Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

Drew Baur passes away

Andrew N. “Drew” Baur, one of the Cardinals owners and the team’s treasurer, has passed away. He was 66.

Baur was a native St. Louisan and one of the club’s directors since 1996. In addition to his work with the Cardinals, he was also a former chairman of Southwest Bank.
Baur had three children, Andrew, Todd and McKay, and six grandchildren.
A statement from the club is forthcoming.

Friday camp photo gallery

I finally got to get out and watch a little practice today, and I took the camera. So here are a few photos from today’s action. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to shoot the big boys throwing their bullpens, because we were having a long chat with TLR while that was going on. But there’s plenty of time left in camp.

As always, click on the thumbnail in order to see the full photo. And, as always, the disclaimer: I’m neither a photographer nor a web designer, so I apologize that this isn’t fancier. But it’s what I saw, and I figure you folks might like to see it too.
110218-stretch.jpg 110218-holliday-BP2.jpg 110218-holliday-BP3.jpg 110218-craig-BP.jpg 
110218-freese-BP1.jpg 110218-freese-BP2.jpg 110218-bullpens.jpg 110218-walters-bullpen.jpg
First row: pre-practice stretch on field one, two shots of Matt Holliday taking BP and one of Allen Craig taking BP.
Second row: two shots of David Freese taking BP, one of P.J. Walters, Adam Ottavino and Fernando Salas throwing on the bullpen mounds, and one of just Walters.
-M.

Friday camp tidbits: The circus has left town

It finally felt like Spring Training today.

As TLR walked up to the diminished group of reporters, he quipped, “I’m sorry I’m late. I thought it was all over.”
And then he went into a 40-minute chat with the scribes, covering all sorts of ground. Heck, I even saw some batting practice and bullpen sessions today! So let’s talk baseball, rather than contracts.
* The Cardinals will be announcing some news with Jim Edmonds later today. FOX Sports Midwest is reporting that the news will be that Edmonds is giving up his comeback attempt, though it was unclear whether that meant he’s actually retiring or merely pushing things back for a while. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, meanwhile, just reported that Edmonds is in fact retiring.
Either way, TLR said we won’t be seeing Edmonds here tomorrow at the least.
* La Russa flew up to Atlanta last night for a function with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, an event also attended by Gen. Hal Moore. 
* According to the manager, David Freese should expect to play two out of every three games for a good portion of the season. Asked if he’d be pleased with Freese getting 110 starts this year, La Russa said he’d be just fine with that.
* TLR spoke yesterday with Tyler Greene about playing center field. He’s excited about the possibility of seeing Greene in the outfield.
* As we were standing around talking, several home run balls from a batting practice session peppered the media session and the bullpen mounds. Upon realizing that it was Ryan Theriot launching the blasts, La Russa joked, “That’s either a good sign or a bad sign.”
Today’s playlist:
Keith Richards, “Wicked As It Seems”
The Clash, “Clampdown”
Sugar, “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”
Screaming Trees, “Nearly Lost You”
Nirvana, “Serve the Servants”
-M.

Lucky Seven rides again

OK, you guys know the drill. Answer as many as you like, or as few as you want. But if you don’t know or don’t care or whatever, just ignore it. No reason to take shots.

And I do believe this Lucky Seven will be a Pujols-free zone.
1. How many regular-season games will Jim Edmonds play in for the Cardinals in 2011?
2. Where in the batting order (not where on the field — what place in the batting order, 1-9) will Lance Berkman get the most plate appearances this year? Where SHOULD he get the most plate appearances?
3. Who will get the most plate appearances as the Cardinals leadoff man this year? Who should?
4. If you were the manager, who would be the Opening Day starting pitcher?
5. Which team is the best in the National League Central?
6. Who’s going to win the Daytona 500?
7. What’s your favorite awards show? Why?
-M.

Pujols talks over

Albert Pujols will not sign a new contract with the Cardinals this spring. Negotiations came to an end on Wednesday morning, more than an hour prior to the slugger’s self-imposed 11 a.m. CT Wednesday deadline. Thus, he will break off all contract talks until after the season ends. 
A Major League source told MLB.com on condition of anonymity that negotiations had ceased. The club has not formally confirmed the news.
Pujols had reportedly sought a 10-year deal, with some outlets reporting that he wanted $300 million over that span. SI.com reported on Tuesday night that the Cardinals had offered an eight-year contract worth under $30 million per year but likely more than $25 million per year, while the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the club was “weighing” a guaranteed eighth year as of Wednesday morning.
Pujols was expected to be in the Jupiter area on Wednesday, but according to a club official, he does not intend to report to camp until Thursday. The formal report day for Cardinals infielders and outfielders isn’t until Friday, with full-squad workouts beginning Saturday.
St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak and the team’s principal owner, Bill DeWitt Jr., plan to address reporters on Wednesday afternoon. It’s unclear when, or even whether, Pujols or his agent, Dan Lozano, intends to speak about the matter. An enormous media throng has descended upon the Cardinals complex to cover the developments.
Though no deal was reached, at least two more stages of this process remain. Even if Pujols refuses to entertain any discussion until the Cardinals’ season is over, the Cardinals would still have one more exclusive opening. Clubs maintain exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents until five days after the World Series ends. 
After that, Pujols would go to free agency if he were still unsigned, at which time the club could still find itself the highest bidder. That was the situation last winter, when Matt Holliday re-upped after hitting the open market.
Pujols will receive $16 million in 2011, the final season of a deal that will end up paying him $111 million over eight years.
-M.

Opening Day roster projection, first guess

I’m getting an early start on this feature this year. This is an informed guess, and I’ll update it as the spring goes along.

Starting pitchers (5)
Adam Wainwright
Chris Carpenter
Jake Westbrook
Jaime Garcia
Kyle Lohse
Relief pitchers (7)
Ryan Franklin
Kyle McClellan
Jason Motte
Mitchell Boggs
Miguel Batista
Trever Miller
Brian Tallet
Catchers (2)
Yadier Molina
Gerald Laird
Infielders (6)
Albert Pujols
Skip Schumaker
Ryan Theriot
David Freese
Nick Punto
Tyler Greene
Outfielders (5)
Matt Holliday
Colby Rasmus
Lance Berkman
Allen Craig
Jon Jay
Not a lot of controversy there. And obviously subject to change.
-M.

Monday camp tidbits: Pujols, Edmonds, Valdes

It must really be Spring Training, as tidbits have returned. I’ll hopefully be doing these all spring — a quick morning look at both the stories I’ll be working on as the day goes on as well as those nuggets that don’t quite make it into a story.

* I’ve already put this up elsewhere, but in case you’ve missed it, John Mozeliak announced this morning that Wednesday at noon is the zero hour for getting a Pujols deal done. A short story on that is available at this link, and I’ll have more on it later today.
* Jim Edmonds’ situation seems dicier every day. Mozeliak said that Edmonds will speak with the medical staff today, but TLR said that it’s his understanding that Edmonds isn’t even “walking around briskly” as of a couple of days ago. Still, it sounds like club and player are both open to some situation where Edmonds opens the year in extended Spring Training, or something like that.
* Raul Valdes is the only late arrival, delayed due to visa issues. Mozeliak didn’t sound too concerned about it.
* Among today’s non-pitching arrivals were Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Ryan Theriot.
* Thirteen pitchers were on the schedule to throw bullpens today: Jaime Garcia, Jake Westbrook, Adam Wainwright, Ryan Franklin, Kyle McClellan, Ian Snell, Fernando Salas, Brian Tallet, P.J. Walters, Bryan Augenstein, Brandon Dickson, Adam Ottavino and Valdes. Obviously Valdes didn’t throw…
And now the playlist is courtesy of the iTunes “genius” function”
The Black Keys, “Stack Shot Billy”
The White Stripes, “Catch Hell Blues”
Cold War Kids, “Mexican Dogs”
Modest Mouse, “Heart Cooks Brain”
Sleater-Kinney, “Turn It On”
-M.

T-minus 49 hours

There’s now, officially, an announced deadline in the Albert Pujols negotiations.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Monday that talks between the team and agent Danny Lozano will come to an end on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m. CT. The deadline has been pushed back from Tuesday, partly out of respect for Stan Musial. “Stan the Man” will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Tuesday.
“One of the things we wanted to make sure is, tomorrow’s a very big day for Stan Musial,” Mozeliak said on Monday morning. “And it wouldn’t make any sense to have a large distraction for that special day, given the amount of respect we have for that man. So it only makes sense to make sure we weren’t trying to have a lot of things going on, given what’s happening tomorrow in Washington.”
-M.

Holliday: I would defer some money for Pujols

Matt Holliday said Friday morning on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” that he would be willing to defer some money from his current contract to help the Cardinals pay Albert Pujols. However, Holliday made it clear that the club has not approached him about such a possibility.

“I deferred $2 million a year for the whole contract,” Holliday told Doug Gottlieb on the show, “and I would be willing, if they came to me and said, ‘Hey, this is what it’s going to take to get Albert done, would you do it again or do more?’ Scott [Boras, Holliday's agent] probably wouldn’t like me to stay that, but if that’s what it took, I would be willing to do that.”
Two things need to be noted here, however.
First, Holliday explained that no such suggestion has been broached by the club. He told me this morning that the comment was “very hypothetical.”
Second, Holliday’s deal runs through 2016, which would be the fifth year of a new deal for Pujols. It’s very difficult to envision a deal being made or broken based on the relatively small amount that Holliday might defer, especially in the first five years of a deal. It’s a nice gesture, but it’s hard to imagine it having any real impact on the negotiations, even if it were actually to happen.
-M.

More on Gonzalez

Hey, check it out, two blog posts in three days! Must be getting close to Spring Training.

I put up a brief story yesterday about the Cardinals’ agreement with Dominican right-hander Fernando Gonzalez, and you can follow this link to read it. In the interim, though, I heard from a couple of Cardinals front-office folks, so I wanted to pass along some more info on the 16-year-old pitcher in case you were interested.
This is from farm director John Vuch:
“Gonzalez is an intriguing young kid. He’s 6’4 and very lean right now, making him very projectable. He’s got a very nice changeup already that projects as a future out pitch. While his velocity is currently a tick below average, with his age and size there’s plenty of reason to believe he’ll pick up additional velocity as he matures. Also throws a curve for his breaking pitch, and looks to be at least an average pitch for him down the road.”
Meanwhile, vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow said that the club had a number of scouts, including four based in the U.S., look at Gonzalez and all came away impressed.
-M.
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