As the headline says, this is a complete ramble. It's not incoherent, just a ramble. It all starts with the Colby Rasmus.
Where's Robin? Batman Needs to Save the Day!
Let it be known, Batman is Albert Pujols. He's the cape crusader. He swoops in out of nowhere to save the day. He'll beat up on the enemies until they're just so sick of him, they shy away.
Robin is Colby Rasmus, better known as the "Boy Wonder."
Where is he?
The Cardinals are trying to cling to the head of the pack in the National League Wild Card race, and they are getting bit by the injury bug. Troy Glaus has a barking shoulder, Rick Ankiel is likely finished for the year, Joe Mather has a bad wrist and is finished, and Yadier Molina is aching.
So why is Rasmus STILL not on the 40 man roster and in the clubhouse?
"He hasn't earned it. Injuries are injuries, but you can't reward somebody because of it."
That's what Tony La Russa said in reply to this very question at the beginning of the month.
How has Rasmus not earned a promotion is my question? He got off to a terrible slump because he EARNED the roster spot out of Spring Training and was sent out to Memphis. He finally turned it around, and he get's hurt.
And yet, he's still considered the top prospect who could crack the roster next year coming out of Spring Training. The question remains:
Why not give him a look now?
Clearly, the Cardinals need him. Josh Phelps has become a regular in the outfield against lefties. Yes, the same Josh Phelps that plays first and catcher, with a little third base.
Felipe Lopez has started become a regular in the outfield. Yes, the same Lopez that had only played the infield prior to 2008.
Aaron Miles is playing more innings in the outfield. The same Miles that had never played a position other than second base prior to 2007, and never in the outfield prior to 2008.
Where's the logic in this? Rasmus, the club's top prospect, hasn't "earned" a promotion to play in an injury ravaged outfield, but La Russa continues to run unqualified guys in the outfield?
Let's also not forget that Ludwick is in a terrible slump and there's little thunder in the lineup. Give the shot to Rasmus. He's a left handed bat (something that has been lacking on this team), who can hit lefties and righties well. Plus, he can play center, another lacking asset on this team.
So here's the recap and the scoop: give Rasmus a true shot. LET him earn the call by playing at the Majors. He wants to be there, the fans want him to be there, the team is fading. It all adds up. Rasmus needs to play.
The 2009 Campaign: New Manager For A New Beginning
And here's more to the ramble, sorry. La Russa says Rasmus hasn't earned a promotion, but he can make the justification that Kelvin Jimenez has? He can say that Ron Villone (better known as Run Villoss) still deserves to be on the team, and Randy Flores deserved the recall. Nick Stavinoha deserved to be recalled?
And yet, he leaves Rasmus, Mitch Boggs, Jess Todd, and Mark Worrell out? Please. This is a call for La Russa to be fired (well, asked to leave so both can save face) at the end of the season. La Russa "claimed" he believed in the organization's new philosphy of moving forward with prospects.
Yet, somehow, he leaves off the prospects and goes with the veterans. Sure, Chris Perez is playing a big role on the team, but only because every other pitcher thrown into the role fell flat on their face.
Yeah, he gave a shot to Jason Motte, but only because John Mozeliak pushed it (more than likely).
Sure, he's been giving a shot to Kyle McClellan, Joe Mather, Brian Barton (only because he's a Rule V pick), and Nick Stavinoha (why?). The only reasons why are because McClellan showed his good stuff and Dave Duncan pushed it. Duncan doesn't care about prospects and veterans. He goes with what he's given and what he likes.
Mather's getting a chance because of Mozeliak. He pushed for Mather and La Russa knew he couldn't argue. Stavinoha...well, most are still trying to figure that out. It could be in large part because of the Memphis outfield youth.
Barton made the team because La Russa was forced, again. Mozeliak pushed it because of his talent (which you can't argue; he does have a lot of talent) and his versatility to play all three outfield positions...and he's only played left and right field. Interesting. Maybe La Russa DID get his way?
Let me reiterate my point and position: Let La Russa go. More than likely, Duncan will go with him. It's a risk we will have to take. For the Cardinals to move forward in the direction the Front Office wants to go, La Russa needs to go.
I'm not dissing La Russa in any way, shape or form. La Russa is the best manager in baseball history, but he's too old school. He's a Walt Jocketty personality: all veterans, no prospects.
Duncan will be difficult to replace...maybe. Perhaps the Cardinals can talk Mike Matheny to take the job? Maybe Andy Benes will make a full return.
Also remember the upside: Jose Oquendo. He will make a good manager, though maybe not for the Cardinals. Still a good possibility. Joe Petini would still be around for the bench coach job, and Dave McKay might stick around too.
Ramble over. Heeve your sighs of relief.