Mar 2010 22

Spring training greetings from…well, St. Louis. Sorry, my travel budget for this job is pretty much restricted to gas money to go to the local bar.

As the weather warms up (and, in St. Louis, fluctuates constantly), opening day looms ever nearer. If you’re like me, you’ll be playing hooky and watching the game. Unless my boss is reading this, in which case I’ll be working diligently and productively. Ahem.

Just a few quick notes about the Cardinals this season.

– If you’re like me, you were a little shocked at the “reports” of internal Phillies talk regarding trading Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols. Fortunately, the idea was pretty much universally slammed, and people tended to overlook the fact that it was an internal dialogue. Really? The Phillies want Pujols? What team doesn’t? Pujols truly is a once-in-a-lifetime talent, and the Cardinals recognize this. John Mozeliak would have a riot on his hands if Pujols were to wear another uniform in the next decade. My guess? Pujols re-signs after either this season or next for 8 years, around $220 million. With the trade last year of Brett Wallace, it’s ever more likely Albert will remain a Bird for life.

– Don’t expect huge numbers from Colby Rasmus this year. He has put up solid numbers in spring training, but many players traditionally have a sophomore slump (2002 was statistically Pujols’ worst year in many aspects), and I think Rasmus is at least a year away from putting up some hefty numbers. There’s no doubt, though, he’s our center fielder of the future. I”ll put Holliday, Rasmus, and Ludwick against almost any outfield in the majors now.

– The Cardinals also have the best one-two combo of any starting rotation in the National League right now. Yes, even better than the Giants. As long as Carpenter and Wainwright can stay healthy this year, count on 16-18 wins from each of them and thoughts of a Red October.

That’s about it for now. In case you’re wondering who I am, my name’s Steve, and I’ve been a lifelong resident of St. Louis. I’ll be posting regularly about the Cardinals and other various St. Louis/Missouri sports teams, but the Cardinals have been and always will be my first passion. Feel free to send me comments, thoughts, post ideas, beer money, etc. Thanks for reading, and I”ll see you soon.


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