My thoughts on the trade deadline deal

I was out of town last week on vacation, but thanks to Twitter, I could follow the trade deadline deal that GM John Mozeliak made for the Cardinals and all the reactions made by others. (Note to self: Never go on vacation out of town during trade deadline week again. If by chance I am on vacation, stay home.) Now that I’ve had a few days to think about the trades that were made, here are my thoughts.

I think that it was good that Mo traded for John Lackey and Justin Masterson without giving up any good prospects. You don’t want to give up your future to get rental players. Lackey is signed for the rest of this season and he has indicated that he will pitch for the Cards next year as well. Mo was doing James Ramsey a favor by trading him to the Indians. The Cardinals have a logjam of outfield prospects.

Allen Craig was not having a good season before the trade. His RBI production was way off. I think he wasn’t fully healed from the ankle injury last year. In fact, Craig went on the DL today for a foot injury. Mo knew what he was doing here.

Joe Kelly’s pitching performance last Tuesday night was brutal. It was like he was throwing batting practice. I think it was either Kelly or Shelby Miller that was going to be traded and Kelly’s performance sealed the deal.

For those who are sad about Craig and Kelly’s departure, remember that baseball is a business. In the business world, if you don’t perform up to your employer’s standards, you are fired. In baseball, if a player doesn’t meet the team’s needs or he performs poorly, he is traded, released or sent down to the minors. If a player has made it to the major league level, he is a professional and needs to play like one. A player is judged on his performance, but he is cut some slack for a while if he is injured.

Trades like these are why I don’t get attached to too many players. I learned my lesson with Albert Pujols. I am more a fan of the team as a whole rather than any particular players, although I am fond of Yadi. If I ever had the funds to purchase a Cardinals jersey, I would only buy a Cardinals jersey with either my name and favorite number on the back or a retired player’s name and number on the back, like Stan Musial. That’s a big investment to make for a player who may not stay with the team.

Lackey’s and Masterson’s starts this weekend went pretty well, since the Cardinals won both of them. In an interesting turn of events, Miller and Kelly will start against each other Wednesday night. They were the best man in each other’s weddings, and ESPN will run with that drama.

So goodbye Allen and Joe, and thanks for the memories. Good luck with your new team. Welcome AJ, John and Justin. I’m already enjoying watching you play for the Cards and wish you well.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

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Bucket list – Cardinals style

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – I guess I haven’t had much to say.  

This post was inspired by a thread that I posted on at a message board about bucket lists.  I posted some Cardinals related wishes there, but it got me thinking about other Cardinals related things that I’ve never done.  So here’s the Cardinals section of my bucket list:

1.  Sit in the Commissioner’s Box seats next to the dugout.
The closest I’ve ever sat to the field in Busch Stadium III is on the second level.  It would be so nice to sit in these box seats, and not have to worry about paying for food and drink.  Plus, the view would be awesome.  And I might be able to accomplish #4 below. 

2.  Sing the National Anthem before a Cardinals game.
I’ve performed the National Anthem at a Cardinals game, but not vocally.  I was part of a 100 person handbell choir that rang the National Anthem at Busch Stadium II for the Cardinals’ 100th anniversary in 1992.  My degree is in music and I took voice lessons in college.  I also sang in church choirs for over 20 years.  I’m a first soprano, so I can sing the Anthem in the original key (F). 

3.   Sit in the radio broadcast booth with Mike and Jim and maybe do an inning of play-by-play. 
I met the late Jack Buck at a Cardinals rally, not long after his book That’s a Winner! came out.  I told him that I had really enjoyed his book and he told me to bring my copy up to the broadcast booth and he would sign it for me.  Unfortunately, I never got to do that. 

4.  Catch a foul ball.
I went to a Cards game last year and Yadi Molina hit a foul ball that landed 2 rows below where I was sitting.  Darn!

5. Catch a home run ball.
In 2001, my husband and I were sitting at a table in Homer’s Landing in Busch Stadium II.  The Cards were playing the Reds that night, and Ken Griffey, Jr. hit a HR shot that bounced off of a table 2 rows below us.  I wasn’t fast enough to get that one.

6.  Meet Albert Pujols and Yadi Molina.
Okay, who doesn’t?  LOL!  The closest I’ve gotten to Albert was viewing him from afar at Winter Warmup.  I couldn’t afford the price to get his autograph. 

7.  Go to a Cardinals home playoff or World Series game.
I’ve been a Cardinals fan for over 30 years but have never had the pleasure of attending a Cardinals home playoff or World Series game.  My husband would rather watch these games at home, but I would love to feel the electricity from the crowd that I can see on TV. 

8.  Go to an All Star Game. 
The closest I got to last year’s All Star Game was working at Fan Fest.  That was fun, but it’s not the same as being at the actual game. 

9.  Go to spring training. 
Another activity I’ve never been able to attend.  I have vacation time, but not the funds. 

10.  Go to a Cards game at another MLB stadium.
Kaufmann Stadium and Wrigley Field are the closest ones to where I live. Maybe someday.

11.  Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.
It would be so cool to visit all the Cardinals exhibits at the Hall. 

12.  Attend Whitey Herzog’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Numbers 11 and 12 could be combined if I won the lottery anytime soon.  I may have to settle for watching #12 on MLB Network. 

13.  Go to an Opening Day game again.
I miss the days when Opening Day games were at night.  I would have to take off work to attend an Opening Day game now. 

Well, there’s my list.  Are there any Cardinals items on your bucket list?  Feel free to comment below.

See you next time! 

Diane

Albert the Great

Congratulations to Albert Pujols for winning the 2009 NL MVP award, an award most deserved.  It’s his third MVP award, which puts him in a select company of professional baseball players.  A third MVP award almost guarantees a selection call from the good folks at the Hall of Fame.  Even more impressive is the fact that the MVP selection was unanimous.   Better writers than I have expounded on Albert’s monster stats and those need not be repeated here. 

For those who insist that Albert is on steroids because he has gained a few pounds and has lost some of his hair, well, remember that he will be 30 in January.  Men gain a few pounds and lose some hair (if not all of their hair) as they age.  Heck, I’m a 48 year old woman and I’ve gained some weight and lost some of my hair (waah!)  Talent, hard work and a great attitude will take a person a long way, and Albert has those qualities in spades.  When you have those qualities, you don’t need steroids.  Albert has said many times in interviews that he is willing to be tested for steroids at any time and at any place. If he were on the juice, he wouldn’t be willing to make that kind of statement. 

Albert has another title – that of Most Valuable Person.  He is an MVP on and off the field.  Albert is a devoted family man.   Not only does Albert give his well earned money to charity and has even started a foundation devoted to Down’s Syndrome people and the poor people of the Dominican Republic, he gives his valuable time as well. 

Albert is a man of great faith in God.  In interviews, he never fails to give credit to the One who gave him the talent to accomplish his great achievements.  Every time Albert hits a home run, he points to the sky to give thanks to the Lord for his accomplishment.  Even in non-baseball interviews, he draws attention to the Lord and his beliefs. 

This year’s MVP award is just another award in Albert’s collection of awards. I’ve seen some of them in person in the glass case at his restaurant.  But the award that Albert will treasure the most will happen when he shuffles off this mortal coil and meets his Maker. Then he will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Those six words will mean more to Albert than any earthly award, for they will come from his Savior and he will reap the benefits of that award throughout eternity.  I pray that I too will hear those wonderful words when my time comes. 

Well, that’s all for tonight.  Have a great Thanksgiving! 

Diane