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As I was out of town, and away from a computer for nearly a week, it’s taken me some time to get caught up to what I missed. Now, I didn’t really miss a ton; it’s not like the Cards signed 2 pitchers that will ultimately push them into the playoffs. I did, however, miss Mo’s chat over at the p-d website back on the 21st. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s a sight to behold.

Now I rarely really let loose here, so forgive me if what I say offends in any way, but after being directed to it by Bernie’s column the next day I had to take a look at this transcript. I have to say that there have been few times in my life where I have been so disgusted and proud at the same time. I was disgusted by the behavior of a few Cardinal "fans" who participated in this chat and proud at the way in which our VEB members conduct discourse. We never devolve into the idiocy that defiled the chat w/ Mozeliak and I can promise you, if it ever did, it would end quickly.

I was positively disgusted by the sophomoric behavior of some of these cretins. They practically accused Mozeliak of being Bill DeWitt’s lackey and implied that he couldn’t care less whether the Cards won or not. One asked whether there was any chance the Cards might sign anyone that another team might want. Another implied that Mozeliak didn’t want the Cards to win a championship. The largest ingrate of them all asked the Cards’ GM what it was like to "live in his little land of make believe" and later called him a "loser" and told him to go hang out in a "teen chat room." What a degenerate!

Let me be clear, I don’t give a damn how you feel the Cards’ offseason has gone. If you feel personally betrayed by the Cardinals organization because they didn’t sign Brian Fuentes, or haven’t yet signed Ben Sheets, or didn’t trade Rasmus in a package for Matt Holliday…so be it. Let’s be clear, though – there aren’t too damned many GMs in baseball who would give up an hour or two of their time to honestly answer fans’ questions on the internet. Do you think Brian Cashman does this in New York? I don’t.

Mozeliak knew the fanbase was somewhat riled up. How could he not? Still, he gave up his valuable time to take part in this chat knowing that he might have to deal w/ some criticism from fans. He couldn’t have known (who would have?) the depths to which some of these filthy creatures would stoop in order to take gratuitous and unsolicited shots at Mozeliak but he had to believe there might be some criticism or at least some frustration from fans. Yet he did it anyway. Only 2 or 3 of the people who participated in the chat bothered to thank him for his time. Hey, jackass – want Mozeliak to sign someone or make a trade? Criticize him for giving up his time to answer your idiotic questions rather than taking junior high school-level potshots at him on the internet. Each person who offered a question – legitimate or not – should have respected the fact that Mo gave up his time to do this and thanked him for doing so.

Furthermore, the Cards’ GM deserved the courtesy of legitimate, honest questions – not the baseball equivalent of "I know you are but what am I?". There were some legitimate questions – about Brad Penny, about Pineiro, and about the possibility of McClellan being moved to the rotation. Honest inquiry and debate is what Mo offered and what too few took advantage of. The most despicable thing about some of these participants’ behavior was that they were so gutless that they didn’t dare use their real names when they tossed these cheap shots Mo’s way. You’re willing to criticize Mo for trying to connect to the fans in a way that few other GMs do and you don’t even have the stones to use your real name when you post? Gutless! Cowardly!

After reading that post, and then nearly wanting to vomit at the behavior of these so-called "fans," I became more thankful for what we have here at Viva El Birdos. There’s little real name-calling and, when it does start, someone is quick to shut it down – usually w/o me or Dan or AZ or redbaron having to get involved. We appreciate that more than you know. This is a tremendous community and it’s been a frustrating offseason for many of us, but there have been very few incidents – and certainly none like what you can witness by reading the transcript of that chat.

Why would Mo ever participate in something like that again? You think he did that for his benefit? Because he had no one else to talk to? He did it to make a better connection with the fans and help explain his point of view and the plan he has for the organization. We may not agree with it, but we ought to respect his judgment and his right to tell us. Make no mistake – he didn’t have to take part in that chat and he doesn’t have to take part in one ever again. The way in which he was treated – by some, not all – was beyond despicable and those who did that ought to be ashamed of themselves. I’m embarrassed to root for the same team. My guess is that they have no shame whatsoever – no guilt, no sense of decency or right and wrong -- maggots on the flesh of society. Again, I apologize if I offend. Understand that I’m not speaking about anyone here.

So I’m done w/ my screed. I don’t do that often and you won’t read one from me for a long time but I wanted to take this opportunity today to appreciate the fact that Mo chose to take part in that chat and appreciate the fact, whether we think he’s doing a good job or not, that few GMs would have done what he did last Wednesday. I’m not saying we shouldn’t criticize him; we absolutely should if his decisions warrant criticism and I’ve been critical of him on occasion. We should criticize the decisions, however, not the man and we should be able to explain, intelligently, why we disagree with his decisions and not accuse him of false motives or worse.

To that end, I wanted to take today to, in a calm and rational manner, discuss our biggest disappointments of the offseason so far – and what we’re happiest about. I hope that this will be somewhat cathartic. Let’s get it all out – w/o insults – say our peace (I want Ben Sheets &*%%^&&^^!!!!!!) and clear the air.

What I’m happiest about is the fact that I truly believe that Colby Rasmus is going to get a fair shot to win an OF job in the spring. I know that many of the writers at the p-d think he’ll end up back in Memphis and, if he’s outplayed, I can live with that. However, despite the usually on-the-spot Derrick Goold’s proclamation, Rasmus was not outplayed by Ludwick, Ankiel, and Skip last March and I expect that if Rasmus plays that well this March, he’ll win a job.

The biggest disappointment so far – that they haven’t been able to trade Ankiel for a young starter. I really believe now is the time to trade him and thought he would have enough trade value to bring us a young starter. It’s appearing now, however, as though it isn’t going to happen. As the free agent market has entered a free-fall, teams are placing much more value on their young players and that seems to reduce the likelihood that Mo will be able to pull off this sort of trade. The bottom line is that our rotation needs help – particularly 1 pretty good, young pitcher – and Ankiel will be a free agent at the end of the season and he’s replaceable w/ Rasmus this season. All signs point to an excellent opportunity here but it hasn’t happened yet and I really don’t think it’s going to. I hope I’m wrong.

So, w/o further ado – what are you happiest with and what’s your biggest disappointment regarding the offseason so far? And, let’s keep it respectable. I know you will. Thanks for that.