Once again highlighting the disconnect between ownership and GM John Mozeliak, Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III told Fox Sports that the recession isn't a big factor for the Redbirds in 2008 because of the All-Star Game being played in St. Louis.
DeWitt said the fact that season ticket holders have an opportunity to buy All-Star tickets has insulated the Cardinals from the massive reduction in pre-purchased tickets that other teams have been forced to deal with. Mozeliak has claimed the Cardinals are trying to maintain payroll flexibility. But it looks a whole lot to me like the Cardinals have more flexibility than Stretch Armstrong.
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So, the musical question remains, what do the Cardinals plan to do with the $16-$21 million difference between what DeWitt said the budget is and what Mozeliak has committed to the on-field product?
Here's the whole story: (Would have just posted the link, but the new blog platform wouldn't go for it. Sorry.)
Cardinals inside pitch
The economy is affecting baseball, just like everything else, but club president Bill DeWitt III said the Cardinalsmight not be hit as hard as some other teams this year because of the All-Star Game to be played in St. Louis on July 14.
Fans who purchase a season ticket have an option to buy an All-Star Game ticket, and DeWitt surmised that the team's season-ticket base might not fall as much as that of some other clubs, keeping that particular revenue stream relatively intact.
That said, the team is playing its cards close to the vest for a while longer as it surveys its own landscape, with most of the attention centered on the return of right-hander Chris Carpenter. He has missed virtually all of the past two seasons with a torn ligament in his elbow and then a nerve condition near his shoulder.
If Carpenter is found to be at least reasonably healthy at some point into spring training, the Cardinals are likely to stop looking outside the organization for another starting pitcher. Even if Carpenter needs more time, there are those in the organization who would rather try youngsters for the last starting spot -- Kyle McClellan, who would be converted from a reliever; Mitchell Boggs, who had three wins as a starter in 2008; P.J. Walters or even fast-rising Jess Todd.
It isn't as if the Cardinals haven't shelled out big money for a starting pitcher in the offseason. On the day after the 2008 season, even before he could file for free agency, right-hander Kyle Lohse, a 15-game winner in 2008, re-upped for four years at $41 million.
More likely, the Cardinals will seek relief help -- or a combo starter-reliever -- this spring when they look at the remaining free agents, trade prospects or players who might be released in March because of salary considerations.