Hey Guys, today we're going to take a look at my all decade team for the first decade of the 2000's.
SP - Chris Carpenter
RP - Jason Isringhausen
C - Yadier Molina
1B - Albert Pujols
2B - Tony Womack
3B - Scott Rolen
SS - Edgar Renteria
LF - Matt Holliday
CF - Jim Edmonds
RF - Ryan Ludwick
Starting Pitcher - To me, this is pretty much a no brainer. Carp has gone 68-24 in 6 seasons with the Cardinals and posted a 2.91 ERA. He's been the anchor of our starting rotation since he's been here and been one hell of a leader - the whole clubhouse has missed him when he's been hurt and our record has been reflective of it.
Relief Pitcher - This was a little tougher choice but Izzy was a special closer when he was healthy. In 7 seasons, he went 17-20 with a 2.98 ERA, and I believe that he pitched better than his statistics show. He was hurt and missed the playoffs when we won the Series in '06 and didn't pitch well in the playoffs in '04 but I still believe he was the best relief pitcher of the decade.
Catcher - This was between Molina and Mike Matheny. They both have been exceptional defensively but Molina has been a better hitter. Still, if you've read Three Nights in August you realize how important Mike was to the Cardinals' teams of the early 2000's. The hitting made the choice for me - Molina it is.
First Base - No contest here. Albert has been everything you could ask for with the Cardinals hitting .334 and 336 Homeruns with the Cards in nine seasons. Oh yeah, and he also plays Gold Glove defense too.
Second Base - This was a very tough choice for me and I chose a player who only played one season in St. Louis. Womack was instrumental in our World Series run in '04 hitting .307 during the regular season. He was above-average at second base and provided a veteran presence in the clubhouse.
Third Base - Scott was really good when he was healthy but, like a lot of the players on this list, was plagued by injuries late in his Cardinals career. He hit .286 in six seasons in St. Louis and won four Gold Gloves.
Shortstop - Edgar Renteria was considered to be the next great shortstop when he left St. Louis after the 2004 season. Sure, his career has fallen off a cliff since then, but that doesn't diminish what he did in St. Louis - a .290 average in six seasons and two Gold Gloves.
Left Field - If you think about it, there really isn't a great candidate for this spot. Ray Lankford? Reggie Sanders? I think its Matt Holliday. He hasn't played very long in St. Louis but I don't know if we make the playoffs without him last year. Albert began to slump after the All-Star Break and Holliday took an immense load of his shoulders.
Center Field - Again, no contest. Edmonds played eight seasons in St. Louis and had one of the most beautiful swings I've ever seen. That swing earned him a .290 average with the Cardinals and 241 homeruns. He also captured six Gold Glove awards roaming the outfield at Busch.
Right Field - Like left field, there really wasn't a great choice for right either. Ludwick came out of nowhere in 2008 to hit .299 and 37 homeruns. He's bounced around the order in three seasons in St. Louis and produced wherever he's been asked to hit. I expect big things from Ryan in the 2010's decade.
That's all for today guys. Its 45 degrees up here today and its starting to feel a little bit like Spring. The anthem of the day is "Amarillo by Morning" by George Strait. Hope you all have a great weekend.
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