Sunday morning — moves confirmed

* Ryan Ludwick up from Memphis, batting sixth and playing right field.

* Preston Wilson on DL with sore right knee.

* Brian Falkenborg up from Memphis, present and available.

* Dennis Dove optioned back to Memphis.

* Also, Adam Kennedy becomes the seventh different leadoff man in the last seven games.

-M.

21 Comments

It looks to be a long, hot summer: the Cardinals’ roster and lineup are as stormy as the weather and only slightly more predictable.

But that’s OK. The Birds gave us an amazing gift last summer: they limped through the regular season, backed into the playoffs, but won the World Series because they simply wanted it more than anyone else in the league. Did anyone really expect them to repeat? No one in their right mind did.

This year’s team looks to be very good at times and very bad at other times, with not much room in the middle. If we finish above .500, it will be a good year. There are just too many holes and too many journeyman and ordinary players at key positions.

Meaning no disrespect to any of the players (they are in the Majors, after all), but we must face the facts that Molina is adequate, at best; Kennedy is a stop-gap until a first-rate second baseman is available or ready; Eckstein has a great heart but is no Craig Biggio; and the outfield is anchored by a rapidly aging and injury-prone Jim Edmonds – who can still show flashes of greatness but whose glory days are in the rear-view mirror. He is flanked by mediocrity.

The pitching is decimated now but, even when it was healthy (including Mulder) did not have five quality starters. Things drop off rapidly after Carpenter. The bullpen lacks a dominant and intimidating closer.

(Ask yourself this: how many position players could start for the better clubs in the league, i.e., Atlanta, Mets, Yankees, Boston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago (AL), or even Baltimore? After Pujols and Rolen, there’s . . . )

But the 2007 team is still the St. Louis Cardinals and play in the greatest baseball city in the world before the most knowledgeable fans in all of sports. So let’s be loyal and supportive, but realistically gracious. This team is just not that good.

Nevertheless, I’ll wear my Cardinals hat with pride here in the shadow of whatever-the-name-of-Houston’s-stadium-is. After 46+ years of being a fan, I’m not about to stop now.

Mike

(Suffering through the Diaspora here among the ignorant heathens of Texas)

Couldn’t have said it better myself. ESPECIALLY the last line. I nearly busted a gut laughing. But I must say I disagree about Yadier. He, in my mind, is one of the bright spots so far this season. Altough he’s not tearing the cover off, he is hitting much better early in the season than usual for him. It may not be saying much, but he’s on his way to a career year at the plate. And behind the plate, of course, no one can question his ability there.

Do the Cardinals need a new hitting coach, maybe?

I love Jim Edmonds, but I believe the Cardinals could have spent their money better on another player. I would love to have the Cardinals eventually get a lead-off hitter with .375 or beter OBA, and the abiliy to steal 50 bases. I realize that type of player is not easy to receive.

I just noticed Jeff Weaver so far is off to an AWFUL start with Seattle. Maybe Seattle will eventually release him this season, and the Cardinals can sign him with Seattle paying most of his salary. He can then pitch brilliantly for the Cardinals for the rest of 2007, and sign with another American League team for 2008.(I am being sarcastic)

It’s time to shake things up. We are one week into May and this club continues to be the worst Cardinal club I have seen in over 40 years. They are not sound in fielding, base running, advancing runners, hitting, etc. I think it’s time to start with a new hitting coach to see if anyone can get a quality at-bat. There is no leadership and the money players seem to be basking in a fog. I say sit them down for about a week to let them decide if they want to play or not.

Sadly, the offensive problems are deeper than making contact. The 2007 Cards are not a team that can score 4 runs on 4 hits, because they lack power AND speed. We’ve stranded all kinds of base runners already because runners on first stay on first unless the next batter chases them off the bag. This team of atrophied arms isn’t going to hit 3 HR’s a game like early this decade, and the atrophied legs aren’t going to make pitchers and catchers nervous, hold infielders on the bag to open hitting lanes, and advance runners like our last World Series champions. Worst of all, I don’t expect wholesale improvements without some major staffing changes to regain some strength and/or speed. Regardless of what should have been done in the off-season, the coaches are doing their best with what they have right now.

Agree with James, here. We can’t offer our pitchers run support so even when Reyes gets his **** together like last night, we still lose. Trade edmonds while we can still get something for him, even if its just prospects. Trade eckstein and kennedy for 4 or 5 fast young players. I don’t see how we don’t have to start rebuilding right now. Someone explain to me how we are going to get better this season…?

Even if Pujols returns to form and our pitching becomes semi respectable, we still can’t beat the brewers or cubs. We are in one of the weakest divisions in baseball, if not the weakest and we can’t keep up. I’m glad we won the ‘ship last year because I feel another drought coming on.

Man you guys are so incredibly pessimistic. Come on now. We are not Cub fans.This team cam still be good. All of you seriously think that Eckstein is done? That he can’t hit or field anymore? You’re crazy. You think Rolen will struggle ALL YEAR and so will everyone else except Pujols and maybe Ducan. Right? That’s ridiculous. And I haven’t been alive for forty years, and I can remember some pretty bad seasons we’ve had. 1990-Dead last at 72-90. THIS TEAM WILL NOT BE THAT BAD. All we need is for Ekstein to get going, getting on base. Then Duncan and Pujols will do their thing. Rolen will come along too. He’s an All-Star and it’s not as if he’s in his late 30′s. Edmonds…we’ll see. But I remember last year most people we’re saying they wanted Jimmy to stay a Cardinal and retire a Cardinal. Now those people are quiet, while all of Edmonds detractors are outspoken. I think eventually this season, he will quiet some of those critics. Molina is off to his best start at the dish, although it’s nothing eye-popping. And it looks to me as if we have plenty of guys to fight for those other 2 spots in the order…Encarnacion(when he comes back), Taguchi, Ludwick, Schumaker, Spiezio. Not to mention John Rodriguez and Cody Haerther in Memphis. This is NOT a lost season. IT’S MAY 8TH!!! Not August 8th. What’s wrong with everybody? I guess it’s just because all of the optimists are being quiet optimists, as usual.

OK folks, two things, and I truly can’t believe I still have to remind you guys of this stuff.

1. Keep the tone civil. NO PERSONAL INSULTS. I won’t take it. Bowtiedan, this means you. If you disagree, make your point. Don’t call somebody else delusional. Don’t belittle others. I’m not going to put up with it, and I’m deleting that comment.

2. Enola, I’ve mentioned this before, and deleted a comment for it before. Cheering players injuries will not be tolerated here. Your comment is going to be deleted as well.

I understand people are frustrated, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way or expressing it. But I’ve made it clear to y’all repeatedly that I’m not going to tolerate it when the tone of the conversation ceases to be respectful, courteous and civil.

Thanks.

-M.

Ok just to make sure I am not totally losing my mind but is Clemens really worth THAT KIND OF MONEY? Here is a man that was once great and now all he can see is the money. The Cards will turn this year around yet and I am so proud to see that they aren’t paying for someones ego.

No, you’re not losing it. Clemens certainly is not worth that kind of money… unless you’re the Yankees. And as far as the Cardinals not paying for someone’s ego…That may be true, but don’t tell me everyone in Cardinal nation wouldn’t act like a little girls if we woke up Sunday morning to the words “Clemens a Cardinal” in the St.Louis Post Dispatch. This guy could have asked for part ownership in the team, and if the Cardinals would have taken him up on it, I guarantee there’d be nothing short of a round of applause echoing off the Busch Stadium lawn.

Jim Edmonds has had a great career and, so far, has been what I consider a class act. On the other side, however, if he continues this poor hitting performance much longer, surely he will consider retirement. The season is already 20% over. Time will tell if he continues to be a great sportsman or another Clemens, just after the money.

I agree with enola. It may be “early” (we’re in mid may!!) but the cardinals problems, especially Edmonds, do not appear to be a fluke. Edmonds is not merely slumping. Paying someone 8 million a year to keep Colby Rasmus’ spot warm for him is too much.

As fans, I think we have every right to evaluate the play of the players and to express our concern about the team’s performance. I do not think, however, that we have a right to criticize how much someone is being paid: if Edmonds can get $8M then let him have it. I’m happy for him and do not feel betrayed at all.

The Cardinals are not a public trust and nobody’s taxes are going to increase because he’s batting .211 instead of .311. We do not own the team and are assuming a right we do not have if we condemn Edmonds (or Clemens) for taking money that we, too, would jump at if we had the chance.

Anybody here saying that they would refuse a one-year contract with the Cards for $20M? For $2M? $500K? I didn’t think so.

In fact, I would pay just to sit on the bench! Not much, but I would pay.

Apologies enola, I wasn’t trying to “belittle you” I was simply trying to make a point based on what I’ve seen from certain players. It just so happened that I read your comments shortly before I wrote mine. Anyway, I meant no disrespect, so I hope that you don’t feel like I did.

I’m torn between “staying the course” or moving on to next year.I guess because I’m torn I’ve moved to next year already.Here’s the point,I see this as a golden opportunity to make this club over in just about any area W.J. thinks we need help.Example: the outfield;let
us assume Walt wants to up-grade here.What a perfect time to evaluate our talent, look over other teams talent and begin the ground work for,trades or signings.What if Tampa Bay wanted to unload one of those talented OF they have?We could position ourselves for something, all of this is predicated on this season NOT turning out well for us.I’m asking; are we there yet?

Ok with the leadoff position and outfield position up for grasp I have come up with the most wild idea ever Sign Ricky Henderson To a minor league deal! I know radical but if Julio Franco has it in the tank still I think Rickey could do it too. I mean put him in right lead him off and there you go! I mean shoot Wilson was only hitting .219 with 17 strikeouts only 4 base on balls in 64 at bats! I know it seems crazy but let him groom the young guys in the way the game should be played!
At wits End!

Dan from Des Moines

I wonder how much longer we will continue to see the poor hitting by the Cardinals? Is it possible some of this is due to our hitting coach? Should we be looking for a different one?

Scott from lake of the Ozarks

Hey, I’m beyond words to describe how I felt when the Cards won the Series. But I don’t want to wait until next season to contend. The Front Office better make some moves now or the season will be lost. Not that I would sign Clemons, but what is Walt J. and the Owners doing to help our team? We can’t afford to be cheap this year. But the team as it is right now is a .500 team at best. We Cardinal Fans deserve better. The team deserves to have a better chance to compete to win every possible game.
All I now is that I love my team. And I love my fellow Cardinal Fans. God Bless!

Steve

i think the offense will come around,just give it time. our defense will too. eck will be fine,as will rolen,pujols,duncan,and,yes,edmonds. jimmy has been fantastic for us and has given us alot of great moments over the years. i truly think he has two or three good years left. i saw where someone suggested a move to right or left field,and,i think its a great idea. seems to be working well with griffey.i think right now,our best lineup would be:
lf-edmonds

center- taguchi

rf-duncan

third-rolen

short-eck

second-kennedyfirst-pujols

catcher-molina

ph- spiezio

the offense and defense,as i said,will come around. its our pitching that really worries me. looper is pitching very well,and the rest are REALLY trying,but,i still feel reyes needs bullpen time and wells needs to go. we HAVE to get at least two proven starters,one preferably of a second to front line variety in order to compete. ive followed st louis ever since i was 8 years old,im thirty now,and ,as all of us,ive seen really good years and a couple of horrible years.i think ,as it stands,we can finish in second or third place in our divisionbut,in order to take that next step,pitching must be addresed. its great to be able to come to a place like this and talk to fellow st louis fans. i get alot of insight from ya’ll.thanks for the great posts and have a good one!

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