Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Touching Bases

-An all-sports post this time. A couple of interesting and important trades on Friday night. Both took me a little by surprise..but I like them from a St. Louis standpoint. And some other thoughts.

-Jim Edmonds and cash to San Diego for minor-league third-baseman David Freese. Obviously Edmonds was a big part of some of the most fun we've had as Cardinals fans in the last decade. His spectacular play in center, his key hits at key times, his personality...are all now part of Cardinals lore. But Jimmy is not immune to time any more than the rest of us. His best days are well behind him and we were lucky enough to see him when he enjoyed the maximum benefit of his gifts. Getting his contract off the books and getting a promising...and projected by many to be a sure big-league...third sacker in return, is a smart move, especially when you're roster is over-populated with left-handed hitting outfielders. Freese, not that it really matters, is a St. Louis kid too. I'm sure we'll have a game or two in the next few years in which Edmonds will make us regret the deal with a homer, or outstanding catch. But, I say.. let the Colby Rasmus era begin.

-Doug Weight, a minor-leaguer, and a low-round pick to Anaheim for Andy McDonald. If it weren't for the NHL's salary cap, this deal would never have happened. Anaheim GM Brian Burke would have been run out of town by the Ducks fans otherwise. As much as I like what Doug Weight brought to the Blues personality-wise, it was becoming obvious that the new NHL was passing him by. Weight's skills are still considerable, but the speed of the game now is too much for his older legs to handle. McDonald has this year and next on his contract. Weight would not have been re-signed after this season. McDonald won the fastest skater competition at the All-Star game last year. He led the Stanley Cup champs in playoff scoring last year. Thankfully, he was off to a bit of a slow start with Anaheim this year to where he would even be considered as trade material. McDonald pops in a goal and adds an asssit in his first game with a Blue note on his chest. We're going to like this deal for a long time to come. The team of John Davidson and Larry Pleau has not made a wrong move in two years of maneuvering...IMHO.

-An old friend commented on this blog recently and blasted me for blasting the broadcasting job...if you can call it that...of Pat Summerall on the Rams game at Cincinnati a week ago Sunday. Essentially, I was told that because Summerall isn't a St. Louis icon like Jack Buck or Harry Caray, who also had later-in-life broadcasting issues, that I was too hard on Summerall and should let it go. Well, first off, I'm not sure why this touches a nerve with my critic, but if he had watched the same game I did, he'd wonder why Summerall was behind any microphone too. Secondly, I said nothing in my comment about Buck or Caray's elder issues. I was as embarassed for Jack as anyone else when he was declining. And I laughed along with everybody else at Caray's failings in his last few years. The difference, to me, is that Summerall simply can't do the job...he's not communicating the game effectively to the audience. At least Buck and Caray still had a grasp on the game and could tell you, albeit with difficulty, what was going on on the field. And in Harry's case, he also had become a caricature of himself that eveybody loved in spite of his problems. Buck was even apologetic at times for his struggles with Parkinson's and what it did to his broadcasts, causing us to love him even more. I have nothing against Mr. Summerall...more the people who hire him and expect us to believe he still is up to the task.

-I also was amused at the post-game rants of Rams RB Steven Jackson this past Sunday. The guy seems to be more into what's happening off the field than on it these days. A few weeks back he criticized the music played at the Dome. This week he's upset that there were more Packer fans in attendance than Rams fans...or so it seemed. Jackson said it's a joke that there was such a presence of cheeseheads for Sunday's game. Well...duh! Mr. Jackson..if the Rams were led by a future hall-of-fame QB who was about to break an all-time passing record, and if the records of the two teams were reversed, and if the Rams had a legendary past connected to one city and state where their games are a semi-religious experience, and if Sunday's game were played at Lambeau field in Green Bay, the roles likely would have been reversed. Why in the name of Vince Lombardi should Rams season-ticket holders hold on to their tickets at this stage of the season when a rabid fan from Wisconsin is ready to pay face value, and then some, to get them. Come on Steven, if Sunday's game had...oh, let's say, playoff implications...the dome would have been packed just like you would expect...with Rams fans.

-If you're thinking about last minute gift ideas, you might consider stopping by Izzy's Den at GCS Ballpark, just off I-255 at the Mousette Lane exit. The Grizzlies merchandise is always top-notch. Caps, jerseys, windshirts, t-shirts, you name it, all with the attractive Grizzly-bear logo. It's good stuff..and usually discounted this time of year. Just tryin' to help.

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