The Human Whoopie Cushion flashes a serious thought or two when recapping the offseason moves of his beloved St. Louis Cardinals.
Suddenly, away went Larry Walker, Reggie Sanders, Mark Grudzielanek (who, along with Sanders, was signed by the ¦ Royals?), Matt Morris, Julian Tavarez, so on. These weren™t exactly Jim Edmonds-quality guys, but it seemed strange to be doing such large-scale subtraction on a team that didn™t seem in much need of rebuilding. But we could still handle that; we lost Mike Matheny, and every male Cardinals fan secretly believes that if they had caught a break or two, they could have had Mike Matheny™s life (and they™re probably not that far off). We™re sentimental, but we™re realists.
But then came the final straw: the œreinforcements. Notorious lollygagger Juan Encarnacion was signed. For three years. Junior Spivey is almost certain to be confused with Pokey Reese by every Cardinals fan. Braden Looper exists solely for Mets fans to make fun of us. And, the piece de resistance: the signing of Sidney Ponson to a one year deal. Never mind his tendency toward troubles with the bottle, or that 6.21 ERA; we think it™s only a matter of time before a DUI arrest in Clayton turns wrong, and he accidentally eats the breathalyzer. But hey: he has hair now.
The considerably more rational Pip of Fungoes (link courtesy Repoz) responds,
Hopefully Leitch isn’t blaming the Cardinals for not being able to coax Larry Walker out of retirement. And only the poorly run Royals were foolish enough to pay Reggie Sanders and Mark Grudzielanek what they’ll be earning in 2006. Consensus is that the Giants overpaid for Matt Morris, which means the Cardinals would have, too (again, the blame for “breaking tradition” must partially rest with Morris, too), and surely Leitch would consider Julian Tavarez a replaceable commodity (not to mention not exactly in the “traditional” Cardinal mold).
Considering the string of overachieving second basemen the Cardinals have had recently (Vina, Womack, Grudz), one should hardly complain about Spivey. Leitch seems to wish upon a star that doesn’t exist: Few teams (other than the Mets and Yankees, who overpaid) made big free-agent acquisitions this offseason, and the Cardinals, while not signing any truly inspiring names, certainly didn’t make any moves that would cripple them long-term.