The Race Is Too Close To Call

 

The trade deadline has come and gone.  I don’t intend to spend a lot of time on the Cardinals’ trade moves because frankly, I think they have been analyzed enough.  The Rasmus trade has been the big story, full of melodrama and angst.  The Tale of Two Tonys has been milked for all the column space, radio and TV time, and spin that could be squeezed out of it.  Camps have been clearly delineated.  As for the trade itself, the majority opinion seems to be that it might be short term gain, but is likely a long term loss.  My opinion?  It’s too soon to tell.  On paper it looks like the 2011 club is improved.  But the thing about paper is that it is highly flammable.  Players must execute. Managers must manage assets correctly.  All the intangibles need to come together.  If the Cardinals reach the playoffs and even better the World Series, the trade will be the best thing since the Broglio/Brock trade.  If the Cardinals falter and end up sitting at home in October, the trade will be the worst thing since the Brock/Broglio trade.  [Yes, it makes sense, just concentrate for a few seconds].  Bottom line?  Don’t be too hasty to make a judgment right now.  Why? Because my mother had whiplash once.  It’s painful.

As for the Furcal trade, I have mixed feelings.  I have come to love Daniel Descalso.  If I were 30 years younger I’d want to have his children.  Okay, maybe not, but you get my drift.  Daniel is younger, healthier, and right now, a better hitter.  On the other hand, Furcal has more experience at shortstop and could be the defensive glue the Cardinals need.  So, I again am waiting to see how it all shakes out, but I am prepared to give Furcal the benefit of the doubt on this one.  Advantage new guy.

Segue from acquisition of new pieces to use of said pieces.  First, bullpen.  We now have a lefty who doesn’t make me want to join a convent in frustration. Please Mr. Manager, use him correctly.  This guy can get righties out too so use him for that purpose.  No more one and done you son of a gun.  (It ain’t Miguel Batista poetry but it serves its purpose). The rest of the bullpen pieces should be mixed and matched according to the situation.  Second, running the bases. We now have two guys who can run.  Please let them do so.  I’m not asking for Whitey Ball, but is some kind of ball involving some base larceny too much to ask for?  I think not.  Third and finally, Ryan Theriot should never under any circumstances be seen near that space between second and third base ever again unless he is running very fast.  I think I’ve made myself clear.

We have three games coming up in Miller Park against the currently in first place Brewers.  We need to win at least two.  A sweep would be better.  That is a tall order but not impossible if the team performs its best and the manager doesn’t try to make it all about him. That means hit the ball, throw the ball, and catch the ball without causing fans to use the F word.  That means manage the team in a way that gets the best out of each player on the field, not in a way that makes fans question your sanity.  That means play like a Cardinal.

Topics: Colby Rasmus, Daniel Descalso, Ernie Broglio, Lou Brock, Miller Park, Milwaukee Brewers, Rafael Furcal, Ryan Theriot, St Louis Cardinals, Tony La Russa, Tony Rasmus, Whitey Ball, World Series

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