Last years Hot Stove signings included Carl Crawford and Jason Werth who both were gigantic (and expensive) boat anchors for their teams. The Cardinals, on the other hand, didn’t make any big waves. Hey, they already had one of the Top 5 players in baseball in Albert Pujols and they had a good complementary player for him in Matt Holliday and a pitcher who used to be their ace, Chris Carpenter. He would have to be their ace again because Adam Wainwright was lost for the year.
They did spend a few million on a guy most thought was over the hill, washed-up, finished! Lance Berkman proceeded to be the best value free agent acquisition of the year. He hit 31 HR and OPS’ed .959, which are “near superstar” numbers. Then they proceeded to resurrect the careers of Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse, Arthur Rhodes and Jake Westbrook. They they mixed in guys like Jason Mott, John Jay, David Freese and Allen Craig. Craig and Freese are both living proof that it takes some players well into their late 20′s to realize their potential.
Craig and Freese were both very instrumental in the Cardinals winning during the season, the playoffs and the World Series. And… let’s not forget old friend Rafael Furcal who was pulled from the scrap heap and because the starting shortstop. Guys like Skip Schumaker and Ryan Theriot who don’t strike fear into any baseball fans heart, were both key role players as well.
My point is that I do not believe that the Cardinals had more talent that the 2011 Dodgers. They simply executed better!
The moral of the story: Sign the guy nobody wants who ends up being a steal. Get a few retreads and build around your Top 5 player (Kemp), complementary players (Ethier & Loney) and count on your ace (Kershaw). Scorn the high-priced free agents. It hasn’t worked for the Dodgers…
The Phillies had the best rotation in baseball, but couldn’t get it done. Only an idiot would trade the Phillies Starting Five for the Cardinals Starting Five, but the Phillies went home and the Cards were the champions. The STAT GEEKS had it all wrong! Again? Again!
Frank McCourt may be on his way out of town, but the Dodgers may also not have an owner anytime soon. The Dodgers may have to stand pat with this team with a tweak or two… AND THAT’S OK WITH ME!
- 1B – Loney = Not Quite Berkman
- 2B – Castallanos/DeJesus/Sellers/Miles
- SS – Gordon (better than Raffy)
- 3B – THIS IS WHERE THE DODGERS NEED HELP. I SUGGESTED SANDS, BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOO! (Ramirez????) Uribe? NOOOOO! Maybe…
- LF – Rivera
- CF – Kemp = Pujols
- RF – Ethier = Holliday