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latest news: zzzzzzzzz . . . . . .

jocketty and la russa gave separate interviews to miklasz on his morning show at 1380 am today. there's a long thread about the interviews at the pressbox, from which i've culled a few of jocketty's remarks (as paraphrased by posters):

  • Cards looking for 2 more right-handed relievers - either Looper/Dotel and one other guy like Felix Rodriguez/Saenz type. Probably will fill these 2 holes in the next week or so. (the looper reference was made before espn's assertion this morning's that looper is likely bound for philadelphia.)
  • After relievers are dealt with, Walt will be on the hunt for a corner OF - Bernie mentioned J.Jones/Encarnacion and Walt stated those were not out of the realm for the Cards.
  • Walt thinks there will be clubs between now and Spring Training that will realize their budgets are out of wack and some quality guys will be available at that point.
  • 2nd base candidates should be fine (Luna, Miles, Cruz).. If we started tommorow with group we have, team could be solid. Hopefully we can find another hitter (corner of). Jacque Jones not necessarily outta reach. Talked to his agent yesterday.
  • One thing to keep in mind, clubs will sit back later on and look at their budget. People could be freed up for trades. If we dont get our guy now, they'll be patient and wait for one of those guys to pop up.
i didn't hear the show and therefore am reluctant to draw firm conclusions from these statements. it's pretty clear that both interviews were largely p.r. appearances to counter the bad press heaped on the organization post-dallas (much of it by bernie himself). the main objective was to project a sense of calm, soothe fan-base jitters and provide some reassurance; also to dampen expectations of an impending major deal a la last year's mulder trade. as for the names discussed , you take them for what they're worth; if jock says the cards are looking at felix rodriguez and jeff nelson, it either means he really is considering those guys or it means he just needed some names to fill radio air time. . . . . with the non-tender list due out in 6 days, i would tend to think (and hope) it's the latter.

catching up on reading i missed while in minneapolis: rob at the birdwatch roughs out a case that the cards as currently constituted -- ie, with no further acquisitions -- are about a 90-win team; add one league-average regular and they likely project to the mid-90s. the problem with the analysis (which rob himself admits) is that it assumes 2005 production carries directly over to 2006 -- another cy young season by carp, no further aging by edmonds; conversely, no improvement by molina and no rolen "health dividend." but despite that caveat, i still buy rob's conclusion that the cardinals' mistakes this off-season haven't irreversibly damaged their 2006 prospects. . . . . if this morning's prOPS post didn't satisfy your appetite for scientific wild-ass guessing, rob's followup today features projections culled from the bill james handbook.

cardnilly finished up his catalog of free-agent outfielders with this summation: "It's a sad lot, and any of them will likely be more expensive than they're actually worth." today he's up with hopeful musings about toronto's orlando hudson, the latest choi hoon `toons, and a link to a very funny la russa rock n roll diary in the riverfront times.

ryan posted the hot stove haiku winners yesterday, as well as assorted thoughts about braden looper. today he's got an interview with the springfield cards' beat writer which i admit i haven't read yet. but it appears to have the makings of an informative farm-system piece. . . . .

. . . . and what a great segue into bellyitcher's current post: a blog-scrabble game (scrabblog??) in which every word you form has to be the name of a springfield cardinal. somebody named laura has raced out to a large lead, and with the x and z already on the board she is going to be tough to catch . . . .

finally, thanks to ev'yone who nominated this site in the Red Reporter's 2005 Sports Blog Awards. that was damn nice of ya.