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John Smoltz to St. Louis

Aug 19, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

John Smoltz is set to clear waivers today at noon. When he does, the Cardinals are going to sign him.  They’re going to use him as a fifth starter initially, with thoughts of moving him to the bullpen late in the year or for the playoffs.

The Cardinals are one of the few contenders who really have nothing to lose by giving Smoltz a shot in the rotation.  Between Todd Wellemeyer, Mitchell Boggs, Brad Thompson, and P.J. Walters, their fifth starters have been utter abominations. Those guys are a combined 10-15 with a 5.45 ERA, and given that they’ve allowed 320 baserunners in 188 1/3 innings, that ERA probably represents good luck.

Only downside: NL guys like me will bang our heads against a wall if Smoltz waltzes in to St. Louis and starts to pitch effectively, because it will just be the latest painful data point reminding us of the disparity between the leagues.

  1. SpankinElroy - Aug 19, 2009 at 11:44 PM

    Rock on Matt!!! Let’s not forget folks the simple mathematics of 1) Losing every 5th game is a winning percentage of .800 for crying out loud…I’ll take it! 2) NO manager since 1900 has won more games than Tony LaRussa – 300+ more than Torre, and 3) Mike is clearly a product of the NY public school system as he couldn’t figure out the 2 aforementioned statistics. Welcome aboard John Smoltz, I can’t wait to see what he brings…it’s gonna be awesome, just like the city, the cards, and the fans.

  2. Dave - Aug 20, 2009 at 2:44 AM

    Smoltz didn’t pitch that poorly in Boston, but the Sox defense behind him was terrible and he was unlucky. Take a look at his BABIP and FIP. Given time, his ERA in Boston would have lowered quite a bit. Add in escaping the Fenway bandbox and Smoltz’ numbers should rebound considerably.

  3. Shely - Aug 20, 2009 at 11:20 AM

    Can’t all you guys just wait and see? This is no slam dunk. I personally feel he can be tried as the 5th starter, however, he will be more valauable as the set up man for one or two innings. By the way, the Yankees do have the best atmosphere in baseball in which to play. It is all and only because of the past great teams. However, the fans are nuts and do not deserve such recognition. Although it is there right to boo and scream at every player who doesn’t hit a home run with every AB, they do not support the player. It is all and only about money. Not a good situation for a sport team. The only worse fan base in the country in Philly. Unfortunately, Boston is a close third, and gaining on NY. I have been to all three places for some duration, and rate each of them at the bottom of the list as far as fans go. If only we had another winner in Cinti., we could show what true fans are like. Even so, with the loser that we have, we draw about 2 mil. a year. The fan base in Stlou. is one of the best around. Ive’ been there too for 15 years.
    Shely in Cincinnati.

  4. HOTROD - Aug 21, 2009 at 2:40 PM


  5. Mike - Aug 24, 2009 at 5:08 PM

    Petite, Mariano Rivera, Chen Mein Wang, Ted Lily… Haren sucked until he left St.louis so your argument is shot right there. Believe me, if I could leave here I would. You’ve obviously never been to Yankee Stadium, Camden Yards, Anehiem etc.. if you think the Cardinals are the only fans who cheer for good baseball. It’s a PR ploy to make people feel good about living in a crime infested, pitifully educated, drug fueled, horrible pizza eating town like this. Why don’t we meet at Ted Drewes and talk about the 1904 world fair?

  6. Matthew - Aug 25, 2009 at 12:46 AM

    Well, Dave Duncan (the greatest pitching coach on the planet) fixed a mechanical flaw and also stopped him from tipping his pitches, and Smoltz responded by pitching 5 shutout innings with 9 strikeouts for a win in his first St. Louis start, albeit against the Padres. Especially with Lohse out for the next 2 weeks, this is great news for the Cardinals and a huge steal from the Red Sox.

  7. Wow, Really? - Aug 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Spot on, Mike. New York is flawless. Nothing bad ever happens there…
    With all of your complaining, you are only supporting Matt’s observation. Perhaps you should take a little tour through this lovely city before you list more complaints.

  8. Mark - Aug 26, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    No true fan can go to Yankee stadium because they charge $100 dollars for a bleacher seat. They will bilk every last dollar out of you suckers so you can have the illusion of a real team. They have not had a cohesive unit in years, and this year is no exception. Oh and the Bronx and Queens are just beautiful landscapes for baseball. One of the only few places you go to game and hope your not raped or mugged on the trip from the train.

  9. Mike - Aug 26, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    Mark- Bleacher seats at yankee stadium: $14. Busch:$22, so you’re an idiot. Must be a public school grad. (where’d you go to high school?) ….Wow, Really(nice gay name) I live in this “lovely city” so I am often walking thorugh it. Problem is that after 7pm I am usually the only one on the street. I never would imply that nothing bad happens in New York, only that more good happens. Actually, since nothing happens in Stl, I guess it is safe, ecxcept that it usually makes the top 5 of the countries most dangerous cities. I didn’t make that up. the fact that very few, if any, of the players actully live here in the off-season should say something.

  10. Wow, Really? - Aug 26, 2009 at 4:59 PM

    Well, first of all. – Where’s that $12 ticket? Even the parking pass is $22. Nosebleed seat for around $30, not bad. Now, here are your St. Louis tickets.–Louis-Cardinals-Tickets-at-Busch-Stadium-in-Saint-Louis?PID=725457 – Nosebleed tickets for around $5. Only thing over $100 are diamond box seats. Mike, you must not have received your education in St. Louis because they would have taught you how to research a topic before a discussion. I’m not sure where you found anything about the team not living in St. Louis, because if search the web you will find that many players have permanent homes here. Pujols part-owns a restaurant in Maryland Heights. I don’t understand why you are even here if you dislike it so much. If your reason is job related, might I suggest you find a new job in New York? I will agree with your point on St. Louis being one of the most dangerous cities, but living in the suburbs I find myself unaffected by any harm. It really depends where in St. Louis your located, much the same with any other city.

  11. Mike - Aug 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    You really need to quit while you have some shred of dignity. Ticketsnow is a ticket broker that only a genius like you would buy baseball tickets from. I prefer to get them from the box office or team website. The reason why Cards tickets may be cheaper on this site is because no one wants to see the Astros play the Cardinals. Check the ticket prices on the team sites. Also, I said the bleacher seeats at Yankee stadium are $14 dollars, not 12. If you hold out both hands and open your fingers, that is 10. Now take off a shoe and subtract 2 of your toes, that would give you 4. Add it up and it is 14. Alos, if you define “many” as 3 then you’re right, many players do reside here. You need to get back the the suburbs, your meth is burning.

  12. Dave Glick - Sep 10, 2009 at 5:31 AM

    The only “disparity” as you say between the two leagues can be explained in two words. Designated hitter. Not the NL’s fault that the other guys would rather play beer league rules that a half trained monkey could manage.

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