FanPost

The Jim Lindeman Precedent, or why the Cardinals can still reach the World Series in 2010 based on historical evidence from 1987

To answer your first question, i've always been a fan of overly long titles.

Whilst researching for another fanpost (About the Cardinals' best and worst ever draft picks) i came across the peculiar case of Jim Lindeman who based on stats alone, i could probably make a decent case for being one of the worst picks ever by the Cards (24th overall 1983).

NB: considering my limited knowledge of anything the Cards have done before 2008 and considering this is based entirely on what the Baseball Reference says about this guy, i apologise in advance to any Lindeman fans out there.

In 1987 Jim Lindeman played the highest number of games in his career, 75, and highest number of PAs, 227, he hit .208/.253/.386 and had an OPS+ of 66 he had no speed, 3 SBs (those would be the last stolen bases of his 8 year career) but was a slightly above average fielder in primarily right field and also played 20 games at 1B whilst Jack Clark was presumably injured (coincidently Clark had an utterly Pujolsian year, highest career OPS 1.055 and tied his highest career OPS+ at 176).

 

What does all this have to do with the Cards in 2010 i hear you cry? Well Jim Lindeman was basically the 80's version of Aaron Miles, and i imagine that if Lindeman was playing today- with his 56:11 strikeout to walk ratio- he would receive the exact same reaction as Miles does. In 2009 Miles was worth -1.4 WAR and is well on the way to matching that this year, in 1987 Miles Sr. was worth -0.5 WAR.

And yet despite having an awful player who couldn't hit, run or field play nearly half the games in the 1987 season, the Cards would go on to win the NLCS and be barely edged out of the World Series in 7 games. No reason we can't do it again this year AND we have other factors in our favour: we are a MUCH better hitting team, even with Albert Pujols incapacitated with retrograde amnesia and we are certainly a better pitching team, no Cardinal hurler in 1987 threw more than 199 innings. 

Just one caveat; as someone who has studied history long enough to know that using history to predict the future is a shaky business and will get you laughed out of pretty much anywhere, i'm not going to say that the 2010 Cards are going to repeat the sucess of the 1987 Cards what i am going to say is that; in spite of having player(s) on the team who are only there because of the amount of grit they secrete from their grit glands there still can be sucess.

In short, cheer up you miserable bunch, we're still better than the Cubs!

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