McBrayer’s St.Louis Cardinals All Star Team for the Decade

I have to admit that it was kinda hard to come up with a list of the Decade’s Best Cardinal Players at each position. I struggled through this but was able to iron out I think is the best of the best from 2000-2010.
Mike Matheny
I really had a hard time between Mike Matheny and Yadier Molina. For me Matheny had a slight edge due to having four Gold Gloves compared to Yadi’s two. They both have superb arms in throwing out base runners. I think my final push was the fact how Matheny handled the pitchers. He indeed may have the potential to become a Manager someday.
Albert Pujols
Pujols is hands down the best All Decade 1B. Tino Martinez couldn’t hold a candle to “The Mang”
Fernando Vina
Here’s a player that wanted to be a Cardinal when he was playing with the Brewers. It took guts for Vina to speak out like that during his final year with Brewers. This feisty little player spent time with the Cards from 2000 to 2004. My Brazillian Father-in-Law was a loss for english words to describe his style of play. When taking him to a Cardinal game one summer, I recall him yelling “Viva Vina!” after every exciting play he made. I am not basing my decision from my father-in-law’s fondness for him, its based on his skills and love of the game. Vina had racked up two gold gloves while playing for the Cardinals. He would also do anything to get on base, even getting hit by pitch to get on base. He led hit by pitch twenty eight times in 2000, that year he led in that category.
Edgar Renteria
Edgar Renteria had a nice six year career with the Cardinals. In 2003 and 2004 he appeared in the All Star Game. He also received two Gold Gloves in 2002 and 2003 with the Cardinals. Edgar was very consistent at his position at shortstop.
Scott Rolen
Scott Rolen was the Cardinals anchor at thirdbase for five years. He collected three Gold Gloves with the Cardinals from 2003-2004-2006. A very popular player among the Fans made his stay here worth while before he injury and problems with LaRussa. He also got voted in as a All-Star four times in a row. 2003-2006. My decision for Rolen was in regards to his gritty play and integrity he had while being a Cardinal.
To round off the rest I chose Ray Lankford for Left-Field. Jimmy “Baseball” Edmonds for Centerfield, thats a no brainer, and Ryan Ludwick at Right-Field.
My starting pitcher for the Decade is Chris Carpenter. This 2005 Cy Young Winner is in a class all by himself.
For Closer Jason Isringhausen wins by default. Spent seven years as the Cardinals Closer and racked up 217 Saves when playing with the Cardinals.


Texas Rangers SOLD!

The sale price of the Texas Rangers was about $570 million, several sources tell
The buying group led by Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan outbid former superagent Dennis Gilbert’s group, which is thought to have been at about $525 million. Most previous estimates put the winning sale price around $500 million, or just slightly above that figure.
The $570 million represents a major score for Tom Hicks, who had to sell the team due to financial difficulties and leverage issues. Hicks bought the Rangers for $250 million in 1998, so he has a steep tax bill coming.
The biggest shareholders of the new team will be Dallas oil man Ray Davis plus Bob and Janice Simpson of Ft. Worth. But Greenberg and Ryan will run the team. Greenberg, a sports attorney from Pittsburgh, will run the business side of things while Ryan will remain president on the baseball operations side once they are approved as the new owners.
Hicks remains the owner until the sale is approved by MLB

Source: Jon Heyman

Rich Hill Gets an Invite

The St. Louis Cardinals have invited left-handed pitcher Rich Hill, formerly of the Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles, to spring training.

The 30-year-old Hill agreed to terms on a minor league contract after going 3-3 with Baltimore last season. Hill spent parts of four seasons with the Cubs from 2005-08, going 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA in 32 starts in 2007, and has a career mark of 21-20 with a 4.87 ERA.
He is among 17 players given non-roster invitations by the Cardinals on Tuesday. Lance Lynn, the franchise’s minor league pitcher of the year, also is on the list along with catcher Robert Stock, a second-round pick in 2009.
Pitchers and catchers report to Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 17 with the first workout on Feb. 18.
Source: AP

Ankiel Signs With Royals

Longtime St. Louis Cardinal Rick Ankiel does not appear to be a candidate for the fourth outfield spot.

General manager John Mozeliak said during the recent Winter Warm-Up that Ankiel is seeking a full-time job and the Cardinals are set with Matt Holliday in left, Colby Rasmus in center and Ryan Ludwick in right.
Ankiel was converted to an everyday player in 2007 and hit .231 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 372 at-bats last year.
Mozeliak said the 30-year-old Ankiel still has holes in his swing. He added it would be tough to get Ankiel enough at-bats to satisfy the player under the current scenario.
Jim Edmonds, who didn’t play last year, is among those under consideration for extra outfield spots.
Source: AP

Ludwick Signs For One Year

Outfielder Ryan Ludwick and the St. Louis Cardinals have avoided arbitration for a second straight season, agreeing to a US$5.45 million, one-year contract.The 31-year-old Ludwick hit .265 with 22 homers and 97 RBIs last season for the Cardinals. He agreed to a $3.7 million one-year deal last February after becoming an All-Star for the first time in 2008.
Second baseman Skip Schumaker, who is arbitration eligible for the first time, said Sunday that he and the Cardinals were close on a contract.
Ludwick batted .323 with runners in scoring position with 27 two-out RBIs, one behind team leader Albert Pujols, and had nine outfield assists with only one error.

Source: AP

Edmonds Making a Cardinal Comeback?

Now here is a a story that is building steam. At LaRussa’s “Stars To The Rescue” concert to benefit his Animal Rescue Foundation . Jim Edmonds came on stage and took the microphone and told him he will play for free for the St.Louis Cardinals 2010 team. Later Edmonds said he would play for the team at league minimum, which is $400,000. To me it makes sense, Edmonds #15 is available now since Holliday wanted #7. Whay not give Jimmy Baseball an invitation to Spring Training. Edmonds would be a perfect fit to help coach some of the up and coming young players. He can be a part time player and be that right handed bat off the bench. I hope the Cards Brass consider a Edmonds Comeback.

Cards Intrested in Jose Contreras

Various media reports Thursday also linked the Cardinals with free-agent pitcher Jose Contreras, 38, who pitched last year for the White Sox and Rockies. The Cardinals were said to be one of five teams, along with the Cubs, Rockies, Phillies and Padres said to have interest in Contreras.

In other Cardinal News:

Mozeliak is still on the lookout for a potential fifth starter, another reliever, a reserve outfielder and perhaps someone to challenge rookie David Freese at third base. The most interest among free agents in the past few days has been with the pitching candidates, where at least two former Brewers – starter Ben Sheets and former closer Derrick Turnbow – are scheduled to work out in front of scouts for interested teams in the coming days.
Turnbow, 31, is scheduled to throw in Phoenix on Friday and at least 16 teams, including the Cardinals, are expected to be in attendance. Turnbow last pitched in the majors for the Brewers in 2008. He signed with Texas last year, but never pitched in the majors and asked for his release from the Rangers.
Sheets, also 31, missed all of last season after undergoing flexor tendon surgery. He is scheduled to work out for interested teams on Tuesday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, his alma mater. At least 10 teams are said to be interested, including the Cubs, Rangers, Mets, Yankees, Orioles and Mariners.
Mozeliak said it was “likely” a Cardinals’ scout will be on hand to see Sheets throw as well but that he didn’t have enough details to confirm it.

Source: Rob Rains

Whats Going On With Schumaker and Ludwick

The Cardinals’ general manager has a few more tasks remaining before the team reports to spring training next month. One of the those is to complete contract negotiations with the two Cardinals eligible for arbitration, outfielder Ryan Ludwick and second baseman Skip Schumaker.
Even though the true deadline to complete a deal and avoid going through the arbitration hearings is the date of the hearings, in mid-February, the two sides will exchange figures on Tuesday if a deal is not reached before then.
Dan Horwits of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, who represents Ludwick, said Thursday he was neither optimistic nor pessimistic that a deal will be struck before Tuesday.
“We might, we might not,” he said. “It’s really no big deal.”
Horwits said he and the Cardinals have had some discussions, basically focusing on a one-year deal, but added that Ludwick, 31, is “not opposed” to talking about a multi-year deal “and the Cardinals know that.”
Last season was Ludwick’s first year being eligible for arbitration, and a contract was reached before the hearing date. Ludwick had asked for $4.25 million and the Cardinals offered $2.8 million, before the two sides settled at $3.7 million.
Ludwick’s offensive performance suffered a slight dropoff in 2009, when he hit .265 (down from .299 in 2008) with 22 homers (down from 37) and 97 RBIs (down from 113).
It is unlikely the Cardinals would offer him a lower salary than he earned in 2009, but the question will be how much of a raise they offer as opposed to what Horwits seeks for his client.
Schumaker is going through his first year of eligibility for arbitration, and should figure to receive a substantial raise from the $430,000 he earned in 2009. His agent, Matt Brown, was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Mozeliak confirmed Thursday night that he had been in talks with both agents, but said “it’s too early to say whether something will be done” before the exchange of numbers on Tuesday.

Source: Rob Rains

McGwire Speaks

Well McGwire finally did it! He admitted to steroids use to enhance more home runs.

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade. Later Monday, however, he disputed that the drugs gave him more power to hit homers.
Well here’s my thing. Who cares! Mark McGwire was taking a drug enhancing boost to deal with injuries and strength. Within the years he was using the drug it was not banned in the MLB. I am glad he came out to admit he used a drug enhancing product to help his performance. For many people his steroid use was not a secret, apparently the FBI knew along with former Government Reform Committee Rep Tom Davis a Virginia Republican. McGwire did the right thing but don’t tell us it had nothing to do with his Home Run hitting ability. Shame on you Big Mac, but i will move on. I am glad to see him a part of the Cardinal Organization again.
The following is the statement Mark McGwire had released on Monday:

Now that I have become the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, I have the chance to do something that I wish I was able to do five years ago.

“I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 off season and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the ’90s, including during the 1998 season.

“I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.

“During the mid-’90s, I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years. I experienced a lot of injuries, including a ribcage strain, a torn left heel muscle, a stress fracture of the left heel, and a torn right heel muscle. It was definitely a miserable bunch of years and I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries, too.

“I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids. I had good years when I didn’t take any and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.

“Baseball is really different now — it’s been cleaned up. The commissioner and the players’ association implemented testing and they cracked down, and I’m glad they did.

“I’m grateful to the Cardinals for bringing me back to baseball. I want to say thank you to Cardinals owner Mr. DeWitt, to my GM, John Mozeliak, and to my manager, Tony La Russa. I can’t wait to put the uniform on again and to be back on the field in front of the great fans in Saint Louis. I’ve always appreciated their support and I intend to earn it again, this time as hitting coach. I’m going to pour myself into this job and do everything I can to help the Cardinals hitters become the best players for years to come.

“After all this time, I want to come clean. I was not in a position to do that five years ago in my congressional testimony, but now I feel an obligation to discuss this and to answer questions about it. I’ll do that, and then I just want to help my team.”
Source: ESPN

Joe Crede a Possible Cardinal?

Last week during the Matt Holliday signing Scott Boras was pitching the idea to the Cardinals about signing Joe Crede as their possible third base men.  Crede that had back problems last year could come cheap for the Cards.Joe Crede is from Jefferson City with a yearning to play for his childhood team St.Louis Cardinals. Joe has solid defense skills at Third and still has pop in his bat. He could come cheap but will have a high rick factor. Crede did receive a Silver Slugger Award in 2006 and a All-Star in 2008 while playing for the Whitesox.  Personally I feel the Cards should pick him up and give him a try at Thirdbase. I know the organization prefers David Freese. Crede possess more skill and can play Firstbase when Pujols needs a rest. I am all for picking up Joe Crede, Lets hope it might happen.