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      Clay's Clincher-Jaime Garcia Talks His Way Back Into Rotation

      September 13, 2010 -- Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime Garcia in the dugout during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. / Chris Lee

      Great story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about Sharyland alumnus Jaime Garcia, and the back-and-forth in the Cardinals organization about what to do with him for the rest of the season.

      On the one hand, I can see skipper Tony La Russa's point: St. Louis has fallen so far in the standings they're threatened to be caught and passed by the Houston Astros in the NL Central, and why keep a pitcher only two years removed from Tommy John surgery out on the mound if there's nothing to play for?

      But when you look at it from Jaime's point of view, you see his urgency to stay in the rotation. Garcia is a serious candidate for NL rookie of the year, and that candidacy would be hurt if he didn't stay in front of the voters' eyeballs for the remainder of the season. Pitchers never know which season, which game, which pitch might be their last, and you've got to make hay while the sun shines.

      Garcia has already eclipsed the best major league pitching career ever by a Valley product, that of Charlie Vaughan with the Atlanta Braves, who pitched one game in 1966, and another in 1969, but let's hope that career lasts a lot longer than just his rookie season.