A great question, right off the bat. I think with Michael Porter Jr in the lineup and CJ Roberts coming off the bench (or maybe sharing the backcourt with Terrance), this is a bubble team. I think Mizzou is a tournament team for sure IF Mizzou can also get Jontay Porter, MPJ's younger brother, to reclassify, and/or the exciting potential addition of Kevin Knox, ESPN's No. 7 guy who's visiting Columbia this weekend......
Ha yes, word is out that Symphony Girl and I are engaged. We both love Booches burgers in Columbia MO, so we took a little fun roadtrip last night. But she had no idea there would be a proposal. As we were driving into Columbia, the rain let up and the sun looked pretty. I was thinking -- "We should drive 10 minutes out to the Rocheport Winery and I can propose on the beautiful bluff overlooking the Missouri River as the sun sets .... nope, nope, nope -- I'm doing it over burgers."
What's funny is, I didn't know if you meant football or basketball, but I suppose the reality is -- you could've meant either. As for basketball, yes, Michael Porter Jr himself has admitted that he's not a tremendous defender, but here's thinking that playing for his dad and a defensive-minded winning coach in Cuonzo, MPJ will have his best defensive season of his life (though that's not saying much). As for football, yeah, there are numerous questions sprouted up on that defense, but the offense is exciting. In a way, this offseason is the opposite of last season. Last season, it was Mizzou's defense will be amazing in 2016!! And now it's -- Mizzou's offense will be amazing in 2017!!!
hahaha.. yes, I got my Giants from 1987 confused. It was Leonard who did a home-run trot with "one flap down" and infamously won the NLCS MVP from a losing team. As pointed out by the sharp editor Mike Smith, who runs our sports site and these chats and thus I'm clearly kissing up to in this sentence, it was Chili Davis who referred to STL as a "cow town." So, when those cows were roaming the STL street the other day, I said "Jeffrey Leonard was right!!" Though, I meant Davis. My apologies to Chili.
Sure -- of course. These stars understand they only have one year in college, so they try to team up to maximize their year. Michael Porter Jr, although he's also a wing like MPJ, believes Mizzou would be unstoppable with those two. And my man Alec Lewis, a Mizzou student who writes for the Kansas City Star, interviewed Knox's dad. And here's what Lewis wrote: “Can you imagine Michael Porter getting the chance to play with Kevin Knox?” he thought. “That would probably be awesome for Mike to actually have an opportunity to play with another wing of equal talent and go from there.”
Although Missouri has jumped onto Knox’s radar in recent weeks, Florida’s Mr. Basketball was offered by Martin at the University of California. Conversely, Knox was not recruited heavily by Missouri under coach Kim Anderson nor by Washington under former coach Lorenzo Romar, Knox Sr. said.
After doing some research on Martin, Knox Sr. said it appears Martin is “a pretty straightforward, defensive-minded coach.”
“I’m a pretty straightforward, defensive-minded dad, so — so far — it’s working out just on the surface of everything,” Knox Sr. said. “We’re just now going internal on a lot of things.”
Two of those things are playing style and immediate fit, things Knox Sr. wants for his son, and things he has already discussed in depth with the likes of North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton.
Knox Sr. maintains he’s not worried about how quickly Missouri has jumped into the picture and added that it’s a testament to “who Cuonzo Martin is.”
“I have the utmost respect for Cuonzo and his coaching style to (be willing to) allow him to come in this late and have an opportunity to coach Kevin Knox,” said Knox Sr. “I’m good with it."
It's hard to say, and who knows how accurate polling is for an election where there, likely, won't be amazing turnout. Long-time chatters know how passionate I am about getting the team here, and what it could do as an investment into our downtown. But I understand why the other side is frustrated by how it could all play out. Anyway, assuming they do pass, I can see Don Garber making another announcement in STL, maybe even in the summer. MLS wants to be in STL.
Ratings Rule Everything Around Me. Cards vs the New Orleans Class-AAA Baby Cakes could get good ratings in this town, so Cards versus the hated Cubs, fresh off a World Series title, is must-see STL TV, regardless of what month. That's the business that is our games. As for the Blues though, I am fired up!!! Minnesota has been struggling. If Yeo can face his former team in the first round, I think STL could pull it off. Not so sure about any more rounds, but let's enjoy what we can.
I see what you're saying. Clearly there's excitement for "Event Pitchers" such as Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes (oh, speaking of A Reyes, did you see 2006 WS surprise star Anthony Reyes is now a firefighter? The Cardinals Magazine tweeted something about it. Very cool (here's wondering if his fireman's hat will also have an ironed-flat bill?)). As for the lineup, I see what you're saying, but who's to day Aledmys Diaz won't turn into an electric all-star. He's already been in one ASG and his swing looked sweet in spring (and on Sunday night). But I like the Piscotty move because it answers another question going forward. And the agents for players such as Machado will want to know how sturdy a potential team is. The Cards have a lot of control years over key batters: Fowler, Yadi, Piscotty, Grichuk, Diaz come to mind)
But Diaz is the one to watch for a contract extension, I would think
Good Qs. Well, I'm sure the Jontay thing is something Kevin Knox would want answered. I'm also fascinated by just how good Jontay would be in his first year. He's a top HS player in the Class of 2018, but where would his skill set land him right now in the 2017 list? Even if he's ON the list, meaning he's cracked the top-100, means he's likely a rotation player at least. And the dude is TALL, so that's something right off the bat, even if his skills still need to grow. Anyway, if Knox falls off, one guy to consider would be undecided McDonald's All-American Brandon McCoy -- but I'm not sure just how close he is to MPJ.
I hear ya. The reality is, STL is a baseball town because, over generations, the city has shown strong support for the MLB team. It's about the team and it's tradition and culture and all that stuff -- not just one star player the fans could root for. But it is, for lack of a better word, super-cool that a lot of recent sports studs are from STL. Baseball: 2016 Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. Football: Stud RB rookie Ezekiel Elliott. Basketball: One of the best men's players was Jayson Tatum and one of the best women's players was Napheesa Collier (she could be POY next season. Or maybe SOPHIE!!!). And Brad Beal is having a scintillating second-half for the Wizards, who are a game out of the third seed in the East)
I liked their lineups! With a rotation, it's hard not to go with the top-five WAR guys - Gibson, Dean, Brecheen, Waino and Juan Agosto
Thanks! I'm hoping to parlay my Hamilton love into a guest-spot as King George in one of the STL performances (even if it means storming the stage and singing a duet with the actual actor). With Carlos, it's about speed. Sure, he fired some heaters, flirting with triple-digits. But he's most-effective when he throws the same pitch with a few MPH difference... he can be tantalizing!
That's awesome! Hello to Craig and good luck to SEMO this season. We'll take a look to see if it's possible to fit in an article
I think so.... but I see what you're getting at. But I just think he's such a strong defense weapon, you don't give up on him.... but let's talk in a couple months, as we surely will, on the chat!
Not sure how they'll approach his contract, but the thing I was singing in spring is -- Grichuk for All-Star, 2017. No, he's not going to hit higher than, I dunno, .285, but he's is a masher and rejuvenated after a rocky '16. And with the OBP Boys getting on base, there will be plenty of opportunities to rack up the counting stat of RBI
Every time his name is brought up, people around the Cardinals gush. It sounds like he had a strong spring in his new role. We'll see how he does in his first full big year with the big club, but surely he's ahead-of-the-curve as a baseball thinker. And he has the respect of the players. That was one thing that was tough in the NBA, back when I was a beat writer covering the Denver Nuggets (and New Orleans Hornets) -- the players were more skeptical about younger coaches who hadn't played in the NBA. Even if these coaches were the smartest guys in the rooms, they had to prove themselves, and it often took awhile
OK ladies and gentlemen, I've gotta get going -- a few things on the docket today, notably the recording of a new episode of the Best Podcast In Baseball. Thanks as always for hanging out, and be sure to visit stltoday.com tonight for info about the big vote.