I think my favorite thing is more the idea of Winter Warm-Up in general - the start of a new season, the uniting of fans and players back in town. It's a cool thing they do. It's fun to see the players for the first time since the season ended (who got fat? who lost weight??). And this will sound cheesy, but I love seeing the dang outfits of the creative fans. That one guy with the hat with all the bobble heads on it, or the kid wearing full catcher's gear. Great stuff.
I think the Cards will win, at least, 90 games this coming season. This is a strong team, so they don't have glaring weaknesses. But I suppose the answer to your question is: Just how much production will they get out of spots 6-8? For sake of this chat, I'll put Jhonny, Yadi and Kolten in those three lineup spots (knowing we'll surely see other fellas down there during the course of 162). I'm not that optimistic about Jhonny -- I just don't get this sense that a fully healthy Jhonny will, snap of the fingers, be Jhonny of 2014. Yadi had a stellar offensive season last year. Hard to think he'll duplicate it. And then Kolten? Assuming the Cards let him play through his slumps, he should have a pretty good season. But will Matheny have a quick trigger in regards to replacing Kolten? And how good is "pretty good?"
This is interesting. Let's look at it this way. Yadier was the best player at his position for a decade. Best of his era. Many smart baseball people say he's the best catcher to ever play baseball. Seven-straight seasons as an All-Star, eight-straight as a Gold Glove. And he could very well win another Gold Glove before it's over. But I hear you about Omar -- he won 11 GGs, including nine in a row -- but was only a three-time all-star (a lot of good SSs in the AL during his era). I guess there's the aspect of the unwavering statement. Who's the best catcher since 2000? Yadier Molina. That's the answer. Posey could play more seasons though, but right now, Yadi is the answer. Who's the best shortstop of the 1900s-early 2000s? Cal Ripken, Jeter, A-Rod, etc.
Ha maybe not the worst way of looking at it. I don't vote for the Hall of Fame, so I didn't have a say in this. But there is a character clause in the Hall of Fame voting, and if you're a fringe player like Schilling, it probably hurt your cause to say a shirt that suggests lynching journalists "is awesome."
Feel free to send in any Qs about Blues, Cards, Hamilton, This Is Us, West Wing, Mizzou, SLU
I said of the 2000s... not overall
Great analysis, and it is true -- it is very complex for voters to approach the steriods issue. It is hard for some voters to, as you say, not be "morality police," since they might think -- if I vote for Bonds, what am I saying about steroids use from that era? I like what you wrote about the idea of trying to evaluate someone's quality of play due to the aspect of PEDs. Because, if they're NOT being morality police, then Bonds is a first ballot HOFer, right? Consider that in 1999, The Sporting News named Bonds their Player of the Decade. From the 1990s. The whole dang decade. But we know (from a preponderance of evidence) what happened next. So you would think that a non-PED Bonds would've made the Hall, no problem.
Hahahaha, I know right? It's like the Marlins winning it all before the Red Sox and Cubs. Perhaps the talent is more dilluted, but they can't go backwards.
I think it couldn't be back on the air at a better time -- the writers of that show are sharp and will surely bring up intriguing debate topics that we might not have thought of.
Hey Sean, a good question to be sure. I think the Blues problems are bigger than just Jake. Noting that STL is 9th in goals for and 25th in goals against, the reality is, Jori is Lehterable this season. Yes, apparently, his presence helps 91. But he an't getting the assists on those goals. So say what you want about his defense, the fact is, Jori is a problem. And when the defense is bad, it can be extremely bad -- in the Ottawa game, they made some poor passes from their zone and didn't win many board battles. But yes, I always say that hockey goalie is the second-most important position in sports, besides football quarterback. And Jake's glove side and overall reaction has been hard to watch lately. Yes, he did just have a baby, so we don't know the toll that is taking on him. Maybe that's a factor. But he should be well rested heading into tonight's game against TJ and the Capitals. He's sat out three-straight games. But yes, if Allen doesn't get better, the Blues won't be playing in May.
I would love to see a Weekend At Bernies 3, if only so the Bernie dance can become popular again. As for Joe in STL, his 93 team did win 87 games, more than last year's Cards, but yeah, you didn't watch those teams and say -- this guy'll someday be on the Mount Rushmore of managers.
I love it! Yes -- January is the month when Cardinals are born. And I like you pointing out that Piscotty is a January-er. I really like his game, and even though he approaches batting as a hitter and not a masher, I think Piscotty could flirt with 25-27 homers this season. Remember this time last year, when we talked about Grichuk and Piscotty? We said both guys needed to ascend for the Cardinals to contend (sorry for going all Johnny Cochran-like there). Well, Randal didn't. Imagine if we get 2016 expectations for 2017?
A fair argument! But I defer to the authors who wrote books on Bonds, who said that it was the summer of 1998 that inspired (if that's the right word) Bonds to start using steroids. He became the first 400-400 guy, and nobody really cared. But McGwire hit balls to Alton, and that was national news. So the books say that the following season, Bonds started using. But I hear ya, who knows what else he might have been doing in SF to improve his numbers in the 1990s. That's what we'll never know. A lot of the Hall of Fame voting comes down to -- how good were the journalists in a certain player's city? Or, just how little evidence is there that, say, Pudge juiced, besides his call-out in the Canseco book "Juiced?" ... Piazza isn't considered a juicer because we don't have any reported evidence. Maybe he just never did and was just an awesome player. Or maybe he dodged a bullet.
That is interesting indeed -- Hitchcock himself has said, on occasion, that 91 disappears in some periods or some games. That isn't the trait of a superstar. Vladimir is still "only" 25, and has room to grow, but he definitely seems like a player who can growing in the category of: "When the going gets tough..."
That's the question -- can Adams play so well in Jupiter that he "beats out" Peralta and Gyorko, meaning Carp is moved to third and Adams plays first? It really sounds like STL is committed to Carp at first, so that scenario is harder to see become a reality. And I'm glad Adams lost the weight, but could that be counter-productive with his home runs? And, stuff happens. I remember a big piece in our paper from last spring, Adams talking about "rediscovering" his power with his stance. Well, he wasn't a stud last season, with a .309 OBP and a .471 slugging percentage. So he'll get his chances, I just see it as a longshot for him to force STL to move Carp, once again, to a different infield position.
I once saw Lee Smith AT the Galleria. He was big.
Quite possibly. Or Usain Bolt, but he doesn't compete as often. I had a piece in today's paper (and on insidestl.com) about Serena Williams. The reality is, a lot of us don't follow tennis (or women's tennis) and I think we easily brush those stars to the side, saying: "yeah, yeah, they're good." ... But Serena might be the best women's athlete of all-time. And thus is the argument for BEST ATHLETE of all-time, no offense, Sixto Lezcano. But sometimes it takes spelling out their accomplishments for us to truly appreciate where they stack up. Same can be said for Federer.
So tough. I suppose it's Josh Lyman -- smart, but with a small clueless side to him. Funny, but with a small dorky side to him. And great dialouges and plot lines. That sirens episodes with Yo-Yo Ma is some of the finest TV I've ever seen,
Oh no! I'm sorry I missed you at Winter Warm-Up!! Lemme know if you're ever at Busch, I'll come by to sign my Herbie Hancock.
Does this include going into the department stores?
Love it -- good stuff... if I recall, there was one season he didn't even qualify for caught stealing percentage because not enough players ran on him. Yadi is a treasure (even though he played too much in 2015)
OK friends (and people I accidentally snubbed at the Winter Warm-Up), I've gotta run... should be a fun week with more Cardinals columns from Winter Warm-Up interviews, plus Oshie back in town and all this SC STL stuff. Stay tuned, always keep checking stltoday.com and please follow me on twitter, @hochman
see you this time next week! (well, at 2 next week)