2011 Revisited: The Calm After the Storm

We continue looking at the 2011 championship season.  What happens when the end of the world doesn’t actually end the world?  Life goes on.

The Calm After the Storm: Pujols Reports, Cards Move On

Yesterday’s deadline came and went.  Albertageddon peaked yesterday morning, but by the end of the day had calmed back down.  Life goes on.

The man himself showed up today at camp.  He spent a good half an hour talking to the press, in a situation reminiscent of Mark McGwire‘s address to the media last spring training.  McGwire spoke openly and candidly about his steroid use and it wasn’t much of a topic again.  Albert seems to be taking a page out of that playbook, according to the media tweets.  A quick recap:

What do I want?  I want to be a Cardinal forever.”  He hopes the fans understand what is going on.  Apparently both sides laughed at some of the numbers that were being reported.  He’ll deal with the issue by “flipping the page.”  If you think he’s greedy, “you don’t know who I am.”

If nothing else, those kind of comments set some minds at ease.  He didn’t come out grumpy, he didn’t come out sounding like he had a chip on his shoulder from the whole thing.  He affirmed his commitment to the team and the fans.  There wasn’t a lot of “we’ll see what happens” or “no guarantees.”  Of course that’s implied, but he still comes across as perfectly happy to stay a member of the Cardinals for the rest of his life.

Hopefully now we can move on from that.  We have actual baseball stuff going on now, not the dead of the hot stove league, so there should be other things to catch our attention.

For instance, the starting rotation sat down with John Smoltz for a televised chat this morning as well.  Though looking at that picture, I’m a bit confused.  Did Jaime Garcia win a bet and get to collect Adam Wainwright‘s beard?  Waino looks a bit strange cleanshaven and we’ll see if Garcia keeps the facial hair all spring long.

See, real baseball stuff, like facial hair.  You just can’t get this during January.

Dave Duncan has been watching these pitchers this week and, as benefits the optimism that usually comes with the beginning of camp, likes what he sees.  I’m pretty interested to see if Lance Lynn can’t be that de-facto sixth starter, the first guy up from Memphis.  I also loved the comment on Michael Cleto, who the Cards got in exchange for Brendan Ryan; he “so far hasn’t displayed the significant control problems that have plagued his career.”

Now, I know Duncan’s good, but I lean more toward the “Major League” explanation.  In the movie (as Erika from Cardinal Diamond Diaries now knows), they are looking at the players in camp.  The manager gets real excited when he sees Pedro Cerrano hit, wondering how a bat like that got to them.

Then they start throwing curveballs and Lou Brown says, “Oh.”  We’ll see what Cleto does when he’s facing hitters, but I’m not going to get too excited yet.  (Of course, it could be that he got glasses in the offseason, because seeing is the most important thing.  Willie Mays Hayes: “I’m not sure it’s that important.”)

So now the 2011 season really gets underway.  Almost everyone is in camp (Matt Holliday snuck in this morning after the Pujols media circus, for example) and there are just about 10 days until our first spring training games.  So let’s move past Albertageddon and talk some baseball!

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