You probably haven’t heard by Bob Ryan

There’s constant talk going on around MLB, NHL, college FB, etc…..let’s take a peek at some of those topics….

…have you heard…..apparently the MLB has on its planning table – scheduling games in London (ala…NFL). The MLB is seeking a real rivalry that would …hopefully…show some emotion.  Soooo…who comes to mind immediately….yep…Cub v Cards. I can’t see either of these franchises surrendering an entire series….. although I’m sure that the MLB will dump tons of $$$ into their coffers to paddle across the ocean. To me…that means that each team would each give up a home game….or….even worse…2 home games…  to provide a 2 or 4 games series across the pond. I suppose that there is more money in London then in the Latin American countries that really LOVE baseball and would pack any stadium to see MLB ball. But…due to the big $$$, instead we  have some games that will be played in London..

….you’ve probably heard that Tommy Pham won his arbitration case for $4.1m. Pham, who’s now 30, was pushed out of the Lou by the younger…and clearly cheaper…OF—Bader & O’Neill.  Pham’s outspoken, chip on his should attitude, didn’t seem to fly well with MO & the boys. I found it rather refreshing that a sub “call out” starters who weren’t hustling. He hasn’t changed in Tampa. He was quoted as saying, ““It sucks going from playing in front of a great fan base to a team with really no fan base at all!” Interestingly, instead of attempting to build up the fan base, Tampa will shrink the size of the stadium. The hope is to provide a more intimate, closer relationship with the players.  I hope that both of those Rays fans feel better now that they can actually yell at one of the no-name playersJ    Back to the Cards…  No one seems to look @ LF where Marcell Ozuna was awarded the position with a sore arm, poor spring and lots of hype. Ozuna was handed the LF position from day 1 last year. He’ll be earning $12.5m in 2019… a tad more than Tommy’s $4.1m. The year prior to arriving to the Lou, Ozuna had a career year in 2017. He had career best numbers in just about EVER hitting category of his life. But comparing the two for last season, it’s not what you’d …or at least me….would expect. I do realize that Ozuna was “hurt” but being durable IS an asset also.   Remember…the Cards inferred that Pham’s history of injuries was a factor in… trading…let’s be honest…dumping him to the Sibera of the NL.

These stats are from 2018:          

Ozuna– war -2.9  avg-.280 HR-23 runs-69   OBP-.325   SLUG-.433  OPS-.758

Pham–  war -3.4  avg-.275 HR-21 runs-102 OBP-.367   SLUG-.464  OPS-.830

Further, Ozuna will be a free agent after 2019. One would think that he’d be working hard as possible on his preparation for 2019—the year prior to his free agency. From the radio reports I hear on Bernie’s show, the Cardinals don’t even know his condition.  Maybe, he’ll be good as gold…. maybe…not so much..we’ll see.

….the most recent being heard on the Manny & Bryce show is that there are 2 factors…1st of all teams are NOT coming across with the HUGE megabucks expected. The Chicago White Sox …according to sources(isn’t  that what they always call rumors?)…offered Machado $175/m for 7 years.  It’s a paltry $25m/year for 7 years.  Poor guy…his feeling were offended by the offer. Then 2nd   consideration…..we’ve read that other sources tell us that neither of these 2 players want to sign 1st because then the 2nd player will have the advantage of dealing with all of the other teams solo and have the 1st signing as a base. So now it’s become a game of chicken on the highway of signing! I hate to tell them….the games will begin on opening day…with OR without you!

….have you heard that Lance Berkman is upset over the HOF voting. While Edgar Martinez was voted into the Baseball HOF, Berkman was dropped from the list for not enough votes. Compare their numbers…..it is hard to understand the wide gulf between “getting in” and “being dropped” when the numbers are relatively close.

Martinez   gm-2055  hit-2247   HR-309    RBI-1261  avg-.312  OBP-.418 SLUG-.515  OPS-.933 

Berkmann gm-1879 hit 1905   HR-366    RBI-1234   avg-.293  OPB-.406 SLUG-.537  OPS-.943

Was it because the HOF wanted a DH? Soooo…does that mean that a guy that  DH’s for much of his career and doesn’t contribute defensively is rewarded OVER a guy that does play defense and plays it well?

….you didn’t have to hear it….just watch the Blues….6 straight wins…including 3 wins over Nashville & Tampa Bay(2 of the league’s best) . It’d be comparable to 12 straight wins  in the MLB where their season is twice as long….the Blues are playing tighter D, challenging each puck handler (hence forcing turnovers), Bennington has become the latest Blues GK phenom, there seems to be more movement by the forwards….interchanging positions. Hockey is a game that you gotta win those 1 goal games to be a contender. Just wiggle into the playoffs…then start the season all over again!

…..maybe you haven’t heard this…I’ve been under the impression that the Blues were drawing well……well…..the Blues are 22nd in the league attendance…after 52 games….there’s only 31 teams in the NHL, our average of 17.015 (88.9% of the building) puts us in the 22nd spot of the NHL. The Enterprise Building has definitely been upgraded…probably the prices also…but the Lou has to draw better.

….while I’m in a hockey mode…you probably haven’t  heard which NHL team has  the most points in the entire league?…and…for the 2nd straight year?  It’s Tampa Bay!  The Lightning’s best player barely puts a blimp on the national sports news… Nikita Kucherov (just 25 years old)has 22 goals, 59 assists. Maybe it’s due to playing hockey in Florida …which would be like playing baseball in Alaska….it just doesn’t seem natural J

…have you heard about Houston U basketball….remember the Bills dropped a 68-64 game to them in mid-Dec….they seemed good…but not super….now….Houston is ranked #7 with a 22-1 record! Meanwhile, our Bills have gone 7-5 since that game.

….you’ve probably heard this same ol’ same ol’….Alabama is awarded the #1 spot in the signing of the top prospects. It’s the 9th time in the last 10 years that Bama has won this “unofficial” award. FYI….LSU was #2, Ohio St (w/o Urban Meyer)#3, @ #4-Miami; Clemson@ #5, Florida is #6, #7 belongs to Texas A&M under Jimbo Fischer; holding #8 spot is OU. Guess we should look back in 4 or 5 years and see how it pans out. But….looking back at the signing day of 2015…4 years ago….Bama was #1, USC #2, Florida State #3…stop right there…where was USC & Florida State this year?  USC and Florida State were each 5-7 in 2018!  Leaving early for the NFL, lack of development, coaching changes that have coaches reevaluating the type of talent that they want to use, injuries, departures….ya  just never know what’s down the  NCAA road despite these lofty ratings on signing days.

…have you probably havent’ heard that Jayson Tatum is being  mentioned in some ”trade rumors”. The St Louisan has pushed his average up to 16.3ppg in his 2nd year.

….you probably haven’t heard about the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phils just obtained Catcher J.T. Realmuto from Miami. It’s the same chorus line for the Marlins….if you’re close to free agency…we’re trading you. For the Phillies though….it gives their team the solidarity that you require behind home plate and strengthen their batting order with a middle of the lineup bat. So what does the Philly starting lineup/rotation look like now?

C – Realmuto  1b- Rhys Hoskins   2b-Cesar Hernandez   SS-Juan Segura  3B—Maikel Franco

LF-Andrew McCutcheon    CF—Odubel Herrara   RF—Nick Williams

Starting rotation—Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta,  Nick Pivetta, Zach Eflin, Vince Valesquz –Nola, Pivetta are 1-2 with Arrieta an old but still reliable 5 innings #3 starter . If Eflin and/or Valesquez improve …this could be a strong rotation that carries the game to the 6TH+ inning.

Bullpen: David Robertson, Pat Neshek, Juan Nicasio, Tommy Hunter, Hector Neres, Jose Alvarez,  Seranhtony Dominguez, —acquired some vets to supplement young,  live arms

Batting—  lots of .250ish hitters who hit HR—Herrara .255, 22 HR; Hernandez .253,15HR; McCutcheon .255, 20 HR; Williams .256, 17 HR

Middle of lineup hitters: Realmuto .277, 21 HR with  Franco .270, 22HR

Best Hitter: Hoskins 34 HR, .246     newly acquired–Speed Man: Segura .304, 20 SB, 10 HR 

Btw…if the Phillie players just match last year numbers….unlikely…..nothing stays the same…..it’d be 161 HR, that’s just about 1 HR per game. There is more hope now since the acquisition of seasoned vets with much experience should  help these budding players  become consistent MLB players.

….you probably haven’t heard about this St Louis high school boys basketball team. The Ft Zumwalt South Bulldogs under Coach Bill Friedel have quietly packed together a tremendous 19-2 record and a have commanding 3 game lead in the Gateway Central Conference with an unblemished 7-0 mark.  EJ Bellinger is the team leader in scoring as he’s pouring in 25.9 ppg.  JJ Schwepker tops the team with 58 3-balls. The two of them are tied for the team lead in rebounding!! Jake Patton has dished out a team high 65 assists. The team owns impressive wins over Kirkwood in the Union tournament Championship game and 2 wins over Liberty of Wentzville.

….well…..you’ve probably guessed that we’ve reached the end….until next week….

Comments

  1. Great to see the expansion into some baseball talk!
    Cards: Its no secret, the Cards pushed hard for Stanton… he simply didn’t want StL. To save too much of a red face, they quickly shifted to Ozuna, letting the one breakout year drive their interest. Candidly, not bad stats with a bumb shoulder. This season he’s playing for a contract, combined with competing with Goldschmidt for attention & dollars.
    Berkman HOF: I like Berkman & his switch hitting stats are deserving of strong consideration. Myself included, the DH is here to stay, so this position as well as bullpen closers ARE today’s game… net… HOF voting must begin to recognize their contributions
    Blues: Great to see this recent surge! Regarding attendance, a few thoughts…
    – Weekday games are tough for school kids;
    – few promo/ give away games. Cardinals have figured out that high ticket prices are less “ stinging” when you give premium items for paid ticket
    – I’ve actually heard of people not comfortable with tickets only via IPhone.
    – Winning teams draw… with most of season underperforming, it’s no surprise gate has suffered.
    If our NHL team is struggling with attendance, makes me even more leary of MLS ⚽️ JP1

  2. It’s great seeing Blues playing much better hockey and more energy with the kid between the
    Pipes. Tank 91 is finally playing !to his all star level
    A HS basketball team to watch out Is Boys Cardinal Ritter –They started out 2-7 brutal schedule has help them go on a 14 game winning streak!
    What a show between East side & Belleville West–That look like a college game!
    Poor SLU injuries and just a lack of a bench will probably lead them now to a NIT berth.
    My final 4 teams for college I like are Tenn, Zags, Kentucky & going long shot Buffalo MB1

  3. In regards to the Blues, I believe that finding that chemistry and player roles had a lot to do with the poor start. Steen for one, thought he was still a first liner, and it just takes time for players to accept their new roles. ROR is the real deal and Binnington pushing Allen has been a major factor as well. Enjoying your blog. keep it coming. CK

  4. Robert, here’s a thought. Do you entire blog on High school sports one time. Who cares what the Phils are doing before spring season starts. Do one on girls sports and one on boys sports or a combination.

    Skip the pro circuit one week. Check the results and find out what your readers want. I’m out.

    I did like the report on Mizzou’s probation last week. They did get screwed. MB2

  5. Maybe I am too old school but Pham’s attitude didn’t fly with me either. I honestly was glad to see him get a nice arbitration win and get some money he has worked hard for. He has as much “I” in him as Ozzie Smith did/does. Maybe he can go across town and play for the Tampa Bay Lightning – they draw better and have a better fan base.
    Oh.. there is definite concern on the Ozuna front. There just seems to be a little bit too much smoke from that fire.
    It is fun to see the turnaround in the Blues. Did it really take this long to gel new players with the ones we had? Who was the cancer? We keep hearing how bad the clubhouse was… Is coach Berube to praise for bringing it together and getting these guys to play as a team? They have looked good lately. Let’s hope they can keep it up. Jaden Schwartz where are you? Schenn? Boumeister is playing his best hockey in a few years (finally healthy?) Ryan O’Reilly is really good.
    Again, in my opinion, neither Lance Bergman or Edgar Martinez is HOF material.
    I, along with millions, am sick and tired of hearing Harper and Machado talk.
    And as much as I do not want to see it, the DH is coming to the NL. JP2

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