We’ve witnessed the a bit more than the first furlong of the season….can’t you tell that I’m in the horse racing mood….ya know—Kentucky Derby. Preakness, Belmont Stakes …anyway…it’s time to take a glance at some of the MLB as the race unfolds but first…I’ve come to the realization that the MLB has “lost” much… if not most.. of the youngsters of America…why?….sure the game is ssllllloooowwww, little league practices are like doing penances after confession, most games are at night instead of day-time like football but…..I’ve come to think that another factor is really important….now keep in mind….MLB is an entertainment business…it started over 100+ years ago as a sport…the MLB discourages any emotion….yet, emotion is what “catches” the fans…currently in the rare instance of emotion of recent days–Matt Adams hopping to 1B after his post-season HR, Dave Freese slinging his helmet as he approaches his teammates after the GW HR is quickly made into commercials promoting the sport, the StL tradition of curtain calls for HR hitters. Going further back, we still see Ozzie doing his flips, Carlton Fisk waving the …or trying to …ball fair, etc, etc….so, I’m suggesting that the days of Scott Rolen putting his chin on his chest and racing around the bases….the thoughts of “showing up” your opponents has to have a paradigm shift…let’s have…and actually promote EMOTION. Let the HR hitters have a certain movement, action—kids LOVE to imitate…it might reenergize the sport…maybe Matt Adams does his little hop each time, maybe Albert stares at this magnificent blasts, maybe hitters design their own HR “move” between 3B & home plate…let pitchers show their pleasure as they strike out batters with some type of gesture (no middle fingers please)….let managers argue (we’ll talk another day about the current appeal system—only Supreme Court appeals are slower….let OF accept applause for terrific catches with reactions of their own…make it fun…Yasier Puig’s bat flinging would not be viewed as “flamboyant”, Bryce Harper’s adolescent reactions to strikes would be a part of the game (see notes below on these two players)…look at the emotion in soccer (world #1 sport) and football (currently USA #1 sport) – has it hurt them or helped them?….your thoughts…
…..I’m a bit suspicious of the over-fatigue analysis of Matt Carpenter…the Cardinals have never been forthcoming on injuries to their players so why would I think that Carpenter is just tired?…maybe the pressure of being the “star” has got to him? Some players relish that role…others like to be out of the spotlight….clearly Matt Holliday has passed over the “star crown” to Carpenter…Carp always looks to be so serious…lighten up big boy…..hopefully, it’ll just be a mind-set change for a player that I think has been one of the league’s best in April…
…Justin Hayward is hitting more now….that’s a big help because he can run (which is a weakness of the Cards)….I don’t know if he’ll be worth multiple tens of millions but we’re only at the 1st furlong … btw… a furlong is an 1/8 of a mile
…the use…overuse of the bullpen bothers me….I think that most relief pitchers could pitch 2 innings….most didn’t grow up throwing 1 inning (probably striking out every batter)..as I suggested previously…let your first man “in” for 2 innings….Manifesto Mike seems to be managing every game like we’re in the World Series as far as pitching is concerned
….Manifesto Mike has used his short non-pitching bench extremely well…Peter Bourjas is contributing, Reynolds has won a game or 2 with his booming bat (which whiffs at many pitches—just accept it), Kozma is wearing the “Jose Oquendo” hat as jack of all trades. He’ll become a fan favorite before the season is over.
…I’m concerned after seeing ESPN articles on the delivery of Carlos Martinez….that spot claimed that he’s already lost 1-2 mph and will continue to do so because of his landing with his front leg. How many other guys have we heard about that had “great stuff”?
…the Cards are in the only division of MLB that has only ONE team over .500 (cubbies are right at .500)
…KC Royals, after having such tremendous success last year as they reached the World Series, seem to have embraced their style….good starting pitching, great relief pitching, speed on the bases(Whitey small ball reincarnated) excellent defense and some hitting ….they’re off 20-11 start and in 1st place of AL central.
..Now that Drew Storen has found his rhythm as a closer…the Wash Nats are beginning their push upward in the NL East….it’s is rather fun (and unusual) to see the NY Mets in first place—are Tom Seaver and Gary Carter back or what?
…under the best promotions in MLB stadiums….Yadier’s bobblehead is one of them (holding 7 gold and 2 platinum gloves)…given away Apr 18…on Diamond Backs Fedora Hats with their logos looked cool to me… in Minnesota their giving away a BBQ branding iron…Houston is giving away a replica (in honor of 50th anniversary) of the Astro-Dome…many other bobbleheads of all sorts (Vin Scully, Hunter Pence, John Smoltz, Cincy Reds Nasty boys)
…it seems to me that one of the last remnants of the old South is the triple crown…especially the Kentucky Derby….the wonderful attire (especially the magnificent womens’ hats), the special drinks, all the “visiting with each other”, the men betting on their animals, the winning owner being lauded as the “king for a day”, the losing owners (crushed down deep) congratulate and share drinks with the winner….many of the 100,000+ fans couldn’t even see the finish line…somehow, that’s how I picture some of the Old South traditions…but I’m not THAT old….I didn’t really experience it.
…the LA Dodgers seem to have so much depth at OF and 3B that young Alex Guerrero (hitting .333, with 6 HR & 14 RBI in just 45 AB) can’t find a place to play. In the OF, the Dodgers have Puig, Joc Pederson (9 HR), Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier. 3B is more crowded than a subway car in NY at rush-hour—highly paid Juan Uribe is there as is Justin Turner (.327, 5HR). Those are pleasant problems for LA.
…ever since Oakland traded Yoenis Cespedes last year to Boston for John Lester in an effort to go “all in”…they’ve never been the same team. Lester flopped…and badly….what’s the cheer…”OVER-RATED”…the A’s are currently in last place of AL West
…according to two different articles on Yahoo on the most hated MLB players.. ARod was #1 (arrogant, long time cheat—I was most amused by a picture of him next to a full length mirror, kissing himself on the mirror—does that say it all or what?)…other honorees on both lists were Manny Ramirez (need I explain), AJ Pierzynski (crap disturber with opponents AND teammates—last year the Cards needed a shakeup but after Mr AJ stirred it up some…he was given the quick exit), Bryce Harper was on both lists for his non-conformity to baseball etiquette (see above), John Lackey was on one list for being so grumpy and his handling of his wife who has cancer (had an affair and then divorced her), Ryan Braun made the list (for his integrity…or lack of it)
…at one point…I was a boxing fan…like most boxing fans…I wanted action, punching, ebb & flow in a match (not one-sided), boxers getting up from being knocked down and still fighting…anyway….I didn’t pay $100 for the PPV of the Mayflower-Pacquino fight which was like a SR. citizen’s match…no real power punches .. Heck, Pacquino had surgery less than a week after the fight on his shoulder—how much power could he have?…couple reactions—apparently there was a lot more action at Charter’s offices than the ring during the fight and this match reminded me of a slow-pitch game that I watched this summer for men over 60. It had modified rules…every batter started with a 1-1 count, no more than 4 of 5 runs in an inning, certain batters had to have pinch runners due to their physical condition….meanwhile it seems…Mayflower needed to be on some type of exercise show demonstrating quick movements—forward, backward & sideways with an occasional movement with his arms while Pacquino was floundering around, swinging at thin-air most of the time… this fight shows the decline of boxing as they promote 40 year olds and ignore any future stars in their young 20’s
..Jason Marquis comeback….although he’s won 3 games for Cincy his ERA is 5.86 and the batting average against him is .312…when you look at these stats…how desperate must the Reds be for starting pitching?
…your at the bottom of this list now…