Juan Encarnacion-Zielanek-Gabaja-Biamila

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While the masses spent the week shopping for thoughtful gifts for family and friends, the good folks in the Cardinals front office were investing millions of dollars into thoughtless decision making for a loving fanbase.

Redbird Nation...whether you like it or not...welcome your new (very expensive) right fielder, Juan Encarnacion.

The decision not to pay AJ Burnett $11M/season is all starting to make sense. Why not take a pass on a young fireballer (with a spotty track record) and instead opt to spend the money on a failed-closer-turned-setup man (with a spotty track record), a two-time jailbird boozehound who thinks a Treadmill is a new type of Martini drink (and sports an unfathomable track record), and a right fielder who has yet to discover the meaning of the words "defense" or "take pitch" (with a useless track record).

Having surfed the Cardsbloggosphere there is really not much I can say on the subject that hasn't already been said. For the Kool-Aid fans out there, the Cards still look like a playoff team with the core players still on board...but the supporting staff that has been assembled around them looks like a pretty significant downgrade.

The worst part is...we gave this guy 3 years! Here is my favorite line from his scouting report, "He no longer is considered a middle-of-the-order hitter." Really?!?! Was he ever considered that to begin with?!?! A season-best 19 HR guy does not a heart of the order hitter make! Whomsoever in their right mind would look at his numbers and begin to suggest he ever belonged in the heart of any batting order?!?!

If Encarnacion digs in to the batter's box anywhere before 6th in the lineup for the '06 Cardinals it will be criminal! (sighs) Ah well...welcome on board guy!

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