Summer in the City by Bob Ryan

The Great 1996 hit “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful really depicts the sultry, humid, hot days of summer …like we’ve had recently…with their opening lyrics,

“Hot town, summer in the city….     Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity     ….             Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead ….  Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head”

We’ve had a short taste of that HOT weather recently…maybe we ARE looking half dead?   Anyway…lots of other things have been hot also…

….for the Cards the hottest 5 hitters for the last 30 days ….

Paul DeJong .345; 2) Dexter Fowler .326; 3) Luke Voit .316; 4) Jose Martinez .298; 5) Tommy Pham .296

…Some StL fans thought that the Cards would be hot and bothered that Carlos Martinez pitched 2 innings in the All-Star game…nope…Mgr Joe Maddon had contacted the Cards mgmt. about that strategy prior to the game

…the hottest 5 batters in the entire MLB over the last 30 days were Jose Ramirez-Clev-.427; Jose Altuve-Hou-.413; Andrew McCutchen-Pitt-.404; Carlos Correa-Hou-.398; DJ Lemahieu-Col-.386..boy…what a middle infield for Houston with Altuve & Correra—that’s the best Middle infield in the MLB right now..

…so now lets consider 6 other tremendous middle-infielder combos..try these 6 HOT-SHOT 2B-SS duo of the past and Altuve & Correra…you rate them from #1-7 …come on…be fair…vote in the reply section…. they are NOT listed in my order of preference below…everyone’s vote is equal…think about it…maybe 45 sec …then vote

**Jimmy Rollins/Chase Utley – These two clubbed a lot of home runs together for the Philadelphia Phillies together from 2005 to 20014. They combined to win nine silver slugger and for gold glove awards. They scored 1,814 runs for Phils and hit 382 HR

**Derek Jeter/Robinson Cano – The New York Yankee middle info combination was better defensively than the Phillies duo. They combined for nine gold gloves and seven silver slugger awards. Jeter and Cano clubbed 309 home runs as a combo and scored 1,620 runs hitting in the same lineup from 2005 to 2012.

**Alan Trammell/Lou Whitaker – Trammell and Whitaker roamed the field for the Detroit Tigers from 1977 to 1995. They combined to win seven gold gloves and seven silver slugger awards. The combo combined for more the 4,000 hits and 428 home runs. A wonderful combination of excellent fielding & strong hitting. Note their time together!!

**Joe Morgan/Dave Concepcion – These two members of the Big Red Machine played in the middle infield together from 1972 to 1979. Morgan and Concepcion combined to win two silver slugger and 10 gold gloves.  In the years they played together they accumulated 2,287 hits and scored 1,326 runs.

**Currently we must consider, 2B Jason Kipnis/SS Francisco Lindor who helped lead the Indians to a World Championship last year.  This duo is good defensively (Kipnis-AL Def Player of year 2012)-lifetime .269 avg , 120 SB, 84 HR career OPS .762, but really shine with their production at the plate. Lindor..just 23 years old…is in 3rd season as starting SS for the Tribe..he carries a lifetime .292 avg in 1343 AB, his career OPS is .799..he won Gold Glove in AL in 2016..he is a budding star

**Of course, we must include our Cardinal favorites—Ozzie Smith & Tommie Herr. Ozzie, a HOF, was on 4 playoff teams(82,85,97,96) in his 15 years with 1 Series title… had 14 Gold Gloves, 2573 games (6 seasons in top 10);2460 hits;  580 SB(7 seasons in top 10). Tommy Herr played for Cards for parts of 10 years was on the 82,85,87 teams with Ozzie; for 8 of his 10 seasons was in top 10 defensively for 2B; led NL in DP turned by a 2B-4X; led NL in Sac Flys-2X; had 110 RBI in 1985 with just 8 HR …he’s a personal favorite of mine

Again….give me your vote…rate them 1 thru 7…it’s tough..but there isn’t any ONE right vote.

….who’s on the Hottest Seat in the NFL….it’s gotta be Head Coach Marvin Lewis @ Cinn Bengals.  He’s made the NFL playoffs 7x and yet has never won a playoff game..if he doesn’t get off to a good start or win a playoff game…he’s history

….Hot on the trail of the Cards….an instant flashback at the Pittsburgh series….Friday night…. as the game progressed from the 5th inning onward and it was tied 2-2 ya just knew…that there would be 1 guy in the Cards bullpen “off” that night & cost us the game…yep…on this nite it was Swing-When Oh…Saturday nite saw Lance Lynn go into the 7th inning hurling a shutout..again the Cards used 3 relief hurlers to get 8 outs ..

Card Tidbits…Tommy Pham has been the best player on the Cardinals for 3 weeks now—hitting .311 now in 212 AB…on the other side Jose Martinez plays like a AAA player..some good hitting games but too many defensive deficiencies—doesn’t cover a lot of ground, often doesn’t get a good “read” on a batted ball ..btw..Pham’s 212 AB are 5th highest on the Cards for the season… Manifesto’s constant juggling .. like a circus clown.. of the lineup might keep them fresh but also sinks the continuity and regularity employed by most winning teams…#2btw…despite all the pre-season talk of providing extra rest…Yadier Molina is 2nd on the team in AB with 290 AB..only 5 behind team leader Matt Carpenter..why is Carp getting so many AB?  He’s a .241 hitter…yes he’s drawn 63 walks but has struck out 69x so he isn’t advancing runners on his outs, he’s committed 9 errors(team high), has run the bases like a T-Ball player and has just 2 stolen bases…heck…ol’ burly Jeff Gyorko has 5 stolen bases…why so much Carp?..then…Sunday, the Cardinals squander another lead late and lose it as Brett Cecil is brought into the game in the 9th inning as the closer…sure there were left handed hitters coming up but …come on…Rosenthal has been set up man…and has done well….so I’m sure he was knocking on the door of the Mgr after the game asking why HE wasn’t doing the closing on this day…fair question!

…the HOT Potato method of using the bullpen by Mgr Mike Matheny…no relief hurler may go more than 1 inning unless the game is “out of hand”.. drives up the appearances tremendously. Cards usage of our key relief the 90 game mark, Bowman has been in 45 games, Cecil-44 games,Rosey & Oh-39 each..we’ve already seen Matheny’s callousness about the careers of these bullpen men…Maness was wiped out in 3 years, Siegrest is on the same track..when bullpen men are used more than 80 games with 80+ innings in one season..check the next season..generally, the performance dips …I think due to the fact that the pitching arms just can’t be used that much.

…Some thought he was HOT under the Collar but Kevin Durant was play-acting as he and Payton Manning had prearranged his reaction to Manning’s biting comments on stage…it was all show-time

…striking while the iron was HOT in the All-Star game was the selfie of Jose Cruz & Joe West (umpire) taken by Yadi…bet that won’t be the last selfie that we see in the MLB this year…I can hear it now..this selfie is brought to you by ”……”

…so the Cubs put the Cards in HOT WATER as they went out and procured a talented starting pitcher, Quintana from the White Sox…if the Cubbies come alive, as they’ve indicated that maybe happening…. by blasting their way to easy wins in the first 3 games after the All-Star Break…the Cards fans will be..and should be… HOT under the Collar about the Cards lack of action

….these HOT numbers mean nothing….despite setting a league mark with a 71.6 completion %, Sam Bradford’s high % won’t carry much weight…it was the result of take the snap, stand up, throw to WR…high %…short gains.. but only a few wins as teams Defensive backs kept playing tighter & tighter to the receivers as the year unfolded

HOTTEST  MLB Prospect  who has yet to ever have a taste of the MLB is Amed Rosario, SS, NYM…the Mets inability to dump…oops…trade Jose Reyes and/or Asdrubal Cabrera has kept this young player running in place while hitting .327, 7 HR, 16 SB as a 21 year old

…Mizzou’s football pre-season rankings are hot off the press but don’t get excited… of the 14 information directors of the SEC..take a look at the results.. 1) Alabama—who else could it be?  2-tie) LSU & Auburn  4) Georgia 5) Florida  6) Tx A&M 7) Tenn  8) Arkansas  9tie) S.Carolina & Miss State  11) Kentucky 12) Mississippi  13) Vandy  14) Missouri—ouch! It’s my guess that these information directors aren’t really that knowledgeable about each team but are basing their votes on “what they’ve heard from coaches on the staff”…it means absolutely nothing in July..or for that matter…anytime…in fact it could be a motivational tool for the Tigers.

…if you feel like 93 wins should get you the #1 seed in your conference…check out the sizzling hot record of the Houston Astros (61-30)  and Los Angeles Dodgers (63-29) in the first half of the year..if each of these teams win just 33 of their 72/73 games..they’ll coast into the playoffs with a high seed. The Dodgers have really been incredible…they are 9-1 in last 10 games, 17-3 in last 20 games, and 26-4 in their last 30 games…now that is HOT, HOT, HOT

…Selling like Hotcakes were the tickets for these non-league games in week 1 of SEC college football—Bama-Florida State, Michigan-Florida Texas A&M-UCLA games..Missouri opens up against Missouri State

…the 5 hottest major cities in USA are: 1) Phoenix; 2) Las Vegas; 3) Dallas; 4) Austin; 5) San Antonio J

a stunningly HOT statistic…with all the great LA Dodger pitchers in their history, Alex Wood became the 1st Dodger pitcher to EVER win his first 11 decisions in a season

…the HOT Button issue in Denver is the QB battle between Trevor Siemian & Paxton Lynch…exhibition games might actually mean something important to this duo

are they full of HOT air? the ODDS HOTLINE on Fan-Graph shows this about the Cardinals …as of Thursday, July 13….it shows that the Cards (44-47) are expected to win 82.6 games,20.2% chance of winning the division, 11.3% chance of being a wild card, the same 11.3% of winning a divisional series, 4.9% chance of winning NLCS and 1.9% chance of winning the world series…the Cards have 41 road games left and only 32 home games…thus far the Cards are 18-23 on the road and 26-24 at home.  I’m not rushing out to put any of my money on them to win anything…no thx J

…all my “stuff” is hot & dry now…so until next week…..thx for reading…don’t forget to vote on best 2B-SS combos



  1. I have been saying it since spring training and I will continue to say that Grichuk and Wong are trade bait. Just how many chances are you going to give those two. I am tired of hearing about their potential and seeing them forced into the line up. Carpenter now becomes tradeable as he is past his best years. He is an average fielder, lousy base runner and can now only hit for power. It makes me sick every time I see a box score with Adams hitting another home run. he has more home runs (15) than any one on the Cardinal, yet there was no place to play him? They did not have problem finding a spot for Voit when they brought him up. Sierra is back up from the minors, goes 4 for 4, steals a base, scores another run, and they will probably send him back when the next outfielder comes off the DL. I guess he’s just not ready for the majors? Who in the heck is making these decisions? Lets go with the hot kids and spare the feelings of the old veterans.

    One last, but not least, criticism of the organization. What a joke that Mark McGwire is going into the Cards hall of fame. He spent 4 plus years here, other than the 220 home runs, which are now “tainted”, he hit .270, had 473 RBI’s made 3 all star appearances and won 0 gold gloves. Not in the Cardinal hall of fame is Bill White, who hit .298 in 10 seasons with the team, hit 140 home runs, had 631 RBI’s, made 8 all star teams and won 7 gold gloves. So why did Cardinal management leave him off of the ballot and include McGuire? The answer is Stupidity!

  2. "Bama Lover" says:


  3. John Sondag says:

    Very tough middle infield tandems choices to rank, but here goes: 1) Morgan/Concepcion; 2) Whitaker/Trammel; 3) Altuve/Correra; 4) Kipnis/Lindor; 5) Herr/Smith; 6) Utley/Rollins; 7) Cano/Jeter.
    Could not agree more about Matheny’s misuse of the bullpen–makes absolutely no sense letting a set-up man (Cecil) close and have a record-setting closer (Rosenthal) set-up in the same game. If you are going to have each pitch one inning to protect the lead, let them do it in roles each is comfortable in.
    Have to disagree with BK’s comment on Wong. While he has struggles in the past, this season he has shown he can hit .300, play excellent defense and run the bases without making ‘Cardinal-type’ mistakes. I would keep him and DeJong as the double play combo, and focus on who will play the corner infield positions going forward.

  4. John Gassner says:

    Hey Bob, considering both the glove and the bat, I would vote Jeter/Cano. As always, very informative stuff. I’m glad you knew the Durant “reaction” was staged. I saw that and he did look “pissed!”

  5. Hey Bob! Yep, it’s hot out there.
    I’d have to go with Trammel/Whitaker. Eighteen years of excellence!

  6. Here is my list of 2b-SS defensive combos:
    Kipnis & Lindor and Altuve & Correa – too new to rate, not enough info yet

    5. Jeter & Cano .938 fielding average, 6 Gold Gloves in 5 years of playing together (4 for Jeter and 1 for Cano)
    4. Morgan & Concepcion .979 fielding average, 10 Gold Gloves in 8 years of playing together
    3. Rollins & Utley .983 fielding average, 3 Gold Gloves in 6 years together
    2. Smith & Herr .985 fielding average, 6 Gold Gloves in 6 years together (All 6 GG were for Ozzie)
    1b. Smith & Oquendo .987 fielding average 3 GG in 3 years together (All 3 were for Ozzie)
    1a. Trammell & Whitaker .981 fielding average, 7 Gold Gloves in 18 years together

    I ranked Trammell & Whitaker first as they were really good together for a really long time. Oquendo led the national league second basemen in fielding percentage in 1989 and 1990 but did not win a Gold Glove even though his fielding percentage was .996 in 1990. He made 3 errors that year.

  7. Jim Pleimann says:

    Here comes my two cents. Not too sure what any manager would do with the Cardinal bullpen. Oh was to be counted on and he has been awful. Rosie is quite streaky. He was handed back the closer job and that lasted all of a few games and he had to be relieved because he can’t throw strikes. Cecil was throwing well for a couple of weeks, comes in and blows one. Then gets lucky last night with Cepedes swinging on 3-0 and hitting into double play. I am not a Matheny lover but he has limited options if you ask me. Oh and by the way, nice catch last night Dexter!!

  8. Steve Wieberg says:

    Trammel-Whitaker an easy No. 1 (for me, at least). Then …
    2. Concepcion-Morgan
    3. Rollins-Utley
    4. Jeter-Cano
    5. Ozzie-Herr
    6. Kipnis-Lindor
    7. Altuve-Correra

    Others I would throw into the mix:

  9. I like many duos but I’ll list them as I add it up.
    1- Morgan and Concepcion. 8 yrs together and 10 gold gloves almost 2300 hits. Nice pair
    2- Smith and Herr. Smith has 14 gold gloves and Herr didn’t boot many and turned a lot.
    3- Trammel and Whitaker. 19 seasons and great totals. 428 dongs and 7 silver slugger awards. 4000 hits Not often do you keep a pair together that long. Could be listed higher too
    4- Jeter and Cano.
    5- Rollins and Utley
    6-7 are toss ups. The are both extremely good duos but let’s give the some time to compare with history

  10. Terry G says:

    Sorry so late BobbyBoy. My pics are:

    many more could be added but…..

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