my SportsBlog neighbor marc normandin at beyond the boxscore wore out his calculator and, based on computations i can't even begin to fathom, concludes that albert pujols is the best all-around player in baseball. albert takes the honor over a-rod, tejada, beltran, abreu and helton. interesting that barry doesn't merit even a mention -- per the knee and/or the needle, i guess.
more kudos for card'ls at baseball prospectus, which lists our boys as 75 percent certain to win the nl central. of course, the same chart gives the yankees -- winners of 10 straight and well within sight of division-leading bowumore -- only a 9 percent chance of winning the al east, which seems a wee bit low to this untrained eye. . . . . . also forecasts the padres as the clear frontrunners in the nl west. bp foresees an nl tournament of st louis, san diego, florida, and atlanta, with the cards facing the marlins in round 1. so let's hurry up, get these last 4 months of the season over with, and play it off.
fielding stats: grudzielanek ranks 6th in the league at his position in zone rating; rolen 3d, eckstein 15th . . . . the cardinals as a team are 11th in the league in defensive efficiency rating, tied for 5th in dps, have committed the 5th-fewest errors . . . . . they have allowed the fewest sbs (8) in the league and are the only nl team to have nailed more than 50 percent of would-be base thieves.
read elsewhere: per josh at the birdwatch: suppan vs. pha, 5 hr allowed in 7 inn pitched; suppan v ev'ybody else, 1 hr allowed in 39 inn pitched. . . . . per scott at cardnilly: eckstein's hr off wagner (on a 1-2 pitch no less) may trigger other unnatural acts, so upsetting was that result to the cosmic order . . . . certainly upsetting to all of this blog's theories and policy briefs on the subjects of wagner and eckstein. . . . status repts on donnie osborne, mike crudale, teej mathews and others at get up baby . . . . i gotta kick out of the trivia quiz at fungoes. no correct answers, just a kick . . .