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Thread: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

  1. #1
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    Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    February 1976

    In 1975 the St. Louis Cardinals finished 82-80, tied for third place in the National League East. This was a failure compared to 1974 (86-75, 2nd place) and 1976 promised to be a complete disaster. Estimates by the Sporting News gave the NL East to the Philadelphia Phillies and left the Cardinals floundering in fifth unable to break 70 wins. Indeed, the Cardinals had never won the Eastern Division, and their last pennant was in 1968.

    August A. Busch, president of the Cardinals, tired of this negative trend and chose to look for new leadership. The Board of Trustees interviewed nineteen people to take over as general manager of the wounded club.

    John Mack, a distant descendant of the legendary Athletics manager/owner, graduated from business school in 1973. League owners liked him from the first: Though Mack avoided the Vietnam War, he spoke enthusiastically of US policies and supported President Nixon to the point it became impossible. Tall, thin, with cropped black hair and a no-nonsense demeanor, the New York native spent the last two years as an assistant in the Tigers's front office. Two years later, at age twenty-eight, he made his move and began interviewing for GM and Assistant GM openings.

    Busch was more laid back than the intense New Yorker and their interview nearly collapsed. Still, Mack had one thing going for him: He didn't know much about the Cards. Not being a fan, he might prove willing to make the hard decisions to cull the dead weight from St. Louis's lineup. Mack envisioned a younger team, one unlikely to win in 1976...but 1979 or 1980 could prove interesting.

    After intense negotiations the beer magnate decided to give 'the kid' a shot. Mack's pay was laughable, but it was a four year contract. "I expect you to bring home a pennant by then," warned Busch. "That's a better deal than you'll find anywhere else."

  2. #2
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    This might not be your standard dynasty. I'm not going to follow one team forever, but one man. If Mack doesn't do so well, Busch WON'T renew his contract and he'll have to try to migrate to another team. If he really blew it that won't happen either.

    For four years though, barring something idiotic, we're in St. Louis. The 1976 Cardinals are...problematic, but not hopeless by any means. I don't see us beating the powerful Pennsylvanian teams (Phillies/Pirates), but give us a few years...

    My house rules are:

    1. I can make four "trading block trades" per year - one during the season, a second near the July 31 deadline, a third between FA and New Years, and the last between New Years and Opening Day. I can't change what the computer offers except to balance cash.

    2. If the computer offers me something, I can't change it except to let the computer "balance cash."

    3. No draft choices the year they come out. Period.

    4. Game will be played in GM mode (vs. Manager or Player)

    5. I must stay within my payroll budget if at all possible. I cannot make any FA signings (and will be very shy of signing contracts) whlie this isn't true.

    6. (Petrel's Law) If the highest payroll team in either league is above a certain amount ($160m modified by inflation), they will be penalized half the difference which will be redistributed to the rest of the league. This will hopefully keep the big market teams from being too ridiculous.

    7. No more than 2 FAs in a year. For FAs I will use the following rules which are a slight variant on what can be found on petrel's blog:

    7a) When a target is selected, roll 1d4.
    1- Will negotiate
    2- Negotiate only if Ambition <=0 or you finished 2nd or better
    3- Negotiate only if Greed >= 0
    4- Negotiate only if personality fit vs. club is C+ or better

    7b) If successful, roll again
    1- May make one offer before giving up
    2 to 3 - May make two offers before giving up
    4 - May make three offers before giving up

    8. No negotiating contracts mid-season. No negotiating arbitration except as for free agency above.

    9. I have rather complex rules for changing GMs and whether (if) a team has to move cities. PM me if you're curious.
    --------------

    EDITED post 1977 season with new guidelines.
    Last edited by CatKnight; 09-12-2007 at 06:19 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    Looking forward to that first post.

    --Pet

  4. #4
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    petrel: Hi and welcome to my latest dance. If you (or anyone) has any advice, I'd love to hear it. This looks like a tough nut to crack, and the lineup/bullpen AI is NOT helping.
    -------------------

    March 1976

    The Cardinals in 1976 were weakened by years of mismanagement, concluding in the 1975 off-season when the former GM plugged holes in St. Louis's lineup and bullpen by trading for or hiring through free agency many players who probably didn't belong in the Show. 3B Lee Tochard (67/70), for example, batted .200 in 1975 for the ChiSox. 2B Luis Alvarado (69) hadn't even played since 1974.

    It didn't help that field manager Albert Schoendienst seemed to be at war with the scouts, completely ignoring their recommendations. For example, while he offered SS Don Kessinger (76) a starting slot he recommended Garry Templeton (82/89) languish in single-A Palm Beach.

    Indeed, once one looked at the Cardinal farm system (relatively untouched by previous bungling) the perceived horrible gaps in St. Louis's lineup, especially the infield, vanished. LF Charlie Chant (74/88) would do nicely if the aging Lou Brock had to leave. A little patience would yield C Terry Kennedy (66/88), 2B Tom Herr (66/84), 1B Leon Durham (68/85) (trade bait if Hernandez stayed healthy) and 3B Kelly Paris (61/82). New GM John Mack realized protecting his farm would be his first priority.

    He did violate this principle on March 25, however, concluding a deal with the San Diego Padres:

    San Diego gets
    SP John Stuper (61/81), Age 18, no shown stats

    St. Louis gets
    SP Ken Reynolds (70), Age 29 (75 STL: 0-1 1.59 ERA 17 IP)
    3B Doug Rader (79), Age 31 (75 HST: .223 12 HR 48 RBI 5 SB)
    2B Tito Fuentes (78), Age 32 (75 SD: .280 4 HR 43 RBI 8 SB)

    Stuper would be a fine starter in a few seasons, but even then would have trouble breaking into St. Louis's starting pitching staff - a formidable group. Ken Reynolds would probably never start for the Cards, while Rader and Fuentes were certainly improvements over their predecessors.

    On March 30, after 'discussions' with Schoendienst that nearly devolved into shouting, GM John Mack announced the Cards' 1976 roster:

    Code:
    Player (Ratings) [Age]              1975 Stats (Avg, HR, RBI, SB)
    
    Catcher:
    Ted Simmons (87) [26]              .332 18 100  1
    *Ken Rudolph (69) [29]             .200  1   6  0  (80 AB)
    
    First Base:
    Keith Hernandez (80/89) [22]       .250  3  20  0
    *Ron Fairly (76) [37]              .301  7  37  0
    
    Infield:
    2B Tito Fuentes (78) [32]          .280  4  43  8             with SD
    SS Garry Templeton (80/89) [20]     Rookie                    1 yr R ball
    3B Mike Tyson (79/81) [26]         .266  2  37  5
    * Doug Rader (79) [31]             .223 12  48  5             with HST
    * Don Kessinger (76) [33]          .243  0  46  4             with CHC
    
    Outfield:
    LF Lou Brock (81) [36]             .309  3  47 56
    CF Bake McBride (85) [27]          .300  5  36 26
    RF Reggie Smith (84) [30]          .302 19  76  9
    * Jerry Mumphrey (77/86) [23]      .375  0   1  0 (16 AB)
    * Willie Crawford (80) [29]        .263  9  46  5             with LA
    Code:
    Player (Ratings) [Age]             1975 Stats (W-L, ERA, CG (SP) or SV (RP))
    
    Starters:
    Bob Forsch (89) [26]               15-10 2.86  3
    John Denny (82/94) [23]            10- 7 3.97  7
    Lynn McGlothen (76/88) [26]        15-13 3.92  9
    John Curtis (78) [28]               8- 9 3.44  4
    Ken Reynolds (70) [29]              0- 1 1.59  0
    
    Relievers:
    Al Hrabosky (78/85) [26]           13- 3 1.66 22
    Danny Frisella (73) [30]            1- 6 3.13  9              with SD
    Mike Wallace (74/78) [25]           0- 0 2.08  0
    Eric Rasmussen (71/76) [24]         5- 5 3.78  0
    Doug Capilla (71/80) [24]           Rookie                    last yr in AA
    In a surprise last minute decision, Mack brought Capilla up as the long reliever, moved new acquisition Ken Reynolds to the # 5 slot, and demoted potential all-star SP Pete Falcone (73/93) to AAA. This sparked more annoyance from manager Schoendienst, but Mack reasoned that the #5 pitcher received few, if any starts, and he didn't want a potentially great pitcher to languish and falter.

  5. #5
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    Honestely, I don't know if I would have started Templeton, either. These ultra-talented rookies might just wilt under the pressure of big-league ball. My big question to you is what do you do for SS if Templeton fails to produce?

    I would definitely trade for infield talent.

    --Pet

  6. #6
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    petrel: You're right...and we both know from my previous attempts I rely too much on the scout ratings. If Templeton's not ready, I'll have to go to Kessinger. I'm hoping that since Templeton is supposedly in the 80s he's ready. I'm rather desperate for a competent infield.

    Even if all my plans fall through, by trading for Fuentes and Radar, with Kessinger and Hernandez at first, I hope to at least avoid disgrace.
    ---------

    April 1, 1976
    Dodger Stadium
    Los Angeles, CA



    The box reserved for visiting GMs and other illuminaries at Dodger Stadium had four comfortable seats facing the field above and to the left of home plate next to the press box. Occasionally an attendant would come in and ask if "the gentlemen need anything" then quietly leave.

    John Mack, feeling bereft of his assistant who'd stayed home to finish arrangements in St. Louis, sat in uncomfortable silence next to owner August Busch. Busch was a good looking man, large without being obese, with confident authority radiating from him. He pointed out various features to the younger man who'd never been to Los Angeles, then got down to business.

    "John, I noticed you've substantially increased funding pretty much across the board. Meanwhile you've done almost nothing with revenue."

    Mack nodded. He'd expected this conversation. "Our farm system is our future, sir. As I told you before, I don't think we can do much this year...but in three or four I expect the Cardinals to contend, and I expect our farm players to lead the way. As to revenue, given our recent ... record I didn't think a ticket price increase would go over well. Further..."

    "We're going to lose $500,000 this year, John."

    "Most of that is payroll, sir. My predecessor didn't properly balance the budget."

    "Perhaps, though you'll agree trading three players for one didn't help," Busch pointed out. "All experienced veterans. I thought you wanted a younger team?"

    "I do," Mack agreed. "However we can use them to hopefully do better than fifth place, and when our farm system finally bears fruit they can be traded away."

    The beer magnate nodded. "For your sake, I hope you're right."
    ---------

    Opening day pitted Cardinal ace Bob Forsch against Dodger Don Sutton. Last year Sutton went 16-13 with a 2.87 ERA and 11 CG, clearly a valuable man. At 7:05 PM Pacific Time on a warm evening in late spring they duelled.

    Bob Forsch got into trouble early, but at least for this game they proved to have an invaluable trait: Defensively, they were lucky. Two LA runners tried to stretch singles in the first, and both failed. In the second Forsch escaped a bases loaded, no out situation unscathed. Two innings (and two fielding errors by 3B Mike Tyson) later the Dodgers still couldn't get on the board. Finally in the fifth Dodger Bill Russell singled, stole second, then came home on an error by 2B Tito Fuentes. Dodgers 1, Cardinals 0

    Offensively the Cardinals were hopeless as Don Sutton dominated them. Sutton's perfect game didn't die until the fifth inning when Reggie Smith walked. Two innings later he'd give up two more walks, but still St. Louis couldn't score.

    After a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the seventh Dodger fans leapt to their feet as Sutton took the mound once more. Seven innings pitched. Three walks. NO HITS. Ron Fairly pinch hit for Tyson...and grounded to second. Fuentes grounded to short. Templeton did the same. Once more the Cardinal offense failed. In the eighth LA managed a single, but no runs, and baseball broadcasts across the country abruptly tuned in to Los Angeles to see history in the making.

    Willie Crawford, pinch hitting for Forsch, lined out to third. One out.

    Lou Brock grounded to the pitcher. Two outs, and Dodger Stadium screamed as Bake McBride stepped to the plate. Strike One. Ball One. Strike TWO. Then the crack of a bat as the ball soared over 3B Ron Cey's head....and FELL and skipped twice before LF Leron Lee could catch up to it. He rifled the ball to second...but it was too late. McBride doubled to kill the no-hitter with two outs. Hernandez's ground out passed almost without notice.

    Los Angeles 1, St. Louis 0
    --------

    After the game, August Busch stood staring at the celebrating Dodgers crowded around their ace pitcher. He turned, raised one eyebrow at his new general manager, and silently walked away.

  7. #7
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    April 1976


    St. Louis (0-0) at Los Angeles (0-0)
    April 1: Dodger SP Don Sutton holds us to one hit. Dodgers 1-0
    April 2: Reggie Smith hit a 3-run homer, but it wasn't enough. Dodgers 7-6
    April 3: We were again shut out, wasting another good starting performance. Dodgers 1-0

    St. Louis (0-3, 6th, -3g) at Atlanta (1-2, 4th-T, -2g)
    April 4: Keith Hernandez went 3 for 4, but the Braves ran us over. Braves 11-2
    April 5: Led by Ted Simmons' 5 RBIs, the Cards finally win! Cardinals 12-7
    April 6: Then our offense falters, as does SP John Denny. Braves 6-2

    So begins a nine-game home stand. Hopefully we'll do better at Busch Stadium!

    San Diego (2-4, 5th-T, -3g) at St. Louis (1-5, 6th, -4g)
    April 7: Effective relief and Ron Fairly's PH double gives us the win. Cardinals 7-2
    April 8: A see-saw battle, with 2 SD runs in the tenth and 1 Card. Padres 8-7 (10)
    April 9: A ninth inning 2 RBI double brings us home. Cardinals 9-7

    Cincinnati (4-2, 2nd-T, -1.5g) at St. Louis (3-6, 6th, -3g)
    April 10: Ineffective offense and a late Cincy rally leads to a loss. Reds 8-1
    April 11: Again we scored early, again they rallied late. Reds 7-3
    April 12: And again! A ninth inning wild pitch saves us though. Cardinals 5-4

    San Francisco (6-3, 2nd-T, -2.5g) at St. Louis (4-8, 6th, -3.5g)
    April 13: Bob Forsch IMPLODES after 1.2 innings. Giants 14-7
    April 14: A McBride double and Simmons homer keeps it close, but... Giants 8-7 (10)
    April 15: Forsch gets a win..as the seventh Card reliever! Cardinals 9-8 (12)

    St. Louis (5-10, 6th, -3.5g) at Cincinnati (7-5, 3rd, -2.5g)
    April 16: They annihilate us. Enough said. Reds 13-1
    April 17: Reggie Smith grand-slams, but again we're humiliated. Reds 17-4
    April 18: Lou Brock bats 3 for 4 and Denny pitches well. Cardinals 5-4

    At least we're consistent. Win one, lose two. Of course we're hoping to do better than 54-108!

    St. Louis (6-12, 6th, -3.5g) at Houston (7-8, 4th-T, -4.5g)
    April 19: Smith's 3 run homer put us ahead for good. Cardinals 6-4
    April 20: Three in a row as Willie Crawford triples 2 home in the 9th. Cardinals 7-6
    April 21: Houston scores 5 in the 7th as Forsch gives out. Astros 5-4

    St. Louis (8-13, 5th-T, -3.5g) at San Diego (8-10, 4th-T, -5g)
    April 22: John Denny four-hits SD in a strong performance. Cardinals 5-1
    April 23: McGlothen also four-hits them. (two are HRs) Cardinals 7-4
    April 24: A big first inning led by Tyson's 3 RBI double. Cardinals 6-3

    ....Did we just SWEEP somebody!? We're in second place!??....

    Atlanta (10-14, 5th, -6g) at St. Louis (11-13, 2nd, -1g)
    April 26: Another huge inning. Ron Fairly goes 4 for 4. Cardinals 9-8
    April 27: A 7-run eighth. Hernandez goes 3 for 6, 3 R, 4 RBI. Cardinals 14-2
    April 28: Denny wins a classic pitcher's duel. Cardinals 3-2

    ...And we've now won six in a row. We finish 14-13 ... in FIRST PLACE.
    ------

    STANDINGS: April 30, 1976
    NL East

    St. Louis (14-13) (--)
    Pittsburgh (12-12) (0.5)
    Chicago (12-14) (1.5)
    Montreal (11-15) (2.5)
    New York (11-15) (2.5)
    Philadelphia (11-15) (2.5)

    NL West: Cincinnati (17-9) leads LA and San Francisco by 1 game
    AL East: New York (18-8) leads Boston by 1 game
    AL West: Kansas City (15-9) leads Texas by 0.5 games
    ------

    Leadership Board: National League (Cardinal Leader)
    Average: Bob Watson HSTN .403 (Reggie Smith .330)
    Homers: Dave Winfield SD 12 (Reggie Smith 6)
    RBIs: Dave Winfield SD 34 (Reggie Smith 27)
    Steals: Lou Brock STL 11

    Wins: Three tied with 5 (John Denny, Doug Capilla 3)
    ERA: Tommy John LA 1.07 (John Denny 4.10)
    Strikeouts: Tom Seaver NYM 53 (John Denny 34)
    Saves: Kent Tekulve PIT 5 (Al Hrabosky 4)
    ------

    Trades:
    Baltimore to Cubs
    RP Grant Jackson (78) [33], 4-3 3.55 ERA 7 SV in 1975
    SP Mike Cuellar (81) [38], 14-13 3.66 ERA in 1975 and
    SP Ross Grimsley (81) [26], 10-13 4.07 ERA 8 CG in 1975

    Cubs to Baltimore
    RP Bruce Sutter (76/85) [23], Rookie (AA last year) and
    3B Mike Sember (52/65) [23], assigned to Rookie league Bloomfield Orioles

    Texas to White Sox
    RF Jeff Burroughs (80) [25), .226 0 HR 29 RBI in 1975

    White Sox to Texas
    RP Terry Forster (77) [24], 3-3 2.19 4 SV in 1975 and
    SP Jesse Jefferson (74/81) [27], 5-11 4.92 1 CG in 1975 for ChiSox and Baltimore

    Major Injuries:
    C Ellie Hendricks, Baltimore, is out for two months
    SP Dennis Martinez, Baltimore, is out for two months
    SP Nolan Ryan, California, is out for two months
    RP Don Kirkwood, California, is out for three months
    LF Tommy Davis, California, is out for three months
    C Ed Hermann, California, is out for four months
    SP Craig Swan, NY Mets, is out for two months
    3B Graig Nettles, NY Yankees, is out for the season. (.241 4HR 9RBI)
    RP Jerry Johnson, San Diego, is out for five months
    SP Steve Hargan, Texas, is out for the season. (2-2 5.93 0 CG)

    Milestones:
    LF Jose Cardenal, Chi Cubs, stole his 300th base
    2B Joe Morgan, Cincinnati, scored his 1000th run

  8. #8
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    First place.

    Holy moley.

    This is where you ask for a contract extension.

    --Pet

  9. #9
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    petrel: This is where I hug the computer's random number generators. I didn't do anything but let the game play out - and as you'll see we just aren't that good.
    ------

    April 30, 1976

    So we're 13-11 and manager Albert Schoendienst is taking all the credit. Maybe, but I think we were just damned lucky. Off the record, of course. We're in first place by virtue of the fact the Western Division so badly mauled the East that we're the only team above .500!

    Lineup: (AVG, HR, RBI, SB)
    LF Brock (.327 1 11 11)
    CF McBride (.232 3 13 4)
    1B Hernandez (.273 2 17 1)
    RF Smith (.330 6 27 3)
    C Simmons (.293 4 16 0)
    3B Tyson (.253 0 9 0)
    2B Fuentes (.282 1 11 0)
    SS Templeton (.184 2 13 3)

    C Rudolph (.000 0 0 0)
    3B Rader (.222 0 3 1)
    OF Mumphrey (.348 0 2 0)
    1B Fairly (.432 0 6 0)
    RF Crawford (.405 1 9 0)
    SS Kessinger (.269 0 1 0)

    Bake McBride has decent power, but he's struggling at the plate. I think we'll let him sit out a month or so and bring in Willie Crawford, who has put together some amazing performances off the bench. So has Fairly, and I'd love to bring him in but there's no room. With Crawford in right I'll move Smith to center.

    As for SS Garry Templeton - perhaps he IS simply not ready. We'll move Kessinger up and see if he does better. Tyson's offensive numbers are...allowable, but he has a .890 defensive percentage and we seem to give up a lot of errors. In comes 3B Dave Rader.

    Pitchers (W-L, ERA, K, SV)
    Forsch (1-4 8.05 17 0)
    Denny (3-3 4.10 34 0)
    McGlothen (1-2 5.91 25 0)
    Curtis (1-2 7.55 20 0)
    Reynolds (no appearances)

    Hrabosky (1-1 4.35 6 4)
    Frisella (0-0 7.80 11 1)
    Wallace (2-0 1.74 6 0)
    Walker (2-0 3.32 16 0)
    Rasmussen (0-0 3.00 13 0)
    Capilla (3-1 7.47 11 0)

    Three of my starters have poor ERAs, and my ace....sucks. We're going to send Forsch down to AAA to work on his follow through and call up Pete Falcone (73/93), the man I sent down at the last minute. Reynolds will also move up in the rotation and Curtis can be the #5 guy. Similarly Capilla's won too many games to dismiss despite his appalling ERA, but Frisella was another story. He went to AAA Memphis in favor of RP George Frazier (68/75).

    In April St. Louis batted .275 (4th in the NL) with a 5.59 ERA (11th!) and .975 fielding percentage (tied for 11th). If my defense (and pitchers) can't stabilize this month I'm either going to have to give up, or if we're still close trade for a pitcher. We can't go on like this.

  10. #10
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    May 1976

    We start the month hopeful due to our recent success, but wary. The stats don't support our continued luck. Still, we don't HAVE to be the best team in the NL. We just need to beat the other five clubs that can't seem to deal with the Western Division either!

    St. Louis (14-13, 1st, +0.5g) at Atlanta (10-17, 6th, -7.5g)
    April 30: Willie Crawford rewards our faith with a double and homer. It's just not enough: Braves 6-4
    May 1: McGlothen pitches a CG and Simmons goes 2-2 with 2 RBI, but again... Braves 3-2
    May 2; Another game where we do decently (two doubles by Brock, Crawford's third homer) and our starters do acceptably, but they do better. Braves 4-2

    2B Tito Fuentes is out for the season with a severed knee ligament! This is BAD. Along with his decent performance on the field (.276 1 11) he could play any infield position granting us flexibility. Mike Tyson will come back in for now at second. We're also bringing up Doug Clarey (67/72) who's batted .324 this year at AAA Memphis.

    Back in third place. I wonder if Schoendeist is still gloating. I've cut out and tacked the standings from April 30 on my wall. I think it's the only time we'll be in first this year.

    Houston (14-13, 4th, -4.5g) at St. Louis (14-16, 3rd-T, -2g)
    May 4: Reynolds in his debut pitches 7 IP 1 ER. Too bad the offense won't help. Astros 4-2
    May 5: Crawford goes 2 for 3, Kessinger 2 for 2 as our offense shows up. Cardinals 6-3
    May 6: Houston takes a 6-0 lead...then loses it! We win on a Brock single. Cardinals 7-6 (10)

    The National League, in their wisdom, thinks we need three days off. At home. No one's complaining!

    Since we had the time I sat down with Schoendienst and went over the roster again. I told him I wanted Ron Fairly (.432 0 6) in the lineup. The problem is he can only play first and right. Right belongs to Crawford now, and first to Keith Hernandez. At third, meanwhile, Doug Rader just isn't coming through. (.195 0 3). We've decided (I decided and made him go along) to take the chance and cross-train Keith at third. Hernandez isn't happy, but he's adapting surprisingly well. Fairly's too old to start over again in a new position. Keith's twenty-two.

    San Diego (13-20, 5th, -8g) at St. Louis (16-17, 3rd-T, -3.5g)
    May 10: Denny pitches well, and Hernandez goes 4-5 with 3 RBI. Cardinals 9-2
    May 11: A three-run 9th inning rally led by Kessinger pulls it out. Cardinals 5-4
    May 12: Hernandez singles with the bases loaded to win it. Cardinals 6-5 (10)

    Poor San Diego. At least we're starting to close the gap again.

    St. Louis (19-17, 2nd, -2.5g) at San Francisco (23-13, 1st, +1.5g)
    May 13: We're held to two hits (Crawford and Simmons). Giants 5-0
    May 14: We're held to THREE hits. One by our pitcher! Giants 3-0
    May 15: Great performance by Reynolds killed by late rally. Giants 3-2

    St. Louis (19-20,2nd-T, -2.5g) at Cincinnati (24-18, 2nd, -3.5g)
    May 16: Reliever Mike Wallace just can't hold it. Reds 4-3 (10)
    May 17: McGlothen pitches well, while Brock and Hernandez both have 3 hits. Cardinals 6-2
    May 18: We rally late with a McBride double, but can't catch up. Reds 8-5

    St. Louis (20-22, 4th-T, -2g) at Houston (22-20, 4th, -5g)
    May 19: Tied 3-3 we score 2 in the tenth. So do they. Then two more in the 12th. Astros 7-5 (12)
    May 20: Falcone is really struggling. He might not be ready for the show. Astros 5-3
    May 21: Why do we suck in extra innings? Why is Astroturf green? Astros 4-3 (10)

    Two more days off, then we get to host the... ****. Meanwhile, the top four teams in the NL East are within half a game of each other. We're not one of them.

    Houston (25-20, 3rd, -1g) at St. Louis (20-25, 5th, -4g)
    May 24: Denny gives up 8 runs - THREE earned. We have four errors! Astros 12-2
    May 25: Simmons comes home on a Fairly single to save our tattered honor. Cardinals 6-5 (10)
    May 26: Falcone and Walker combine for a shutout! Cardinals 8-0

    Los Angeles (28-26, 4th, -2.5g) at St. Louis (22-26, 5th, -3.5g)
    May 28: Smith and McBride homer, Simmons goes 3 for 4 as we whomp them. Cardinals 10-3
    May 29: Denny does well. Brock gets two hits including a homer and 3 RBI. Cardinals 6-1
    May 30: A solid performance all around. Hernandez scores two. Cardinals 4-2

    Ending the month on a high note and avenging ourselves for our opening series shutout.
    ------

    STANDINGS: May 31, 1976
    NL East

    Pittsburgh (30-24) (--)
    Chicago (31-26) (0.5)
    Philadelphia (29-25) (1)
    New York (28-26) (2)
    St. Louis (25-26) (3.5)
    Montreal (21-33) (9)

    NL West: Cincinnati (30-24) leads San Francisco by 1 game
    AL East: New York (32-22) leads Boston by 1.5 games
    AL West: Kansas City (34-20) leads Texas by 6 games
    ------

    Leader Board: National League (Cardinal Leader)
    Average: Richie Hebner PIT .372 (Lou Brock .313)
    Homers: Gary Carter MTL 16 (Reggie Smith 10)
    RBIs: Dave Winfield SD 50 (Reggie Smith 44)
    Steals: Enzo Hernandez SD 20 (Lou Brock 18)

    Wins: Tom Seaver NYM 9 (John Denny 5)
    ERA: Tom Seaver NYM 2.08 (John Denny 3.86)
    Strikeouts: Mickey Lolich NYM 98 (John Denny 57)
    Saves: Gary Lavelle SF 11 (Al Hrabosky 4)
    ------

    Trades:
    Philadelphia to Detroit
    3B Tony Taylor (69) [40] .243 1 17 in 1975
    2B Dave Cash (83) [27] .305 4 57 in 1975

    Detroit to Philadelphia
    2B Kim Allen (62/63) [23] Assigned to A-Clearwater
    SP Frank MacCormack (66/80) [21] Assigned to R-Batavia. 1 ML appearance for Det this year
    C Milt May (80/82) [25] .241 4 52 in 1975 for Houston
    SS Mark Wagner (63/80) [22] Assigned to R-Batavia
    RP Steve Grill (69) [27] 0-0 1.35 ERA 6.2 IP in 1975, his rookie year
    CF Dave Stegman (56/69) [22] Assigned to R-Batavia
    LF Alex Johnson (71) [33] ML player since 1964, but assigned to AAA-Scranton

    Major Injuries:
    SP Dave Freisleben, San Diego, is out for two months
    C Johnny Bench, Cincinnati, is out for three months
    SP Burt Hooton, Los Angeles, is out for the season (2-3 2.48 1CG)
    RF Leon Roberts, Houston, is out for the season (.189 3HR 11BI)
    SP Dennis Blair, Montreal, is out for four months
    SP Larry Gura, Kansas City, is out for two months
    SP Dennis Leonard, Kansas City, is out for the season (6-2 3.46 3CG)
    SP Pat Darcy, Cincinnati, is out for three months
    RP John Hiller, Detroit, is out for two months

    Milestones:
    RF Bobby Bonds, California, stole his 300th base on May 5 against Texas (winning 3-2)
    SP Mickey Lolich, NY Mets, pitched a NO HITTER on May 24 against Cincinnati (winning 3-0)

    Retirements:
    Manny Mota retired at age 38 after fourteen seasons, ending his career in LA. He was batting .239 this year in 92 AB. He ends his career batting .301 with 1113 hits. He was an all star in 1973.

    Mike Hegan retired at age 33 after twelve seasons, ending his career after being released by Milwaukee. He was batting .207 this year in 29 AB. He ends his career batting .243 with 447 hits and 46 homers.

    Larry Haney retired at age 33 after ten seasons, ending his career in Oakland. He batted .210 lifetime, with 128 hits.
    Last edited by CatKnight; 07-12-2007 at 12:29 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    Stats through May 31, 1976
    Batting Average: .267 (4th in NL)
    ERA: 4.80 (12th in NL)
    Fielding: .979 (10th in NL)

    Batters
    RF Willie Crawford (.289 3 HR-17 RBI 2 SB)
    1B Ron Fairly (.300 2-14 0)
    CF Reggie Smith (.308 10-44 5)
    3B Keith Hernandez (.288 3-29 2)
    LF Lou Brock (.313 3-23 18)
    C Ted Simmons (.290 6-30 0)
    SS Don Kessinger (.300 0-12 2)
    2B Mike Tyson (.261 0-14 0)

    C Ken Rudolph (.080 0-2 0)
    2B Doug Clarey (.077 0-0 0)
    OF Jerry Mumphrey (.324 0-3 2)
    3B Doug Rader (.206 1-6 2)
    OF Bake McBride (.257 4-23 5)
    SS Garry Templeton (.185 2-13 3)


    Our starting lineup is..alright. Lou Brock struggles defensively (.931), but his bat and stolen bases make up for it. I think other than changing the order around a little bit we can leave it alone.

    We'll demote Rudolph to Memphis and bring up John Tamarago (72/75). He's not doing great in Memphis (.246) but I'll take the chance. Clarey's having trouble with his promotion, but we'll give him another month to sort things out. I'm also demoting Templeton - he needs more time in the minors I think - and bringing up IF Luis Alvarado (68). Alvarado played from 1968-74 before taking last year off, and batted .264 in Memphis.

    A lot of people did really well in AA-El Paso and were promoted as a result. If our bench continues struggling they might get a shot too.

    Pitchers
    SP John Denny (5-7 3.86)
    SP Ken Reynolds (1-0 2.77)
    SP Pete Falcone (1-2 4.50)
    SP Lynn McGlothen (3-4 5.50)
    SP John Curtis (1-2 7.55)

    RP Al Hrabosky (2-1 5.84 4 S)
    RP Mike Wallace (2-2 4.00 1)
    RP Eric Rasmussen (2-1 3.21 1)
    RP Tom Walker (4-2 3.11 0)
    RP George Frazier (0-0 0.00 0 (6 IP))
    RP Doug Capilla (3-1 6.98)

    SP Bob Forsch (1-4 8.05)
    RP Danny Frisella (0-0 7.80 1 SV)

    We really need to do something about this. Curtis didn't pitch in May, meaning no pitcher in the five slot has seen action yet. Therefore, I only have to worry about McGlothen. I'll bring him out and re-promote Forsch. Hopefully he's learned something.

    I'd hoped to trade for a new starter, but no one seems that interested. However, the Brewers offered me a good deal:

    St. Louis sends:
    C Ken Rudolph (69) [29] (.080 0-2 0)
    3B Doug Rader (75) [31] (.206 1-6 2)
    and 1B/RF Leon Durham (67/84) [18] (hitting .333 in AA-El Paso)

    Milwaukee sends
    LF Jeff Yurak (57/69) [22] (.435 in R-Helena)
    and RP Bill Castro (73/82) [22] (0-0 1.99, 22 IP)

    With Terry Kennedy promoting through the ranks, Rudolph would probably never come back to the parent club. My socuts continue to say Rader's good, but he just hasn't come through for me. Durham...is a sacrifice, but with Hernandez and a great outfield my needs are covered.

    Milwaukee's Jeff Yurak has spent his career in Rookie ball and will probably never make the show. Castro, on the other hand, I can use immediately. He will come in for Capilla. We'll cancel Templeton's ticket to Memphis (I have no other infielders really ready to come up) and let him stay with the parent club to replace Rader.

    After adjusting expenses, it seems we will now lose $700K this year. Mr. Busch is not pleased with me...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,810

    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    Some comments:

    1. Yes, it is a bad time for the Cardinals now, but you're only, what, 3 1/2 games out of first. That's not bad, when every other team in the division is struggling. In statistics, that would be called "variance" -- the wind blows from the east again, and you start winning.

    2. I think it was as good a trade as you could make, as it gives you better pitching at the cost of a player that was sort of a fifth wheel anyway.

    3. I like the game-by-game summaries; much more interesting than mine. You seem to catch the essence of the whole game in about nine words.

    4. Keep writing this one.

    --Pet

  13. #13
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    Mar 2007
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    petrel: Thanks, as always, for your support. It means a lot.

    You're right - the Cards AREN'T out of this by a long shot. I honestly thought we'd be doing a lot worse. The trade was the best I could find with my self-imposed restriction (shop around only).

    My first BM game EVER (BM1997) was with the Cards, and lately I had an enjoyable run in the 80s with them, so I thought I'd start when they weren't such a good team and see what happened. I'm enjoying it so far.

    And now....
    --------

    Draft Day
    June 1, 1976


    We're 3.5 games back. I'd be amazed if we pulled this off, but we're doing well enough to convince me it's soon to give up. Financially we're struggling: We're poised to lose $700,000 this year, and end with $200,000 in the bank. August Busch has already let me know he expects me to fix this, even if it means releasing players. Unfortunately releasing the wrong player could condemn us to the cellar of the NL East for years.

    Before we get into this month's action though, let's take a look at the draft. Looking at my roster reveals the following:

    Highest Peaks
    Outfield: 90 (Charlie Chant-AAA), 87 (McBride-Bench), 86 (Reggie Smith)
    Third: 91 (Hernandez)
    Short: 87 (Templeton)
    Second: 81 (Herr)
    First: Hernandez or 77 (Fairly)
    Catcher: 88 (Simmons)

    So we need either a third baseman or first. We do have infielders working their way up through the minors, and Ron Fairly's going to retire in the next few years, so first base it is. Maybe I was too quick to dump Durham... A good second baseman in case Herr doesn't work out sounds like an idea as well.

    Highest Peaks
    Starters: 93 (Denny, Falcone) 88 (Forsch), 89 (McGlothen),
    Relievers: 85 (Waterbury-AAA), 82 (Castro), 82 (Lahti-AA), 83 (Hrabosky), 81 (Capilla-AAA)

    We have no fifth starter with that our scouts think will top 80. That has to be a priority. I'd also like to get a reliever.

    First Round Draft
    1. Detroit: SS Alan Trammell (58/87)
    2. Houston: 3B Wade Boggs (66/90)
    3. Atlanta: RP John Tope (72/79 (!?))
    4. Milwaukee: LF Rickey Henderson (67/90)
    5. San Diego: SP Marc Holmes (68/80)
    6. California: 1B Daryl Sconiers (49/91)
    7. Cubs: RP Terry Chick (67/81)
    8. White Sox: RP Brian Feinberg (67/81)
    9. Montreal: SP Stu Boyer (66/82)
    10. Minnesota: 3B Gary Gaetti (58/89)
    11. Cleveland: RF Von Hayes (54/87)
    12. Texas: 1B Pete O'Brien (50/89)
    13. San Francisco: RP James Wallace (68/80)
    14. Mets: SP Greg McKeown (70/76(!??))
    15. St. Louis: SP Orel Hershiser (62/90)

    The best starter on the field. As you see many of the earlier choices were field positions, which means I won't be able to beef up my infield as much as I hoped. Hershiser went 26-7 in HS.

    16. Yankees: SS Julio Franco (65/87)
    17. Philadelphia: SP Marty Bystrom (64/77)
    18. Los Angeles: SP Kerry Jefferson (65/80)
    19. Baltimore: CF Dave Henderson (58/91)
    20. Kansas City: SP Leon Salazar (65/79)
    21. Pittsburgh: RP Dorn Taylor (52/84)
    22. Oakland: SP Peter Ingle (61/81)
    23. Boston: SP Bruce Hurst (63/85)
    24. Cincinnati: RP Bill Scherrer (57/80)

    Our other picks

    2nd: RP Clay Christiansen (50/83) - Going to have a lot of power once he 'grows up.'
    3rd: 2B Bill Doran (48/82) - Won't be great, but he can step in if Tom Herr fails at second
    4th: SP Alan Fowlkes (48/87) - Either my scouts REALLY suck (possible) or everyone's been missing this guy.
    5th: 1B Jim Maler (49/70) - Mostly so there's SOMEONE around when Fairly retires.
    6th: RP Frank Wills (49/80) - More pitchers are always good.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    Posts
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    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    June 1976

    San Francisco (29-25, 2nd, -1g) at St. Louis (25-26, 5th, -3.5g)
    May 31: Falcone pitches a three-hit complete game. Cardinals 3-1
    June 1: Trailing 3-1, a 5-run 6th breaks them. Brock goes 4 for 5, HR, 3 RBI. Cardinals 8-3
    June 2: Our 7-game streak ends in humiliation. 2 errors lead to 5 unearned runs. Giants 7-1

    1B Ron Fairly breaks his hip and is out for the season! He finishes batting .292 2 HR 15 RBI.

    **** **** **** **** ****! What the **** do we do now? Well, we have no choice. I hope Luis Alvarado's ready to resume his career, 'cuz he's our new starting third baseman as Keith Hernandez goes back to first. My next first baseman worth talking about (IE- on my roster) is in AA and I'm not sure he belongs THERE. I'm going to bring up Charlie Chant (OF, 76/90) [24]. He has major league experience - 5 at bats for the Athletics last year - and if God forbid something happens to Keith I can advance an outfielder while moving Reggie Smith into his spot.

    Not that I suppose it matters in the end, but does anyone else find it odd that after the next two series we'll have spent 2.5 months fighting JUST the Western Division?

    St. Louis (27-27, 5th, -4.5g) at San Diego (21-36, 6th, -11g)
    June 3: Brock goes 3-5 with 2 RBI. Who says he's too old? Cardinals 9-6
    June 4: Trailing by 3, we put on a hitting clinic in the 9th with 4 singles and a double. Cardinals 5-4
    June 5: A 7-run 5th breaks them. No heroes - everyone did well. Cardinals 10-2

    You may be wondering why we're not gaining on the Pirates. That would be because they're on an eight game winning streak!

    Atlanta (30-30, 4th, -4g) at St. Louis (30-27, 4th, -4g)
    June 6: Someone replaces SP Reynolds with Forsch's grandmother. Braves 9-4
    June 7: Denny pitches a CG. Simmons and Crawford get homers. Cardinals 6-1
    June 8: Atlants leads in the tenth. Clarey ties on an RBI single. Three innings later Hernandez's double ends it. Cardinals 7-6 (13)

    Who are these guys? They're not in the NL West... Meanwhile, the Pirates are really starting to piss me off...

    Chicago (33-30, 4th, -5g) at St. Louis (32-28, 3rd, -4.5g)
    June 9: Chicago holds us to 3 hits - 2 by Doug Clarey at second. Cubs 5-1
    June 10: Chicago holds us to FOUR hits ... see a pattern? Cubs 6-1
    June 11: Chicago holds us to sixteen hits. Smith goes 3 for 4, 2 HR, 4 RBI. Cardinals 9-3

    Some days off to think about what just happened, and we're back in the NL West. Clarey's been filling in while Tyson deals with a minor injury. He's now batting .383. I think he's bought himself a ticket to the starting lineup.

    Cincinnati (34-32, 2nd, -3g) at St. Louis (33-30, 3rd, -4g)
    June 14: Hernandez and McBride get 3 RBIs each. Cardinals 8-2
    June 15: The Reds have now lost 8 straight as Simmons and Crawford get 3 hits apiece. Cardinals 9-6
    June 16: Reynolds falls apart wasting a Hernandez 4 RBI performance. Reds 7-6

    And now we lose SP Bob Forsch for the season with severe elbow tendinitis. He finishes 4-5 6.46 ERA. When it rains it pours. Let's hope Lynn McGlothen is ready to rejoin the dance.

    St. Louis (35-31, 3rd, -2.5g) at Montreal (33-36, 5th-T, -6g)
    June 18: Denny and Castro combine to stifle the Expos. Cardinals 4-2
    June 19: Tyson comes home on an error in the ninth for the win. Cardinals 4-3
    June 20: McGlothen should have stayed in AAA. Expos 5-1

    Chicago (36-36, 4th, -6g) at St. Louis (37-32, 3rd, -3.5g)
    June 21: Cubs 4 errors, Cardinals 3. Cards 11 runs, 6 RBIs. 6 run ninth gives us the win. Cardinals 11-10
    June 22: Denny and Walker seem to make a good pitching team. Cardinals 7-1
    June 23: We get three more errors and they get revenge. Ow. Cubs 11-1

    The Phillies have won 6 straight and now tie Pittsburgh for the NL East lead.

    St. Louis (39-33, 3rd, -2.5g) at New York (36-39, 6th, -7g)
    June 24: Met SP Lolich strikes out ten and we can't put it together. Mets 2-1
    June 25: Hernandez homers - one of only three hits. Mets 2-1
    June 26: We finally show up...and so do they. A 7-run 7th puts it away. Mets 9-5

    And these are the guys in LAST? No, actually. They slip into fifth.

    Los Angeles (37-41, 4th, -6g) at St. Louis (39-36, 3rd, -4g)
    June 27: Reggie Smith goes 5 for 5! With...no runs and 1 RBI. Dodgers 10-2
    June 28: A complete game! By Dodger SP Tommy John... Dodgers 3-1
    June 29: What the ****? My long-reliever STARTED? Dodgers 8-1

    And so we end the month on a seven-game losing streak with a manager who doesn't understand how the bullpen works. We'd pulled ourselves back in the race, but it's not looking good, Cards fans.
    ------

    STANDINGS (NL East)
    June 30, 1976


    Philadelphia (46-32)
    Pittsburgh (47-34) (0.5)
    New York (39-39) (7)
    St. Louis (39-39) (7)
    Montreal (39-42) (8.5)
    Chicago (38-43) (9.5)

    NL West: San Francisco leads Cincinnati and Houston by 3.5g
    AL East: Baltimore leads New York by 2g
    AL West: Kansas City leads Oakland by 8.5g
    ------

    Leader Board: NL (Cardinals)
    Average: Dick Allen (PHI) .353, (Reggie Smith .315)
    HR: Gary Carter (MTL) 24, (Reggie Smith 15)
    RBI: Dave Winfield (SD) 70, (Reggie Smith 57)
    Steals: Frank Taveras (PIT) 29, (Lou Brock 26)

    Wins: Phil Niekro (ATL), Steve Rogers (MTL) 11, (John Denny 9)
    ERA: Tom Seaver (NYM) 2.19, (John Denny 3.87)
    Strikeouts: Mickey Lolich (NYM) 141, (John Denny 86)
    Saves: Gary Lavelle (SF) 14, (Al Hrabosky 4)
    ------

    Trades:
    Cubs to San Diego:
    Two minor leaguers (both RPs)

    San Diego to Cubs
    SP Randy Jones (85) [26] 4-6 4.58 ERA 2 CG

    Cincinnati to San Diego (two seperate trade deals)
    RP Manny Sarmiento (69/81) [20] 0-2 3.86 ERA
    SP Joe Henderson (67) [29] 0-0 6.75 ERA
    3B Pete Rose (!!) (82) [35] .258 3-29 3 SB
    LF George Foster (87) [27] .294 17-63
    One minor leaguer (SP)

    San Diego to Cincinnati (two seperate trade deals)
    SP Bill Greif (91) [26] 2-3 4.13 ERA
    CF Johnny Grubb (85) [27] .305 5-30 1
    1B Willie McCovey (83) [38] .256 11-39
    Three minor leaguers (2 RP, C)

    Injuries
    CF Jimmy Wynn, Atlanta, is out for three months.
    2B Bobby Grich, Baltimore, is out for three months
    SP Andy Hassler, California, is out for the season 3-8 6.93 1 CG
    RF Jeff Burroughs, White Sox, is out for two months
    SP Jackie Brown, Cleveland, is out for two months
    SP Mark Lemongello, Houston, is out for the season 1-2 3.25 1 CG
    LF Jim Dwyer, Montreal, is out for three months
    1B Chris Chambliss, Yankees, is out for two months

    Milestones
    6/22: 1B Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh, scored his 1000th run in a 7-1 win over the Giants

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,810

    Re: Cardinal Sins (1976 and later)

    1. Injuries hurt good teams and destroy bad teams, which might only have six to eight people doing much to produce wins. The fact that the Cards can keep their head up means that they're not that bad.

    2. Brock has still got it. I wonder what his speed and outfield skill ratings are, or if you've given him the right to steal bases.

    3. Any hope of ditching your manager?

    --Pet

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