Commish will be starting the chat in a couple minutes. Bring the heat, Cardinals fans.
Mike Shildt's main job will be to devise some sorts of drills where the Cardinals can function better on defense and have a better idea about baserunning. Not quite sure how these will break down but, surely more time will be spent on these items. Bilardello still is an asset, I think. But Memphis and Stubby should be a good match.
With Lester pitching for the Cubs, I would go with Fowler, Carpenter, Diaz, Piscotty, Peralta, Molina, Grichuk, Wong. If Fowler struggles, Carpenter could return to leadoff spot and Fowler could hit down the line, about sixth or seventh.
I'm sure every team will re-instruct its players during spring training about responsibility off the field, as well as on. There has been an unfortunate trend in the DR lately and, from my experience down there many years ago, some of the roads aren't that good. But, somehow, somehow. . . the young players, no matter where they are from, have to take stock of how fortunate to be where they are how careful they must be to protect that.
Do you not consider Molina a star player? I can think of two dozen or more teams that would make him their No. 1 catcher tomorrow. In the area you're referencing, Diaz may be that next big star. You're not going to see another Pujols come along for a long, long time. And that isn't limited to the Cardinals. I can see a lefthanded-hitting outfielder being added before the season as an extra man. There will be plenty out there although they did gamble on trying to get Hazelbaker through waivers and lost him.
I suspect Rolen will be under discussion at the next meeting of the committee. He also becomes eligible next year for the national Hall of Fame and he should at least be popular enough among the voters to get five percent needed to stay on the ballot.
Matheny has been to one World Series and four playoffs in five years. I don't see why not. And anyway, players win these things, not the managers.
It would be a homecoming. Crisp started in the system before being traded to Cleveland for Chuck Finley in 2002. The Cardinals might be looking for a pure lefthanded bat for the position but they could do worse than this accomplished switch-hitter.
I haven't heard of the Reds trying that hard to move Votto. At least not yet. He may have some blanket, or limited, no-trade protection. And trades between teams in the same division aren't that common. Would everybody like to have him? Assuredly. But at what price?
Gyorko will have a chance to contend for the third-base spot, as I understand it. The 30 homers he hit were great. The total of 59 RBIs not so much.
Don't forget "Bang the Drum Slowly," and "Eight Man Out."
You have to give up prospects to get players of that stature and the Cardinals don't yet have that many camera-ready ones besides Reyes.
Ideally, I would prefer a best-of-three series for the first round and then three best-of-seven rounds thereafter. The problem with that is that you're fairly deep in to November at that point. I'm OK with one-game wild-card, but then best-of-seven for the divisional round series. Seven-game series offer a more accurate reading of a team's strengths or weaknesses during the season. Often, the fourth and, especially the fifth, starters aren't seen in the playoffs.
Fans _ and management _ are always concerned about their players when they're away from camp and on these national teams. The Cardinals would be more concerned about the young pitchers and how they're used/not used than they would be about Molina, who will have two weeks in camp before he goes to the Puerto Rican camp in Arizona and then, at least two weeks, at the end of camp.
I wouldn't mind bringing back Brandon Moss. But he would have to be an extra man and not a regular. Price would be an object.
Any team that is struggling either on the field _ or at the box office _ where the Orioles could be hurt, too, if it falls out of the race _ would at least listen to offers about such players. I think they could find a place for Machado here.
Michael Bourn could be an excellent choice for that spot. Depends on the terms and his interest. His speed quotient isn't what it was but he would be a useful extra man.
I can easily Holliday being at least an spring training instructor, much like Edmonds, O. Smith, McGee, etc., especially since he plans to live in the Jupiter area anyway.
The list would be a long one. But it would include Gibson, Brock, Simmons, Hernandez, George Hendrick (a ha!, fooled you), O. Smith, Pagnozzi, Carpenters (both C. and M), Edmonds, Sutter, Tudor, Cox, Guerrero, Herr, Andujar (for the sheer challenge of it). . . And all the managers (even Vern Rapp). , .