Tag Archives: cardinals news

St. Louis Cardinals’ Ace Pitcher Chris Carpenter Retires From Major League Baseball

St. Louis Cardinals’ Ace Pitcher Chris Carpenter Retires From Major League Baseball

From MLB.com

After a decade with the Cardinals, Chris Carpenter will retire from the starting rotation, where he served as the team’s ace and the staff’s clubhouse leader for most of his tenure. But the team hopes he will not be leaving the organization.

General manager John Mozeliak, who held a news conference on Wednesday alongside manager Mike Matheny and team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. to announce a three-year contract extension for Matheny, made the announcement.

Mozeliak said the team would have discussions with Carpenter early in the 2014 calendar year about him taking on a new role within the organization.

“I do believe there will be an opportunity for him to contribute in some way,” Mozeliak said.

The 38-year-old right-hander, who won the 2005 National League Cy Young Award and finished third in the voting the following year, made just three appearances in the past two years because of multiple injuries.

“He will always be remembered as one of the great players in Cardinal history, having been a part of and a core piece of and without whom we wouldn’t have been to a lot of these positions of four pennants and two world championships during his tenure here as the leader of the pitching staff,” DeWitt said.

Carpenter, a three-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion and the 2009 Comeback Player of the Year, was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round (15th overall) of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft.

He won 49 games over six seasons with Toronto before he was released in 2002. He signed as a free agent with the Cardinals that December, and reappeared in the big leagues in ’04, when he went 15-5. In each of his full seasons with St. Louis, he won at least 11 games.

But he missed most of the spring last year with shoulder and neck issues that later required thoracic outlet surgery, and announced in February that the injury again would keep him out for the 2013 season.

Carpenter, who was set to be a free agent this winter, kept a role with the club despite never taking the mound this season and helped to mentor ace Adam Wainwright, as well as the rest of the team’s talented young pitching staff.

“His leadership and leading by example I think created what we now see with the Adam Wainwrights of the world and hopefully what we see with these young guys like Michael Wacha and Shelly Miller coming,” Mozeliak said.

Carpenter finishes his career with a 144-94 record and 3.76 ERA, and 10-4 record with a 3.00 ERA in 18 postseason starts.

Carpenter

Hall Of Fame Debate: Rank ‘Em – Joe Torre VS Bobby Cox VS Tony LaRussa

Hall Of Fame Debate: Rank ‘Em – Joe Torre VS Bobby Cox VS Tony LaRussa

I think that it is safe to say that in time the trio of Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony LaRussa will all be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

If I was a betting man, and this was a bet with any kind of odds, I would bet the house on this one.  Each of these managers left an impression on the sport, on the fans of the teams that they coached, and maybe most important – they left impressions on the teams and fans that were battling against them.

I could comfortably state that Torre, Cox, and LaRussa are the cream of the crop as it relates to successful major league managers from their eras.

With that all being said – how easy is it to say which one is better?

It’s not.

Because what the manager does is not measured in numbers.  At least not in any numbers in which they are awarded for good decisions and penalized for bad ones.

But the good ones, the really good ones, seem to get the best out of their best players and the best out of the ones that are lower on the totem pole as well.

Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, and Tony LaRussa can all take great pride in the team and individual successes of the players that the managed as they certainly had a hand in that success.

For tonight’s ‘Hall of Fame Debate’ I am asking for you to give me the order in which these three great coaches should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  They’re all going to get in – it’s just a matter of time before that happens.

But, who deserves to get in first, second, and third??

While you cannot judge all that a manager does by the numbers his teams put up, it is nice to compare both players and managers in similar categories.

So, here is a side-by-side-by-side comparison of the trio:

  Cox Torre LaRussa
Years 30 30 35
Wins 2504 2326 2728
Losses 2001 1997 2365
Win % 0.556 0.538 0.536
100-win seasons 6 4 4
1st place finishes 15 13 11
Last place finishes 4 4 2
Division Championships 15 13 11
League Championships 4 6 6
World Series Titles 1 4 3
Manager Of The Year 4 2 4

*

The numbers stack up pretty well for these three guys, huh?  For me, the only thing that really stands out is how close to a .500 winning percentage each manager is over the course of their careers.  Deemed as uber-successful, they are all very close to 50%.

And now, time for me to divulge my rankings.

First, a little chatter about each guy:

  • Cox – you cannot ignore the consecutive seasons in which his Braves teams won their division.  I find it to be one of the most impressive feats in baseball history.
  • Torre – he had to manage a ton of egos during his run as the manager of the Yankees. He did it with grace, and it looked like all of his players valued his style.
  • LaRussa – he did it twice, with two clubs.  And he did it with the game’s greatest players on his roster both times (Canseco & Pujols).  His bullpen use is highly criticized, but it resulted in a lot of wins.

But who ranks the highest? 

If you had to select the order in three consecutive induction years in which these three former managers would be inducted, what order would you place them in??

Cox.Torre.LaRussa

Here is my ranking:

  1. Tony LaRussa
  2. Bobby Cox
  3. Joe Torre

When I think back to LaRussa, I never saw him as a ‘losing’ manager.  He took hold of the A’s and Cardinals franchises and took them both to the pinnacle.  I witnessed both Cox and Torre manage losing clubs before they got their ‘breaks’ with the Braves and Yankees.  And while they both had a ton of success, they also had ridiculous lineups – Cox with his Hall of Fame pitching rotation and Torre with his All-World offenses.

For me, LaRussa did the most with the least.  He gets top-billing in my book!!!

LaRussa

How about you?  How would you rank these managers if you had to pick the order in which they entered the Hall of Fame?

Yes, it is splitting hairs as all are deserving – but it is fun nonetheless!!!

Thanks for reading.

Stan Musial 2012 Topps Heritage “Flashbacks ’63” – The Man Leaves ‘Em Wanting More

Stan Musial 2012 Topps Heritage “Flashbacks ’63” – The Man Leaves ‘Em Wanting More

Wow, what a great looking baseball card!

Everything about this card takes you right back to Musial’s era.  From the image to the text and font size to the basic graphic design – It feels like the 1960’s!

But, this card was issued in 2012 – and that it what makes a set like Topps Heritage a hit with collectors!!!

This card honors the final at-bat of Musial’s historic career.  The result was a single and game-leading RBI that helped the Cardinals win 3-2 over the Cincinnati Reds. 

 

VINTAGE MUSIAL

Enjoy.

Stan Musial 2006 Topps Turkey Red

Stan Musial 2006 Topps Turkey Red

Another ‘Turkey Red’.

Another sweet looking baseball card.

VINTAGE MUSIAL TURKEY

Man this set is S-W-E-E-T!!!!

Today, I Begin To Pay Homage To Stan ‘The Man’ Musial On A Daily Basis, Weekends Excluded…

Today, I Begin To Pay Homage To Stan ‘The Man’ Musial On A Daily Basis, Weekends Excluded…

This is probably not what you think, but it could be…

Monday through Friday, I take my lunch breaks outside of my workplace.  It allows me a little time to step away from the hectic activity and stress that often accompanies the job.

99% of the time, I can be found in my car enjoying a snack and reading a book during these breaks.   They only last for 30 minutes, but I am usually able to knock out 12-15 pages of a book in that time.

Starting today, I am reading a new book.

And for me, this is just one of the many ways that I plan to educate myself about the Hall of Fame career of a true baseball legend, Stan Musial!!!

Musial Book

I cannot wait to get this one started.

Have a nice day everyone!!!

St. Louis Cardinals Hire Former MVP Willie McGee As Special Assitant To The GM

St. Louis Cardinals Hire Former MVP Willie McGee As Special Assitant To The GM

From ESPN.com

JUPITER, Fla. —  The St. Louis Cardinals have hired former great Willie McGee as a special assistant to the general manager focusing on the minor leagues.

The 54-year-old McGee, added to the staff on Wednesday, served a special instructor at spring training last month. McGee is in the franchise top 10 in games played, triples, stolen bases and pinch hits and was a career .295 hitter over 18 seasons.

McGee was a member of the 1982 World Series championship team and was National League MVP in 1985 with a league-leading .353 average for a pennant-winning team. His batting average from 1985 and 216 hits are franchise bests for switch hitters.

Baseball Card Show Purchase #3 – Lot Of Two Stan Musial 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’ – ‘The Lost Cards’

Baseball Card Show Purchase #3 – Lot Of Two Stan Musial 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’ – ‘The Lost Cards’

One of my unwritten goals as I plow through bargain bins of baseball cards is to score as many cards of Stan Musial as I can.

At the show, I found four cards in the dime boxes.  Of the four, I already had two of them in my collection so I left them there and rescued the others.

Here they are:

SHOW 3

Both cards come from the 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’ set.  On the left is the 1955 Topps re-print and on the right is the 1957 version.

Love them both!!  And I love the price as well – just one dime each!!

Stan Musial 2010 Topps ‘Logo Man’

Stan Musial 2010 Topps ‘Logo Man’

I’m still scooping up cards of Stan Musial as I come across them.

This is just my second ‘Topps Logo Man’ card from the 2010 Topps baseball card set.  The first card I obtained from the set was of Andre Dawson ( surprised?) and now this one:

VINTAGE MUSIAL LOGO

The card is sharp. 

I like the ‘Logo Man’ theme, but for this card of Musial, I find the logo to be just a tad too big.  Maybe if the card featured an action shot of Musial versus a posed portrait it would be better…

Still, a great addition to my collection!  RIP, Stan.

Stan Musial 2006 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’

Stan Musial 2006 Fleer ‘Greats Of The Game’

The name Stan Musial and the phrase ‘Greats Of The Game’ are a perfect blend.

And this card does a fantastic job of honoring ‘Stan The Man’ with its vintage photo, great color, and rich framing.

Have a look:

VINTAGE MUSIAL GOTG

I have long been a fan of this set, and I have a lot of cards from it of Hall of Fame players.

But, with this new addition of the Musial card, I have to say that this is the best looking one of the lot!

🙂

Baseball Card Show Purchase #1 – Lot Of 4 Modern Stan Musial Baseball Cards

Baseball Card Show Purchase #1 – Lot Of 4 Modern Stan Musial Baseball Cards

I have a very basic approach when I hit the bargain bins at the card show. 

‘Take it all in, and pull what you like’.

Now, it is very easy to do that when each card in the bargain bin is selling for just a dime per card.  If this was a $5.00 bin, I would have a different approach altogether.

But, with the low price of just ten cents, I let my reservations stay in the background and simply pull what either looks neat or would make a nice addition to my collection.

And when I stumbled on my first card of Stan Musial in the bin, I knew right then that I would grab every card of ‘The Man’ that I found.

In total, I found four – costing me just forty cents.

SHOW 1

Of the group, my favorite is the one in the upper right, from the 2011 ’60 Years Of Topps’ set.  It is a reprint of Musial’s 1953 Topps card.