Tag Archive | "All Star Selections"

Five Players For The New Cardinals Hall Of Fame

The United Cardinal Bloggers have requested that the member blogs weigh in with their choices for inductees into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall Of Fame.

jim edmonds r1

There are some rules to this little game, so let’s go over those first:

- Players or executives with their name/number retired by the Cardinals are assumed to already be in
- Players or executives who are enshrined in Cooperstown with significant St. Louis ties are not eligible
- Players, managers, coaches, front office and broadcasters are all eligible
- Current active players are not eligible, all players must be retired

The Cardinals are building a new physical Hall Of Fame as part of the Ballpark Village project across the street from Busch Stadium.  It figures to be a shrine to those that impacted the St. Louis Cardinals throughout their career.

That being said, here’s a look at five people that I believe deserve to be included in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall Of Fame.

Curt Flood – Outfielder - 1958-1969
Flood’s stats may not quite stack up to what most Hall Of Fame standards require but it is important to note the overall impact that Flood had on the game.  

Flood’s now famous challenge of the reserve clause gave the game the free agency that we know today.  It also led to a better environment for the players, allowing them to be able to share in the popularity of the sport by demanding higher salaries and greater rewards for being the reason the fans were coming to games anyway.

He doesn’t get in solely on his merits of changing the landscape of the game, however. The man wasn’t a push over on the field, either.  He posted a .293 batting average and 1,853 hits during his time in St. Louis.  He also earned seven Gold Glove awards and three All Star selections while wearing the birds-on-the-bat.

Ray Lankford – Outfielder – 1990-2001, 2004
The Cardinal teams of the 1990′s are long forgotten by many fans, especially the teams of the early 90′s before the arrival of Tony LaRussa.  Those teams were owned by a company that no longer wanted them and the product on the field showed that fact.  Ray Lankford was the bright spot of that entire era.

Lankford, who hit more homeruns than any other player inside of Busch Stadium II, was a well-rounded player that hit over 200 home runs and stole over 200 bases while a Cardinal.  He played the game hard and his body broke down towards the end of his career, but he was a product of the system being drafted and retiring as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.  His production in the 1990′s places him in the Cardinals’ Hall Of Fame as the iconic member of an entire generation of Cardinal fans.

Ted Simmons – Catcher – 1968-1980
Possibly the easiest selection of the all, Ted Simmons draws attention from most Cardinal fans as being deserving of enshrinement in Cooperstown, not just in St. Louis.

Simmons is often remembered as the most prolific offensive catcher in the team’s history.  With 172 home runs while with the Cardinals and six All Star selections, it’s obvious that he was an integral part of the team during his tenure.  Simmons finished in the top-16 of MVP voting six times during his St. Louis career, though he would never win one.

He would play eight more years outside of St. Louis and compile almost 250 home runs total over his career.

Darryl Kile – Pitcher – 2000-2002
It is hard to believe that Kile was only with the Cardinals for such a short period of time.  There may not be a single player that left a more lasting impression on and off the field.

A loving father, devoted Christian, and leader in the clubhouse, Kile helped Cardinal fans remember what it was like to have a true “ace” on the mound in St. Louis again.  He nearly won a Cy Young award and found himself on the All Star roster his first year in St. Louis.  It was his work with his teammates, his visibility as a family man, and his untimely death that made him a part of Cardinal history forever.  His number adorns the wall of the bullpen inside a black circle with white lettering that reads “DK 57″, a symbol easily recognizable by most any Cardinal fan.

Jim Edmonds – Outfielder – 2000-2007
Jim Edmonds was a part of an extremely successful time in St. Louis, becoming one-third of the “MV3″ and engraving spots in people’s memories for years to come.

Under the guidelines of the project, Edmonds is the only one of the MV3 available for enshrinement, save possibly Scott Rolen due to expectations of his coming retirement.  Edmonds was famous for his game saving catches, his tremendous home runs and his charismatic style.  He won six gold gloves, a silver slugger award, and three All Star appearances while with the team.

A team level Hall Of Fame allows the franchise to honor players that fans remember fondly despite the overall concern of the numbers the Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown looks for.  These five players deserve enshrinement as some of the best Cardinals of all time.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
You can follow him on Twitter by 
clicking here.

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King Felix Is Not Adam Wainwright

The Seattle Mariners extended Felix Hernandez‘s contract on Thursday and many St. Louis Cardinal fans reacted quickly, feeling Adam Wainwright‘s price tag just went up.  The problem with that thought is simple, Hernandez is no Wainwright, he’s much, much better.

Cardinals Spring Baseball

Hernandez agreed to a deal that will keep him in Seattle for a reported financial windfall to the tune of seven years and $175 million.

That is not to say that Adam Wainwright is not a very good pitcher, we all know that he is.  It is not to say that Adam Wainwright will not be a very wealthy man when his contract is resolved, he most likely will.  But to say that Wainwright’s price will be based off of Hernandez’s price is a bit absurd.

Both of them debuted in the same year for the team they still play for, the Mariners and Cardinals respectively, and both were due to hit free agency at the same time, after the 2013 season.  That is where the comparisons end, however.

We can start with the obvious point of age.  Hernandez (26) is five years a junior to Wainwright (31).  If you are giving a seven year deal to a pitcher, you would do so to a pitcher Hernandez’s age, not Wanwright’s.  Beyond that, Hernandez has not spent any significant time on the disabled list, has substantially better career numbers, and has earned many more accolades than his St. Louis counterpart.

Tale Of The Tape
Wainwright Hernandez
80 Wins 98
1 20 Win Seasons 0
3.15 ERA 3.22
908 Strikeouts 1487
1073 Innings Pitched 1620.1
214 Games 238
11 Complete Games 23
4 Shutouts 9
1 All Star Selections 3
0 Cy Youngs 1
1 Arm Surgeries 0
1 Missed Seasons 0

That graph shows two very good pitchers.  It also shows one with an injury history, that is older, and is not quite on the same level.

Hernandez translated his career into a $25 million a year payout.  Wainwright will probably look to translate his into $20 million a year for a much shorter period of time.

Calm down, Cardinal Fans, the price of King Felix had little to no impact on the cost of Adam Wainwright.  That price was set before and I highly doubt it moved at all with this news.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Cooperstown Choices: Barry Bonds

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2013, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty four men on the ballot for the first time this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2013 menu at the top of the page.

In this article, we take a look at Barry Bonds

 

Barry Bonds
Barry’s historic career spanned 22 seasons that would see him play for two teams.  His list of accomplishments include: seven Most Valuable Player Awards (1990 and 1992 with Pittsburgh, 1993 and 2001-2004 with the Giants), 14 All Star selections (2 with Pittsburgh, 12 with San Francisco), eight Gold Glove Awards (3 with Pittsburgh, 5 with the Giants), and 12 Silver Slugger Awards (3 with the Pirates, 9 with the Giants).

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1986 PIT 113 413 72 92 26 3 16 48 36 65 102 .223 .330 .416 .746 103
1987 PIT 150 551 99 144 34 9 25 59 32 54 88 .261 .329 .492 .821 114
1988 PIT 144 538 97 152 30 5 24 58 17 72 82 .283 .368 .491 .859 148
1989 PIT 159 580 96 144 34 6 19 58 32 93 93 .248 .351 .426 .777 126
1990 PIT 151 519 104 156 32 3 33 114 52 93 83 .301 .406 .565 .970 170
1991 PIT 153 510 95 149 28 5 25 116 43 107 73 .292 .410 .514 .924 160
1992 PIT 140 473 109 147 36 5 34 103 39 127 69 .311 .456 .624 1.080 204
1993 SFG 159 539 129 181 38 4 46 123 29 126 79 .336 .458 .677 1.136 206
1994 SFG 112 391 89 122 18 1 37 81 29 74 43 .312 .426 .647 1.073 183
1995 SFG 144 506 109 149 30 7 33 104 31 120 83 .294 .431 .577 1.009 170
1996 SFG 158 517 122 159 27 3 42 129 40 151 76 .308 .461 .615 1.076 188
1997 SFG 159 532 123 155 26 5 40 101 37 145 87 .291 .446 .585 1.031 170
1998 SFG 156 552 120 167 44 7 37 122 28 130 92 .303 .438 .609 1.047 178
1999 SFG 102 355 91 93 20 2 34 83 15 73 62 .262 .389 .617 1.006 156
2000 SFG 143 480 129 147 28 4 49 106 11 117 77 .306 .440 .688 1.127 188
2001 SFG 153 476 129 156 32 2 73 137 13 177 93 .328 .515 .863 1.379 259
2002 SFG 143 403 117 149 31 2 46 110 9 198 47 .370 .582 .799 1.381 268
2003 SFG 130 390 111 133 22 1 45 90 7 148 58 .341 .529 .749 1.278 231
2004 SFG 147 373 129 135 27 3 45 101 6 232 41 .362 .609 .812 1.422 263
2005 SFG 14 42 8 12 1 0 5 10 0 9 6 .286 .404 .667 1.071 174
2006 SFG 130 367 74 99 23 0 26 77 3 115 51 .270 .454 .545 .999 156
2007 SFG 126 340 75 94 14 0 28 66 5 132 54 .276 .480 .565 1.045 169
22 Yrs 2986 9847 2227 2935 601 77 762 1996 514 2558 1539 .298 .444 .607 1.051 182
162 Game Avg. 162 534 121 159 33 4 41 108 28 139 83 .298 .444 .607 1.051 182
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
SFG (15 yrs) 1976 6263 1555 1951 381 41 586 1440 263 1947 949 .312 .477 .666 1.143 199
PIT (7 yrs) 1010 3584 672 984 220 36 176 556 251 611 590 .275 .380 .503 .883 147
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/12/2012.

Why He Should Get In
The list here is simply astonishing.  He had 2,935 hits.  He led the league in home runs twice, including the single season record of 73 in 2001.  He won two batting titles.  He finished his career with 762 home runs, 2,558 walks, and 688 intentional walks, all of those are all time records.  He led the league 10 times in on base percentage, seven times in slugging percentage, and nine times in OPS (on base plus slugging percentage).  His career is unparalleled and unrivaled by the best to ever play the game.

Why He Should Not Get In
There are two things keeping Barry out of the Hall: his connection to steroids and he is generally disliked.  He was one of the most brash and disrespectful players in the game when it came with interactions with the media, the fans, or his teammates.  His connection to steroids will keep him out for a good long time, but I would wager to say that he will eventually find his rightful place in Cooperstown.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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Opportunity In Center Field

Last week we began taking a look around the National League Central position by position to see where how the St. Louis Cardinals stack up heading into the 2012 season. We started with right field where St. Louis has the decided edge in both starting talent and depth. This week we slide over to what is for sure the most crucial position in the outfield and possibly on the diamond altogether…center field.

Cardinal nation has grown accustom to excellence in center field over the years. From the likes of Willie McGee to Jim Edmonds it was not just about All-Star selections, batting titles and Gold Gloves. Okay well it was, but it was also about longevity. Since Edmonds left St. Louis following the 2007 the Cardinals have had a revolving door out in center usually reserved for second base. Rick Ankiel, Colby Rasmus and Jon Jay have shagged most of the balls out there over the last four seasons.

Going into this spring Jay looks to solidify the spot and make it his own. For the Cardinals this presents the weakest of the three outfield positions. But perhaps the one with the most upside. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak views Jon Jay as the team’s everyday center fielder rather than the left-handed half of a platoon.

Jay has certainly held his own against southpaws in his career, sporting a .296/.356/.377 batting line as compared to a .298/.348/.436 line against right-handers. The splits evidently have Mozeliak and the Cards prepared to run Jay out there every day rather than find a right-handed hitting complement for him, which enhances his value.

Here is a look around the National League Central and how Jon Jay stacks up against his peers.

 

Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd finished 2011 with nine homers, three steals, 35 RBIs, 51 runs scored and a .276 batting average. Byrd can supply a solid batting average but his lack of power and speed makes him a weak everyday outfielder. At age 34, it’s hard to predict any improvement in his 2012 numbers.

Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs swiped 40 bases in 2011, to go along with 15 homers, 44 RBIs, 92 runs scored and a .243 batting average. Stubbs reached the 40-steal level for the first time. But, the 27-year-old hit just .233 with four homers in the second half. This isn’t the profile of a leadoff hitter and the Reds could look for other options at that spot for 2012. The first Reds player with 40 steals in a season since Deion Sanders had 56 steals in 1997. Unfortunately, it can’t hide Stubbs’ struggles at the dish.

Astros outfielder Jordan Schafer hit .242 with two homers, 13 RBIs, 46 runs scored and 22 stolen bases in 2011. Schafer was traded to the Astros for Michael Bourn after failing to meet expectations in the Braves organization. The 25-year-old former top prospect had mixed results in limited time last season but remains the club’s best in-house option. Jason Bourgeois will continue to fill-in at all three outfield positions, while J.B. Shuck and Brian Bogusevic are also in the hunt . Schafer has enough speed (24 steals in 469 career at-bats) to warrant attention if he can get a full-time role in 2012. But he can’t steal first base and Schafer’s .228 career batting average could keep the 25-year-old from securing regular work.

Brewers center fielder Nyjer Morgan hit .304 in 2011, stole 13 homers, went deep four times, drove in 37 runs and scored 61 times. Morgan continued to be one of the game’s loudest players also let his bat do the talking with the second highest batting average on his team. Surprisingly, the Brewers didn’t let Morgan run the bases aggressively, as he stole 21 bases fewer than in 2009 despite collecting nearly as many hits.

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen smacked 23 homers, swiped 23 bases, drove in 89 runs, scored 87 times and hit .259 in 2011. McCutchen posted his first 20-20 season but his other numbers weren’t as rosy. The 25-year-old was caught stealing 10 times, the same number as in 2010, despite attempting 10 fewer base swipes. He also hit .216 in the second half. There is still plenty of upside here, but several holes too.

Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay smacked 10 long balls, drove in 37 runs, scored 56 times, swiped six bases and hit .297 in 2011. Jay’s development was a key factor in the midseason trade of Colby Rasmus, as manager Tony La Russa wanted to get Jay into the lineup more often. Despite struggling at the dish in the postseason, the 26-year-old could be a big asset if he can exceed 500 at-bats in 2012.

Here is how I rank the center fielders heading into 2012.

  1. Andrew McCutchen
  2. Nyjer Morgan
  3. Drew Stubbs
  4. Jon Jay
  5. Marlon Byrd
  6. Jordan Schafer

Looking Ahead

Jon Jay will not be relied on to match the offensive numbers of his outfield mates Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran. Rather Jay will be looked to for defensive support, which he proved more than capable of providing in 2011. However In part-time at-bats, Jay has proven to be a solid offensive player, hitting for a high batting average with at least serviceable pop. If he can average his production out over a full season it will mean good things for the 2012 Cardinals.

Follow Derek on twitter at @SportsbyWeeze and check him out on Facebook

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25th ANNIVERSARY: Ozzie Smith’s Historic 1985 Postseason

As you know, this entire week is being dedicated to the 1985 “I-70 Series” that Cardinals and Royals fans will, for positive and negative reasons, never forget. It was a series full of headlines, and I won’t even get into the obvious one.

The series is one that most Cardinal fans would like to forget, but nobody aside from Don Denkinger (oops – I said it) had a worse seven games than Ozzie Smith.

Fortunately, I was not around to experience the frustration of that unforgettable series for the Cardinals. I was born in 1992, and actually was in attendance for Ozzie Smith’s final MLB game in 1996. I was three years old and did not know the significance of that game until later on in my life.

Since I was not around to watch the majority of his career, most of my memories of “The Wizard” come in the form of his emotional Hall of Fame speech in 2002. Of course I know him as the remarkable shortstop he was, but I was not lucky enough to get the privilege of watching him play baseball in the prime of his career. His 13 consecutive Gold Glove Awards, 15 All-Star selections, 2460 hits, and 580 stolen bases clearly speak volumes, but I have a feeling that Smith’s play was far more than that. I cannot say for certain, but I bet if you ask anybody alive in Ozzie’s playing days, they’ll tell you that his performance on the field was more than numbers can indicate.

The Wizard was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1982 and immediately made an impact. He made his second All-Star appearance in that first season with the Cards, but I doubt many fans knew what they were going to get out of Smith in the next 15 years. While his first three seasons in St. Louis were impressive, especially in the field, it was in the 1985 season when Ozzie became an offensive threat as well.

In Smith’s first seven seasons leading up to the memorable ’85 campaign, he hit an awful .238 in over 1,000 Major League games. Then, all of a sudden, Smith decided to make his presence felt at the dish as well. In 1985, he went .276 with a .355 OBP, six home runs (career high), 54 RBI, and 31 stolen bases in 158 games.

Although it was not publicly known until after the season, Smith did all of that even after sustaining an impingement in his right shoulder during July of ’85. As the season progressed, it developed into a torn rotator cuff, which typically requires surgery and extensive rehab. Instead, The Wizard let it heal “naturally” and he continued to play. Not only did he play, he played 158 games, plus a historic postseason.

The play most often thought of when Ozzie Smith comes to mind is the game-winning “Go crazy, folks!” home run in Game 5 of the NLCS. Smith batted left-handed against Tom Niedenfuer with one out. He had never hit a home run in his previous 3,000+ left-handed MLB at-bats, but The Wizard pulled a fastball down the right-field line for a walk-off home run.

His defense was, as always, rock-solid in that series against the Dodgers, but it was his offense that surprised most. In 27 plate appearances, Smith had a slash line of .435/.500/.696 with four runs, one double, one triple, one home run, three RBIs and 16 total bases. He was automatic. Smith was named the Series MVP, but it all quickly changed.

Even though his offensive game was probably the best it has ever been in that ’85 NLCS, Smith suffered a drastic drought in the World Series against the team on the other end of Interstate 70. While he seemed to hit anything that came his way in the Championship Series, Ozzie went 2-for-22 in the World Series with only two total bases, compared to 16 in the NLCS.

As Ozzie Smith fell apart and seemed to disappear (at the dish at least) in the World Series, so did the Cardinals. Maybe there’s something more to this than meets the eye. Ozzie Smith was the life force of the entire club, and what happens when that is taken away?

Despite his usual defense play, Smith had a disastrous seven games at the plate, and so did the Cardinals. You can blame Denkinger all you want, but he cannot be held accountable for the entire series. The Cards didn’t show up when it mattered most. I am by no means saying the series was lost because of Smith. It definitely was not. I just find it interesting how, as Smith fell, the team fell. Ozzie Smith was the St. Louis Cardinals, and he wasn’t his normal self in that series. Neither were the Cardinals.

Coincidence?

Justin Hulsey covers the Cardinals for i70baseball and his blog, Rising Redbirds, that is also dedicated to Cardinals baseball and their minor league system. You may follow him on Twitter @JayHulsey by clicking here.

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