Real Season – What Do You Expect by Bob Ryan

The Real Season began this week in the NHL….what are YOUR real expectations of the Blues— let’s try to think of it as must of us do…with our hearts, mind and eyes.

….With our hearts ….of course we all have high hopes…the team has played much better with Yeo as coach and actually have improved since the departure of Shattenkirk….I’m not saying that he was playing poorly…but … the Blues younger defensemen..Edmundson & Parayko ..have stepped up, Allen has come back to a high level of play after a sluggish start of the year…our heart says, “Lets Go Blues!”

…our mind tells us a couple different things must be considered…realistically….hopes have to be measured by the play of the team throughout the course of  the entire season…the Blues were a 3rd place team in their division…not really close to 2nd place team or the 4th place team…a solid 3rd place team….should we hope…maybe expect… to make it into round two?…or is making the playoffs as a 3rd place team about what we expected?  Let’s look at it statistically….this is only the 4th year of this particular playoff alignment…in this short 3 year history of this new style of playoffs ..the performance of the 3rd place teams across the league may surprise you….Six (6) of the 12(half of teams)3rd place teams over this time span lost in the 1st round…. 1 team won just 1 series…2 teams won two series; 1 team (San Jose 15-16) won 3 series & lost in finals and ….Here ya go Blues fans…two of the teams won the Stanley Cup after finishing in 3rd place in their division (13-14 LA Kings & 14-15 Chicago Blackhawks)…I guess as fans we can notice as Blues fans that both of these teams came out of the Western Conference….or is that just another straw to grab as a die-hard fan….so…yes …it can be done…to win the Cup

…. Then let’s look at it with our eyes…Jake Allen stole game 1 for the Blues in Minnesota pure & simple…he was sensational…the Wild really controlled the play but could not get it behind Allen…How about the instant pay-back by Sobotka…he scored a goal in game 1 that forced the OT…  In game 2, most would probably say that …again..the Wild had the better of the offensive play….the last goal in the waning minutes of the game stunned the entire, vivacious crowd…so our eyes have seen a 2 game lead…but…the Blues have demonstrated an outstanding defense but a only an opportunistic offense.. without much continual pressure… to this point.

 

Cardinal snapshots of the week…

…Mike Leake’s last 2 starting performance have been terrific…he looks like a right handed, non-grouchy 1985 John Tudor  who was 21-8, 1.93 era, 10 Shutouts (WOW),275 inn, whip .938 

… Trevor Roshenthal relief stint in Washington made it look like that he was “all the way back” and was ready to regain his closer spot…especially since Oh’s fast ball is off 3mph & hitters have been much more successful against him….you may recall that late last year…the final 6 weeks of the season, Oh’s numbers sagged significantly so I had concerns about him 

…Brett Cecil not only didn’t get anyone out in his 1 inning appearance in Washington but Yadi dropped 3 of his pitches…what’s going on that ball?….Yadier is as sure handed as anyone..1st one of Cecil’s pitches sticks to a catcher’s chest protector…then Yadi can’t hold onto them…sounds fishy..oops sticky… to me…btw…Cecil was 1-7 last year for Toronto with a 3.93 ERA…now I understand that if a relief pitcher has a poor outing that it is extremely tough to lower the ERA but…..it’s the same for all relievers

…I don’t doubt that defense was emphasized in spring training…but it is the same ol’ veteran players doing about the same as last year in the field..can the old dogs learn new tricks?

…Diaz really doesn’t cover much ground going to his left..why not have him “cheat” more to towards 2B to help negate his lack of range in that direction?

…Kevin Siegrest…who’s pitched in 148 games in the last 2 years….has lost 3mph in is fastball..same as Oh..?… thus far this season….let’s hope the high number of appearances isn’t taking a toll

…on the other side of the mound, Matt Bowman hasn’t permitted a run in 5 appearances…is he the new Seth Maness?

…with Carp, Fowler & Wong all under.200 and no one over .300…it’s tough to generate offense as of Thursday

 

Odds & ends….

So….St Louis is suing the NFL….is this an attempt to get a wad of cash to pay for the new MLS stadium? ….who knows…..You know Stan will have the best lawyers that money can buy to defend his decision. As a St. Louisan, I realize that Stan had an escape clause..that I’ve been told was seen for the 1st time by the Rams on the formal signing day..it was a complete shock to them..but the press, owner, city officals were all there…so…they signed it…. But… all the subterfuge by the Rams to lead the city…and fans…to think that there really WAS a chance to keep the team in town is the primary point in issue here. I wonder why the suit wasn’t filed shortly after the Rams announced their plans to leave for LA..maybe we could have slowed down the move ..maybe not…but I’d rather go down fighting(filing the suit) while the team is still here

….Generally, some of the best hitters in the league are first-baseman…it’s been that way a long time….and still is…but thus far there has been an abundant number of disappointments in the first two weeks of the season…check out some of these anemic averages for well-known first-basemen across the league..Miguel Cabrera-.182, Brandon Belt-.191, Joe Maurer-.188, Albert Pujols-.205, Joey Votto-.217, Carlos Santana-.186, Eric Hosmer-.179, Mike Napoli-.158, Edwin Encarncion-.194…that’s quite a list….I suspect most of them will start moving their mark upwards soon but for some…but maybe Fr. Time is touching some on the shoulder ..maybe some will heat up as the temp does.. …James Laurinaitis announced his retirement from the NFL… when the Rams drafted him in 2008, his college credentials were very impressive, 2x-Jack Lambert Trophy winner, 3x-1st team All-Big 10, Butkus Award Winner, Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner, Big 10 Def Player of the Year …in 7 years he started 112 games …how good is that?…well… In the 21 seasons the team was in St. Louis, only Isaac Bruce (179), Orlando Pace (154), Torry Holt (146), and Steven Jackson (119) started more games….notice he was the ONLY defense player….and he was the Middle LB! Laurinaitis led the team in tackles in each of his first four seasons, rarely missed a snap, and was voted team captain multiple times.  He was a good player…if he’d been on a good team…he may have been considered very good player or even a star.  I liked watching him play….even when other teams ran inside the tackles at him in his 6th & 7th years. I’m happy for him that he chose to end his career before a serious injury ….although his knees weres sending him signals….good Luck to James Laurinaities and Thx for the memories!

 

Easter Basket Gifts..some athletes and teams found some special gifts in their Easter Baskets….

…Yadier Molina found a Teflon chest protector to keep any pitches from sticking to his protector

…Roy Williams receives a congratulations tweet from President Trump 

…Cuonzo Martin gets a free minute so that he can pinch himself and make sure that his last 2-3  weeks aren’t a dream 

…Toronto Blue Jays receive a W in their basket since they’ve had so few thus far in the worst start of their franchise

…The Cardinals get an Easter Bunny so that they can hop away from the first 2 weeks of the season

…The Reds are receiving medication for their entire team in their basket..the extreme high heights of the Reds in the standings (1st place 7-3) has many of the players ill 

…Mike Matheny is receiving a book of matches …so he can burn all of his “new” spring training programs on improving the defense in 2017

….Lou Brock is receiving a ton of prayers as he fights a new opponent…cancer.

….All of you…get at TU in your basket for making it to the bottom!

 

Comments

  1. Joe Parisi says:

    Lots of thought provoking “stuff”.

    – The Blues: great to see them working hard and making a statement to-date in the playoffs… we have been teased for many years.. hope this year they prove to their loyal fans that they CAN win the Big One!

    – Cardinals: Basically the same team as last year. Appear to lack enthusiasm, which is alarming.
    FOWLER is pressing .. wants to show STL fans that contract was a good move, plus, probably wants to show Cubs they missed out not re- signing him.
    Soon shake up will be in order! Gyrko , Martinez and Garcia need to be inserted into line up and not just on Sunday. Kolten, Jhonny, Grichuk..You have to produce to play! Enough of Adams in left. If you want his bat in line up, he plays 1st.. carp back to 3rd , Gyrko to 2b and Martinez in left. Have to send a message!!!
    Need a quality starter… love Waino but move to long relief… oh and Rosey need regular work to be effective.

    Mizzou: Roundball may be back in Columbia!

    Rams: if the average guy could read Rams were leaving, why couldn’t new stadium group?
    Peacock tried but doesn’t have A-B as his lynchpin.. net… Goodell was a friend of A-B’s sponsorship money… not any person who delivered the check. Lawsuit?? Move on.

  2. Thomas Koziacki says:

    Mo has to go!!!! And Matheny can follow him out the door!!!!! The chickens are coming home to roost this year. All the double talk we’ve received the last few years has finally caught up with The Brass!
    Carpenter is no 3 hole hitter much like Piscotty’s no clean-up man. And Diaz can’t play SS! This is a losing team full of 2nd basemen on the roster and nothing much else!!!!

  3. B.J. Schulte says:

    I hate that the Cards infield defense is not any better. Things looking up though with the benching of Peralta and Adams. I would be surprised if Peralta and Broxton are on the roster in a month. I like the rotation outside of Wainwright. Bullpen will be fine. Just have to get Fowler, Diaz, and Carpenter going. Looks to be about an 86 win team without a major move.

  4. Jim Pleimann says:

    This edition of the Cardinals sure has the eyebrows raised. But we are not out of April yet. Panic is not needed for a few more weeks. Oh is a concern to me. Siegrist is a concern. Jhonny won’t be here long. I would just like to see them run out the same lineup for four or five days and just let them play.

    Bob ya did good on the Blues report!!

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