Greetings, chatters. Thanks for jumping in. We can go long today, if there's a crowd. There will be a slight lag around 1 p.m. or so, due to a spring training cover plan meeting here at P-D headquarters. But, I'll take the laptop with me and we should be able to keep it rolling while that happens. Let's ride.
Ha! I've found the anti-DH crowd is passionate and loud, but I do not think it's as big as it likes to think it is. I received a few emails and tweets from folks saying they would stop watching Cardinals baseball if the NL adopted the DH. That seemed bogus to me. I created a poll at STLToday.com that I'd like to ask you all to vote it. So far, it has close to 2,000 responses. 13 percent say they would no longer watch baseball. 48 percent say they would begrudgingly watch baseball. But get this: 39 percent say they would celebrate the change. See what I mean? The notion that "fans don't want the DH" is not true. Some, sure. Not all. Not as many as you might think, even.
It's impossible to pick one, but you can make that case, sure. The status of his shoulder and how it impacts his swing is one of the biggest question marks of spring training, without a doubt. I'd also list Fowler and Goldschmidt as big X-factors.
The coaches have to want to play the game. In college basketball, coaches have much more influence on the schedule than, say, football. ADs control football scheduling. Coaches control basketball schedule. It's turned into a science: how do I balance a good record and a tough enough schedule to make the tournament? It's a shame, really, because it does not seem common sense regional rivalry opportunities are given enough attention. That said, Cuonzo Martin and Travis Ford seem to be working toward something, quietly. The notion has been squashed quickly in the past.That is no longer the case. Ford and Martin are friendly, and Ford's son is even a walk-on with the Tigers this season. I think it will happen eventually, though I'm not sure it would be a neutral site in St. Louis considering the Braggin' Rights rivalry. There would be nothing wrong with a home-and-home. Both fan bases could make the trip both ways.
Only rumors I have heard are about the departure of the one who just left. Might be a little awkward at the next Odom family get together. Tigers thought they had kept Brian. Turns out they had not. The narrative about Odom having a hard time keeping his staff together gains some merit when his brother departs. And yes, I know it was to Oklahoma, a good job at his alma mater. Isn't blood supposed to be thicker than crimson red?
If they played every team like they play Washington, no one would be complaining.
It's their first three-game winning streak of the season. They have a tendency to steer any sign of newfound momentum directly into the nearest brick wall. Let's see what they do next. Extreme caution is advised when it comes to trusting this team.
You don't have to sell me on Bryce Harper. Check the clips. I beat that drum more than anyone. Would love it if the Cardinals made the splash. Just don't think they have it in them, or see it in Harper, to make it happen. I've wondered if Machado might be of more interest at this point. The Cardinals have indicated they like the idea of that long-term contract better, but they have also indicated they were rather turned off by his postseason antics. The market for Machado seems rather defined at the moment, and the Cardinals are not in it, unless they are the so-called mystery team. That's really not their nature. I'll repeat what I said before. They said they wanted one premier bat. They got one in Goldschmidt, and plan to extend him if possible. When is the last time they said they needed one top-shelf item and then got two? Don't bank on it.
I applaud the student section for showing up for the Tennessee game. Classes were not in session and they were there early and loud throughout, even after the game turned on its head. Agree that the empty seats don't look good on screen. Just not sure the average Mizzou fan is going to show up to weeknight games to watch an NIT-ish team. And that's a shame, but it's kind of the way things are moving across the country. It's not just a Mizzou problem, though it does stand out at Mizzou. The Tigers ranked very high in attendance last season. The hope was the MPJ bump would linger. We'll see where they finish this year.
Again, students did their part at the last home game. It was the non-students that deserved an attendance check. Big picture, though, this is a discussion taking place across college sports. It's not Mizzou-specific. That said, when Central Florida comes to town, and their employees are remarking about the lack of an atmosphere at an SEC road game, that's not great.
Indeed. Schedule the parade.
DG and I kicked that around on his podcast last week. Check it out if you are into the topic. I don't like the idea of forcing or shaming teams into offering contracts they think are bad. I do like the idea of penalizing tanking and rewarding competition. Do that, and more teams will want good players.
You don't watch baseball at all, or you just don't watch interleague play? Curious minds want to know.
Trustworthy San Diego scribes have reported the top target for that deal is Cincinnati, not St. Louis. Padres interested in Nick Senzel or Eugenio Suarez.
Depends. Waino as a starter, reliever, or just a pitcher on the major league team? Clarify and I'll weigh in.
This is a common response, and I get it. But I would argue it's a different kind of strategy with the DH. It's not the familiar strategy. It does not mean it's worse. With the DH, you are adding another damaging hitter to the lineup and removing a (usually) non-threatening one. That requires strategy. Do you let a pitcher on the ropes face the DH? When is the last time you even thought about a pitcher on the ropes facing a pitcher? Automatic out. That's the feeling, and it's almost always right. National League pitchers last season had their lowest OPS since 2000. It's not getting better. It's getting worse.
I doubt that was the deciding factor, but I think, more than anything, it proves that a 21-year-old American male still views NFL quarterback as the dream over MLB player. I'm not sure that will always be the case, but it is still the case today. I guess some of that is a marketing problem, maybe?