Revisiting five of the most painful deals in recent St. Louis Cardinals history.
the second half of spring training upon us, will the Cardinals pull off any
minor deals or maybe a blockbuster? We'll know soon enough. But, will they be
good trades or bad ones? That will surely take longer to answer.
the meantime, here is a public service by yours truly. As part of my ongoing
therapy, I was told it would be good to exorcise some long-lingering
demons. Writing this article
dredged up some of my deepest very, very bad memories. So, to benefit both you
and me, I'll share my pain.
starting point for this analysis, I chose the time around when Stan the Man
retired and when Lou Brock joined the Redbirds in one of the franchise's best
trades ever. However, good trades are the subject of tomorrow's Part Two.
we look at the darker side of deals past. Join the discussion on our message
board to share your worsts.
Catcher Ted Simmons joins future Hall
of Fame Closer Rollie Fingers and pitcher Pete Vuckovich in a trade to the
Brewers for pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint and outfielders Sixto
Lezcano and David Green. All Fingers and Vuckovich did the next two seasons was
win the AL Cy Young Award with the Brewers in 1981 and 1982, respectively.
Simmons was one of many who didn't get along with Whitey Herzog. So, after five
All-Star Games and 11 years as the Redbird catcher, Simba was put on a bus with
a one way ticket from the land
to destined for Budville. Granted, several of the guys the Cardinals added
contributed to the Series-winning year in 1982, but all were gone by the time
the team returned in 1985.
The Cardinals trade 1971 NL MVP
Torre to the Mets for
pitchers Ray Sadecki and Tommy Moore. Look for a pattern in this and the next
two bad trades. Sadecki won all of one game in his second tour of duty with the
Cards and five more the rest of his career. Moore did
even worse, winning no games with the Redbirds and two more before his playing
days ended. Joe was managing the
Mets within three years.
20, 1965: 1964 NL MVP and five-time Gold Glove
third baseman Ken Boyer is traded to the Mets for
third baseman Charley Smith and pitcher Al Jackson. First of all, anybody who
knows anything would never trade for an ex-Mets third baseman. But, hey it was
only 1965, right? Smith lasted one year in St. Louis, delivering 43 RBI and was
out of baseball in three years. Jackson
stayed two years before returning to the Mets. Boyer had only four years left
himself, but don't ever, ever trade a guy who contributed so much to this
storied franchise that his number would be later retired.
1979 NL co-MVP Keith Hernandez is
exiled to the Mets for
pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey. The Cardinals 1982 World Series team was
promptly torn apart when its best player was traded for a below-.500
starter/reliever plus a prospect who never came through. Keith had won five
consecutive Gold Gloves to that point and added another six in a row with the
Mets. I don't care if he played cards in the clubhouse or even that he used
drugs. Whitey, why didn't you get the guy some help instead of dumping him for
spare parts? I will never, ever get over this one.
The Cardinals trade future Hall of
Fame pitcher Steve Carlton to the Phillies for
pitcher Rick Wise. Carlton won
20 games in 1971, and asked for a $10K raise. The audacity. We'll show him who's
boss, eh Gussie? Lefty was so crushed by the trade that he went on to win 241
games, four Cy Young Awards and a World Championship with the Phils. Wise stayed
around all of two years before being dispatched to
After this trade, The Cardinals did not appear in the playoffs for another 10
years. ‘Nuff said.
hindsight, the Walt Jocketty era is noticeably absent. A tip of the cap to a
general manager who far more frequently than not makes the right kind of
deals. Tomorrow's article: Best
Cardinal Trades in the Last 40 Years.
Brian Walton can be reached via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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