Well... let's talk about this. The St. Louis Blues have played more games than any team NOT to win the Stanley Cup. Because of the Cardinals' existence, I think that takes away from the national (or international) perception that St. Louis is a long-suffering sports town, but the reality is, Blues fans have gone through as much as many other suffering fan bases. Fifty years, no Cup? You've been a fan since junior high, and you haven't even seen a Stanley Cup Finals GAME here since the early 70s (and those come with an asterisk, because STL was simply the best of the expansion conference). I want to sit here and say to hold on to hope, but I don't want to guarantee anything. I will say this -- I love Jake Allen's play, 91 is a superstar and Parayko and Fabbri and Schwartz are young stars.
Here's a story about a man named Jedd. The Jedd Gyorko acquisition has proved extremely fruitful for the St. Louis Nine. All he does is hit balls hard. It's been incredible. Every test he's been given here, he's passed. Right now, he's slashing .337/.392/.652. He's got six homers, and they all seem to come in key late innings. Last season, that was his bread-and-butter. And his glove is sturdy. The good thing about your question is this -- it doesn't have to be answered today. I'm not trying to dodge it, I'm just saying that the Cardinals can see how Jedd does in the coming months. If he keeps this up, well, that's all-star stuff. If he dips, maybe you realize you have a great 400 at bat guy to Zobrist his way around the infield, but maybe not an Evan Longoria guy to build around for the next half-decade.
I'd love to have you back Otter! But Ryan Reaves has emerged as the guy who can muck in the corners and still provide actual good skating for the fourth-line shift!
For Cardinals fans in this chat, I highly highly recommend going to Denver for the Cards' lone series there -- May 26-28. It's Memorial Day weekend, and folks, Coors Field is one of the coolest stadium experiences in Major League Baseball. Sit on the first base side on an evening game, and you can literally watch the sun set over the mountains WHILE watching the national pastime. You can hang out in their right field upper deck bar area and just mingle with the locals and catch some pitches: You'll be guaranteed to see a lot of mountain-y beards, a la Carp. But beware of Dinger the mascot. He's the anti-Fredbird. I think Fredbird is awesome, an iconic NL mascot (I know some disagree). Meanwhile, Dinger is the worst mascot in sports. Actually, sports history. He looks like a third grader's art project. As for your trip there, make sure you get a burger at My Brother's Bar (not literally MY brother), but a place in downtown with amazing jalapeno cheddar burgers and local beers.
I personally have not heard anything, and I read a Dave Peacock quote that said any rumor was "silly." But I don't know if anyway is trying to make magic happen. I would LOVE MLS here. As the weeks go on, I keep meeting people who live downtown who truly didn't understand how the money was going to work in the whole process.
But if Jesus is reporting it, then I trust my colleague's reporting, so let's keep our eyes on it!!
These are fair points, yes. It is true that Perron struggled for much of the postseason, and he was particularly bad in that final game in Nashville, when he spent seemingly as much time in the penalty box as he did on the ice (before he was benched in the third period, playing just a lone shift). I was surprised by Berglund's lack of production in the postseason. The reality is -- and we cannot just push this aside -- but the offensive production of Bergie and Perron were imperative to the Blues' regular season performance. As for Lehtera, I supposed my in-depth analysis of his is: "ugh." I disagree with what you say about Armstrong. Colton Parayko, Robby Fabbri, Joel Edmundson, all young guys that have been scouted and scooped up by him. The Jake Allen extension and the Mike Yeo hiring have proven to be fantastic investments. Look, in the past two postseasons, the Blues have won 16 games. The Blackhawks have won three. In the vacuum of the past two seasons, the Blues went to hockey's "Final Four" and then, in a transitioning season, still cracked the "Elite Eight." Yes, the Blues have some holes, but I'm optimistic that they can compete at a high level in the coming seasons.
It's a question we've been asking in St. Louis for generations. By the way, one of the greatest NBA players of all time played in St. Louis -- Bob Pettit played for the Hawks here from 1954-65, and The Bombardier from Baton Rouge averaged 26.4 points and 16.2 rebounds FOR HIS CAREER. That's an All-Star season EVERY YEAR. As for the NBA here, my mouth would waters as I yearn for a team, but the reality is -- we couldn't even find a way to lock in an MLS stadium and team, when we had hundreds of millions of private money available to be invested. With the NBA, we'd need substantial upgrades on Scottrade, as well as proactive corporate sponsorship. I just worry it would never pick up enough steam.
True -- let's see how Yeo and Army work together this summer. There will be plenty of questions involving players in the Las Vegas expansion draft and such. But I'm all for Yeo.
Ha! That is awesome, and I respect Eugene Koo, the consummate team translator. I still think Koo's live video of him running onto the field for Opening Day introductions was the neatest thing I've seen all year. As for Adam Wainwright, I do wonder how many more bad starts will have to happen before a Tyler Lyons or Luke Weaver or even Jack Flaherty gets a start (pitching for Class AA Springfield, Jack has a nice 0.69 ERA and an incredible disparity of 40 strikeouts to just five walks). Wainwright, who pitches tonight, has yet to record a quality start. Tonight would be an ideal situation to do so -- lackluster opponent and the Cards are playing good baseball. But yeah, you'd have to think that if he gets to June without a quality start (literally or figuratively), he might skip a start, right?
I love that you stumbled upon sports history. It reminds me of the story of my Mizzou Journalism classmate Charlie. Similarly to me, he's now back in his hometown. So he goes to dozens of Minnesota Twins games a season. He's all over it. Sure enough, he was in San Francisco a few years back and decided to check out the Giants and their stadium. And Matt Cain pitched a PERFECT GAME. There have only been 23 perfect games ever. And Charlie witnessed one -- but NOT at the stadium he's been to a zillion times.
Some fair points, but I think the Kolten Wong investment will pay off for St. Louis. He's a game-changing, hit-stealing, pizzazz defender at second base, and lately, he's been hitting like he's 1985 Tommy Herr. But yes, the Adams existence and also Jhonny Peralta definitely lingers on this roster. But look, Adams isn't that bad all of a sudden. When he struggled while being wedged into left field in April, it was the biggest story in St. Louis since Karen Foss retired. I, admittedly, was in favor of giving the move a shot. At the time, he had a home run robbed in his first game there, and after a strong spring, he truly seemed (to me and Matheny and that's about it) like a guy who could make an impact without giving up much in the field. Well we saw how that played out. But now, without the pressure of playing some weird position, Adams is hitting well in his role. .302/.354/.419 is pretty good in 43 at-bats. And here's one thing to remember -- we get very excited about these minor leaguers who dominate the minor leagues. But this doesn't mean they'll then have those same stats in the majors. We get excited about the shiny new toy a little too much in modern sports.
All right all right. Yes, that's a hard one for anyone to let go. And we've all written numerous things about the fascinating mental focus of Kolten Wong -- he made numerous blunders earlier this season, but also made some, yes, game-changing plays, including that triple before the Carp walk-off grand slam and, also, numerous plays that, if he didn't make in the field, would've let to hits and long innings. He changes games by preventing the other team to change games -- and preserving his pitchers. Yes, his overall advanced stats aren't incredible in the field this year, but I bet they'll play out OK. Also, doesn't it seem like Wong is always in the "eye of the storm?" For a while there earlier this season, it was as if every high-leverage situation involved him.
the game seems to "find" him
Definitely some good points there. And yes, sometimes it's fun just to look back at the lists of top prospects from previous seasons, just to see how many of them panned out of not. And yes, the Cubs mastered the whole thing, leading up to last season. Not only did they hit on draft picks, with Bryant and Schwarber and such, but they also compiled enough prospects to make the big trade for Chapman, a historic transaction in, now, baseball history. The thing about the Cardinals that is riveting is that they haven't "tanked" -- they've remained competitive for most seasons during the Jocketty and Mo era. The sustainability is really incredible if we step back from it. But when there is a "down season" in between numerous successful seasons, we get so caught up in the down season (because it's the present, it's the now) that we get overly emotional. I mean, there were fans calling for Mo's job in April. Seriously. I saw it on Twitter. Now the Cards are above .500 and in first place. I'm not saying that STL will win the Central. But I'm saying that a season is a marathon.
Because seeing Hamilton will stick with you forever -- it'll be a top-10 "event" of your event-going life.
Yes. If the Cardinals can acquire Josh Donaldson, without giving up Alex Reyes, then I'm all for Jedd playing the role he was eventually traded for in the first place. Love the idea.
Luis Robert. Now, yes, I'm falling into the "shiny new toy" trap that I mentioned earlier in the chat, but the reality is, smart baseball people peg him to be a stud, and to get him you wouldn't have to lose a player. The Cards will just need to out-bid and out-entice the other teams looking at him. I believe the date he can sign with a team is May 20th. And no, I don't know if he'll crack the 2017 Cardinals, but this is an investment worth making.
OK I've gotta run, but thank you AS ALWAYS for hangin' out with me in this weekly Tuesday chat. Also, big "2 Bens" news to come in the coming week. Stay tuned. And if you don't follow me on Twitter, I'm on Twitter - @hochman (or www.twitter.com/hochman )