Royals Sign Johnathon Broxton

The Royals are finally making some moves that will boost their pitching and possibly improve the rest of the team. After the end of the season they made a move by sending Melky Cabrera to the Giants for Jonathon Sanchez. I was also happy to see the team resign Bruce Chen. For the past three years with the Royals Chen had 25 wins and 21 losses. He has done well for the team. Well today the Royals sign one of my favorite Dodger reliever, Jonathon Broxton. The 6’4 300lb reliever signs a 1yr deal that’s worth 4 million. Now I am hearing rumors of the Royals trading Joakim Soria for Bluejays outfielder Colby Rasmus. This is some nice news to see the Royals possibly rebuilding this team once again to be competitive again.

Cardinals Offer Pujols and Jackson Arbitration

Albert Pujols was offered salary arbitration by the St. Louis Cardinals, putting the team in line to get two extra draft picks if the star first baseman signs with another team.

The World Series champions also offered arbitration to right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson and declined arbitration to shortstop Rafael Furcal and lefty Arthur Rhodes.

The Cardinals made the announcements before Wednesday’s deadline.

Pujols, one of only a handful of Type A free agents, has played all of his 11 major league seasons with St. Louis, hitting 445 home runs and batting .328 while winning the National League MVP three times.
His impending free agent status was an ongoing storyline before the season, then again as the Cardinals caught fire to win their second World Series title in six years.

Looks like the Cardinals are protecting themselves if Pujols and Jackson bolts. The drama still continues.

Pujols Agent Exposed!

While the Pujols family where away on vacation in Hawaii, Alberts agent got into some hot water via I have been waiting to see Albert and the Cardinals sign a new deal but instead we get Lozano getting fried by Deadspin and the media.

The article calls into question the business practices and the character of Dan Lozano, Pujols’ agent for eleven years.

The article explains someone delivered unmarked manila envelopes containing damaging information about Lozano to media outlets including Deadspin, ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Fox sports. Included in the envelopes are names, documents, and photographs that paint an unsavory portrait of Lozano’s business tactics.

Among other things, it’s alleged that Lozano hired prostitutes for some of his clients and prospective clients. It’s alleged that he lied about his education and personal history, and it’s alleged that Lozano’s personal money troubles led Pujols to sign a below market contract extension with the Cardinals in 2004, so Lozano could get his commission.

 So I tend to wonder what will Pujols do next? Will he fire Lozano and hire another agent? Could Albert work out his own deal which former Cardinal pitcher Matt Morris did in the early 2000’s. With Albert being a strong christian I would tend to think he may want to distance himself from bad publicity like this. I am still hoping for Pujols to sign with the Cardinals in two weeks.

2012 Cardinal Minor League Staff Announced

Club                                     Manager                            Pitching Coach              Hitting Coach                 
Memphis (AAA)               Ron “Pop Warner^         Blaise Ilsley*                     Mark Budaska*                
Springfield (AA)              Mike Shildt^                      Bryan Eversgerd^             Phillip Wellman*             
Palm Beach (A)                Johnny Rodriguez^        Dennis Martinez*            Jeff Albert*                         
Quad Cities (A)                 Luis Aguayo^                  Arthur “Ace” Adams^      Joe Kruzel*                        
Batavia (A)                        Dann Bilardello*              Dernier Orozco^             Roger LaFrancois*          
Johnson City (R)              Oliver Marmol^               Doug White*                     Ramon Ortiz*                   
GCL Cardinals (R)           Steve Turco*                   Tim Leveque^                  TBD                                   

Field Coordinator – Mark DeJohn*
Pitching Coordinator – Dyar Miller*
Hitting Coordinator – Derrick May*
Pitching Instructor – Brent Strom*
Special Assistant to Player Development – Gaylen Pitts*
Strength/Conditioning – Rene Pena*
Minor League Medical Coordinator – Keith Joynt*

Charlie James Awarded St.Louis Sports Hall of Fame Award

My cousin Charlie James was awarded the St.Louis Sports Hall of Fame award last night at the Millennium Hotel. Charlie a home grown product of Rock Hill, Missouri played football and baseball at Webster Groves High School. He went on to University of Missouri to play football in 1957 and 58′. It was soon after he was drafted by the Cardinals. Charlie was notable due to hitting home runs off of Sandy Koufax. One of his home runs was a grand slam. An oddity I discovered was the fact that both Charlie and David Freese are not only local heros but they wore the same jersey number 23.

Charlie is an inspiration to me and other family members. He’s never give up attitude got him from the minors to the major league. As a kid I use to pretend I was the next family member to make it to the big league. I would use one of Charlie’s old bats and crank a homed run off of Ray Burris. My son Gabriel now pretends he is the family’s new super star. He is hoping to wear the number 23 when he makes it to a more competitive baseball league.

Cardinal Red actually does run through our veins.

                                                          \Charlie and his dad C.W James

Small Change with the Managing Staff

Today the Cardinals made some staff changes. With Mark McGwire and Dave Duncan sticking around for 2012, Joe Pettini and Dave McKay found themselves being reassigned with the Cardinals. Mike Aldrete was then promoted to bench coach. Chris Maloney was also promoted from the Springfield team to the Cardinals new first base coach. Jose Oquendo also stays as third base coach and Derek Liliquist stays as bullpen coach.
Its good to see these changes. Hope to see something new and exciting from the new coaches.

Mike Matheny Becomes the Cardinals New Manager

After much anticipation the Cardinals announced Sunday evening that Mike Matheny becomes the 49th manager for the St.Louis Cardinals. He also receives his old jersey number 22 once again. If you are wondering if the other coaches are coming back as, of right now Matheny wants Dave Duncan to come back. We will hear about the rest of the coaches at the end of the week. I have rumors that Joe Pettini maybe replaced by Chris Maloney. Derek Lilliquist may also be replaced. I am a bit concerned about Mark McGwire and Jose Oquendo. McGwire was a LaRussa guy, he came back to the Cardinals for Tony and Tony wanted him to come back. So I think there is a good chance that McGwire may leave his post as batting instructor. Who would replace Big Mac? If Larry Walker is interested I believe he could be our next Batting Coach. Well, I am glad to see Matheny as our new manager. He will bring in a new and fresh attitude to this Cardinal Team.

The State of The Cardinals

There is a lot of buzz going on about Mike Matheny being named Manager before Thanksgiving. I came across a piece of outside information that he will be announced as Manager Monday afternoon. To me it seems that Matheny is the clear favorite. Could the Cardinals following what the Whitesox are doing? Matheny just turned 41 and what a great birthday present this would be for him but what would this mean for the team? I have a feeling Dave Duncan would be staying but what about McGwire, Oquendo, McKay and Pettini. Would Matheny keep them or bring in the likes of John Mabry or Jim Edmonds? With the recent report of Terry Francona wanting to manage the Cubs. The Chicago Tribune reported that Epstein admitted that he would give the job to Francona without an interview. So with this in mind this puts a distance  between Francona and the Cardinals. I like Matheny but does he have the gusto on managing this team. I have heard has the leadership but without having managing experience how will be effective.

If you already haven’t heard Albert Pujols took a trip to Miami to meet with owner Jeffery Loria to talk money and take a tour of the new Marlins stadium.  Soon after the Marlins made a substantial offer shortly after his visit there.  It is also reported that the Angels, Rangers and Dodgers have interest in Pujols. This will become a wait and see with Pujols. He is also waiting to see who will become the next manager for the Cardinals. I still have a feeling Pujols will come back to St.Louis. How can you live a team where the fans come to Busch Stadium just to see him play. How can he up root himself and family from the town that  took a chance on him. He made it big due to Cardinal Nation.                                                                 

2011 Cardinal Blogger Awards

Since being involved with UCB (United Cardinal Blogger) for sometime now I have decided to post my picks for this years awards. I promise to show the results when they come out. So here we go!

Award 1 Cardinal Player of the Year

  • Lance Berkman

Award 2 Cardinal Pitcher of the Year

  • Chris Carpenter

Award 3 Regular Season Game of the Year

  • September 7 vs. Milwaukee (Carpenter shutout, Morgan dustup)

Award 4 Post-Season Game of the Year

  • NLDS Game 5 (Carpenter vs. Halladay)

Award 5 Surprise Player of the Year

  • Allen Craig

Award 6 Disappointing Player of the Year

  • Ryan Franklin

Award 7 Cardinal Rookie of the Year

  • Allen Craig

Award 8 Pre-Season Acquisition of the Year

  • Lance Berkman

Award 9 Mid-Season Acquisition of the Year

  • Marc Rzepczynski

Award 10 Most Anticipated Cardinal

  • Shelby Miller

Award 11 Best Individual Cardinal Blog (written mainly by one person)  Redbird Rants

Award 12 Best Team Cardinal Blog (written by two or more people) ?

Award 13 Best Professional Cardinal Blog

  • Bird Land

Award 14 Best Rookie Cardinal Blog (began December 1, 2010 or later)

  • STL: Fear The Red

Award 16 Best UCB Project

  • Top 7 Prospects
Award 17 Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog ?
Award 18 Best UCB Podcast

  • UCB Radio Hour

Award 19 Best UCB Twitterer @diamonddairies

Award 20 Best Fake Cardinal Twitter Account

  • TortyCraig

Berkman Wins Comeback Player of the Year

Lance Berkman won the NL Comeback Player of the Year!!! Congrats Lance you deserve it.

Berkman played in 145 games, most since 2008, for the Cardinals, hit .301/.412/.547, with 31 homers (most since 2007), and posted a career-high 166 OPS+. This last stat tops his previous high of a 163 OPS+ when he hit .315/.420/.621 in 2006.

The switch-hitter had a trying 2010 season that included a knee injury and knee surgery before it started. The lack of healthy compromised his swing, and he struggled to a season dotted with career lows. He hit only .248 with 12 homers and 58 RBIS. His slugging percentage in 2010 was .413, and he almost matched that with his .412 on-base percentage in 2011. He spent the 2010 season mostly with the Houston, the only team had played for until a late-season trade to the New York Yankees.