November 2, 2008

Izzy a free agent

... While the previous post is probably much more fun to consider, Izzy is definitely the big news of today, even if there has been no actual action taken on the Cardinals' longtime bullpen ace.

An ace no longer, Izzy deserves a chance at a comeback. After all, everyone else with a boo-boo has had their chance this past season.

The difference, obviously, is that the business of baseball is going to look at Izzy much like Mulder, or any other question mark player on the verge of needing a new contract. Still, the fact that Izzy is in no position to demand big money is nobody's fault, not even his own, unless you count punching out a TV as part of his current dilemma.

If there's any contract out there for Izzy, be it the Cards or some other team, it would most certainly be a short-term deal, but one structured to benefit Izzy if he produces, or, in other words, proves he's as good as he ever was, or darned near the capabilities one might expect from an above-average relief pitcher of his age.

As far as the Cardinals are concerned, working out a one-year deal would be wise, where, even if Izzy is not going to regain his awesome form of yester-season, he is still likely to come up with the handful of saves needed to reach the 300 milestone. Approaching such a record would put more fans in the Busch Stadium seats, which, last season, seemed to have slipped a bit. There's nothing to say Izzy wouldn't become an "impact arm" again, either.

Unless Izzy should somehow land a two-year deal, look for this to be Izzy's last hurrah, regardless of a disappointing performance or a stellar season.

The aforementioned is my "calls it as I sees it," blogging.

As for my 4thebirds bias, I would definitely love to see Izzy back with the Cards in '09.

There's nothing mechanically wrong with Izzy that I can see, except where you make physical adjustments based on injuries. And don't that doesn't happen to players, folks. Izzy is no different than other players in understanding today's baseball world, that teams would want every medical file updated daily, and that's not always for a huge concern for the player's welfare, but how an organization might get more usage out of their product, and knowing when to cut that product loose.

How many times have you seen a player keep an injury to himself, especially on the Cardinals, because we see them a lot as fans. Not saying Izzy is doing this, but, well, you get the idea.

Think of all the Cardinals' players that have had injuries this year and "didn't realize how bad it was" until it was painfully obvious. For athletes in general, who are normally very "tuned in" to their bodies, this can become a big factor in how they approach their season, and how they (and the team owners) approach contracts.

So, as fans, we must keep in mind, if we are Izzy fans, for instance, that there may be a lot of factors of which we have no idea that are contributing to how his free agency negotiations develop. If we like Izzy, we like Izzy, and hope he works things out. And if we like Izzy, whatever happens, maybe we ought not be too harsh on the outcome if we don't like it.

photo by chetthejet

Isringhausen will test market News: "The Cardinals have publicly expressed some interest in bringing Isringhausen back, though it's unclear how much room St. Louis has in its 2009 bullpen. Isringhausen is the franchise's all-time saves leader and a two-time All-Star."