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“They have a system, and it works,”

October 19, 2013

Cardinals’ Strategy Replaces Big Names With Ingenuity

By TYLER KEPNER

ST. LOUIS — Through the first five games of the National League Championship Series, one run separated the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. By the end of the series, the teams seemed worlds apart.

The Dodgers wrapped up their 25th season without a World Series appearance. The Cardinals, with an emphatic 9-0 victory in Game 6 on Friday, captured their fourth pennant in 10 years. They won the championship in 2006 and 2011 and could soon add their 12th title.

“They have a system, and it works,” said A. J. Ellis, the Dodgers’ catcher, admiring the Cardinals in defeat. “If somebody gets hurt or somebody falls by the wayside, they have replacements. They have an organizational philosophy that’s obviously working, and these guys just keep coming, in waves and waves and waves.”

Ellis continued: “Carlos Martinez, you’ve never even heard of him before, and he shows up throwing 99 miles an hour. Shelby Miller didn’t even touch a baseball this entire series, and he’s one of the best young arms in all of baseball. It’s just a testament to their depth and what they’re doing over there and how committed they are to staying the course. It’s proving dividends because they’re playing every October.”

It would be easy to call the Cardinals the Yankees of the National League, for their frequent visits to the postseason and their tradition of excellence. Only the Yankees, with 27 titles, have won more than St. Louis.

But it would also be inaccurate, because the Cardinals have won lately by abandoning a philosophy of chasing big names. Instead, they develop names that most have never heard of — like Martinez, their sudden setup man — and unleash them on the opposition.

While the Cardinals’ success since 2000 — eight trips to the N.L.C.S. — seems like one sustained run, it is actually two. In their first five visits, through 2006, most of their stars came from trades. Under General Manager Walt Jocketty, the Cardinals dealt young players for veterans like Mark McGwire, Edgar Renteria, Darryl Kile, Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen.

“We had great teams in that era, but I knew that that wasn’t sustainable because as that group aged, we would need younger players,” said William DeWitt Jr., the Cardinals’ owner, in the clubhouse after Game 6.

“With the new labor agreement that was coming in, teams were holding on to their players,” he said. “We were opportunistic prior to that by getting players from other clubs, but we made a conscious decision back in the ’03 and ’04 time frame that we were going to throw a lot of resources and make every effort to build from within. So we had a strategy to do that. Rather than giving up draft choices, we tried to accumulate draft choices.”

DeWitt hired Jeff Luhnow in 2003 as vice president for baseball development. Luhnow had an M.B.A. from Northwestern, experience in business and a knack for analytics. He had no background in baseball but soon oversaw a series of deep and successful drafts for the Cardinals.

Luhnow clashed with Jocketty, who was fired in 2007 and has since built three playoff teams as the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds. DeWitt promoted Jocketty’s assistant, John Mozeliak, and said he had unified the front office.

“I think what Mo’s done is really bring the organization together,” DeWitt said. “He’s brought everybody on the same page, from the major league staff all the way through the minor leagues. Scouting, player development — everybody’s pulling in the same direction. They all understand what we’re trying to do. That’s a big part of it.”

The Cardinals’ 2011 championship caught the attention of Jim Crane, who had recently bought the Houston Astros. Crane grew up in St. Louis and had caddied for Cardinals players at a golf course near his high school. He hired Luhnow as his general manager in December 2011, and has expressed admiration for DeWitt.

“He’s a great owner,” Crane said last year, in an interview at his office in Houston. “That organization runs very well.”

The Cardinals lost more than Luhnow that winter. Their longtime manager, Tony La Russa, resigned. Their star first baseman, Albert Pujols, left for a $240 million contract in Anaheim. The Cardinals simply kept going, hiring their former catcher Mike Matheny as manager, and signing Carlos Beltran for two years and $26 million.

They also re-signed catcher Yadier Molina (five years, $75 million) and starter Adam Wainwright (five years, $97.5 million). With the compensation draft pick they received for losing Pujols, they selected a college pitcher, Michael Wacha, who is 3-0 with a 0.43 earned run average this postseason and was the most valuable player of the N.L.C.S.

The Cardinals’ left fielder, Matt Holliday, came in a trade for prospects in 2009. Other than him and Beltran, the team is almost entirely developed from within. The Cardinals have used seven homegrown pitchers this month who were not on the postseason roster two years ago. Neither were three starting infielders: first baseman Matt Adams, second baseman Matt Carpenter and shortstop Pete Kozma.

“If you watch them, they get a whole bunch of the same type of guy,” said Ellis, the Dodgers’ catcher. “They get a great group of college position players who know how to play the game coming right out of the draft. They sprinkle in a few top prospects — guys like Kozma, some guys they have coming up — and they draft power arms and develop these guys.”

The foundation for it all, said Mozeliak, who joined the organization in 1995, is the legacy of success. The Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst, 90, still watches batting practice at Busch Stadium, in uniform, behind the cage. Two of the game’s more revered coaches — Hub Kittle, who died in 2004, and George Kissell, who died in 2008 — were Cardinals.

“They embraced so many things that we still try to teach our young players,” Mozeliak said. “That’s not something you can buy. It’s not packaged somewhere that you can go get. We’re smart enough to know to grab that, but I think we also still have an element of innovation and creativity that allows us to be successful.”

The Cardinals reached the playoffs once from 2007 to 2010 as they made the transition from one philosophy to another. DeWitt said he never questioned the approach, and the proof is in the pennants.

“I knew it was the right strategy, but you have to execute the strategy, too,” he said. “Fortunately, our guys did that. They have a really good staff, and I give them a lot of credit for doing that. But you have to plan it, and when it plays out the way it has, it’s really pretty rewarding.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/20/sports/baseball/cardinals-legacy-of-success-mixes-innovation-and-creativity.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=baseball&

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my name is Mr Nelson i live in USA i applied for an Xmass loan of 20000usd from a scam pretend to be a loan lender he rip me off the some of 3000usd,i was totally frustrated so a good of my from Australia told me how he was rescued when she was scam by the same loan lenders so he testify to me how she was rescued from a loan lender called Mr.Mark who gave a loan amount of 120000usd and i am now a family of 3 and i am happy today that i now have the money for my Xmas i pray that God will bless him more and more so contact him so that he can also give you loan amount you need for your Xmas here is the email:marksmithloan@outlook.com

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr Nelson

My Name Is Edwin Wallace I want You all To be careful there.nobody can help you here or even suggest how you can get financial help.any answer of a loan lender to your question,you MUST ignore,because they are SCAMS…real SCAMS…i was a victim of which i was ripped thousands of dollars….Well thank God for a Fidelity Loan firm,I was referred to by my cousin,who is by name,Mr.Daniel Robert Of Fidelity loan firm Inc.They made my life a valuable one,and gave it a meaning.I was approved loan of $95,000.00 USD AND IN 48 HOURS after meeting up to their necessary requirements,my loan was deposited in my bank account.Though I was very nervous with the loan firm at the first place due to my previous bad experiences,especially when the issue of me settling the transfer charges came up,I hold on to my faith due to the fact that my relative referred me,got it cleared,and as God should have it.little did I know that my financial shortcomings has come to a final HALT .If not for that quick referral from a relative of that genuine source ,I would have regretted my total life,because at that point in time I just divorced the father of my daughter,and my daughter (joy) was faced with a ” between life and death ” situation ..I was faced with her hospital bills and was also faced with foreclosure at my apartment.Details of the GOD SENT and RELIEVING source won’t be disclosed to you for now, for fear of impersonation ( because it has being discovered that some persons are not really in need of financial help,but are there to impersonate real loan lenders through their phone numbers and email accounts,and acting to be them where necessary to those in real need)…I couldn’t comment on your post because it was a public place and I fear you would fall into the hand of all these fraudulent loan officers (even in US) like how they ripped me off.You must be able to convince me real hard,and provide good proofs,before I can give you the full details of this legitimate loan officer..Their charge is very affordable and reliable compare to many out there,their interest rates just 2%,little documentation,and little credit check(irrespective of your credit score,but you MUST have a good and liable income source) His Name is Mr Daniel Robert Feel free to email him at his via Email: fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com ” and you will be free from scams. thanks as you read the greatest testimony of my life. fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

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