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I'd nominate Tony LaRussa's decision to let Chris Carpenter pitch the 9th in game 5 of the 2011 NLDS too. My gods was that a nail biter.
"They have DeJesus in center field and Lake in left field, and two months to figure out if one can walk over the other."
I could stand to see a Billy Beane or Dan Duquette piece like this. Or if only to satisfy my own selfishness, John Mozeliak.
KEVIN YOUKLIS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL SOCIALISM
Yeah-I think we posted the questions at the exact same time :P
Nice work. One question though-could the "bunches" idea be applied to multiple home runs over a span of two or three games rather than just looking at single multi-HR games? That was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read the first paragraph.
I have to chuckle whenever I hear "Yankees" and "financial limitations" in the same sentence.
She wanted to leave the show, IIRC. That's why I cut them a little bit of slack for how poorly Ezri was handled.
Maybe Nog just thought it was a stupid Hu-mon game?
Yeah, Jadzia left the show in the second to last season, so they didn't have much time to work with Ezri.
I just watched this episode recently, and I remember thinking the same thing about Nog at first. However, say what you will about pitcher/catcher trust, but perhaps Jake was more comfortable throwing to Nog than anyone else?
It's also possible than Ben didn't want Worf behind the plate, since as we saw on his borderline strikeout, he could get himself ejected pretty quickly.
Ehhhh it looked like it was gone to me. It would have struck the back edge of the wall from the looks of it, so without going to deep into the physics of it I'd say it would have gone out. That's still speculation on my part of course.
I agree about the schedule. One off day for travel, that is all that was needed.
I would put the 2001 series in the discussion as well, and even with my personal bias I'd still put it above this one, just in terms of drama.
Not that I'm complaining that the 2011 series wasn't dramatic enough, mind you :)
The 2007 and 2008 teams were weaker IMO, and while the 2006 Cardinals can be rightfully considered a bit of a fluke, this year's edition cannot. They had the best offense in the NL, and some midseason moves (especially in the bullpen) helped enable that furious September run that got them in the playoffs.
I gave up on the 2011 Cardinals several times this year. From when they were 10 games out, when they blew a 4-run lead against the Mets in the final stretch of the regular season, when the bullpen phone mess happened in game 5, to the ridiculousness of game 6, I, like most everyone else in the baseball world left them for dead.
This season has been excruciating. All those blown leads, the injuries, the Rasmus trade, and the dogfight at the end of the season. It's only fitting that it all ends in a fairly routine game 7.
Because of all this I sit here still in total disbelief that they actually pulled this off. I thought the 2006 NLCS would be the most dramatic sporting event I'd ever witness-I was wrong. And I'm so, so happy I was.
I actually don't think that in and of itself was such a bad move. Remember Feliz was not sharp at all, and they had two lefties and the pitcher up in the inning. Oliver makes sense there, IMO.
Great work Jay. Agree on Buck's call as well-I didn't even pick up on the reference at first.
Watching this year's Cardinal team has been an exercise in frustration to say the least. All those blown leads, horrible roster management, and that damn Colby Rasmus trade.....of course they decide to take the World Series to a game 7. Maximize the angst, right?
Batting the pitcher 8th can be worth a few extra runs per season, but more often then not it's inconsequential, especially since the 8th place hitter and the pitcher both can't hit.
Sorry, that was me (a Cardinals fan) venting. They have every right to be in the playoffs, certainly. But after a display of ineptitude like that....it makes one wonder.
The Cardinals do not deserve to win this series.
As much as I don't want it to be true, this is probably right. I'd even go as far to say Rangers in five, since their bats will feast on the non-Carpenter starters.
You're right-they have 12 pitchers. Still, they added Lynn when Schumaker went down for a reason.
That's exactly what I was thinking Bill. As often as TLR's moves get on my nerves, he seems to fully understand that 1) he has one starter he can depend on to get through the 5th inning (Chris Caprenter, and even he is 36 and coming off a very heavy workload), and 2) he's carrying 13 pitchers for a reason.
The bullpen is a weapon now. Use it.
Other correction: The Moneyball-era A's did advance to the ALCS once, against the Tigers.
I was actually OK with Jackson coming in last night. He won't get another start until at least game 3 of the NLDS if the Cards get that far, and the bullpen has had to pitch 10 innings the past two games. This way Motte can be used for multiple innings without hesitation.
I agree with what lboros said above-Motte should not have been in the game since he's been used so much lately. Surely you have another pitcher that can pitch one inning without giving up 4 runs.
I've always tolerated LaRussa just because the team has generally played well under him and he usually avoids the big bonehead moves, but I'm at the point where I want him fired now, even if that means losing Dave Duncan.
His insistence on using Franklin and Batista and keeping them on the roster even when it became clear that he pretty much could not use them ever really hurt them in the early parts of the season. Not to mention running Colby Rasmus and Brendan Ryan (how much do you want to be that he makes that double play?) out of town.
Not that you said this, but I remember a lot of chatter about how Wong was a severe overdraft. Has that perception changed? Or was it not that big to begin with?
The Rasmus deal from the Cards' perspective will depend on how much Edwin Jackson benefits from the Dave Duncan Magic, and on the 3 possible PBTNLs in the deal. Speaking of which, have there been any rumblings as to who they will be? I'm assuming that at least one will be a draft choice from this year that can't be traded yet.
Is there any words on who the PBTNLs might be? I'm guessing that some of them will be Jays draft picks from this year who can't be traded yet.
I'd say this is worse actually. I hated the Mulder deal too, but Haren hadn't ascended to acedom yet (though LaRussa saw too it that he'd never get the chance in St. Louis) and Mulder at least had a good track record in Oakland.
Rasmus will probably have to be moved to a corner before too long, but he's still a middle of the order bat. Mozeliak got a pitiful return for him as is, and unless those PBTNLs turn out to be worthwhile or they win the world series this year this will go down as one of the worst moves in the history of the Cardinals' franchise.
Correct-one interleague matchup would be going at any given time instead of a set interleague period.
Call me crazy, but this is how I would solve the AL/NL tomfoolery:
Step 1: One team moves from the AL to the NL and goes into the AL West. We'll say the Rockies for the sake of discussion, but the DBacks would work as well. Then the Astros go into the NL West and there are now five teams in every division.
Step 2: I'm fine with keeping interleague, but each team in a division should play the same teams. For example, the NL Central is matched up with the AL East. Each team in the NLC plays one series a piece with every team in the ALE. No more of the 'natural' rivalry nonsense. That's only for when the divisions are matched up or both teams in question make the world series.
Step 3: Use the DH in both leagues. I hate watching the pitcher hit. He usually sucks at it, and when he isn't pitching he should be in the dugout resting and not running the bases. The difference in rules is just silly.
Boom. Problem solved. I'm off! /flies away
It didn't take long for Jason Heyward to get to "old standby" status...
I was just about to bring up Halladay's Hall-Of-Fameitude. I don't know how a detailed analysis of his case would bear out, but I would imagine it's close. And he looks to still have quite a few good years left in him.
Just out of curiosity, where would Adam Wainwright have fallen on this list?
"But the gifts he had, and then gave to us on the diamond, are not the sort to be forgotten easily, and on the list of great careers that will necessarily fall short of the Hall of Fame, you could easily place Edmonds' towards the top of the heap in history's dustbin."
There was an article on this site not too long ago that I can't find now (around 2008 I think) that gave Edmonds a pretty good HoF case. I'd vote him in personally, although I am a biased Cardinal fan.
I'm surprised there's no mention of Walt Jocketty, who I would say had a much stronger hand in building the great Cardinals teams of the 00s than LaRussa did. Regardless of the fate of the LaRussa/Pujols relationship, the Special Era may have already moved on with Jocketty.
The proposed deal I heard about was Carlos Quentin for Rasmus. The Sox would have to throw in Beckham (or some other high-upside infielder) and Buehrle and fork over some cash to get me to even listen.
Personally, I'd like to see the following:
-One of the NL teams moves to the AL (probably the Brewers, as I think they have the roster to take advantage of it) and we balance out the divisions finally with 5 teams in each one.
-Use the DH in both leagues. I hate watching the pitcher hit. As a Cardinals fan, I grimace a little bit whenever I have to see Adam Wainwright take a hard turn around the bases, knowing that a Chien-Ming Wang situation could be right around the corner.
-Instead of a set interleague period, spread them out over the course of the season, with one interleague series going at any given time. That would make up for the odd number of teams in each league.
I don't think expansion is really an option, since Portland has been pretty resistant to putting up public money for a stadium (good on them) and I don't think any other city big enough to support a team would be willing to front that much cash either, or at least not right now.
I think it can work with the number of teams we have now and without anyone moving, it'll just take some creativity from MLB, which they haven't shown all that much of in recent history.
Agree on the scouts view segments. Might there be a scouts' take on teams feature in the works?
I'd put Jaime Garcia into the "out of gas" segment with Leake also.
To your question, yes. Westbrook has not been good this year, and at his age his peak sppears to be well behind him. Ludwick is a solid performer on both offense and defense, and while I like Jay as much as the next Cardinals fan, he's going to come back down to earth eventually. He's likely an 800-ish OPS guy at best.
Craig also isn't really an outfielder, so there's a defensive hit as well. I'm not sure what metrics think of Jay, but I know that Ludwick was a plus on defense.
So no, I don't think it's an upgrade to exchange Ludwick for Westbrook.
I was in total shock when I heard about the Ludwick deal. I hope the Reds enjoy that division title.
Is Dunn really worse than Manny Ramirez? I'm no expert on fielding metrics but I'd put Manny well below Dunn with the glove.
With Craig I think you're right, in that on a fully healthy team he's blocked at all of his positions and thus prime trade bait. With the rest however (Jay, Greene) I think they've proved more worth to the big club than as trade chips.
Greene has gotten most of the time at SS since he's come back, a possible signal of a coming Brendan Ryan divorce. I'm also not sure they can afford to part with Jay given the problems surrounding Ludwick and Rasmus.
That'd be good, especially since he's spent long periods of time with three different teams.
It'd be interesting to see a Tony LaRussa list as well, although I haven't read the Bill James book so he might be in there already.