Father’s Day Gifts by Bob Ryan

Many of you celebrated Fathers Day on Sunday….as did many others…we had the rare opportunity to learn some of the gifts that these Fathers’ …or someday to be… fathers….received…

…Chris Maloney received instructions on how to raise both arms simultaneously since he’s never demonstrated that skill previously as 3B coach

….Jon Lester received a certificate from his Dad to play catch and learn how to throw the ball without pitching

…..Golden State received a plaque that simply says, “ Two stars are better than one”

…..Mike Leake received landing gear since he’s come back to earth in his stats.

….Ryan Zimmermann (Wash) received some oxygen to use since he’s up in rarified air this season…he’s hitting .367, 19 HR, 52 rbi thru Friday

…the Rams offensive line coach received his gift a couple days early…the Rams traded Greg Robinson to the Lions

….Jeff Gyorko received a towel to wipe the egg off his face after not running out a short fly to RF against the Orioles that dropped fair and he was barely reaching 1B instead of 2B as the announcers pointed out

….Jake Burger (CBC grad) wants someone  to pinch him and make sure he wasn’t just dreaming.. he was drafted in 1st round this week in MLB draft..congrats

….Carpenter & Fowler each received large question marks…why do lead off men insist on trying to hit HR?

….Sydney Crosby received a large Gold S on his blue under-shirt indicating his “Super star” (see below)

….Aaron Judge received the Babe Ruth award for the first 1/3 of the year (22 HR)

….Paul Molitor received a gold copy of the current 2017 standings..with Minnesota in 1st place …after a horrible 2016 season (his 1st season as manager in Minnesota) when they lost the first 8 games and lost over 100 games in the season while finishing 35.5 games out of 1st place!

….Matt Adams received a “Warm Welcome” in Atlanta where he’s popped 9 HR in 100 AB with an OPS of .939 in his first 25 games..but …where will he play when Freddie Freeman gets healthy? If nothing else, he’s driving upward his free agent value after the season.

….Mike Matheny received a coin to be used to make his decision to appeal a play… instead of the 40,000 fans watching him look for the “sign” from the video man..make the managers use their eyes like the umps to decide

….Rick Pitino received a slap on the wrist from the NCAA for the Louisville Basketball unscrupulous sexual violations that his program was found to have used to entice recruits to come to Louisville

….Miami Marlins fans have received a gift of watching the best hitting OF in baseball-Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna

….Jim Edmonds hopefully receives a gift of amnesia when it comes to using the word “I”

….the City of Pittsburgh received a gold hockey puck for their hockey support…an estimated 650,000 people turned out to celebrate the Penguins post-season victory of the Stanley Cup..officially Pittsburgh has 305,000 people

….Madison Bumgarner received a lock for his dirt bike from the SF Giants since his arm injury occurred on the bike

…Randall Grichuk received an alarm to wake him up because his baseball dream maybe coming to an end

….Brett Cecil received the #”27”for his uniform …that he wore in Toronto…hoping to regain that Toronto touch

…Danny Mc received an index card with the question, “If Martinez & Pham are such hot prospects, why are they 28 and 29 years old before they reach the majors?”

…Michael Wacha has received a ticket to the bullpen…he’s been somewhat efficient first time through the order..maybe he’ll be the bridge guy for the Cards (bridge between starters & 8th/9th guys)

 

Early in the week of June 12, the professional fall-winter sports teams concluded their playoffs.  In hockey, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the first back-back titles won by a defending champion in the NHL since 1997-98 (Detroit Red Wings). Getting “hot” at just the right time, Pitt’s goalie Matt Murray recorded back-back shutouts in games 5 & 6. Overall it was the 5th championship title for the Penguins.…It was an unusual final series….no game was won by just 1 goal throughout the 6 game series! …..Pekka Rinne played like 2 different players—was outstanding  at home (stopped 77 of 80 shots for a .963 Save percentage)but pedestrian on the road (stopped just 34 of 45 shots for a save percentage of .756)…Sidney Crosby has clearly established himself as one of the greatest players of all-time…he now has 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Olympic gold medals and many individual honors. His Consecutive Playoff MVP awards and the likely chance of him winning his 3rd Hart Trophy as League MVP later this month….It makes me ask…can any team win without a Super Star Center Ice Man?  If so…where do the Blues stand? …Nashville abandoned their 3rd pairing of defensive players almost completely in games 5-6 after some costly miscues in game 4. Congrats to the Penguins for winning the title and to Nashville for going deep into the playoffs and igniting a hockey “fire” in Nashville. Nashville’s fans were so very good that they pushed up the NHL final series ratings as many at home loved what they saw…and heard… in Nashville.

 

In NBA basketball, Golden State beat Cleveland this year as Steph Curry & Kevin Durant led the way in the incredible 16-1 post-season run (only loss to Cleveland when GS had a 3-0 lead in the series)….some thoughts..

…LeBron James led his team to the finals for the 7th straight year…clearly he’s on the Mt Rushmore of NBA Super Stars…although there’s more than just 4 players on the Mt NBA..

….an startling stat…the Warriors outscored their opponents by 245 points when Stephen Curry was on the floor in the 2017 playoffs..to give you an idea of how good that stat is in the NBA…the previous record was 213 points difference by Kobe Bryant in 2001 playoffs. Curry’s ability to drive, pass, shoot, dribble are all at the highest level.

…there is already talk that Paul George (star of Pacers) will opt out of his contract in a year at Indy…so….possbily the Pacers will deal him to Cleveland this upcoming year to gain something as they’ll apparently  lose George in a year anyway…Cleveland (Lebron) realizes that Cleveland needs a 2nd super-start like Golden State to compete.

…although gone 51 years, the NBA finals continues to have more viewers in St. Louis than the NHL finals…this year 7.6%of homes watched the Golden State-Cleveland series while 3.1% watched the Penguins handle Nashville. Last year it was 7.6% again for NBA and hockey was a bit higher at 3.6% …the Blues longer run in playoffs probably was the difference…as the hockey fans were highly engaged in hockey by championship time.

 

The US Open Golf Tournament this past week raised the question…do we want to see the best golfers in the world have narrow fairways & long courses …thus these great golfers are really challenged to stay above par ….or do we want to see the best in the world have wide fairways and used their enhanced equipment drive the ball miles down the fairway that lead them to post electric scores that are double digits below par …true, the wind in the last day was a factor.  Myself…a non-golfer…I’m for making it as tough as possible on the greatest players in the world. I think it makes them use a wider variety of skills (shots) to succeed…this shouldn’t just be a “long driving-putt” contest.

 

A new, easy baseball stat to consider….we always have the current standings as an instant barometer of our favorite team’s success…but here’s a different consideration…the Beane count…devised by Rob Neyer of ESPN and named after the Oakland A GM….it’s simple, yet the results coincide rather closely with the standings. Each team is ranked in just 4 categories…HR, walks, HR permitted and walks permitted…the best teams have the lowest score…thru today, Wed, June 14…the Yankees are the best in the AL..by far..with an 8.0 ranking…Tampa Bay is #2 @ 22.8, #3 is Cleveland 23.0 and Houston Astros are #4 @ 24.2…Yankees & Astros lead their divisions in the standings. Cleveland is #2 in AL Central and most seem to think it’s only a matter of time until the pass Minnesota. In the NL, LA Dodgers are #1 @ 15.8 followed @#2 by Az Diamondbacks 19.0. The #3 NL team in Beane Count is the Washington– 20.3….at #4 are the Milwaukee Brewers 25.1…Milwaukke & Washington lead their divisions, AZ & LA are just 1.0 game out of 1st place….conclusion…draw walks & bang HR while defensively don’t walk anyone and keep the ball in the ball park! According to these stats the Cardinals were ranked #7 in the National League.

 

 

Hope all of you had a wonderful Father’s Day!

Comments

  1. Ken Gabel says:

    Right on with Gyorko and some of the others. What ever happened to if you hit the ball out of the infield to “run for two” until the first base coach stops you? I forgot they don’t listen to their base coaches any way!

  2. “Thanks for the insights. Cards mostly stink this year and you’ve got some good points why.
    Agreed on the golf too that the course should be a test of skill and not a long drive contest. I thought it interesting that the final pairing had both a long driver and a finesse player and in the end the long guy Koepka won. I am a golfer and I can’t believe how far these guys can hit a ball accurately.”

  3. The HR/walk stat is very interesting. That those two stats alone can be such a good predictor of where a team stands. I see the value of walks and to a lesser extent HRs. But I would have bet something like Hits/RBIs, or maybe Runs/Strikeouts. That is cool, thanks for sharing.
    At a family gathering a couple weeks ago, my brother in law stated LeBron going from Cleveland to Miami, just to win the Championship and then back to Cleveland did not ruin the league. However, he does think Durant going from OKC to Golden State will ruin it completely. And as you said in your blog, now Cleveland will have to get a 2nd superstar to contend. So OKC, which made the playoffs with Durant is down now without him. If the Pacers lose a star to Cleveland, then they will struggle too. Neither Cleveland nor GS lost a game in the playoffs until the finals “

  4. Great reading, as always. Just a couple of thoughts; I, too, am sooooo tired of listening to how good Jim Edmonds thinks he was when he played. Are we the only two in this city who think he STINKS?

    I have the instant cure of the Cardinals’ slide. Fire Matheny and Lilliquist, hire Jose Oquendo as the Manager, make Molina the pitching coach and have him be a player/coach, bring of up Kelley from the minors and let Jadi mentor him behind the plate where the two can split the catching duties. Call me crazy, but I bet they do better than than have thus far this season.

  5. Jim Pleimann says:

    Wow – You were on a roll there! Pretty spot on for the most part in my humble opinion. (Edmonds does offer some good insight but he is right up there with Ozzie Smith in the “I Love Myself Club”).
    The golf theory you put out there leads me to one questions. If the big fairways were so easy at Erin Hills, why did the number 1, 2, and 3 ranked players in the world exit early and miss the cut? It isn’t just how far you can mash it – you have to be accurate whether it is narrow or wide. Consistency is the key – that is why this guy is not on TV on the weekends. (Just sayin)

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