NL Notes: Cardinals, Dodgers, Puig, Asche, Franco

The most meaningful lesson to be learned from this postseason is to stop giving mega-contracts to first basemen, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Six first basemen are earning at least $22MM (Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Mark Teixeira, and Joey Votto). Sherman believes the jury is still out on the deals given to Gonzalez and Votto, but believes the other four are disasters which, given the opportunity to amnesty Fielder, Howard, Pujols, and Teixeira for nothing in return, each team would do so just to be free of the contractual albatross. But, Sherman posits the true test of whether the era of first basemen receiving mega-contracts is over will be two offseasons from now when Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis are scheduled to become free agents.

  • Speaking of Pujols,'s Scott Miller details how the Cardinals were able to overcome his loss and the retirement of Tony LaRussa to return to the World Series in just two years.
  • Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains the franchise's method as "The Cardinal Way," which he defines as an organizational model of success (scouting, drafting, and developing players and shaping their personalities to fit into a winning environment) and an attitude (trust, subjugating ego, working together, and always pulling in the same direction).
  • The Dodgers should model their organizational plan after the Cardinals and have already begun to do so, according to ESPNLos's Mark Saxon. The difference between the two clubs in the NLCS was the Cardinals' power arms, Saxon asserts, and most of them were drafted out of college. He points out 21 of the Dodgers' 40 selections in the last draft were pitchers and 31 of the 40 picks came out of colleges. 
  • Yasiel Puig is too important to the Dodgers' future to have his mistakes excused because of his enormous talent and enthusiasm, opines Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Phillies have a satisfying problem with Cody Asche and Maikel Franco, two young and homegrown talents, competing for the third base job, writes the Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb.

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