Thursday, October 04, 2007

2007 CARDINALS RETROSPECTIVE

Adam writes: “It's been a LONG freakin time, but I want to hear your perspective on something. How come the Cardinals, reigning MLB world champs, have such a mediocre season this year? We were in the easiest division in baseball. What are the top reasons, in prioritized order, for why we went downhill?”



Why were the Cardinals so mediocre this year? A better question may be how did they manage to do so well this year.

Let’s start by taking a look at the pitching. Last year our main rotation was Carpenter, Suppan, Weaver, Marquis, and Reyes, with Wainwright as the closer. During this winter we lost Suppan, Weaver and Marquis to free agency. Were Jockety and the owners pinching pennies or were spending responsibly? The money those three pitchers were offered were outrageous so I can’t blame them for letting them go but they should have had a better plan to replace them. They did obtain Kip Wells who turned out to be probably THE worst acquisition of Jockety’s tenure here. Wells was a total bust and couldn’t be salvaged even when moved to the bullpen. Then they brought Looper, Wainwright, and Reyes in from the bullpen. Wainwright’s transformation was inevitable, he was being groomed as a starter anyway. Looper did quite well considering he pitched more innings by June than he had pitched in any previous season. Reyes is just one pitcher that can’t pitch in the Duncan school of pitching.



So, at the best, you have a fragile rotation that you hope can keep you in the race until Mulder comes back. Then Carpenter pitches one game and he’s out, Wells falls flat on his face, they keep throwing band-aids on the rotation, Mulder comes back at the end of the year, pitches a couple of games and he’s back on the DL and getting surgery. In the course of the year eleven men were marched out to start games including the likes of Thompson, Welemeyer, Maroth, Keisler, and Piniero. A collection of relief pitchers, minor leagers and has-beens.

Now we go to the position players. Pujols was banged up and had a sub-par (for Pujols) season. Second base was split between Kennedy and Miles. Miles was a bench player that only played because Kennedy was such a bust (another failed Jockety move). Eckstein missed 50 games. Rolen missed 60 games (no surprise, he’s always been fragile). Edmunds missed 63 games. Duncan started only 91 and Encarnacion 72. Ankiel was about the only positive story all year (and that silver lining had a dark cloud in front of it).



I haven’t even mentioned the tragic death of Josh Hankock.

With all that went wrong and all the injuries, the Cardinals were in it right to the very end and played hard even after they were eliminated.

If you just change a few small things, the Cards would still be playing and the Cubs would be on the links by now. If Carpenter wasn’t lost, we’d be in it. If Mulder came back, we’d be in it. You could go down the line and name a dozen “if onlys”.

That being said, especially with Jockety gone, I hope Larussa decides to not come back. I’d like to see a whole new organizational structure. Make a clean slate and start a whole new rebuilding process. Larussa and Jockety did a great job. It has been very entertaining to watch them build a team, fill in the wholes, patch up the cracks and put it all together. The 2004 team was awesome. 2005 was even better. 2006 was starting to show wear even though it was the year they went all the way. 2007 was like watching a once great locomotive sit out in the weather and rust. It’s time to cut your losses, get some young faces in here and see what they can do.

The Jockety-Larussa era has been one of the most productive eras in the history of the franchise but it has run it’s course. Let it go.

5 Comments:

At 4:35 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Jimmy, I’m afraid this is a personal question and I must come right out and say it, “What would you do with a brain if you had one?” That is, if you were randomly given a fresh human brain from a healthy person that died but 1 hour ago and removed by a professional (so everything looks great and just the way it should) and everything was legal, what would you do with it? What would you do with a brain recreationally? And the same with a monkey’s brain, like a Marmoset’s brain?
-Eric a-bearic-a-boy
PS:
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY! sorry I missed it.

 
At 4:53 AM, Blogger Eric said...

Oh yes. For the sake of your reader’s interest in your psyche, please be detailed. But being that this page is open to the public, don’t feel like you might need to leave any detail out, no matter how intricately descriptive (this page isn't that popular). But if you feel like your blog with be pulled due to, well yeah, just email me the original response with all the grotesque intricacies and knowing you I’m sure there will be a lot.
-Eric (advertise here $3.99+Tax)

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous xtina said...

OH HAI Jim, why iz teh lol!catz so funnyz? TEH QUEZTION IZ KILLA ON MAI BRAINZ!!

 
At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, why do some beers have more head than others?

 
At 5:43 PM, Anonymous adam said...

Jim, what the hell have you been doing? Do you still have a blog? Do you realize that since October 4th I've been forced to do nothing but actual work when I'm at work?

 

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