The Cardinals basically didn't have enough pitching. Gibson was gone for the second half of the decade and Carlton was dealt to Philadelphia in 1972. There was no real staff ace.
The value of winning a weak division is (a) getting into the playoffs in the first place and (b) making sure your team has enough pitching to compete with the better clubs in the postseason. I think the Cardinals had enough this past season to advance farther but they gave away the second game to San Diego. You also need better offense than the Cardinals had but you pitch your way to victory in the playoffs, as you saw how the postseason developed last year with such teams as the Braves, Dodgers and Rays.
Bing Devine acquired Lou Brock from the Cubs for a sore-armed Ernie Broglio in 1964. The Cardinals later fired Devine that year but he would return a few years later after helping to build the Mets. Brock helped the Cardinals to that year's World Series and two more. Few GMs have made trades like that. Of course, Devine also traded Steve Carlton to the Phillies but an agitated August A. Busch Jr., made him do that.
It's not, but something happens on every play in football. In baseball, there are many plays in which hitters are just standing there or swinging and missing.
Those two certainly are up there along with Dave Collins
I think Carpenter is better at third than second, DeJong is excellent and Edman looks all right at second. I would leave as is, if Carpenter is good enough on both sides of the ball to play every day.
That would be right at the top but I don't see Molina retiring this year. He'll be playing this season.
For a long time, there have been shifts in baseball, just not as pronounced as they are now. I would suggest that more players more often bunt for base hits. The shifts are different when runners are on base, so let's put some runners on. It would be wrong to outlaw shifts. Then you'd have to outlaw pine tar and the slider.
I'm guessing the price would be too high, even for a player in his 40s.
Any time he pitches it can only help. Nobody talks about him being in the rotation but I guess he could be in it. I'd rather see him late in the bullpen and Reyes in the rotation.
Feckless might not be the right word but it never has seemed to work out since prized prospect Oscar Taveras was killed after the 2014 season.
A team should always compete for a championship but the division championship comes first. Then it sets its sights on the next challenge. Boy, 10 years without a World Series title has got some of you in a lather. How about Cleveland, also a pretty good team?. The Indians (this year anyway) are working on 72 seasons without a World Series crown.
"Just" $1.3 million more? The two have similar big league service times and Flaherty has had two good years and Bader probably one. The arbitration process is one the clubs will try to use to their advantage now because this year, particularly, teams are even more mindful of saving money. Flaherty and the Cardinals differing on salary is nothing new. This is the third season in succession this has happened with the club renewing Flaherty before he became eligible for arbitration.
I'm assuming you're referring to Miles Mikolas and Jordan Hicks, both of whom should be full-go in the spring. Dakota Hudson (elbow surgery) likely will miss the entire season but will be working out in the spring, just not pitching.
Every Hall of Fame voter must have 10 years as a baseball writer. Each has his own idea of what constitutes a Hall of Famer but the ballots hardly can be considered nonsensical because a screening committee of writers narrows the field down to 20 to 25 every year, with each player having impressive credentials. How impressive is the key. I do not make my ballot public but I can assure you it is not non-sensical. I have been voting for the Hall of Fame for 36 years and have had no one rebuke me.
Until you see Mikolas, you don't know how he'll bounce back after missing a season. You don't know if you're going to have Wainwright. You do know you're not going to have Hudson. Can Martinez help, at all? This is why I think Reyes is a necessity to start. I'm not saying the rotation is weak. But how strong it is. . . I'm not certain.
I'm rather sure this was investigated thoroughly by MLB although we may never know what happened unless Correa wants to detail anything and everything.
Despite your invention of a new verb, I don't think the Cardinals low-balled Pujols. The Angeles "high-balled" him. I trust they are not trying to offend Molina or even Wainwright but you don't know exactly yet how those two feel about their situations.
I didn't cover these guys but four I wonder about are Gil Hodges, Thurman Munson, Roger Maris and Tony Oliva. I've always thought all of them should be in.