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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cards Keeping the 'Stache, Starting a Gotay

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 6:12 AM

Wow. What a horrible pun. That's really the sort of title someone should lose their job over. 
click to enlarge WoolyWillyOpt.jpg
The Cardinals put the finishing touches on their new dynasty yetsterday by resigning backup catcher Jason LaRue and bringing in utility infielder Ruben Gotay on a minor league deal. With these final two pieces in place, the Cards are now poised to close the championship gap between themselves and the Yankees

Okay, so maybe that's a little strong. Still, there's a lot to like here, and I'll tell you why. 

First off, yeah, resigning Jason LaRue probably isn't all that exciting a move. Sure, he isn't much of a hitter. And sure, maybe the Cards could have taken a guy in the Rule V draft, tried to catch lightning in a bottle. Stranger things have certainly happened. 

Then again, if there's one position on a team I'm completely, totally okay with a guy who can't really hit, it's the backup catcher. I flat-out just could not give a fuck less if my backup catcher can hit. In fact, here's the list of criteria I use to determine if a given player is suitable to be the backup catcher for my team: 

1. He's not Einar Diaz

2. See #1. 

That's it. So, if you happen to not be Einar Diaz, you too could one day be a backup catcher on my team. 

What I'm really looking for in a backup catcher is a guy the pitchers don't absolutely despise. I know I'm not normally a big proponent of intangibles, but here's one situation where I completely go with all the cliches in the book. If my backup catcher can just fill in every once in a while without causing a mutiny among the pitching staff, I'm happy. 

All that aside, LaRue isn't a bad player, either. He's got some power (though he doesn't really make enough contact to see it in action very often), he throws out a good percentage of runners, and the overall defensive dropoff from Yadier Molina to LaRue isn't gigantic. Plus, he's relatively cheap. You can't really go wrong here. 

Of course, the real reason I'm happy to see LaRue back is the mustache. And the hair. I mean, honestly. I don't even want to consider a future where the Cardinals lack both mullet and horseshoe mustache. 

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