here's my Hardball Times Season Preview player comment about aaron miles, which i submitted five or six days ago:
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.
* * * * * * * * * * * *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
ME, I ALSO RAN
ALAS, I'M NERO
MAIL SO NEAR
SAME OL' IRAN
O SALINE RAM
ARE SALMON I?
ROLEN'S A M.I.A.