2011 Revisited: Cardinal Nation Catchup

As noted earlier, we’re re-running some 2011 posts to mark the fifth anniversary of the last Cardinal World Championship.  In this one, we’ve got that regular winter dilemma of wanting to post but having little to post about.  No matter the year, that end of winter is always the same!

Cardinal Nation Catchup

As we continue to hold our breath, waiting for news that will indicate that February 16th will be a great day in Cardinal Nation rather than the potential beginning of the end, there are a few other things going on as well with the team in red.

First off, last weekend the Cardinals signed Jim Edmonds to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.  Now, you’d think the outfield was a place where the Cards really didn’t need any help.  After all, Colby Rasmus, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman would seem to be locked in as the starters and Jon Jay and Allen Craig (with rumors of Tyler Greene as well) could be the backuips.  So what are the Cards looking for out of Jimmy Ballgame?

Well, he’s obviously got some veteran leadership.  If he and Tony LaRussa are all patched up, the chemistry could help the team.  More than anything, though, it gives Edmonds a chance to go out a Cardinal.  He can still hit and has some power, but I have a feeling he won’t make the team and will retire at the end of the spring.  It gives him one last go-round, one last spring training, and ending where he has some strong memories.

Now, if someone gets hurt or he just comes out like gangbusters in camp, all bets are off.  Jay does still have options, as does Craig (I believe), so they could start the year off in Memphis and be insurance for when (and with Berkman and Edmonds, it is most likely when) someone gets hurt.  All in all, no risk for the Cardinals and it makes for a good story for camp.  Something to keep people’s minds off that other story.

Also, we are finally getting to see some of the players show up in camp.  Derrick Goold has video up in his Bird Land blog of some of the pitchers doing some throwing.  Other stories are starting to trickle out.  It’s beginning to look a lot like baseball.

Do you remember the Friends episode with the prom video? It’s our first indication on how fat Monica was in high school and she gives the disclaimer that the camera adds 10 pounds.  To which Chandler responds, “So exactly how many cameras were on you?

That came to mind when I saw that Kyle Lohse had gotten a tattoo to cover his surgical scar. When you look at it, you have to wonder if he couldn’t have covered four or five scars with that work!  Lohse is also the subject of the latest roundtable transcript, posted over at Aaron Miles‘ Fastball today.  Remember, you can follow along with the roundtable and find links to the other questions over at the official site of the United Cardinal Bloggers.

With Jerry Sloan of the NBA’s Utah Jazz retiring this week, the title of “longest professional coach” now resides with Tony LaRussa.  It’s come to the point where some young people don’t remember Cardinal baseball without TLR.  With 10 years of Whitey Herzog, five years of Joe Torre, and now 16 years of LaRussa, almost my entire life (and all of my Cardinal following) has been made up of three managers.  It’ll be a really new experience when TLR leaves and they actually have to do a managerial search.

The Cardinals continue to look for players in the Dominican, signing two new players to minor league contracts.  I’m sure that the guys over at Future Redbirds will be monitoring these players and will have plenty to say about them.

Finally, I don’t want to talk much about the Albert Pujols situation, but two notes in relation to that.  First off, how ridiculously fun would it have been to have him and his wife in your house and then for him to start talking about the whole situation with you?  Secondly, a tip of the cap to my good friends over at Pitchers Hit Eighth for their mention in today’s column by Jon Morosi at Fox Sports.  Kudos, guys!

Good stuff coming up, even outside of the activity in Jupiter.  Next Wednesday on the UCB Radio Hour, we’ll be talking with Scott Lamb, co-author of Pujols: More Than The Game.  I had a chance to read that the last couple of days and it’s a great read, nicely mixing Pujols’s Christian beliefs and charitable work with what he’s done on the field.  Also next week, I believe we’ll have an interview with Matthew Leach as he reports from Jupiter, giving us an update spring training report.

Bob from On The Outside Corner and I will be chatting with former Cardinal and Dodger pitcher Jerry Reuss next Saturday.  More on that as we get closer to time.

One last note.  Some of us on Twitter are starting a fantasy baseball league, with the draft to be held over that microblogging medium.  If you are interested, check out @STLDraftTB and let me know if you want a slot.  Have a great weekend!

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