MLB should Score a Goal by Bob Ryan

NO….we’re not confused….the MLB is a baseball league and goals come in hockey…..but….here’s a suggestion…again…that the MLB should “borrow”from the NHL..

….why doesn’t the MLB adopt the NHL policy of not “dressing out” their roster….the MLB could carry 27 players and “dress out” 25 per game….it would really save us from all the shuttling back & forth from the minors & DL …add stability to this rocky flight across the MLB season….this simple suggestion does have ramifications….like…the MLB owners would have to pay a bit more in salary…one would assume that these players getting bounced back & forth from being on the playing field and the booth would be minimum pay players for the most part…probably pitchers….the union would be ecstatic since more players would be added to the roster….along with this proposal….I would like to see the 10 day & 15 day DL rule removed….30 day ..maybe even 20 day DL should be the minimum….let’s remove all these “games” about blisters, aches that miraculously disappear in 10 days without quick flights to the Mayo Clinic, Lourdes, or some other miracle place….while we’re at……currently there is a rule that when players are sent down to the minors that they must remain there for 10 days…..I think the rule should go both ways….when a player moves up the MLB….they must remain on the roster for 10 days…..these 1 day stints cheapen the game…..fans like to identify with the players…currently players are pulled up to the majors and shoved back down to “meet a pressing need” before the common fan even knows his name…….the only fans who can identify with these yo-yo players are pilots…in one city for a stop and off again….cut it out…MLB rosters do HAVE 25 players…. and some minor league player…..is going to step in…. on a 12 hour notice and be better than one of your 25….if he is better…bring him up permanently. With this 27 man roster, a team should be able to withstand a missed turn in the rotation without modifying their roster.

…..the current trend in the MLB is to continue to shorten the expected outing of the starting pitcher… make each game a parade of pitchers who throw about 2-3 innings up to the 6th inning…then the 1 inning march begins from the bullpen…it happened yesterday—Philadelphia threw 7 pitchers..no one going longer than 2 innings!….I’ve written the past about the golden number of 75 -80 games over a couple years…it seems that at that point relief pitchers are buying a ticket to an extended stay on the DL in the following year and/or a shortened career….sure…a couple exceptions exist but here’s some data on the Cardinals….and I’m sure it parallels all other teams across the league about pitchers who throw over 75 games/year…including post-season.

….Trevor Rosenthal..2013..74 regular season+10 post season=84 games; 2014…72regular season+ 6 post season=78 games; 2015..68 games + 2 post season= 70; 2016 arm issues cut performances to 45 games; 2017—50 games–out of baseball now

…Edward Mujica…2012(with Cards)—70 games + 9 post season=79 total; 2013-65 games + 2 post season= 67 games;2014- 64 games(arm issues begin); 2015 – 49 games; 2016 missed entire season; 2017- just 5 games…

…Seth Maness… a man with a slighter build…hence, probably not the stamina as the larger, stronger relief hurlers….2014…73 games + 2 post season=75; 2015..76 games + 2 post season; 2016 arm issues limit him to 29 games; 2017 removed from MLB Royals roster after 8 games-out of baseball

…Greg Holland…2013.. 61 games(a bit below our threshold); 2014…65 regular season+ 11 post season=76 total games; 2015…48 games then sidelined by arm issues; 2016 missed entire season; 2017. 61 games + 1 post season= 62….terrific 1st half….not so much in 2nd half of season…2018 with Cards…now at 23 games with 4.42 ERA

…Matt Bowman….75 games last year….DL trips this year

….there are a couple exceptions…relief pitchers who last a long time….I’d suggest that most don’t throw 75 games a season….Aroldis Chapman…maybe the longest “power” pitcher currently…has thrown in consecutive years since 2011 this amount of games(including post season):  54, 71, 68, 54, 65, 72 (world series run), last year 58….personally…I think he left the Cubs because of his “overuse” in the post-season; currently..as we approach July 4th.. at 32 games…on track for 65ish games….it seems that some managers….like the one here in the Lou…uses the Kleenex principle…use em up quickly …then throw em away…funny when you consider that Matheny was a catcher….however….I really do believe that…. Because he landed in the post season very early in his managerial career….. Matheny manages EVERY game like he’s in the post-season…can’t do that over 162…

….while we’re at it….hockey could borrow some ideas from the MLB….

in the MLB…every stadium is different…different dimensions to all parts of the field….why can’t hockey let each team have their own dimensions for their home rink….Boston already has their own size rink….what if they were a bit longer..or wider…or both….would it REALLY change the game?

…..why not play the same team back-back….make it a 2 game series at at same site  …each team would have the same amount of rest….maybe not EVERY series….but playing the same team on consecutive nights could be fun…it’d sure save on all the traveling around for these 1 games series…especially against  your divisional teams

Weekly thoughts on the Cards…

….despite the 4 game skid…I think the Cards are poised for a strong 2nd half…..DeJong will be back in the lineup….Molina missed several games in the 1st half and is healthy now…Jack Flaherty has “grown” from last year with his wicked slider…the curve balling Miles Mikolas continues to tantalize batters and has shown no drop off in his efficiency…Ozuna seems to have settled down and is now performing close to his lifetime averages–.278, 20 HR, 88rbi’s…. Matt Carpenter has gone back to the future with Doc Brown and found his stroke…and more importantly…his attitude …about hitting as he did in 2013 when he hit .318 with 55 doubles, was the silver slugger for 2B, 1st in runs scored in NL, 1st in hits in NL, 2nd in Offensive WAR in NL…the bullpen appears to be improving as Holland returns with a strong arm (he’s become a ½ season pitcher…take ur pick 1st half or 2nd half….Colorado had the 1st half last year…and we hope the Cards have the 2nd half this year); Holland will join another veteran, Bud Norris, who’s been sharp and with a bit less use by Manifesto should provide a wonderful 1-2 closing punch….John Brebbia and Mike Mayers should be taken off the Memphis red-eye special and remain with the team as a permanent fixtures…. MO often imports a significant player at the trading deadline to reenergize the team…and the fan base….Nolan Arennado?….dont’ get my hopes up!….the Cards must find a way to utilize Dexter Fowler… platoon him with Bader for a day & Pham another day….they can’t trade or cut Fowler now due to his abysmal numbers and salary….so they MUST find a way to use him…..why waste that spot on the roster?….also …to improve the team, Sam Tuivalala and Brett Cecil need to be moved. Cecil has practically no value so the Cards may have to close their eyes and “eat the contract”…Tui could be moved easily…his stuff may be “good” but he isn’t!

….Looking back at the Cards golden teams of the 60’s & 80’s…both of those teams were very good defensively in the middle infield….Maxville/Groat & Javier; Ozzie & Tommy Herr…both managers swallowed less offense…at times….to have that defense on the field daily..are the Cards willing to make that commitment NOW or does hitting alone prevail?  What do you think?

…..Cleveland challenged Jose Martinez “pulling off the bag”….they were wrong…he had remained in touch with 1B on that throw…but….I DO think that Jose DOES …and with some frequency…lose contact with the base on throws…speaking of Martinez….he’s seeing many more off-speed change ups at the plate now….

…How is it that Kolton Wong gets hit so often? He’s been hit 12 times!  He’s walked 16 times….either… he freezes for just a moment and bingo…another HBP…or…he’s so shaken about his own skills that he willingly takes the plunk on the arm/leg/shoulder/where ever to get on base…I tend to think that it’s the latter…if so…..the Cards can’t look to him in the long run as a 2B.

…Greg Garcia seemingly performs well at any position in the infield…the Cards are afraid that he’ll be “exposed”…..MLB vernacular for ….if he plays every day, the opponents will find his weakness and “expose” it….reminds me of the same talk about John Jay….currently Jay is playing every day now for the Arizona D-Backs after KC Royals traded him recently…D-Backs happen to be in 1st place…Jay is hitting .291 for the season with 320 AB…Jay is batting Lead off for the D-Backs…guess they haven’t exposed him yet.

…uncharacteristically…Manifesto tried hanging on to Luke Weaver through the 5th inning so that he could pinch hit for him on Saturday night and save a pitcher….Braves blew open the game with 6 runs in the 5th….game over

…before shuffling off …more on the Cards…. Now… we don’t expect our “super” heroes on the ballfield to shine up their halo nightly…or even weekly … but …at a miniumum…we hope that fans can identify with them as good players and good people ….on Saturday morning we learned of a fight that took place outside an ESL strip joint in 2014… ….the fight included Carlos Martinez, Oscar Tavares and Marcell Ozuna… so clearly Ozuna was “pals” with Carlos way back in 2014….makes me wonder if the Cards target in the Miami OF chase last January was ALWAYS about Ozuna….the talk about Stanton…or even Yelich…was just subterfuge to make it appear to Miami that the Cards were willing to take “less” when the received Ozuna….maybe they thought that surrounding Carlos with his ‘friends” that would help his performance on the field…who knows? ..anyway….Makes me wonder ….we do know that “birds of a feather, flock together” … and what type of birds flock together to strip joints in East St Louis?

Quick trip through the MLB…

…btw….it seems to me that sharp dropping curve balls seem to be an antidote for the “elevated” swing angle employed currently by most MLB’ers….check out Mikolas and you’ll see my point…the Braves pitcher…Fried..used the same pitch against the Cards

…thank goodness we don’t rely  on the MLB “experts” when going to the race track….these “experts”… how do I become one?…..bemoaned how bad Miami was going to be in 2018 during the off season selling off…some would say…giving away…their entire outfield in the winter…granted….Miami isn’t a contender but…..they are a long way from being the worst team in the MLB….Miami has 33 wins while Baltimore has 23 wins…about 2 wins a week …and Kansas City has fallen way off the cliff to a meager 25 wins….and….yet another team…Chicago White Sox are worse than the Marlins..the ChiSox have 28 wins for the 2018 season…

…..Did ANYONE think in March that on July 1 that….

…. in the NL East, Atlanta would be in 1st place followed by the Philadelphia Phillies?

…. Scooter Gennet would be leading the NL in batting?

…. Shin-Soo Choo would have reached base in 41 straight games?

…. That Dexter Fowler could be hitting .167 with the 5th most AB on the Cardinals?

…. some guy named Ozzie Albies (Atlanta) would be leading the NL in 2B and be 4th in HR in the NL?

…. the Dodgers would have only the 10th highest number of wins in the MLB to this point?

…. Jason Heyward would have a higher average than Anthony Rizzo, Chris Bryant and Wilson Contreras and Cubs would still only be 1.5 games out of 1st place?

….that a ANY regular player could be hitting .340 on this date…yep…Jose Altuve

…that Swing-When(my spelling)Oh (Toronto) would have as many wins as Carlos Martinez (4) on July 1

World Cup in a glance…

….Russia beats Spain in penalties….I only saw the last 2/3 of the 2nd half and the extra periods….Russia was back in their shell while Spain controlled the ball for up to 90% of the time….not the up & down, back & forth action that I prefer….at one point, Spain made a beautiful cross into the face of goal and the Spanish attacker was practically tackled so that he couldn’t get his head on the ball….instantly, my son said, “the fix is in….Russia will advance”…after review, it was ruled “no foul”…now I don’t know if his thought has any validity but I do know that the game wasn’t real entertaining me….a non-soccer guy.

 

Thanks for making it to the bottom…..YOUR thoughts are always invited…everyone has an idea….would love to read YOURS….put it on the site or email it to me and I’ll get it on the site for you…thanks…hope that you enjoy a wonderful holiday week!

 

 

Too Big To Fail by Bob Ryan

 Ok….losing is one thing….but losing to a country 1/100 our size is ridiculous… some thoughts…

 First of all….I’m not a soccer guy…never played soccer a second in my life…but as an Athletic Director & announcer, I’ve seen many soccer matches….I’m not claiming that type of experience makes me an expert but….we all have our thoughts..soooo…..

 

The USA loss to Trinidad/Tobago in soccer is totally unbelievable to me. Decades ago, Americans claimed that our kids don’t start young enough…now,  “herd ball” begins around 6 years of age….then it was we don’t have enough quality coaching…so….amateur soccer …in our area called CYC (Catholic Youth Council)..was shoved aside for “select” teams…and then “academy” teams…we have all that in place and NOTHING has changed in the results…please don’t give me the “it’s too soon to tell”…we’ve been traveling down this road for decades… here’s a list of random thoughts that may …or may not…change things but I feel should be discussed by the “leaders” of the sport”…

 

This is walk on thin ice ….but here we go…

1) The training academy’s have become places for the middle to above middle class families to send their kids.  From my understanding, some of the overall leaders of these academies are making nice…very nice… incomes from these multiple “select teams”.  Make them FREE…as they were for years under the CYC format…or let the USA Committee pay the coaches, evaluators, scouts, administrators.

2) Find highly qualified evaluators who can determine…as much as possible.. potential vs “skill level”….everyone has a ceiling in their skill level…USA needs to find the kids with the world class potential…not necessarily.. the best 14 year old players.

3) Sort kids by ability not age….the age limit was devised to help teams compete.. the USA wants the kids to improve…who cares who wins these intramural games.. let the best players compete by ability…move some players up or down as their play continues to improve or levels off in performance.

4) Find ways to have kids play on their own without adults hovering over them….let them develop, practice their individual skills, moves, shots with their own creativity.

5) The traveling, select team concept has FAR too many teams….I mean are there really 500-1000 kids at every age level that “might” some day might be on the USA soccer team?…no way…. Who are we kidding?…I’m sure that all those players are good players…but being a world class player is a different animal… there are very few… Weed out the good players…develop the high potential players. Some…probably many .. parents feel that if their child plays traveling select ball…at a high cost…the payback will be that their child will “make” the HS or college team of their choice. That should NOT be the goal…the goal is to develop world class players.

6) Maybe the teams are started too early…throw the ball out there…let the kids play in small groups…6 year olds who can’t read yet are being instructed to spread out, pass the ball, kick it OOB if you’re on defense…..yada-yada-yada…you don’t see 6 year olds playing on basketball teams but we’re the best in the world.

7) A way must be found to incorporate the poor kids into these pay-to-play systems.

8) High Level Coaches from all levels—High School, College, Professional… should be holding clinics, seminars for themselves to help “grow” and share ideas about the development of players & teams.

8) Let these USA teams play more games…let them compete against professional teams or the best college teams…sure it isn’t World Cup but it seems to me that scrimmaging all the time against your teammates gets stale…play someone else.. if you lose…you have the wrong players…or coach(es). Don’t wait until Trinidad/Tobago beats you 2-1…ugh…it wasn’t even just one lucky goal.

Something has to change in the USA Soccer program….losing to large nations is one thing but…losing to tiny countries about the size of one  metropolitan city in the USA is not acceptable….We aren’t TOO big to Fail!…we are failing! Your thoughts…

 

Post Season baseball has been wild…

…managers have ditched their usual methods of the regular season…starting pitchers are relieving… relief pitchers are going longer…this makes it very exciting for the fans but…you could never use this style for 6 months of  play

….the teams that have advanced do have a strong 1-2 punch in the starting rotation

…more teams swing at the 1st pitch in the post-season

…game go too long….way too ..long…4.5 hours for 9 innings (that’s a ½ hour for every 2 innings..ugh) is NOT entertainment..at least to me…the Pearl harbor attack didn’t go that long 

…Jose Altuve is THE most exciting MLB player…he has over 200 hits for 4 straight years, has stolen over 30 bases/year for 6 straight years, has 24 HR in each of the last 2 years….he is the complete hitter…his dash around the bases from 1B with the winning run against NYY was …to me…really exciting…I’d prefer that type of action as to watching a HR sail..time & time again per game.. into the seats and the batter jogging around the bases. The excitement of the HR stems from the days when it was a rare occurrence…it’s become far too common now.

….teams that have been eliminated have to be watching the way that these post-season batters are being pitched….I would think that Aaron Judge will now see trillions of low breaking balls on the outside of the plate 

…the Cubs ability to come-from-behind wins with big, quick innings has surfaced again as they’ve won their 4th consecutive win or be eliminated series. Their “bat around” inning against Washington was a classic example of quick explosion at the plate and speed on the bases.

…Dusty Baker has now lost 14 straight series-final games and the 4th time in 6 years that the Nats won the NL East division and were bounced out in the 1st round of the playoffs…sorry…Dusty…I like you but….winning teams have to WIN a post season series once in a while…so… C U later…

..don’t be surprised if Cincinnati jumps into the free-agent waters to snatch a quality starting pitcher or two…they can hit…have some arms in the pen…now they need to get to the 7th inning. When “We’d like to get the most talented player we can get,” said Reds general manager Dick Williams. “We’ll just have to see what that money level is. I think we’d rather concentrate our resources on fewer players that have a chance to be more impactful for us than we do going out and getting a bunch of low-dollar guys.” Sounds like a pitcher to me….top candidates to me for them are Alex Cobb & Lance Lynn..both are on the lower end of the pitching pay scales…I’m choking as I write low end…I mean it is $16-$18m per year for multiple years…. and yet would be improvements for them.

 

A College Football fly-over….

…2 weeks ago, LSU was ready to fire their Coach, Ed Orgeron. Last week the Tigers upended Florida and this week they rallied from a 20 point deficit to beat #10 ranked, Auburn 27-23…now they luv him  …..the love of college football coaches by their fans reminds me of teenage romances…easy come..easy go 

….Mizzou has found an offensive threat…the deep HR ball…but the Tiger defense was toothless as Georgia played ol’ time smash mouth football all night long. At the same time, there were some inexcusable breakdowns in outside run coverage for Mizzou. Georgia turned those egregious alignments into TD runs. That type of scheming error should never happen …much less at the collegiate level.

…Five of the 13 unbeaten teams tasted their 1st defeat this weekend

…a couple special upsets…. #5 Washington fell to Arizona State 13-7…coming into the A-State game, Washington was a 17.5 point favorite due largely to the fact that Arizona State was ranked #119 in the country in team defense..the Sun Devils had surrendered more than 30 points in 11 straight games…please note the score again..13-7….Washington didn’t help their cause…their FG kicker missed FT attempts from 27 and 21 yards..generally “gimme’s” for any college and most HS kickers….the “karma” of the game manifested itself very late in the game … a 4th & 3..with all expecting a punt…A-State went for it…the Sun Devils completed a 30 yard pass that inexplicably floated  past 5 players ..2 ASU and 3 Wash players … seemingly guided by someone’s guardian angel, and was caught by the TE..it was as one writer said, “the 4th down version of a blackjack player hitting on 19 and then drawing two consecutive aces” With Washington’s cream puff schedule….their college football playoffs bubble has probably burst with the upset loss.

..then there was #2 ranked Clemson (last year’s national champs) being shocked by Syracuse 27-24… sure losing your QB,Kelly Bryant in 2nd qtr, hurt but the Tigers just made too many mistakes, personal fouls, a fake punt that failed, and a “makeable” FG missed. Further, failing to convert on only 2 of 11 3rd downs doesn’t add to offensive continuity. The defense let them down also… after pinning ‘Cuse inside the 10 yard line twice with punts, the Orangeman were able to move it out of this area with substantial drives (one helped by a Clemson 15 yd personal foul)..but Syracuse didn’t win on luck or just good fortune…they outgained Clemson 440-317 yards in the game.

…#8 Washington State was crushed by unranked California 37-3…footnote…I can’t remember both Washington teams being in the top 10 at the same time…well, this week both of them were upset.. Cal didn’t out gain Wash St by much 365-337 in total yards….it was the 7 turnovers by the Cougars that sent them wheeling  out of the unbeaten waters.

 

New Twist on Protests during National Anthem…

In Hong Kong, IT’s the FANS who are protesting during national Anthem. Those fans are very unhappy with the Chinese control in this semiautonomous city.  So Fans are booing, giving the 1 finger salute and generally making their displeasure known.  China’s authorities are already planning tough measures for these protesters..they are approving a law that prohibits disrespect of the anthem, barring the songs’ use in commercials or parodies and outlining the punishments for fans who “do not stand with respect” and “maintain a dignified bearing” when the national anthem is played.

 

Losing the “Way”…

…we’ve heard a great deal about the Cardinal way…how George Kissell & Dave Ricketts particularly…formed the ideas that should be taught at all levels….it was updated by Kissell with the Tony LaRusso staff… now farm director John Vuch keeps an updated version on his desk. Cards fans have moaned about the lack of fundamentals…Cardinal way…in the past couple years…but we aren’t the only ones who have lost “the way”…the Atlanta Braves are also “looking back” at their way that has been tarnished…they’ve been branded as cheaters and seen their organization crumble. This once proud franchise went to 15 post-season appearances in 16 years from 1991-2005.Bobby Cox was a terrific manager who was criticized for not winning the World Series often enough (he won 1 series and lost 4 others). GM  John Schuerholz & Cox worked hard, followed their scouts recommendations, played fundamental baseball…they were so good…that the Braves fans got spoiled and stopped attending regular season games….after all…there WOULD BE post-season games. Now the Braves are entangled in a real mess….sure last place team last year….the newer management (Frank Wren, John Coppolella, John Hart) didn’t follow their scouts recommendations, if you disagreed with them…you were gone…this trio had all the answers…well maybe it was all the answers on how to follow the Titanic in the baseball world….now….inappropriate signings of international players and other signings are ushering in another sad episode and the hierarchy of the Braves is in disarray…maybe .. we Cardinal fans should be grateful ..we may not agree with it all…you know that I don’t….but … our issues are solved much simplier…a couple talented players at the right times of their career and in the right spots …put us right back into the playoffs. We may be lost but the trail isn’t far away.

 

High School Focus…

…this week the Missouri high school teams open up their District competition. Using a point system through the first 9 weeks based on wins, margin of win (up to 14 pts), size of schools, record of opponents..and probably a few other areas..this point system is used to seed the teams from #1 though 8.  Then the usual 1 vs 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6, 4 v 5 tournament schedule is established. Any loss for a team from this point onward concludes their season. There are 6 classes of teams based on size of school… not skill level.

 

Well…I’m not failing to get too big…or too long 

Good to Great by Bob Ryan

Good To Great… a book written by Jim Collins was required reading one year while I was teaching. It was an interesting book…no…I’m not giving a book review here…but…some of his ideas  apply to our Cardinals.  Quickly…Collins says that you have to have a vision, decisiveness, the correct personnel on the bus to success and each of them in the right seat on the bus to execute this paradigm shift. One could say …fairly…that the Cardinals develop good field players….these type of  players have enough ability to play in the MLB, they receive good training and habits along the way…many make it to the MLB and play several years..this “Cardinal Way” works to get good field players…but not often great field players..Albert was our last great player developed in the Cards system..the current management team seems determined to play with these home-grown players….almost exclusively..it just doesn’t work…look at some of the Cardinals best teams…1964 team had only 3 home-grown field starters, in 1982 it was also just 3 starters from the farm system, 2004 it was 3 players again…2011 saw a huge number-5 Cardinals grow up in the system…generally, it’s very difficult to find those superstars from one organization and very difficult to go deep in playoffs with only home-grown boys….I’m suggesting that the Cards trade several of their younger players…some  in the majors and some from the minors…to procure a superstar…along with an aging superstar  (e.g. Lance Berkmann, Larrry Walker, Carlos Beltran, Roger Maris)…to help our team go from good to great…

A team MUST draft well and trade as required…it’s required now by the Cardinals….we don’t have a great team with this squad…so..let’s take steps to make it a great team….package 3,4 or 5 talented young players  for a superstar and.. combined with several GOOD players already on the team….it  can do the trick….it CAN and HAS been done….stop shuffling the bottom of the deck players…take a look at some of these players who were traded as young players (under 25)…Ryne Sandberg (Phils to Cubs), Jeff Bagwell (BoSox to Astros),HOF Nolan Ryan (Cal Angels to NYM),  HOF Pedro Martinez (Dodgers to Expos), Fergie Jenkins (Phils to Cubs), future HOF Miguel Cabrera (Marlins to Tigers) and of course Babe Ruth  … I wouldn’t rule out any current starting field player and only Martinez on the mound corp.  Players most attractive to other teams…not in any particular order… Carpenter, Gyorko, Wong, Pham,  Diaz, Lynn (as a short term rental), Piscotty, Grichuk, Rosey, Oh and the plethora of pitchers down in the farm(*Jack Flaherty, Mike Mayers-just promoted,, Marco Gonzales, *Sandy Alcantara, Luke Weaver) Your thoughts? ..btw…* means that player is top of the line in my eyes…look who we’ve procured over the years who helped us become a GREAT team…Lou Brock, Ozzie, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen,  John Tudor, Adam Wainwright..it can be done and it must be done if the Cards want to elevate their level of play

 

While some are really not “ good to great”…more like” bad to good” in some cases…how about…

…Atlanta’s star 1B, Freddie Freeman. offers to move to 3B to keep the surging Matt Adams at 1B…while that idea was floated around repeatedly in these blogs it didn’t gain any traction in the Cards clubhouse…so who’s being the true “team” player?

…you must give the Blues credit for trying to become a GREAT team….strengthening the center-ice position via a trade with Philly…then gambling on a forward with their 1st round pick..who by many hockey experts has a high end of talent but somehow it’s never jelled yet…and as a bonus….losing Paron & Lehtera freed up some badly need cap space

…someone with GREAT speed is Mags Sierra….he’s 21 playing at Springfield Redbirds (AA)..been in minors 4 years…hitting .324..no power…he’s another Vince Coleman type…remember the excitement that Vince brought? If we don’t make a major trade, I hope we see him shortly after All-Star break….

…Matt Holliday has been a GREAT addition for the Yankees this year….recently he “volunteered” to play 1B if needed…his mature attitude in the clubhouse has to be a big plus for the youthful Yankees…and he has 15 HR, 47 RBI’s  and a .275 average in the batters box in 2017…frankly…we just didn’t want to pay him and we don’t have a DH spot in the NL

….striving to overcome a career low in 2016, Andrew McCutchen has been on fire of late…now hitting  .270 with his 13 HR ….McCutchen is signed through 2018 ….so…. he may have played himself right out of Pittsburgh who would like to get something in return and not just have him walk away as a free agent at the end of 2018….he could be very attractive to contending teams who need an OF for 1+ years …especially a CF ….who’s only 30 years old…younger than Matt Carpenter & Dexter Fowler and shockingly…just 1 year older than Tommy Pham

…hopefully Derek Jeter will lead a group to buy the Marlins….that would be taking a team from being badly handled to hopefully good or even GREAT team.

…still running the 3000 Steeple Chase in GREAT form  is Colleen Quigley…from Nerinx Hall HS and whose Dad was a teaching colleague of mine.. She finished 8th in the 2016 summer Olympics and over the weekend came in 3rd place in the Steeple Chase in the USA Championships…her 3rd place finish has earned her a trip to London for the World Championships. Congrats on maintaining such a world class status.

….after renting Mark Melancon in late 2016 and surrendering Felipe Rivero in the trade….the Nats are in the same predicament  in 2017….seeking a “big time” closer again… would Rosenthal be a candidate for them? Melancon sure filled the bill last year.. he had 17 saves in Washington and 47 for the year with a year long ERA of 1.67…

….I have some pity for the announcers…trying to announce these Cardinal games like they are GREAT games…..many are not even GOOD games…I notice that Danny Mc is bringing in many more stats and stories to “fill” throughout each game…I mean how many times can you say, “an error or a base running mistake by the Cards on that play” 

….on the upper end of the “good to great” yard stick….Las Vegas Golden Knights have 37 players but….they also acquired a bevy of draft choices….they acquired THREE 1st round picks(6th, 13th, 15th) as they obtained a total of  12 overall picks in this draft on Friday!

whoa, whoa…hang on there Mr. Kyle Schwarber….the road to being Great…or even good… is longer than just  one post-season series…how can you not hit a fastball now?

…going from good to GREAT by recognition are the 2017 St Louis Soccer HOF class…the entire class is Pat Baker, Billy Becher, Sam Bick, Pat Gaffney, Keith Gehling, Jack Jamieson, Tony Kuster, Jeff Sendobry, Herb Silva, Mike Sorber, and Jamie Swanner. A special pat on the back to two of my friends— a classmate of mine through elem school & HS–Tony Kuster and a fellow teaching colleague Jack Jamieson who are being inducted in this ceremony….CONGRATS on the GREAT honor!!

…the blatent ignoring of the Phillies 3B coach by Odubel Herrara against the Cards was almost shocking…3B coach, Juan Samuel, had both arms up clearly and early and Herrara just kept running…reminded me of kids running the bases in T-Ball…when the defense hasn’t learn to throw the ball yet…of course Herrara was out by…20 feet…I’m being conservative….If the Phils don’t deal the rogue Herrara ..or cut him…they’ll never be good…much less great…

…Dodgers have been great recently as they’ve won 10 in a row…thank goodness the Cards are in the Central division…if they’d been in the Western division, we’d be 16.5 games out of 1st place

…for the 1st time in many years, the Detroit Tigers will probably be “sellers” at the trade deadline…key players like J.D.Martinez, Justin Wilson, Alex Avila, Shane Green and Ian Kinsler could all be on the block as the Tigers will attempt to reshape their roster and get younger…and hopefully….better…possible trade partner with Cards…as are Toronto, Frisco, NYM, Cincy (Joey Votto)

…recently promoted 1B Luke Voit was hitting .317 with OPS of .952 @ Memphis….but…he is a 1B…it doesn’t appear that the Cards want to shake up or bother Matt Carpenter…maybe Voit is one of the trade bait for that superstar mentioned above…keep in mind, Johnny Peralta in .364 in Memphis…and barely .200 vs the MLB pitchers…btw…Johnny was just resigned by a MLB team but ..to show his skills in the minors….poor Johnny…it’s just really tough to admit that your time is up…go on with your life.

….in the NBA….good players aren’t good enough….you must have superstars to compete for the title….Jayson Tatum was drafted #3 by the Celtics with the hopes that he can play a 2 or 3 position and push the Celts back into prominence. It was especially Good to me to see the wonderful hugs for Mom & Dad who have gone their separate ways…

….it’s good…maybe even great…that you made it to the bottom…YOUR thoughts are always welcome…just put them on the Prepcasts site or send them to me & I’ll post them for you(you’re your permission)..many, many of you send me very insightful, detailed ideas that are really good to read..I’d like others to share in that same experience.

 

 

 

Missing the Goal by Bob Ryan

This past week, the vote to build a new downtown stadium was rejected by the St Louis City citizens….now….I’m probably the only South Side kid that grew up that didn’t play soccer….being the oldest..my Mom thought it was:” too rough”….anyway…I’m listing that qualifier to some of these thoughts about the soccer stadium issues—

….considering that a good portion of the fans that would have attended the soccer games would have been county people….it seems a bit unfair to me to have the city citizens alone being asked to shoulder the burden of the cost ….now I know that it was indicated that some ….or much… of the money would come from sales of tickets….but …come on….if the city wasn’t paying something… probably the majority…..why would they even be voting on it?

… I’m hoping that someday …short of a merger…a region wide Sports Commission will be installed…it would handle sports related issues and it would include City, County and maybe even St. Charles County…it’s probably a “pie in the sky” hope but although it’s not quite as serious as a revolution, Ben Franklin said, “If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang”..I don’t mean that literally but as a region the Lou isn’t the dynamic area that it was 100 years ago…maybe even 50 years ago…. and votes like this only make Stan Kronke’s statement as he walked out the door, “St Louis isn’t a 3 sport town” seem accurate…ugh…it’s hard to say that he may have been right!

….regarding city/counties even paying for stadiums that provide income…the huge income.. almost exclusively …goes only to  the owners & players… .let them also be the entity that accepts the payment of the infrastructure to generate that gigantic income.  City governments gain some tax money but nothing like the owners…they  should assist is a mild manner…if at all.

…oh and one more thing….the next “drive, petition …or whatever to build something”…don’t hire Dave Peacock to lead the show….he’s 0 for 2 at this point J I’d put him right there with George Pickett in successful charges to success.

….somehow …somehow…I hope that St Louis gets another chance to procure an MLS team -even though it’s very unlikely that I’ll ever go to a game…how about 2 or 3 or 4 larger investors become part of the ownership group? They seem to need more “Daddy Big Bucks” to get over the hump…. where are the owners from down the street when you need them?   We really missed the goal here!

 

1st week of Cardinal baseball….

…..Johnny Peralta’s bat still seems slow to me….I don’t think that Jed Gyorko would be an effective every-day 3B….on this roster…solution is Adams 1B, Carp 3B when you want two left handed hitters in the lineup

…speaking of Carp…I wonder if he’s been moved to 1B due to his back….he doesn’t get nearly as many ground balls at 1B as 3B or 2B…I sense that his back is worse than we know

…Wainwright looks like a 5-6 inning pitcher to me at this stage of his career…there will be an exception every so often…but don’t expect it to happen too often…in this era….that’s fine.

….what a hellacious AB and trip around the bases for Stephen Piscotty huh? For those of you who didn’t see the game, he was hit on one elbow at the plate, hit on the other elbow sliding into 2B and then as he scored a throw from a field struck him in the head (helmet was on)

…Cards sign Stephen Piscotty to a 6 year deal….may have seemed premature to some….some considerations…last year played in 153 games (only Cardinal with more than 150); led team in RBI-85; led team in game winning RBI-10; led team in runs(86); led team in total bases-266; tied for team lead in SB-7; hit .363 with runners in scoring position-2nd in the National League, drove home 37 runs with 2 outs (best on team & 6th in league)…and for u stat guys…he had the 2nd best Wins Above Replacement (WAR) among NL Right fielders @ 2.8  (only behind Bryce Harper)….he isn’t flashy, demonstrative, probably never going to be the “star” of the team…but the Cards think that he’s Mr. Reliable…and we’ll tie you up for 6 years.

…so don’t go jumping off the Musial Bridge over the start of the season….look just 1 year ago at the records after 1 week..the Cards are OK….

TmWLW-L%GBRSRApythW-L%
CIN51.8333118.730
CHC51.8334215.868
SFG52.7140.54325.730
WSN31.7501.01512.601
PIT42.6671.02319.587
LAD43.5711.54226.706
STL33.5002.03828.636
MIL33.5002.02129.356
COL33.5002.03551.334
NYM23.4002.51412.570
PHI24.3333.01828.308
SDP24.3333.03240.399
MIA13.2503.01823.390
ARI25.2863.53347.344
ATL05.0004.51738.187

 

The Cardinals…like all teams…must continue to “turn over” the roster….but I was really surprised when I looked at the roster for the start of the 2014 season…just 3 years ago…not ONE of these 5 OF on opening day 2014 are still with the team! The bullpen has dropped 5 of the guys ..which is not too surprising..but who was …is…K.Butler?  The starting rotation stll has 3 of the 5 in our starting staff… and 4 if you count the natural progression of Martinez from pen to starter. In the infield  only subs– Tony Cruz ,Mark Ellis, Pete Kozma & Daniel Descalso have left from the infield

2014 Opening Day MLB 25-Man Roster

Infield—                      Outfielders                        Starting Rotation                   Bullpen

C- Molina                 LF- Holliday                        Wainwright                               LHP-Choate

1b-Adams                 CF-Bourjos                          Lynn                                             RHP-Neshek

2b-Wong                   RF-Craig                               Kelly                                             RHP-Rosenthal

3b-Carpenter                   Jay                                  S.Miller                                       RHP-Maness

SS-Peralta                     S.Robinson                      Wacha                                         RHP-C.Martinez

IN-Descalso                                                              J.Garcia-DL                                LHP-Siegrest

IF-Kozma                                                                                                                           RHP-K.Butler

C-T.Cruz                                                                                                                              DL: J.Motte

DL-M.Ellis          

 

A quick Blues rush up the ice & other hockey stuff…

..why all the fuss about obtaining Sobotka?   He has won over 60% of his faceoffs…with their usual faceoff man –Stastny– out….the Blues are looking ahead to the playoffs when faceoffs are much more common and more important..

….top 5 Blues players in +/- to this  point..…..here ya go..

Jaden Schwartz +14, Robert Bortuzzo +11, Joel Edmundson +10,Magnus Paajarvi +9, Colton Parayko +7.. seems strange that there are 3 defenseman?

….Vladimir Tarasenko is in a 5 way tie for 5th place in the NHL for  even strength goals with 26…..much to my surprise…former Blue– TJ Oshie has 24 even strength goals…I remember him being a passer more than a scorer in the Lou

….Then….the NHL owners say….”the NHL players will not play in the Olympics…matter closed”.. right!….  I think it may change…while the owners have very legitimate points about missing 3 key weeks of hockey season….already some owners have said that they will release their players during that time….let this percolate a bit longer….there will be a concession or compromise of some sort to accommodate the Olympics..the entire sport really  missed the goal!

 

Establishing a new goal! 

The best basketball recruiter that Mizzou has ever had …ever!  Is Michael Porter Jr….it really does make sense that good players can woo other highly talented players to join them without any other incentive other than to be on a good…probably very good .. team….he seems to have one superstar and 2/3 possible players  in the top 30 ranked players ready to join Mizzou…WOW

 

Other MLB 1st week observations….

….like them or not…the Cubs defense is very good…even after a 2 error day…Schwarber is the only weak defensive player….we talk about their hitting…but their fielding is really superb

…on the other hand for the Cubs, other than the closer Wade Davis, the Cubs bullpen looks worse than last year to me….it’s their Achilles Heel…or Achilles Arm 

….seems like Cincy has made a concerted effort not only to draft good baseball prospects but to sign extremely talented athletes as indicated by two of their pitchers on Friday night.. Amir Garrett & Michael Lorenzen….the starting staff is still a bit thin but the progress in the pen is noticeable…last year Tony Cingrani was the closer…now he’s listed as #3 or #4 out of the pen..I don’t think that they are a playoff team…but they seem improved to me….and we’ll see a lot of them….the Cards host the Reds again for a 3 game set in the last days of April. The Reds  goal is .500 (which would be a huge improvement)

…can’t decide which is more surprising—SF Giants @ 1-5 or Arizona @ 5-1 after 6 games? The Giants team ERA of 5.98 (and that’s including Madison Bumgarners’ 3.00era in 15 of the Giants 49 innings!!) answered my question there…the D-Backs high  .322 team batting average has been the engine that has propelled this 1st week of wins…I don’t lk their closer, Fernando Rodney…I think he’ll be toast by July 1 and dumped from his role…but Zach Greineke has produced two strong games this week so Arizona is hoping that he’ll fulfill their hopes of a dominant starter in 2017.

…so Albert is 1 for 20 to start the season….ugh..he needs 170ish hits for 3000 hits….he may have a tough time making it this year…. last year he had 159 hits in 650 AB… in a “normal” year hitting .250 and getting 600 AB…he’ll get 150 hits… will it drag out anther year? He claims he’s 37 years old…I’m a non-believer of that stat….but he’ll keep playing until he hits the 3000 hit goal!!

 

That’s it for me….I hit my goal….getting you to the bottom.  Have a great week!!

 

 

 

 

 

50 Shades of “RED”

red picOK…I haven’t seen/read 50 shades of Gray…or 50 shades of anything …but I did hear that the “Gray” book is real kinky about weirdo sex and weirdo stuff in general…. So I thought it was time for a shot of 50 shades of Red about Sports, life, and misc. so here goes….

 

  1. RedBird Nation #1 anxiously awaiting spring training…all those articles about guys trying to make the team, about new squad members, about guys catching fungoes like Willie Mays, about pitch counts, pitch selection, time between pitches, the hot prospects…oh yea… the prospects that can play A ball this year, inane interviews with vets who are trying to act excited but really have their mind on getting back to relieve the baby-sitter, the millions of permutations of Cardinal lineups….yada-yada-yada…and we love it
  2. Red wins in College Football Polls—ranked #1 and #2 in 2015 Pre-season College Football are Ohio St & Bama (guess ya gotta have red jerseys !)
  3. Red-faced#1—a spokesman claims that ISIS is attacking since they don’t have jobs…ugh, all other colleagues of this speaker were severely red faced
  4. The Red QT signs really mean Quit Talking when paying u-just give us money
  5. The Red Devils Jayson Tatum is the real thing! He maybe the most recruited male player from the St. Louis area
  6. President McKinley wore a Red Carnation for luck every day….the only day that he missed was the day that he was assassinated
  7. The red-clad Badgers of Wisconsin are really an old-time Big 10 team considering the way that they pound the ball, pass sparingly, are huge in the line, play strong defense
  8. The 3 RED properties on the monopoly board have new names—Illinois Ave is now Orlando’s Disney World; Indiana is now Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach and Kentucky Ave is now Phoenix’s Camelback Mountain
  9. Red Berenson-an all-time Blues favorite—who could ever forget his 6 goals in 1 game!
  10. The #3 Pool Ball (which is red) should be the primary ball…why isn’t there a game of 3-ball instead of 8-ball ? or maybe when you sink the 3-ball you automatically win the game?
  11. The Circle K (in red) should be a sponsor at Busch Stadium III—when recording the K’s of any starting pitcher –put up a circle K—if you get six of them…free coffee for all the next day.
  12. The All-Time Cincinnati REDLegs lineup is—c-Johnny Bench; 1B-Ted Kluszewski; 2B-Joe Morgan; SS-Barry Larkin; 3B-Pete Rose; OF-Frank Robinson, George Foster, Eric Davis; SP-Bucky Walters; Closer-John Franco
  13. RedBird Nation #2—I hope that Mgr Mathany lets Kolton Wong just play 5-6 days a week.
  14. The red-octaganol stop signs, that we generally roll through in St Louis BUT they do slow us down, should be used by “tweeters” who have never played a sec of any competetive sport but rip others mercilessly…need to slow down
  15. Napheesa Collier of the Red Knights of IWA is being recruited by UConn—enough said about her ability.
  16. 14 teams in the MLB wear RED jerseys.
  17. Lighting the Red-Light are the Blues….but ….lets wait until Mar-Apr-May Seasons that makes or breaks the season.
  18. Red Meats are not good for us now….the Bob Ryan diet IS…moderation in all types of food and drink…there…it’s free medical advice…where can you get that ?
  19. Cutting through the red tape to file taxes is admirable for anyone that does it..we could have a flat tax …but (always a but)….many would lose jobs that exist during tax season
  20. Boston RED Sox new 3B- Pablo Sandoval is already being hit hard by the BoSox fans for his weight
  21. Red Auerbach was a one of a kind….can you imagine ANY coach lighting up a cigar when the win was “in the bag”, winning with multiple rosters over many years while using the same set of 7 plays to win championship after championship
  22. RedBird Nation#3- John Mozeliak should go into politics after baseball with his ability to communicate with the media and use words that are “fresh”
  23. I like the way that the NFL rep came to St. Louis to tell us that Stan K could move but then throws a RED herring that …yea, the NFL will support you if you build a new stadium…sorry…it can’t be both ways.
  24. The Red-clad U of Louisville had Scott Davenport as an asst for Denny Crum and Rick Pitino. He now coaches Bellarmine U. How many years must he have been an asst. there –Crum and PItino seem decades apart to me ??
  25. Red Skelton was maybe the BEST comedian—great delivery, multiple characters, funny jokes without vulgarity or profanity
  26. Apparently, a one-way ticket to the RED planet of Mars is available….are you signing up?
  27. The Jack is the only word of Jack-in-the-box in Red…..I remember as a kid that a “Jack” wasn’t exactly a compliment…the Jack that they portray is a cartoon character of sorts….the only real Jack to me is JACK CLARK to me….an old fashioned, imperfect man
  28. Mizzou Ath Dept is out of the red financially now. That will continue as the SEC network reaps in the dough….next step for Mizzou and the SEC and four other leagues will withdraw from NCAA..not particularly appealing to me.
  29. The Red-card of soccer should be used for NFL players who talk to players on the other team…..nothing good comes of it…..trying to intimidate the other team seems a bit juvenile to me.
  30. Red Ruffing won 273 games in the MLB for the started with BoSox and pitched a great deal for the NYY
  31. Detroit Red Wings haven’t won Stanley Cup since 2007-08 season… where did you go Scottie Bowman?
  32. Nebraska Football fans, wearing their RED, forced our Bo Pelini. Coach Pelini, who smiled as often as he saw his own shadow, won 9 games in each of his years….sure… he didn’t beat the real big boys…but heck…9 games…are those fans happy now?
  33. The Red Sign of DQ really means…dig quickly (into your wallet)
  34. In St Louis, the Hunt for Red October has come to mean that the Cards are expected to go deep in the post-season
  35. Red Barber had the Southern style of speaking …I really enjoyed his folksy descriptions of baseball games…he was meant to be HEARD
  36. Have the Red Communists become the Brown Communists in the 21st century?
  37. Let’s appreciate the fact that Red Schoendienst is still with us…..what a role model for these current baseball players.
  38. Recently when the STL Policeman realized that their car-cam was “on” …they yelled “RED” to signal their colleagues….wonder why the “tip off” word to their mates was so obvious…why not some word that was much more discreet?
  39. The Cards have thrown out the Red-carpet treatment for Jason Heyward…..I’m still withholding total judgment….my initial reaction is that he may hit a more HR (15-20), steal more bases, and be a positive force on the team in 2015. If he’s too good…we won’t be able to afford him as a free agent….so I guess that I want him to be good…but not too good ?!
  40. Red Bull opened its door in 1987…I would have guessed late 90’s ?
  41. Red Sox have 7 players listed in the top 100 prospects
  42. Now they say red wine burns fat cells while lots of beer burns brain cells…don’t worry wait about 10 years and it’ll be that red win burns brain cells and beer burns fat cells !
  43. The “reddest” state in the USA is N.Dakota (red = conservative voters)
  44. Red Cloud died in 1909 @ 88 years of age….wanta read a sad situation…read about this Indian chief.
  45. The Big Red of Cornell University is ranked in the top 10 “for value”
  46. Red-Bird Nation#4—relax –the Cards will lost at least 70x in the months of April through September…we can’t win every game or every series.
  47. Red-faced#2—yet another “issue” with Obamacare—now some will have to pay higher taxes due to this health care
  48. The red-gold of USC is suffering….they are the last place team in Mens Basketball in the PAC 12..or PAC 15 whatever it is…
  49. Don’t put a red line through the Billikens name….these mid-major schools have their good years…then rebuild…its great that those fan continue to support the team
  50. RED LIGHT– STOP

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If you want to reserve a broadcast spot for your Student athlete … please contact us …

 

timmiller@prepcasts.com –      314-265-7692

Watch the Cards and US at the same time

Prepcasts Profile PicWhile we certainly applaud the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Team on their annual run to the playoffs … WE also want to remind you that you can listen and watch Prepcasts.com on your mobile device.  WE are totally able to be accessed from your smart phones, tablets, even android technology.  So there is no reason why you cannot be Watching the Cardinals Win and also be getting the Best Coverage of High School Sports around on Prepcasts.com.  And as always we ARCHIVE all our events for access after the game.  Thanks and  GO CARDS!!!

Prepcasts.com will be highlighting the Best Games of Last Year

prepcasts header facebook coverPrepcasts Profile PicCheck in daily to see or hear a replay of a game from last season that was so popular we want to give you one more chance to take it in.

Our criteria is that it took in at least 1000 audience members in its first run.  WE will be posting many football, basketball, baseball, hockey, LAX, volleyball games and some other surprises along the way.

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Northwest Lions Sports Network Returns this year

NorthwestsportsnetworkNWLions new siteWE are pleased to announce the return for the second year of the Northwest Sports Network on Prepcasts.com.

Please check out their new website … http://nhslions.com/

Athletic Director Jeff Taggart has agreed to cover all the Football games again this year and to include all sports at least three times each.

Click here to see the Football Schedule.

Of course you can take advantage of all the events from last year in ARHIVE MODE by going to the Northwest Sports Network Page on Prepcasts.com .

Welcome back Lions and good luck this new school year.

 

Check out the Boys All Star Soccer Game in Archive …

UMB MAC soccer logopleimannHS Boys Soccer – MAC – UMB Bank Senior All-Star Game – Boys – Join Jim Pleimann and Bob Richars with the call.  Click here for the replay – Words from one of the announcers [Jim Pleimann] – “Really enjoyed broadcasting the high school all-star games.  The pace played in the boys game was impressive.  A number of the goals were real beauties.  There was a lot of talent on the field and it shined.  For a while there, I thought the record for goals scored in a game (12) was going to be shattered.  As we said on the broadcast, they really put on a show.  Congrats to all of these kids and good luck to them as they head off to college and pursue their goals – no pun intended!”