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Ankiel: can he make the team? (part II)

February 21, 2007

Ank on the rebound 

ahh, writing about slick rick, ank, or whatever you want to call him has become a traditional rite of spring training.

last season, I wrote something about ank similar to what I’m about to write but this time it is modified.

yesterday on the P.D.’s website, stltoday.com, joe strauss writes about the changes in ankiel’s life on and off the field.

last season, I seriously thought that rick had a really good shot at making the team.

surprisingly, I think he has a shot to make the team out of s.t. this season also. I don’t know why I think that (stupidity, ignorance, instincts, etc.).

the guy is a grade-A athlete and he has recieved compliments from tony that he does not dish out very often. tony said that rick “can do what ever he sets his mind to” because he is a “phenomenal athlete”. I read those things in papers and heard them being spoken.

this means there has to be something to this, something the public (me included) is not seeing about rick. the guy is special, real special.

it seems like he has been with the cards forever, but ankiel is only 27. thats a little old for a prospect, but if you ask me, he is probably one of the best lefthanded hitting outfield prospects in the cards system (closest to the majors that is).

the bench is pretty full this season unlike years past. lets assume that tony will be flying north with an 11-man pitching staff.

that leaves  bench spots and i believe they are already filled up; bennett, spezio, miles, taguchi, wilson and johnny load.

personally,  I don’t see why the cards need both taguchi and wilson on the team. someone has got to go. both are basically the same player with a couple of exceptions: a) taguchi might be a little better defensively b) preston has a lot more power c) preston strikes out a lot more than So. all other qualities are the same in both players, imo.

tony does not see it that way though. so, the only way rick can make the team is to outhit and outplay j-rod which can be done. I think ankiel is a better all around player anyway. first of all, he is not a liability defensively and he has a cannon for an arm (being a former pitcher and all). also, i think he has more uside/potential and he is a couple of years younger. lastly, I believe he has more pop in his bat.

the final decision is tony’s though and john will be picked over ank. no matter, ank will probably go down to triple-A. hopefully he can hit there and get a september callup.

did I mention that ank got married on december 31st, 2006 (according to strauss’s article). his bride’s name is lory bailey, a former miami dolphins cheerleader. Congrats!

finally, slick rick finally has a clean bill of health, something he has not had in a couple of seasons. hopefully this will help him show the manager what he’s got. good luck to you rick and keep at it!

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