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Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Camp opens

St. Louis Cardinals chat on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines.

Late Monday afternoon, I joined Ken Miller and Jim Brinson on KXnO FOX Sports Radio 1460 in Des Moines in the first installment of this year’s series to discuss the St. Louis Cardinals, β€œCardinal Talk.” Our initial focus was a recap of the 2011-2012 off-season.

Fans in central Iowa can again catch Cardinals radio broadcasts on KXnO as well as my weekly segment throughout the season, sponsored by WCI Pools and Spas.

Click here for audio: Brian Walton with Ken Miller and Jim Brinson (11:05)

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Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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60 Responses to “Cardinal talk: KXnO FOX Sports Radio: Camp opens”

  1. blingboy says:


    When Carp the grizzled war horse shutout the Astros on the last day of the season he went over 2000 innings pitched for his career. Pshaw, you call that a war horse.

    Real men go 4000 innings and 28 have done so since 1901. Five have pitched for the Cards. Who can name them?

    Hint. These are not all ‘way-backs’, I’ve seen 3 of the 5 go for the Cards.

    Bonus hint: Don’t say Gibson, he had 3,884 IP. And don’t say Eddie Plank (4,495 IP), he pitched for the Browns (AL) and Terriers (FL), but not for the Cards.

    Bonus question. Another 4000 inning man pitched in the Cards system, but not at the ML level. Who?

  2. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… wow………

    There was a suggestion that Freese and Jay got small raises ……….. A good agent asks for fair consideration and does the paperwork………. those requests if denied, are often the foundation for a positive arbitration hearing. Cardinals smartly front that with a meaningful gratuity. Maybe we will see the numbers…….I’m curious……….

  3. blingboy says:

    Baseball America top 100 prospects. 8. Miller, 27. Martinez, 74. Taveras, 88. Cox, 93. Wong.
    Baseball Prospectus top 100. 10. Miller, 23. Taveras, 31.Martinez, 69. Adams, 88. Wong.

    Does anybidy know the Cards on ESPN list?

  4. blingboy says:

    I guess Yadi has flip flopped.

    On Monday:

    “For now, we’ve stopped talking. For now, I don’t want to talk about it. Hopefully, when the season starts (something could be done).”

    On Tuesday:

    “The agent for Cardinals Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina on Tuesday provided a timetable for negotiations regarding a contract extension by indicating his client would not engage the club in talks during the upcoming season.”

    • blingboy says:

      Both quotes from the P-D.

    • T8Ball says:

      Albert’s situation set a precedent, whether good or bad, there is now a precedent. Try and back your respective team into a corner. If they don’t budge like you want them to, be prepared to be insulted or take what you can get.

      I find the whole ordeal fascinating. Has Albert, or will Albert ever realize that maybe he insulted the Cards FO? Albert wanted the ordeal not to be played out in public, the FO obliged. He then set a deadline, but his agent also set parameters that were astronomical, and the FO didn’t partake in the play. He set his stage, but the Cards didn’t attend a showing. Albert took it as an insult. Basically, none of those involved were ever on the same page. Do they realize that yet? It takes two make things go right. Backing the other into a corner, and vice versa doesn’t bode well into the whole scheme of making things go right.

      I see Yadi slipping down that slippery slope. What will he learn from the previous ordeal? What are his goals or end game so to speak? Pushing the team into a corner like this won’t accomplish much. They let the best player, arguably, several of our generations have ever seen walk.

      Either way, w/e happens, EgoS are involved. Not just the players, but the agent’s, the GM’s, the owners……even Fox Sports West πŸ˜‰

      • RCWarrior says:

        I’m sure Albert felt that he was one hell of a bargain for quite a few years and wanted the Cardinals to pay him the going rate for a superstar. The Cardinals made him a good offer but I believe Albert wanted to be paid like one of the best players in the game, not to be part of another great contract for the signing team.

        I find it fascinating that, in this day and time, people believe that a player should be willing to throw millions of dollars away because he should like the town he is playing in. There would not be too many of us in the real world to say, you are offering me 40 grand more a year in another town but I love my co-workers so much I’d rather stay here.

        I just don’t believe there have been too may players over the years who reached the prime of their careers and decided to take a “I love my city and want to give my teams owners a rebate” contract. And most definitely the best player in the game isn’t going to do it. And Yadi is one of the better catchers in the league and those Latin guys deal in money as their form of respect. Short changing them denero is showing them a lack of respect.

        What will Yadi learn from Albert’s deal? Come on. He learned that St. Louis will not pay him what he is most likely worth. He learned that St. Louis may be smarter than some teams out there with their money. That St. Louis will not overpay for a player.

        End game is to make money. This is his job you see. If I came to work tomorrow and my boss said, Tony, you are at the top of your game and we know that there are schools out there that would pay you way more than you are making here to coach at their schools……..but we think our love for you should cause you to consider staying here for way less money……..Then I look down the road and see that three coaches are making 20 grand more than I am. I’m gonna feel like they think I am an idiot.

        I don’t think Yadi is pushing anyone into a corner. He already knows the deal. He made a statement telling the team that he is going the way of Albert if they don’t up the offer to something pretty good. Albert part II.

        • Kansasbirdman says:

          I agree RC that a player shouldn’t take less money to remain “loyal” to a city he may have no connection to. But there are a few other considerations that I think should/would be relevant. Of course, I have no ground to stand on to say what I would do in a professional atheletes shoes because I will never be in that position. But I have had opportunities to make more money at other places but have turned them down/not explored them because I really like the people where I work. I know that it would be different playing for an MLB team because you and your teammates may not have much control over who will be playing there each year so that consideration is on shaky ground. I guess I just don’t know how mercenary a situation MLB teammate relations go. For me, I’ve only played on high school/ college/club teams and they were pretty set year to year and as far as loyalty to the team goes it was pretty deep. I guess when everybody is getting paid it would be different.

          Albert’s situation is also different because he had a chance to be immortal in St. Louis no matter what happens in his carreer going forward. He would have been immortalized in bronze in front of the stadium. He either wanted the money or the recognition as being one of the highest paid (he will be highest AV toward the end) so if he took the higher amount for national recognition over ‘local’ then I get to feel justifiably disrespected. Of course it is his choice if he wants money over that type of recognition. IMHO he can only justifiably feel “disrespected” if he was shown the books and saw there was money to pay him and the ownership was keeping an unjustifiable “share”. We probably will never know if the team didn’t have the money to pay him and field a competitive team. The particulars would all be subjective of course and we could still argue all day on each particular point.

          • Brian Walton says:

            Ksb, sorry, but I did not see that your comment above was caught in the spam filter until this morning. It has now been released.

          • RCWarrior says:

            Kansas, I follow what you are saying. Heck, I left a job making twice what I make as a teacher/coach in order to spend more time with my family so I understand where you are coming from.

            My opinion of the ML’s is that the amount of money one makes and the respect one receives is/are tied at the hip. And my observation of Latin players over the years makes me think they equate money with respect as well, moreso than any other race. That may be incorrect but it just appears that way to me.

            I’m not a huge fan of Albert the person because what I saw behind the scenes was totally different from the person that showed up on ESPN to play a ballgame. He appeared to be the most self serving person I have ever encountered. Thats the person. I wrote that so that you would understand that I’m not an Albert lover per say.

            But that being said I believe Albert to be a superstar on the diamond and I believe he should have been compensated as such. Now the amount of compensation is subjective to say the least but I felt that the Cardinals, who really got 10 years of Albert for pennies on the dollar, should have been willing to go a little bit out of their comfort zone to make sure Albert remained a Cardinal for life. It appears that this was never their intention. Albert was that once in a lifetime player that should have been a Cardinal forever imo. You say Albert should have taken less money to be immortalized in St. Louis…….I say the Cardinals should have made sure that Albert was going to be in St. Louis his entire career just so that would happen for the fans.

            We can argue till we are blue in the face about “the books” or “being able to field a competitive team”, but in reality you are correct imo that we will never know the real facts from the Cardinals perspective because its all about the spin in St. Louis. The cardinals are more dependent on the fans buying tickets than many other teams so keeping them believing what they want them to believe is vital to their success. But obviously there is two sides to every situation and people have chosen which side they are on and wouldn’t budge from their position.

    • crdswmn says:

      Yadi can kiss my posterior end.

      If it made sense I would trade him now. The Cardinals are not going to sign him before the season starts, and just as sure as death and taxes, some other team will overpay for him. Can we at least offer him a one year 12.5 million contract at the end of the season and get a draft pick?

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Molina, a right-handed hitter, owns a .271/.331/.377 career line with 55 homers in parts of eight big leagues seasons and is generally considered among the game’s best defensive catchers. He’s believed to be seeking a five-year deal with an average annual salary of $10MM, Strauss reports.

      • blingboy says:

        Having a crop of young guys on the roster and another crop of hot prospects gives Mo some flexibility.

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        yes, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t.

      • RCWarrior says:

        After watching the best player of his generation get low balled by the Cardinals…..because they expected Albert to want to stay in St. Louis because it is St. Louis, I’m sure Yadi doesn’t expect the Cardinals to pay him what he is worth. My thought process would be, if the Cardinals won’t pay Albert, they damn sure want pay me. If I’m Yadi, I’m waiting it out and getting paid by the team that wants me and is willing to pay me market value for me. St. Louis will want Yadi but they most definitely will want him to take less money which he would be a fool to do.

        I read a twitter post yesterday where the music in the clubhousde had changed drastically from the norm. I’m sure the Latino music that rang through the clubhouse is a thing of the past as well and Yadi was the one who was the DJ with Albert as his power source. I’m sure the music change to Carp’s hard rock stuff will drive Yadi crazy. I’m sure he has already invested in some of those new Doctor Dre headphones to keep his Latino beats from getting drowned out by the Ozzy and Black Sabbath that is blaring over the airways this year. πŸ™‚

        Brian has taught me a lesson in the trade department…..St. Louis would never make a trade to rid themselves of a good player who is approaching free agency. They will let the chips fall where they may even though they could quite possibly make a killing with a trade. I get it Brian…… have schooled me on that for sure. Yadi is playing in St. Louis this year and will be gone to greener pastures next year. It is the way of the Cardinal…. πŸ™‚

        • Brian Walton says:

          “Never make a trade…” is your conclusion, not mine. I did not say or even imply that.

          As I have said before, if the Cardinals were non-contenders in 2012, I would be in favor of exploring a trade. It seems quite unlikely that any deal made now to dump Molina would be a positive for the 2012 team, which is already in camp and underway in their preparation for the season.

          • RCWarrior says:

            Let me be more clear….never trade away a good player when you are in a position where you will be contending. Last year Albert and this year Yadi. I also agree with your assessment, trading Yadi away this year will not help the Cardinals in any way.

      • RCWarrior says:

        Crdswmn….you stay classy and ladylike. πŸ™‚ You can’t blame Yadi for wanting to break the bank on this contract. It will be his one chance at a big deal. Yadi already has 2 WS rings……now its time to make some money.

        • Brian Walton says:

          For me, the question is not “what,” but “how.” By cutting off in-season negotiations, Molina went from a generally-accepted position to what is perceived by many as unreasonable in the span of 24 hours. Maybe perception is irrelevant to him but that seems short-sighted. He can accomplish the same end result with less turbulence if he so chooses.

          • RCWarrior says:

            Heck Yadi may have spoken to Albert and Albert said, look how St. Louis hates me now. You are in a no win if you are gonna try to get paid this off season. So Yadi decided to stop with the charades. This is how I feel and if you don’t like it, so be it.

            I like the more honest approach. Maybe he wants to be traded……and is pressing for one. Its hard to force a trade when you play for the Cardinals but it can be done. πŸ™‚ I like the ploy if he wants out. There is no doubt that fans will turn on him in a split second though. Twill be fun to watch.

            • crdswmn says:

              You need to stop reading the Post Dispatch. The people who comment there are not representative of Cardinals fans. Most of us have moved on from Albert and are not interested in maintaining the connection by hating him or having any other emotion about him.

          • RCWarrior says:

            Also…maybe Yadi just doesn’t want to deal with answering that question day after day. I can see how that would be a mess to deal with.

            • crdswmn says:

              Or maybe Yadi just wants all the attention that Albert got during his contract year by playing the same games.

              You act like this “I won’t negotiate during the season” is some accepted form of negotiation. Who else besides Albert took that position? Carpenter didn’t take that position, Berkman didn’t take that position, Jaime didn’t take that position (and he has the same agent as Molina). It’s one thing to want the big money, it is another to publicly play hard to get just for the attention. Brian is right, he can accomplish the same purpose without all the turbulence which leads me to believe the turbulence is the goal right now.

              I’m not upset with Yadi because he wants the big money, I am upset because he apparently wants to play unnecessary games to get it.

              • RCWarrior says:

                How do you think this response would go? Yadi—- I am going to sign a contract with the team that gives me the best deal……if that is St. Louis great……if not, there is nothing I can do about it. That would be honest and without grey area.

              • Brian Walton says:

                I am with much of what you say, crdswmn, except for the attention part. I suspect Molina does not want the attention while still wanting the most money possible.

                (BTW, Jaime was a different situation as he is in a different point in his career. Same agent, but he did not have the leverage of impending free agency. He signed a deal like Molina did five years ago.)

                • crdswmn says:

                  If he didn’t want the attention then he wouldn’t have taken a position guaranteed to give it to him. The media is going to be talking all year now about whether Yadi is emulating Albert, whether they are talking to each other, etc. He isn’t the big star like Albert was so if he had just let things happen under the radar, I doubt he would have gotten much scrutiny. I think there is more ego going on here than you want to believe Brian.

                • crdswmn says:

                  I used Jaime as an example because they have the same agent. Takes away from the argument that this is the agent’s doing.

              • RCWarrior says:

                In all honesty I believe it is Yadi letting the teams around the league know he will be available to the highest bidder this offseason. Thats just good business. I don’t feel after how everything went down with Albert that he feels there will be anything to salvage in St. Louis so he probably isn’t worrying about it. There has been and most likely will be discussions between GM’s and Yadi’s agent throughout the season as his agent lays the groundwork for a deal or two to come.

        • crdswmn says:

          I’ve never been classy and ladylike, so I see no reason to start now. πŸ™‚

  5. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Why is it that 5/50 seems high to you folks………………. you all know I don’t like Molina……..but the guy can defend………. he is part of the psychology of Carpenter and Wainwright…….Garcia too…… what is it that you think that he’s is angry about?????…………………. The facts…….. BD repeatedly said that he would let the Market decide Pujols worth ……. that was just talk ……… Pujols was the property of MLB after the noncompetitive bidding for Holiday……… the problem was resolved at that point…….. they wrote the script right up until the end ………… if St Louis makes that a firm 210…. and AP gets the one concession he asked for……..he signs here…….. but it didn’t happen ….much to Lozano relief ………………… it was all just a charade ……….. just like the coaching interviews ………………….. what you’re wondering is…….does Molina believe that he was/will be part of that deal???? if he just takes the temperature up………. he probably does.. …………. and he’s a fool …………………….. I’m monitoring the AP situation out here …………….. he is already in trouble ……….. he has 1/4 chances of every seeing that back loaded money……….. if he goes down hard ……..they will let him nullify the contract ………….. before they take the hammer to him ………… its the life of a saint …………
    and lets move on from this crap…………. Molina is likely to have a good year……….the guy deserves 5/50……….and if they start it this year……it looks that much better……… clearly, they want the bad blood out of here ………………………. Tony is seeking as special job with MLB that keeps him on the road a little ………… he is biding his time ………………… staying close to the action …….

    • Brian Walton says:

      Which folks are you talking about? I haven’t seen anyone in discussions here suggest 5/50 is too high. In fact, the highest ranking vote in the reader poll here on the matter was for 5/65. (Some did vote for less, but there hasn’t been any talk about it, to my recollection.)

      Personally, I doubt 5/50 would do it now and I wouldn’t want to go 5/65. (I had voted 4/48 as my max.)

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        Well why is it that you think the Cardinals don’t just lay that out there…………let him do what he will???
        Seems easy enough …………………… there likely is another variable here……… long term planning???? Maybe needing to be sure that a pouting AP doesn’t have any connection with the team at all?????????
        Clearly BD knew both the beginning and the end of the AP story……..his job was just to fill in the play acting…………… maybe the play isn’t over??? a huge amount of energy and posturing on this topic has been expended by Tony/Dave…………..BD/Mo…………. Dave was payed…….Tony is preparing for his return………. Albert seems a bit confused………he showed up a week early so he could do HIS OWN special work…….before he has to join the TEAM preparation ………. fulfilling the Angels expectation… he has already started him posturing ……….. its funny….BHS was the only other entity that was aware of what was occurring………. and they sent the stink bomb anyway ……………….. did they really believe that Albert being more attentive to what his agent was doing might change the outcome???? or more likely…….they did it as a prank because they spent allot of money to fashion it, and its usage would be irrelevant after the deal was concluded anyway ……………

    • blingboy says:

      5/50 seems like a reasonable market value. I’m sure Yadi can get that this winter unless his knee gets notably worse. That’s not to say i think the Cards should pay that. I don’t think they will, either. A catcher moving from age 30 to 35 is an aging catcher, and having a chunk of money and years tied up in an aging catcher makes no sense for a team with the abundance of young tallent, especially young pitching, the Cards have.

      I would favor packaging Yadi and a couple hot young arms and getting a top shelf catcher who will not spend the next five years getting old. He does not have to lead the team in hitting.

      So I think a decision will be made by around the break as to whether we have a catcher of the future in house, and if not, start looking to line something up.

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      My guess is most people wouldn’t have trouble with a $10 million AAV but the 5 years is a little hard to swallow knowing how many catchers drop off around age 33-36 and you yourself I believe have commented on the large number of innings Yadi has caught the last couple of years.

      I may be wrong but I dont believe any catcher with Yadi’s level of offense (or worse) has ever gotten $10 AAV. Yadi is considered one of the best defensive catchers but he’s not a consensus best. …..And many thought his defense dropped off last year (is that a trend?). Yadi is not a catcher who can slide over to DH if his knees are hurting.

      One reason the team wants to wait I’m sure is they want to see if Cruz or Anderson can progress under the tutelage of Matheny. They also know there are several other capable catchers who will be on the FA market next winter.

      My guess is Yadi gets 5/50 from someone but not much more. If that team is not the Cards I wont cry.

    • crdswmn says:

      Anybody got an idea what it would take to get Matt Weiters? Would we have to trade the farm? Am I delusional?

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