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Friday, December 09, 2005


Discount City

From today's Post-Dispatch: Jocketty said at this week's winter meetings that he hoped Morris might extend a "home team discount" to the Cardinals. He reiterated the stance Thursday, saying, "I hope Matt would sign for less here than somewhere else. He may not. But we'd like to have him back." This statement has all kinds of things wrong with it. First, as a Cardinals fan, I'm just not sure I would feel very optimistic about having Morris back in 2006. You remember the two sides of Matty Mo last year; do you really want to risk signing the guy the who lost five in a row last after the All-Star break? He was never steady after July, and his curve ball just got listed on the striped down oil industry version of the endangered species act. Not to mention he won't be setting up very many batters with his 88 MPH fast ball. The second part of the that statement is the sheer insincerity of it. "Sure, Matt we wanted you back all along." Just as soon as they made a run at two other pitchers before DeWitt yanked the (golden) choke chain. "Oh, and by the way, would mind taking a discount? Come on, we got a great new sauna in the locker room." Why wouldn't he take the pay cut? I really couldn't blame Matt for taking a discount and heading out to SF for bigger bucks. Hey, Brett Tomko's available, might take the "you played here once hometown discount." Someone might want to pass along that the hometown discount usually only works when the ownership is really committed to winning. Final thought on the Lukewarm Stove. Yesterday, a friend of mine who shares a similar obsessiveness about baseball sent me an email that read, "Happy Holidays...who's that out in front of you, oh it's the Cubs." It might be a long summer. Big thanks to Deadspin for the link to Hot Stove Haiku this week. The entries are pouring in, so you had better send yours right away. I'll be posting almost all of them on the site through the winter...publish or perish you know. I also wanted to direct your attention to the latest member of the Cards web family, Seeing Red (apologies to Joe over there for not getting a link up sooner).
This "hometown discount" line is getting old, and Morris has already said he wouldn't do it a second time. I don't blame him, either. And then there's the very true statement from Jayson Stark yesterday on the Cards fading "mystique":
What happened at these winter meetings -- when a starting pitcher they clearly wanted to sign didn't bite on the "You Should Take A Little Less Because We're The Cardinals" sales pitch -- could be an indication of just how much more vulnerable they really are.
Your friend needs to remember that the Cubs can make all the deals they want, but once the season starts, if Dusty's in the dugout, it won't matter.

I was ok with the idea of giving Matty a one-year deal, see if being another year removed from surgery gave him a boost. But 3 years, 24 mil? Uh, no.

And this ownership is starting to remind me of the early 90s, with the whole "Let our good veterans go, and run with the young CHEAP guys, because Cards fans will still show up in droves and we make more money this way."

That's also known as the Los Angeles Clippers Way, if you weren't concerned enough already.
Or the Carl Pohlad way..
At first I was a little concerned over the Cardinals lack of serious movement during the winter meetings, but there really was not much available for the money that was being sought. The Cardinals have a good team. It just does not make since to spend a lot of money on mediocre talent. With that said, I wish the owners would open their wallets, but this years crop of free agents does not justify it.
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