Good to Great by Bob Ryan

Good To Great… a book written by Jim Collins was required reading one year while I was teaching. It was an interesting book…no…I’m not giving a book review here…but…some of his ideas  apply to our Cardinals.  Quickly…Collins says that you have to have a vision, decisiveness, the correct personnel on the bus to success and each of them in the right seat on the bus to execute this paradigm shift. One could say …fairly…that the Cardinals develop good field players….these type of  players have enough ability to play in the MLB, they receive good training and habits along the way…many make it to the MLB and play several years..this “Cardinal Way” works to get good field players…but not often great field players..Albert was our last great player developed in the Cards system..the current management team seems determined to play with these home-grown players….almost just doesn’t work…look at some of the Cardinals best teams…1964 team had only 3 home-grown field starters, in 1982 it was also just 3 starters from the farm system, 2004 it was 3 players again…2011 saw a huge number-5 Cardinals grow up in the system…generally, it’s very difficult to find those superstars from one organization and very difficult to go deep in playoffs with only home-grown boys….I’m suggesting that the Cards trade several of their younger players…some  in the majors and some from the minors…to procure a superstar…along with an aging superstar  (e.g. Lance Berkmann, Larrry Walker, Carlos Beltran, Roger Maris)…to help our team go from good to great…

A team MUST draft well and trade as required…it’s required now by the Cardinals….we don’t have a great team with this squad…so..let’s take steps to make it a great team….package 3,4 or 5 talented young players  for a superstar and.. combined with several GOOD players already on the team….it  can do the trick….it CAN and HAS been done….stop shuffling the bottom of the deck players…take a look at some of these players who were traded as young players (under 25)…Ryne Sandberg (Phils to Cubs), Jeff Bagwell (BoSox to Astros),HOF Nolan Ryan (Cal Angels to NYM),  HOF Pedro Martinez (Dodgers to Expos), Fergie Jenkins (Phils to Cubs), future HOF Miguel Cabrera (Marlins to Tigers) and of course Babe Ruth  … I wouldn’t rule out any current starting field player and only Martinez on the mound corp.  Players most attractive to other teams…not in any particular order… Carpenter, Gyorko, Wong, Pham,  Diaz, Lynn (as a short term rental), Piscotty, Grichuk, Rosey, Oh and the plethora of pitchers down in the farm(*Jack Flaherty, Mike Mayers-just promoted,, Marco Gonzales, *Sandy Alcantara, Luke Weaver) Your thoughts? ..btw…* means that player is top of the line in my eyes…look who we’ve procured over the years who helped us become a GREAT team…Lou Brock, Ozzie, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen,  John Tudor, Adam can be done and it must be done if the Cards want to elevate their level of play


While some are really not “ good to great”…more like” bad to good” in some cases…how about…

…Atlanta’s star 1B, Freddie Freeman. offers to move to 3B to keep the surging Matt Adams at 1B…while that idea was floated around repeatedly in these blogs it didn’t gain any traction in the Cards clubhouse…so who’s being the true “team” player?

…you must give the Blues credit for trying to become a GREAT team….strengthening the center-ice position via a trade with Philly…then gambling on a forward with their 1st round pick..who by many hockey experts has a high end of talent but somehow it’s never jelled yet…and as a bonus….losing Paron & Lehtera freed up some badly need cap space

…someone with GREAT speed is Mags Sierra….he’s 21 playing at Springfield Redbirds (AA)..been in minors 4 years…hitting power…he’s another Vince Coleman type…remember the excitement that Vince brought? If we don’t make a major trade, I hope we see him shortly after All-Star break….

…Matt Holliday has been a GREAT addition for the Yankees this year….recently he “volunteered” to play 1B if needed…his mature attitude in the clubhouse has to be a big plus for the youthful Yankees…and he has 15 HR, 47 RBI’s  and a .275 average in the batters box in 2017…frankly…we just didn’t want to pay him and we don’t have a DH spot in the NL

….striving to overcome a career low in 2016, Andrew McCutchen has been on fire of late…now hitting  .270 with his 13 HR ….McCutchen is signed through 2018 ….so…. he may have played himself right out of Pittsburgh who would like to get something in return and not just have him walk away as a free agent at the end of 2018….he could be very attractive to contending teams who need an OF for 1+ years …especially a CF ….who’s only 30 years old…younger than Matt Carpenter & Dexter Fowler and shockingly…just 1 year older than Tommy Pham

…hopefully Derek Jeter will lead a group to buy the Marlins….that would be taking a team from being badly handled to hopefully good or even GREAT team.

…still running the 3000 Steeple Chase in GREAT form  is Colleen Quigley…from Nerinx Hall HS and whose Dad was a teaching colleague of mine.. She finished 8th in the 2016 summer Olympics and over the weekend came in 3rd place in the Steeple Chase in the USA Championships…her 3rd place finish has earned her a trip to London for the World Championships. Congrats on maintaining such a world class status.

….after renting Mark Melancon in late 2016 and surrendering Felipe Rivero in the trade….the Nats are in the same predicament  in 2017….seeking a “big time” closer again… would Rosenthal be a candidate for them? Melancon sure filled the bill last year.. he had 17 saves in Washington and 47 for the year with a year long ERA of 1.67…

….I have some pity for the announcers…trying to announce these Cardinal games like they are GREAT games…..many are not even GOOD games…I notice that Danny Mc is bringing in many more stats and stories to “fill” throughout each game…I mean how many times can you say, “an error or a base running mistake by the Cards on that play” 

….on the upper end of the “good to great” yard stick….Las Vegas Golden Knights have 37 players but….they also acquired a bevy of draft choices….they acquired THREE 1st round picks(6th, 13th, 15th) as they obtained a total of  12 overall picks in this draft on Friday!

whoa, whoa…hang on there Mr. Kyle Schwarber….the road to being Great…or even good… is longer than just  one post-season series…how can you not hit a fastball now?

…going from good to GREAT by recognition are the 2017 St Louis Soccer HOF class…the entire class is Pat Baker, Billy Becher, Sam Bick, Pat Gaffney, Keith Gehling, Jack Jamieson, Tony Kuster, Jeff Sendobry, Herb Silva, Mike Sorber, and Jamie Swanner. A special pat on the back to two of my friends— a classmate of mine through elem school & HS–Tony Kuster and a fellow teaching colleague Jack Jamieson who are being inducted in this ceremony….CONGRATS on the GREAT honor!!

…the blatent ignoring of the Phillies 3B coach by Odubel Herrara against the Cards was almost shocking…3B coach, Juan Samuel, had both arms up clearly and early and Herrara just kept running…reminded me of kids running the bases in T-Ball…when the defense hasn’t learn to throw the ball yet…of course Herrara was out by…20 feet…I’m being conservative….If the Phils don’t deal the rogue Herrara ..or cut him…they’ll never be good…much less great…

…Dodgers have been great recently as they’ve won 10 in a row…thank goodness the Cards are in the Central division…if they’d been in the Western division, we’d be 16.5 games out of 1st place

…for the 1st time in many years, the Detroit Tigers will probably be “sellers” at the trade deadline…key players like J.D.Martinez, Justin Wilson, Alex Avila, Shane Green and Ian Kinsler could all be on the block as the Tigers will attempt to reshape their roster and get younger…and hopefully….better…possible trade partner with Cards…as are Toronto, Frisco, NYM, Cincy (Joey Votto)

…recently promoted 1B Luke Voit was hitting .317 with OPS of .952 @ Memphis….but…he is a 1B…it doesn’t appear that the Cards want to shake up or bother Matt Carpenter…maybe Voit is one of the trade bait for that superstar mentioned above…keep in mind, Johnny Peralta in .364 in Memphis…and barely .200 vs the MLB pitchers…btw…Johnny was just resigned by a MLB team but show his skills in the minors….poor Johnny…it’s just really tough to admit that your time is up…go on with your life.

….in the NBA….good players aren’t good enough….you must have superstars to compete for the title….Jayson Tatum was drafted #3 by the Celtics with the hopes that he can play a 2 or 3 position and push the Celts back into prominence. It was especially Good to me to see the wonderful hugs for Mom & Dad who have gone their separate ways…

….it’s good…maybe even great…that you made it to the bottom…YOUR thoughts are always welcome…just put them on the Prepcasts site or send them to me & I’ll post them for you(you’re your permission)..many, many of you send me very insightful, detailed ideas that are really good to read..I’d like others to share in that same experience.





  1. Joe Parisi says:

    Hard to figure Cards strategy. Bringing up kids from farm as necessity or showcasing to package as trade bait.

    You have Wong and Dejong. I like Dejong’s power and ability to play 2nd and SS…. signed Wong in off season to extension…is Diaz the odd man out??

    Have to think that the outfield provides best trade options…. J Martinez, Pham ( vision concerns not attractive to potential suitors) Grichuk, Piscotty and FOWLER. …. only need a 4th outfielder… not 5)

    Cecil appears to be finding himself. Siegrist not impressive, hurt too much, Bowman is serviceable, Oh scares me. I think Rosenthal should return to closer role, otherwise, he may be headed to Washington.
    I believe Wacha moves to long man in pen, and Lynn either is traded or walks at year end.

    They appear to have several starters in minors they are ready to promote.

    With Chicago returning to earth THIS was the year to go for it…. tend to think they rather will re-tool for next year and beyond.

  2. rob staggenborg says:

    Congratulatiosn ot Jack Jamieson on his STL Soccer HoF induction

  3. Coach Q says:

    Admittedly, I am foremost a track and field guy but listen to the Cards games regularly. They’ve spoiled us with past successes and we expect much better than we’re getting. Not sure if it’s the personnel or the coaching (or both) but as you say, changes MUST be made! Maybe trading a bunch for a big name is the answer but I wonder what Matheny is saying about it…. I know Whitey had his philosophy and some strong opinions about what needed to happen and then made it happen. I hope that Matheny will show the same leadership!
    Thanks for the shout out for my girl Colleen (aka @steeple_squigs on Twitter)! Had a great time watching her make her 3rd straight world team in Sacramento last weekend at USATF championships!

  4. Exactly what the Cardinals need to do. They need to find one or two established players that will be leaders, role models and everyday steady players. I’d like to see McCutchen from the Pirates and if we could get Votto I think it would be a smart move. We have all these young kids out there and I’m not sure they are everyday players. And when MM rotates them in and out of the lineup it’s a crap shoot. Randal is back and had a great day…..however, can he continue to play that way. As long as he doesn’t swing at pitches way outside the strike zone he would be fine. However, he gets hot and then cold. Then out to AAA until he gets his eye back. Maybe as he is developing now we could use him as trade bait along with Voit. We are not going to use him in any way that is productive.

    I’d like to see them bring up our catcher for the future. Let him work as the backup behind Yadi. Maybe move Yadi to first, put Carpenter at 2nd, Dejohn at SS (rotate with Diaz unless we trade him) and keep Jedd at 3rd. Unless, Brooks Robinson is available I don’t see any other move at 3rd. Garcia is hit or miss as well. If we don’t make for some big meaningful trades we need to bring up all the young prospects the 2nd half of the season and let them have at it. Let them play and see if they can stick. Rosey is hot & cold again, So is basically a fast ball pitcher and hasn’t been the star everyone built him up to be. Lance Lynn has been hittable almost the entire season and only seems to win when we score 6 or 7 runs. Sometimes that’s not enough. Adam W pitched a good game the other day for the first time in about 4 games. His curve ball is sometimes sitting right over the plate and he is giving up too many home runs. I don’t think we know which AW we will get every time he goes out to the mound.

    The new Nevada Golden Knights seem to have picked up some good players and have some high draft picks to make them a pretty good 1st year team. Seems like the Blues are willing to part with some veterans to bring in players that will fill their needs. I think they have a good system at work. The Blues owners are willing to spend the money. I think John Mo could be gone if he doesn’t get something accomplished this year. I would give MM another year but that would be it for me if nothing chances. Too many errors, running mistakes, can’t get down a bunt to save their lives and can’t finish off a team. They seem to let everybody back in the game and always make it interesting at the end. We need a closer as well but where do we get one of those as everyone seems to need similar pitching (starting and closing). We are lucky to be in the Central Division as you said as we would be way out of it by now if we were in the East. Love the Yankees as always and would love to see what Derek Jeter could do with the Marlins team if he became one of the owners.

    Jordan Spieth sinks a sand trap shot on the first playoff in the Traveler’s tournament yesterday….what an unbelievable shot (well, I think actually quite a bit of luck). I hope Tiger comes back at some point but it’s looking less and less likely. Rubbish, he was the best and brought so much to the game. I’m sure ratings are down and sponsorships are going in the wrong direction.

    Any new ways to speed up the game on the table again? I did get to see two auto walks which really saved a ton of time. That is so silly. I’m still going with the 1 and 1 count on the batter to start out a plate appearance. Hey, I think we could get Ichiro from the Marlins and possibly Pujols back. That would put fans in the stands for sure. Ichiro starting center field at the age of 43. He is in great shape and it will be interesting to see how long he plays. The paper said he wanted to play until he was 50. Not sure who will have him on their roster if only as a part time player.

    The soccer information was a nice touch to the blog this week. I didn’t know you knew Tony Kuster. He was always and still is a character. I talked to him at the meet and greet and he had so many interesting things to say. I knew him from my playing days and I coached against him many times. His been around a long time and just gave up coaching a small high school team in southern Missouri. He said he now does training for some select team and gives individualized soccer training to future stars. Not sure really what he does but he’s interesting. I think he was one of your St. Mary Magdelan parishioners years ago. I can’t wait to hear his talk at the induction ceremony.

    You hit the nail on the head with Jayson Tatum and the hugs he gave both Mom and Dad. That was fitting for the selection and made it special for me. He is going to make millions and for a long time. He sure looks young compared to so many of the others drafted and some already in the NBA. I hope he does well and helps the Celtics get back to what they once were.

    Great stuff as usual.

  5. I personally do not think that trading for better players is necessarily a better strategy than growing them down on the farm. Both strategies can work or certainly a combination of the two. Whats far more important is how you coach them at the big league level. This is where the Cards are lacking. Since the departure of George Kissel, Jose Oquendo, and Dave Duncan there is no one left in the organization to teach the fundamentals, much less the “Cardinal way”. They cannot run the bases, the defense is horrible, and the pitching is sub standard. I do believe the Cards have some talent, they just don’t know how to play the game. That has always been their advantage over the rest of the league. They always used to outplay the competition. This team has really lost its way and the “house cleaning” should be more on the managing, coaching, and front office side rather than on the field.

    Bob K.

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