And We're Back Baby!!

By Curtis Stelzer

Alright Cardinals fans…Rant Sports is back and without a doubt, better than ever.  Have you not looked at the new site??  I came on with Rant Sports about a month or two ago…and it seems like these guys know what they’re doing – so I cannot say Thank You enough for allowing me to be a part of this site and writing for the team I grew up loving, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now that we’re back up and running, I want to give you my 2 cents on the trade the Cardinals made at the deadline yesterday (it really happened Saturday, but it wasn’t finalized until Sunday morning).  The Cardinals traded minor league outfielder Alex Castellanos to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 33 year old Shortstop Rafael Furcal.  Castellano, who turns 25 next week, was hitting .319 with 19 homeruns & 62 RBI’s in 93 games played at AA Springfield.

Now, to Furcal.  This is a very good deal for the Cardinals…Castellanos may end up being a 4th or 5th outfielder off the bench at most in the Majors, but the Redbirds get a very driven, free agent to be rental Shortstop that is looking to get paid one more time.  It is worth the gamble that the Cardinals catch lightning in a bottle with Furcal.  Rafael has only played in 150 games or more once since 2007, so injuries have been more than an issue for Furcal.  In 2010, Furcal did hit .300 and stole 22 bases in the 97 games he was healthy enough to play in.

Furcal is an extremely streaky hitter, and the good thing for the Cardinals is Rafael really hasn’t had one of those for the most part in 2011.  On July 19th, Furcal was hitting .167 and now he’s hitting .196, but maybe that is just the spark he needs to go off on one of those Furcal hot streaks he is known for.  With Furcal coming in to play Shortstop – this should push Ryan Theriot to 2nd base, but Theriot has been a disappointment and I would play Skip Schumaker, but we all know Manager Tony Larussa tries to be smarter than everyone else – nuff said!

I do feel like this trade was a good move for the Cardinals, what do they really lose if Furcal stays cold, gets hurt, etc…not much.  But I will end with this.  The Cardinals goal as an organization should be to WIN WORLD SERIES – NOT DIVISION TITLES!  I’m sorry Redbirds fans to be a realist, but this trade and the Colby Rasmus trade makes us a better team in 2011, but a worse team in 2012 and going forward into the future.  I will leave you, the fans with this question – and I would really like to know what you have to say in the comment section of this post…is this team really good enough to beat the Philadelphia Phillies (Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Pence, Utley, Howard, Rollins, Polanco), or the San Francisco Giants (Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez, Vogelsong, Beltran, Panda) or the Atlanta Braves (Hudson, Lowe, Jurrjens, Bourne, Freeman, Prado).  Maybe, MAYBE the Braves…but that’s it.  Like I have said – I feel Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak and Manager Tony Larussa have forgotten what the goal of this organization is – and that is – to WIN WORLD SERIES, not just get into the playoffs by winning the worst division in baseball!

So what do you think Cardinals fans – let us know your thoughts in the comment section of this post!

You can follow me on Twitter @Stelzy and please send any questions or comments you might have.

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