Pleimann’s Pieces 1.14.19

Pleimann’s Pieces…

The “Powers That Be” are letting me ramble again this week as I sub for the irreplaceable Bob Ryan.  Bob will be back in this space next week as I think the infamous assignment he is on, will be completed.  I am just giving a few thoughts on the sports scene here in St. Louis.  That in-depth fact-digging you get from Bob?  I don’t have that kind of time – I am not retired like he is!  Ha!

I thought the first three games of the NFL playoffs last  weekend  would be the best match-ups. It was completely the opposite with the Rams, Chiefs and Patriots easily winning.  The game I thought would be a blowout was the Saints and Eagles. It turned out to be the only good game (in my opinion) of the weekend.

The best four teams in the NFL remain.  I’d love to see Kansas City win at home in front of their championship-starved fans.  Remember they have home field advantage only because of the crazy lateral play the Dolphins beat New England on the last play of their game.  I think they have a chance but Tom Brady sure looked good in defeating the Chargers.  Is he the best-ever quarterback? 

That leaves the Saints and the Rams.  I will be hate-watching as I peek at this one.  I am one of those who are still so angry that we lost another football team.  I miss it.  I hope the Rams fall apart and lay an egg in New Orleans.  (But they are good, you can’t take that away from them).  Jeff Fisher would never have this team where they are now I can promise you that. 

What could be worse than watching Stan Kroenke being interviewed and raising the NFC trophy or worse yet the Lombardi trophy at the Super Bowl?

Will Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and all the rest ever sign?  Will it be before spring training starts?  As a fan, this is frustrating to see.  This is yet another year this drags on.  To me it is not helping the game at all.

There are so many signs that are leading to a huge work stoppage in 2022.  Owners, players and agents are nowhere near being on the same page as owners are refusing to sign long term contracts in most cases to players who are a little too old to command them.  There are very few statistics that will back up signing 32-35 year old will remain productive in their later years.  I wouldn’t pay them either! 

Players need to become free agents sooner in the process.  Arbitration is a problem.  There will be a lot to iron out.

I see a number of Blues players being traded in the very near future.  Much maligned Jay Bouwmeester could help a team down the stretch with his veteran savvy.  Not sure who would take on Alexander Steen’s contract but he could help somebody.  David Perron?

Heck, almost anybody – I know he’s not having the best of seasons if Vladimir Tarasenko is moved, (rumor mill) it better be to the Eastern conference because he is the kind of guy who would kill us if we played against him four times a year or in a playoff series.  He still has a lot of goals left on his stick.  I would hold on to him.

It is becoming obvious that Jake Allen will not lead us to the promised land.

I can’t wait to see what the Blues do for a coach.  I don’t think Craig Berube is the answer they are looking for.  They need a coach who has delivered the Stanley Cup.  A coach who knows what it takes to work, unify  and to get the whole team to work together and be on the same page. 

Consistency for this team would be nice. A power play that scoresd a few goals would be nice. 

Yet, as I write this they have just beat the defending Stanley Cup champions for the second straight time.  This time on the road!    Oh, oh, this just in… the Blues are at the .500 mark!  Maybe they won’t sell…  stay tuned….  They make you dizzy!

Thanks for taking a few minutes to read – if you made it to the end. 

 I hear there could be another snow storm coming to the area this coming weekend.  Make sure you have plenty of gas in your car this time and if you work, leave earlier!!

Pleimann’s Pieces 1.7.19

Pleimann’s Pieces

Hello everyone,  I am pinch-hitting for Bob this week as he is on what they call, “assignment”. He told me, write anything you want.  So… hang on, I am going to be skipping all over the place with some random thoughts from this crazy sports world we live in.

There are a lot of peaks and valleys as a sports fan – 2018 for many here in the St. Louis area was a valley.  But that is what makes following sports fun.  If you are a true fan, you live and die with your teams. 

It is a fun diversion from the rigors of everyday life.  It brings you together with family members, friends and fantasy leagues.  You often you find yourself rooting at games, or cheering at bar with people you don’t even know. 

There is nothing like the feeling you get when your teams wins a game, a playoff series or a world championship. But every fan also feels that gut-wrench when lose a big game.  Some player or coach befuddles you and you’re ready to launch something into your TV, walk out of a game early or swear them off for good.  (But if you really care, you go back).  Classic example – being a Bears fan today!!  Ouch.

With that said, I can only imagine the joy that would come watching the Blues parade the Stanley Cup down Market Street.  What a party that would be!.

I was asked by my son what were the highlights of  2018 here in the Loo? Other than the obvious PGA Tournament in which Tiger Woods stole the show, champion Brooks Koepka was so good, and the St. Louis crowds were nationally praised, there was really not that much to choose from. 

Think about it….    still thinking?

As I look back on the 2018 sports scene here is St. Louis, try as I might, it was hard to find a whole lot of positive. The Cardinals and the Blues didn’t generate any extra cash to their owner’s pockets by making playing in the post-season.

Both teams lost their manager/coach to firings in the middle of the season. That don’t happen too often around here.

 We had to watch our ex-NFL team become good (and well coached), win their division and post their best record since they were The Greatest Show on Turf in 2001.

 Mizzou football teased us and left us to think what could have been. (At least two more wins?)  Mizzou basketball had a nice run to the NCAA tournament but ended as a one-and-done.

They now are in the midst of their second straight season without their perceived best player to start their season. That is tough.  Coach Martin and company are doing a pretty good job though heading into SEC play on Tuesday – all things considered.

 Or is Ol’ Mizzou just jinxed?.  Try as they might, nothing ever seems to go the Tiger’s way.  They recruit so-called star players Like Tony Van Zant and Michael Porter Jr. that get the fan base all geeked up and crazy things happen and they don’t play.

They get to a big game and falter so often. The latest example was the Liberty Bowl. It was a game on paper, they should have won.  Oklahoma State was 6-6 for crying out loud!

Mizzou played well enough. Heck, they totaled over 600 yards in total offense!  Drew lock was very good (not sure why he carried the ball on the Tigers final play of the year).  Larry Rountree III had a career day rushing for 204 yards – but he couldn’t get a precious few to give the Tigers a chance to win in their final push.  But that leads to play calling and that’s a whole other story.  There certainly was plenty to question in that department.  Bottom line, I think the Tigers 8-5 record meant this team underachieved for the season.  This team was better than that. 

Does anyone besides me find it mind boggling how close the Vegas odds makers  get when they set things such as over/under.  They picked 77 points for the Alabama-Oklahoma game – boom it comes in at 79.  Did you really think it would be over?  I thought it high (I would have lost)!

I don’t bet much money on sports through the year and here is why.  I can only be embarrassed when I tell you I picked all four games of this past wildcard weekend wrong.  All four!  How is that possible? 

Now that Christmas is over, can we skip right to spring training? This weekend’s and Monday’s fall-like temperatures and sunshine got me all ready for pitchers and catchers to report!!  And in typical St. Louis fashion, snow is possible by the weekend.

In  the Alabama – Clemson game we will see for the first time ever, the top two ranked teams play in the NCAA championship game while both are undefeated.  I hope the game lives up to its hype.

Thanks for reading.  Hope I didn’t lull you to sleep.  I think I will be back next week…. unless the find me an “assignment”

Jim Pleimann

Pleimann’s Pieces by Jim Pleimann

Pleimann’s Pieces…

Greetings to all as I pinch hit for Bob Ryan who is on assignment this week. He somehow thought I could spew words of wisdom, knowledge, opinions and sarcasm as well as he can.  But I will do my best and have some fun along the way.  I am going to be all over the place – So here goes…..

Wow what a difference a week makes here in St. Louis!   Folks, believe it or not, we are in a pennant race.  No, I am not drinking the Kool-Aid, nor can I say I told you so, but I truly was never one to say this team was as bad as so many  who catapulted off the proverbial bandwagon weeks ago when the Cardinals were five games below the.500 mark going nowhere.

I know he is not given a lot of love in this space, (okay, maybe no love at all)  but let’s talk just for a brief second about “Manifesto.  Because I don’t constantly bash Mike Matheny , I am considered by the two or three friends I have, as a “Matheny Lover”.   This team is fundamentally flawed, defense is very erratic, base running leaves you scratching your head, bullpen choices often make people go into shock, yet they are tied for first place in a weak division.

You can argue he was handed a pretty good team when he took over in 2012.  True.  He also lost at the time, one of the best players in the game in Albert Pujols.  For  a guy with no professional experience, he took what he was given, won a few division titles, a pennant to go along with the world series a 100 win season and put up a nice winning percentage along the way. That’s not too shabby.  Some say “I could have managed these guys to do that”….. Maybe, maybe not.

This season he was handed a team by upper management that banked on a few younger players (Randall Grichuk, Steven Piscotty,  Aledmys Diaz) to have breakout seasons.  That hasn’t gone according to plan.  All three have visited  Memphis.  Three players in his opening day lineup are not on the current roster.  I give him credit for keeping this team/season together when so many wanted him fired and sent to the Russian Front.  He did move Matt Carpenter back to leadoff where he somehow thrives more than any other spot in the lineup. I don’t think he is going anywhere for a while.

But he is loyal, almost to a fault to his players.  I think, they like playing for him.   His teams give effort.  Let see how all this plays out  before we run him out of town. Enjoy the fact, at least for the moment, the Loo is finally seeing some meaningful baseball.

How would you like to be a fan in San Francisco?  Is Bruce Bochy all of a sudden a worse manager than Mike Matheny.  Are the fans out there as suicidal as us spoiled folks here in St. Louis.  They are 25 games under .500 and they didn’t make a move at the deadline either – oh wait, they brought back Pablo Sandaval.  That’s a big help!

In eight days, they made up 4.5 games and sat tied with the Cubs.  Remember the Cubs?  I don’t even know why the season was to be played because they were going run away and win it all –  again.  They were going to be 81-34 on Aug 12.  Oh wait, I think the Dodgers own that record don’t they?  (By the way, that is quite impressive isn’t it?)  They may break a few win records before the season is over.

Who has won the second most games over the past five weeks or so in all of Major League Baseball?  You guessed it.  Our local team that did nothing at the trade deadline.  At that point in the season, who were they going to acquire that was going to be head and shoulders better than what they had to offer?  I could not figure out why that upset people so much.  The off season is the only time this current team can be tweaked.  That’s a whole other column!

My quick thoughts on the Cardinals – Where would this team be with Paul DeJong?  Of course last year at this time we were saying that about Diaz.  Tommy Pham sure has put a nice season together in all facets of his game.  With his resurgence over the last month or so, Trevor Rosenthal has stabilized the back end of the bullpen.  He has made some adjustments in his velocity that have helped him wiggle out of situations and his walks are way down.  It is good to see.

If I was manager Mike, Brett Cecil would only be in games they are winning or losing by six runs or more.  September call-ups should be in games before him.  That poor guy has had an awful season.  Hopefully he regroups and starts fresh in 2018.

What do you do with Dexter Fowler when in my opinion there are four guys on your 40 man roster who are better center fielders?  (Pham, Magnerus Sierra and Harrison Bader and probably Grichuk.  I can’t wait to see how the situation with  all these outfielders they have stockpiled, plays out.

I wasn’t happy at all with Yadi and his pouting, tweeting and camping out in the bullpen.  I hope he got that out of his system.

Which leads to a final question – If, and I say if rather loudly, the Cardinals would somehow win the Central, does that change how they go into the off-season?  Remember two weeks ago we were ready to trade darn near the whole team!    (They need an RBI guy)

Final Quick Hits….

As of this writing the Red Birds are 4.5 out of the wild card spot.  Never saw that possibility materializing a week or two ago did you?

Zeke Elliot – Six games? Did he get that many so they can reduce to 3-or 4?  The NFL police is better than the real police?  Yikes!   Weird situation.  Stay tuned…

Those of you who are true baseball fans, is the strikeout rate alarming to you?  Does it not bother you? Is it just part of the game in the 21st century?

Is it me or does every player that runs the bases always watch the ball?  Do you ever see a guy round second base and pick up the third base coach.?  I dare you to name one.

Rally Cat – How about the poor guy who had the similar experience in Seattle all those years ago.  He had to be in shock when his phone started ringing off the hook the next morning wanting his take on his cat experience.

Bob will be back next week.  He does a great job with this space.  his research into things amaze me. By the time he types up his blog, the Cardinals will have played another week and who knows what they will have accomplished.  I am sure Manifesto will have done something he will be able to comment on.  High school football will have started.  College football is drawing near.  NFL players are getting hurt in all camps.  It will be only a couple weeks until hockey opens camp and preseason games start.  LGB!  Sorry bob had to do that.

Hope I didn’t bore you.  I didn’t dig deep into research while I rambled on and on.  I just gave some thoughts.  Pinch hitters usually ground out and go back to the bench.  So that’s where I will go.  Thanks for reading – if you made it this far.  Ha!






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!”

Check out the Girls All Star Soccer game in Archive …

UMB MAC soccer logopleimannHS Girls Soccer – MAC – UMB Bank Senior All-Star Game – Girls – 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 girls did a great job.  The pass work and creativity of these girls stood out.  Congrats to all of these kids and good luck to them as they head off to college and pursue their goals – no pun intended!”