Monday camp tidbits

* Saw a few guys throw today, but one who stood out was Jason Motte. The guy has a seriously big arm. I’ll be featuring him in my notebook later today. Meanwhile, every time I talk to any member of the brass, the pitching name that keeps coming up is Kyle McClellan. They all love him.

* One thing to note — it seems like every time I or the P-D talks to John Mozeliak about outfielders, the three names he mentions are Ankiel, Duncan and Ludwick. TLR is obviously much more reluctant to single out players at this point in camp, so he’s harder to get a read on. But as far as the GM goes, it definitely appears that Ludwick is in good position. And rightly so, IMO — he’s a valuable player.

* The Cards worked out Kris Honel, former White Sox farmhand, today. One-time first-round pick who throws hard and has had trouble harnessing it.

* The FOTs (Friends of Tony) have started showing up. Today, former Packers GM Ron Wolf was around, and I hear Bob Knight may be soon to follow. Basketballer John Havlicek has also made an appearance.

* Looking like we could get rain for Wednesday’s SLU game. Ugh.

* Wainwright vs Santana on Friday. Sure, it’s only two innings each, but that’s good stuff.

Check out my mailbag and notebook, as well as a column from Mike Bauman, later today.

-M.

11 Comments

Dude,
I have a couple quetions about your article on Scottie and David Eck. In it you said, “But the fact is, it’s difficult to imagine the Cards not moving Rolen.”

Why is that a fact? And why is is so difficult to imagaine? It would have been easy to keep him if we hadn’t resigned LaRussa. THAT, to me, was the club’s mistake. If LaRussa were gone we’d still have our Gold Glove 3B and CF. BOTH left because of LaRussa. Scott because they couldn’t get along, and Jimmy because he didn’t want to be LaRussa’s bench warmer. He KNOWS he can still contribute more than a two or three hundred ABs.

OK… let’s rephrase…

*Once La Russa returned* it became difficult to imagine etc etc etc

-M.

Matt,

I’m wondering if you could comment on the advantages / disadvantages on a few roster issues. It did not look to me like much of a youth movement looking at your latest projected 25. How do you analyze Barton vs Juan Gon, Ludwick vs Schumaker, Ryan vs Miles, Villone vs McLellan? I’m curious who you would keep in the 25 vs TLR going with the aging vets for yet another year?

Matt,

How about a two-fer for Tuesday … I got the impression the Redbirds may not have stayed on track last year during spring training given the issues with TLR and the DUI, Josh Hancock’s apparent alcohol issues, Spezio’s substance issues. Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems like a lot of stuff that may have had roots in complacency from a 2006 championship. Do you sense a different atmosphere and/or intensity at camp this year?

That’s a good question Scott. I have wondered that,too. Dude, do you think the team had trouble being a cohesive unit while all this went on last season? I mean, who wouldn’t lose some respect for a “manager” with a law degree who fell asleep while intoxicated behind the wheel?
I’m sure some guys had a problem respecting the decision making of that guy.

I don’t see it, SLF. I doubt that very many of the players have lived lives of such completely abstemious sobriety that they could cast stones at TLR themselves. There were plenty of other personal-dynamics issues that would have been more likely to interfere with spring training, and yet I don’t see any evidence that the problems the team had were planted there. It wasn’t spring training that made Edmonds suddenly get old, or Carpenter get hurt, or Rolen get sulky.

I agree. There were some personality problems last year, but the main problem was staying healthy. No one could. Being healthy, and staying healthy, has very little to do with personality clashes with the manager.

Canbelto,

“Abstemious” … great word. We have to meet and play Scrabble sometime!

Maybe if you ask too many probing questions of the Manager, Bobby Knight will throw a chair at you.

*rimshot*

I’ll be here all week, folks. Try the veal.

–Mrs. Dude

And this from a Knight fan, no less!

-M.

canbelto and matto,
Thanks for your input on my question. I was really asking M,though, because he is actually around the team during the season. You guys can only guess the same as me.You can only observe the same things I do, by watching at Busch or on TV. What I would like to know is did the Dude see any signs of dissent besides Scottie. I mean, it’s not as if this is a first time for LaRussa to anger a player and to push a player toward asking for a trade. He gets under a players skin on a yearly basis. The only question is: Who will it be this year?

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