Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Some shiny things.

Tomorrow is the last day of baseball's so-called winter meetings, and it looks like the Cardinals have already spent most of their Christmas shopping money. There's still time and, presumably, room in the payroll to pick up some shiny new things for next season, but the team lacks any serious holes to fill right now and already spent a good chunk of change on the man with the unfortunate name spelling (Jhonny Peralta). They also picked up some shiny speed in the name of Peter Bourjos. All we're really left with at this point are the various roster-filling moves that are usually pretty under the radar.

I'm sitting on some new shiny things of my own and thought I'd show off a few of them here. These cards were sent by The Junior Junkie, who is seriously threatening longtime blog pals Play at the Plate and Night Owl Cards for most pieces of mail sent to this blog in a calendar year. The scan of Jordan Swagerty's shiny card virtually robbed the Xfractor of its "X"s. Weird. Swagerty seems to be having trouble escaping the low minors currently, but if he ever makes the bigs I'm going to have a really hard time not calling him "Swag" or thinking of the ridiculous "Turn My Swag On" song.

Here's a guy who has actually made it. Since the trade of hometown hero David Freese, Wong's prospects are certainly looking up. The organization made it a priority to put him on the big league roster this season even though he mostly sat. Glaring baserunning errors notwithstanding, Wong appears to have the upper hand on a starting 2B job in 2014 with All-Star Matt Carpenter moving back to his natural 3B position.

There was a time, of course, that the Cardinals farm system wasn't all that prosperous. In fact, in the Jocketty era, it flat out stank. That's not John Gall's fault. I mean, an infinitesimal percent of baseball players actually get to wear a MLB uniform at any point in their life. It's just such a glaring shift in philosophy, where back in the "ought" years the minor league system was completely gutted at time where the team on the field was smacking fools around. I like that there are players coming up to be excited about now, and it's not like the Big League Cardinals have suffered at the expense of building up young talent.

Another thing I don't miss? Short printed rookie cards. Well, I didn't collect cards in 2004, so it's kind of hard for me to say that I missed that. As much as I like serial-numbered cards, I would hate it if every Trevor Rosenthal card this year came with a little stamp on the back to remind you that it's harder to find one of him than it is to find a Matt Holliday.

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