This was a line from George Clooney in “The Perfect Storm”, which I watched recently. When I read what’s going on with Brendan Ryan, I’m asking if this is the motivation behind his name continuously being thrown around by John Mozeliak. Of course Mozeliak isn’t the coach, but you have to think Tony LaRussa is firmly behind moving Ryan, or it wouldn’t be talked about in my opinion.
In a few of my previous rants, I talked about how I don’t think there’s a chance that Brendan Ryan will be back with the Cardinals in 2011. Last night, Derrick Goold wrote that John Mozeliak said there are two goals left remaining for the Cardinals this offseason. Number one is to add a backup catcher. Number two is to explore a trade for Brendan Ryan. I feel about 90% sure that this is the case, and that the Cardinals are indeed trying to find a trading partner for Ryan. The other 10% of me is now thinking that the Cardinals don’t really want to trade Ryan, but want him to know that he’s not wanted because of some of his actions, hoping the trade talks send a message to him.
Of course, I’m not sure what all of those actions are. All I know is what I’ve seen and heard. What I’ve seen is Chris Carpenter pulling him aside in Cincinnati, ripping into him about something, apparently about Ryan grabbing the wrong glove to start the inning and delaying Carpenters start. I’ve seen Albert Pujols give Ryan some stares that he doesn’t seem to give other players, and maybe that’s all about nothing and the camera angles are making it look that way. It seems Al Hrabosky has the inside scoop on Ryan and is more critical of him than others at times. I’ve also read a lot of speculation about Ryan being too goofy, not serious enough, being late to meetings, and pouting after bad at bats.
If the Carpenter incident was really about a glove, it’s understandable. But didn’t it seem that there was something more to that than a glove. I guess I would compare it to an adult being upset with their kid(s) or a dog. By that I mean you tell them over and over about something, and they push the limit. You finally have to come down on them in a way that really grabs their attention. My dog Cain pushes my buttons a lot, trying to eat the cat food, lingering about outside because he wants to sniff the air even though he knows he’s only outside to do a #1 or a #2. I love him to death, but he know’s my extremely serious voice, and when hearing it, he knows it’s time to behave for a couple of hours. Maybe that’s a terrible comparison, but that’s the only comparison I can come up with. That’s my opinion anyway.
If the Cardinals are really trying to trade Ryan, it would seem that they are only weakening his trade value by stating they want to trade him. I hope they don’t end up dumping Ryan for a bag of baseballs. Maybe by putting his name out there, it sends a message to him of some sort, and he straightens up the things most of us don’t know about. All I really know is that Ryan seems to bring a lot of energy, is a great defensive shortstop when using UZR (the best in baseball), had wrist surgery in February of 2010, worked with Mark McGwire in the offseason, and had a terrible year at the plate. He looked lost and overmatched, and his lack of power is only amplified because of the lack of power throughout the Cardinals lineup, except for Pujols, Holliday and Rasmus. I’m not sure if Ryan would ever hit .292 again like he did in 2009, but I’m not sure his .223 average from 2010 is what he is either.
I think if the Cardinals had made the playoffs, there’s probably no talk of Brendan being traded. If David Freese would have not been injured and kept up his pace, as well as Brad Penny, we might have made the playoffs. Felipe Lopez was exposed. There are a lot of other reasons. Ryan might end up being nothing more than a utility player for another team, but I would have to think some team is going to try to give him a chance to rebound as a starter. He’s cost controlled. Maybe Ryan Theriot and Skip Schumaker get it done, maybe not. I like the Berkman and Westbrook moves a lot. I just hope the Cards can keep Brendan Ryan for at least a late inning sub defensively, and see if the wrist injury had something to do with his awful offensive stats from 2010. My last point is that if Berkman comes back from his knee surgery that hampered him in 2010 and is again a monster offensively, couldn’t the Cardinals hide Ryan in the lineup a little better?
So I now wonder if the only way to get through to Brendan Ryan is to have his name thrown around. This is probably a long shot, and he probably will be traded, but you have to wonder.