Circumstantial evidence damning for Lester

In a turn of events that has me remembering back to Game 2 of the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was spotted last night with a foreign substance on his glove. The substance was spotted and tweeted about by Cardinals minor leaguer Tyler Melling who has since spoken with the organization and deleted the tweet (probably ordered to under threat of release).

Since then, about the only defenses for Lester being mounted are an MLB statement indicating that they have no evidence of any wrong doing (which considering the lack of research they’ve done is unsurprising) and that Melling, a high A ball pitcher who didn’t have a very good season, is a horrible baseball player and as a result isn’t worth listening to.

One Boston writer proclaimed that Major League Baseball had refuted Melling’s claims with their statement this morning, which isn’t what happened. Major League Baseball’s statement said that they couldn’t draw any conclusions from the video and that nobody on the field last night complained about it. That’s not refutation, that’s just saying there wasn’t enough information in plain sight to decide one way or the other.

But is there more to this story? There definitely appears to be. Continue reading

The reason I’ve been away this time

On Sunday night, instead of watching baseball and writing blog posts, I was busy at the hospital as my wife and I welcomed our first baby boy. Our son Micah was born on Sunday night. As you can see, I have already begun to indoctrinate him into Cardinal Nation like any good father should.

1457564_10101545527178059_1450039763_nUnfortunately, he has seen more losing games than winning games since his birth. They’ve really got to work on that. I was hoping they’d reel off six straight and we could go into next year with him never having seen the Cardinals lose. Maybe next time.

But with the Cardinals leading the NLCS 3-2 over the Dodgers, I’ll pass along something I realized the other day. The Cardinals went to the World Series the year I was born (1985). The Cardinals went to the World Series the year my wife was born (1987). They went to the World Series the year we got married (2011). And this year our first son was born, could it happen?

So I hope that I will be able to resume my regular posting here shortly.

What’s the big deal about celebrating?

There’s been a big hullabaloo lately about celebrations and whether or not baseball players celebrating what happens should be condoned or if its against the so-called unwritten rules of the game. For the Cardinals, this game to a head following Game Three when Yasiel Puig smacked a triple off the wall (that he thought was a home run when he hit it), stood and admired it, and then raised his hands in celebration.

Some of the Cardinals players didn’t approve, led by Carlos Beltran. “As a player, I just think he doesn’t know. That’s what I think. He really doesn’t know. He must think that he’s still playing somewhere else. He has a lot of passion, no doubt about that – great ability, great talent. I think with time, he’ll learn that you’ve got to act with a little bit more calm.”

Of course, after Beltran and Adam Wainwright’s comments about how they felt about the Dodgers players probably toeing the line between celebration and showing up your opponent, Deadspin (who seemingly has had a bulls eye on the Cardinals the last couple weeks), pointed out the Cardinals celebrating over the previous games after good players. Continue reading

Win or lose, Lynn was the best call

I’ve spent quite a bit of time this evening defending Mike Matheny’s decision to let Lance Lynn start this game over Shelby Miller or Joe Kelly. And I don’t usually find myself in the position of defending Matheny, either. In the end, it didn’t work out for the Cardinals as Lynn struggled through the game, allowing 5 earned runs over 4.1 innings of work. The main complaint being that Lynn can’t be relied upon because he isn’t mentally tough and he’s been killed by the Pirates all season.

While I can’t speak to the former, I can understand why it would be an issue, especially when your offense thought it was a night game. The latter is definitely true. Lance Lynn has been killed by the Pirates this season. The Pirates hit .283/.371/.505 against him this season. For a reference, that’s like if every hitter in the Pirates lineup were Matt Adams (.284/.335/.503). And well, that’s certainly not good for a pitcher.

But Miller wasn’t much better. The Pirates hit him with a line of .321/.396/.679 this season. I don’t have a good comparable to that because that slugging percentage is higher than Miguel Cabrera‘s (who led all of baseball in slugging). In fact, if that was a player he would have finished 5th in batting average, 9th in on base percentage, and 1st in slugging percentage. We’d be talking about an MVP candidate. Continue reading

Cardinals claim OF Joey Butler off waivers

In a small move in comparison to what will happen in just a few hours, the Cardinals claimed outfielder Joey Butler off waivers from the Texas Rangers. Butler, 27, appeared in 8 games for the Rangers this season and went 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles, 3 walks, and an RBI. He notched playing time in both corner outfield spots.

Butler was drafted in the 15th round of the 2008 draft by the Rangers. He hit .291 with 12 homers, 51 RBI, and a .395 OBP in 119 games for Triple-A Round Rock this season. He has played 369 games in Triple-A over the last three seasons and is hitting an even .300 with 44 homers. He is a right handed hitter who has played all three outfield positions in his minor league career.

Butler is not eligible to play in the postseason with the Cardinals, but the team has long been searching for a right handed complement to Jon Jay in the outfield.