July Approval Ratings

The Redbird Dugout July Approval Ratings are up and ready to be taken! I would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes and fill it out for me. Please feel free to pass it around to other Cardinals’ fans that you know. The more Cardinals’ fans that we can get filling it out, the more representative it is.

You can find the survey here.

This month I have reorganized it a little bit based on the Starting Lineup, Bench, Rotation, Bullpen, Minor Leagues, and then a few questions to gauge the State of Cardinal Nation.

Thanks!

The epidemic of bad umpiring

Major League Baseball has a problem. That problem? Umpires who like to inject themselves to ballgames and affect their results. As a whole, MLB protects their umpires from the negative side of getting a major call wrong. Unfortunately, few learn from their mistakes and just continue the same pattern of behavior.

A couple of events over the last few days have really brought this to mind, but I’ve been meaning to write something to this effect for awhile. Two just in this last series, a series that is one of the Cardinals’ most crucial series’ the rest of the way.

On Monday night with one out and the bases loaded in a 5-2 ballgame, the Cardinals were threatening to put a big number up on Brewers starter Zack Greinke. Skip Schumaker grounds a ball to second base and the Brewers turn two. Or did they? Replays show that Schumaker was safe. Clearly safe, even to the naked eye. So how did the first base umpire, Rob Drake, miss that one? There’s no excuse for a missed play like that. Skip Schumaker didn’t argue the call, though he stood there in disbelief for a moment and later talked about it to the media. [click to continue…]

After the dust has settled

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline came and went at 4 p.m. eastern time yesterday afternoon. It seemed like every contender added pieces from non-contenders as they attempted to solidify their position on top, or as a challenger of, a division. After the dust has settled and the moves have had a chance to percolate, who made the best moves in the NL Central? Certainly the Cardinals were active, but so were the other teams in the NL Central. Each one making a trade over the last week. Let’s take a look at their moves and determine who was the big winner. We’ll start at the bottom, just to build up the suspense.

Houston Astros (24.5 games back)

The Astros were one of the busiest teams on deadline day, but they weren’t buyers. The NL Central’s cellar dwellars made big moves, dealing both Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn over the last three days. The Astros made out like an arms dealer selling to both sides, sending Pence to NL East leading Philadelphia and Bourn to NL East runner-up Atlanta. The two trades will bring the Astros a total of eight prospects, seven of them named and one other that will be named later.

They were even very close to dealing their #1 starter, Wandy Rodriguez, to the Indians at the deadline before that deal fell apart. However, many expect that Rodriguez could still be moved during the waiver trade deadline. However, with that contract, I’m thinking he will have a hard time reaching a division leader. He has a very club friendly contract and may not be heading anywhere this year because of that. A pitcher with his history, talent, and contract will be very attractive to a handful of clubs, some of which may not even be in contention.

For the Astros, this won’t help them this year, but there is hope that it will help them in the years to come. Houston is clearly rebuilding right now and 3 years down the road, this trade could pay off big time. The question will be, will Ed Wade and Brad Mills be around to reap the benefits? [click to continue…]

Where am I?

Welcome to the new Redbird Dugout. Over the last couple weeks I’ve been working on getting the theme of this site ready. It’s about 99% there, but it’s close enough for me to consider debuting the site. All of our old content is here on the new site. There is a little housecleaning that I’ve yet to do that has to do with issues between Blogger and WordPress that I will need to finish up over the next few days.

Enjoy yourself, poke around, and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Furcal traded to the Cardinals

Rumors circulated all of yesterday, Rafael Furcal was set to be traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Finally word became official this morning as the Cardinals announced that the 33 year old switch-hitting short stop was now a member of their team.

Furcal is in his 12th major league season, but 3 of his last 4 seasons have been shortened due to injury. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and made his debut for them in 2000, winning the NL Rookie of the Year. He spent six seasons in Atlanta before signing with the Dodgers in free agency before the 2006 season.

His season numbers are overwhelming, to say the least. He is hitting .197 with just a .272 OBP. Just what are we getting? Over his last nine games for the Dodgers he is hitting .303 with a .425 OBP.

If he’s healthy and we get more of the last nine games Rafael Furcal, the addition is a great one for the Cardinals that really solidifies the top of the lineup.

If he’s still dealing with a nagging injury or continues to struggle, he’ll provide some additional defense, but LaRussa’s insistency of putting Furcal in the lineup could sink the ship. Mainly, I’m just glad the Cardinals took a chance on acquiring someone who was actually an upgrade over what we already have on the roster. Many of the names floated around on the trade market this season, were not improvements over what the Cardinals already had. Furcal was probably #2 on my wish list to Clint Barmes. [click to continue…]