$tanton $weepstakes $aga by Bob Ryan

The past couple weeks all the buzz about the Cardinals has centered around their effort to procure GianCarlo Stanton from the Marlins…as you all know..it went south….some thoughts…

…I actually think the Marlins actually tried “pushing” $tanton a bit to accept the trade by trading their outstanding 2B Dee Gordon to Seattle ….indicating to $tanton the road that they are traveling…any player with a substantial salary will be removed….so….Miami was saying to $tanton …you better agree soon because there won’t be any other players around you…how much fun will that be….clearly he got the “hint” and out of nowhere…it seemed…$tanton was going to be a Yankee.

…$urprising? …not really..so $taton made it clear that he wants to play on a winner…a big winner… he’s NEVER played on a .500+ team, much less go to the playoffs….and he wants to live on the  coast….originally, we thought it was the west coast…it  sounded like the LA Dodgers were his goal?  After all.. Who else wins “big” on the west coast … none of the AL west coast teams are big winners… or even .500 these days…Why didn’t the Dodgers want to play in the $sweepstatkes ?…well… LA has spent $237m in each of the past several seasons…if it happens again next year, LA will have to pay an extra 45% surcharge tax and their top draft pick of 2018 (#30 overall) will drop 10 spots….LA’s stated goal is to sink to the measly low level of $208m…and that’s without ANY potential additions and clearly not playing in the $tanton $weepstakes…soooo..Stanton swaps coast lines and uses the same criteria to sign with another financially healthy team….the Yankees. The Yanks have bought $uperstar for decades.they   began their purchases of $uperstars way back in 1920 when they procured a guy named Babe Ruth.

….I was a bit puzzled why the Cards REALLY  felt like they needed $tanton in the middle of the lineup…I think it may have been the Aaron Judge phenomena….look at the buzz that he brought to NY this year with his prodigious blasts…the Cards were/are looking for that buzz.  Now NYY will have a Ruth/Gehrig look with Judge & Stanton back-back in the lineup…impressive.              

…on the other side of the deal……the early joy of Derek Jeter being an owner in Miami has also gone further south….one Miami newspaper said, “Jeter’s two months at the helm have been tone-deaf, incompetent, and callous, and Rob Manfred may need to save him from himself” Jeter had a low bar to jump over the previous owner…besting the weak efforts of Jeffrey Loria who ruined Montreal & Miami as baseball cities…now Jeter has fired everyone associated with the old front office and refusing to replace them with new people to save on payroll, is constantly shopping around for new investors to help him stay solvent, shops around is best players ($tanton & Gordon) for financial reasons, and now according to Jeff Passan, fired a scout who requires a kidney transplant while the guys is still in the hospital recovering from colon cancer surgery…. everyone knows that baseball is a big business…but Jeter’s indifference to fans and people in general has been extremely sad… in fact, MLB baseball may be forced to act on him as Bowie Kuhn did to Charlie Finley as he wanted to ship off ALL of his stars in Oakland years ago.. Kuhn did not allow Finley to unload Rollie Fingers, Joe Rudi and Vida Blue for not much more than handshake and some cash….maybe MLB will need to step into Miami with the same “big stick” clause ?

Where does this signing…or lack of signing… leave the Cards?

…So the Cards open the $igning $eason by signing relief hurler Luke Gregerson to a 2 year contract. This one-time Cardinal prospect has been in the MLB 9 years as a relief hurler. Last year as a 33 year old he was 2-3, 4.57 ERA, 65 appearances with a WHIP of 1.344…the ERA & WHIP numbers were the highest of his career. Clearly the Cardinals are expecting him to work the 7th or 8th inning. I’m luke-warm on Luke…his numbers from last year concern me….but….it’s a start.

…I’ve even heard rumors of Evan Longoria….his numbers are just a bit above Jeff Gyorko…yes …he can field better..but …is his larger contract worth  the small difference of play?  …not to me…

…I also have heard interest in Alex Colome (closer Tampa Bay…I would suspect we’d have to send them some type of relief hurler, a top OF prospect (Tampa had NO starting batter over .275 in their lineup last year) and another player (probably an OF or pitcher)

…I DO think that the Cards ownership wants the buzz mentioned above…I think Many Machado of Baltimore is the most likely candidate….it’d take 4 players….at least 2 very high quality & pitchers.

…outside the $weepstakes $aga…

….Mizzou football loses 2 key assistant coaches(Heupel & Elarbee)….I would assume that most assistant coaches want to become Head Coaches….when the opportunity presents itself to become a Head Coach or a better Asst job…”better” has many possible considerations.. generally after you’ve coached a winning team…move on….that’s the business….Barry Odum seemed a bit upset with Elarbee (offensive line coach) decided to join Heupel’s staff @ U Central Florida…..I should remind him….this is the time that coaches often move….Odum fired his defensive coordinator after 2 games of the season and seemed comfortable doing it at that very awkward time for a coach to land another job…that door swings both ways big boy..

…The Heisman Trophy winner was Baker Mayfield.  Generally, it is won by a very successful, nationally recognized team. In recent years, it generally goes to the best player on the one of the best team of the country….Mayfield had some very impressive statistics in leading OU to a banner season…in his acceptance speech, he recognized former winners…especially from OU…his competitors, his coaches, his teammates…it touched all the bases….nice approach however….I guess that they don’t teach public speaking in schools any longer….he gave his speech with the hands in his pockets…ugh…. and…now I’m nit-picking …he used the same couple phrases over and over again…come on…pay someone else to write the speech if you have a limited vocabulary…no one will remember the speech unless it’s  not good .

…speaking of the Heisman’s….since 2000, there have been 18 Heisman winners….15 have been QB! As recently as the 90’s (10 winners) there were 5 QB and 5 non-QB….The game HAS changed…passing is the primary staple of the offense for most teams…as indicated by the choice of so many QB. For many, it was the end of their notoriety as star football players… Chris Weinke (2000,Florida St), Eric Crouch (2001-Neb),  Jason White (2003-OU), Matt Leinart (2004-USC), Troy Smith (2006 the Ohio State), Tim Tebow (2007, Florida), Johnny Manziel (2012-Tx A&M)..the 3 running backs since 2000 ….what a great trivia question…2005 Reggie Bush-USC -later removed for the scandal under Pete Carroll; 2009 Mark Ingram –Bama; 2015 Derrick Henry-Bama. Lamar Jackson (Louisville) won it last year….had another terrific season (3000ish passing yards & 1000ish rushing yards) but was 3rd in the voting this year ????  Btw…Mayfield is the 1st Senior to win the Heisman Award since 2006 (Troy smith-Ohio State)

…a special treat on Saturday for me….watching the Army-Navy game….it was snowy…cold…windy…a great game to watch on TV….the two teams…based on discipline both utilizing run offenses since these teams aren’t built around players hoping to go to the NFL…these offenses are designed to chew up the clock with short, consistent gains…e.g. each team had the ball ONCE in the first quarter!..these men still view it as a game…. their real  training is in learning to defend all of the rest of us. You may not like the styles of football offense…I actually do….but you have to admire their supreme efforts, skill, timing and discipline…that word again, I must be following the Baker Mayfield school of writing  ….the camaraderie at the end of the game with both teams moving from one end of the stadium to the other to stand and listen to the school songs of each academy…what entertainment…oh…btw…it was a super game…Navy led going into the 4th quarter, Army marched down the field in a typical long play drive(10-12 plays) .. to take a 14-13 lead….with 3 minutes left..Navy moved back down into FG range…but inexplicably had not 1 but 2 motion penalties so the their kicker had a 48 yard FG attempt…his kick was long enough and high enough…but the wind blew it just wide…. Army wins 14-13…but I felt like the winner as it was a real pleasure watching our academies represent themselves so admirably.

…Baseball HOF idea…

…sure…the voting isn’t until January but….I’d like to again…as I did it about year and a half ago .. raise the awareness of Ted Simmons for the MLB HOF.   This isn’t based on being my favorite player…as he was for my brother…but simply comparing him to the current catchers in the HOF.  In the past 2 years, the HOF added Mike Piazza & Ivan Rodriguez…two tremendous and certainly HOF worthy catchers… the HOF now has 15 catchers… If Simmons was to be voted into the HOF in January, Simmons would become in the comparison of him to the other current catchers in HOF—2nd in HITS (2472), 2nd in RBI (1389), 7th in HR (248), 5th in RUN (1074)tied for 8th in Batting Average (.285), 9th in OBP .348, 14th in Slugging% .437….he hit over .300 in 7 seasons; his best year was 1975–.332, 18 HR, 100 rbi’s OBP 396 slug .491 ops .887…but incredibly….he didn’t make the all-star team that year. He was in 8 All-Star games but a guy named Johnny Bench dominated the voting for NL catchers throughout Simmons prime years. It seems to me that the HOF would be overlooking a player that belongs in their midst.. downsides….some say he was weak defensively….well…he was clearly better than Piazza..to name just one … and one voted in recently.  Others say that he wasn’t on winning teams…well he was on 2 Milwaukee playoff teams but not a World Series teams…many players fit into that situation of no post season heroics …poor Ernie Banks pops straight into mind and I’m sure that there are many, many more HOF who didn’t play in any post-season.

…Travis Ford is already showing signs of extreme frustration with his early, strong reactions to officials during games and his comments during media interviews…poor guy….it’s been a long season for him as we hit mid-December..ugh

….btw…why is Lovie Smith getting a “pass” at Illinois? He’s 5-19 in 2 seasons at Champaign.  His last winning season of any kind was 2012. He DID have strong successful seasons in 2005, 2006 and 2010 in the NFL as a HEAD Coach. Coaching College is a different animal…the Head Coach not only has to be a good on the field coach but…more importantly.. he needs to recruit….and recruit the top athletes. Apparently his NFL days are buying him “stay out of jail…oops…or stay employed” cards.

…in the Nearly Forgotton League..

….I know many of you don’t follow the NFL any longer….bear with me…I watched the Rams-Eagles game yesterday. Both teams had young, talented QB that could really throw the ball. Both defenses had strong pass rushes and both offenses  could…and did…move the ball… it was a high scoring, fun game to watch. There were 5 lead changes and the finalscore of 43-35 was a bit misleading.  The Eagles kicked a FG with 0:01 second left to take a 37-35 lead. On the Eagles kickoff, the Rams were trying to lateral the ball to keep the game alive…one of their laterals were intercepted and ran in for a TD by Philly..no PAT attempt was taken…hence 43-37. The only real downer …. To me… was the injury to the tremendous Eagle QB Carson Wentz..bummer…he’s a real talent…

 …on the other hand…..I watched part of the Steelers-Bengals game last Monday….it was vicious.  It appeared to me that the players were deliberately attempting to injure their opponents….winning the game seemed secondary….now I’m all for hard hitting ….and these athletes are incredibly strong, fast, aggressive  and agile men  but hard hitting can be done fairly without taking shots at the opponents  body that will severely hurt him. Of course the $20b man-Roger Dumbnall probably didn’t see it…he was counting some of his money from his newly signed  contract. I didn’t watch it long.

…Well the $tanton $weepstakes is over but the Cardinals hunt for a Red October continues. Have a fun week.





  1. Kevin Niewoehner says:

    It may have been a little naive to believe that the Cards could outbid either the Yanks or Dodgers but it was noce to dream. We just don’t have the revenue streams to be competitive. Even our most loyal fans won’t pay $75 a ticket for Uecker seats. Ah, I miss the reserve clause days but it’s equally naive to believe that we’ll return to something similar. That doesn’t mean that our situation is hopeless. I remain confident we can find a way. The key is scouting, signing and developing younger players in the minors.

  2. It was reported last week on 590AM that Staton ( a single guy) loves the nightlife, and LOVES the Miami club scene. According to the Miami source Staton stays out to 4 or 5AM in the morning partying after the games! He wanted a city similar to Miami’s nightlife—New York or Los Angeles. Could it be the Cardinals knew the no trade clause would not be waived by Staton?
    in addition, I’m not sure how Mr. Clean Matheny would accept Staton’s lifestyle.
    MO should give up stressing the low cost of living in St. Louis when a player is making close to 30 million dollars a year!!

  3. I, for one, am glad that the Stanton sweepstakes is over and the Cards lost. Reasons; The Marlins had agreed to the Cards trade, but Stanton veto’d it. If he does not want to come to St. Louis, so be it, but don’t try and force the issue. I doubt that he will ever receive the same adoration from the coast teams as he would have here in St. Louis. Secondly, look at all the money the Cards will save to spend on 2 or 3 other players. Its the Pujols situation all over again.

    Just a correction on Ted Simmons, he did play on a world series team, the 82 Brewers, but of course they lost to our Cardinals in 7 games.

  4. Great article
    So sad about Jeter…I met him years ago at a Spring Training baseball game against Reds. He signed and took pics with every kid & adult who was there. While A Fraud wouldn’t sign any autos; no class.
    As you know I am not a big Cards fan but Manny Machado is a STUD and has pop & a great glove.
    Loved the Army & Navy game…So happy Navy won for their Offensive Coordinator son who needs a kidney to survive. Can’t even imagine! Beautiful setting playing in the snow & hard nose football.
    Baker Mayfield may be a good football player but I see Johnny Manziel 2nd coming. Too much fame & not the sharpest tool in the shed. Goodell is a joke and reward this who’s ratings and attendance just getting pounded every week. There were some stadiums that had trouble selling YES $3 tickets.
    Have a great Monday!

  5. Stanton is just a contractual matter from his point-of-view, but from the Cardinals side I think that the Cardinal mystic needs polishing. I’ve thought for a few years that the Cardinal enigma was just that…a shadow. They’ve depended on their rapport with an older generation of players, but the same isn’t true and probably won’t work for today’s stars. I’m not sure what appeals to them but whatever it is the Cardinals don’t have it. I believe that the Stanton situation exemplifies that. The Cardinals didn’t get outbid; they got out appealed.

  6. Wow, your commentary on the Army-Navy game reminded me of a certain football coach who thought a pass was a toss on a sweep play. So, it’s not surprising that you’d enjoy this exercise in old time, smash mouth, three yards and cloud of dust (well, snow) football. That said, the game does represent all that’s good about the college game. Personally, I try never to miss it and once again, this year it didn’t disappoint. Its the greatest rivalry in college football and maybe even in all of sport.

  7. As stated in another response, Stanton’s all night party lifestyle simply would not “ float” in StL.
    Cards had to try based on fans growing impatient not making playoffs. Have to think ownership had a sigh of relief NOT to absorb the ridiculous contract.
    A bit stunned that Mo stated on KMOX that he tried to sell StL with “low cost of living”, “ limited traffic problems”, etc. OMG….you really think a guy making 30 mil, has a driver, cares about such nonsense? Bow Tie a bit too tight Mo! These are 20 something millionaires… they want fun, bright lights, a big media center. They are not interested in a conservative environment.
    Acquisition by trades is where Cards need to be. Days of marquee players dying to come StL are gone.

    All coaches look to grow, improve their situation, make more money. Odom has no reason to be upset.

    Feel for Ford at SLU…. investigation of 3 key players for assault has dampened his hope for this season. They were supposed to save the program. Character must be a key when recruiting!

  8. Isn’t Baker the only walk on to win the Heisman?

  9. I think losing out on $tanton reminded me of losing out on Pujol$ also.
    I like the Cardinals because we can usually compete without the huge salaries (and egos) of the players/teams on the coasts.

  10. I believe Stanton not accepting the trade to St Louis will end up being a good thing in the short and long term. That is a lot of money and high level prospects to give up for 1 player. The Cardinals do need offensive help badly in the middle of their lineup but I would address that through free agency and trade to address holes in their bullpen and shore up their rotation. I think their starting pitching and bullpen are critical areas that need to be addressed. Having multiple guys in your bullpen who have proven they can close major league games is a necessity on today’s major league roster and in particular the playoffs. You can never have enough pitching. Isn’t it important to have bullpen guys with swing and miss stuff earlier than the 8th inning? I wonder how many games are lost in the 5th, 6th and 7th innings because the manager doesn’t have the “weapons” in their bullpen and they are “not supposed to use their closer” with more than 4 outs left in a game? Teams have found a variety of ways to win championships with different approaches and philosophies from an offensive standpoint. Rarely if ever do teams win a championship with anything less than good starting pitching and a dominant bullpen.

  11. Jim Pleimann says:

    Stanton was never coming here. I am so glad this part of the offseason in behind us. The talking heads have been rehashing this topic since the last pitch of the season was thrown. Hopefully some groundwork was laid for other moves that improve the team or at least give us all something to cheer or crab about. Because that is what we do! Ha
    Gee, did the Rams and Eagles play last week? Are they doing any good? I bet it was a packed house in LA.
    The Army Navy game was fun to watch (kinda boring), but the tradition of the game and the old-time football entertained a lot of people which is a good thing.

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