Lucky Seven returns for '07

All right, time for a new Lucky Seven. It’s been too long. BTW, it’ll be all baseball and lighter stuff here. For legal matters, head next door to StLCardinals.com. Thanks.

1. What is the strongest area of the 2007 Cardinals? Rotation, bullpen, catching, infield, outfield, bench?

2. Which of those units is the the greatest concern?

3. If everyone is healthy, how should outfield at-bats be apportioned among all of the various options?

4. Predict the order of finish in the NL Central.

5. What do you consider the single most important development — positive or negative, either one — of Spring Training thus far?

6. Who’s going to the Final Four?

7. Tell me your all-time dream concert bill. It has to make some sense, but they don’t have to be alive or still together. That is, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors makes sense. Parliament/Funkadelic, Prince and OutKast makes sense. Perry Como and Metallica does not make sense. Have fun with it, get creative, don’t give me 10 bands but 3 or 4 is fine. 2 is fine if that does the trick for you.

-M.

27 Comments

1. I think it’s the infield. You got the team’s 2 best hitters (Pujols and Rolen), one of which is the best player in the world. Both, too, are gold glovers. You got a great defensive catcher behind the plate, who by the way hit the most memorable HR of the season last year, and the World Series MVP at short.

2. I’ll say the outfield, but only because of the question marks. Jimmy Edmonds’s health is a concern and Chris Duncan’s fielding is a MAJOR concern. Enc still isn’t healthy and So and Preston have been struggling.

3. Edmonds gets all he can. Encarnacion gets the majority in left. Duncan gets the majority in right, as long as he can inprove his fielding. As for the bench, Preston gets some at bats, which JRod and Skip getting some as well.

4. 1. Cards 2. Brewers 3. Cubs 4. Reds 5. Astros 6. Pirates

5. Probably a tie between Anthony Reyes’s developing 2 seamer and Adam Wainwright getting stretched out to be a starter (and being successful thus far).

6. Florida, UCLA, G’Town, Memphis

7. This is easy, especially being a Jersey guy. Southside Jonny and the Asbury Jukes open, followed by a little Bon Jovi, followed by BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN for 3 hours!!!

1. infield. fewest question marks. highest potential.

2. six weeks ago i would’ve definitely said the rotation. now…we haven’t seen very much good news outta the outfield outside of duncan.

3. i think i would use the outfield in pretty much the way la russa did last year, except i’d like to see a little more j-rod.

4. cards, brewers, cubs, astros, reds, pirates

5a. looper sort of looks like a starter.

5b. kinney goes down.

6. i’m pulling for UNLV, but i haven’t been following the dance too much.

7. tripping daisy opening for nirvana. this one isn’t strange at all.

1. Rotation. Who’d have thought?

2. Outfield. Two starters on the DL is not good.

3. Edmonds should get a fair number; He’s still the best fielder we have, but can he really last a full 162? Dunc should get as many as he can; he has too much talent to be a platoon guy. Encarnacion can split his time with the bench.

4. Cards, brewers, cubs, astros, pirates, reds.

5. Seriously, we have a good rotation?

6. Cards, Mets, A’s, and Jays. That’s what you meant, right?

7. Flaming Lips, Peter Gabriel, Beatles.

Delbert McClinton

Waylon Jennings

Willie Nelson

Charley Pride

Johnny Cash

Come see us in Texas

1. I would vote the infield, with the bullpen a close second. You cant go wrong with Pujols, Rolen, and Yadi. Although the rotation could be top notch if Mulder returns healthy, and Kip Wells and Looper fulfill their duties.

2. I would vote on our bench being the biggest question. Preston Wilson swings and misses with the best of them, and rumors of So being released dont bode well with me. Dont get me wrong, Speez is great, but you cant necessarily count on anyone else. Maybe not even Speez.

3. With Edmonds and Juan out we should use Skip in center, Duncan in right against righties, Wilson against lefties, and Speez and So platooning in Left. With Edmonds out just throw Juan in center and everything else the same. With everyone healthy, I think Duncan should play daily, with Juan in Left, and Duncan in right. Any days off for Jim, Juan, or Chris should go to whoever has the hottest bat.

4. Cards, Astros, Cubs, Brewers, Reds, and Pirates

5. positive- Carpenter developing his changeup. I know its important to see everyone else do well, but our ace needs to stay an ace. After 3 years in the central division, this pitch could catapult him to another Cy Youn award, and the Cards cinching the division.

negative- Tony being arrested

6. FLA, SIU, TAM, and Texas

7. TOOL opening for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

1. Strongest part of the Cardinals this year will be the same as it has been—INFIELD. Gold glovers at the corners, a solid midfield, and a Gold Glove deserving catcher.

2. Greatest concern would have to be the Starting Rotation. I think right now the outfield is the most uncertain, but since it’s not half as important as the young starting five that has SO much riding on it–it’s got to be the starting 5.

3. If Edmonds is healthy, than he should get as many at bats as possible. I am a fan of Duncan taking as many as possible. But if he has trouble with lefties, I would start Wilson for those games. I would rather have JRod start in right field than Encarnacion, but because of his defensive abilities, I can see Taguchi getting a lot of time between right and center.

4. Cardinals, Houston, brewers, Cubs, Reds, Pirates.

5. Kip Wells’ return to form along with the starting rotation in general doing well.

6. absolutely no idea. Baseball is the only real sport ;)

7. The Beatles, the stones, and Billy Joel

1. and 2. Same answer to both, oddly enough: the rotation. Wainwright, Reyes and even Wells have looked positively *evil* this spring, and they have the credentials to join with Carp to be a complete (well, nearly complete, there’s still Looper…) shutdown rotation. However, if things go wrong with this bunch, they can go VERY wrong. This season is balanced on a razor’s edge, and the rotation’s the razor. There is no team in baseball for which the answer to #2 is not “the rotation;” it’s in the nature of the beast.

3. Play Edmonds to the extent that his health allows, and minimize Wilson, Encarnacion and Taguchi, keeping the latter around for late-inning defensive substitution. Otherwise, distribute at-bats according to platoon splits. Duncan sits out whenever Reyes or a fly-ball-oriented reliever (a species to be ruthlessly stamped out if possible) is pitching, even if there’s a righty on the opposing mound.

4. Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Cubs, Astros, Pirates. In the unlikely event that Clemens re-signs with Houston, bump them up at least two, and possibly three, places.

5. Wainwright taking to the starting rotation like a duck to water. This is HUGE. Close second: healthy Izzy, allowing Wainwright to do it.

6. STL, Mets, Phillies, Diamondbacks. There’s allegedly some other league that plays baseball too. Oh, wait — a whole different sport? Who pays attention to that?

7. Showing my age and folkie roots: James Taylor opening for Gordon Lightfoot and Bob Dylan.

1. Infield. Fantastic defensive options, great offensive options.

2. Bullpen. Izzy is a big question mark (will we see Izzy of old or Izzy of ’06?), the lack of Looper will hurt a lot, Franklin hasn’t wowed me much, and I just don’t believe in Tyler Johnson. Flores is alright, but we don’t have many weapons out of the ‘pen (much like this time last year). About the only effective weapons we have are Hancock and Rincon, in my opinion.

3. Starters: Edmonds and Juan. See how Duncan fits in throughout the first few months. If he’s still hot by June, keep him in there until he breaks down (unless he doesn’t). Have Preston and So back Jimmy, with J-Rod relieving the corners (with Preston and So backing him). I think J-Rod needs more at-bats… He’s done nothing but good things since we’ve had him. He seems fit, so he could overtake Juan if he puts up similar numbers all season. Put Miles in when needed, Spiezio to relieve Rolen and up the middle.

4. Cards, Cubs, Astros, Brewers, Reds, Pirates.

5. The rotation. Wells looks effective, Reyes and Wainwright look like exactly what they are: rising Redbird stars. Looper has been fantastic for being so old and making such a drastic adjustment. Carp will be Carp on Opening Day.

6. Don’t care. Hate college sports. One of the few.

7. Glen Phillips, the former lead of Toad the Wet Sprocket. Been a fan for years. Combine that with another crooner, like Duncan Sheik, and I’m in wuss-rock Heaven, the only Heaven I wanna be in. Beyond that, I’d love to see a Neutral Milk Hotel/The Decemberists show. Indie rock Heaven.

As for the negative, Kinney’s injury was big. The fact that Jimmy won’t be 100% on Opening Day is a sad topic, since I love the guy.

I won’t hate on Tony for drinking slightly too much. At least he didn’t pull a Dontrelle and whip it out to take a leak in the middle of the road. ;) I won’t justify it, but I don’t think it’s a big deal.

Zoopnova,
Awesome concert bill. Glen Phillips is awesome, as is Duncan Sheik.

7. Better Than Ezra opening for Pearl Jam opening for R.E.M.

Zoopnova

No he should not be hated for drinking and driving but nor is it not a big deal. It is a very large deal, he and all the people in Jupiter Florida are very lucky that he didn’t kill anyone.

And speaking as someone who has known two people killed by drunk drivers I don’t think that he should be applauded when he walks out onto the field. He will have to pay the price and hopefully he has learned his lesson. But don’t be so stupid as to think that it is not a big deal.

Folks, a request:

Please no more here on the DUI issue, either specifically or broadly. It’s something that people, understandably, feel very strongly about, and it’s absolutely a topic worthy of discussion.

But there are places for that discussion, and I’d rather this not be one of them.

Thanks very much for your consideration.

-M.

1. Infield/catching. Defense is going to carry this team and, as a result, the pitching will end up looking really good.

2. Bench. I only pick bench because I’m not sure how things will play out if injuries become an issue. Despite all the questions going into camp, I’m more optimistic about this team than many teams in the past.

3. Edmonds and Juan starting, with Duncan getting a bulk of the other ABs but splitting somewhat with J-Rod. So’s defense will get him plenty of late-game ABs

4. Cards, Brewers, Cubs, Pirates, Astros, Reds.

5. Impressive pitching by the starting rotation. Whether or not it translates to the regular season is another thing entirely…

6. KU, Florida, GTown….Memphis?

7. The Roots and Beck opening for Led Zeppelin

1. I guess I’ll go with the most popular answer, infield. With Pujols at first and the old double play team in the middle and the glove expert in the hot corner, its pretty strong.
2. The 2006 bullpen propably wouldn’t have survived without Wainwright and Looper. So with them leaving to go sit on the starting bench with Carp, its going to rough even with a healthy Izzy.

3.Edmonds should get the most because he is the veteran but if Duncan wants to a hit homer every 12 at-bats then I say go a head. If Skip keeps hiting .400 then he can play some outfield too.

4.a. Cardinals b. Houston c. Brewers d. Reds e. Pirates and last and least the Cubs.

5. The Cards being able to find a rotation.

6. Simply, I don’t know.

7. Simply, I don’t know.

Note: If it does not involve baseball then simply, I don’t know

1.) The infield.

2.) The rotation. Who knows how Reyes will last down the stretch this year, and Wainwright, too. There are obviously reasons for optimism, but still, we have a very unproven staff, other than CC, and that can lose you a bunch of ball games in a hurry.

3.) Edmonds, Duncan, and JEnc should get the majority of at bats, with J-Rod and Wilson getting the RBI oppurtunities off the bench when needed. Schumaker and Guchi will probably be mostly defensive replacements, unless there is a bunt needed….or a ninth inning homerun off of Billy Wagner.

4.) Cardinals, Brewers, Astros, Cubs, Pirates, Reds.

5.) That Wainwright looks like a solid starter, and that Wells is healthy.

6.) Florida, UCLA, Memphis, and UNC.

7.) ????? Although, I wouldn’t mind hearing “Celebrate”, sung again this october by 50,000 people wearing red and white…….

1.infield gold glovers all around in rolen and pujols and future gold gloves in molina and eckstien. im not sure about kennedy but he has been in a great infield with the angels (ekstien and glaus).the fact that eckstien and adam have played with eachother before brings a big presence up the middle. and as far as a pitchers, we werent the ones who made an error in every world series game were we?

2. even with jim edmons in center i think that the outfied is the biggest conern. i think that jimmy’s health will be somewhat of a problem as the season progresses but not at the beggining. right and left field is a big question with the options of wilson, duncan(pending his fielding),skip,ecarnasion(who has been hurt all spring),and mabey even j-rod.

3. edmons should get the most ab’s cause he has been in the game longer but duncan has showed some serious power and at this stage in edmons career larussa may want to let duncan get a few more ab’s in edmons spot that most expect.iw ouldnt be suprised to see enc. in center if he hits close to .300 and proves he can play defence and stay healthy.

4. 1.cards 2. cubs 3. brew crew 4. reds 5. pirates 6. last and least the astros.

5.it has definetly been a positive for adam wainright. i dont think that any one expected him to dissapear like bo hart did a few years ago. not only has he not dissapeard he has shown that he can make it at this level and be consistant. just another great move by walt jockety.

6. ohio state,florida,UCLA,and north carolina. ohio state beats florida in the finals

7. if its not about sports and a few specific bands i dont know

1) I had my doubts before the spring, but our rotation looks awesome!

2) The outfield looks fine defensively, but unless Wilson and Taguchi find their groove, we’ll belacking some serious offensive power.

3) Edmonds and Duncan should get the bulk of the at bats, with Wilson, Encarnacion, and hopefully Schumaker splitting that third outield slot. I’ll really be crossing my fingers for Taguchi to get his swing back, though.

4) Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Astros, Pirates, Reds

5) The one big doubt I had was Looper as a starter. I’m glad that doubt has been erased. Also, though he’s quite a way from coming back to the majors, I never seriously thought Ankiel would transition as well as he has to the outfield.

6) Sorry, all of my teams got knocked out in the first two rounds, so I’m boycotting the rest of the tournament.

7) It’s a week too late, but I’d kill to see a St. Patrick’s day bill with the Dropkick Murphys (original lineup with Mike McColgan) opening for The Pogues.

1. With out question, infield. With Albert, Scott, Adam and David, it might be the best infield in the national league.

2.The rotation, we have two rookies (practically), a convert and a rehab. granted we do have one of the best aces around though. We will be allright, we are just un proven.

3. edmonds and duncan, and the j-rod, preston and so. We should trade jaun. J-rod can hit .300+ and we need runs.

4. Cards, Cubs, Brew Crew, Astros, Pirates, reds

5. I like Shumaker, but seeing how Dove is going to through makes me excited, I know it is a long shot, but I think he can be a big asset out of the pen. what an adjustment this guy has made.

6.Who cares, I only watch sports between opening day and the SUPER BOWL.

7.

Wow…question #8
How about original Fleetwood Mac ( the blues band w/3 guitar players) + The Original Allman Bros. Band + Derek and the Dominoes joined by Duane Allman and maybe Otis Redding.

1. Infield…obviously
2. Rotation, not convinced yet

3. Edmonds, Duncan, Encarnacion, J Rod, Wilson,So T… wouldn’t mind JRod getting 3rd most

4. StL, Cubbies, Brewers, Astros, Reds, Buccos

5. + Izzys health

– Kinneys injury

6. Ohio St, Florida, UCLA, N.Carolina my 4 are all still alive

7. David Crowder Band, Third Day, Lynard Skynard

1. The infield is tops in both leagues. The rotation is also strong. Eveyone says it is a question mark, but the question should be “Just how great are these going to be?” What a mix! A good strong,veteran ace and two young strong arms that already have an idea how to pitch in Wainwright and Reyes. This staff will be very good.
2. Outfield. Duncan will be fine defensively and will continue to develop offensively. Edmonds is not getting younger, but has at least one to two strong years left. The bench platoon is strong. Though this team has no weaknesses… this is the least strong.

3. TLR will get the most out of the bench. He always seems to know when someone will be strong or get hot. My guess is most bats to So, then Spiezio, next JRod and Preston last, though I would like to see JRod and Spiezio move ahead of So.

4. Cardinals, Cubs, Brewers, Reds, Astros, Pirates.

5. Pos = Isringhausen’s apparent recovery.

Neg = Out of respect for our host I won’t discuss at length…I just hope TLR will be ok and this was a one time deal…addictions can develop in anyone…and they destroy everyone around them.

6. Ohio St., N. Carolina, UCLA, Florida

7. I don’t know if this makes sense….. trying to do favorites of each decade…40′s Glenn Miller 50′s The Lettermen 60′s The Beach Boys 70′s Bread 80′s John Denver 90′s & 00′s (I am an old guy…. I need suggestions for something that goes with the previous 5).

I forgot to close with my prediction…. Cardinals will win over 100 again this year.

1. The infield is about as solid as they come

2. The outfield is a bit of a concern because of injury. We are deep out there defensively but really need the offense of Jimmy and Juan to provide some protection for Pujols and to help relieve some of the pressure off of our young starters.

3. Edmonds plays everyday and gets the most at bats. Duncan next followed by Encarnacion. As far as bench players go I think Wilson gets the most followed by Taguchi and Rodriguez. I also think Spezio will get quite a few at bats in the outfield.

4. Stl. Mil. Chi. Hou. Pit.

5. I have a little different take on this than most. I thing that the most positive thing to come out of spring training is the progression of Colby Rasmus. We really need a viable option in center in a few years. It would be fantastic if that player could be young and come from within the organization. The Cards are going to have to make a decision in a few years about what to do with Pujols and Rolen. It would be nice to save a little bit of money to help facilitate keeping them (well Pujols at least!)

6. Ohio St. North Carolina Florida Kansas

7. This is a tough one:

Dylan & Jimi

i forgot to include Cin. in my predictions….sandwich them between Mil and Chi

1. Suprisingly, the strongest aspect of the Cardinbals in Spring Training has been the starting pitching.
2. The OF has to be the biggest concern now with Edmonds and Encarnacion still out of the line-up.

3. When everyone is healthy in the OF, the three starters will be Duncan LF, Edmonds CF, and Encarnacion RF. Wilson should get occasional starts/AB in LF against some tough LH pitchers; Taguchi will get only occasioanl ABs in CF when Edmonds needs a day-off; and Spezio will get some ABs in RF if Encarnacion isn’t hitting well. Rodriquez may get a few ABs in right as well if he stays on the team. I have a feeling though that Schumacher will stay with team out of spring training and Rodriquez will get cut when Edmonds and Encarnacion are ready to go.

4. NL Central Finish

1. Cardinals

2. Houston

3. Milwaukee

4. Chicago

5. Cincinnati

6. Pittsburgh

5. The most positive development out of spring training has to be the performance of starting pitchers but the season hasn’t started yet.

6.

Too late for this one.

7.

Marshall Tucker Band

The Allman Brothers

Lynyrd Skynyrd

1.Infield
2.Outfield

3.Dunc/Edmonds/Encarnacion

4.STL,CIN,MIL,HOU,CHI,PIT

5.Rotation (a positive)

6.It’s set.

7.The Replacements, The Clash, and Gang of Four

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