and just in time to cheer up we cheerless st louis fans: a look back at the mulder trade, from a bay area perspective:
''The thing is, his velocity during the 2004 season continued to go down, even in spring training,'' said A's advance scout Joe Sparks, who was hired by the club in 2003 after eight seasons as a Cardinals advance scout. ''We played a game in Surprise (Ariz.) and his velocity was 85-86 (mph). I remember the first time I scouted him in the Instructional League he was 93-95. That's a big drop-off.''
more lhp news: chris narveson pitched another beauty last night at memphis -- 6 shutout innings, 2 hits, 0 runs. thanks to milb's nifty new player pages, i can tell you that narveson has allowed just 2 runs over his last 22 innings. that stretch has pulled his overall era down to 2.65 in 68 triple-a innings this year. i don't for moment suggest that he should go into the st louis rotation . . . . but i also don't think a person would have to be insane to propose such an idea. this guy has thrown 700 minor-league innings, 370 of them in the high minors (ie, double and triple a). he's almost 25 years old --- not a baby. and he certainly could do no worse than the crippled left-hander who started on tuesday.
like i said, i'm not an advocate; i think reyes is a better (albeit not left-handed) and more logical rotation alternative. but in some organizations -- yes, even contending ones -- narveson would actually be regarded as an option, worthy of serious consideration . . . . .
see this diary for more narveson chat.
last item: i don't know where i read this ---- somebody help me if you saw it --- but in the last day or two i saw an article about how the 1958 chicago white sox stand as the worst second-best team in baseball history. that is, no league has ever had a weaker 2d-best team than the american league of 1958 . . . . until, possibly, this year. the cardinals, at 66-60, still have the nl's 2d-best record, with a winning pct (.524) lower than that of the '58 sox (.532). st louis is currently on pace for 85 wins; the nl's 2d-best team --- whoever it is --- must reach 87 wins to avoid "beating" the '58 white sox.
see? the 2006 cardinals really do have a chance to have a historic season.