06

The signing of Matt Holliday means one of the most successful eras in Cardinal baseball history can continue into this new decade, and perhaps with more anticipation for the upcoming year than any of the previous ten seasons...which is really saying something. And, that's because this phenomenal run has featured the Cardinals within three games of first place in September in every year since 2000...and in the postseason seven of those 10 seasons. In other words, this century has seen nothing but competitive baseball, and while there have already been five NLCS appearances and two World Series to go along with the one World Championship, there's even more optimism for what's to come.

Now, the Cardinals go into 2010 with one of the best---if not the best---1-2 punches in a starting rotation with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright...and one of the best---if not the best---1-2 punches in a batting order with Albert Pujols and Holliday.

For regular readers and/or listeners, you know that I could find something to bitch about even if I was sitting on St. Bart's drinking boat drinks and watching a lesbian orgy featuring the Victoria's Secret models. However, in this particular case with the Cardinals and Matt Holliday, I'm ecstatic. 100% ecstatic.

And, quite frankly, I'm really surprised by the either casual response online...or how some fans have immediately gone into bitching mode about one of the official message board/blog poster comments talking points:

- greedy athletes

- too much money

- too many years

- how will the Cardinals pay Pujols?

- he shouldn't have dropped that ball against the Dodgers

Here's a little example covering many of the above taken from STLToday.com:

"While I think he's an impressive player, I am not at all impressed with his greedy attitude. His, "It felt like a good fit for my family", well heck, that amount of money ANYWHERE would be a good fit for my family. I love baseball, but I hate players like this. I'm sure he'll do great, as long as he stops having long slumps in the most needed times, and stops dropping those routine fly balls, because what... the lights were in his eyes. Matt, I'm sorry, but I know you are not worth no 119 Million... Good luck in '10... just prove your worth it!"

Perfect.


I can't imagine what the reaction would have been had Holliday left. There'd be many more posts bitching about the trade back in July and/or condemning Bill De Witt and John Mozeliak for, once again, not bucking up and spending "the fans' money" to sign a premier free agent.

For me, the Holliday signing officially ends my questions regarding the commitment of the organization to reinvesting in the club. I don't give a damn how long the deal is. I don't give a damn how much money it cost. They did what they had to do to give one of the greatest players in the history of the game protection for the remainder of his career...and yes,
I do believe Albert Pujols is going to be a Cardinal for as long as he plays. I believed that before Holliday signed...and I believe it even moreso now. The Cardinals don't make this deal with Holliday without being certain that they have the funds to keep Stan The Man Junior around for as long as he'd like to play.

When Bill De Witt was on our show in late July following the trade, he said it thrilled him to think that he could be the owner of the Cardinals when both Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols played for the Cardinals. And, when I told Holliday about that quote a few weeks later when he was on The ITD Morning After, he paused and said, "Wow, I hadn't really thought about that."

It's now a reality.


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tmckernan@insidestl.com.

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