news, views, and fluff to start off the weekend:
- the cardinals lost cody haerther on waivers to the toronto blue jays. that's a damn shame. after his stellar 2005 season, haerther looked like a good bet to crack the cardinal roster by 2007 as a 4th outfielder, if not an everyday player. PECOTA has always liked him; his top comps include andre ethier, adam laroche, john rodriguez, and ross gload, all of whom can hit. scouts projected him (best case) as the next rusty greer. but he hasn't made any progress the last couple of seasons --- had an off-year in 2006 and missed most of last year with injuries. he turned 24 years old last july and is running out of time, but the guy has hit at every level. i hope he manages to stay healthy and have himself a career.
- the tampa tribune says the d-rays are interested in troy percival. add'l info in a related item in the paper's blog:"Percival's agent Paul Cohen said at least three and possibly four teams have said they are interested in using the veteran as a closer next season." any guesses as to who those teams are? the cubs might be one, if they follow through on their plan to move ryan dempster to the rotation; brewers might be another, given the likely departure of francisco cordero; and the astros are now in the market for a closer, having dealt away brad lidge. of course the agent might just be blowing smoke, but given the high cost of closers and the dearth of them on the market, it stands to reason that teams would consider percival an option --- and he might well end up with a division rival. the tribune adds that the rays are interested in percival not as a closer but rather as a setup man for incumbent saves artist al reyes (another ex-cardinal).
- kenny rogers became the second player this off-season (joining a-rod) to defy scott boras in a bid to stay with his old team. i wonder if either of'm learned from jeff weaver's experience last year. weaver wanted to return to st louis, but boras steered him away for a few extra benjamins; disastrous career move. rogers' case isn't exactly comparable to weaver's, as kenny is 873 years old and probably entering his last season, whereas weaver was at mid-career. all the same, weaver's case drew a lot of attention last winter because of his postseason exploits. maybe these players are finally starting to wise up.
- if you haven't read matt leach's Q+A w/ john mozeliak, i recommend it. i liked this statement from mo:
We're not just going to throw money at somebody [just] because that's what other people are doing. We need to make sure that we're assessing and identifying players that can help us. And if they don't fit the financial structure that we believe their value is, why would we just overpay to say we've done something? Because in the end, if you do a bad contract, somewhere along the way, you're going to regret it. It's easier not to make the mistake than to make the mistake and try to fix it.
- the 1986 cardinals went 3-3 during the past week and are tied for 3d place, a game and a half back. they dropped 2 of 3 to the detested mets, with both losses coming in the new yorkers' last at-bat --- one of them on a walkoff 3-run bomb by mookie wilson. feh.
- the guys at SB Nation brother site AZ Snakepit launched an awesome new meme: your favorite ballplayers in South Park guise. here are my sketches of tony la russa and albert pujols:
to create these little characters you go here --- hours and hours of time to be wasted. enjoy!