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Old 01-04-2012, 10:08 PM  
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***Offical 2012 STL Cardinals World Champions Thread ***

St. Louis Cardinals: 7 reasons fans should feel good about 2012

Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 9:26 PM

St. Louis Cardinals fans are likely feeling deflated after the collapse that put an end to the team's dreams of a World Series repeat, but there is good reason to be excited.

With all of the odds against them, the Cardinals managed to push their 2012 season beyond any anticipated boundary.

Given all of the season's changes and the adversity the team had to fight through, the fact that they played in October at all was an anomaly in itself. On paper, it made sense for the Cardinals to be in the playoffs, but few saw them as a true threat.
As the season continued, even fans began to doubt as they watched the team seemingly crumble in June and July. When the Cardinals finally came to life in September they went 11-5 in the last 16 games of the season to lock up the second Wild Card position in its inaugural year.

That run, despite it's crushing end in Cincinnati in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, lots of good came from the Cardinals' season and playoff run.
Following in no particular order are 10 reasons Cardinals fans have to be excited about the 2013 season.

Trevor Rosenthal
When rookie fireballer Trevor Rosenthal made his first trip to St. Louis, it was obvious almost instantly that he was something special.
Between his 100 mph fastball and the general inability for almost anyone to hit off of him, he became a huge part of the Cardinals playoff run.

He pitched in a total of 19 regular season games before the 22-year-old rookie from Lee's Summit, Mo. got his first taste of postseason baseball and he put on quite a show.
In 8.2 IP over seven postseason appearances, Rosenthal held opponents to only two hits and no runs.
It's possible that down the stretch he may have already earned his spot in the rotation for 2013.

Shelby Miller
The long-coveted fastball pitching prospect Shelby Miller also made his first trip to St. Louis in 2012 and put on a good show.
In 13.2 IP over six regular season games, Miller surrendered only two runs on nine hits. His postseason performance was more of the same with two runs on four hits in 3.2 IP.

Despite a dismal first half of the season in Memphis, Miller got himself together and still managed to make one major league start before the end of the season -- a very impressive start at that.
Against the Cincinnati Reds in the final game of the regular season, Miller posted 5.2 hitless innings. He gave up no runs and collected his first major league win.

Expect to see a lot more of Miller in St. Louis early in 2013.

Joe Kelly
When Joe Kelly made his major league debut on June 10, few could have guessed the importance he would play throughout the remainder of the 2012 season.
Kelly started 16 games for the Cardinals this season filling in for Jaime Garcia and Lance Lynn, but it was the postseason when he really came through for his teammates.

When starting pitchers struggled time and again in October, it was Kelly who came to their rescue.
In seven postseason appearances, Kelly threw 7.2 innings and surrendered only two runs on six hits. Kelly came through for the Cardinals from the bullpen.
There's a good chance that could be his home in the future.

Mike Matheny
When the Cardinals hired Mike Matheny to take over for Tony LaRussa, many question bringing in a manager with no experience to such a storied franchise.

He had a few hiccups and growing pains along the way, but for a rookie manager to get his team where Matheny did this year speaks volumes.
His players have a strong respect for Matheny and credit his positive style with being a driving force behind their 2012 success.
True, he didn't get them through the NLCS, but the team made it to an all or nothing Game 7. That's good experience for the players obviously, but also for Matheny. Not only did he learn a lot about managing in the media pressure cooker that is postseason baseball, he also got a taste of what it felt like to win as a manager.

NLCS loss means more drive to win
While the NLCS loss was a good lesson for a young manager, it's an even more important lesson for a young player.
The 2011 championship lit a fire under young players like Lance Lynn and Jon Jay. That fire helped drive them to extremely successful sophomore seasons.

What happened in 2012 will likely do the same for Rosenthal, Miller and Kelly. Their 2013 season may not be like Jay or Lynn's 2012, but now they've gotten a little taste of what it feels like to be a winner.

Both the excitement and the public humbling can be a great experience for any young player.

The run was without several key components
In a season riddled with injuries, none were as crucial as those late in the season.
The loss of Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal significantly weakened the team's bench. Instead of having Pete Kozma, Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter to pinch hit, the team wound up having to use them in the lineup.

The loss of Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook also rocked the Cardinals. Instead of having Lynn and Westbrook also available from the bullpen, Lynn was pushed back into the rotation after a very successful NLDS bullpen stint.

Having gotten as deep into the playoffs as the Cardinals did in spite of the injuries is quite the accomplishment.

They did it without Pujols, LaRussa and Duncan
Few in the world of sports gave the Cardinals a fighting chance when Albert Pujols left the team to play on the west coast. Surely this team couldn't be as good as they were?

Few gave them a chance after longtime manager Tony LaRussa decided it was time to retire.
Few gave them a chance after pitching coach Dave Duncan left the team.
The Cardinals did it despite all of that. That's something any fan should be proud of.

No, they didn't hoist a trophy. There will be no parade or tickertape.
What there is, though, is hope for next year and that will come sooner than you may think.
After all, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in just four short months.

From a blog I was sent on twitter: http://www.dailystatesman.com/blogs/...es/entry/50051

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Old 04-11-2012, 03:04 PM   #286
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Not the greatest managerial job by Matheny in that last inning, IMO.

He got way too hung up on the fact that Scrabble throws lefty and let it dictate his decisions. Scrabble can retire righties and can do so a hell of a lot better than Salas right now (who's elevating everything). The decision to walk Ludwick was stupid in its own right; Ludwick isn't going to do anything with that sinker from a lefty. Matheny just saw the platoon setup and decided to walk him. Then the decision to go get Salas was again based on nothing more than the L/R matchup.

He was too formulaic there. Had he given Scrabble the green light to just attack that inning, I'm fairly confident that he'd have gotten out of it. He threw a strike on 0-0 to Votto that the umpire called a ball despite giving it to Chapman all day. Then he got too much of the plate trying to figure out the strike zone. He still looked plenty filthy to Bruce and had more than enough stuff today to take care of Luddy and Heisey.

Bad managing; hopefully Mike learns from it.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:10 PM   #287
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I think at this point last season that prick Franklin had already blown three or four saves.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:12 PM   #288
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I think at this point last season that prick Franklin had already blown three or four saves.
Man I'm glad that turd is gone
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:02 AM   #289
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I'll take 5 out of 7 on the road any time
Especially against our two biggest divisional rivals.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:03 AM   #290
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Not the greatest managerial job by Matheny in that last inning, IMO.

He got way too hung up on the fact that Scrabble throws lefty and let it dictate his decisions. Scrabble can retire righties and can do so a hell of a lot better than Salas right now (who's elevating everything). The decision to walk Ludwick was stupid in its own right; Ludwick isn't going to do anything with that sinker from a lefty. Matheny just saw the platoon setup and decided to walk him. Then the decision to go get Salas was again based on nothing more than the L/R matchup.

He was too formulaic there. Had he given Scrabble the green light to just attack that inning, I'm fairly confident that he'd have gotten out of it. He threw a strike on 0-0 to Votto that the umpire called a ball despite giving it to Chapman all day. Then he got too much of the plate trying to figure out the strike zone. He still looked plenty filthy to Bruce and had more than enough stuff today to take care of Luddy and Heisey.

Bad managing; hopefully Mike learns from it.
Well and he got bit by waiting so long to give Freese and Beltran a rest to try and get them two days with Berk straining his calf. May not have been the most popular decision but why not sit one then and sit one in the home opener if you want to get them both 2 days. The Cubs are a trainwreck so its not like you should need them both to handle your business.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:53 PM   #291
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Well and he got bit by waiting so long to give Freese and Beltran a rest to try and get them two days with Berk straining his calf. May not have been the most popular decision but why not sit one then and sit one in the home opener if you want to get them both 2 days. The Cubs are a trainwreck so its not like you should need them both to handle your business.
Sitting a starting healthy player on opening day? GTFO

We have an issue with some players being a little long in the tooth. We need to keep them fresh and ready to roll in September. We also need to give the young guys an oppertnity to prove they belong or at least can be trade deadline bait.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:08 PM   #292
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Sitting a starting healthy player on opening day? GTFO

We have an issue with some players being a little long in the tooth. We need to keep them fresh and ready to roll in September. We also need to give the young guys an oppertnity to prove they belong or at least can be trade deadline bait.
I'd rather sit one of them against an awful Cubs team in the home opener than both against a Reds team that thinks this is their window if my goal is to get him two rest days in a row. Nobody is going to remember that you sat someone in the home opener in September if you're cruising to a division title. I'd rather have better odds of winning both games than making sure everyone gets to play in the home opener.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #293
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New look Cardinals clicking as they return home

ST. LOUIS (AP)
So far, the St. Louis Cardinals are doing just fine without Albert Pujols. And they don't seem to miss Tony La Russa, either.

The World Series champions are off to a nice start heading into Friday's home opener against the Chicago Cubs. During their impressive 5-2 start on the road under new manager Mike Matheny, the Cardinals have gotten plenty of clutch hitting and pitching.

They take it personally, too, when it's mentioned that there are no big names anymore.

''What do you mean?'' pitcher Adam Wainwright said with mock seriousness. ''We don't have Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman? Lance Berkman is a Hall of Famer potentially, Matt Holliday should have won the MVP in `07 and he's a batting champion.''

Checking one website's top 10 power rankings prior to the season, the 6-7 right-hander took note that the Cardinals weren't on the list.

''It's hilarious. It doesn't matter who was on our team before and who wasn't, we're never favored and that's fine,'' Wainwright said. ''We seem to embrace that.''

Wainwright won 39 games in 2009-10 before missing last year with reconstructive elbow surgery. He leads a rotation that's been strong early without injured co-ace and postseason stud Chris Carpenter.

''What don't we have in names?'' Wainwright said. ''Maybe we don't have overhyped players.''

That could have been a knock at Pujols, perceived nationally as the player who made the team tick with all others relegated to second banana status.

''You can't replace a guy like Albert, 40 home runs in the middle of the lineup, the consistency,'' said Berkman, who's getting used to first base with Pujols gone. ''But we're not chopped liver. There's really no soft spot in the lineup, there's no breaks, and that leads to mistakes and that leads to big innings.''

The Cardinals lead the National League with a .301 average and their 12 home runs, 37 runs and .371 on-base percentage were the best in baseball through Wednesday's games. David Freese and Rafael Furcal are hitting above .400, Kyle Lohse is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and Jake Westbrook didn't allow an earned run in his first outing.

Wainwright will be pitching at home for the first time since Sept. 19, 2010, and working his second home opener. He started the season opener in 2009.

''I know when I arrive four hours before the game they're going to be out there tailgating, cooking hamburgers and having cold pops,'' Wainwright said. ''This whole town is excited about what we did last year and what we're going to do this year.''

Berkman could miss the weekend with a left calf strain that he said was much improved from a day earlier. Matheny said Matt Carpenter and Daniel Descalso would fill in at first base.

This will be the third opener for the Cardinals, after spoiling the first game at Marlins Park and then knocking off the Reds. Although the Marlins opener had a wow factor with women dressed as show girls and Muhammad Ali participating in the first pitch, Cardinals players believe nothing touches the St. Louis experience.

Players get a parade lap around the warning track on the backs of flatbed trucks before being delivered at home plate, and the team's six living Hall of Famers participate.

It's anticipated that La Russa, who retired after 16 seasons and two World Series titles in St. Louis, and former pitching coach Dave Duncan will participate in the ceremonial first pitch. The team's last four championship trophies will be displayed, along with representatives from each of the teams from 1967, 1982, 2006 and 2011.

For the first two games, the uniforms will feature gold letters and numbers.

''The fans are genuinely excited and you can feel it as a player,'' Berkman said. ''The history, the tradition, the Hall of Famers, that's what separates a Cardinal home opener from the rest of the league.''

As for the Cubs, well, they get to watch.

''You give everybody the respect they deserve,'' new manager Dale Sveum said. ''They're the best in the world right now. They're the best team in baseball. You're going to be out there, you're going to have to watch it, but you want other people out there watching you do it someday, too.''

The Cubs batted just .221 while losing five of their first six games at home in their worst start since they were 0-14 to begin 1997. They struck out 12 times Wednesday, before knocking out Brewers ace Zack Greinke in the fourth inning on Thursday.

Marlon Byrd enters the series in an 0-for-19 slump.

''It's so early in the year, we just have to keep our head up,'' catcher Geovany Soto said. ''There are a lot of games left, we just need to get in a good rhythm and keep playing ball.''

The Cubs have led in all but one of the games and lost a pair of 2-1 decisions.

''A lot of close games. That's a good thing,'' pitcher Ryan Dempster said.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/N...-home-89391694
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:09 PM   #294
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I'm not very happy about the start time (afternoon game), or the fact that since they're playing the ****ing Cubs, I'll get blacked out of the Cards broadcast and have to watch the World Series rings presented listening to the douche Cub announcers. **** yous all around to MLB and DirecTV. All the money I pay for Extra Innings, I should be able to get Cards announcers regardless of who they're playing.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:17 PM   #295
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I'd rather sit one of them against an awful Cubs team in the home opener than both against a Reds team that thinks this is their window if my goal is to get him two rest days in a row. Nobody is going to remember that you sat someone in the home opener in September if you're cruising to a division title. I'd rather have better odds of winning both games than making sure everyone gets to play in the home opener.
**** the cubs...step on their throat as early as possible.
sec
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #296
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**** the cubs...step on their throat as early as possible.
sec
They stomped the shit out of the Brewers today.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:31 PM   #297
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I'm not very happy about the start time (afternoon game), or the fact that since they're playing the ****ing Cubs, I'll get blacked out of the Cards broadcast and have to watch the World Series rings presented listening to the douche Cub announcers. **** yous all around to MLB and DirecTV. All the money I pay for Extra Innings, I should be able to get Cards announcers regardless of who they're playing.
I always hated having the ESPN broadcasts blacked out even though I'm 270 miles from STL.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:49 PM   #298
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Holy crap, we're getting beat like rented mules. Down 8-0 in the 3rd.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #299
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Holy crap, we're getting beat like rented mules. Down 8-0 in the 3rd.
It takes most pitchers 18 months to return to "normal" after the surgery. To expect Wainright to shave 1/3 of the recovery time off the rehabilitation time is unrealistic. Waino was all over the place. His breaking ball was up in the zone, the cutter was flat and the fastball lacked life. Even the Cubs and Royals can take advantage of a pitcher throwing like that at the MLD level.

Maybe its karma, we shit on the Marlins and Brewers opening days.... karma payback?
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:21 PM   #300
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Waino's looking shitty so far. Sign Oswalt for goodness sake. Stop pussyfooting around.
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This is a test for a client's site.
A new website that shows member-created construction site listings that need fill or have excess fill. Dirt Monkey @ https://DirtMonkey.net
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