Tagged: Awards

Yadie Was Robbed!!

Yadier_4_5_05_throws_to_first_for_outThe crime rate just went up in St. Louis.  The Gold Glove was taken away from Yadier Molina and given to Brad Ausmus.  Are you kidding me?  Yadier’s .216 batting average was ok BECAUSE he is such a STUD behind the dish.  He is second to none.  I have to say, that when I heard that Brad Ausmus had won the award, i was more surprised than the many baserunners that were caught napping too far from 1st base this year and subsequently plucked out with precision.  I will give credit where credit is due, and yes, it is true that Brad only had 2 errors all season long, and one passed ball, but it is easy to not have passed balls when you have Clemens, Pettitte, and Oswalt throwing to you.  Yadier had to deal with Sidney Ponson, Jason Marquis, and a bullpen that wasnt always at the top of their game.  When I look at catchers I look at their ability to call pitches, set up correctly, fire to 2nd quickly, make the out on a play at home, and be the leader on the field.  I mean, the Astros were considering not even bringing Ausmus back this past year, until Clemens said he would only come back if Ausmus was his catcher.  Anyway, I am convinced that his Batting Average hurt him, even though it isnt supposed to be considered in determining the best defensive player at each position.  He will be ok offensively, so don’t worry Cardinal Nation.  Look what he did in the post-season.  Look what he did in 2005 (.252).  I am just at a loss of words.  He has picked up the high caliber expected of Cardinals catchers right where Mike Matheny left off.  And I hope he is our back-stop for years to come.  Yadier you are the Gold Glove award winner in my opinion.  The good news is that Brad Ausmus will be walking with a cane to come and watch you play soon, he is over the hill.

So there you have it.  Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you out there…..

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Gold Gloves at the Corners

Albert_pujols_021706Congratulations to Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen.  It was just announced a few hours ago that they are 2006 Gold Glove winners at their postions.  This is especially sweet for Pujols, being his first Gold Glove.  Everyone on the planet, knows what he can do at the plate, but he has worked so hard and improved to Gold Glove caliber.  It isn’t a coincidence  to me, that the last great play that Albert made in 2006 was in the field during the last game of the World Series.  He found a ball that most first basemen would never even get to, then he found a way to get the ball to Jeff Weaver for the out.  From starting off as an outfielder back in the waning hours of the McGwire era, to taking over at 1st base full time for the Cardinals in 2003, his defensive abilities have increased every year.  He is far and away the best player in baseball.  I can’t think of a single weakness in his game.  He is a good baserunner, He is the best hitter in the game, and now he has his first gold glove and a .996 fielding percentage  to add to his list of accomplishments.

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For Scott Rolen on the other hand, Gold Gloves are almost expected.   This is his 7th Gold Glove, and he has won the award every year that he has played at least 120 games except his rookie year of 1997.  Mike Schmidt said he was the best 3rd baseman to ever play the position.  Pretty high praise from a Hall of Famer who also played the hot corner.  Scott Rolen, in my opinion should also be the Comeback player of the year for the National League.  He just might win it, if Nomar Garciapara doesn’t.  It will be a close race.  But back to the Gold Gloves.  With 7 now, Rolen only trails Mike Schmidt (10) and Brooks Robinson (16).  And Rolen is only 31, so you never know.  Congratulations to both of you on your 2006 National League Gold Gloves.
Noticeably absent was Jim Edmonds, who

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has won 8 Gold Gloves and has made the best plays I have ever seen.  He has made plays that Willie Mays wouldn’t have made over the years, most recently the catch in the 2006 NLDS against the Padres.  We might not have even gone to the World Series if he hadn’t gone horizontal and caught the ball against the Astros in the 1st inning of Game 7 in 2004.  But this year was a little different.  I was there on April 13th sitting right behind him, and he made 3 misplays.  I am not sure if they scored them all as errors, but he had just made more mistakes in one game than he had the entire year before.  He went on to have a pretty good year in the field, but his concussion and post concussion stress disorder, mixed with his foot, mixed with his philosophy of throwing caution to the wind when it came to diving into walls, hills, warning tracks, even other players (Reggie Sanders in 2005).  At the end of the 2006 season, while he is still the best centerfielder in the game, he just had missed too much time and not been as consistant as in the past.  But who knows, maybe he will win another before it is all said and done.
In closing, I want to go on record as saying that next year, I think Yadier Molina could very well join the list of Gold Glove award winning Cardinals.  He was absolutely ROBBED this year.  Brad Ausmus? I mean, come on? That is a load of ****..

The more i think about it, this deserves a whole seperate article…I have already written two toady, but this is too important to not address.  Yadie was robbed!!  The voters are not supposed to consider offense when voting on the best defensive player at each position, but I can’t help but think they held his poor average this year agianst him.  Yadie is HANDS DOWN the best defensive catcher in the league, maybe even all of baseball.  How many runners did Ausmus pick off at 1st? I don’t know the number, but i guarantee you it wasn’t as many as Yadier "Cannon" Molina snipped off.  He even had a pickoff at 1st against the Reds that ended the game.  Anyway, I am going to write about all this.

So there you have it.  Agree?  Disagree?  Let me hear from you out there…..

Thanks,
Josh
 

David Eckstein – “The Cardinals’ Little Big Man”

World_series_mvpIt seems like everyday this post-season, the St. Louis Cardinals had a different Hero.  One day I am thankful for Spiezo’s triple that last weekend of the season, just to help us hang on to our lead in the Central, and the next i am thankful for Pujols, Rolen, Taguchi, Molina, you name it.  But now that the season is over, I am going to recognize each and every contributor that the Cardinals had this year that i feel is noteworthy.  So what better place to start, than the World Series MVP, David Eckstein.  "He is the toughest player I have ever seen in a uniform", boasts Tony La Russa in an interview during the World Series.  Just two years ago, right after our last trip to the World Series, we were scared to death at the thought of losing Edgar Renteria to free agency.  Well, we did, but Walt Jocketty had a plan.  For less than a third of what it would have cost to keep Edgar Renteria, he went out and signed David Eckstein of the Angels.  Immediately Cardinals fans everywhere started to speculate at what we had gained or lost.  I never bought into it, but in almost everything I heard or read, it was being said that he was a decent fielder with poor arm strength.  Most every analyst figured we were losing some of our defensive power.  Boy, could they not have been more wrong.  Eck_3

Just as he does with everything, he worked hard at improving his arm strength.  He was tenacious in the field, at the plate, in the clubhouse, in the batting cages.  He even sprints to 1st base after a walk.  I have seen him come up with some balls at short, that make me think of another Cardinals great, Ozzie Smith.  What he lacks in natural talent, he makes up in successful edfforts.  The Grand Slam last year to beat the Braves…The Sqeeze bunt to edge past the Cubs last year…The single that kept our season alive in game 5 of the 2005 NLCS, the same single that was followed two batters later by the Pujols blast that sent us back to St. Louis for Game 6. Eckstein_beer_2

  And then there was this year’s World Series.  David Eckstein tore up the Tigers pitching the last few games of the World Series.  Even with the injuries that he went through this season, he battled back.  I went to several games this year, and one of the best parts was to watch his pregrame stretching routine.  He was always one of the first players on the field.  He would stretch and warm up, run some sprints, play long toss (usually with Miles), all in preparation for the upcoming game.  I have heard his story about always overcoming adversity.  So here’s to you David Eckstein, World Series MVP.  You embody what every team would love to have, the perfect combination of hustle, ability, determination, and enthusiasm.  What a positive message to send to our youth, that with hard work and determination, nothing is impossible.  It reminds me of the message in the movie, "Facing The Giants".  If you haven’t seen it, i HIGHLY reccomend it.  I went and saw it the afternoon of Game 5, only to watch Eckstein win the MVP award.  I am so glad you are on our team, I am so glad you are a part of the Cardinals family, and I hope you are for years to come.

 

So there you have it.  Agree?  Disagree? Let me hear from you out there…..

Thanks,

Josh