Earlier this week it was my turn to pose a question to the UCB group. I went with, “If you could go back and change one event in Cards history what would it be? It could be a trade, FA signing or anything else you could think of.” The conversation went as follows:
Tom Knuppel – I would sign/keep Steve Carlton.
Dennis Lawson - The Dan Haren trade in the winter of 2004 never would’ve happened. The Cardinals sent Dan Haren, Daric Barton, and Kiko Calero to the A’s for Mark Mulder. Since the trade, Haren has won 85 games, and Mulder won 22 before taking up golf full time. To add insult to injury, Haren is signed through 2012 with a 4yr/$44.75M deal which is eerily similar to the Lohse contract. Oh, what could have been.
Jacqueline Conrad - Gotta agree. This is a no brainer. Keep Steve Carlton!
Mark Tomasik - The Don Denkinger call in ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.
Bill Ivie - What happens if we change the Denkinger call and we still lose the game? Was it really that big of a turning point?
I would have to say that I would want to go back and change the Mark Mulder deal. That could have gone better for the Birds.
Jacqueline Conrad - Ohhhh! Good one! If we can change the space-time continuum, I’m changing my answer! The Don Denkinger call in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. hahahaha
Dustin McClure - I would also love to reverse the Haren/Barton/Calero for Mulder trade. If I could change one more thing I would go back to 2004 and somehow halt the production of the movie “Fever Pitch.”
Pip - Don’t trade Keith Hernandez on June 15, 1983.
The team captain went on to produce 26.5 wins Above Replacement, garner six Gold Gloves and win a World Championship with the Mets.
In that same period (1983-89), the Cardinals went through no fewer than eight first basemen, including Jack Clark, Pedro Guerrero and Bob Horner, who together produced only 18.4 WAR. Ironically, the Cardinals spent about as much on Hernandez’s replacements as he earned with the Mets.
The players that the Cardinals got in exchange, Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey, produced 0.1 and -0.3 WAR, respectively, for the Cardinals.
It looks like the Mulder trade ruled the day, but all of the given answers were great. A couple other ones that popped in my head, telling Mike Matheny to not open the hunting knife (who knows if Ank still explodes, but hey I can always dream right?). How about drafting Chase Utley in 2000 instead of Shaun Boyd… just a couple. Thanks to all that participated.