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1/11/10 - McGwire Admits to Steroid Use - Mark McGwire has confirmed what most of the baseball world has suspected for a decade or so by admitting to steroid use throughout his baseball career. He remains one of a select group of players from the past two decades not to have lied about being clean and becomes one of an elite few who admitted to his misdeeds without someone holding hard evidence against him.

While McGwire's character remains commendable, several points about his confession leave a bad taste in the mouth. McGwire said that steroids were "readily available" as early as 1989, which may open the eyes of some people who believe that the Steroid Era did not begin until the mid-to-late 90s.

More importantly, knowing now for sure that McGwire used steroids for most of his career, we will never know what kind of a career he would have had without them. McGwire's best-ever home run rate of once every 10.6 at-bats will be forever questioned, and whether McGwire would have been forced to retire at the age of 37 just 17 homers shy of 600 if he hadn't been using steroids should be forever questioned. --KG

06/28/09 - Is the Schumaker Experiment Over? - The 29-year old Skip Schumaker hadn't played a professional game at second base until this year. Not surprisingly, he has been awful at his new position (making only six outs out of his zone and starting only eight double plays in 452 defensive innings, according to THT).

Enter Mark DeRosa, acquired today from Cleveland. Surely, DeRosa' versatility spells the end for Schumaker's stint at second, right? Well, apparently not. Schumaker started at second in DeRosa's first game with the club, with DeRosa instead manning left field and natural shortstop Khalil Greene playing at third. Greene and Schumaker combined to make three errors which led to two unearned runs in a 6-2 loss against the Twins. Manager Tony LaRussa's stubborn adherence to playing his guys out of position could easily cost the Cardinals a playoff spot in a tight NL Central race. --KG

05/26/09 - A Player Comparison for the Evening Letís play a little player comparison game. Which of the following National League first basemen would you rather have, Player A or Player B:

G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
Pl. A 44 44 193 152 38 49 8 0 14 38 7 1 35 13 .322 .451 .651 1.102 99
Pl. B 45 45 194 167 33 47 4 0 17 31 1 0 26 40 .288 .381 .611 .992 102

Okay, so that would appear to be an obvious answer - Player A. Now, letís change it up. Looking at the following home/road splits, which player would you rather have:

Player A G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
Home 26 26 111 84 23 32 5 0 9 24 4 1 23 4 .381 .514 .762 1.275 64
Away 18 18 82 68 15 17 3 0 5 14 3 0 12 9 .250 .366 .515 .881 35


Player B G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
Home 23 23 99 85 12 22 2 0 5 12 0 0 14 21 .259 .364 .459 .822 39
Away 22 22 95 82 21 25 2 0 12 19 1 0 12 19 .305 .400 .768 1.168 63


Do home/road splits really matter? What can be learned from home/road splits, really? I donít know, but it seems to me that in a neutral ballpark, I would rather have Player B. The identities of these players would shock you, so I wonít disclose them.

2/10/08: Waiver Whyer - The Cardinals waived Adam Kennedy, whom they still owe $4 million. Although not a terrific offensive player, Kennedy finished 3rd among second basemen with a +19 +/- rating and 4th with 10.2 UZR, marks that are particularly impressive given that Kennedy only appeared in 84 games at second base. Brendan Ryan is the only remaining Cardinals player with significant big league experience at second, and he had a .596 OPS last year. The Cardinals also do not have any second base prospects obviously ready for the majors.

12/16/08: Comeback Player of the Year - You heard it here first: Khalil Greene is going to have a big season in St. Louis.  He has a career .802 OPS away from Petco Park and Tony LaRussa has a knack for spinning journeymen second basemen into productive players.  Khalil is no Cesar Izturis defensively, but he is well above average, and the Cards did well to acquire him.



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