This is Whitey Herzog. Many years ago he taught me there’s more than one way to win a championship. He began his time with the Cardinals by dealing the team captain (Ted Simmons) and a player who was beloved in St. Louis. At that time, Simmons did a lot of charity work and in a very real way was the face of the franchise to many in the community.
Why did Dorrel trade Simmons? The Cards were a losing organization and Simmons (while a great hitter) wasn’t a good defensive catcher or handler of pitchers. Herzog did a lot more than that one move, but in all the transactions made by Herzog were istrumenal in getting the Cardinals in the WS three times over the next 7 years with a team of speedburners at the plate and in the field (and pitchers who threw strikes).
Steve Tambellini made his move today, dealing the team captain and a respected member of the community a humbling blow. No professional athlete wants to be paid to leave the premises (and if they do well you’re in trouble as an organization) and for the team captain this must have been a very difficult day. I understand the sentiment out there that Moreau’s time has come, but this isn’t a day to kick a man when he’s down. Sail on, Niagra Falls Thunder, and all the best to you.
Robert Nilsson and Patrick O’Sullivan received an early-in-their-career kick in the ass today, a lot like the ones I used to get from my Dad about 35 years ago. I think these two players have excellent chances for career recovery, and O’Sullivan should view this as an extreme opportunity to pick his spot in terms of an NHL home. He has a solid resume, and despite a year of indifference in Edmonton will find a job by the fall.
Nilsson is about to play for his third NHL organization, and the job interview will take a little longer and the questioning will be under a bright light in the middle of a dark room. There will be the sense that Nilsson has gotten more than he’s given, and men whose job relies on making good bets will be hesitant when they view the resume. Still, odds are he’ll get a contract from an NHL team.
Later tonight, I’ll post something about the new depth chart and have a longer look at the summer shopping list. For now, a hat tip to Ethan rifles for his efforts; staying too long at the fair is something many of us have been guilty of in the past and the aging process is a huge pain in the ass. And for Steve Tambellini, a nudge and a wink. Maybe even a smile and an “I didn’t know you had it in ya.” That’s probably what my Dad would have said to me on a day when I matured a little.