Cards in Dog Days by Bob Ryan

The Cardinals are in the midst of the “dog days” of summer right now…ya know, the hot, sultry days when you sweat just walking around…I thought the expression was an American expression….not so… I was surprised to learn that the expression has been used since the Days of the Greeks! Some say the Greek poets Hesiod (ca. 750-650 BC) and Aratus (ca. 310–240 BC) refer in their writings to “the heat of late summer that the Greeks believed was actually brought on by the appearance of Sirius,” a star in the constellation that the later Romans and we today refer to as Canis Major, literally the “greater dog” constellation…I don’t know much…if anything about astrology or the stars…I previously thought that the “Dog Days” were later in August but…now with most schools starting around mid-August…somehow those “dog days” seem earlier…but …if I follow astrology… That reasoning falls short since the constellations haven’t changed …anyway…what’s happened to our Cards during these “dog days”.

…starting with Aug 1….the Cards are 10-8 for the month …they are completing a long road trip today but really squandered a 6 game home stand against two of the weaklings of the league-Atlanta & Cincy during this time frame…we are just this….a slightly better than .500 team…I still think we’ll crawl into the playoffs (see my article Cards Playoff Bound of 3 weeks ago)

…shockingly we’ve become a HR hitting team after last season’s paltry HR #….due primarily to the additions of Brendan Moss & Jeff Gyorko but Tommy Pham & Jeremy Hazelmaker…with limited AB’s are also in double figures…this HR binge continues through the “dog days”

….our starting rotation seems to be crumbling…in our defined “dog days”-aug 1 to now..

Adam Wainwright has 4 starts, 0-2, 19 inn, 25 hits, 8.52 ERA

Michael Wacha had 2 starts prior to DL…1-1, 10 inn, 12 hits, 5.40 ERA

Jaime Garcia is 3-0 in 3 starts , 21 inn, 16 hits, 3.00 ERA—he’s been our ace since Aug 1

Mike Leake   in 4 starts is 2-1, 24 inn, 27 hits, 4.87 ERA—after a great start yesterday

Carlos Martinez in 3 starts is 1-1, 18 inn, 13 hits, 5.00 ERA—he’s had 1 disastrous start and 1 brilliant start.

…Calling up young prospects and expecting them to “come to the rescue” has worked some in the past but unless the corp of this starting staff begins going deeper, more effectively.. the Cards won’t package together long winning streaks against good teams.

…Cards have whittled down on their errors…after being the team with the lowest fielding percentage a few weeks ago, the Cards are now in 25th place in the MLB after moving past the dumpsters of the league (Mil, Minn, SD, LAA and Atlanta) that’s been a plus

…Sing-When OH has proven to be a reliable…if not flashy…closer during the dog days

…the Zach Duke of Hazard…is the lefthander that the Cards needed…not super but decent

…Reyes has been inserted into pen in the hopes that he’ll be the reincarnation of Adam Wainwright of 2006 when the racked up 3 saves and 17 holds for the Cards

…Jonathan Broxton is toast…he’s 32 years old, has appeared in 659 games…the guy is giving his “all” but the tank looks empty to me…he hasn’t had ANY outing since July 21 that he didn’t surrender a hit…this is a guy who ..with 1 exception…works 1 inning or less

…so what you see of the 2016 Cards during the dog days’ is who they are…


…what else is happening in the “dog days”…

…Olympics are winding up tonight…some quick thoughts….Usain Bolt is clearly the fastest human being on our planet right now…it’s really fun to watch his acceleration

…the USA track team….I don’t think that I knew any one of their names previously… was really strong and it’s still entertaining to me to watch one of the most basic things in life…people trying to outrun each other…simple, straight-forward, good

…USA swim team was so good and yet the antics of one, Ryan Lochte, seems to detract from their wonderful achievements…after years and years of hard work at all times of the day & night.. these great swimmers get their brief “day in the sun” during the “dog days”

….on Lochte…which of one of us hasn’t drank too much when we were young and then lie about it…granted, this lie will put him in the Pinocchio HOF but….he & his comrades should be mandated to pay for all damages, plus some extra $$$ to the owners for their compensation and pay $$ to Brazil for some violation (I’m sure that they can find one) and find him guilty of some law violation (meaning more $$ and a record) but his actions aren’t going to change the world…only his reputation…next time someone gives you a real big story…..tell him to stop playing a Lochte on you J btw…Lochte may have been very quick in the pool it doesn’t compare to how quick he found a plane out of Rio…and stranding his “buddies” to take the heat ..#2btw….I was anticipating that Brian Williams would be putting out a story that he’d seen the raucous behavior in the bar J

…While I don’t like subjective judging in events…I think it’s egregious… I still marvel at the body control, strength, coordination of the gymnasts and the divers in the pool

…basketball is still an American sport…our players seem like they so effortless, so smooth and yet so good…true, European teams pass the ball better but USA is #1 again…btw…it seemed to me that the games went much quicker…fewer fouls, fewer whistles, no jaw-jacking, no showboating….it actually was more entertaining to me than the NBA

…it seems to me that each Olympics there have more and more events….I mean…when are we going to insert events like– bronco-riding, 3 on 3 whiffle ball, “hot box” champions, drag racing, arm wrestling, beer ping-pong , water-balloon contests, dance marathons, HR derby, hop scotch using flip cards to play great games like “no touchy”, “sail ledgey”, “match it”? What games would you like to add?

…I watched the much of and the end of the Germany-Brazil soccer match….the penalty shootout still seems cheesy to me….I know that I’m not a “soccer guy” but it seems like having a 3 pt shooting contest to break ties in basketball….Ebbie Dunn (longtime SLUH soccer coach) proposed year ago….and maybe others have too….removing one player from each team after every 5 minutes of extended time…seems logical and great…you are still playing true soccer and eventually you’ll have your best against their best…wish that they’d try it


During the “dog days” many begin looking down the road…if you are inclined to think about baseball prospects…..try out this July 19th article from our friend Charlie Meyer….he has info on the top MLB prospects and the top MLB prospects from Missouri….easy & informative


In the odds & ends part of the “Dog Days”

….getting up off the mat….just when you think that they are ready to be counted out…the KC Royals win 8 in row to at least have a chance…albeit, small…but a chance for wild card

…good ol’ fashion club house fight in Oakland this week…maybe they’ve been watching too many old Raider films?…in one corner was Billy Butler and the other Danny Valencia…no comments on who was determined to be the winner..sure enough…happens in the dog days

…wrath of a woman in sports….so Sunday morning I’m telling my wife about the Rams-KC pre-season game that I watched for 15 minutes…suddenly, she puts the paper down..she looks right at me and says, “You won’t be watching the Rams in this house”..WOW…I guess I still haven’t learned fully about crossing a woman…..much less the Rams crossing herJ

…so the Bluejays optioned their All-Star pitcher, Aaron Sanchez to the minors. The 24 year old, who has been hit in his last 3 starts, is 12-2 for the season…. but the Bluejays are concerned more about his work overload at 156 innings…or so they say…I think that if he’d been good in August, he’d still be with the Jays….now, I question their caution since Sanchez has pitched only 156 innings….156 innings…that seems like a very low workload for a pitcher of this age. How low will it be when he’s all of 28?

…speaking of that Rams-KC game…it looked like the same ol’, same ol’ to me…dropped passes by Brian Quick, a scuffle between players, Rams using an offense that looks like it was designed by Pop Warner, Nick Foles looks better …far better …than he did as a Ram…of course, it is easier passing while standing up J

….Joey Votto has the highest average in the MLB since the All-Star break! He’s banging it out at a .447 clip, OBP of .548 and OPS of 1.241…this is coming from a player on a team that has been out of the race since about May 15….he’s a real pro…kudo’s to him!! Btw…he’s the only player that I see choking up and taking a shorter swing with 2 strikes…then again…how much are you hearing about his average?

…Aging but still very effective…David Ortiz is the only MLB player with more than 300 AB who has an OPS over 1.000….he’s at 1.047 with 29 HR


Quick fly-by on High School Football …it opened up in Missouri on Friday….

…For years, the winningest football program in Missouri has been Webb City…look at the records of the Webb City Cardinals below..

Last 5 Seasons   73 – 2   97.3%
Last 10 Seasons   140 – 4   97.2%
Last 15 Seasons   195 – 13   93.8%
Last 20 Seasons   248 – 21   92.2%
Last 25 Seasons   299 – 29   91.2%

That’s right 4 losses in 10 years……really unbelievable…so you can understand my shock when I saw that Webb City was beaten 23-7 by the Carl Junction Bulldogs in front of 6,000+ fans on Friday night. In a rivalry that competes every year, it was the Bulldogs 1st win over Webb City since 1977!!

…I was lucky enough to announce a terrific game on Sat….St. Mary’s fell to Westminster Christian Academy 49-47…the Dragons had the ball with under a minute but couldn’t quite pull off the upset over a 2015 class 4 state semifinalist. Very few penalties, weather was terrific, no cheap shots, no mouthing, no arguments with officials, no replay delays J, no flamboyant antics by either team. A really great game…wanna watch part of it… here ya go….

…there were several outstanding matchups across the state in week 1…coaches realize with the new point system being employed by MSHSAA for playoffs (all teams start district but seedings are based on a point system) that they are better off competing against good teams….so games like Kirkwood-Chaminade, Hannibal-Helias, Parkway North-Parkway Central pop up on the schedule…that’s super!

…I feel that any Football rankings …state, city, local, in the pub, around the family table..anyplace….should not be done until after a length of time…I’d say after 3 weeks of games but maybe 4 weeks…..these pre-season rankings are silly to me…let them play and THEN decide on their play..rankings are used by colleges to hype the games…HS don’t need to do that…this is high school after all.

…well…this ol’ Dog is ready to wrap it up on Dog Days



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