Edmonds, Duncan, Swarley – oh my

Swarley is gay? Democrats take over the world? Somehow, my world makes less sense than it did a week ago.

I told you this would be a blog about anything and everything. And like it or not, Swarley being gay,and the Liberal Media pushing the Dems into power was a hot topic for the week. Personally, I don’t care if the guy is gay or not. To each his own. But its going to be hard for me to watch his show now knowing he does not like girls, when he plays the Mac Daddy of all Mac’s. Politics are a touchy subject, so all I will say is this. I hope everyone voted. And their guys or girls won. Because I did, mine did not.

And I didn’t even say anthing about Britney dumping FedEx. How awesome is that? You can take the girl out of the trailer, but you can’t take the trailer out of the girl.

Now, on to the Cardinals off season plans.

There is much talk out there about what they are going to do with Chris Duncan. Should they trade him now for pitching help and prospects? I say no. HELL NO. Young, cheep, lefty powerhitters DO NOT fall into a teams laps everyday. You cannot trade him. Yes his value has never been higher. But he is going to be at the league minimum for a few more years. He is just coming into his own as a hitter. He has made great strides in the past two season that you just cannot ignore. Sure his D has been at times Adam Dunn like. But he is willing to put the work in to become a very good major league outfielder. No one feels worse than he does when he makes a bad error in the field. Take Game 5 of the World Series. He drops a easy fly ball, and miss plays a line drive to the wall. The Bush III crowd shows that maybe they are not the best fans in the game by booing him. Now I am not aginst booing a guy. But that was just wrong. He has played his ass off all season. He helped get the club to the World Series. If I am not mistaken, this past season was only his second EVER as a outfielder. And this year he was in the Majors learning the position for most of the season. The Cardinals I belive moved him to the outfield in 2005 once it became clear Albert was going to be at first for the next 15 years. His whole life Duncan has been eather a 1st baseman or DH. So I feel everyone needs to cut him some major slack. He is still learing the outfield, and he is doing it on the biggest stage of them all. All while helping the Cardinals win a World series. And that my friends is pretty amazing in and of itself. He did make some pretty amazing plays in left field this past season. One WebGem that comes to mind is him robbing Jose Reyes of a inside-the-park-homerun in august at NY.

Another hot topic among us Cardinals fans is the resigning of Jim Edmonds to a two year deal. Some like it, some hate it, some are on the fence. Count me in the group that likes it. For these reasons.

1. Jimmy has earned it. Since 2000 he has been everything I love about Cardinals baseball. He plays his butt off. Crushes the ball. Throws himself aginst the outfield walls with reckless abandon taking hits away. He breaks hitters hearts by robbing them of home runs. He generally puts the team first. Him talking to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch this summer not withstanding. Jimmy has flash and style. Gets to almost everything hit in St.Louis County. Stepped up big time in the playoffs when this team needed a leader, giving out game balls, driving in the most RBI’s during the playoffs as just two examples. Just like Tony always says about him. He is a prime time player. And this season, when the team needed a prime time player the most, he was one of the first to rise up, and lead this team to the ultimate goal.

A World Series V I C T O R Y

2. They needed him because I am guessing they do not want to pay big dollars after next season to Andrew Jones, Torii Hunter or Vernon Wells to play center field for the next 5+ years. Eventhough I think its foolish to think a A ball CF will be ready to roam center field for a playoff condending team in 2009. I think thats a bigger story than the length of the deal. It looks like they are placing all hopes that Colby Rasmus will be ready by 2009 to take over center field. And I belive thats a dangerious leap of faith.

3.Walt said it himself, PITCHING,PITCHING, PITCHING,PITCHING. That is the Cardinals focus. And Jimmy helps keep the core,(Albert,Jimmy,Scotty)in place, so the team does not feel that they NEED to go out and get a big bat in Soriano or Lee. Sure they are going to try, but now with Jimmy around for another two years, they are hoping they don’t need to over pay to have one of those guys play for them. They are hoping Jimmy will be the Jimmy of 2004 and stay healthy for the 2nd year of the deal. And if he is, and they do go out and get more than one of the top pitchers on the market, it is a heck of a deal. Don’t forget, Carp is due for a BIG pay raise after next year. Especially if he gets Cy #2 this year. I am sure they are allready working on the numbers for his new deal, so that also had to factor into this. They just better get the pitchers. And Jimmy better hit and stay healthy.

Still, I really really hope the Cardinals make a serious push for Soriano. He could fill in at second base, and hit in front of Albert when Duncan does not. Can you imagine how dangerious are lineup would be with Soriano in it? The St.Louis Post-Dispatch says they are going to try and get him. I am really glad to hear that. And I hope they do.

Now on to pitching. First off, I hope they are talking to Carp about a new deal. If they let him get to free agency, kiss him good-bye fans. He very well could get a deal like Kevin Brown&Mike Hampton did. Thats right. A milti year deal worth over $100 Million dollars.

Second, I really hope they keep Suppon. I think if he goes back to the AL, he will suffer. Sure the big money is there. But if Suppon wants to win, he stays with us.

Third, I say sign Mulder to a deal close to what Matty Mo did in his last year. Only with Mark, give him a multi year options. The Cardinals gave up way to much to just let him walk away after two subpar seasons. If indeed his control and location problems are fixed now that his shoulder is, Mark will return to a top of the rotation pitcher mid next season, or 2007. They cannot just let him go.

Fourth, sign Ted Lilly. Dave Duncan can turn that guy into a 15-20 game winner. He has the stuff, he just needs to put it all together. One big plus for him over Randy Wolfe is Lilly stays healthy.

And finally, if Suppon is gone, then try and keep Weaver. If Weaver goes, then maybe go after Jason Schmidt. But by then it could be too late. And he is going to take big, BIG money to sign. Miguel Batista is a intesting option. He is a proven innings eater. And fits the mold that Dave and Tony likes. I also like Adam Eaton. He is coming off of two seasons where he has been hurt. But all sources say he should be fine. Tom Glavin is also out there along with Greg Maddux. Can’t go wrong with eather one of those guys.

So there you go. A few thoughts on what the Cardinals could do in the following weeks. Whatever happens its great to know that Walt finally has a little money to play with. And it looks like they are going for at least one big free agent. Unlike most years in the past. It will be fun. And I’ll be back with my thoughts as soon as anything happens. With a World Series under their belts, and now a exciting free agency class with many options, it is a great time to be a St.Louis Cardinals fan.


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