Saturday, December 15, 2007

Edmonds returns to SOCAL

This weekend is the last weekend of my academic quarter, and as such, I am knee-deep in preparations for finals. I have 2 classes - one called Cost Estimating, the other Naval Operations Analysis. They can be as dry as they sound. The Naval Operations Analysis class does look at, among other things, probabilities for blowing stuff up, which is pretty cool.

I took my Cost final today (3 hours), and have the NOA final tomorrow. It's take-home, and we have 8 hours to complete it.

Needless to say I'm not exactly in touch with the larger world right now.

So I finish my final, and flip over to, to find this.

One of the greatest catches you'll ever see.

My feelings about this are decidedly mixed. On the one hand, I've been reading/listening to the chatter in various places (Viva El Birdos, for example) that the Cardinals need to get younger, that their farm system is dry, that they have too much money tied up in too few players. Of course, this prevailing opinion was counter-punched recently in this article by Jeff Gordon.

I'd gotten to the point that I understood the release of Bennett, Eckstein, and Miles in the name of fiscal responsibility and because they all allegedly had significant weaknesses in their game.

But trading Edmonds? What a message.

Baseball these days is a business. The men who own major league franchises didn't get to the point where they could own a major league franchise without being sound businessmen. And they don't make investments lightly. They jealously guard their capital, and they aggressively pursue high returns for their money. You can't get too sentimental over your investments these days. Emotional attachment to something, be it a stock, house, or player, leads to bad fiscal decisions and a loss of opportunity.

That the DeWitt's treat the club as a business they're trying to make a profit from has never been clearer to me than right now. I'm sure they want to win championships; I'm sure based on the trades they allowed Jocketty to make during his tenure as GM, the salary they tied up in big-name players, the fact that this team has had one of its most successful runs in its history since 2000. But they're also in this for the money: new stadium, jettisoning KMOX as the Cardinals' flagship station being two examples. And approving today's trade.

Edmonds was the longest-tenured Cardinal. A three-time All Star, multiple gold glove winner, and cause of many, many big plays with his bat and glove. But he had suffered through two injury-plagued seasons, and it was becoming increasingly obvious he couldn't hit left handers anymore.

The Cardinals let him go in exchange for David Freese, a ninth-round selection in 2006, a prospect who played last year in High Class A and a man who doesn't appear on anyone's 'Top 10 Padre prospect' list. He was the Sun Belt Conference player of the year in 2006 (South Alabama).

The Cardinals reportedly freed up $7 million in salary with the trade.

I guess the club is thinking this could be the guy that eventually replaces Scott Rolen at third, which is forward-thinking. I'm not sure if my shock is because they traded Edmonds away, or because they got so little in return for him.

In any case, thanks for the memories, Jim. Good luck in San Diego.

I guess we'll find out how good Colby Rasmus really is now.

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