apparently at least one team topped the dodgers' offer to jason schmidt --- the orioles, who offered $48m over 3 years. schmidt turned them down, saying he wanted to stay on the west coast. that suggests that the cardinals likely were gonna have to outbid the dodgers by plenty --- say, $5m or more over the life of the deal --- to get schmidt to play in st louis. and it's no sure thing that $47m was the dodgers' top dollar; it may be that if st louis went to 3 / $52m, the dodgers would have countered at 3 / $50m, forcing the cardinals higher yet. it's for that reason that i hold the cardinals blameless for the outcome of the schmidt sweepstakes. the circumstances are far different than they were a one winter ago, when they let aj burnett slip through their fingers. burnett wanted to play for the cardinals, who he grew up rooting for (he's from arkansas), and was willing to take less money to play for st louis. the money now left on his contract --- 4 years, $48m --- is only a few million more than what the cardinals reportedly offered jason schmidt this week (their top offer was said to be in the 3 yr / $42m range). and it's about the same as what gil meche, ted lilly, and (likely) jeff suppan will be making over the next few years. woulda coulda shoulda . . . . .
also turns out that barry bonds re-signed with the giants. i never could take seriously the intimations that the cardinals might be interested. but it got me wondering: who was the biggest jerk to wear a cardinal uniform in your memory? keith hernandez leaps to mind as a candidate, but he was beloved throughout his tenure in st louis; only after getting traded did we come to perceive him as a total a-hole. (and bygones seem to be bygones; from what i can tell, ol' mex is back in good graces.) garry templeton's a strong contender; remember his "if i ain't startin', i ain't departin'" line, indicating his refusal to join the nl all-star team as a reserve? templeton's crotch-grabbing and bird-flipping didn't exactly do the uniform proud, either . . . . vince coleman deserves mention for his firecracker-throwing exploits, but they took place ex-post-birdos. ditto steve carlton's anti-semitic ravings. . . . . hoolie tavarez and steve kline gotta be on the ballot; i'd put joaquin andujar there, too.
short post this morning; i'm on a plane today, very early flight. barring any important news, i'm outta here until monday.