better, Greene worst of all. By far, the best 2B UZR performer last year was The Riot. That discounts its usefullness in this case, IMO.

        Sure, spending some Albert money, or using some prospects to get a choice 2B would clear up the whole thing. But if its to be a cage match for the title in ST, I’m for letting Skip compete with the rest of them.

        • crdswmn says:

          Wonkiness? Depending on which definition of that word you are referring to, I could really be insulted by that. ;)

          I would be the last person to want to get into a sabremetrics argument with anyone. So I will pass. I can only say that of the handful of people I know of that do have a good grasp of sabremetrics, they all have no use for Schumaker at 2B. Some of them have no use for Schumaker at any position. I wouldn’t go that far.

          I don’t want Schumaker playing 2B. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

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