Some Cards news and notes heading into the weekend:
-Former Cardinals find new homes: Rick Ankiel is on his way to Kansas City; Joel Pineiro is ready to fly with the Angels; Khalil Greene is now on the Rangers roster. Both gave St. Louis great seasons, but it was time for both to move on. Ankiel captured baseball’s imagination with his transformation from wild pitcher to slugging outfielder, although it did lose some luster under allegations of PED use. Pineiro gave the Cards 15 wins and resurrected his career under Dave Duncan. Anxiety issues hurt Greene from fulfilling his potential. He showed flashes of his talent with the glove at short, but still hasn’t put it together. Perhaps a change of scenery and position, seeing as Elvis Andrus is locked in at shortstop for years to come, will serve the 30-year-old well in trying to find a permanent home.
-On a lighter note, Don Denkinger (Yes, that Don Denkinger) was recently in St. Louis as a guest at the St. Louis Baseball Writers dinner. He will always be remembered for the blown call in the 1985 World Series against Kansas City (Back when Kansas City truly were the Kings of the American League). It was a nice gesture, but that will change little in history for Cards fans.
-Perhaps the quote of the night at the dinner belonged to Whitey Herzog. The great Cardinals manager that will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer shared some more thoughts on the McGwire and steroid situation:
“Every year, we tried to break Maris’ record… as a team.”
It may be the funniest burn on McGwire thus far. Most, including Herzog’s various quotes and Jack Clark’s, express anger and disgust with the situation. It continues to get news, but I guess you’ve had enough of the Mac man and steroids by now.
-One last McGwire/cheating/lying thought: The fans booed Jack Clark in his public appearances since his strong words. I have a major problem with this. The fans act hurt and deceived when their heroes are found out, but quickly forget. As a fan, I am appalled with this behavior. Mark McGwire deserves no sympathy or support in this matter. A true baseball fan that wants to see a clean game again would not support this cheat, yet he got a hero’s welcome at the Cards Warm-Up. Jack Clark was vilified. Did I miss something? I thought McGwire was the admitted steroid user, not Clark. Fans need to wake up and stop pushing this stuff out. If they can’t forgive Denkinger (25 years ago), then they certainly shouldn’t forgive McGwire, who has only come clean for a few weeks now after 25 years or so of lying.
-Check out Robert Turek’s profile of Albert Pujols’ hometown over at his St. Louis Redbirds website (STLRedbirds.com). It takes a look at the city that Albert started playing ball as a small child, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Be sure to watch the short video taking you through the streets of Santo Domingo.