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MVN has a great article about Walt Jocketty, Cardinals free-agents, and what type of team Jocketty would like to see next season.

It’s that time of the year once again.

The time when players file for free agency, the time when rosters turn over at a 25-50% clip.

The time of the year when the General Managers of major league baseball teams earn their money.

Due to the high volume of player movement that now occurs on an annual basis, the moves the GMs make,or don’t make, during the offseason play a HUGE role in where their teams finish the next year.

Fortunately for the Cardinals and their fans, St. Louis has one of the best (and maybe THE best) in Walt Jocketty.

Oh, the media spills a lot of ink and blows a lot of smoke about Billy Beane, Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, etc. but it’s Jocketty’s Cardinals who have led Major League Baseball in wins in each of the last two seasons, winning 105 games in 2004 and racking up 100 wins again this year.

Appropriately, Jocketty has been named MLB’s Executive of the Year twice in the past four years.

Still, yesterday’s news is just that and nothing more and it’s time for Jocketty to work his offseason magic once again if he wants to keep his Redbirds on their lofty perch.

It might be a little tougher to do this time. The Cardinals have even more free agents this season (11) than they did last year and many of them won’t be returning.

The core of the National League’s best team returns though led by superstar first baseman Albert Pujols, third baseman Scott Rolen, centerfielder Jim Edmonds, catcher Yadier Molina, shortstop David Eckstein, starting pitching aces Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder, talented young pitcher Brad Thompson, and closer Jason Isringhausen.

Top prospect Anthony Reyes (who pitched brilliantly in his major league debut – a late season start and win against Milwaukee) is set to join the Cards’ 2006 starting rotation.

That’s 10 (just 40%) roster spots filled for next year’s Cardinals. And they’re filled by VERY talented players.

The kind of players that have all those pennants flying in the Cards’ home park.

As to who will be joining those 10 on next year’s 25 man roster, all bets are off.

Jocketty has said he would like to add speed and power to the team and have a younger roster next season. That may not be good news for free agents Reggie Sanders and Mark Grudzielanek who aren’t exactly spring chickens any more.

And Matt Morris has likely pitched his last game for the Redbirds. One of the winningest pitchers in baseball with 80 wins over the last five seasons, Morris will probably be offered more on the free agent market than the Cardinals will offer.

Reliever Ray King has asked to be traded and he will be. Another reliever, free agent Julian Tavarez, probably
won’t be retained either.

With most (if not all) of these players on their way out of St. Louis, Jocketty has a great deal of payroll flexibility as he prepares to fill in the roster via trades and free agent signings.

It’s going to be a VERY interesting offseason Cards’ fans.

Jocketty is getting ready to re-shuffle his Cards once again.

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If there is one thing in the world that bugs me more than pop-up ads, annoying sounds in ads, and installers, it is internet hype.  Hype is what the internet is about this year, from myspace and the facebook to AJAX and now Flock, based on the opensource Firefox.  Flock is part of the Web 2.0 hype, in which everyone is socially connected through everything on the internet, with such overrated tools like Flickr and del.icio.us.  I am trying out the built in blogging function in the browser. I really don’t see what’s so great about the hype surrounding Flock.  If I want people to see my bookmarks, they can go to my site.  If I want people to view my photos, I will not direct them to the hyped Flickr, which in my opinion lowers the quality of the images, but instead I will direct them to my gallery that uses the excellent beta version of Plogger.  Yes kids, the word of the day is hype, and that is exactly what Flock and everything Web 2.0 is. The blogging utility isn’t even that great, with no way to assign a post to a specific category or multiple categories. It does let you add technorati tags, but that is not shocking, as Technorati is a Web 2.0 service. While Flock uses Web 2.0 apps heavily, it lacks some common sense Web 1.0 functionality.

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Wow, that’s all I can really say. This is just sad.

Thirteen-year-old twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede have one album out, another on the way, a music video, and lots of fans.

They may remind you another famous pair of singers, the Olsen Twins, and the girls say they like that. But unlike the Olsens, who built a media empire on their fun-loving, squeaky-clean image, Lamb and Lynx are cultivating a much darker personna. They are white nationalists and use their talents to preach a message of hate.

Cardinals swept the Padres in the first round of the playoffs last night. It was a nail biter until the very end, as it has been with the Cardinals all season long it seems. I cannot wait for Wednesday. My dad and I have tickets to the game at Busch Stadium Wednesday night. This will be the first game I have been to all season. I usually try to go to a few games, but I did not have time this summer. There is no better time to go than during the playoffs. I’m really looking forward to it. Let’s hope they get to the World Series again, and this time win. I also hope the Yankees lose tonight and get eliminated from further post season play.

Kevin Smith’s upcoming sequel to Clerks, tentatively titled The Passion of the Clerks, now has its own site. The Clerks 2 site is of course powered by WordPress. WP keeps on growing. Check the site out for news about Clerks, including video journals, production notes, and cast news. The movie, if anything like the original Clerks, should be good. I have not been let down by a Kevin Smith movie yet.