Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I can't even think of a clever mocking headline

For this truly absurd article. Let the title wash over you.

It’s Time for the Cardinals to Trade Pujols

Now you, being an intelligent (see: brain having) person would say, "Mr. Jensen, why in holy Hell would the Cardinals trade the best fucking hitter on the planet?"

My answer: They wouldn't because they are not morons.

I love boldness. I loved the Angels trade for Mark Teixeira (.383/.472/.617 in 16 games). I loved the Manny Ramirez trade for both the Red Sox and the Dodgers (for whom Ramirez has delivered .424/.514/.780 in 16 games).

Yup, those trades were pretty cool.

I hate apathy. I hate the fact that the Twins again doomed themselves to missing the playoffs or exiting quickly because they didn’t upgrade.

That link is to an article Mr. Jensen wrote about how the Twins - who lead the AL Central as of writing - don't care about winning because they don't have like five Series rings.

The Twins payroll is like a haypenny and they make the playoffs regularly despite having a large roster turnover and being in a small market. They didn't win the World Series? Not-trying pieces of shit.

I hate that the Rays didn’t seize the moment by trading for someone other than Chad Bradford. No, they couldn’t have foreseen that Carl Crawford, Troy Percival and Evan Longoria would all go down right around the same time. But they should have had the foresight to know they were operating near 100% utilization for 115 games and that they couldn’t keep it up.

Again: Small market = not making dumb trades because you can't eat them like the Sawx and the Yanks.

And, yes, boldness doesn’t always mean success. The Dodgers boldly signed Andruw Jones (an OPS+ of 34!). The Reds boldly spent a ton of money on Francisco Cordero (decent year with a 3.90 ERA and 23 saves, but the Reds are 55-70. But at least the Dodgers and Reds were trying, and that needs to be respected.

Boldness >>>>> Winning.

So where am I going with this? The Cardinals need to trade Albert Pujols, that’s where. It’s a bold, bold move – and it’s what the Cardinals need to do if their goal is to win a World Series in the next five years.

Replace "bold" with "fucking idiotic" and I totally agree.

The Cardinals have a good team. They’re 70-57. That’s good enough to lead the National League East or West, but in the newly elite National League Central it’s good for third, behind Chicago and Milwaukee. They’re two games behind Milwaukee for the Wild Card.

Too good to re-tool, you say? You’re wrong. St. Louis faces certain early elimination in the playoffs, and it’s doubtful they’ll make it. Here’s why – it’ the starting pitching. Here are the Cardinals post-season options:

Scott Jensen has a crystal ball with which he knows exactly what will happen in a three round crap shoot of baseball playing.

The playoffs are pretty silly. The first round is best three of five - fluketacular. And the next two are best of seven - slightly less random, but where the non-best team can still win.

And nobody thought the Cardinals were going to be good, especially with the billion injuries they have. So they're kind of happy to be where they are, I think.

So what we have here is a) rag-tag crew of so-so pitchers (Lohse, Looper, Wellemeyer and Pineiro) who don’t strike anyone out and will fail in the playoffs

Crystal ball...

and two injured frontline pitchers (Wainwright and Carpenter).

Who will be back next year and probably good.

The Cardinals have a load of minor league pitching talent ... but most of them are very young – one to three years away from contributing at the Major League level and it’s unknown whether any of them (or Wainwright) will be an ace.

I guess his crystal ball doesn't translate to which minor leaguer will be an ace.

No one knows who will be an ace, ever. They only guess. And one to three years away and Pujols will be a crusty 29-32 years of age. Dear God! Get that man a walker!

So let’s trade Pujols and see what happens.

I like to think this is how every trade goes down. Fuck thinking.

That leaves us with the Red Sox.

Jensen is from the New England area. Do with that fact what you will.

They have the money. They have the talent. And they have a history of being bold (signing Daisuke Matsuzaka, trading away Manny Ramirez). Here’s the trade:

St. Louis trades

  • 1B Albert Pujols
  • RP Russ Springer

to the Boston Red Sox for

  • 1B Kevin Youkilis
  • SP Josh Beckett
  • RP Jonathan Papelbon
This is, as the kids say, reDONKulous. Youk is a fine player, Paps is a pretty great closer and Beckett is a solid starter. But Pujols is far and away the BEST HITTER PLAYING BASEBALL.

He's 28. Actually younger than Youkilis.
He has one MVP, should have another, and has only finished lower than fourth (ninth) once in seven seasons, soon to be eight.
His career on base in .424 with a .620 slugging - that's a 1.044 OPS, which is elite.
He has 308 homers in eight seasons, good for 41/162 games.
He's God.

The Cardinals trade one of the best hitters in the game’s history.

Re-read that.

Once more.

Got it? OK. You may now stop reading.

They get an ace pitcher and post-season performer in Beckett. They get an elite closer in Papelbon. And they get a premium first baseman in Kevin Youkilis.

I think Jensen's Sox fandom is starting to show here. Beckett has a career 115 ERA+ meaning he is a slightly above average MLB pitcher.

Sheets (115), Zito (116), Carpenter (112), Garcia (111), Burnett (110) and Schmidt (110) all have similar ERA pluses. Aces.

"Premium" - of exceptional quality or greater value than others of its kind. Youkilis - career OPS of 118. Others: Millar (114), Huff (116), Konerko (115), Chavez (117). Exact opposite of premium.

Someone else fits the discription of premium other than Youkilis but I can't think who...

And they improve their chances of making and advancing in the playoffs over the next five years.

The Cardinals trade one of the best hitters in the game’s history.

I honestly cannot think of more than a handful of players as untouchable as Pujols. Trading him for parts - however good they may be - is foolish. Beyond foolish. Even those cordial Cards fans would riot in the streets if this happened.

It would be a bold trade for both teams. The Red Sox would be giving up three important pieces of their core. The Cardinals would be giving up one of the game’s best ever hitters. But both teams would be better,

Dubious. In fact, the Cards would almost certainly be worse. Not having the best hitter in the game today will do that.

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