danup has some outstanding analysis about where edmonds falls on the trajectory of decline. it's a very realistic, guardedly optimistic assessment -- but it only reinforces what a tough call edmonds' contract situation is.
derrick goold's pre-spring-training edition of postcards has yet another iteration of the ever-shifting dimensions of busch iii's outfield wall. he says -- citing an e-mail from the stadium architect -- the distances will be 335 feet down the lines, 385 to the gaps, and 400 to dead center. still sounds like a pitcher's park to me; i guess we'll know for sure when they raise the damn fences. . . . . goold's post also includes an off-the-cuff all-1970s redbird team. i agree with all his selections (alas alack, ted sizemore really was the franchise 2bman of the decade) with one exception -- reggie smith's gotta be the rf. it's a shame they never had him, hernandez, and simmons together in the same lineup over an entire season.
rich lederer at baseball analysts took a look two days ago at groundball pitchers and unearned runs; found out that high-gb types tend to yield more unearned tallies. he had expected as much because, in his words, "most fielding miscues occur on grounders rather than flyballs." unearned runs, in other words, are the gb pitcher's cost of doing business -- and the cardinals' gb specialists paid it in full last season. three of them (suppan marquis and morris) ranked among the top 13 major league pitchers in terms of unearned runs as a percentagte of total runs allowed. lederer claims that such pitchers are more likely to regress than hurlers who yield low unearned-run rates; scary thought, that marquis might actually pitch worse in 2006. at the same time, lederer acknowledges that even though ground balls are more likely to turn into hits and errors, they are less likely to turn into extra base hits and homers.