Sunday Morning Coffee with Ray Mileur

The rollout of the 2009 version of the St. Louis Cardinals continues to be a total public relations disaster as team officials withheld vital information about the status of third baseman Troy Glaus, from the Cardinal fans and local media, at the Winter Warm Up last weekend.

In less than 72 hours after third baseman Troy Glaus appeared before a throng of Cardinal fans and media, the Cardinals announced that third baseman Troy Glaus underwent arthroscopic surgery for the debridement of his right shoulder. A surgery that will sideline him for at least 12 weeks.

Besides the late-timing of this surgery, one has to wonder why he didn't have it done in, let's say in November, so he could be ready when the season starts; there is the additional nagging question, why didn't the Cardinals announce that Glaus was going to have to have surgery before or during his appearance at the Winter Warm Up?

Glaus led off Day Three of the Winter Warm UP, referring only to eye problems that hindered him at the beginning of last season, having been resolved, without any mention or reference to the impending surgery that was looming ahead just 48 hours after the his public appearance in St. Louis.

The announcement, would have given the fans and the media the opportunity to ask players and management a wide range of additional questions, relating to the late timing and announcement of the surgery and exploring the Cardinals options at third.

The surgery does opens the door for top prospects David Freese and Brett Wallace, to compete for a first-time ever MLB roster spot. I'm sure the fans and the media would have loved to talk to either one of them about their chances of making the club's 25-man roster, rather than being denied the opportunity, with the Cardinals withholding critical information about Glaus' health.

I can't argue that as a fan or a sportswriter, that I have the "right to know" or that the Cardinals are obligated to release any information until they want to, but at the same time, I can't help but feel deceived with the Cardinals withholding this information from all of us last weekend.

As far as I'm concerned, it is an unnecessary public relations blunder by the team's front office.


The St. Louis Cardinals and outfielders Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick exchanged salary arbitration figures this past Tuesday and unless there is an agreement met soon, they could go to a hearing in February.

Ankiel asked for $3.3 million and was offered $2.35 million, whereas Ludwick requested $4.25 million and was offered $2.8 million. I have a hard time believing the Cardinals could come out of an arbitration hearing as a winner with either one of these two players and their agents.

St. Louis did avoid arbitration with; right-hander Brad Thompson, agreeing to a $650,000, one-year contract; pitcher Todd Wellemeyer settling with to a $4.05 million, one-year deal and outfielder Chris Duncan consenting to an $825,000, one-year contract.


The Cardinals have been linked to rumors surrounding free agents, pitchers; Randy Wolf, Oliver Perez, and Kris Benson.

Wolf turned down a deal for a reported three-year, $28 million, from the Houston Astros earlier this offseason, a decision I'm sure he regrets now, as the offers trickle in for roughly one or two years, in the $5 million per year range, plus options and incentives. The Dodgers appear to be the front runners for Wolf's services, though earlier reports that a deal with Los Angeles were imminent appear to be premature. The Cardinals are probably going to go with someone from within the organization, like a Kyle McClellan or Brad Thompson to fill any holes in the rotation, until Chris Carpenter is ready.

According to a report, the Mets have increased their original offer to Oliver Perez, of three-years for $30 million, though the latest details are not known, it certainly puts Perez out of Cardinals price range.

Kris Benson is trying to make a comeback and while the Cardinals have expressed an interest in the veteran right-hander, the Rockies may scoop him up soon. The 34-year old Benson was supposed to hold a showcase this weekend, with the Dodgers, Diamond-Backs, Rangers, Indians, Padres and the Cardinals expected to attend according to his agent, Gregg Clifton. It will be interesting to see who was there to watch, other than his wife. You remember Mrs. Benson, right?

Former St. Louis Cardinals reliever Russ Springer may be close to signing a deal with the Oakland A's. Personally, I thought the Cardinals should bring the 40-year old Springer back for at least one more season, if you could get him to accept a one-year deal, something I thought he would do. In two years with the Cardinals, Springer was nothing short of outstanding: In 116.1 innings, he posted stats including; a 2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 111:37 K:BB ratio. There wasn't or isn't any reason to think Springer couldn't contribute again this season.

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