Braden Looper Retires

Braden Looper has told the Chicago Cubs he is retiring.

The 36-year-old pitcher was in camp as a non-roster player, trying to make a comeback after sitting out last season. The Cubs informed him Friday that he would not make the team out of spring training, so Looper decided to retire.

Looper did not pitch last season after going 14-7 with a 5.22 ERA in 2009 for the Milwaukee Brewers. He made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998.

The right-hander, drafted No. 3 overall by St. Louis in 1996, spent the first nine seasons of his big league career as a reliever before working as a starter from 2007-09. He finished 72-65 with a 4.15 ERA and 103 saves.

Associate Press

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NL West Predictions

National League West Predictions
1.San Francisco Giants
2. San Diego Padres
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Giants have the pitching they need to win this division. With Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Sanchez and Baumgarter they will win 95 games. Padres where two games behind in 2010, so they will be right behind the Giants. With Ludwick-Hawpe and Cantu this will be a very offensive team. I see Rockies, Dodgers and Arizona flopping in and out of the 3rd,4th, and 5th place.

Chris Duncan and Jason Simontacchi back to St.Louis

For those of you that wondered what ever happen to Chris Duncan and Jason Simontacchi well Duncan was with the Nationals in 2010 and then released. Simontacchi left the Cardinals in 2004 but was out for the next two seaons till he was signed with the Nationals in 2007. After 07′ he faded out.
Well they are back in St.Louis with Andy Van Slyke. They are the new baseball analyst for ESPN101.1’s new radio show “St.Louis Baseball Tonight”. The show starts Monday 3/28 at 6pm weekdays. Brian Stull will also be a part of the radio show too. A rotation of hosts.

                      

NL Central Predictions

National League Central:
1. Milwaukee Brewers
2. St.Louis Cardinals
3. Chicago Cubs
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
6. Houston Astros
I believe the top four teams will do battle in the NL Central. Brewers, Cards, Cubs and Reds have improved their teams but all four are having DL issues. Looks like a fun divison to watch. Cards will keep up with the others with timely pitching from Lohse and McClellan. I am concerned with our middle infield and a possible sophmore slump with Garcia.

NL East Predictions

National League East:
1. Atlanta Braves
2. Philadelphia Phillies
3. Florida Marlins
4. Washington Nationals
5. New York Mets
I Find this division to be somewhat fun to watch. With the changes the Braves made by adding manager Freddi Gonzalez and snatching up Dan Uggla just might give the Braves a shot to dethrone the Phillies. Their starting rotation is no where near the Phillies but I find this team to be thorn in the side of Charlie Manuel. I also think that the Nationals and the Marlins will also have a better year to challenge the Phils. Looks like the Mets will stay in the bottom of the pond.

American League Predictions 2011

AL East- 1. Boston Redsox  2. New York Yanks  3. Baltimore Orioles   4. Tampa Bay Rays  5. Toronto Bluejays

AL Central– 1. Minnesota Twins  2. Chicago Whitesox*  3. Detriot Tigers  4. Kansas City Royals  5. Cleveland Indians

AL West– 1. Texas Rangers  2. Oakland Athletics  3. Anaheim Angels  4. Seattle Mariners

 I see the Orioles as one of those teams in a up swing but blocked in the standings. The Twins will represent the AL in the World Series.

In Memory of Marty Marion "Mr. Shortstop"

I am sad to report the passing of Marty Marion. My dad always refered to him as “Mr. Shortstop”. Marion spent thirteen years in MLB as a Cardinal and a Brown.
Marion suffered a heart attack Tuesday night.
Marty was 94 and still lived in Ladue.
My dad spoke often of Marion as being one of his favorite Cardinals which also includes Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter. My dad loved the 1946 team, mainly because the Cards beat the Redsox for the World Series. He was also an All-Star and also led in put outs as a shortstop in 1946.
 Marion was named manager of the Cardinals in 1951.
 He took over for Rogers Hornsby as player-manager of the Browns early in 1952 and was dismissed after the 1953 season when the franchise moved to Baltimore. Mr. Marion was hired as a coach by the Chicago White Sox in 1954, then quickly promoted to manager, a position he held through the ’56 season before stepping down.
My prayers and thoughts are with the Marion family.