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Pedro Who?

By Mark Ashby Vaughan

Since thumping the Reds in Cincinnati for a 3-game sweep a week ago, the Cardinals have gone 1-4 against the Cubs and Brewers who have a combined winning percentage of .428.

As I have said all season long, this is a team in search of its soul. I was personally hoping that the team would bring on board someone like Mike Lowell to fill in at third – a proven vet with a grizzled, gutsy attitude. Yes, past his prime, but not about to give an inch to the enemy in the other team’s dugout. He might have been the salt that this tasteless team needs.

Anyone would have been better than Felipe Lopez. Balls batted in his direction while he manned the hot corner seemed to startle him as he aptly tried to avoid them. And those he did catch, well, he just wasn’t willing to deliver them to first base without making each throw interesting. It seemed as though he was personally interested in seeing just how far Albert could stretch out on one side of the bag or the other.

What this teams needs is a Gene Tenace, a Will Clark or a Larry Walker. All of these ex-Cardinals were well past their primes when they played for the Birds, but they were all hard-nosed, tough individuals who went out to beat the other team every time that they stepped on the field.

Instead, Cards GM John Mozeliak went out and got Pedro Feliz. Who? Yes, I know – Pedro Feliz is the answer to the trivia question that you’ll be answering five years from now.

It is doubtful that this move is going to help much. Feliz was hitting so poorly in Houston that a rookie had taken his spot in the order. The only thing that he adds to the team is that he won’t be jumping out of the way of hot grounders the way that Lopez did.

I am reserving judgment – for now. The team has a 3-game set with a tough Giants team then finishes out the month against three weak rivals; the Pirates, Nationals and Astros. If the team wins 8 of the next 12 I’ll give the thumbs up sign. If not, if the team continues to befuddle and bemuse, then the team might as well begin making vacation plans for October because they won’t be busy playing in the playoffs.


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