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tidbits, crumbs, specks of lint

deadspin is looking for tidbits about the cardinals for his baseball season preview. he posted items on the devil rays monday, the giants yesterday; the blue jays are due up today, and then (if i correctly grok the backwards-alphabet trope here) san diego thursday and texas friday. that would put the cards in line for a monday appearance, so we have a few days to help deadspin out.

but before we all start inundating deadspin's inbox with our ideas, keep in mind that these bits are not your usual preseason fodder; stats, predictions, homilies need not apply. read the giant / devil ray posts to get the gist of what dspin's looking for. i would describe it like this: all cardinal-related items that illuminate some facet of human nature in all its weird, sad, irrational glory are fair game.

some of you may now be tempted to send in a tip that reads simply "sidney ponson" or "rick ankiel." don't do it.

remember, too, that deadspin editor will leitch is a native illinoisan and diehard st louis fan; it'll take a pretty tiddy bit of cardinalia to impress him. but if you have something that you think passes muster, send it on in. a free VEB t-shirt (they're coming !!!) to any reader who places an item in deadspin's stl preview.

before we stray too far from the subject of ankiel: david pinto compares him to this unlucky comic-strip character. never heard of'm. . . .

peter gammons reports this morning that rock clemens will pitch this season for the astros. he's even been assigned his 1st start already: june 2 vs cincinnati. kudos to mlbtraderumors on another scoop; he wrote much the same thing back in december, citing an astros source: he wrote: "After pitching in the World Baseball Classic, expect Clemens to take a few months off and return to the Astros around mid-June."

SB Nation neighbor blog McCovey Chronicles conducted a community projection of matt morris yesterday -- in theory, anyway. in actual practice the thread ended up being primarily about former giant (and cardinal) pitcher brett tomko, and secondarily about nomar garciaparra, livan hernandez, mark portugal, and terry mulholland, with cameos from greg maddux and old man fassero. also some discussion about whether or not morris smokes. as for the actual projections of morris' line . . . well, the very first respondent thinks matt will give the giants just 75 innings this year before breaking down. but the most recent post (as of 6 am mountain standard) has morris going 27-3.

uss mariner has perused the over/unders in vegas and thinks the cardinals' number -- 93.5 wins -- is one of the easiest plays on the board. "Any team thinking about playing Scott Spiezio is a friend of the under," he writes. the only higher number is the yankees', at 97.5; both soxes (white and red) are listed at 92. vegas pegs the cards' toughest nl challengers as the mets at 90.5 and the braves at 88; within the nl central, the cubs stand at 84.5, the astros at 82, the brewers at 81.

keep in mind that these numbers have more to do with betting behavior than ballplaying ability. after 205 wins in two years, the cardinals are already drawing plenty of bets, so the bookies have to raise the number just to cover their backsides. it's the oldest form of community projection there is -- and, interestingly enough, the output is right in line with the projected win totals we've been deriving via other means.