Step back from the ledge

Tremendous agitation seems to be sweeping Cardinal fandom regarding the departures of Abraham Nunez and John Mabry. From the email I receive, and from reading some of the message boards, it appears that the prevailing notion is that the Cardinals are sitting on their hands, that Walt Jocketty is fiddling while Rome burns.

Come on, folks. Really now.

Why are these developments so disastrous? Did anyone really want the Cardinals to
give Abraham Nunez two years, an option for a third and a guaranteed three-plus million? Nunez had a really nice year, and he’s a fantastic guy. But he also had a career year, and the odds are against him doing it again. From a baseball perspective I think it was wise not to leap into the bidding for a guy whose career line, even after last year, is 248/314/326. I wish Nunez well. I hope he’s a raging success in Philadelphia. But the Cards will be better off giving a shorter, cheaper deal to next year’s Abraham Nunez or Miguel Cairo or Tony Womack.

The same goes for Mabry. Terrific guy. Very useful player in the right role. But to guarantee him a deal at this point should not have been the highest priority. And his 2005 season could well be an indication that he’s slipping, rather than just a down year.

Seriously, I have no idea why people are so up in
arms about this. If you’re a fan, and you’ll miss these guys, that’s cool. I understand that. But the fact that the Cardinals have lost those two guys, and not signed anyone, doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything. And it doesn’t mean next year’s chances have been crippled.

Both Nunez and Mabry are replaceable, from the team’s perspective. I’ll miss them on a daily basis. But from all I can tell, the team is focusing on bigger things. And there will be reasonably priced, useful bench players available in January. Be patient. Don’t jump just yet.

-M.

6 Comments

I see your point on this, but I was surprised that Nunez did not return. He was great defensively, and he was coming along offensively. He seemed like a great St. Louis guy, and I’m really going to miss him. Now John Mabry, I was sort of expecting him to leave. From my point of view, he was denied playing time that was given to Scott Seabol. He did not necessarily go on to bigger and better things, but Chicago offered him a sweet deal and he took it. I will sadly miss both of these guys, but they are not our main priorities right now. We need to focus on the ‘pen.

I think the reason people are freaking out over these losses is because of what Nunez and Mabry meant to the team last year.OK, mostly Nunez.And to see him leave after just one season, and that being his best season, I think everyone just kind of assumed he’d be back with the club where he had his break-out season.At first I too was very upset that the Cardinals would just let him leave so easily.But then I thought about it,and I just think that he was only as good as he was last year beacuse of Pujols.I also think he wouldn’t get much playing time with a healthy Scott Rolen, and he thinks he’s proven himself to be an everyday player in the Bigs.I’m more upset about John Mabry leaving again.Not that he’s the best player in the world or anything,but he’s a great bench guy and I HATE to see him go to a division rival.Especially the Cubs…Completely Useless By September.Also I just wanna say, if we make it back to the plaoffs next year can we trade managers for the post season?

These comments are thoughtful and on target. Mabry and Nunez are typical of a series of players that come and go each year. Somehow, Jocketty always seems to get career years out of these guys. (I am NOT putting Tino in this class.) I trust Walt to pull some more rabbits out of his hat. The bigger concern is that the limited talent in the free agency pool that is slipping away. Walt should be paying attention to making the best deal possible for pitching or an outfielder.

I suppose that I was one of those fans that felt like Nunez would be easily replaced. With having a healthy Scott Rolen next year, I couldn’t see him having a lot of playing time, since he isn’t really a 2B.
As for Mabry, man I loved that guy. He always seemed like a team player to me, going wherever Tony wanted him and doing his best. That said, this year just seemed to show him fading in his abilities at the plate. I wish him all the best, though.

Now, in my mind, bench players are a lot easier to replace than every day players. I can see that Walt’s trying to play his cards/Cards right. He’s surprised me time and time again in the offseason and at the trading deadline with the deals that he has been able to pull off. He just does things in his own time.

Hi Fellow Cardinal fans,
This my first post, so after 43 years as a fan here it goe’s.

I believe that as of today, we have set ourselves up for a good team again in 2006. I was sad to see Mark go, but Tony never hit him in the two spot, and he will get that chance where he is going.

Nunez was good, but you will like Deivi Cruz as both a fielder and hitter, he was impressive last year.

Bigby has the tools, and with us as fans he will enjoy playing on a winning team.

our new second baseman, forgot his name, was a standout for the rockies, and is in his prime.

So Tuguchi and John Rodriquez are worth more than Jon Mabry, and they will prove to be capable of playing in all outfield positions with bigby in center.

I think they did a good job and also got in under 90 million.

Happy holidays, and we have reason now to be ready for Opening day. billb

Yes, please do. I would like to hear your thoughts on the Cardinals keeping payroll in the low 90s. Do you believe with all the revenue coming in the payroll should be going up?

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