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The Cardinals sign Miguel Batista and Ian Snell

Jan 14, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

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I hope Cardinals fans didn’t have water in their mouths when they read the following tweet from Derrick Goold, or else they’d need new monitors:

Cardinals sign Miguel Batista and Ian Snell

I mean, jeez, Derrick. I know some people advocate pulling the bandage off quickly, but you really should break that kind of thing up into two tweets rather than smack everyone over the head like that.

Oh well, no sense going crazy.  These are minor league deals for basically zero money.  And while he absolutely grinds my gears to watch pitch, Batista has his uses as a swingman/slop-time kind of pitcher. Snell less so, but maybe some Dave Duncan time will do him some good.  That is, if he gets enough time near the major league camp to talk to Duncan much.

  1. BC - Jan 14, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    Snell was actually serviceable in 2006-2007. He’s been royally goofed up since then. Maybe Duncan can fix him. Not a bad shot at a reclamation project.

  2. paperlions - Jan 14, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    If one of these guys is going to replace Skip at 2B, I’m all for it.

    • spudchukar - Jan 14, 2011 at 2:55 PM

      Over the past few years both of these guys have been on the Cardinal’s radar. Since the questions surrounding the effectiveness of Kyle Lohse continue; the moves are not that surprising. I guess the signings are intended to be the so-called insurance policies. That said, these signings don’t exactly inspire confidence. I know Snell is a sinkerballer; so maybe Duncan can work some magic. I’m not sure I know what Batista is, but with the departure of Hawksworth, the long-reliever/spot starter role needs filling. I can envision Snell in some capacity, not so much with Batista.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2011 at 3:10 PM

        They are no risk signings….I have no problem with that…Duncan has been able to turn such guys into useful pieces before, he can probably do it again.

  3. sportsdrenched - Jan 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    I think Cards fans are really going to miss Walt Jockety.

    Now the Cards are making deals the Royals would make.

    • paperlions - Jan 14, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      Nah, I don’t miss Jockety, he only knew one way to win, and when the Cardinals were out-priced in the FA market and had a barren farm system, they were dead in the water. The problem now is that LaRussa has won the political struggle for control and has too much input into personnel….he fought what they were trying to do the whole way…if he had bought into things, perhaps there would have been a real chance in their organizational approach…but now, they are back in the 80s, chock full of spunk, grit, gamerness, and veteranocity.
      .
      LaRussa will win his way, or he’ll lose his way and blame the players….but he’ll be damned if he’ll learn something new about baseball. Sadly, the 2011 version of the Cardinals looks a little too similar to the 2010 version….only with worse defense.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        “change”, “chance”, whatever….curse you invisible “edit” button

      • spudchukar - Jan 14, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        The Cardinals won 3 pennants in the eighties, and that was under Whitey, so I’m not exactly sure I fully understand the rationale for your criticism there. However, the 2011 Cards do resemble last year’s squad, and Shumaker’s lack of speed, power, and infield defensive prowess, makes him a huge liability. I am kind of a grit kind of guy, but it needs to be accompanied by some elements of talent. His only effective role, would be late-inning replacement for Berkman, whose offensive production should return and surprise.

      • paperlions - Jan 14, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        The Cardinals were undergoing a change in organizational approach from “eye-ball test” based decision making to knowledge-based decision making using the record of events (i.e. data) rather than personal perception, which is much less reliable. That change has been abandoned….thus they are “back in the 80s”….being in the 80s was fine in the 80s, everybody was there….now, many teams are in the 2010s, and being in the 80s is not a good thing.
        .
        If talent is equal, I’m all for grit, but all of the grit in the world won’t overcome a shortage of talent. Last year, the Cardinals didn’t lack for grit, they lacked for leadership. TLR has become a bad leader, he doesn’t communicate with his players, they don’t see where things are going or what their role is, it is bad personnel management. He also increasingly lets his personal feeling get in the way of decision making playing some players less than he should (Ludwick, Rasmus, Ryan) and other much more than he should (Skip, Miles, Winn).

  4. spudchukar - Jan 14, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    I am pretty darn familiar with the Cards, their organization and history. I just don’t know where your contention they are reverting comes from. I think it is mythical. Whitey ball worked in the ’80’s what with Astroturf and all. And then we moved forward. La Russa and Duncan were one of the first and remain adherents to a variety of statistic-based philosophies. Their spray-charts, pitch locations and hitter histories were innovative and they continue to use them to a greater degree than most teams. I also don’t think he has as much influence as you seem to believe in the player procurement duties. He was always a Ludwick proponent, and lamented his departure. He has expressed his disappointment with Rasmus’ play at times but anyone who watches the Cardinals play on regular basis knows much of that is warranted. The base running blunders, horrendous throwing decisions and strikeout totals, can not be dismissed as youthful discretion. The Ryan departure is a mystery to me, and if La Russa was responsible I think it was in error. I know he had an off-year offensively, but we gave up the best defensive shortstop in the Bigs, for next to nothing. And La Russa, was a Ryan proponent. We seem to agree on Shumaker. Miles and Winn were only role players, neither of whom were significant disappointments. The vast majority of the veterans are ardent supporters. I blame our cheap-assed upper management considerably more than TLR. He is no-nonsensed. Perhaps to a fault. But he gets the most out of what he is given. I just wish he would be given more.

    • paperlions - Jan 14, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      LaRussa uses the equivalent of hearsay statistics. For being a Ludwick proponent, he sure did avoid playing him everyday when healthy for years….subbing in worse players all the time. LaRussa complained because Rasmus didn’t play like he WANTED him to play, ignoring the fact that Rasmus was the most productive CF in the national league (and highly productive) for most of the season. A good manager lets players be the players they are….LaRussa can’t do that, he has to exert his will.
      .
      He’s all about scrap and hustle….unless it is Albert or Molina walking to first as the GIDP again.
      .
      LaRussa is about LaRussa, always has been….and now he’s old, crotchety, and hard to get along with. Last year’s team played joyless baseball because he was sulking in the dugout all year and wouldn’t talk to anyone.
      .
      Last year he would remove Rasmus late in the game for an inferior hitter (often Winn), then move the RF (often Ludwick or Jay) to CF and put an inferior player in RF….for no apparent reason he would weaken a spot in the lineup and 2/3 of the outfield defense….because he just can’t help himself.
      .
      The best baseball managers put in the best players, and get out of the way. LaRussa just can’t do it, he has to show everyone how smart he is…and it doesn’t work. He’s an average manager…he wins with talent and loses without it.

    • paperlions - Jan 14, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      When did LaRussa ever get the most out of what he is given? He often gets exactly what he asks for. In StL, his teams have won when they were loaded with talent….last year he managed to screw up a team with an All-Star RF, and MVP 1B, 2 Ace pitchers and a ROY candidate on the mound, and the best CF in the NL. He certainly didn’t get more out of his players last year…if anything, he got less.

      • spudchukar - Jan 14, 2011 at 7:26 PM

        We can agree to disagree on most of the issues here. I happen to believe the manager with the second greatest number of wins in the history of the game achieved that status by way of merit. Rarely do I miss a game and I have never seen him sulk. The way he wants Rasmus to play is with attention, seriousness and desire. The game has always come easy to Rasmus. La Russa only wants to instill in him that which will make him better, and thus a better Cardinal. His lack of concentration and lackadaisical play, is, at times, very alarming.
        I too wish Pujols and Molina would run out those GIDP chances. He withholds his criticism because he knows Pujols is playing injured; the ever- present Plantar Facitis and Molina, who catches 140 games a year, the most of any catcher in the majors.
        La Russa’s decisions are out there for everyone to see. He makes more than almost any other manager. His success however indicates that the vast majority of the those choices he makes lead to winning games. His one and only desire.

  5. elmaquino - Jan 15, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    worst-case scenario, they steal a combined $10k http://bit.ly/if5EHE

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