Walton's Wanderings – March 31

Brian Walton reports on whatever Cardinals-related topics have caught his eye

It might appear that I've been somewhat remiss in doing these columns recently. However, look for these types of blurbs preceding my "Game Observations", which will be Insider stories posted for those games I witness.

Consider this a free, bonus edition, I guess.

Bill James compliments Cards fans

Bill James, Senior Baseball Operations Advisor for the Boston Red Sox, author and the father of sabermetrics, had a seriously in-depth interview this week on the famed Red Sox message board, Sons of Sam Horn.

Said James, "I will say that the Cardinal fans at the 2004 World Series were almost unbelievably polite and considerate. After the guys won it in St. Louis, my wife was sitting there in her Red Sox hat, and just person after person after person came up to congratulate us, to tell us that they were happy for us, to tell us that it was about time, etc. That was an amazing experience, or an amazing part of an amazing experience."

James link

I told you so…

It's actually much less bragging and more of a reflection of how few positions were really up for grabs with the Cardinals this spring, as I report back on my stellar 25-man roster predictions. Before camp opened, in my story "Position Battles: Red, Yellow and Green" back on February 26, I correctly predicted 23 of the 25 men who as of now will be on the opening day roster.

The only misses: Rick Ankiel and Mike Myers, dispatched away. In their places are Bill Pulsipher and Hector Luna, who I forecasted would lose his job to Abraham Nunez. With only an 11-man staff to start the season, both Luna and Nunez have spots, at least for now.

RYG link

Baseball America ranks Cards last

Baseball America's Senior Editor, Jim Callis, who was the subject of a chat with me last week, continues his pessimistic view of the Cardinals. BA ranks the Cardinals' minor league system last of the 30 teams in terms of organizational talent. Says Callis, "Good thing big league team can rake, because Cardinals' only significant talent is on mound."

Top 30 list: Top 30

Detailed evaluations: Details (subscription required)

Three Nights in August

National Public Radio has a generous excerpt and audio interviews with author Buzz Bissinger and subject Tony La Russa in conjunction with the new book, "Three Nights in August". The primary subject is a three-game series with the Cubs in 2003.

NPR

I bought my copy from Amazon.com for $16.50.

Amazon

Upcoming starters and broadcast information

For the rest of spring training and exhibition games, here are the starting pitchers plus radio and television coverage:

Thursday night vs. Orioles @ Oklahoma City – Chris Carpenter (KMOX)
Friday night vs. Orioles @ Oklahoma City – Jason Marquis (KMOX)
Saturday afternoon at Springfield – Matt Morris (KMOX plus Jock 98.7 and KY3 TV in Springfield)
Sunday afternoon at Springfield – Mark Mulder (KMOX plus Jock 98.7 and UPN TV in Springfield)

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net


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