Bits and Pieces

From the World According to Joe Mammy.

Ah, nothing like the opening weeks of the season.  It's a manic-depressive kind of experience oscillating from dreams of World Series rings, and more MVP's and Cy Young's to wailing and gnashing of teeth over the offensive woes in the order or the starting pitching or the bullpen or some combination therein.  So this year it's the bullpen, or more to the point the back end of the bullpen.


I understand the frustration.  If I hear one more apology for Braden Looper ("He's not right, but give his some time…") I'll scream.  Frankly if he's not ready, I'm not sure what he's doing with the club let alone in the set up role.  I was glad when they signed Looper and I'm still glad they have him because I believe he will contribute, but with Izzy struggling, it doesn't seem particularly wise to have a rehab case in the bullpen.


As for Izzy, I wasn't on the bandwagon that everything was going to be great out of the gate.  If the last two springs have taught me anything, it's that Jason Isringhausen is ready when Jason Isringhausen is ready.  After struggling terribly in the pre-season last year, Izzy came out strong.  Bottom line: spring is spring and the season is the season.  Izzy has been too consistent since coming to St Louis for me to call for his head yet.


The main concern I have is that as of now David Eckstein has a higher slugging percentage than Jim Edmonds.  Edmonds has always been fighting off one bug or another and kudos for him for playing through it, but if Edmonds continues to struggle we're likely to have some problems.  Scott Rolen is playing like the Rolen we remembered, but with an outfield built around Edmonds' power and the hopes of Encarnacion's production and Bigbie or Rodriquez or Taguchi or whoever is playing left, I'm feeling less confident.  I suspect many others in Cardinal Nation will be watching the outfield status with interest.


And finally, it's the scandal that just won't go away.  I've done my share of stories on steroids and I always hope it will be the last time I feel compelled to write on the subject.  Well, since the revelations about Barry Bonds' increasingly less alleged steroid use by someone more reputable than Jose Canseco baseball has been on the offensive.  Now I dislike Barry Bonds more than most, but Major League baseball's independent investigation doesn't impress me one bit.  It looks all the more meaningless in light that a grand jury has been called to investigate Bonds.  The result is a League-sanctioned lynch mob seeking to exorcise Barry Bonds from the game.


Don't get me wrong, if I never saw or heard about Barry Bonds again I wouldn't complain, but the Commissioners office hasn't established itself as a credible agency to conduct such an agency.  Bud Selig can pitch George Mitchell all he wants, but until there's an independent investigation that can punish players, owners and the Commissioner's office for their roles instead of designating a scapegoat (no matter how unsympathetic and potentially deserving that scapegoat may be) then what are they really accomplishing?  There's enough culpability to go around on the steroid and it's time for Bud and company finally opt to take a little responsibility in this scandal instead of feigning moral indignation.


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