Kennedy released at a cost of $4mil?
Ankiel AND Ludwick avoid arbitration for a total cost under $7mil??
Pineiro GIVEN the fifth spot in the rotation???
Izzy AND Kennedy sign on with the Rays????
Perhaps the the groundhog didn't see his shadow after all, at least not in Cardinal Land. February has been pretty eventful in St. Louis. And that's saying a lot after watching the club hibernate through most of the winter.
Then again, "eventful" might be too strong a word. "Eventful" would imply that we snatched up a solid starter from the bargain bin. "Eventful" would mean that we managed to shore up our gaping hole at second base. "Eventful" would involve a lot less question marks and a lot more exclamations!
In any case, the Cardinals have managed to make a lot of decisions since the start of the second month. We decided to cut ties completely with Kennedy, we decided to avoid the dreaded abritration process with our two key arbitration eligible players (Ankiel and Ludwick), and decided to hand Joel Pineiro the fifth spot in the rotation...
Let's evaluate each...shall we?
1. Cutting Kennedy- It's been, what, two weeks? And I still don't get it. You talk all winter how you're going to have an open competition at second base. How you expect Kennedy to be a key competitor. And then you...cut him? And at a complete loss of $4mil? At first I was giving Mo some credit. Sure, it might've been a bad "business" move, but it was probably the right "baseball" move. But now I'm not even sure that logic holds up. This was to be Kennedy's last year in St. Louis, there's no doubt about that. And that's exactly why we should've kept him. Not only was he the only experienced second baseman in the mix, he was in his contract year. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't scientists found some sort of formula to prove that players perform at a higher level in their walk years? I mean, it's gotta be written in the book of Natural Law's right between the Law of Gravity and Never Pick Up a Girl at Chuckee Cheese (but that's a whole other story). I'm rooting for Schumaker to succeed at second. I'm rooting hard. But I just don't see how cutting Kennedy made any sense (other than giving Larussa his way once more).
2. Avoiding arbitration with Ankiel and Ludwick- Bravo management! You "managed" to pick the right choice here. You didn't drag things out until you were forced to sit in a room and bad mouth the very employees you're hoping will drag you to the playoffs. I don't think there is a fan out there that would disagree with this choice.
3. Pineiro the undisputed fifth starter- You did what?! What happened to the open competition? What happened to the young guys getting a crack at actually improving the team's weakness? Sure, maybe Pineiro has the most experience. And maybe none of the young guys are ready to step in and pitch every fifth day at the big league level. But do you just hand over the job to a guy that has done nothing to earn it in his time in St. Louis? Personally, I think this was just Tony's way of keeping Pineiro happy after Oquendo snubbed him from team Puerto Rico. But in no way does that make this the right baseball decision. Go ahead, prove me wrong Tony. Make me look stupid Pineiro. I dare ya.
4. Izzy and Kennedy...the Rays- Is it sad that there is so little going on here in St. Louis that we consider two Cardinal castoffs signing with another team "news"? Probably. But nonetheless, it caught my attention. I wish Isringhausen the best of luck. He's going to need it. If he thought facing the Cubs and Brewers every once in a while was tough, HA! Izzy, I'd like you to meet Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Ortiz, and Mr. Texiera. But seriously, I hope he does well. Outside of the last couple of years, Isringhausen was a solid closer for the Cardinals. Kennedy on the other hand. While I'd love for him to somehow provide me with a chance to say "I told you so...", it would just make me sick if he did well next year. Sick in the fact that I'd know WE were the ones PAYING him to perform well for ANOTHER team.
Well, February certainly has kicked off another interesting season of baseball. Let's just hope that we can make it last until October this time around.
Let me know what you think!