Sad day

Jim Edmonds was released by the Padres today, and it’s hard to envision someone picking him up. If he’s done, it’s a too-soon and too-drastic end to a brilliant career.

I’ve never seen anyone play better for a stretch of more than a few days than Edmonds did for the middle portion of 2004. He was truly spectacular. Cripes, the dude SLUGGED .952 in July of that season. Plus the defense, of course.

Edmonds was at the heart of the best series I ever saw, and likely ever will see, the 2004 NLCS. His Game 6 homer stands as probably the most exciting moment I’ve covered, even ahead of the heroics at the end of Game 7 in 2006. His catch in Game 7 was as good as I had seen — until I saw Endy Chavez rob Rolen in 2006.

Personally, Jim was a tough nut to crack for me. For the first couple of years I covered him, I didn’t get him and sometimes didn’t like him. But the more I dealt with him, the more I got where he was coming from. I definitely grew to like him, to the extent that any of us actually knows any of the people we cover. He was insightful and thoughtful; though I’d note that he was absolutely useless when you wanted a quote about his OWN successes.

For me, he’s a Hall of Famer. Eight CF Gold Gloves, 363 HR, lifetime 377 OBP and 526 SLG and plenty of October highlights.

Good luck, Jim, whatever you do next.
-M.

40 Comments

Good luck, Jimmy…Wonderful, wonderful Cardinal…truly appreciate your contributions and career…

During the 2004-2005 offseason (after the Cardinals did their disappearing act versus the Red Sox in the World Series), I played those 2004 NLCS highlights from the website every time I needed a pick-me-up. I still get goosebumps watching the Game 6 walk-off home run. What a truly great competitor while he was in his prime.

It IS sad. I’ve always loved watching Jimmy play and will miss him. I wish him well in his life after baseball.

This is truly sad. After Gibson, Jimmy is my favorite all-time cardinal and it’s just awful seeing him this low. He really should make it to the hall of fame. I really hope he finds something to do that makes him happy. Whether that’s retirement or another gig. Good luck, Jimmy!

I truly wish Jimmy all of the best. He is my all-time favorite Cardinal (that’s saying a lot). At his best, he epitomized everything that I wish I could’ve been as a ballplayer. I hated it when he was traded, though I understood why……I hate this even more.

Sadly, I fear that niether him or Larry Walker will ever be imortalized in Cooperstown…….if I only had a vote, if Cardinal’s Nation only had a vote!

I wish he could come back for 1 game, and retire as a Cardinal.

We love you Jimmy!

I think it may be a nice touch if the cardinals did sign him for a day and let him retire on his own terms.

may the baseball gods and God smile on you Jimmy!

Matt,
What are the chances of Jim returning to St. Louis? It’d be nice to see him retire as a Cardinal.

It is very unfortunate for him to have been released by a team near his home in Irvine, CA. I was truly sad at first when he was traded, and now to see him cut by another team is disappointing. Maybe he can reliquish himself!

A one-day contract sounds good to me, but let’s be realistic: the team is better with someone else in that roster spot. Let’s not let sentimentality — which, don’t get me wrong, is a good thing — interfere with playing winning baseball.

Every baseball player comes to the end of the line sooner or later. Most do it as early exits following a cup of coffee. Some arrive as flaming wreckage; others get therr as pale shadows of what they once were; only a very few go out in a blaze of glory (think Will Clark, disgustingly enough). If a one-day appearance allows Jed to “orchestrate his own exodus,” as Lou Brock put it going into his own last year, that’s not a bad thing. But prolonging the pale-shadow act isn’t in anyone’s interest.

He wouldn’t be signing a one day big league contract. He would be signing a minor league deal, so he could be part of an organization, and then retire.

If he gets signed anywhere, it’ll probably be on a minor league contract, or it’ll probably be as a bench player, who will see most of his playing time in Left Field or 1st Base, and any other at bats would probably be pinch hit at bats. But most likely he’ll retire, I just wish he’d take Isringhausen into retirement with him, if he does go.

lets look at the bigger issues……izzy needs to be let go……there are no more excuses….u guys look at this…..we should be atleast 6GAMES up on the cubs by now….but no….izzy has blown 5 games….5…..how many more times can tony run him out there when people like mclellan dominate………this needs to be adressed NOW!!!…i just wanna no how many more times u can run him out there to blow a great performance by a pitcher…..especially after todd gets outta that jam in the 6 th………its killing us guys…..

Because, people in the Cardinals organization don’t look at the fact he’s blow 5 saves, has 1 win and 4 losses, and an ERA of 7.47, they look at the fact that he has 11 saves and obviously think that makes him good, just ask Tony, he’ll reply, “He’s got 11 saves, that means I can trust him with the game on the line.” Anyone else thinks that just sounds completely and utterly stupid? His time is up, why can’t they just see this?

I’m as big of and Izzy fan as there is out there, but this year it’s like something is missing. He is healthy and his pitches look good but unfortunately he can’t avoid the barrels anymore. This year he really baffles me, he either goes 1-2-3 and looks like the stellar closer that he is known to be or he gets rocked or has no control…or worst of all he gets the first 2 out with no problems and then just loses it that easy. Izzy is a very proud man and hearing him after tonight shows me why I like him so much…he is a man and admits he isn’t right for the role right now and has to right himself. I think at least for the time being it’s time to try someone else weather its Mclellan or Perez from AAA. I’m really tired of seeing 6 or 7 or 8 quality innings of pitching and team play go out the window on the count of one man. Guess we will see what they all decide after their meeting.

I agree, Izzy has blown three consecutive saves. Since it is just a fraction into the season, it is time to right the ship before the whole season is lost. He has lost the tenacity it takes to be a true closer in the major leagues. Maybe the cards should have kept Precival and let Izzy go. This is hard because I have been a fan of his since he was in Oakland. When he is on the mound he just doesn’t look comfortable. People must remember, in the MLB it isn’t what have you done for me in the past, it is what have you done for me lately.

I’m even more worried about what the blown saves are doing to the Card’s young pitchers. They have been pitching their hearts out then have to watch their work go down the drain. Sooner or later, this will erode their confidence as well and may lead to problems in the clubhouse. I trust that Izzy himself will know when it’s time to pull the plug. While not necessarily the greatest choices , it would appear that maybe Franklin and Villone could share the closer duties.

I agree that they need to do something with Izzy but I don’t agree with slata4 that his pitches look fine. I think he is leaving the ball up in the strike zone and his pitches don’t seem to have much movement. He is also walking a lot of hitters in crucial situations which indicates to me he is having problems with location. His mound demeanor (his body language and his breathing patterns) remind me a lot of what I saw during the pre-hip surgery melt down. It makes you wonder if he is feeling the pain again. If so he needs to say something so they can take action. I think LaRussa/Duncan need to get the truth from him and if he is healthy but just doesn’t have it right now then send him to AAA to get his form back. But I REALLY hope that they don’t let this spin out of control and end up in a hole they can’t get out of.

Based on the interview quoted over at VEB, it looks like Izzy gets the point, for which I respect him greatly.

Back on Jed, are there restrictions on how long a contracted player must stick in the bigs after arriving there before officially retiring? One possibility I could see is for him to sign a minor-league contract, “play” there until the next home stand, get brought up and make one pinch-hitting appearance (to tumultuous applause), and retire after the game. Doing it that way won’t particularly help the team (as if any appearances by a guy batting .178/.265/233 would, and yes, that means you, Jason LaRue…), but to borrow a phrase from the webcomic business, it’s marvelous “fanservice.” That could well be worth the expense of hiring him just in terms of revenue and retention of our famously loyal fan base.

So, pdub, what does your comment have to do with Jim Edmonds?

Come on, folks, I’ve had this blog for three years and I still have to ask you not to hijack threads? Seriously. It’s childish, it’s annoying, and it’s not welcome.

-M.

Sorry if this seems like a disrespectful thing to say Matthew, it is not at all intended to sound disrespectful. But will you please write a blog about Jason Isringhausen, because it is an interesting topic to talk about. If you would please do this, I would strongly appreciate it. Thank you sir, and have a nice day!

See above.
-M.

There are absolutely no restrictions when it comes to retirement. You can retire immediately after signing a contract, after 10 years, or play till the day you die. Usually when a contract is signed like the former, the one we want Jimmy to sign, the management knows the outside situation and signs it for league min. Absolutely no risk, only positive reward.

I was horribly upset when Jim left the Cards in December, but figured it’s what he wanted to do. I almost cried yesterday when my brother told me he’d been released. I wish he’d stayed with the Cards, so he could have hung up his glove with the fanfare he deserves. I’ve loved Edmonds since the first game I saw him play in Colorado(the day after the snowed out one)–and I enjoyed seeing his home run at the Diamondbacks game last year–the Cards lost, but seeing his homer made the game worthwhile for me. I’ll definitely miss my all-time favorite centerfielder.

I also believe the Cardinals should sign Jim Edmonds if there is that possibility. He should be allowed to either play when it suits the situation or retire as a Cardinal. Personally I think he has a year or two left and the Cardinal Fans will rejuvenate him! Ha well they would give him a great reception.

i read that you aren’t doing as many blogs and such…..im new to the blog….and a HUGE cards fan from peoria,IL……i just wanted to get my feelings out there and i knew there were many other fans that wanted to say something as that is obvious with all the comments…..no intent to be disrespectful and i didn’t think it was a big deal and still dont….

and i really dont want to be mean or get on ur bad side…..but how in any way is a fan trying to say something disrespectful and childish…..?????

M just doesn’t want people to get off topic. This is a thread about Edmonds’ release, not a place to complain about Izzy. There’s a thread for you to now do that.

If Jimmy is ready to retire, then I say sign the minimum or whatever it is that management can do, and let him retire as a Cardinal. You can say what you want about sentiment being a thing of the past, non-productive, or whatever. As someone with love and respect for the game, I still feel that there is a place for doing the right thing. In this case, the right thing would be to give Jimmy the opportunity to go out with his head up and give the fans a huge morale boost. In a “what have you done for me lately?” world, this would be most refreshing. Whatever the outcome, we love you Jimmy, we wish you only the best, and we thank you for the memories.

There needs to be a petition for the signing of arguably one of the best Centerfielders ever so that he can retire a Cardinal and go out with the dignity that a packed Busch would give him. I also HATED to see him go. How do we get the word to Mo. I know its probably VERY LOW on his radar… but if there was anyway…. oh man… gives me chills just thinking about it…

He doesn’t want to retire yet. So if you signed him, he’d have to play till the end of the year. No one-day deal at this point. And given the outfield situation, it just doesn’t make any sense for the team at this point.

-M.

As a Cubs fan, the thought of this guy putting on a Cubs uniform makes me feel like I’ve been sucker punched by my own GM. This is a sad day for Cub fans everywhere.

It’s a sad day for us cards fans too. We love Jim Edmonds, glad to see that he is still playing but wish it was for someone else.

Sometimes y’all baffle me. Honestly.

Why is it a sad day for Cub fans? If the guy’s got something left, he’ll HELP YOUR TEAM. If not, he’ll be released.

Why is it a sad day for Cardinals fans? You should be happy that this guy is going to hook on somewhere. He wasn’t ready to hang it up, so good for him that he doesn’t have to.

This ain’t exactly like Johnny Damon taking a massive contract with NYY after saying he wouldn’t go there.

-M.

Don’t get me wrong M, I’m glad that he is getting a chance at playing. I just wish it was for a team that we aren’t going to be contending with for the division.

M…dude…maybe this is a gap in perspective…from the standpoint of a regular ‘ol Cards fan, this is sad because I want to root FOR Jim but AGAINST the Cubs…therefore, inner conflict – GAH!…I hope the best for Jim…honestly…and I hope he has six game-winning homeruns for the Cubs this year…but at the same time, that means the Cubs stand a better chance at beating the Cards out for the division…how is this quandry difficult to understand?

I am happy for the guy, but I WISH it was for another team.

You know…someone on the post dispatch forum made an interesting point…

IF we HAVE to watch the Cubs win a World Series this year (not saying they will…just saying IF it happens), wouldn’t it be great as a Cards fan to at least be able to say, “Yeah, you won it…but after 100 years, it took a true Cardinal to get you there…”

hehe…

Fair enough, and I probably overstated it…

-M.

eh…and I was just kinda’ messin’ with ya’ with my tone…hence the use of the word “quandry”… :)

okay…Matt, you were totally right…I just watched (via Gameday) as Jimmy came up to bat for the first time as a Cub…I found myself hoping/rooting he a got a hit (AND hating myself for hoping the Cubs got a hit)…how conflicted I feel…ugh…I really want Jimmy to show the Cubs exactly what he can do…

Hehe…of course, the result was just like the Cubs…Jimmy came up with a man on 3rd with 1 out…but Ramirez screwed up, ran home on a past ball, got tagged out, and then Jimmy singled…so Good for Jim and Good for Cards fans…hehehehe…

I still miss Jimmy in a Cardinal’s uniform, but I am happy for him that he has a place with the Cubs (although I must say red is still his best color!). While I will always wish that Jimmy could have retired as a Cardinal, it isn’t a sad day for me as a fan….maybe just a little bittersweet. Good luck Jimmy and thanks always for some really great memories!

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