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Adam Kennedy Released by Cards

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St. Louis Cardinals release second baseman Adam Kennedy

Two months after anointing Adam Kennedy their presumptive starting second baseman, the Cardinals put him on the street Monday.

Frustrated in repeated attempts to trade Kennedy, the Cardinals agreed to assume his $4 million salary for this season and opened the position to a raft of relatively inexperienced candidates.

The unexpected move occurred eight days before Cardinals position players report to camp and deleted a 33-year-old veteran from the Cardinals' roster after he batted .280 with 36 RBIs in 115 games last season.

Kennedy asked the club to trade him last August after he lost time to utility player Aaron Miles and veteran Felipe Lopez. However, the club cited Kennedy as its starter after both players left the club late last year.

"He was looking for more certainty," manager Tony La Russa said. "We can't give him that certainty. I thought it would be a disservice for him and a distraction to the competition."

General manager John Mozeliak insisted that the decision was made collectively and not only at La Russa's insistence. But club sources confirmed La Russa pressed for Kennedy's release in December before the club refused to tender the arbitration-eligible Miles a contract.

This is why the Cardinals absolutely must get rid of Tony LaRussa if they're to move forward as an organization. Time and again, LaRussa has created strained relationships with his players -- veterans and rookies alike -- and forced the team to move players out of town, sometimes under significantly disadvantaged terms. 5 years ago, the Cardinals paid Tampa Bay $7M to take Tino Martinez off their hands, but there are numerous other examples.

Kennedy was one of the better defensive second basemen in baseball last season. His OPS of .692 ranked 30th among 2nd basemen with 300 or more plate appearances, but it's still probably better than anyone the Cardinals have to replace him. This is an absolutely stupid move, driven by the obsessive ego of a manager who should have been retired decades ago.

What's Going On At Second?

With the departure of Adam Kennedy, here are the candidates to step in at second base for the Cardinals:

Brian Barden............Hit .285 at Memphis, played 3 infield positions

Jarrett Hoffpauir...Played 121 games at 2B for Memphis, hit .273

Tyler Greene...........Shortstop was first-round pick in 2005

Brendan Ryan.........Struggled at the plate last season

Skip Schumaker....Outfielder played some at short in college

Joe Thurston...........Hit .316 for Pawtucket in Red Sox organization

The Cards only had 35 players on their 40-man roster before Kennedy was released. At a minimum, they should have waited until the end of spring training -- after they'd had an opportunity to evaluate potential replacements -- before cutting him loose. This move absolutely defies explanation, which doesn't keep a bunch of devoted LaRussa lovers from trying on the various Cardinals forums.

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