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program notes

i don't think i've had a chance to say thanks to all the people who have helped VEB evolve into a true community. i'm referring to the readers / writers who contribute to the conversation here and make it a great place to share enthusiasm and exchange ideas about the cardinals. you guys are thoughtful, articulate, and passionate -- and best of all you're all over the place. new york, austin, milwaukee, virginia, boston, san francisco, oregon, dc, los angeles, kentucky, cincy, upstate illinois, and oh yeah st louis too. a true nation of card fans. gotta love the internet.

so thanks again ev'ybody for showing up and speaking up.

a few little changes on the sidebar: on your left you'll find the "rostercaster," where i'll keep track of personnel comings and goings and payroll machinations. it's a slimmed-down version of the Roster Matrix, which will make periodic appearances in the main column as we mull diff'nt roster scenarios. the $90 million salary ceiling comes straight from bill dewitt, who stated that figure on miklasz's radio show yesterday morning. so the Rostercaster tells us straight off that the cards don't have a ton of money to spend this winter -- probably only enough for one impact signing.

the Rostercaster replaces the Perfect World box; for those of you who care, i promise i will finish that project and report out the results at some point during the winter. but the box hadn't been updated since mid-august and was long overdue for removal. as my three-year-old likes to say: yer 86'd.

also, the links on the rh sidebar have been updated.

i'm going to scale my posting sched back a tad during the offseason -- will still post monday thru friday, then probably put up an open discussion thread of some sort for the weekend (look for the 1st of those this afternoon) and get lost until monday morning. however, if news breaks on a weekend -- a trade, a signing, one of our guys testing poz for steroids, something like that -- i will put up a post with some links, stats, info, and/or my own usual BS.

i'm thinking i'll spend next week looking back over the 2005 season, and an indefinite period of time after that focusing on 2006 -- mainly the roster but also the new ballpark, the schedule, the farm system, and such like. a number of you have expressed interest in posting evaluations of the available free agents, which i think is a great idea. i'll post a diary shortly to get that project off the ground.

as always your diaries are welcomed and encouraged. if you have a trade idea, read a good baseball book, see something of interest online, have thoughts on the mvp / cy awards, etc etc, let the rest of us know. doesn't even have to be strictly baseball related. if you happen to see the rolling stones perform, and in their geezerdom they remind you of the 2005 cardinals' starting outfield -- well hell, that's plenty enough excuse to write a review of the concert and post it here, as far as i'm concerned.

back later today with some links, a little trivia, and a discussion thread.