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Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016

Thoughts on Cardinals, NFL Training Camps

Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010, at 4:05 PM

So, I just thought I'd share my opinions on some of the most trending topics in the sports world.

First, I'm not happy one bit that the St. Louis Cardinals traded Ryan Ludwick.

I know that we have young outfielders in John Jay and Allen Craig that need playing time, but what kind of message did the Cardinals send to the rest of the team by trading away a proven veteran just so that rookies can get playing time?? I don't get it....the message is this: If you start getting old, in terms of your baseball career, the Cardinals are going to get rid of you and play guys that aren't experienced enough and ready.

Don't get me wrong, I like Jay and Craig but I don't think it's worth getting rid of Ludwick to get them playing time. There were other ways of getting them playing time, such as benching Colby Rasmus because he's been the WORST infielder on this team this season. The guy isn't consistent with the bat and he's the worst throwing outfielder I've ever seen.

Basically, I hope that Ludwick does well in San Diego. I guess I hope that we keep Jake Westbrook for a few years because I've been told that he's a pretty good starting pitcher.

Ultimately, I hope that, come a few months from now when the Cardinals are celebrating a World Series title in front of the their home fans, I'm praising John Mozeliak (Cardinals' GM) for making a bold move and improving the team to the point that they can win multiple championships. Other than that, I see this move as a way to clear cap space for the huge contract that they're going to have to give Albert Pujols if they want him to stay with the team.

Now, let's turn our attention to the National Football League (Praise the Lord, football season is HERE!!!).

Training camps are under way and things have already been getting interesting.

First, I want to congratulate the Cincinnati Bengals for signing T.O. I think it's a smart move that just might land that franchise in the Super Bowl this season (if they can get past my Indianapolis Colts). I'm already predicting two things: 1. The Colts and Bengals will meet in the AFC Championship, and 2. The Bengals will lead the NFL in player fines due to excessive celebration. I'm ready for the T.O and Ocho Show!!!

Another thing, I'm probably one of the few people that likes what Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan is doing to defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Shanahan is forcing Haynesworth to pass a conditioning test before he lets his star defensive lineman back on the field.

First off, let's remember that Haynesworth received a huge salary from the Redskins...then he skipped all the mandatory and non-mandatory workouts before training camp. His reason, he wasn't happy that the team was switching to a defensive alignment (the 3-4) that he thought didn't fit his style of play.

Excuse me Mr. Haynesworth, what makes you think that you have a say in the team's defensive style, your contract tells you to just show up and play football...plain and simple.

You know what would happen is I received a raise from my job and then decided not to show up for work because I didn't like some of the changes that my bosses made?? I would be FIRED!!!

If that's the case, why are NFL players not held to the same standard? We'll never know the answer, but all I know is that until Haynesworth passes that conditioning test (which is the same one that the rest of his teammates had to pass) he's just going to lose his spot on the starting roster and he'll have to keep taking that test until he passes.

I applaud Coach Shanahan for what he's doing in standing up to whiny NFL players!

Dustin Sullivan is the sports editor of the Daily Dunklin Democrat. Contact him at dsullivan@dddnews.com

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After reading this recent rant, I felt compelled to respectfully disagree with many of your points Dustin. First, Colby Rasmus has been one of the top prospects in the Cardinals organization before getting called up a couples of years ago. I know that must be a typo, stating "he's been the WORST infielder on this team this season" because Rasmus plays the outfield, but none the less a bold statement. Rasmus is batting .275 this year, in only his second full season. I would be surprised if John Jay and Allen Craig equal the same success in their second full year. I would be willing to bet Colby Rasmus ends up being a much better player than Jay and Craig in the long run.

Second, the key to the trade of Ludwick is to obtain another starting pitcher, not to get guys more playing time. The key to winning in the post season is pitching, and Jake Westbrook is having a good year in Cleveland, which is hard to do. Not to mention, it took about 10 years for Ryan Ludwick to become a regular starter in the majors. Ludwick was a very good player for the Cardinals, but if Jake Westbrook get the Cards over the hump this year, I don't think we will feel too bad about the trade. Yes as a result John Jay and Allen Craig will get more time, but PITCHING was the key to the trade.

Third, the Cincinnati Bengals will not make the AFC Championship, and will struggle to make the playoffs. For one, their division has two teams that will give them more trouble this year in the Ravens and the Steelers (if Polamalu stays healthy). Terrel Owens drops too many balls (not to get too Skip Bayless here), and has definitely lost a step. I don't think he can handle being a number 2 or 3 option on a team with Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant, who has played well the past couple of years in Tampa Bay. If you don't remember all of Bryant's troubles playing for Cowboys, in which he was basically kicked off the team and then traded to the Browns. So just add that to the mix of ego in the Bengals' wide receiver corps. When one of them doesn't get the ball one game, I think the wheels will fall off. Also, you have to worry about all the low "character" players they already have on their team (Cedric Benson, Tank Johnson, Matt Jones, etc.). They did have a good year last year, but TO is not the solution to get them deeper in the post season. When was the last time a number 2 or 3 option put an NFL team in the Super Bowl?

As much as I disagree with many of your points, I somewhat agree with what you said about Albert Haynesworth. It is ridiculous that he can not pass a conditioning test after receiving one of the best deals in NFL history, but he is probably going to be one of the many athletes, who got paid and feels like he doesn't have to prove anything anymore. Although we all know that on the day of the first game, Haynesworth will be starting for Redskins.

-- Posted by mo_rebel474 on Wed, Aug 4, 2010, at 7:49 PM

I'm not sure if you know this or not, but MLB doesn't have a salary cap, so they didn't trade Ludwick to clear "cap space" for Pujols. Ludwick isn't exactly proven either, he hasn't put in enough time to be called proven: 37 homeruns with a .299 his first full season, 22 bombs with .265 his second, .282 this year. That's far from consistent. I'm not a huge fan of the trade, but Jon Jay is a solid prospect and has a bright future. He wont produce as many runs as Ludwick, and has a lot less power. But Jay can run, and can hit. I dont know why you are attacking Rasmus either, as you clearly have a love affair with Ludwick. Rasmus is better than Ludwick ever will be and has 100 times more upside.

-- Posted by Baseballfan88 on Thu, Aug 5, 2010, at 10:51 PM

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Former DDD Sports Editor and current ESPN video editor Dustin Sullivan shares his experiences and stories from working for the Worldwide Leader in Sports!