It has been a memorable summer for the Duncan family in St. Louis. A memorable one with unhappy consequences.
Chris Duncan, who contributed to the Cardinals World Series push in 2006, was demoted to Triple A Memphis and then traded to Boston for Julio Lugo. It has been a difficult couple years for Duncan who has battled injuries which plagued his performance on the field.
Unfortunately, Duncan's natural position, first base is manned by the best player in baseball in Albert Pujols. So, Duncan learned to play left field. He struggled mightily in the field. Duncan belongs on a team that needs a first baseman in the National League or a DH in the American League.
As long as Duncan hit the ball, fans and ownership probably overlooked his defensive struggles. But once that stopped, fans and the St. Louis media expressed their displeasure with Duncan's performance.
Duncan's father, Cardinal pitching coach Dave, did not appreciate the grade on his son's abilities. He spoke out when the Cardinals finally traded Duncan. It was an ugly time.
Now, Dave Duncan is still upset. Boston has already released Chris Duncan. Dave Duncan continues to believe Chris was treated unfairly in St. Louis. The local media and talk shows are talking about this soap opera.
The sad thing is nobody wins in this situation. It is putting a dark spot on a promising Cardinal season.
The Cardinals did the right thing getting rid of Chris Duncan. Baseball is a business and Chris Duncan was not performing for whatever reason. His performance was a liability. His dad seems to take all this personally and that it is understandable. But it's over, and Dave Duncan and the Cardinals need to move on with their season.
A happy ending to this story would be that Chris Duncan becomes a productive player again in the future and that his father accepts Chris' situation and focuses on leading the Cardinals successful starting pitching staff.
Dave Duncan's contact is up in 2009. Will he return to the Cardinals? At this point, it looks doubtful. But hopefully if he does leave, he will celebrated a championship before departure.