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!







  1. Joe Parisi says:

    Great take on this years Redbirds. As you state, several players counted on this season simply disappointed/under- performed.
    I share your view re Matheny … not a keen strategist, however, did pretty good with what he has to work with. If anything, a bit more discipline would gain him more respect… you are their boss…not their best buddy.

    Lastly, the Memphis call ups have delivered so well that I also worry that mgmts lack of spending for free agents will carry over into 2018.

    Sometimes you just can’t get 2-3 years of ” control ” of a player with every deal you make.

    Great job pinch hitting this week Jim!

  2. Art Hanff says:

    Good job, Jim. I always enjoyed having a substitute while the teacher was away!

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