Is it me you're lookin for?
Well, let's talk about this. Now, of course, right away, if he's back, he gets the chance to start the season as the starter. This season, Pham is basically a "three-four-five" guy with batting average, OBP and slugging: .309/.401/.494. And, yes, he could bat in the lineup in the spots of three, four or five as well, but he has been a mashing machine at the two-spot. So yeah, if they don't trade Pham in the offseason, you'd think that he, Dex and Piscotty are the three outfielders penciled in. But yeah, we're talking pencil here. I wrote a column on Pham in our Sunday paper, and broke it all down. Basically, Pham is having his first breakout season at 29. He'll be 30 on March 8. He's had some physical setbacks in the past. But this is his first big season. So if you bring him back -- and he's cost-controlled, a very affordable player -- you start him, but I guess what I'm saying is, nothing guarantees that Pham will do this again this season. And he doesn't like this notion, but if Randal or O'Neill or Bader (or Sierra) have amazing springs, maybe he does, at some point, take on the fourth outfielder role IF his numbers dip. IF. Oh, and then there's a possibility that STL trades for a big bat too.
bahahah ..yeah I posted a picture from 2001 -- A Turtleneck Oddessy
Yeah, a lot of Stanton questions coming through. It's fun to let our imaginations run wild. And yes, the Cardinals will have that TV money we often cite. But how many of talk about the Albert contract? How many people say the Cards dodged a bullet. Yes, Pujols was 31 when he was a free agent, and Stanton turns 28 this offseason. But 295 MILLION is so much, even for rich baseball teams. AND -- imagine the haul Miami will demand for Stanton. So I'm not going to go all hot-take here and make a hard-and-fast declaration that they should go get him or not. I will just say to be thoughtful as we go forward with this.
And, we know the Cards history on this type of thing. They like to grow affordable talent. They like to contend annually. They like to have flexibility. I'm not saying Stanton would keep them from this. I'm just pointing out where they've come from in the past.
But man, imagine Stanton hitting balls to Freese's Lawn...
See, I'm into this. We talked a little bit about Richard's son last week in this chat, and I love the idea of him at short and DeJong at third next season. To me, this is more realistic than Stanton. As for Gene's cousin, he really is having a strong season -- .301/.355/.457 which takes us to a .812 OPS. And 17 stolen bases. 12 homers too. And his glove! I'm into this, especially if it means giving up one of the OF prospects.
Well, let's talk about Lance Lynn. He's in the "team MVP" race right now with Phammer and DeJong. His ERA is 3.12. And as I mentioned in the Saturday notes column, entering last weekend: Lynn has the lowest opponents’ BABIP in the National League at .225. St. Louisan Max Scherzer, a Cy Young candidate, is second at .233. By far, Lynn has the lowest groundball rate out of the Cardinals’ starters. And Lynn allows the fifth-highest home run rate in the league. So they don’t get hits off him often, but when they do, they’re often home runs. .... OK, but do you pay this fellow over $100 million dollars? Someone will. And I honestly have a lot of faith that Lance Lynn will be a formidable starter for numerous seasons. He really is good guys. But with Luke Weaver and Jack Flaherty just looming, and of course Alex Reyes returning from Thomas John surgery, you'd have to think that the Cards won't re-sign Lynn. The good business move is to offer a QO, so you can get that second-round pick though.
Well, first of all, I will proudly say that St. Louis could support an NFL team, with the caveat that the team isn't run like a mom-and-pop store and doesn't go on a HISTORIC streak of losing seasons (I mean, even the Packers fans would've been down on the Packers if they had been Rams-bad). Will STL get a third NFL franchise? I doubt it though. And will we get an NBA team? Holy moly I would go NUTZ. I love the NBA, I think it's a fun product and STL natives Brad Beal and Jayson Tatum will be fantastic players for years to come. But again, our city is awesome, but our city isn't blossoming the way we see Austin or Vegas blossoming -- those cities are growing and growing stronger.
If they keep him, the chances are like 97 percent -- for opening day lineup. But let's talk June 1, 2018
Fair questions, but like I yelped for weeks this summer, I really think a Yelich or Ozuna could complement this lineup nicely. I know they're not FAs, but I think they're reasonable trade commodities -- again, some people complain about all the OFs the Cardinals currently have in the system, but these are assets. And as for the aggressive plan stuff in the last part of the question, I just have to wonder what that would've been? What's the name, what's the guy that could've transformed all of this offensively? And what strings are attached to him?
It's all very tricky. These days, organizations are seemingly trying to be both progressive but also tentative politically. There's always that fear of repercussions. But as a famous pen once wrote, "If you stand for nothing, what'll you fall for?" Of course, the argument is, from a Cardinals standpoint is -- "we are a sports team, we're in the sports world." But how cool would it be if the Cardinals did some sort of commercial or video that has players speaking out against racism? Like, nothing bad can happen from that, right? ... as for other political things, I think it's very important that the Cards are having a Pride Night. Other teams do. It's a symbol of welcoming. It had to be done this season, and I'm glad it's happening.
Fair Q. I'll text DVP. (Wait, no I won't, I just checked Google -- he died in 2015).
Money is a language. An old Denver radio guy used to say that to me. And the Cards spoke that language with Piscotty. If he remains on the roster, they will give him every opportunity to flourish in 2018. You'd have to think he'd be better next season -- he's dealing with unfathomable emotional stuff this season, and also multiple injuries and had a weird spring with all the contract talks. And, in all of this terribleness of 2017, he's at least grown as a hitter in this regard -- he's taking more walks. But I'm totally fine with trading him if the trade works. Nabbing a No. 1 or 2 starter in Sonny Gray was worth it.
FALSE! No way they'd put my man Lucas Hackmann in a situation to get his arm bit!
People were asking about the 125 video
An interesting question. Ozzie and Lou, of course, have lived in STL after playing for STL. As for Willie, it's incredibly fascinating how he's one of the most-popular Cardinals EVER. I'm actually writing a chapter in my Cardinals book, due out for Opening Day 2018, about the Willie phenomenon. I mean, besides like Yadi, he's probably more popular in STL than any other CURRENT CARDINAL. Anyway, to answer your question, it's gotta be Waino and Yadi. Two stalwarts, two personalities that the fans love. I don't know where they'll live after they retire, but you know they'll be part of the franchise forever (though, as I type that, a small part of me wonders how the Yadi thing will play out in STL, with Carson Kelly and all. Will he play through his contract? Would they ever dare trading him (I'm NOT saying they should trade him now. But who knows what 2019 or 2020 will bring). Anyway, assuming there are no hurt feelings, I see Waino and Yadi as ambassadors. Also, a wild card -- Freese. He lives in Texas in the offseason, but who knows, with his hometown ties, maybe he'll be a big part of the community in future decades.
Fair point! And yes, I've screamed it in print and online often -- the 2017 Cardinals have wildly underacheived, considering they basically went "0-for-3" with three of their top six hitters -- Diaz, Piscotty and Grichuk -- and two others, Carp and Fowler, had terrible first couple months of the season. But Leake has been pretty good -- he's got a 3.48 ERA and only 33 walks all season. Yadi's having a pretty good year. But yes, the Cecil thing has been rough. It reminds me of Nelly in "Country Grammar" when he says "blow 30 mil like I'm Hammer."
I say middle of the pack this season, but I am danged excited to see this team play. Goodwin of course. And then I kept hearing whispers about some of the transfers last year who were tearin it up at practice.
one sports-politics answer man, that's all there was. And it's 2017 in a chaotic world. Sports can't be on an island, even if it is in our minds.
A year ago I would've said Aledmys Diaz. Now? Man. I just don't know.
I'm with you, and you make good points about the Angels wanting to hold on to him, but if they're trading him, the good news is, the Cards have two desirable starting pitching prospects and 2-3 OF prospects with upside too.
Oh man, I often have feelings of deja vu -- being in the Mizzou bar known for it's dance floor that I used to tear up in 01 in a turtleneck
That is one of the wackiest stories in sports history. An amazing one. But I don't think the owners "hate" St. Louis because of that. They're bigger thinkers than to just get mad because of a crazy business decision from the 70s
Well, with the way the Cards have clawed back this season, I don't think that MM will be let go in the offseason (not that I thought that anyways). But yes, if a team doesn't make the playoffs two years in a row, it's fair to wonder about the future. And Stubby has got himself a nice squad over there in Memphis. I drove out there a couple weeks ago, and I really enjoyed chatting with the old infielder and his hitting coach, too, Buddha. But I would have to think that if Matheny is ever let go, Mike Shildt would be a guy they'd really zero in on. I'm not anointing him, but he's definitely a strong baseball mind, and smart people in the game speak highly of him.
No, only because they've won TWO since then, so it looks weird than only because they beat KC do they then make this grand gesture to DD. Also, lets not forget, there was a Game 7, and Saberhagen was other-worldly
Turner is tremendous and an amazing late-bloomer, but I think it was fair to be hesitant about that, considering he's 32 years old. And also, it sounds like he was planning on returning to Los Angeles all along. Machado would be incredible... again, though, I don't think Machado was available.
OK fun day ahead -- about to film our weekend "2 Bens" video with Lucas Hackmann, the kid who got bit by Rally Cat. See you all next week, Tues at 11