CARDINALS 2015 Offseason Rumors/News

Discussion in 'CARDINALS PAGE' started by CardsShark, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    Pitching prevails in Cards' century-mark '15

    [​IMG]
    Cardinals' top moments 4:26
    MLB.com takes a look back at the Cardinals' top moments of 2015, highlighted by winning a third straight division title
    By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com | @LangoschMLB | October 19th, 2015
    ST. LOUIS -- How the Cardinals will be judged for their 2015 performance will largely depend upon what part of the season is weighted more heavily.

    This was a club that won 100 games -- becoming the first team in the Majors to do so since the 2011 Phillies won 102 -- en route to capturing a third straight National League Central title. And to do so without so many key contributors made the achievement especially notable.

    Ace Adam Wainwright, three-hole hitter Matt Holliday, cleanup Matt Adams, setup man Jordan Walden and veteran reliever Matt Belisle each missed significant chunks of the season. Injuries to Yadier Molina, Carlos Martinez, Randal Grichuk, Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn and Jon Jay only added to the difficulty of holding off the Pirates and Cubs, whose win totals of 98 and 97, respectively, made the NL Central baseball's toughest division.

    But in a city where success is measured by championships, the Cardinals' early postseason exit still stings. The Cardinals won just one game in October as they were bumped from the playoffs by, of all clubs, their archrivals in the NL Division Series -- the Cubs. The push that had gotten the Cardinals to the brink of their fifth straight NL Championship Series appearance left them on empty by the time the postseason started.

    "To me, the toughest part about this season ending as quickly as it has is the fact that I believe we had a team that knew how to win," manager Mike Matheny said two days after the Cardinals' season ended at Wrigley Field. "As you look around that clubhouse at the end of the season, you see grown men with tears. You see grown men with that same disappointment that is felt all over this community right now, because we felt we had what we needed to go and beat every other team that was left out there."

    As the organization shifts its attention from what it was to what it hopes it'll be in 2016, here is one last look at all that transpired since camp opened in February.

    Record: 100-63, first place, NL Central

    Defining moment: It had to be on Sept. 28, the opening date for a three-game series against a Pirates team that trailed St. Louis by just three games in the division. And it became a game that perhaps best showed the resiliency that defined the Cardinals over the six-month regular season.

    They kept the Pirates scoreless and 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, despite the Bucs loading the bases in four different innings. And then, after watching rookie outfielder Stephen Piscotty carted off the field following a violent collision with Peter Bourjos, the club knocked All-Star closer Mark Melancon around for three ninth-inning runs to seal the win. Two days later, the Cardinals celebrated a division title.

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    Reynolds' two-run homer
    9/28/15: Mark Reynolds pinch-hits in the 9th and blasts a two-run homer to center field, extending the Cardinals' lead to 3-0
    What went right: The club was anchored by its pitching staff, which allowed fewer runs (525) than any team since the 1969 Orioles. The Cardinals allowed two or fewer runs in 80 games and did this, too, despite minimal contributions from their ace, Wainwright.

    Trevor Rosenthal established a franchise record with 48 saves, while his primary setup man, Kevin Siegrist, enjoyed a bounceback season. Before an October slip, Siegrist became the third Cards lefty to make at least 81 appearances in a season and set a Cards left-handed reliever record with 90 strikeouts.

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    Rosenthal earns record 48th save
    9/28/15: Trevor Rosenthal gets Aramis Ramirez to line out to first to set the Cardinals' single-season record for saves with 48
    Matt Carpenter, seeking to showcase his power, hit more home runs this season (28) than he had in previous four combined (25), all while seeing little dip in his on-base percentage. Carpenter led the team in several offensive categories.

    After making just 16 starts over the previous two seasons, Jaime Garcia returned from his third arm injury and posted a 2.43 ERA over 20 starts. He was one of several standout starting pitchers, with Carlos Martinez also shining in his first full season as a starter and John Lackey emerging as the rotation's most consistent hurler. He did not allow more than three earned runs or pitch fewer than six innings any home start he made.

    As a first-year Cardinal, Jason Heyward gave the team exactly what it hoped he would. He played a Gold Glove-worthy right field, showcased himself as the team's best baserunner and was arguably the team's most consistent hitter over six months.

    The contributions from an array of rookies were substantial, too. From Piscotty to Grichuk, Tommy Pham to Greg Garcia, Mitch Harris to Miguel Socolovich, the Cardinals were buoyed by the production from their youngsters all year.

    What went wrong: All those injuries that the Cardinals pushed past with remarkable resiliency during the regular season caught up with them in the playoffs. The team's pitching depth grew thin, and the offense struck out 39 times in three straight NLDS losses to the Cubs.

    The Cardinals' non-waiver Trade Deadline activity fortified a few areas, but the acquisitions did not, collectively, provide a substantial boost. Steve Cishek was left off the playoff roster. Jonathan Broxton became a late-inning option but showed shaky command at times. Brandon Moss delivered a few key hits, but not consistently.

    Randy Choate, finishing out the final season of his three-year contract, struggled in his lefty specialist role. He made 20 appearances in which he didn't retire a batter, setting a Major League record.

    After having offseason wrist surgery and signing a two-year extension with the club, Jay fell flat offensively in 2015. He lost his starting job in center field, twice went on the disabled list and hit just .210/.306/.257 over 79 games.

    Biggest surprise: Garcia's ability to (mostly) stay on the field. The Cardinals came to spring training with minimal expectations for Garcia, who had been riddled with various injuries since 2011. His chances of contributing meaningful innings only seemed to decrease when he couldn't get through camp healthy. But Garcia did return, made 20 starts, and, by the end of the season, had become one of the team's most reliable pitchers.

    Hitter of the year: Carpenter. His profile changed this year with a surge in power and a spike in strikeouts, but he did it all without sacrificing many OBP points. Even though he dealt with a bout of extreme fatigue and a summer slump, Carpenter's offensive numbers were there in the end. He led the NL in doubles (44) and the team in home runs (28), runs (101), RBIs (84) and multi-hit games (51).

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    Carpenter's leadoff homer
    10/10/15: Matt Carpenter leads off the game for the Cardinals with a homer to center field
    Pitcher of the year: While several starting pitchers could vie for this spot, let's give it to Rosenthal, who was sensational in his second full season as a closer. He became just the seventh player in Major League history to post consecutive 45-save seasons and had streaks of 21- and 18-consecutive save opportunities converted. He blew just three saves and ranked eighth among NL relievers with a 2.13 ERA.

    Rookie of the year: By a nose, this will go to Piscotty over Grichuk, though both had terrific rookie seasons. But Piscotty showed himself as more consistent and provided an immediate impact after ascending to the Majors on July 21. He hit safely in 47 of 63 regular-season games played and then became the second rookie in Major League history to hit three home runs in his first four career postseason games.

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    Piscotty's two-run homer
    10/13/15: Stephen Piscotty hits a two-run homer to center field, giving the Cardinals a quick two-run cushion in the 1st inning
    Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
     
  2. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    I for one am super proud of this team... The goal is to win the WS but this club had to deal with a number of major injuries all season long. Also not to mention we didn't have a 100% core in the playoffs. I don't like losing to the Cubs but they caught us at the right time. They beat us because we were out of gas and you could just see it on the players faces.

    They however never gave up and they pushed hard.. I'm not going to list all the injuries but it's time to move on from this season and look to see what the Cards are going to do to get better.

    Number 1 they have to figure if they are going to bring back Heyward.. I think they should and have a opt out in there around the 4th year. The starting pitching should be strong and having a full work load on a Wacha and Martinez should help with there lack of energy at the end.

    The pen needs to be reworked but a over haul. Rosenthal,Seigrist,Maness are sure to be here along it Walden... They have in house options but could use someone else..

    The offense needs to be upgraded and I don't care how they do it... Get some bench guys worth something so when someone needs a break we can give those guys rest when needed.

    Overall great season Cardinals
     
  3. CardsShark

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    Molina expected back for spring after thumb surgery
    Seven-time All-Star catcher injured making tag vs. Cubs on Sept. 20

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    Molina exits with injury 0:52
    9/20/15: Yadier Molina injures his thumb on a sacrifice-fly attempt and then later is pulled for a pinch-hitter
    By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com | @LangoschMLB |
    ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who played three games of the postseason with a compromised left thumb, underwent surgery on Thursday afternoon to repair torn ligaments in that thumb.

    Molina will follow the procedure with 8-12 weeks of no baseball activity, general manager John Mozeliak said, but is expected to be ready for the start of Spring Training in February 2016.

    "Had we not been a playoff team, we maybe would have dealt with it three weeks ago," Mozeliak said of Molina's need for surgery. "But it shows you how tough he is and how willing he was to help us."

    Molina, a seven-time All-Star, injured his thumb while making a swipe tag in a Sept. 20 game against the Cubs. He sat out the rest of the regular season before returning to the field for the National League Division Series against the Cubs with that thumb in a splint. He started and finished the first two games of the series before exiting for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning of Game 3. Molina, who went 1-for-8 in the NLDS, did not return to the field in Game 4.

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    Molina shaken up on swing
    10/12/15: Yadier Molina swings through a pitch and is shaken up on the play, leaving later in the game
    He said afterward that he "tried everything he could" to get himself ready to play, but ultimately had no strength left to grip a bat or squeeze his catcher's mitt closed.

    Speaking at his annual end-of-season press conference, Mozeliak also provided the following injury updates:

    Matt Belisle, who will become a free agent after the World Series, is having his right elbow scoped on Monday. Doctors expect it to be a relatively routine procedure, during which loose bone chips will be removed. Belisle went on the disabled list with an elbow injury in late June and then made just four appearances the rest of the way. He was left off the team's NLDS roster.

    Carlos Martinez will spend the majority of the offseason rehabbing at the Cardinals' Florida facility in Jupiter. Martinez will continue to rest his ailing right shoulder and engage in therapy with the team's rehab staff. Martinez was shut down in late September after shoulder tightness forced him to leave his Sept. 25 start after six pitches.

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    Martinez's strong performance
    9/20/15: Carlos Martinez surrenders two runs on four hits while striking out six and walking three over 6 2/3 innings of strong work
    Jordan Walden, who went on the DL on April 30 and then missed the rest of the season due to right biceps inflammation, will spend his winter rehabbing in Texas. The Cardinals are optimistic that he'll be at full health come the start of Spring Training.

    Randal Grichuk, Matt Holliday and Jon Jay, all of whom dealt with injuries this season, do not expect to have any changes made to their normal offseason workout plans.
     
  4. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    I am sure the Cardinal Fans and Players are happy the season is over in one major way... These players have the chances to get heathy for a change. It would be nice for one year to have all our players and not have this injury bug bite us like it has been every single year. Either thou if you put together a great bench we might be able to.
     
  5. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    cards and dodgers both win their divisions
    and neither can make it out of the LDS
    pretty pathetic...
     
  6. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    You are right bro. On the other hand they both had key injuries to main players. There is no excuse they should have both won those series. The one thing I can look at is at least we were both in the playoffs..
     
  7. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    that's routine for you guys
    plus the cards go to/win a WS periodically
    we haven't even been there since reagan was president and gas was .91 cents a gallon
     
  8. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    I see where you are coming from but the Dodgers will make it. I don't know if the new front office will spend stupid like the previous GM did. They have young players but they really need to get away from spending wildly. The perfect mixture is what they need.
     
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  9. CardsShark

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    Cards likely to shake up roster for '16 season
    'There is room for improvement,' Mozeliak says regarding club's offseason focus
    • Email
    By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com | @LangoschMLB | 2:29 PM ET
    ST. LOUIS -- Despite winning 100 games and a third straight National League Central title while navigating through a series of debilitating injuries, the Cardinals appear poised for a roster shakeup this offseason. The club needs to address its offensive deficiencies of the past two seasons, as well as fortify its depth and retool the bullpen.

    General manager John Mozeliak, speaking two days after the team's season abruptly ended in Chicago, acknowledged that there "is a lot of work to be done" as he looks ahead to the next three months.

    Pitching prevails in Cards' century-mark '15

    "It's a good team, but we didn't reach where we wanted to," Mozeliak said. "So that means there is room for improvement. That's what we'll focus on."

    Mozeliak intended to reach out to the Cardinals' impending free agents to gauge any potential mutual interest in a 2016 return. That's most notable with Jason Heyward, whom the Cardinals hope to retain. Soon, too, the club will have to make final decisions about whether to exercise options on pitchers Jaime Garcia and Jonathan Broxton.

    The Cardinals will also develop a broader offseason strategy over these next two weeks before the free-agent market opens. That will happen five days after the end of the World Series.

    The organization has been quick to strike the past two offseasons, completing most of its big moves before the Thanksgiving holiday. The Cards may not have that luxury this year with the late end to the World Series and the possibility that Heyward's free agency drags on for some time.

    "Like all offseasons, this year will have its challenges," Mozeliak said. "But it'll also have its opportunities. I'm looking forward to exploring those and to try to get a better understanding of what those look like."

    Here is a look at where the Cardinals stand entering the Hot Stove season:

    Arbitration-eligible: 1B Matt Adams, CF Peter Bourjos, RHP Steve Cishek, C Tony Cruz, RHP Seth Maness (Super Two eligibility), OF/1B Brandon Moss and RHP Trevor Rosenthal

    Free agents: RHP Matt Belisle, LHP Randy Choate, RHP John Lackey, RHP Carlos Villanueva, 1B Mark Reynolds and RF Heyward

    Options to consider: RHP Broxton and LHP Garcia

    Rotation: Although Lackey will become a free agent, the Cardinals retain a wealth of starting depth. Adam Wainwright will return as the team's ace, and the Cardinals have right-handers Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Lance Lynn lining up behind him. The Cards hold a reasonable $11.5 million dollar option on Garcia, who posted a 2.43 ERA in 20 starts. The question is whether there are lingering concerns about durability or lackluster October performances. The Cardinals have depth behind these established Major League options, too. Lefties Marco Gonzales, Tim Cooney and Tyler Lyons have all shown flashes of promise at the big league level. And keep your eye on top pitching prospect Alex Reyes, who could make a push to join the Major League staff sometime next year.

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    Matheny on Wainwright's comeback
    10/13/15: Cardinals manager Mike Matheny discusses the comeback for Adam Wainwright and what it meant for the team
    Bullpen: Expect there to be some shakeup in the bullpen, which could lose as many as five relievers to free agency if Cishek is non-tendered (likely) and Broxton's option is declined (very likely). The Cards may target Villanueva again, as he provided valuable innings as a long reliever. The club does not expect to replace Choate with another lefty specialist, though it does need to add depth to the left side to take some of the onus off Kevin Siegrist, who made a Major League-most 81 appearances. Rosenthal returns as closer and Maness as the team's designated fireman. The club is also hopeful that Jordan Walden recovers from a right shoulder injury that cost him the last five months of the 2015 season. Young arms, including Sam Tuivailala, Mitch Harris, Dean Kiekhefer, could find fits, but the Cardinals are going to have to go outside this winter to add to that bunch.

    Catcher: Entering the fourth season of his five-year deal, Yadier Molina will remain the team's starting catcher. But after injury-plagued finishes for Molina in 2014 and '15, the Cards may finally be moved to pull back on his workload. Cruz, who has been Molina's backup for four years, is arbitration eligible for the second time. The Cardinals may make a move to look for another backup option, particularly if they anticipate Molina playing fewer games. The organization saw potential in Minor League catcher Cody Stanley, but he was hit with an 80-game suspension after a second violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and will miss the first two months of the '16 season.

    [​IMG]
    Molina exits with injury
    9/20/15: Yadier Molina injures his thumb on a sacrifice-fly attempt and then later is pulled for a pinch-hitter
    First base: It's not yet clear how the club will fill this position. If the team re-signs Heyward, it's likely that Stephen Piscotty will get a bulk of the first-base playing time. If Piscotty is needed in the outfield, the Cardinals have Adams as an option, though he has yet to overwhelm as an everyday player. Moss, if tendered a contract, could also be a fit here. For a team looking to upgrade offensively, it could also go out and sign an established first baseman, as long as such an acquisition does not keep Piscotty blocked.

    Second base: Kolten Wong returns following his first full season in the Majors. He endured a sharp offensive regression in the second half, something the Cards hope he can avoid next season. One way they'll look to prevent that is by augmenting the team's middle infield depth. Other than Greg Garcia, the Cardinals currently lack sufficient backup options.

    Shortstop: The Cardinals need the same backup help at short. Jhonny Peralta will handle the majority of the reps, but as he showed this year, he will also need more time off. The Cardinals' heavy ask of the 33-year-old, who appeared in 155 games, caused him to wear down over the final two months. Pete Kozma, Peralta's backup this season, is out of options and unlikely to cling to a 40-man roster spot any longer. Garcia's range at short isn't terrific, which is why the Cards intend to look for another external option. Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who has battled injuries the past two seasons, could also be a factor after his strong finish in Triple-A.

    [​IMG]
    Peralta's sliding stop
    10/13/15: Jhonny Peralta makes a sliding stop at short, then gets it over to second for the forceout
    Third base: Unless the Cardinals do some serious shuffling and bump Matt Carpenter to the right side of the infield, he'll return as the team's everyday third baseman. Carpenter had what he described as an odd year, but even with some of the worst stretches of his career, he finished as the team's leader in several offensive categories. Carpenter also hit more homers (28) than he had in his previous four years combined. Look for the Cardinals to add a utility infielder who can provide coverage if anything were to slow Carpenter down next year.

    [​IMG]
    Carpenter's leadoff homer
    10/10/15: Matt Carpenter leads off the game for the Cardinals with a homer to center field
    Outfield: Left fielder Matt Holliday will be in the final guaranteed year of his current contract and back in left field. How the rest of the outfield shakes out will depend largely upon Heyward. The Cardinals have expressed high interest in re-signing the 26-year-old right fielder, though Heyward is certain to get strong interest from several other clubs after another all-around strong season. If he returns, the Cards will likely plug the other outfield spot with some combination of Randal Grichuk and Piscotty. They have control over Jon Jay and Bourjos for another season, though the Cards are likely to part ways with at least one this winter. Tommy Pham is positioned as an attractive fourth outfielder option. If Heyward departs, the Cardinals will look to add another bat.
     
  10. CardsShark

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    The Cards pen will get some serious attention but it is the offense to me that really needs to be upgraded... Piscotty and Grichuk are big members if they hit there ceiling. I'm worried about all the injuries that Randall has had in the past thought. This is my idle fit for the Cardinals when it comes to the outfield. Holliday in left,Grichuk in center and finally Heyward in right. Piscotty could be the floater between first base and the outfield. That would give him plenty of at bats until we know what Adams is all about... If Adams plays great and becomes that 4 hole hitter that we need then when Hollidays contract is up then Piscotty can go in his spot. I like what Pham brings to the table as a 4th outfielder. Jay is stuck with us for right now and as much as I would hate to say in Bourjus is out..

    It all centers around if Heyward is going to come back or not...
     
  11. CardsShark

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    Cards' coaching staff to remain intact for 2016
    [​IMG]
    Mike Matheny will keep the same staff for the first time in his tenure as Cardinals manager. (AP)
    By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com | @LangoschMLB |
    ST. LOUIS -- As expected, the Cardinals will retain all eight members of their coaching staff for the 2016 season. One week after announcing that everyone on manager Mike Matheny's staff would be offered contract extensions, general manager John Mozeliak confirmed that the assignments had been finalized.

    This will be the first time during Matheny's managerial tenure that he has not experienced offseason turnover with his staff. Last fall, he lost bench coach Mike Aldrete to the Athletics. The club has also had regular changes within its assistant hitting coach position, which has been filled by four men since Matheny took over for Tony La Russa after the 2011 season.

    With no changes in order this offseason, David Bell (bench coach), Chris Maloney (first base), Jose Oquendo (third base), Derek Lilliquist (pitching), John Mabry (hitting), Bill Mueller (assistant hitting), Blaise Ilsley (bullpen) and Jamie Pogue (bullpen catcher) maintain their current assignments.
     
  12. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    Glad to see that the hole staff is coming back.. They did nothing wrong to lose there jobs and thank the Lord no one came for them.
     
  13. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    agreed, shit happens sometimes
    and injuries to waino, holliday and yadie certainly didn't help
     
  14. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    Yep, don't forget about Adams,Walden,Beisle and Lance Lynn for a start or two. Then you have to put Grichuk & Martinez on the side to... Let's say it this way the nationals have nothing to cry about.. The Cards were hurt all year long but get healthy way to late to get the timing they needed..
     
  15. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    yeah, and we lost puig/turner/rollins/mccarthy/ryu/grandal
    but we still won our divisions -- like good teams do
     
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  16. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    Yep, for that reason Williams lost his job.. However that isn't the only reason he lost it..
     
  17. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    yeah, and i'm not sure williams is even that bad a manager
    just the wrong guy for that job
     
  18. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    You are right.. I think he has the talent to be a damn good manager but that clubhouse was lost because of the GM. The injuries knocked them to the ground and right when they looked like they were going to turn that corner he brings in PapleDum!! Storen can say whatever he wants but that pissed him the hell off and it did with the rest of the club.
     
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  19. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    agreed
    and while Harper is undeniably a great talent, he's also a pain in the ass prima donna
     
  20. CardsShark

    CardsShark MODERATOR

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    That he is that he is... I don't blame it all on the kid, well because that is what he is after all. There are some things that he is doing better but he has a ways to go with growing up.
     
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