We Gave the St. Louis Cardinals Beards

The Red Sox beards have become a team symbol. But what if the Cardinals abandoned their “Cardinal Way” and grew some scruff?

Pitchers

John Axford Beard

John Axford

Randy Chote Beard

Randy Choate

Lance Lynn Beard

Lance Lynn

Joe Kelly Beard

Joe Kelly

Seth Maness Beard

Seth Maness

Edward Mujica Beard

Edward Mujica

Kevin Seigrist Beard

Kevin Siegrist

Adam Wainwright Beard

Adam Wainwright

Michael Wacha Beard

Michael Wacha

Trevor Rosenthal Beard

Trevor Rosenthal

Catchers

Tony Cruz

Tony Cruz

Yadier Molina

Yadier Molina

Infielders

Daniel Descalso

Daniel Descalso

Pete Kozma

Pete Kozma

Matt Adams

Matt Adams

Matt Carpenter

Matt Carpenter

David Freese

David Freese

Allen Craig

Allen Craig

Kolten Wong

Kolten Wong

Outfielders

Adron Chambers Beard

Adron Chambers

Jon Jay

Matt Holliday

Carlos Beltran

Shane Robinson

WAIT WE LEFT SOMEONE OUT. SORRY CARLOS MARTINEZ

Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez

Oh wait, did I forget Shelby Miller? You can just call me Mike Matheny.

Happy World Series.

Trades, Rivalry, and Youk

At first glance, the thought of Kevin Youkilis in a New York Yankees jersey seems wrong. The pinstripes just wouldn’t look right on a man so entrenched in “Red Sox lore”. Along with Dustin Pedroia, Youkilis opened the door for cliché after cliché to be slapped on Red Sox teams. They were gritty, they were gamers, they hustled, and boy were they scrappy. But why exactly does Youk signing with the Yanks feel so wrong to Sox fans? What does this signing have to say about the concept of rivalry? What really makes a fan’s stomach turn when they see a cornerstone of their favorite team sell their soul?

The simple answer is that rivals never trade. Well at least almost never. Take a look at baseball’s three biggest rivalries: Cubs and Cardinals, Dodgers and Giants, Yankees and Red Sox. The statistics are astounding.

The Yankees and Red Sox last traded in 1997; a deal that sent Tony Armas to the Sox in return for Mike Stanley. Other than a small purchase of waivers in 1994 the next deal between the two teams was in 1986 (Don Baylor to the Red Sox). The sports two biggest rivals have only traded twice since 1986. I was negative 9 in 1986. Thats a long time.

The Cards and Cubs last traded in 2002, when the Cubs shipped longtime journeyman pitcher Jeff Fassaro to the Cards for some players to be named later. Before that Todd Zeile got sent to Chi-Town in 1995. And before that was in 1980 when the Cardinals traded for an well-bearded Bruce Sutter. The Cardinals and Cubs have traded thrice since 1980. CNN was founded in 1980. Thats a long time. 

Of all the “rivals” the Giants and Dodgers have the most stingy trade relationship. They last traded in 2007, but the deal was small and was a career bench player traded to LA for a PTBNL. The most recent time before that was 27 years ago Tuesday, as the Dodgers shippedCandy Maldanado to the Giants. Before that it was 1968 when Ron Hunt when from the Dodgers to San Fran. 1968 was before the moon landing. And before that was in 1956 when the Dodgers tried to trade Jackie Robinson to the Giants for porn star Dick Littlefield and $30,000. Just think about how insane that is. Three trades since Jackie Robinson was valued around $30,000. THATS A LONG TIME.

When these rivals don’t trade with each other, it decreases turnover between the teams and increases a sense of continuity amongst the fan base. The lack of interaction between rivals could be interpreted as a lack of communication and hostility or it could just be an unwillingness from the front office to disappoint/alienate the fan base. There must be some sort of influence from the fan base because if it was only about improving the quality of the team on the field, the Dodgers and Giants would have traded more than 4 times since Ike was living it up in the Oval Office. This resistance towards transaction with rivals feeds back into the history between the two clubs, thus reinvigorating the sense of rivalry.

So now that we’ve established that 1956 was a long time ago and that rivals must hold back trading with each other for some reason, lets see why this has anything to do with people feeling sad about Kevin Youkilis. Considering how rare turnover between rival rosters is through trades, it makes the signings like Youk that much more shocking for the fan base. In recent memory each of these three rivalries has had a iconic players swap from one team to the other. All three were All Stars and faces of their respective franchises. And no I’m not talking Jose Vizcaino, Juan Uribe, and Alfredo Aceves.

Three very different players at three different points in their careers. Damon was probably at his peak, Kent just behind it, while Edmonds was pretty much done. It was hard for Giants, Cardinals, and Red Sox fans to see the former faces of their franchise make the conscious and well-thought out decision to play for the rival. Thats what really tugs at the heartstrings; the idea that those players bought into the concept of rivalry only to turn their back on an entire fan base. Of course thats not what the players are thinking at all. They are either trying to make as much money as possible or are just trying to survive one more season in the bigs. And hell, I wouldn’t mind living a year with a few jeers and insults if I was getting payed 12 Million Dollars to do it.

Jake Mintz

The Bourn Ultimatum Part 1: The AL Beast

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Center field is considered one of, if not the most valuable position in baseball. First division Center Fielders are not easy to come by. There is usually a scarcity of top quality centerfielders; its hard to find a guy who can play the position, hit, and hit for power. Why then is Michael Bourn still a free agent? No one seems to want to pay Michael Bourn, but someone has to right?

This article is the first of a six part series going team by team examining how well Michael Bourn fits the current roster. Each team will get a score from one to ten on the BOURN O’METER 3000. I don’t know where the hell he is going to end up, but there’s no harm in a little fun. Let’s start off with the AL East.

Baltimore Orioles:

Why Not Bourn:

  • One overlooked moment of the 2012 magic Orioles was the Adam Jones contract extension. This is how Baltimore Orioles fans feel about about Adam Jones. Jones might not be a superstar yet, but he has superstar potential and after winning the hearts of the Charm City with this homerun Jones should be the face of this team for years to come. 

Why Bourn:

  • Jones’ merits as a defensive CF are debated. He is well known for occasional lapses in focus and bubble gum blowing escapades. Jones didn’t deserve the gold glove he won this year over Mike Trout because Mike Trout can do this. Signing Bourn and moving Jones to LF would give the Orioles a legitimate leadoff man; something they’ve been craving since Brian Roberts’ body started to break down.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn watches the wire. Michael Bourn is terrified of Omar. Michael Bourn doesn’t want to end up like Michael Lee.

Conclusion

  • While moving Jones to left and signing Bourn might make baseball sense, it wouldn’t work on a clubhouse level. Jones signed that extension to play in the middle of the diamond and moving the team leader wouldn’t be good for team chemistry. Also Bourn can’t deal with the streets of Baltimore. Omar comin

Toronto Blue Jays

Why Not Bourn

  • The Toronto Blue Jays have more outfielders than they can count. Jose Bautista is set to play right field for the Blue Jays as long as he wants to. The other two spots will include some rotation of Emilio Bonifacio, Anthony Gose, Colby Rasmus, and Rajai Davis.

Why Bourn

  •  You can never have enough outfield depth. (Except for when you can).

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn doesn’t want to play for a team in Europe. Michael Bourn doesn’t understand kilometers.

Conclusion

  • Not going to happen. Too many outfielders.

New York Yankees

 Why Not Bourn

  • While Granderson’s 2011 season begins to look more and more like an outlier, he still provides good value at a very important position. Minor League prospect Mason Williams is a few years away, but looks like a Major League regular. CF is not a need here, Bourn will probably have to look elsewhere. Also short people look stupid in vertical striping. Its very fashion faux pas.

Why Bourn

  • Bourn and Youkilis would be really cute on the same team. The two of them could look like a bad buddy cop comedy show.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn is afraid of people who talk weird (see Boston). Michael Bourn feels swallowed up by the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Conclusion

  • Not going to happen. The Yankees recent anti-spending spree means either they are trying to get under the luxury tax or they are saving up for something big; a new video game or maybe a really cool bike.

Tampa Bay Rays

Why Not Bourn?

  • The Rays entire off season budget was already spent on the 1 year 2 million dollar contract they gave James Loney. Oh and that Longoria thing…

Why Bourn

  • Wil Myers, Desmond Jennings, and Michael Bourn is a pretty stacked outfield.  Nuf said.

Bourn’s Perspective

  • Michael Bourn would prefer to play in front of fans.

Conclusion

  • Andrew Friedman doesn’t like giving away his money.

Boston Red Sox:

Why Not Bourn?

  • The childish schoolboy charm of Jacoby Ellsubry is still occupying the grassy greens of Fenway Park for now. Archie Bradley might sound like your high school art teacher, but he’s actually the #2 prospect in the Red Sox farm system who will be an above average regular in CF starting in 2014.

Why Bourn?

  • The Red Sox could use Bourn if they plan on trading away Bradley along with top prospect Xander Boegarts to the Mets in return for R.A. Dickey, R.A. Dickey’s unfound UCL, a pair of game worn R.A. Dickey sandals, and a signed picture of Josh Thole. Another possibility is that Ryan Kalish finds the socks he has been stressing over for years and finally realizes his potential as a really really really really average baseball player.

Bourn’s Perspective:

  •  His skills aren’t ideal for the offensive orgy that is the AL East, let alone the little league field that is Fenway Park. Michael Bourn also doesn’t like the way Bostonians talk (who does?). Michael Bourn is afraid of Paul Revere because he reminds Michael Bourn too much of Ben Revere.

Conclusion:

  • Victorino + Ellsbury + Bradley + Fenway Paaaaaak + Paul Revere = Probably Not