ARE YOU READY FOR SOME CHATTING!!
Mike Yeo will definitely infuse the lineup with one or two new dudes. He was clearly dissapointed by their effort in Game 3. And I thought Jeremy P. Rutherford did a eloquent job in his game story capturing that the game wasn't as close as the scoreboard said. I'll say this right now -- the winner of Game 4 will win the series. So St. Louis better play more inspired hockey and stay out of the danged box.
As soon as Kolten made the "double-mistake" play in the 10th -- dropping the line drive and then throwing it errantly to first -- I knew Twitter would explode. And it did. It was like Election Night. It drained like 69 percent of my iPhone battery. I do think Carp is (a little) to blame -- he did not fluidly field that thing. Maybe like JT Snow or someone could've pulled off the play at first base. But it would' ve been tough to do. The main thing is -- Carp shouldn't have had to even field a terrible throw. Wong should've made a crisper, calmer one. So the play really captures the larger part of the Cardinals' problems. That players turn one mistake into two -- and in the most-terrible times. And I'll tell you, the game just seems to find Kolten, doesn't it? I wrote about it in a column the other day -- it's like this one guy is always in the key moments of games. Sometimes making clutch plays or getting at bats, other times throwing the ball into the dugout.
I've always been fascinated by the importance of a quarterback in the NFL. Yes, yes, numerous recent teams have made it to the postseason with average quarterback play, but a statistically overwhelming defense. But the reality is this -- most teams that do well in the postseason have a marquee quarterback. Tom Brady. Matt Ryan. Aaron Rodgers. Drew Brees. Big Ben. etc. So yeah, I'd be totally excited if my NFL team traded up for a quarterback. Now, since the Rams left, I admit that I haven't lost myself in reading in-depth analysis of the NFL, notably in regards to NFL strategies come draft day. But it just seems like quarterback is (assuming this is even a word) disproportionally important to its team, compared to the other positions. So why doesn't a team desperately try to get a marquee quarterback, instead of wasting a couple years working "around" the average guy they have. I wonder what would happen if a team such as, say, the Browns, took four quarterbacks in a draft? Clearly it would seem crazy on the surface. But if they could "guarantee" that one of the four dudes would make it, is it worth losing out on the other three (or two, considering one other could be your backup QB)?
I was living in Denver during the Brendan Ryan era, so I wasn't here for the day-to-day blows, but yeah, he was a big-emotion, talented-defensively, "scrappy" player who got under a lot of people's skin. But Kolten is much more talented than Ryan was, overall. Just this past week, talking with Mike Matheny over at Busch, he answered a question of mine by saying: "He has bat speed. That's not something you can necessarily teach. He has exceptional bat speed, where he can trust his hands, let the ball get deep. He hasn't even tapped in to the kind of hitter he can be yet, and I think that's just part of the process.” Look, I admit it, I get tired of the Kolten drama (and I've written numerous pieces in my short time back home in STL about how he's mentally found some new approach to the game). But it's only early May. It's not even Tarasenko de Mayo yet. This is the big "see this Kolten thing through" year... so to make drastic decisions or evaluations might be us getting caught up in the moment. But yes, there are numerous similarities to Brendan.
I will!! I love trying new things. Symphony Girl is sitting right next to me here at this coffeeshop, and I just told her. It's on "the list."
Because the earlier game involves a New York team, so they'll get a better time slot. But great usage of Chris Gardner's "first puck"... even though I say it should be "first drop"
You'd have to think so. But from where... via a trade or the minors? And what position? The easy answer is third, but Jedd Gyorko seems to be fitting in nicely there -- and all of his homers this season, like many from last season, come in the sixth inning or later. The reality is, the Cards need more slugging from the guys they thought would slug: Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty. Granted, The Pisco Kid has been getting on base via the walk, and Randal has had some good at-bats recently, but these are two guys who should have higher OPSs. If you're looking for a trade, surely there are enticing names who could be moved over in the junior circuit -- Todd Frazier, Evan Longoria, Josh Donaldson, Roger Dorn -- but surely the Cards would see what they have down in Memphis first. And that's Paul DeJong. He's slashing .301/.326/.566 ... and he has five homers so far, including two in one game the other day. Another gent to consider, of course, is Patrick Wisdom, whose numbers are a tad lower but has similar amount of total bases. Also, I yearn for the day he arrives to STL, so I can utilize the nickname "Patty Smarts."
A good question, and I don't think it's an easy answer. A lot of it is psychological. Think about all the confusing mantras in playing sports: Be relaxed out there ... but be intense! Be focused! But have fun! Don't let one mistake lead to another ... but, learn from your mistakes!! With the Cards, Kolten Wong kind of epitomizes all of this. Like, on Sunday, Kolten shared with reporters his conversation with his grandmother, Susan, in Hilo, Hawaii. Here are some of the quotes: "She asked me if i'm having fun. If my grandmother's telling me to have fun, I better have fun... I had to have my grandma tell me – you've been having fun your whole life, why are you stressing now? Hearing that was her was refreshing. She makes things seem not as big as they actually are. It was good to be brought down to earth." But then, one day later, he makes the baserunning blunder and the "double-error" in the 10th inning. So the question is -- can have have fun with that looming? In other words, anyone can have fun when you're winning.
Remember Pedro Alvarez? Holy moly. Against the Cards, he's had 299 at-bats, basically half a full season. He has 18 homers and 58 RBIs and 16 doubles. And his slash line is .254/.333/.488. Also when I was growing up, Jeffrey Leonard was Card Killer, per his 1987 NLCS -- .417/.500/.917 with four homers and five RBIs. And he had the rare accolade of winning the NLCS MVP while playing for the team that LOST the series. And for his career, he was a .266 BA with .312 OBP, but in 262 at bats against St. Louis in the regular season, he was .298 and .346.
I'm all for superstition -- him getting rid of the hair extensions because he thinks it could change his luck. I'm against veiled racism that we see on Twitter and elsewhere -- that him changing his hairstyle makes him "cocky" or "immature" or actually lead to his rough performances. Like, do people get mad at Matt Carpenter for growing out his long beard, saying that's affecting his play? Fans (and journalists even) need to be careful with what they say about someone's appearance. But for Carlos, here's hoping that changing something up (in this case, his hairstyle) will coincide with a change in performance, such as me today, wearing my Cash Money Records socks, an homage to my favorite record label, in hopes that I'll pitch a good "chat."
ALL THE TIME!!! I'm like so sophisticated. No, the story came from one of our first dates. They STL Symphony was doing a Led Zeppelin night, so I got two tickets. While we were there, a la Jerry Seinfeld in that one episode, she pulled out a PEZ dispenser. I knew she was the one! But we hadn't gone to the symphony since (but on local sportstalk radio, we all referred to my new ladyfriend as "Symphony Girl") .... however, we did make our triumphant return to the symphony this winter -- because Nelly played there.
Oh yes, Beltran was a Cardinal Killer, before he joined the Cardinals and became an Other Team Killer.
A few things to unpack here. First of all, we're pretty spoiled around here. Last season, the Cards had 86 wins and missed the playoffs (or at least a play-in game) on the final day. And now this year they're .500-y. At it's Armageddon. I was a columnist at The Denver Post, in a town where the Rockies have missed the playoffs every year since 2009. Think about that. Think about if the Cards hadn't made the playoffs since TWO THOUSAND NINE????? But the next aspect to your Q is this -- how do the Cards suddenly improve (in the field or on the basepaths) if it's the same players playing? Is the only answer to put different guys in there? Or can a guy improve as a fielder or runner during a season? As for the stop going to the games thing, that's the aspect I'm most-fascinated by (sorry for ending that sentence with a preposition). I was shocked last fall, during the final week of the season, when Busch wasn't packed. The Cards were vying for a playoff spot -- every game mattered -- and there weer clearly thousands of empty seats. I wrote it at the time -- this showed us that the fans weren't satisfied with the state of the team (again, if the Rockies were in it during the final week, fans would be hanging from the lights just to catch a glimpse of Nolan Arenado). Last night -- cold weather, un-enticing opponent -- there weren't a lot of people at Busch. Here's wondering if that'll be a trend. Maybe they are "stopping going to the games" because the team isn't elite.
"My Shot" is the best song from Hamilton.
"Farmer Refuted" is the worst song from Hamilton.
That's the thing -- yes, the Cardinals have issues they need to take care of. Yes, the Cardinals are sweeping some of those issues under the rug lately with some of these wins. But the Cubs of 2017 are a lot like the Cards of 2016 -- a triple-digit win team struggling to live up to the highest of levels. The Cubs' pitching isn't blistering just yet. Some of their stars have fallen (at least so far). But just because the Cubs aren't dominating doesn't mean the Cards get a free pass or an excuse for also being average. On the contrary, it's even more reason why the Cards need to capitalize and play tighter baseball -- because this isn't just a race for the Wild Card; it's still a race for the division title.
It's in the top-10 but clearly not clearly the best. My Shot, Schuyler Sisters, The Battle of Yorktown, What'd I Miss, Room where it Happens are all better...
I'm one of the few people around here who's big on Bergie... I'm with ya.
The Jhonny Conundrum. Here's the thing. I've been vocally down on Jhonny for a couple years now. Nice guy, but I just don't believe in his production from that important corner position. But someone pro-Jhonny could point out that he's often battling stuff. Injury here, injury there. Then when he returns, there's the storyline of him "finding himself" again at the plate, and apparently that takes time. And now, word comes out that reaction to medicine has been fatiguing him (and he did look pretty strong when I saw him play in Jupiter). So maybe, just maybe the issue is Jhonny has to be 100 percent healthy to be productive, which is appealing because at some point, surely, he will be, right? But yes, when he returns in the short-term, he will be the backup third baseman to a man named Jedd.
Hate to even suggest it, but you'd think that someone would get hurt at some point...
A nickname for Cardinals prospect Patrick Wisdom.
That would've been awesome, because Buehrle is also from the area. For me, it was always Troy Tulowtizki, who, of course, the Cards considered trading for, as it's been reported over the years. I got to know Tulo when I was in Colorado, and he struck me as the kind of persona that would fit into the Cardinals mold. He just loves the heck out of the game. He's big into history. He works relentlessly. He was close friends with Matt Holliday, who epitomized the Cards for many years. Tulo would've fit into a proud mold here, a player who just cares so much, like a Willie McGee or Eckstein or Yadier
OK I've got to run, thank you all... please keep making me part of your Tuesdays!!