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Cardinals Notes: On Love Lost, Beltran, Pujols Money, Furcal

Life goes on, and so, even after a gut-punch, out-of-nowhere, I-can't-believe-he's-actually-gone trade, Cardinals fans look to the future.

This one will take time, I think, but I'm not sure I can relate. In my hometown, KC, we once sent Rich Gannon packin' to Oakland (or let him leave, which is the same thing) and later watched him win the Gruden v. Gruden Super Bowl. That stung, since we were stuck with the what GM Carl Peterson insisted was an actual quarterback (Elvis Grbac). And the Chiefs later traded Jared Allen and then Tony Gonzalez, but Chiefs fans have a habit of rationalizing peaking and post-peak players that cost more than they're worth (I think both trades were good, FWIW).

Or, if you're into baseball (wait, where are we?), Kansas City traded away Zack Greinke and a candy bar to Milwaukee, but even then KC fans will give you that face that looks somewhere between "I just smelled something surprisingly not terrible" and "turn the lights off, gimme three drinks, we're good to go" kinda look. It's not the same as what Cards' fans are going through right now. I know that.

Oh hell, I just remembered something. St. Louis just got 10 of the best years of one the best players of all time -- and he played college ball about 10 minutes from Kauffman in the Spring of '99, right under the noses of the Kansas City Royals. So I offer this solace to my Missouri brethren: "it's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."

  • The Case for Carlos Beltran - Viva El Birdos
    "One of the questions in a post-Pujols world was what the Cardinals would do with the $20M+ that had originally been allocated as Albert Pujols? The team provided part of that answer yesterday by signing Rafael Furcal to a 2 year, $14M deal. With some young players set to take active and prominent roles at 2B, there are a diminishing number of positions at which a reasonable free agent upgrade exists. Carlos Beltran, however, fits that bill perfectly."
  • What happens to the money they would have spent on Pujols? - Matthew Leach
    "You may not like hearing this, but there’s no guarantee they spend it all right away. The Cardinals tend not to be an emotional organization. They’re definitely freer to pursue some solutions in their areas of need — shortstop (already done, or all but done), left-handed relief, the outfield and the bench."
  • Albert Pujols: From the Younger Fan's Perspective - Viva El Birdos
    "This whole discussion was spur of the moment. We were decorating the Christmas tree (something he and I do together every year) and I casually asked him the opening question. After his response with the phrase "cheapshot", I was interested to hear more of what this whole thing has been like for people who are, in the purest sense of the word, fans. He doesn't understand the nuances of statistics or even have all the particulars of the contracts right. That doesn't matter to him. His favorite player just left his favorite team."
    • St. Louis Cardinals Sign Free Agent Shortstop Rafael Furcal - Viva El Birdos
      "If we value 1.0 WAR at the market rate of $4.5 million, the Cardinals are paying Furcal in anticipation of him providing 3.11 WAR over the two years of the deal. The James projection may be a bit optimistic but it represents the significant potential upside of the Furcal signing. Furthermore, a healthy Furcal provided 0.9 Fangraphs WAR in just 50 games with St. Louis last season. Health is indeed the key; even so, Furcal seems a fair bet to provide the Cardinals surplus value over the life of this contract."
    • That's right, I'm saying suck it up. Love, RoyalsFans.

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