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Quick post this morning; a bit short on time.

Today is a very good day. Why, you ask? Because tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and the first official day of Spring Training. Two of the best days of the year, all on the same day.

I know, a lot of people say Valentine's Day is a greeting card holiday and all that, and there's certainly some basis to that sentiment. Me, though, I love pretty much any kind of holiday, no matter how contrived. The grey routine of everyday life tends to wear me down; even a trumped up holiday designed to part you from your money is a reason to celebrate for me. I hope you all have someone special to pay a bit of extra attention to tomorrow. My girlfriend lives in Chicago, and neither of us could justify cutting out of work in the middle of the week, so I went up last weekend and we just pretended it was the 14th already. I'll probably take my mother out for dinner tomorrow. I also ordered some strawberries from Merb's that I have to get picked up sometime today; never mind I don't have the time. I love being busy. I really do. I'm strange that way.

Also occuring tomorrow is one of the truly holy days of the year, the day when those four little, beautiful words are uttered:

Pitchers and Catchers report.

I know, technically, Spring Training is already going on, and has been for awhile. Lots of the Cardinal players are in camp already. But there's something about the official opening of training camp that's absolutely perfect. All of the season is promised; the whole year contained in this one single day. The April optimism, all the warm summer nights with the sound of a baseball game in the background, the trade talks, the excitement of the stretch, and the bliss of October. All of it is promised in this one single day, world without end, Amen. Everything in it's right place.

All right, that's enough of my rambling attempts at profundity. There are a few real things to talk about.

Over at Bird Land, Derrick Goold has begun his daily missives from camp. There has been a mini camp going on for seven of the Cards' most promising pitchers for the last week. So far, Jaime Garcia and Clayton Mortenson have been the most impressive. The report on Garcia, in particular, is very encouraging:

"He has no restrictions on him, according to the Cardinals. Threw well on Monday, and had noticeable zip on his fastball."
Garcia's situation with his elbow this past season has been compared quite a bit to what Adam Wainwright went through in 2004, when he dealt with elbow soreness, and was shut down purely as a precaution. Let's all hope really, really hard that Garcia's path moves along the same way that Adam's has. If his elbow really is structurally sound, it's a huge boost for the Cards' system. Several analysts specifically mentioned Garcia's name as someone who just missed out on their top 100 prospect lists due to the questions that his health concerns raised. This report is a little ray of sunshine; I'm hoping for more where it came from.

Baseball America has started it's draft coverage. A couple of points of interest so far; Jim Callis has compiled his list of the top 30 players, (Aaron Hicks came in at #13) and there's an excellent article up about how MLB's slotting system may very well just collapse in on itself this year. I sincerely hope the Cardinals are paying attention to this; good citizenship may cost you this year, big time. If you're looking for intelligent, reasoned, solid draft coverage, you can do a whole lot worse than BA; they do as nice a job as anyone. However, if you want draft coverage that's more akin to something written by F. Scott Fitzgerald at the tail end of a week long absinthe bender, stick with the Baron, baby. Ain't nobody can do it like I can do it.

I'm curious; what would all of you do with Joba Chamberlain? According to the Daily News, Chamberlain may begin this season in the bullpen, ostensibly to prevent overuse again. Now, there has been some speculation, and rightfully so, I think, that the Yankees may want to keep him in a relief role long term, in order to take over for Mariano Rivera in a couple of years. If that's the plan, I understand the thought process, although I disagree with it. If they really are still worried about the workload, though, I have to wonder what is going on with that team? I know the kid's quite a commodity, but how valuable is a player, really, when you don't trust him to contribute fully to the team? Maybe I'm just looking at this wrong, and the Yanks' handling of Baby Huey is justified. What do you guys think?

The new SBNation platform launched yesterday over at Athletics Nation. You should all head over there and check it out. I like the look pretty well, and some of the new features are pretty nifty. I'm not sure when the new format is going up here, but you can get a glimpse of the future right now.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Roger Clemens hearing today. I'm really pretty fatigued by the whole situation, and I have very little to say about any of it. It appears now that Andy Petitte has sworn that Clemens told him about his HGH use, then later recanted and told Andy he meant his wife was using the juice. Really? Can you really get away with that? It's great theatre, I suppose, but I can't work up any kind of real interest.

I don't have any numbers to crunch today, and no real analysis for you. I'm going to enjoy the day before the opening of Spring Training, and I invite you to do the same. I have a hot cup of tea next to my computer, two slices of freshly baked multi grain bread slathered with this wonderful pumpkin butter from somewhere in Oregon, and a Leonard Cohen record spinning away in the background. I hope your life is treating you as well this 13th day of February. It all begins tomorrow, and I, for one, can't wait. Enjoy the anticipation; it's really the best part of life.

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.

Great Moments in Redbird Future History

June 4th, 2009
Tyler Johnson was suspended today, for violating Major League Baseball's substance abuse policy. In what will surely go down as one of the all time worst excuses ever made, Johnson blames his positive drug test on his recent change of breakfast cereals. Surprisingly, his claims gain a measure of credibility when, during his appeals hearing, Johnson produces seven partially or fully eaten boxes of PeyoteOs brand cereal.

When asked why he had eaten so much, Johnson explained he was hoping to send in eleven boxtops in exchange for a plush version of the cereal's mascot, a mustached, Italian accented tree lizard named Mescalini. The toy, when squeezed, shrieks wildly, vomits, declares how great Phish is, and then invites everyone to go to Burning Man.

Johnson's appeal was denied, in spite of everyone's agreement that the toy was, in fact, "really cool".

This has been another great moment in Redbird Future History.