Waino and the NFL Draft by Bob Ryan

nfl draft logoOK…Adam Wainwright is out for 2015….many observers, including many in my family and friends had expressed their concern about the Cards pitching staff all winter long….it had so many question marks—Waino’s age and decline in his “stuff”, Garcia’s arm (gone from golden to recyclable level), Wacha coming off injuries, Marco the Magician was unproven, Martinez was a “hot” prospect who has yet to prove “it” for a full season…so it really shouldn’t be a surprise when Waino “goes down” for count….where’s Howard Cossell when we need him with a mild adaptation to his Joe Frazier call..…”Waino goes down, Waino goes down”

Is 2015 now ruined?

This type of stuff has happened for years…an “ace” is lost…well…who’s going to step up…maybe not at exactly the same level but good enough to win. Using just Cardinal history will suffice…

..in 1967 Bob Gibson took a line drive off the bat of Roberto Clemente fracturing his ankle (he actually stayed in for 3 more batters before the ankle snapped…ouch … that really sounds painful)..Back to being on point…23 year old, Nelson Briles became a starter, was 14-5 (1st in NL winning % for the year) 2.43 era and Cards made the World Series…btw…Briles died in 2005…

…in 2012 Chris Carpenter missed the season….Kyle Loshe stepped up with a career year (16-3, 2.86) and Lance Lynn emerged as an unknown to go 17-5

…in 2013 Carp, thought that he’d be back, but never was, and retired. Lynn won 15, a 22 year old Shelby Miller won 15 with a 3.06 era and suddenly appearing out-of-nowhere like in the David Copperfield’s Magic acts was Edward Mujica. He saved 37 games and the Cards continued their winning ways…btw…Copperfield’s act continued the next year as Mujica disappeared just as suddenly.

…so who will it be in 2015…bad timing for Marco Gonzalez..this situation was a perfectly set up for him…although…I must confess I’m not a big Marco the Magician fan….thus far I’ve seen him breeze through the lineup ONE time but get hit …and hit hard… the 2nd time through..

…maybe it’ll be some other farm hand or possibly MO will have to go out and procure a short term, overpaid, underperforming starter….often it seems…get these type of guys and they respond favorably to the team success, higher expectations, huge crowds (that will cheer for a 1-2-3 inning)..Does that sound like John Lackey to you? But Lackey isn’t the first of this type Joel Pinero won 15 games in 2009 as a 30 year old (was out of the league 2 years later)

…I see the stress really being on the bullpen….Villanueva could now become key ….the “first guy in” will need to be stretched to 2-4 innings of relief work to bridge gap to 8th/9th is needed to save the oft-overworked arms of Manifesto Mike’s bullpen…remember last week we said Walden had been in 11 of 15 games…now…this week… his arm is “barking”

..most of all the Cards are good enough to swallow a few “rough” innings by starters…keep the faith

….one final thought on Waino…he seems to be trekking down the same type of path as Chris Carpenter did in his final couple years…one type of injury after another…upside– Waino will only be 34 in August…downside-he’s logged 276 innings in 2013 (counting post-season)and over 1600 inn in his career.


The NFL draft was concluded over the weekend. I’ve heard one suggest that it’s too boring with the Comish repeating every 10 minutes the same phrase, “With the xxxxpick, the XXXX team choose xxxx”…this person suggested taking some different approach….I have a suggestion ! ….let’s have some celebrities with well-known characteristics make the picks…maybe it could go like this…

..naming the 1st round pick that’s most likely to be a dud is— Ryan Leaf

…naming the 1st round pick who is most likely to be standing on the sidelines and watching the action — the MO State Patrol

…naming the 1st round pick who will be the loneliest player of the draft is…the Baltimore Orioles vendors for Friday’s game … no…not the Maytag man

…naming the 1st round pick who will yearn most for the good ol’ glory days–– Bill Cosby

…naming the 1st round pick with the best backside is—Kim Kardashian

…naming the 1st round pick of the player most likely to do things his own way is—Chip Kelly

…naming the 1st round pick the player who will need to flush out his past but can’t do it—Chicago Cubs

…naming the 1st round pick who will require the most patience until he reaches his full potential (I really hate that word) is—Mike Moustakas

…naming the 1st round pick with who will have the worst timing for deadlines is—Baltimore’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby

…naming the surprise pick of the 1st round is – the Houston Astros

…naming the 1st round choice with the longest retirement show in the future is – David Letterman

…naming the 1st round choice who will never be in a playoff game is—the St. Louis Blues


Some ironical reactions to the draft…

…after dropping several spots due to enjoying some Pot…could Shane Ray have been chosen by a better team (Denver)?

…somehow I just can believe that 4 OL are really listed in the top 30 incoming players…looked to me like some teams felt the need to draft for Need instead of best player out there

…I like the choice of Gurley for the Rams….he’s a possible playmaker…we’ve been clamoring for one for years…..but…we all thought it’d be a WR.

…doesn’t a player’s attire at the draft tell you something about him?….it does to me…

…Florida State had 4 guys drafted in 1st 2 rounds…maybe they DID belong in the Final Four of NCAA championships?

…in the be careful what you wish for dept…Zac Stacy was gone within 48 hours after his tweet about wanting to be traded….now….how does that make you feel being traded for a 7th round pick….ouch


While doing some homework for the Waino part of this blog….I became curious about Tim McCarver’s career….some interesting stuff (at least to me)… in 1959, as a 17 year old he came up to the Cards for 7 games…no this wasn’t as a bat boy but as a player!

…from 1963 to 1967 he hit…289, .288, .276, .274 and .295 …during this same time span he stole 29 bases and hit 44 HR…. for his 21 year career he averaged .271

…he had 13 triples in 1966…the 2014 Cardinal TEAM had 21 triples

…he played with the Cardinals for 12 years, Phils 9 years, Boston 2 years and Montreal 1 year (some years he was on 2 different teams)

…he was the starting catcher on 3 Cardinal World Series teams (1964, 67, 68) and 3 Philly teams that reached the NLCS (1976, 77, 78)


Now there’s been 3 long- standing catchers since 1960 for the Cardinals—McCarver, Simmons and Molina—each has totally different skill sets…in my opinion, McCarver was the most versatile of the three when you consider hitting, running, defense….maybe all three belong in the Cardinals HOF but I doubt that you’ll see it (McCarver overshadowed by Gibson, Brock, Shannon & Simmons was never on a winner)…btw…Tony Pena was good…really good … but wasn’t here nearly as long as this threesome.


Enjoy the week…any comments on Waino, Cardinal catchers or Draft sections are always welcome


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