Jan. 14 isn't exactly the best day on the calendar for Redbirds rooters. On this date the Cardinals suffered one of their worst additions -- and one of their worst subtractions -- in franchise history.
On this date in 1988, over the objections of manager Whitey Herzog, The Birds attempted to replace Jack "The Ripper" Clark at first base with Bob "I'm so unwanted that I can't find a major league contract in 1987 so I have to go play in Japan" Horner.
Horner manages to play 60 games in a St. Louis uniform after signing a one-year, $950,000 contract. He hit .257 with three homers and 33 RBIs. The Rookie of the year 10 years earlier with Atlanta, Horner is slow and appears to be out of shape. He's out of baseball at age 30 when the Cardinals cut him loose.
The Cardinals replace Horner at first base in August when they trade star pitcher John Tudor to the Dodgers for Pedro Guerrero.
At 32 years old and in decline from his Dodgers glory days, Guerrero was still productive and was the lynchpin of the St. Louis offense through the 1992 season. He hit .282 with 44 homers and 313 RBIs in a Redbirds uniform.
On this date in 2008 Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak grants All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen's request to be traded by shipping him to Toronto in exchange for slugging third sacker Troy Glaus.
In the first season after the trade it looks like Mozeliak fleeced the Blue Jays. Glaus hit .270 with 29 homers and 99 RBIs while playing much better defense than expected at the hot corner. Meanwhile Rolen suffered through injuries in Toronto and managed to play only 115 games. He hit .262 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs.
But Rolen rediscovered his hitting ways in 2009, stroking a .305 batting average with Toronto and Cincinnati. Glaus, at about this time in 2009, informed the Cardinals that he was having problems with his right shoulder that would require surgery. He managed 32 plate appearances and a .172 batting average before he exited St. Louis as a free agent.
To add insult to injury, Rolen was a productive and healthy player for the Cardinals' NL Central rivals in Cincinnati while Glaus' St. Louis replacement, David Freese, missed most of the 2010 season with ankle injuries.
After being dealt away Rolen seems to have some regrets about his trade demand. If he could have gotten over it and remained with the Redbirds, would the Cardinals have claimed to division crown last year instead of the Reds.