Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Two Years. 56 Starts Later. I'm Happy To Only Have A Card

There are times when you hear the news of your team signing or trading for a player and you just know that it is going to turn out really bad.  As a Cardinals fan I have seen it a few times over the years.  Players like.....

Tino Martinez not being able to hit outside of Yankee Stadium.  Lots of double plays and he always got subbed out at the end of games so that Pujols could play first base. Kerry Robinson, or So Taguchi, would come in and play left field.  I always took it as having Kerry Robinson or Taguchi in the field was worth more than Tino batting.  Let's not forget that he cried a bunch about St. Louis not being New York.  Pretty sure Tony LaRussa was not amused.  Tino was traded to the Devil Rays, Cardinals fans rejoiced.

Wiggy.  First, he went to the light blue Carolina school.  Sure, he ended up transferring.  In many cases I can live with people once they leave Chapel Hill, like Diamond DeShields, but I have a hard time viewing Wiggy as a UNC-Asheville grad.  He signed a two year contract, but only last half a year.  Wiggy managed to play in every tiny, or thin aired stadium, in the years leading up to playing in St. Louis.  Orioles, Rockies, and Phillies. Bandbox, altitude, and bandbox.  Wiggy was eventually released.  Cardinals fans rejoiced.

Actually in the case of Wiggy I was surprised he never showed up in the International League in the role of crafty old guy on a Triple A team.

Which leads to Mike Leake.  During the 2015 Playoffs the Cardinals lost to the Cubs in the first round.  You knew there was going to be some sort of turnover.  David Price?  Nope.  Johnny Cueto?  Never in St. Louis.  I remember the day clearly.  My wife and I had just worked our last day at school before Winter Break.  We loaded up the car with the little man and started driving towards my in-laws house in Northern Michigan.

Little guy was craving some lunch.....

so we stopped at the Wendy's in Princeton, West Virginia.  The backseat was less crowded in those days.  I looked at my phone at the restaurant and I saw the Mike Leake signing all over Twitter and Facebook.  There were a lot of "he's an innings eater, we need Mike Leake" sorts of conversations taking place.  I was hoping that this was going to be one of those deals where it never quite gets finalized and the player just leverages the Cardinals to get paid somewhere else.  Happens all the time, don't laugh non-Cardinals readers.  

The Cardinals actually signed him.  So disappointed to see this.....

With all bad vibes signings/trades I always have to ask myself how far I want to go on finding cards of that player.  There have been other times in where I have had a bad vibe about players and they have turned out to be fine.  Troy Glaus comes to mind.  I was pretty sure he was going to break at some point, but he did have one good season before it happened.

He's got some pretty sweet baseball cards, but I waited to actually watch him play before taking that dive.  This was my favorite.  It's like a signed trash bag or something.....

which is what I imagined the fences at Anaheim Stadium would have been made out of prior to it being renovated.  The remodel happened after Fleer made this card.

So how deep did I go on Mike Leake?  This deep.....

that's it.  The only reason I got this card was because it was really cheap on COMC and I figured I had to get one autograph since he was on the Cardinals.  Luckily after 56 starts all of us Cardinals fans are free of Mike Leake and his incredibly hittable pitches.  I don't even care if they only got back an A Ball player who is hitting .220.  As a Cardinals fan it was hard to be at work and see the Mike Leake trade flash across my phone during my break.  I contemplated having a five minute celebration in the middle of my class, but my students this year are all college basketball people.  Surprise.  I rejoiced internally at the thought of Mike Leake not starting anymore games for the Cardinals.


  1. I doubt if you find one Cardinal fan who was not happy with the trade. Sounds like some of the players thought other wise.

    1. I am actually surprised to have seen a few fans who are genuinely upset by this trade. Leake isn't really all that good for a fifth starter in my opinion. He's quickly transitioning into someone like Carlos Villanueva.

  2. It's weird because VEB is on day two (well, maybe three now) of a near riot over this trade. I seriously expected this to be universally praised amongst Cardinals fans. He was not a player I hated but not someone I was ever excited about seeing pitch, and he was lousy for longer stretches than he was good. I am on board with this.

    1. Completely agree. I'd rather see a young player who has some sort of potential upside get Leake's starts. Flaherty did not fair too well last night, but I am happy that Matheny is sticking with him. Frees up some money down the road too.

  3. That Sweet Sigs wall card is super sweet!

    1. I love those cards. I have picked up a few of them, out of dollar boxes at card shows, just based on the fact that I like the design. Think I have cards of players like Elpidio Guzman and Jackson Melian, but they are just such well done cards.