Results tagged ‘ Matt Holliday ’
Hello from what is likely the most memorable Winter Warm-Up day in the eight years I’ve covered this event. The McGwire introduction and news conference were certainly experience. Hopefully later in the week I’ll be able to post an entire blog entry on all the weirdness, but if you haven’t checked out my tweets and Twitpics, that should provide at least a little color. And I have a story on all of it going up on the site shortly.
Just a few odds and ends from today’s Matt Holliday deal…
* It’s likely that the deal will officially be announced, with a formal news conference, on Thursday rather than tomorrow. The Hall of Fame election announcement is on Wednesday, and they likely will try not to steal any of the spotlight from that.
* I laid out the terms in the story on the site, but here they are in a nutshell just in case. Holliday will receive $17 million for each season from 2010-2016. He has full no-trade protection. If he finishes in the top-10 in MVP balloting in 2016, a $17 million option vests for 2017. According to AP, there is a $1 million buyout if the option does not vest. I was told it is not a club option in any way, simply a vest or no-vest situation. That would make the guaranteed value $120 million (at minimum, $119 million plus the $1 million buyout) with a potential value of $136 million.
* My personal take: I’m fine with the AAV. $17 million per year is pretty reasonable for a player of Holliday’s caliber. I am not at all sold on the combination of seven years and complete no-trade protection. That could definitely put the club in a precarious spot over the final few years of the contract. I think Holliday and Scott Boras got a very good deal.
* By my estimation, the club still has approximately $6-7 million left to spend this winter.
More blogging coming soon, including my top-10 albums of 2009.
The Winter Meetings have just about wrapped up. The media workroom is less than half full, the lobby is empty and all the teams are long gone. A few thoughts before I take a little bit of vacation.
Lots and lots of tidbits from today…
Just got back about an hour ago from the Cardinals’ suite at the Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. Here’s a rundown of some of the newsworthy notes from the media session with John Mozeliak.
Odd looking lineup today against LHP Jorge De La Rosa. Explanations below:
1. Lugo, 2B
2. Ryan, SS
3. Pujols, 1B
4. Ludwick, LF
5. DeRosa, RF
6. Freese, 3B
7. LaRue, C
8. T.Greene, CF
9. Lohse, P
* Matt Holliday is sick and not in the lineup. A few guys have been dealing with illness in the clubhouse for a good while now, and it seems to have hit Holliday. He was in the clubhouse this morning, so it’s not so severe that he stayed back at the hotel or anything. But TLR said last night that he was getting weaker as the game went on, and Holliday is not in today.
* Yadier Molina is still sore after taking a ball off his left knee last night. Tuesday is a possibility for Molina’s return, but far from a certainty. That’s obviously why LaRue is starting.
* De La Rosa has a huge left/right split, which explains a couple of the moves — Lugo, for example. As for the outfield, this was the explanation. If Holliday had been well enough to play, he would have started in the outfield with DeRosa, and Ludwick in center. With Holliday a no-go, they needed another right-hander to play in the outfield, so they went with Greene. TLR said he simply didn’t like the idea of starting either of the LHH center fielders against De La Rosa.
It’s time for some tidbits as I prepare to head home from Milwaukee. This is the best kind of road trip: one that only involves two nights away from home. Will be nice to have the off day before settling in for a nine-game homestand, starting on Friday.
Hopefully I’ll have a Lucky Seven for you tomorrow, plus I’ll be filing an off-day story that will go up on the site during the day. And for any Achievers in St. Louis, don’t forget that tomorrow night, they’ll be screening The Big Lebowski outdoors at Third Degree Glass Factory.
Anyway, on with the tidbits:
* Matt Holliday played down his bruised knee after Wednesday’s game. Still, it can only help that the Cardinals are off on Thursday. See my story on it, with video, at this link.
* Colby Rasmus said he wasn’t really feeling much better on Wednesday than on Tuesday, but he was back in the lineup.
“It don’t seem like nothing that serious to me,” he said. “I’ve played through worse.”
* TLR also said that Ryan Ludwick had a bit of an issue on Tuesday night, dealing with some cramping in his legs. But he said Ludwick checked out fine upon arriving on Wednesday, so there was no hesitation to play him.
* Couldn’t fit this in anywhere on Tuesday night, but John Smoltz said something interesting after the game that night.
“I’ve been told I’m going to start the rest of the year,” he said.
This isn’t exactly earth-shattering, as most of you could probably have figured it out. But TLR has yet to commit so firmly to it, so it was fairly noteworthy.
* During the scribes’ morning chat with the skipper today, we got some more idea of what the callups will look like, once they take place. It sounds like David Freese will not be coming up, as the Cardinals are having a hard enough time getting the guys they have into games at third base. On the other hand, Tyler Greene sounds like he probably will be getting a call.
Beyond that, of course, they expect to call up a third catcher (presumably Matt Pagnozzi) and a left-handed reliever (presumably Royce Ring).
* One more thing off of Tuesday night’s game: speaking of the play where he was visibly annoyed at Brendan Ryan’s baserunning, TLR let Ryan off the hook. He said that at first, he had thought Ryan had gone without the sign from the dugout. But instead, he explained that what happened was a miscommunication between himself and Dave McKay, and Ryan was doing what McKay had indicated he should do.
Today’s playlist comes straight from my iPod. The following sequence came up on shuffle, in this exact order. It was a fun drive to the park this morning.
Mike Doughty, “Sunken-Eyed Girl”
Nine Inch Nails, “1,000,000″
Public Enemy, “Welcome to the Terrordome”
White Rabbits, “Leave It at the Door”
And now, I’m off to catch my flight home.
By Matthew Leach
To folks reading this on Facebook: if you like this, please come visit my blog at Yourenotagolfer.mlblogs.com, as well as checking out StLCardinals.com. And of course for more Cards stuff, follow me on Twitter, where my handle is MatthewHLeach.
On with the tidbits from Dodger Stadium, where of course it’s another perfect night. There are very, very few better settings for baseball than this place. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend making a trip sometime.
* Colby Rasmus has significant swelling in his tonsils and generally isn’t feeling good. That’s why he’s not in the lineup tonight. It’s unclear exactly what his condition is, or how long he’ll be out, but he would have been in there if he were well.
“I started to feel it a little bit yesterday, and the night we got off the plane when we got here,” Rasmus said. “I felt all right yesterday, but today it’s worse. My tonsils are huge right now.”
Ryan Ludwick also has some kind of bug, but to a lesser degree. He’s hoarse and not in tip-top shape, but playable.
The combination means that Matt Holliday is in the lineup. Holliday, who fouled a ball off his toe last night, said he’s feeling fine today. Still, with Billingsley on the mound, TLR had intended to play both Rasmus and Rick Ankiel in the outfield tonight. Instead, Rasmus sits and both right-handed hitters play.
* Kyle Lohse threw a bullpen today and remains on track for a Friday start. He said he lost feel for his pitches in his last start, but declined to attribute it solely to any lingering forearm issues.
* ESPN.com reported tonight that John Smoltz is “strongly leaning” toward signing with the Cardinals once he clears release waivers.
Today’s playlist is all L.A.-related:
Guns N’ Roses, “Rocket Queen”
Motley Crue, “Home Sweet Home”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Taste the Pain”
Rage Against the Machine, “Know Your Enemy”
Metallica, “The Four Horsemen” (they were formed in L.A.)
Matt Holliday is in the starting lineup tonight, as he expected he would be.
Lineup vs RHP Chad Billingsley:
1. Schumaker 2B
2. Ryan SS
3. Pujols 1B
4. Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. Ankiel CF
7. Greene 3B
8. LaRue C
9. Boggs P
All makes sense, only real point of intrigue is Rasmus sitting for a second straight night. Will ask the manager about that. Greene is 7-for-12 against Billingsley.
* Brendan Ryan said today that his sore left ankle has made a great deal of improvement. He hopes to play tomorrow, but that looks very unlikely. Tuesday in New York is definitely not out of the question, though.
“I want to be out there,” Ryan said. “I want to help the team. So if I can help with defense or whatever, I want to be out there. With Carp going today, I would have liked to be behind him, but that’s not going to happen. … But there is that off day after [tomorrow], so they might just bang me regardless. That off day wouldn’t hurt. But we’ll see. It’s either going to be tomorrow or it’s going to be Tuesday. And it’s likely going to be out of my hands.”
* Khalil Greene was activated from the disabled list today, with Mitchell Boggs optioned to Memphis. That doesn’t mean Boggs is out of favor, or anything of the kind. The Cardinals just don’t need a fifth starter until Aug. 11.
As for Greene, he’s not in the starting lineup, and it sounds like he figures in more as a bench player than anything.
Said TLR: “We can definitely use him as a pinch-hitter. I think we’ll look for a start someplace.”
* Several people mentioned last night that on the umpire-interference call, the only contact between Rodriguez and Gary Darling came on Rodriguez’s follow-through. La Russa said that Darling acknowledged that, but told him that even so, it still counts as interference.
* TLR when asked today about Pujols’ health: “He’s got his aches and pains, but he’s feeling good enough. he’s felt like this and gotten a bunch of base hits.”
* Matt Holliday, like Rick Ankiel, has a blog with MLBlogs. It was updated today. Check it out at MattHolliday.MLBlogs.com.
Bob Mould, “Life and Times”
Jason Isbell, “Good”
Son Volt, “The Picture”
Matthew Sweet, “Sick of Myself”
My Morning Jacket, “Off the Record”