Check out the highlights from Rick Hummel’s Cardinals chat with readers. The full transcript of the chat can be found here.
Q: Congratulations and thank you for all you have done for us the fans with these informative chats. Unlike today, I was also on Joe Strauss's final chat too, although none of us knew it was to be his last time with us. In that regard, what is your best memory of JS?
A: I walked into the West Palm Beach Kennel Club with Joe one Saturday night and we were going to watch some live racing and then some simulcasts from around the country. He looked up at one of the screens carrying trotters from Yonkers, N.Y. He surveys the field and picks a winner. Of course, that trotter won. How did he know? Trotters? We didn't even have a program yet.
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Pretty darned good reporter and writer, too.
Q: It seems like free agent pitchers, especially left handed pitchers, come up injured in their first year after they sign with the Cardinals. I was wondering what medical process the Cardinals do on free agent signings? Whatever it is may need to change. Your thoughts?
A: The Cardinals, presumably, have done the same due diligence as all other teams. But from Brett Cecil on down, their record of signing free-agent pitchers, left or right, hasn't been very good. This is one of the reasons when they have shied away from that market recently. Their trades for pitchers, most recently Montgomery and Quintana, have worked out much better.
Q: Thank you so much for your decades of providing us with great information and analysis! Enjoy your semi-retirement. It is good to know you are not disappearing from the Post entirely!
What do you think is the lesson to be learned from Daniel Guerrero's listing on Friday of expensive free-agents signed by the Cardinals in recent years? Is it that spending lots of money on free agents is no guarantee of success, or is it that this front office has done a terrible job in selecting and signing free agents?
And is this list, which is almost completely one of failures and disappointments, common among all 30 teams, or is it especially bad for the Cardinals?
A: Thank you very much, I think one of the facets of Daniel's story was to illustrate how unfortunate some of the Cardinals' forays into free agency have been. In that arena, the Cardinals have been less successful than some of their opponents, notably on the pitching side. They still, however, know they have to continue to explore that market. Just more responsibly.
Q: Rick, wish you the best in retirement. You’re going to be missed. One question: what’s the story with the hat? With it you should be cruising in a MG roadster to all the parks in ST.
A: My wife, Melissa, was tired of seeing me wearing baseball-type caps and and has kept me supplied me with a succession of newsboy-type caps. Thanks but I'll still be around.
Q: When it comes to your career regarding quick wit / sense of humor, who comes to mind - takes the cake?
A: Adam Wainwright and Oliver Marmol come to mind as quick quipsters. From years past, Joe Torre, Bob Forsch, Andy Van Slyke, George Hendrick come to mind.
Q: Hey Rick, I’m a bit younger but have appreciated your writing for as long as I’ve had a chance to read it. I was wondering if you had a favorite team over the years to cover? My favorite team was the 2004 squad. I dream of an offense like that again someday! Best wishes going forward and thanks for everything!
A: My favorite team probably was the 1985 team which had three pitchers win a total of 60 games in Andujar, Tudor and Cox and a fleet of base stealers to go with one slugger, Jack Clark. Whitey Herzog's clubs played the game differently than any other team.
Best wishes to you, too, and thanks.
Q: Commish, Thanks so much for your years of service to the Cardinal fans. I am a much more informed fan because of it. Derrick often shares his favorite books. Have you had any books that you have either enjoyed or have made a difference in how you watch the game?
A: Derrick may be a more avid reader at this stage than I. I learned most how to watch a game by covering managers like Red, Whitey, Joe and Tony. If you couldn't learn anything from them, then you weren't paying attention.
Q: Thanks Commish! It was a pleasure reading your articles and getting far more insight into the game tactics and team strategy. Far too many writers get into the “sign player x now so we can win this year and next year!” (Forgetting that player x may want an 8 year contract for two or three good years of play). You’ve never fallen into that trap and have given us exceptional analyses on the decisions that have to be made. Enjoy semi-retirement, but not so much you forget to come back and write occasionally!
A: I will not forget. nor ever forget, the people that I hope to continue to inform and entertain.
The Best Podcast in the Minors, the weekly show produced for StlPinchHits.com, invited Post-Dispatch baseball writer Derrick Goold to talk about the minors, review the season, and discuss development within the Cardinals system. In other words: Crossover podcast!