The 20’s….no..not the roaring 20’s …a forerunner to the 60’s….but the 20’s of August…when they arrive it means lots of things….school has started (or will soon)….summer swimming is seeing its waning days….the “routine” is starting again for many…..in baseball it also means….all the bloom is off the season’s flower by now….the season is stale and repetitious unless you’re a contender…it’s the final days until all the “promising’ players are called up on Sept 1 and ur playing time will be reduced…players on non-contending teams are now focused on personal achievements despite a body that is slower, bruised and aches far more than the glorious days of March spring training…so let’s take a look at what’s going on in these 20’s …
…Recently, Michael Wacha had a very unusual AB…he was assigned to bunt…as he squared, bent his knees, the pitch ran right in on him—right at this face….he DID get the bunt down…as the pitcher mishandled his bunt, Wacha no doubt was considering, as he jogged to 1B, how close he really came to being struck right between the eyes
…does anyone still have any doubts that $silent $tan is moving to LA? I don’t. Our hopes…as I said months ago is the Oakland team….I’m really afraid that the StL committee (which has worked very hard and very well) will have worked in vain….btw…one of my friends, a non-sports person, said to me recently,” well learn to be without it and anyway it’s our tax money and not everyone goes”….well, our tax money already goes to many pleasurable activities—zoo, library, art museum…not everyone goes to those wonderful areas either..I’m not saying that we should lessen or remove our fiscal support of those areas only that a stadium provides enjoyment for a sizable segment of our society –just as these other activities do for others…unfortunately in the “me 1st and me only” society that we function in now….supporting verbally & fiscally the interest of others ..and accepting that we’re all different….doesn’t gain much traction
…clearly the two best hitters in the MLB are Bryce Harper & Paul Goldschmidt (at least by the numbers)….Harper has these credentials as of today—BA-.328,OBP .452 OPS-1.089; Goldschmidt’s numbers are BA-.334, OBP-.447 and OPS 1.017..they are the only two MLB hitters over 1.00 in OPS
…so …part of the Grichuk package was the history of Grichuk having been on DL frequently in the minor leagues…I always wondered why LAA gave him to us so cheaply
…one of my friends emailed me a copy of a survey taken of our college students being quizzed…it was so sad…most could not name the vice-president, from which country we claimed independence, who won the Civil War but…they all knew about some rock star’s (can’t remember her name) husband and former husband…couldn’t we give a competency test (which would change every year so teachers don’t just teach the test) to receive a HS diploma? Forget about those “gimme” grades….they often mean very little is some schools
…we’ve had some dismal QB tandems in StL over the past couple years…here’s another one that seems to be of the same ilk….it’s in Buffalo…the fight for the QB spot is between Tyrod Taylor, Matt Cassel and EJ Manual (who once was thought the be “the chosen one” but now sits at #3 on the depth chart). The fleet-footed Taylor leads this threesome as we head into week 2 of NFL pre-season.
….is Maty Mauk causing some worries at Mizzou after his dismal showing at the intra-squad game? 50% passing completion, considering the many short passes in this offense, is really unacceptable and won’t win many SEC games
….the Angels are still battling for a playoff spot with Trout hitting .295 and Albert trudging along at .252 (albeit 33 HR) …btw not ONE batter is hitting .300 in LAA lineup..does LAA sound like an airport to you too?
…I tend to agree with James Harrison…participation trophies are really superfluous….just because you play on a team, it doesn’t merit a reward…participation ITSELF should be the reward—the fun, enjoyment, satisfaction of learning, developing, mastering skills and then moving upward to tougher skills and learning how to interact with others both as teammates and as players subordinate to coaches while learning that you may not always be the star…or even good…. but the importance of working towards a team goal (like you’ll do in the workplace) is important..on a personal note…my youngest son who lived through the participation trophy stage…would line up his trophies in two rows….the front row was the achievement trophies and the back row the participation trophies…I rest my case
…a tip of the hat to a HS football coach who demonstrated by his actions…not only his words…some good sportsmanship….Farrell Shelton took over the prestigious Kirkwood football job after 14 terrific seasons at Eureka…leading Lindbergh 35-0 at half in Friday night’s opening game and probably being tempted to please everyone by scoring more points….he took the high road….final score Kirkwood 35 Lindbergh 7…great job Coach! Other coaches, I’m sure, also displayed good sportsmanship by easing up also… but this one is a real obvious one to notice.
…the Steelers have lost long-time (10 years) d-coordinator, Dick LeBeau…he’s moved to Tennessee to become Asst head Coach. Keith Butler assumes the duties of the d-coordinator and promises more flexibility in his alignments…LeBeau was simple but innovative.. he trained his players to do the basics—keeping it simple enough that the players could Play w/o thinking and yet was the inventor of the zone blitz package now commonly used by NFL, college & HS teams…btw…LeBeau is 7th in NFL History in Interceptions!
…will the SI Cover Jinx haunt the Cardinals now? The story on the depth, training and success of Birds is followed by an article on the Pirates…guess what, Clint Hurdle (Pirate MGR) is now reading Manifesto Mike’s book—the Manifesto!
…seldom mentioned, Josh Donaldson has really been terrific this year–.296, 33 HR, 94 RBI, 90 runs, OPS .939—since the trading deadline, Toronto has been on a tear (don’t know if it actually is Tulo or the sign from Toronto mgmt. that we’re “all in”
….Pirates,who are 55-1 when leading after 7 innings, tried shoring up their bullpen with the acquisition of Joakim Soria but the starting staff may be starting to crumble…..AJ Bartnett is on DL, Gerrit Cole has now lost his last 3 starts. The Pirates have the 3rd best record in baseball (behind Cards & KC)…btw….I think that those 3 teams all play tremendous defense—which really supports their pitchers and keep them in just about every game
…the Rams brawl with the Cowboys in a “scrimmage” is typical….very typical…of scrimmages between pro teams…trash talk, hard hits, late hits…bingo…we got ourselves a brawl…I’m sure that the toughness, intensity, quickness of a team is elevated at those scrimmages..in fact, they are probably better to watch than the ho-hum pre-season games where meaningless players occupy the playing time while the starters sit on the sidelines joking, gawking at cheerleaders, pretending that they’re drinking water (what do you really think is in that bottle?), and occasionally taking glimpses at the game
….OK …World Series could now extend to Nov 4th…well…I guess the fans could treat it like a football game…tail-gate, get fortified with some anti-freeze prior to the game, watch through blurry eyes as the temp drops throughout the evening and you keep trying to stay warm with libations, then wake up next day wondering who won J-…
…while the Lou is justifiably excited about rookie Randall Grichuk….the Astros SS, Carlos Correa really has the Houston area buzzing…hitting .278, 15 HR ,OPS .871 with 10 SB…some have compared him to a young (and uncorrupted) A-Rod
…sad NFL stat—1 in 6 players go bankrupt during their life…pls don’t blame that on concussions.
…Thx to Thomas Williams for catching me on Superfly Jimmy Snuka…the Superfly HAS NOT PASSED but it was discovered this month that he has stomach cancer. He had his lymph nodes, part of his stomach and all apparent cancer removed. Keep on Splashing Superfly!
…33 year old, Mizzou grad, Ian Kinsler (Detroit) is still holding his head above the .300 water level..he’s in his 10th year of MLB with over 5300 AB
…recent publication predicts 5 things about Mizzou football—1) Kentrell Brothers will lead league in tackles; 2) Russell Hansbrough will rush for 1200 yards; 3) Evan Boehm -will become SEC’s best center (he’s son of Lee Summit West HS coach); 4) after winning it 2 consecutive years, Mizzou will NOT have the SEC Def Player of the Year; 5) Mizzou’s unbeaten streak in the last 2 Novembers will come to an end…interesting…seems to me like if #1 comes true, #4 will likely be wrong…hmmmm… Mizzou’s Nov schedule includes Miss State, Ark, Tenn, BYU, (in that order of skill level)…tough ending…
…puzzles me why Tom Brady is listed around #5-9 in QB ratings in most Pre-Season Fantasy QB…who else would YOU rather have on a final drive down the field?
….which teams have most/best records in one-run games to this point of the season? Sitting down?…The Cubbies are 27-17, Cards 27-19, Atlanta 23-16, KC Royals 19-11
…the defensive OF of Grichuk, Heyward and Piscotty is clearly out best OF defensively (not counting the weak hitting Bourjos as an everyday player)…that would leave us Holliday & Adams for one starting spot….hmmmm…on the other hand….how often are all five of these guys healthy at one time?
…having a strong 2015 for the Yanks is A-Rod (24 dingers, 63 ribbies) but I think the long layoff in 2013 and 2014 is catching up to him now in the hot, long 20’s as he’s hitting .212 in the last 30 days…interesting…just learned that A-Rod missed only ONE game (total) in the 3 year stretch of 2001-2002-2003 for Texas (I guess steroids were providing the stamina)
….watch which players “get hot” during the 20’s….wanna bet that they’re in the final year of their contract?