On my final day of the work week I have some odds and ends from the baseball world that have been rattling around my head so here they are.....
The All-Star voting has begun and the name Ryan Ludwick is being thrown around as a possible All-Star. His first half has been fantastic and he is certainly worthy of being in the mix. That being said it will be a long shot at best for him to be on the All-Star roster. Here is a list of guys off the top of my head who have a better shot of making the team then he does....Soriano, Dunn, Griffey, Carlos Lee, Beltran and Burrell all have good shots immediately for being voted in. Then you add on top of that Aaron Rowand of the Giants who will probably be their lone representative and any available spots in the outfield are looking pretty lean. It looks to me like Albert Pujols will be the only Cardinals player this year unless Adam Wainwright gets named to the team.
I generally agree with Bernie Miklasz's column this morning that the best plan of action for Chris Duncan is to send him down and get his swing right. I still believe before the season is over the Cardinals will have to have Duncan's bat going to get to the playoffs. So with Ludwick hitting so well and Schumaker playing well in the leadoff role the time to get Duncan right in Memphis is in June and not waiting till August to try to figure it out. Of course as I am writing this he hits a 2 RBI single.
Time may be running out on Adam Kennedy. He showed in April that he may still have some life left in him but in May he has gone right back in the tank. He is 1 for his last 22 heading into Thursday's game and hitting a robust .155 in May. The Cardinals are on the hook for one more season but I'm not sure they can afford to keep him around at this rate.
Roy Oswalt had a 5.61 ERA heading into Thursday night's game against the Cardinals. This is a pitcher that has never had an ERA worse than 3.49 for any season in his career. You have to think he is either hurt or he will go on a major tear this summer.
So I look up last night and see that former Cardinals Third Baseman Fernando Tatis is back in the majors with the New York Mets. This time he is an outfielder. I will never forget the night he hit two grand slams in the same inning out in Los Angeles. He was one of the oddest Cardinals to come through here in my time covering the team but good luck to Fernando.
In other former Cardinals news Ray King has signed a minor-league deal with the Houston Astros earlier in the day. He was one of the nicest, funniest guys to come through the Cardinals organiztion. A great guy.
The longer the season goes it still looks to me that the Cubs are going to win the Central by a few games. They do have flaws but the thing I like about them the most is their bullpen. As long as Kerry Wood remains healthy and they have Carlos Marmol pitching in front of him they are going to be tough to beat.
Chipper Jones now has a .420 average. I have never been a Chipper guy. I have always considered him a smug southerner, if there is such a thing, but I would love to see someone challenge the .400 mark late into the season. Tony Gwynn is as close as I have seen anybody doing it. I always thought that the person who would do it would be a Colorado Rockies player who would leadoff games and just slap singles and doubles all day long. Hopefully this will be a fun story to cover this summer.
Finally....the Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in the majors and yet they are drawing 10-12 thousand a night this week. If people in Florida can't get behind their team this year and in the next couple of seasons they really ought to think about moving the team somewhere else. The Rays have done it right and if you can't be turned on by this as a fan in Tampa then shame on you.