Mark Adams Is The Newest Cardinal

Written by athooks on .

Thanks to our friends @ JoeSportsFan for catching this one.

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The Carlos Martinez Story Won't Die

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Looks like my advice wasn't heeded.

At all.

That's from a Google News search on 'St. Louis Cardinals'. 

Not 'Carlos Martinez'. Not 'Carlos Martinez Porn'. But just 'St. Louis Cardinals'. There was an image from the RFT that was next to the KMOV.com pic that I edited out for NSFW content, but other than that, that' what you get when you look for news on the Cardinals online.

From ESPN.com to the NY Daily News, looks like the media can't get enough of a 22 year-old looking at porn. You know, because porn sites are pretty lightly trafficked and it's rare to find a guy that's been on one.

Looks like this story isn't going away quickly. 

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Carlos Martinez Has Been Sufficiently Embarrassed

Written by athooks on .

Carlos Martinez is embarrassed. 

I can't imagine having a conversation with my boss about how my Twitter favorites were too porn-y for my employers liking.

I can't imagine having to stand in a room full of my peers and have the company layout just how porn-y everyone's social media can or can not be.

I can't imagine having to leave these two scenarios and then get interviewed by the press about both.

Horrifying, really.

Mr. Martinez is 22 (most likely) and from Colinas del Sur, Dominican Republic. It's a rural part of DR. He had a pretty tough upbringing - his mother passed away when he was young and he was adopted by his uncle. He didn't have much money, but he had a golden arm.

In a span of 4 years, Martinez went from rural DR to becoming a millionaire in the United States. 

This is not an excuse. If you're a professional athlete in 2014, you need to know that everything you say or put on social media is going to be scrutinized. At the same time he wasn't hurting anyone. He was just being a young, horny dude.

I'm pretty sure that every single person that's wrote snark about Mr. Martinez's Twitter activity would not let us or any other outlet publish their web history. So let's all chalk this one up to youthful indiscretion and move on.

Oh, and was no one at the Cardinals following Carlos' feed? I can't believe with how MLB and the Cardinals participate online that not one person noticed this. Odd. 

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Bachelor Live Blog: Episode ?

Written by athooks on .

"Special Two Night Event". 

The 'it's not you, it's me' of TV. When network execs decide that it's better to burn episodes off as fast as possible to get everyone the heck out of a ratings dumpster fire.

Mad Men hasn't been on since 2010 (estimate) and Breaking Bad was split into 14 final seasons (again, estimate) - why? - because you don't push all in when you've got the hammer.

We all started off on good terms with Juan Pablo. The anti-gay statements were a bit garish. The never-ending tongue baths pushed America closer to the edge.

The face grabbing... oh, the face grabbing. This man knows how to touch the face. 

It' all adds up to "Special Two Night Events" where content is plucked from the crock pot and pan seared so everyone just eat, dammit. 

I've missed the the past few episodes of the show, although I wouldn't say I quite MISSED THEM. HIYO!

But it wasn't out of protest or apathy, rather a lack of an internet connection. The CD HQ might have moved to the Big City, but we're settled in now and ready to finish off the season strong.

Thanks for your never-ending patience. You are the best. The very best. 

Let's catch up together. Let's date...

7:07 - "If you're happy, I'm happy". The universal parenting code for No... NO... NOO... PLEASE NOOOOOOO! 

7:12 - Death. Taxes. Clare taking the key to the Fantasy Suite. Please add in the last part to your old sawhorse cache. Juan P, what say you about the whole situation? "We are going to get to know each other better, a lot better." Yes you are, sir. Yes you are.

7:17 - Yes #1. Followed by an L-Bomb. 

7:28 - Tonight IS your overnight date with Andi? Looks like Juan P is a little full of himself after spending the night with Clare, eh? 

7:30 - These two will NOT take no for an answer. You don't want juice? DRINK THE JUICE. You don't want to play soccer? PLAY THE SOCCER. Those kids were all dafuq is going on with these people and the cameras.

7:42 - The entire season, in one Vine:

7:45 - Yes #2. Who makes the bed so well in the morning, by the way? You think they have a tactical team that comes in and disposes of old bedding to prepare for the next night?

7:53 - UM? Come again, Andi? A "disaster"? Tell us more...

7:54 - New nickname? The Mortuary... she is BURYING Juan Pablo. Not to be a #PrisonerOfTheMoment, but have we had a contestant swing from red hot going into the Fantasy Suite to coming out straight swinging HAYMAKERS like this?

Historic moment, friends. 

8:05 - Raise your hand if you're fast forwarding to the next Andi/JP meeting... 

8:07 - Yes #3. Let's hope Mr. Juan Pablo name checks some better celebrities tonight. Kudos to Nikki for not hedging on the L-Bomb. Straight and to the point. 

8:28 - The big meeting. 

8:30 - JP: "Am I going to die right now? No." He's ALIVE! He's ALIVE! (Side: It's not OK.) (Side, Side: This is the difference between real life and TV. This should have been a clean break, done and done, but we're still here.)

8:40 - We're still here.

8:44 - Still here. You can practically feel the producer making the stretch sign behind the camera. 

8:45 - A wrap. The only thing left to do is see Clare's reaction to Andi leaving. It'll be a cross between hitting all the green lights on your way to work and being hit on by a Victoria's Secret model. 

CUT: Andi

NEXT WEEK: The women tell all. This could get good. Real good. 

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Back To Normal Soon

Written by athooks on .

Yes. 

I know. Slacker. Jamie Garcia is going down again. Carlos Martinez is using his Twitter feed for... um... well... I guess at least he's taking selfies. 

And 2 weeks without a Bachelor Live Blog? COME ON MAN.

Listen, the Internet just got turned on in the new HQ. We'll be back to a regular posting schedule starting tomorrow. Don't worry (all 4 of you) - we were off the grid for a few days, but are re-connected.

In the mean time, watch Mario Seinfeld

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Aledmys Diaz To Cardinals?

Written by athooks on .

Forget every single thing I wrote about Spring Training being boring. 

In the first week, when we've barely seen live BP, the Cardinals dropped a bomb on baseball America by working out Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz in front of a full crowd of scouts, manger Mike Matheny and GM John Mozeliak. 

Who is Aledmys Diaz? He's been described as having 'the actions of a young Jeter'. 

ORLY?

Tell me more Mr. Joe Strauss... LINK HERE

And it looks like Diaz isn't screwing around. He wants a deal by the end of the week and in someone's camp ASAP after that. He's going to compete for MLB playing time right away. 

So much for having everything set in stone. Could we see Marp back at 2B and Diaz at 3B? Could Peralta really be a platoon guy at 50M+? Does this put Wong on the trading block? Is Mark Ellis drinking alone at the bar tonight?

Ok, so it's not a sure thing the Cardinals sign Diaz. After all, they've been tepid in the international market when it comes to signing MLB ready free agents. 

But still... DRAMA. 

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Here's Jhonny

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Jhonny Peralta, when first asked about his connection to the Biogenesis scandal had this to say (through his lawyer): 

"I have never used performance enhancing drugs. Period. Anyone that says otherwise is lying."

Turns out, Peralta was the one lying. And he eventually apologized and took "full responsibility". He never really explained what exactly he was doing, but did accept a 50 game suspension from MLB for whatever it was that he was up to. 

Now, as Spring Training starts, people are curious about Peralta. I count myself amongst those. 

St. Louis is, for better or worse, the epicenter of the PED world as it pertains to MLB. Mark McGwire was the human embodiment of this era's bubble - breaking hallowed records... then shattering all innocence about the feat. In the years since Big Mac's downfall, admission and subsequent easing back into baseball - things have changed. 

Drug testing, the most obvious one.

So every time we hear of a player get busted we have to come to 1 of 2 conclusions: 1) He's addicted to cheating and doesn't think he can win without doing so or 2) he's just kind of dumb. 

Cardinal fans won't care a bit about any of his past if Peralta comes out roping doubles all over the yard. Other players might privately resent his big free agent contract, but they'll keep it under their hats. They're a union after all. They don't like to talk about each other's bank accounts.

MLB has made him pay his penance. And as Jen Langosch reports, his teammates are on-board with him. Peralta has about as clean of a slate as he can on February 19th 2014.

What's he going to do with it, though? We've beat the PED angle to death. He knows if he cheats, he's losing almost 20% of his contract with a 100 game suspension. So it's time to finally see what this guy can do.

Let's hope he didn't need the drugs after all. 

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The Rotation

Written by athooks on .

Starting today, 29 other General Managers hate John Mozeliak. 

No, not because he's a daper gent with a menagerie of exotic bowties and horn-rimed glasses. But because when Mr. Mozeliak steps out on to the practice fields in Jupiter Florida, he won't look upon his collection of starting pitchers and wonder just how in the hell he's going to make it through the year.

No.

He's got 7 guys for 5 spots. The Cardinals WILL have long-relief pitchers that would be in the top 3 of many other teams pecking order.

THE LOCKS:

SP1) Adam Wainwright: Amongst the most durable pitchers in the NL, Wainwright again logged over 30+ starts and 240+ innings in 2013. Barring injury, we can expect him to be the workhorse for the Cardinals in 2014. 

Even more exciting? His 6.26 SO to BB rate in 2013 was a huge improvement of almost 3 from his previous average, allowing him to pitch 5 complete games (2 CG shutouts) and give his team that little extra boost that comes off a huge pitching performance. 

He's also a Gold Glove winner and 20th in the NL MVP voting. 

SP2) Mike Wacha: Ok. Breath. Let's all pledge right here and right now to try and temper our expectations for Mr. Wacha. I know, trust me I KNOW. We all saw that post-season performance. It was mesmerizing. It was stupendous. It was lights-out. He made baseball's best pitcher (Clayton Kershaw) his play toy in the biggest game of his life. 

But he's still only played in 20 games and pitched less than 100 innings in his entire MLB career. 

Sure, Albert Pujols came up and started raking and we all thought there would be a cooling off period that never came. But this is a different beast. Wacha is going to have to learn...

You know what, nevermind... WACHA. WACHA FOR PRESIDENT. 

WOULD REALLY HAVE TO HACK SOMEONE OFF:

SP3) Shelby Miller: We're not getting the straight dope on what happened to Shelby Miller in the '13 postseason. He'll be asked about it this week. So will Matheny and Mo. But they'll all give non-answers and say they're concentrating on '14.

And in a way, they're all right. What's done is done. A post-season benching for a dude that was 15-9 with 169 strikeouts and a 3rd place in the Rookie of the Year voting was weird. But maybe the postseason just got away from Matheny in regards to Miller.

None of it changes the fact that Miler would be THE crown jewel of about 26 other teams farm systems and it sucks for him that Mike Wacha is on this staff... because we all forget just how much potential this dude has. Oh, and he's spent 4 months stewing about that postseason.

THINGS ARE GETTING INTERESTING:

SP4) Jamie Garcia: Doesn't it feel like forever since Garcia pitched for the Cardinals? It wasn't though. He got the W on May 17th of last year against the Brewers before getting shut down for the season with a shoulder injury.

Now he's back. And he's making 7.75M dollars this year. So the Cardinals are going to give him every opportunity to be in the starting rotation. He's a true wildcard in two senses:

1 - Is he actually healthy? He's only made 29 starts in the past 2 seasons going 12-9 over that span. 

2 - If he is healthy, is he the most likely trade candidate? His salary jumps to 9.25M in '15, but can be bought out of his contracts for '16 and '17 for 1M. So let's say he comes back and proves for a month or two that he's well. Now other teams are looking at that combined 23+ and sees what could be a front of the rotation guy they could gamble on with those aforementioned buyouts.

Garcia is 27 and entering the prime of his career. But there is no doubt that '14 is a crossroads. Is he the guy the Cardinals extended with hopes he'd be a solid fixture in the rotation for years? Or is he an unlucky player that wasn't destined to do something as odd to his body as pitching?

SP5) Joe Kelly: Mike Matheny is not a dumb man. He knows he's got the horsepower to win this race. And he's going with Joe Kelly as the 5th starter because he's the least likely guy to put the job into the wall.

He was 10-5 in '13 with 1.35 WHIP / 2.69 ERA / 2.6 WAR. Considering he was bouncing back and forth from the pen to the rotation, I'd argue that these numbers are damn impressive. But the fact that he said zero peeps about his uncertain role throughout last season and headed into this season?

That's the kind of stuff managers eat with a spoon. 

And hell, it's not like Kelly is some old-timer with no room for improvement. He's pitched 231 innings in his career total. He's been in 61 games. He's 25 years old. He can get better. He probably WILL get better. With all the super young guys wanting to be a starter, Kelly has kind of been pegged as some old-timer that's just pretty good.

Truth is - he might just be the surprise of the spring.

JUST MISSED:

SP6) Lance Lynn: Because Joe Kelly is getting the nod, Lance Lynn is the odd man out. 

34-18 doesn't get you what it once did, I suppose. 

Listen, Lance Lynn is a good MLB pitcher. A former All-Star pitcher. He's also only been in the bigs for 3 seasons (side: really?!). He's going to get some starts in 2014 because of some reason or another. He's got the fastball to let loose in relief appearances.

Actually, you know what. I just spent far too much time trying to look up stats that prove why Lynn shouldn't be in the rotation. But funk that. Dude is good. Really good. He's just playing on a loaded team with some guys that are bit better. Sucks for the (former) big guy.

WILDCARDS:

1) Carlos Martinez: Dude has electric stuff. If he comes out and can't be denied? Well decisions will have to be made. Can't be any slip-ups, though. He can't give any ammunition to keep him out of the rotation if he wants a spot.

2) Tyler Lyons: Don't think this is happening. He'll get a look, but for '14 he's destined to be the new Joe Kelly, getting used in all sorts of areas.

3) Injuries: If a bunch of dudes get hurt... then a bunch of new dudes get a shot. 

Now let's watch as none of this happens and we can all make fun of me for putting it out on the internet for everyone to laugh at. 

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The Big Deals Of 2014

Written by athooks on .

Robinson Cano - 240M dollars

Shin-Soo Choo - 130M dollars

Jacoby Ellsbury - 153M dollars

These are just some of the large free agent contracts that were handed out by MLB teams this off-season. And as Spring Training starts this week, the excitement of seeing what new these and other free agents bring to their new cities and teams will rise.

Over at Grantland, they released their annual list of the worst contracts in baseball. Ever think you'd see this guy as the posterboy for terrible contracts?

I mean, maybe in 2020, but not in 2014. But here we are. 

Year after year, without exception, teams have been giving players massive contracts. But when I was thinking about how good the Cardinals are going to be in 2014 and how if they didn't break the bank with a stupid contract for that guy above...

1) Will the Cardinals ever sign a huge free agent again?

2) Will MLB ever just stop with the huge contracts? 

I'm not sure on either question. But the Cardinals have proved that you can win with young talent. MLB has seen the failure of big contract after big contract. And I can't help but think that we might be seeing the last of the mega free agents in baseball.

What's the upside? Can Cano ever live up to that contract? Was Pujols doomed to be an under performer from the time he singed with the Angels? When the average Joe Six Pack fan starts to question the veracity of NOT building through the draft... the gravy train might just be drying up.

With the influx of money that many new TV deals are brining in, there will always be exceptions. That is until more teams adopt the Cardinals methods and decide to fully trust their process and pass on the big ticket items.

Until then, enjoy the money everyone. 

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Busch Stadium Will Have Metal Detection Next Season

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Because the bag checks and pat downs were taking hundreds, if not thousands, of illegal handguns and grenades off the streets of St. Louis, MLB had partnered with the Cardinals to implement full-on metal detection before the '15 season starts at Busch Stadium.

It's no secret that the random stray bullet has ruined a good game for most of us, so to see some action on the matter finally taking place is a HUGE relief. 

The Rams 'clear bag' rule saved so many lives last season, the Cardinals just couldn't fall behind. 

So let's take a moment to write our congressmen and thank MLB and the Cardinals for their dedication to making downtown #STL the utopia we all know it can be. 

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