Cardinals Re-Sign Skip Schumaker; Local Columnist Sighs Deeply and Shakes Head

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I have a piece of advice for anyone out there who has an athletic child. If your child has the choice of playing football or baseball, you push him toward baseball. Given the choice between basketball and baseball, choose baseball. Soccer or baseball? Always baseball. Oh, you say he could skate before he could properly walk and already has a 105 mph slapshot at six years old? You need to put a stop to that shit right now and give the kid a bat. 

Why should you push an athletic child toward baseball, regardless of whatever proclivities or skills or passions the kid may actually have? Because of Skip Schumaker, that's why. 

Skip Schumaker has been one of the worst players in all of baseball the last two seasons. Over that span he has produced less than half a win in total value. And for those efforts, the St. Louis Cardinals rewarded him with a new two year contract yesterday. 

Football players get killed. Just physically destroyed. Basketball players don't do badly, but the criteria includes eight foot tall and black, limiting the potential pool of players somewhat. Soccer players, well, they're soccer players. And no one wants to see that happen to a kid. Hockey players have to pay for ice at the Motel 6 on road trips. 

But baseball players? Well, they get to be Skip Schumaker. Even when they're terrible. Especially when they're terrible. 


The exact terms of Schumaker's new contract have not been announced just yet, but unless the words, "Up to and including, but not more than, three popsicles from the freezer on game day," are included in the language of the terms, I'm willing to bet it's a significant overpay. 

I just don't understand what possible reason the Cardinals could have for bringing Skip back. His defense at second base is apocalyptically awful. His defense in center field is barely better. His defense in either outfield corner is average, which is to say good enough if he could hit. But, hey! Guess what else Skippy can't do? That's right, kids! He can't hit! He has no power, he isn't fast, he's never met a back-foot breaking ball he didn't want to swing at, and he hits slow rollers to the second baseman literally 106% of the time. 

I suppose he'll be spun to the public as a utility player, thanks to his versatility. Ability to play multiple positions, and all that. And that's technically true, if by play multiple positions you mean, "Is able to walk out to various portions of the field and stand there as ordered by the coaching staff." Otherwise, if you're looking for something resembling quality play, then just keep on driving, nothing to see here. 

Skip Schumaker adds nothing to the Cardinals. And yet here we are, staring down two more seasons of watching him hit grounder after grounder to the right side and dive into first base because it makes him look like he's really, really trying out there. 

With Albert Pujols gone, the Cards' front office needs to be both smart and creative if they're going to find a way to keep the 2012 team from going the way of the 2007 team, the last defending champion we've had here in St. Louis. But instead of creative, we get one of the worst players in all of baseball coming back on a two-year deal. The Cards could really use Carlos Beltran's bat in the outfield, and they certainly have a little extra cash to spend; instead we get our fifth outfielder spot locked up good and early, so as not to miss out later when the rush on replacement-level players starts. 

So parents of the world, please don't let your babies grow up to be footballers. Raise them up to play baseball. Because someday, somewhere, some foolish GM with a pile of money and no idea what the R in WAR stands for just might pay your little one to provide, well, nothing. 

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12 comments
GDM
GDM

dude i'm sorry all the commenter's are morans. this is what i get for reading them. 

anyway Skippy does bring something to the Cardinals. he brings sexy. now that might not be worth the $4 some odd million they are paying him, but it's worth something

handsome jimmy
handsome jimmy

Everyone hear at my office refers to Skippy as 'two-hopper to second'.

Donerite21
Donerite21

Also..not sure if you are writing this on your honest opinion or just trying to make a name for yourself in st louis....epic faillllllllll

Crdnl27
Crdnl27

pretty sad you needed to come up with a story when there wasnt one. picking on his last two years he didnt hit. 300 rather than the three he did. you appear to be nothing more than a statistical "guru"...war is a waste of time and effort to keep track of. you dont know how many wins he is worth with his clubhouse presense. i really hope your not trying to amount to anything in the sports writers world

3dender
3dender

Your writing is funny but way off base.  Skip is not terrible defensively at any position he played.  He was actually pretty average at 2B last year.  And why don't you ask his teammates how worthless they think he is.  He signed for 3M over 2 years, taking a pay DECREASE from his last contract to stay with StL.  That is unheard of in baseball and speaks volumes to his stand-up character.  He is humble and knows exactly what he is and what he contributes to a team.  His teammates and coaches know too.  Why do you have such trouble recognizing it?

Ptolan7
Ptolan7

So apparently batting .300 for 3 years in a row and hitting .283, including .299 after the All-star break isn't good enough.  He is a good 2 hole or 8 hole hitter, whose job is to get on base.  I'm pretty sure batting right around .300 is getting on base, considering all of your better hitters aren't hitting that high.  You're looking at a lot batting .280.  

Laura
Laura

Dear Aaron- your opinion of Skip sucks! Who made the transition to 2nd when he had not played the position in his life. He did it for the team because he was asked to do so. Everyone is entitled to an opinion--I just disagree with yours.

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

Nice to see the Pujols Dividend is being spent as wisely as the Peace Dividend.

Alice
Alice

to GDM:  hey DUDE!  where did you learn to spell MORAN?  You must be one of them.....RETARD!!!

yosh
yosh

i think most of these people are the self-proclaimed "best fans in baseball".  i implore you people to please start visiting vivaelbirdos.com.  please, for your own baseball knowledge, start reading this everyday.  you're embarrassing yourselves.  seriously.  skip seems like a nice enough guy, but you could throw a tennis ball in a AAA stadium and hit 17 guys that could produce what jared has.  for 1/6th the value.  and i'm not kidding.  

st. louisans love their "scrappers".

Rick
Rick

I totally agree with 3dender.  What a stupid idiotic article this writer just wrote.  You really tick me off!!!  Your head is definitely in the clouds.  My advice for you would be to learn to face reality.  Skip Schumaker is the type of player the Cardinal players, coaches, and management truly want and desire to have on their ball club.  He's a positional player who can fill many needed roles, and I would add rather adequately if not superbly at times.  You're not going to find many ball players like him.  And besides having strong personal character, guts, and determination, he always works hard and goes about his business on and off the field the right way.  He's a TEAM player.  Did you HEAR that!!!  Evidently, that's one of several things this writer does not understand.  Skip did make quite a bit of improvement in his game this past season, and I for one am happy that he's staying.  Thank God for that greedy and selfish 1st Baseman who decided to leave to go play for the Angels..... The Cardinals front office can now use the money to find other good players who will help the team defend their Championship title next season and continue to compete in order to have the opportunity to get to the Fall Classic as many times as possible for years to come....   

GDM
GDM

kudos to him for doing it, but that still doesn't make up for the fact other than his arm, he sucks at second

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