See, I think that's the underrated storyline of the offseason. I think the Cubs pitching will be pretty darn good this coming season -- but I don'y think it will be disproportionately better than every other team, the way it was last season. Consider that Chicago's staff ERA was 3.15. The second=best team is Washington ... at 3.51! The gap between the Nationals and 0.36 featured three other teams. I still think the Cubs will have a good staff. Lester and Jake are awesome. Can Hendricks relive a top-3 Cy Young season? I'm not sure about that. Obviously Theo and Jed are high on Mike Montgomery, but he's never had a full season of starting -- starting just 16 times in 2015. And then there's John Lackey. Remember, there was a reason why the Cardinals didn't pounce on him (not that he would've re-signed here anyway), and that's because there's the thought that 2017 Lackey could start slippin. So we'll see.
After seeing the statement from athletic director Jim Sterk, it sounds like Kim Anderson will coach out this season. That's fine, as long as he's not coaching the beginning of next season. This season will be woeful. OK, so who is the next coach? It's extremely early in the process, and clearly Sterk won't show his hand, but you'd think that Cuonzo Martin from Cal would be someone to consider. And also, Missouri State seems to be having a good season. I have faith in Sterk, I liked his hire -- and here's thinking he'll make a sharp hire. The reality is, whoever said hire is, that guy will have a tremendous mountain to climb (or, should I say, hole to climb out of -- one dug by Haith first, then Anderson)
Good points! The other team that I would consider that should be Washington. Holy moly. Their pitching is superb, surely Bryce Harper will bounce back, they'll get a full season of Trea Turner and the Adam Eaton acquisition is fascinating. But I see what you're saying about Cleveland. And they'll have that young pitcher Ryan Merritt who will have a full season as a starter.
Why would the Cardinals spend $110 million on free agents if they were conceding to the danged Cubs. The Cardinals are playing to win the division, acknowledging that, yes, the Cubs had the upper hand this past season -- but also acknowledging that the Cardinals are not 17 games worse than Chicago's Cubs. The Cards will have two new pitchers in their rotation than last season (with a first full season of Alex Reyes and the return of Lance Lynn). The Cards have a new-look top of the lineup with Mr. .393 OBP Dexter Fowler (pancaked together with two other OBPers, Aledmys Diaz and Matt Carpenter). Yes, there are numerous questions -- what does a full season at Grichuk get you? Can Yadi play another strong full season? Who is 2017 Wong? But the Cards are trying to compete and built smartly (if that's an adverb), since a huge contract to Encarnacion could've helped them in '17 but really put them in a financial rut in the next seasons. I suppose the reality is -- both STL and CHI are built, in my opinion, to at least crack 90-92 wins. The question is, how many more will one team get?
I like where your head is at. That could be awesome. Heck, what is Naughty By Nature even doing these days -- why can't they come to STL and be part of the video? LETS DO THIS
What up Michael from Truman! Coincidentally, Derrick Goold and I recorded a Best Podcast In Baseball this very morning. We talk about which pitcher should start Opening Day (well, night) for STL and we discuss a ballplayer's psychology. It's somethin. And, we begin our discussion about Derrick's Hall ballot.
A very fascinating question, because many would say that Matt Adams, given a full season of at-bats and a bunch of runners on base, could be a very big producer for a team. But which team? Perhaps an AL team, so he could DH, or Colorado, because of their hitter-friendly ballpark? Goold was in attendence at the Winter Classic as a spectator, and he said he ran into Adams -- and that Adams is waaaay skinnier than we've seen him. So that's something. With Adams, we have to look at the asset itself -- what's the best way to maximize the asset? Is it trading for a Dyson? I say no. Is it keeping him around and letting him potentially out-hit Jhonny -- and then the Cards put Adams at first and Carp at third? Something to consider.
An interesting point. And here's the thing -- it's not just the international matches that would come, it's also all the other events too. It's like an additional Scottrade for concerts and college championships and postseasons. And even high school events. And festivals. And perhaps a lacrosse match. Or an MLS All-Star Game, which I believe is guaranteed for an expansion team with a new stadium. One other point I'd like to make about this is -- if St. Louis doesn't pounce on this opportunity to get a team, it might not ever happen. And yeah, while in a vaccuum it's not devastating to not have MLS, then add that with losing the Rams, and perhaps not getting a Scottrade enhancement. Other cities are passing us by, man. You're either growing as a city or you're falling behind by staying status quo.
They were AWESOME. And good news -- the Blues will be wearing the baby blues/powder blues/victory blues/not-dark blues six more times this season, beginning with Saturday's game against Dallas' Stars. My only regret was that at the alumni game, I didn't wear an old-timey PRESS fedora, but perhaps I lucked out because then Hitch wore one to the actual game. Also, since I'm talking about the Blues here, can we talk about the tone of tonight's game. It could appear, on a calendar, as a throw-away game, with Carolina here, but the Blues can't have a hangover performance. They need to play sharp and get two points. They need to (Finally) win two games in a row, which I believe they haven't done since Vincent Riendeau shutout Hartford and Quebec.
A very fair question Joe. And that's the encouraging thing -- no, Stephen Piscotty is not going to lead your team in home runs. But as long as he's producing from the middle of that order, that's important. And let's not forget, here's Stephen's slash line with runners in scoring position from last season: .363/.417/.600. This could be very helpful, considering that the Cards are now down with OBP (yea you know ... um...them?)
I've had a few over the years. Currently, I go by Hochsy or Hooch. I've also been the aforementioned The Hawk. Also, B-Hawk. Short Stuff. Frodo. and Denzel.
Here's the thing -- if it involves Kevin Shattenkirk, I'm not sure that Shatty will want to sign there long-term, so Colorado might be reluctant to trade a great asset (or two) in a deal that includes the defenseman. That being said, yes, if STL could get one of those guys somehow, it would be a heck of an upgrade, notably if the guy is Matt Duchene. He's a talented center and could infuse this offense. Colorado won't trade him on a discount though. I have to wonder if STL should try two different moves -- one for Duchene and another getting rid of Shatty?
Yeah, it was a win-win. Ty needed to just play. He played in four danged games for STL. The Blues have some flexibility now and maybe the change of scenery and the ice time could bring out a Ty we'd never see. What are the odds that his first game for Carolina will be AGAINST the Blues? This scares me if I'm a Blues fan, that this guy with a vengeance will be playing mad hockey tonight at Scottrade Center.
That's well-said. BenFred has written a lot about this topic, and I agree with him. Hate-watching is therapeutic and something that can be done as a community, thanks to Twitter and, dare I, the comments section. But the hate isn't necessarily toward the Rams players (though Greg Robinson is super-frustrating) -- it's towards Stan, Kevin and Jeff. And now that Jeff is gone, it takes the luster away from hate-watching the Rams. So yeah, I'm with you Okie, I'll continue to enjoy closely following the disaster that is the Rams, but I'll enjoy knowing it's still happening.
A good explanation and a name to follow!
That's the fear. From the people I've talked to, the SC STL group needs the state to be on board. If the state's not on board, the Board of Aldermen won't likely be on board.
Interesting point, but let's not forget -- I feel the Cards overpaid for Fowler, notably with the length of contract, but it was the better "picked poison" if you will, compared to trading a bunch of stud prospects for Adam Eaton (notably one Alexander Reyes)
1. I think the thing that gets me a lot of story ideas is Twitter response. Sometimes, I'll throw out a fun question and as the answers come flying in, I'm like -- wait, this is a topic people are into. Like, the "Where were you for the Freese homer" story I did on the five-year anniversary. Also, I've done some pieces over the years about fan responses such as "Best game you had tickets to but had to miss (and why)" ... and "Best HS player you've ever seen play." 2. I like doing the chats! I'm a St. Louisan, so a lot of the questions I get in the chats are the same ones I get from buddies and family. The chat is fun, because it feels like part of a community.
I'll be there! But the cost of my autograph is actually me paying you $3 just to accept the autograph.
Well, I do need to get going -- working on some columns for the weekend. Thanks as always for the lively debate and fun questions. See you all in a week!!