13 Million Dollars and Zero Wins. That is a pretty sad and damning stat. That is the output the Cardinals have got from Mark Mulder over the past two years. Today the Mulder era if not officially over is darn close. The Cardinals have placed Mulder on the DL and called up Jamie Garcia.
What happened last night in Philadelphia didn't shock me. What has since that moment he walked off the mound has. I am surprised by the anger and venom that has been spewing out on talk radio and the internet about Mulder. It is like Mulder actually stole money from not only the Cardinals but every individual fan that has ever bought a ticket or watched a game on TV.
Personally I don't think the Cardinals were "cheated" by Mulder. Mark was hurt and just couldn't get healthy. I don't think that there was anything malicious going on or he was out intentionally not trying to get back. I don't think that was the case at all. I just think that the perception was because of how Mulder handles himself that he wasn't tough or he wasn't trying hard enough. It certainly didn't help his image that there were multiple times on this station and others that while he was injured he was seen on the golf course. The other reason I don't feel sorry for the Cardinals is that he was injured when they signed him to that deal. The best case scenario when he signed the two year deal was he was going to be back mid-summer of 2007 and they would get 1 1/2 years of good starting pitching. They took the gamble and lost.
The thing you have to feel the worst about, if you are a Cardinals fan, is that the Mulder trade cost the Cardinals Dan Haren. The Dan Haren who started the All-Star game. The Dan Haren who is a stud for the Diamondbacks now. The Dan Haren who would be the number one starter on this team immediately. That is the part about Mulder that stinks the worst. But I won't be a hypocrite on this. I was for the trade when it happened and I would make that trade again when the Cardinals did it. It made sense and for awhile Mark Mulder was a top pitcher for the Cardinals. The bad part is he wasn't good enough for nearly long enough.
I don't know if Mark Mulder will ever pitch again. My guess is no. But if he ever does he owes the Cardinals. If he has any character he should say I will pitch for your team until I can pitch in the major leagues for the veterans minimum. It won't work that way if he could pitch again. But he owes it to the Cardinals after 13 Million and ZERO wins.