Hooks Flees The Country and Your Friday Links

The Adam Wainwright news was just too much for our athooks to take, so he decided to get the hell out of America. This weekend, he’s down in Mexico, where they fix torn elbow ligaments by drinking tequila and sticking your arm between Salma Hayek’s boobs.

A little late-to-the-party analysis: I hate the Cards’ medical staff but this isn’t their fault. Tommy John surgery happens to almost all pitchers these days and there are no mechanics, no training, nothing that can prevent the elbow from blowing up whenever it feels like. It’s hard to ignore the fact that Wainwright’s got a bad delivery to begin with (excellent “inverted W” breakdown here), but the results have been pretty elite since 2006.

You can only baby a pitcher for so long, so I don’t put any blame on the LaRussa/Duncan tandem either. By all measures, Wainwright’s built up the strength to work a full season like he’s done the past four years.  And the only DL stint has been because of a finger sprain in 2008.

The interesting thing here is regarding the 2012 and 2013 vesting option on Wainwright. As part of his current contract, if Wainwright finishes 2011 on the DL (which is pretty much 100% at this point), the Cardinals could opt out of the deal, leaving him as a free agent as well. So do the Cardinals go and renegotiate this contract at the end of the season, and deal with the Pujols situation? Oh, if that’s not enough, Chris Carpenter has a $15 million club option for 2012, or a $1 million buyout. Carp will be 36 this April, and it’s hard to imagine him being worth that much a year older in 2012.

No pressure guys, but this is the most crucial year of Cardinal baseball since, uh, possibly ever? But hey, it’s not even Opening Day (and it’s still fucking snowing out), so let’s not worry too much. Here are some links, stuff and junk to get you through Friday:

-Shelby Miller will be fun to watch, but let’s not rush him: Baseball America’s 2011 Top 100 Prospects LINK HERE
-Hooks chimes in on the Rams’ off-season so far LINK HERE
-Animal stuff Part I: Puppies, Hats, Bacon, Cheeseburger Facts. Trust me. LINK HERE
-Animal stuff Part II: Cat Bowling LINK HERE
-Yesterday was Mitch Hedberg’s birthday. Tons of tremendous one-liners all in one place. LINK HERE
-The Hangover 2 Trailer (if you were under a rock yesterday) LINK HERE
-2011 Mr. Skin Anatomy Awards (NSFW obviously, but this is great water cooler talk with the ladies) LINK HERE
-Will infographics ever get old? The Rise & Fall of Lil Jon. LINK HERE

Enjoy your weekend ladies and gents. It’s supposed to be warm again sometime in the next few months, right? Good Lord.

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