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here's my Hardball Times Season Preview player comment about aaron miles, which i submitted five or six days ago:

Hits quite a number of singles but doesn't walk, hit for power, or play defense. Another career ruined by sabermetrics.
and rescued, apparently, by tony la russa. i'm reasonably certain that miles was re-signed because tony demanded it --- because he thinks miles will help the cardinals "compete" in 2008. i e-mailed the following question to an informed source: "if the front office doesn't want the guy (and i assume that nobody wants him but la russa), why does the manager get to make the call?" the response came back: "he ain't just any manager."

in spite of what many people think, mozeliak is not an ignoramus. he gets concepts such as on-base percentage and zone rating. and unlike walt, he's actually listening to the sabermetricians in the front office; those guys are not ignoramuses either. but they're still not empowered, despite the big shakeup. la russa's got the owner in his corner; for all we know (warning: unfounded speculation to follow), dewitt --- who desperately wanted la russa back for another year or two --- agreed to give tony a bigger say-so on personnel decisions, as an inducement to get la russa to re-up.

it's not as if brendan ryan is such a great prospect; at best he might be a so-so regular for a few years. but that's still more upside than aaron miles has. i'd been led to believe that the cardinals had shifted their philosophy and were now committed to creating opportunities for unproven players with potential, even modest potential such as ryan's. i thought they were through with zero-risk, zero-reward players like aaron miles; i thought they were going to take chances on players who might deepen the organization's talent base. but as long as tony's in place, that evolution is going to happen haltingly at best.

some of you have been saying as much for weeks; i've suspended judgment, waiting to see how things play out. there have been some mildly encouraging signs, but the miles re-signing is very, very discouraging.

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one overlooked aspect of aaron miles' tremendous versatility is this: his name is powerfully anagrammatic. scramble up the letters and you can get all manner of provocative phrases, such as
ONE ARM AILS
ME, I ALSO RAN
ALAS, I'M NERO
MEAN SAILOR
MINOR SALE
AOL MARINES
MAIL SO NEAR
there are geographic combinations:
A MILAN ROSE
RISEN ALAMO
SAME OL' IRAN
RE: SOMALIAN
ROMAN AISLE
and zoological ones:
LOSIN' A MARE
O SALINE RAM
ARE SALMON I?
and enigmatic statements about other st louis ballplayers:
MOLINA'S EAR
MARIS ALONE
ROLEN'S A M.I.A.
and here are my two favorites --- the sound that miles' re-signing produced among cardinal fans
SERIAL MOAN
and the spectre it seems to summon up for the cards' near-term future:
LOSER MANIA!!!!