As the new year is impending, it is time to resolve. Time to make sure that 2013 has good intentions. Time to cast wishes and strive to achieve them before that magical moment that marks another trip around a giant, glowing ball of hydrogen and helium.
In an effort to help this process, I humbly (or hubristically -- take your pick) submit the following.
- I, Mike Matheny, resolve to bunt less in 2013 especially early in the game. We discussed this a lot. Bunting is not a bad move under certain circumstances. Those circumstances typically involve being late in a game, needing one run to tie or win and having a sub par hitter at the plate. It makes sense to bunt then to improve your odds of scoring one run. Contrary to what the Cardinals' announcing crew says, bunts and not home runs are the rally killer. When you give away outs, the likelihood of scoring multiple runs decreases. Pro tips: Bunt with Daniel Descalso not Jon Jay. Bunt late not early. Bunt when you need one run not multiple.
- I, Jon Jay, resolve to be a more obviously good player. Jon, the fans need to better understand that you were a 4 win player last year. That's really good. Fans love it when you fling yourself into a wall to make a great catch. Fans love it when you steal bases. Fans love it when you hit homeruns. I'm glad you were worth 4 wins last year but you didn't look like a player who should be worth 4 wins. Oh, and we're still waiting for that batting title scouts said you would win.
- I, Jamie Garcia's labrum, resolve to stay in one piece.
- I, Carlos Beltran, resolve to hit like it is the first half of the year, all year. In April, May and June, Carlos Beltran had a wRC+ of 132, 198 and 148. Then he cratered in July and August. Maybe it was injuries, maybe it was the heat, maybe it was fatigue. Whatever the case, summer's Beltran was less awesome than spring.
- I, John Mozeliak, resolve to not make (any more) bizzaro lateral moves this offseason. The Ty Wiggington signing (for two years!) was odd. Pointless, even. That said, Mozeliak didn't trade Jon Jay and then sign Michael Bourn to a 4 year deal. He didn't move Trevor Rosenthal for a reliever with similar stats. We can gripe about Wiggington, and rightfully so, but unforced errors like trading Shin-Soo Choo to then sign Nick Swisher or trading Mark Melancon for Joel Hanrahan are the kinds of things you really don't want to see your GM do. There's a small group of GMs that can pull off seemingly incredible trades (Andrew Freidman, Alex Anthopolous) but being a good GM often entails just not mucking things up too badly. So far, John Mozeliak hasn't made any of the grievous unforced errors for which we should be thankful.
- I, Lance Lynn, resolve to stay in the rotation all season. Lynn ended 2012 with 9.20 K and 3.27 BB per 9 innings. Pretty impressive. The problem was a late season blip that sent him back to the bullpen. The Cardinals don't need Lynn to be a starter but good starters are inherently more valuable than good relievers. It's better for everyone (except a few top level prospects) if Lynn remains a good starter. He's shown he can do it for a period of time; now he needs to show he can do it for a full season.
- I, David Freese, resolve to avoid deer.
- I, Jason Motte, resolve to allow fewer dingers. Without parsing the "why" of the dinger, Motte's only flaw in 2012 was home runs. He posted his best full season xFIP, which normalizes home runs to ~10% of flyballs allowed, of his career. If he can pitch like he did in 2012, without the home runs, he could be a top reliever in baseball. (Aside: holy crap, Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. 3 win relievers? Wow.)
- I, Marc Rzepczynski, resolve to ignore instructions to pitch to right handed hitters. It's not that Rzepczynski was particularly bad in 2012; it's that he was particularly bad against the excessive number of right handed hitters he was asked to face. He pitched to almost an equal number of right handers and left handers. Mike Matheny's bullpen deployment needs work.
Resolutions aren't just for the team. They are for all of us. What follows is for your own good.
- I, a member of the VEB collective, resolve:
- to end the mysterui's mom's jokes - If mysterui's mom got as much action as this blog claimed she did, it wouldn't be hot dog in a hallway but more like hot dog in the Chunnel. It's a lowest common denominator form of humor. Strive to be more insulting and more creative in 2013.
- to stop using the real block quote for fake blockquote mischief - It's confusing. If you want to fake blockquote, the fake AP stylebook says it should use fake html. "(fakeblockquote) blah blah blah (/fakeblockquote). It lets you deliver the joke without the confusion of a reader trying to sift written sarcasm.
- to accept that VEB 3.0 is here to stay - I know that some of you don't like the white space. I know that some of you don't like the color scheme. I still miss the second time stamp from VEB 1.0. It's one of those things we can't change now though. VEB is evolving. 2013 VEB will have more posts each day. It will have minor league content built in. It can still retain it's sense of community throughout this change. It can't, however, revert to VEB 2.0. VEB is dead, Long live VEB.
Simple things really. Things to think about tomorrow night after your 4th or 5th Irish Car Bomb. See you next year!