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belch fart and pick your teeth

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the off season is here, with the usual off-season agenda:

  • piss and bile -- how it all went wrong
  • what went right in 2005 -- how we got within 2 games of the w.s.
  • assessing needs for 2006 and the market of available talent
  • the farm system -- whom to watch
  • more shameless busch nostalgia, plus progress reports on demolition
  • progress reports on the new stadium construction
  • interviews with the rich famous and powerful

as much as possible i'll be trying to address these subjects in orderly fashion. but if you can't indulge whimsy in a blog, where the hell can you? so we won't be too orderly about it. and i won't really get started until the world series is over. we should all enjoy the games, but more to the point it probably helps to have a little distance from the season and the playoffs before we dive back in. as a wise man once said: always take the time to belch fart and pick your teeth before you clear away the dishes and start chopping garlic for the next meal.

i'm also very open to suggestion. if there's anything you want to see in the main column, post a comment here and let me know what's of interest. or better yet post a diary and just get the conversation going.

here's a little hot-stove kindling i've run across in the last few days:

this guy thinks la russa is an idiot -- and appears to believe this is an original thought.

pretty war gives us the man at dusk before last wednesday night's finale at busch.

the free agent market is thin, i know, but rondell white??? . . . . the same chart has furcal, giles, and lofton all going to the (!) cubs; morris to the dodgers, sanders to the nats.

Bleed Cubbie Blue confirms that the cubs want giles -- also claims juan pierre is theirs for the asking.

vis-vis the cards' own roster moves, here's a little tool i drew up to help us track personnel comings and goings: the 2006 roster matrix. the cardinals have all of these guys under contract for 2006 or retain their rights. the salary figures are taken from hardball dollars or are wild-ass guesses based on service time, playing time, and performance.

i'll put a version of this on the left-hand sidebar, where it'll be on view permanently.

2006 ROSTER MATRIX

STARTING 8 BENCH ROTATION PEN
molina c
~$600K
taguchi of
$1m
carpenter rhp
$5m
is'hausen rhp
$8.5m
pujols 1b
$14m
luna if
$350K
mulder lhp
$7.5m
king lhp
$2.3m
[vacant] 2b gall 1b-of
$320K
marquis rhp
~$4.5m
thompson rhp
$350K
rolen 3b
$11m
rodriguez of
$320K
suppan rhp
$4m
flores lhp
~$500k
eckstein ss
$3.5m
seabol 3b
$320K
an reyes rhp
$320K
ty johnson lhp
$320K
[vacant] lf duncan 1b
$320k
wainwright rhp
$320K
cali lhp
$320K
edmonds cf
$9.5m
schumaker of
$320k
[vacant] rf