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azruavatar's elimination game and stl3bagger's diary about hall of famers on the cardinal roster got me thinking about edmonds and pujols. where do those two rate among the great tandems in franchise history?

when his current contract expires, edmonds will have been with the cardinals for 9 seasons, 8 of which he will have spent playing alongside albert. that alone --- longevity --- distinguishes them as a duo. as far as i can tell, these are the longest-running position-player pairs in franchise history:

players years duration
musial
schoendienst
1946-1955 10 years
javier
flood
1960-1969 10 years
brock
simmons
1970-1979 10 years
musial
slaughter
1942, 1946-1953 9 years
ozzie
willie
1982-1990 9 years
slaughter
schoendienst
1946-1953 8 years
musial
marion
1942-1944,
1946-1950
8 years
slaughter
marion
1940-1942,
1946-1950
8 years
albert
jimmy
2001-2008 8 years

i'm only counting years in which both halves of the couple can reasonably be regarded as everyday players; ozzie and willie shared a locker room for a 10th season (1996), but since both were bench players that year i'm not counting it. on the same grounds, i'm discounting the mellifluous firm of ozzie & pagnozzi, which lasted 9 years (1988-1996); pags spent many of those years as a bench or platoon player. one might also disqualify the nonconsecutive twosomes involving enos slaughter, but since the interruptions were caused by slaughter's military service, it would actually be more accurate to extend those runs --- if not for the war, slaughter and musial would have played together from 1942 through 1953, or 12 years.

by whatever accounting method, the edmonds-pujols partnership (assuming that both stay reasonably healthy the next couple of years --- knock on wood) will rate among the half dozen or so most enduring in the history of the team. let's consider it now in terms of team results:

players tot w-l avg / 162 pct 1st pl champs
musial
marion
762-471 100-62 .618 4 3
slaughter
marion
733-498 96-66 .595 2 2
albert
jimmy
563-408 94-68 .580 4 1
musial
slaughter
804-583 94-68 .580 2 2
slaughter
schoendienst
698-535 92-70 .566 1 1
javier
flood
884-718 89-73 .552 3 2
musial
schoendienst
838-703 88-74 .544 1 1
ozzie
willie
762-695 85-77 .523 3 1
brock
simmons
800-813 80-82 .496 0 0

the edmonds-pujols tandem leads musial-slaughter by mere percentage points, .57981 to .57966; they'll need to average 94 wins over the next two years to hang on to 3d place. to climb past slaughter-marion into 2d, they'd have to power the cards to 207 wins over the next two years, ie outplay the 2004-05 team; that's not gonna happen.

out of curiosity, i decided the line up edmonds-pujols against other potent duos of this era; i'm probably leaving somebody out, but these are the best i can think of:

players years duration tot w-l avg / 162 pct 1st pl champs
derek
bernie
1996-2006 11 years 1079-699 98-64 .607 10 4
chipper
andruw
1997-2006 10 years 960-658 96-66 .593 9 0
albert
jimmy
2001-2006 6 years 563-408 94-68 .580 4 1
manny
papi
2003-2006 4 years 374-274 93-69 .577 0 1
bags
biggio
1991-2004 14 years 1166-1037 86-76 .529 4 0

and finally, our boys vs their contemporaries as measured on their individual stats; thanks to the day-by-day database for the figures.

players avg obp slg rc/27
albert
jimmy
.312 .413 .603 9.77
manny
papi
.303 .405 .606 9.51
chipper
andruw
.287 .379 .528 7.58
bags
bigs
.293 .397 .492 7.46
derek
bernie
.311 .391 .479 7.33

i'm at a seminar all day; Val's in tomorrow, i'll see you thursday.