Green Light – Red Light by Bob Ryan

We all know about the green-red-yellow light system as we drive. However, we also face it in our daily life– the same green light (go ahead make that move in your life) or red light (nope…can’t do it) system. It’s true in sports also…

….the Cardinals are facing a tough decision on Marcel Ozuna…do they resign him (green light) or…..more likely… offer a qualifying offer (a 1 year deal) to him. I don’t think that the Cardinals are considering a multi-year offer to Ozuna. So…it’ll be a qualifying offer. The qualifying 1 year offer would be  for $17.8m. If another team signs Ozuna …after this qualifying offer has been made….that team would have to surrender a draft pick compensation to the Cardinals. The latest trend in MLB is that teams DON’T want to sign a high priced free agent (or one un qualifying offer status) AND give up a draft choice. If no team signs Ozuna…or he refuses to sign with another team, he’ll be a Cardinal again.   Do the Cardinals REALLY want him back? He did carry a big offensive load in August/Sept push that put the Cards into the playoffs. But, in the playoffs his bat was silent for the most part. His defense has been spotty and his throwing to bases from the OF has been challenged over and over again (no red light for runners when Marcel is throwing the ball). His key drop in the NLCS against Washington was determined by statistics to be 75% catchable. So….what would you do…you can’t trade him…he’s a free agent.

…..Barry Odum’s Mizzou Tigers really had a BAD RED Light on Saturday. A huge…almost 4 TD favorite….the Tiger 21-14 loss to Vanderbilt was a real RED Light for the program. Coupled with the Wyoming loss in week 1, the Tigers under Odum are 3 -7 in games that have a 7 point or less difference in the final score in his career.  I haven’t seen all of the Mizzou games but have noticed a few things. They DO have talent offensively and defensively.But,  I have also noticed areas of weak self-discipline when they make a good play…they occasionally “talk the talk” to the opposition. Even Albert O after his TD pass was penalized for “yapping” at the opponents. I think this type of “talking AT your opponents” really manifests lack of self discipline AND in close games that weakness jumps up to bite them in keep spots late in the games….with penalties, missed assignments, whatever. It can be corrected…..Coach Odum has that as one of his challenges.

….I applaud the decisions of Cardinal Ritter HS about the illegal use of a player in game 1 of the season. Using a player, who had been suspended for just that first game, sends a horrible message to the player, team, parents and community. There ARE rules that must be followed. Ritter forfeited all their games  for this season(according the MSHSAA), fired the entire coaching staff and suspended the team for the entire season. All the coaches and players knew what was going on when this star running back wore a different jersey, used a fake name to play in the game. the Violation was caught be a StL P-D high school writer who noticed the tattoo on his “unknown”  player’s arm that matched the tattoo of the star running back of this VERY talented team. The Athletic Director also retired due to the affair.  While I love sports…and worked as hard as I could to win in sports…..a coach and all the players MUST stay within the rules AT ALL TIMES. 

…..just when I was ready to write a fire him (RED LIGHT) note on Lovie Smith for his work @ Illinois, the Illini jump up and spring the upset of the yaar in the Big 10 with a win over #6 ranked Wisconsin 24-23 with a last second FG. It was the first win for Illinois over a ranked team since 2007. With that win, Lovie holds a 12-31 record @ Illinois. Lovie was made famous by his work in the NFL…especially with his cover 2 defense (2 deep safeties) but that was almost 20 years ago. The last winning team that he coached as a Head Coach was in 2012!

…STAR players make BIG plays in BIG games… about the Green Light for Jose Altuve’s walk off Home run for the Astros in game 6 against the Yankees sending them to the World Series. The Cards never received the benefit for a STAR player performing like that in the 2019 post-season.

…..we’re moaning in the Lou about losing the NLCS to Washington….what about the Yankees?  NYY has always handed out the cash year after year but haven’t made the World Series since 2009. They have a deep bullpen, sluggers galore, a deep bench…the only weak link seems to be the starting staff. Due to it’s shortcomings, the bullpen gets a bit overused at times. NYY management will need a GREEN LIGHT to sign a top-flight starter…did you say Gerrit Cole?

….there was a RED LIGHT on passing in the Georgia-Kentucky game on Saturday. Bulldogs QB, Jake Fromm was 9 of 12 for a whopping 35 yards. Kentucky’s QB was just 2 of 15 for 17 yards in passing!  There was a total of 106 total snaps for both teams in this fast moving, no incomplete pass, mode….to give you an idea Boise State had more than that number by itself earlier in the year!

….sorry….I have a RED LIGHT on the Blues…..I’ve never really watched them closely until after New Years…..still holding to my tradition. That’s real hockey time…when the weather gets cold outside J

…I recently had an email from a friend who wanted the Cards to trade Matt Carpenter. While the idea is appealing…who’d take the guy with his salary.  I think that the ONLY  way that he could be traded would be with a young, talented, inexpensive player to another mid-level team  for a rather high cost, aging player or pitcher. Free Agent-wise 3B Josh Donaldson is on the market…his last contract was for $23m…will the Cards go above that?

….Could the Cards use Tommy Edman as their “variety”GREEN LIGHT man.  He’d play most days..but just not at one position….3B, RF, CF….where ever…. he hasn’t reached our 1000 AB mark yet (that’s the minimum time before one should determine the skill of a player) so he’s not yet an absolute, but I’ll take my chances on him.

…some have asked that I shorten my blogs(use a RED LIGHT)… I’ll give it a try this week. Thanks for reading and I’m anxious to read YOUR thoughts on Marcel….and/or any other part of the blog.


  1. a few comments says:

    Some pretty big decisions looming for Cards this off season.
    Ozuna: Power yes, but very undisciplined. His defense is terrible. I would not attempt to re- sign him.
    Cards would be drafting so late, odds of a super star being available is questionable.
    What to do with Matt Carpenter? A real dilemma. Aside from a collapse at the plate, he cannot throw from 3 rd base any longer.
    Due to contract, similar situation as this season. Pinch hit… unless he is packaged with young attractive player in a deal, his salary is crippling for a team to absorb ( unless Cards assume a portion)
    Carlos Martinez…. how many years will fans be asked to accept the immaturity/ inconsistency.
    Great stuff… electric stuff but once Molina retires, who will babysit him???
    Shopping List: Another starting pitcher, established reliever.
    A corner outfielder & legit 3rd baseman would be welcome additions!
    I like Tommy Edmond, but is he ready for 150 games at 3 rd base? He appears to be more suited as # 1 fill in guy ( 3rd, SS, 2B, OF).
    The club has touted the great tv deal with Fox Sports Midwest. Big $$. Home town discounts are a dying breed. “ If” the Cards want to return to dominance, key free agents mixed with young players from their system appears to be the formula! JP1
    I didn’t think your blog was too long before!
    I am on the fence with Ozuna, he was a star outfielder when he was with Miami, but not any more.
    Disappointing loss by Mizzou and agree they need better self discipline. KL

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