Ok, I know I criticized the Jim Edmonds trade. And I know I should probably stick to my guns, but I have to admit, after thinking about it for a few days, the trade is growing on me. Look, I’m pitching paranoid. I am a firm believer that pitching and defense get you to the World Series. And in recent years, the Cards have had plenty of offense and too few wins. So when the Cards traded an 18-game winner, I winced. We won’t be able to truly judge the trade until October, but here are some reasons it might turn out to be a good deal: The everyday lineup is much, much beter with Jim Edmonds. He gives the Cards a better lineup than Houston or Cincinnati. If Tony LaRussa stacks things right, the Cards could go right-left all the way through the lineup, giving other managers big matchup problems. Edmonds in center field makes the Cards a very good defensive team. And between Hentgen, Kile, Benes, Benes, Morris, Ankiel and Stephenson, they SHOULD be able to find a five-man rotation. If they can, then the Cardinals are better now than they were a week ago.