Disappointed, perhaps. Upset? No. They know the game, how it works, what team has to do, and they will let the new manager prove that he deserves it ahead of the guy they know. They'll await proof.
I don't know about that. Was he holding the bullpen and its 0.98 ERA in that stretch back too?
Whether he accepts it or not, he's already received it. And he is aware of it. Yes, that is something that the front office will have to answer if that scenario plays out. How long did they wait to make move(s) that clearly helped the team -- and it wasn't like the two, three weeks before the decision were any better for the bullpen. I will say this re: the manager: That game, Thursday, in Milwaukee was an atrocious game, and a potential tipping point for the season. I had several players mention to me how that was a game that could have sent them into a spiral and it was at that moment that Matheny helped pull them back, players said, and then Flaherty dominated a game lost tale, Molina overwhelmed a game won Saturday, and then the Sunday game was a complete game for the Cardinals, an impressive game. It mentioned to me that if Matheny had lost the clubhouse at that point the series folds on them completely -- and it was the response that may have influenced the timing of the decision.
I would not pshaw that because it would be silly to suggest that new players in new roles and new personalities didn't change the chemistry of a club. If they didn't that would be an issue.
They all believe that it can be handled with rest, treatment, and strengthening -- just as Matt Carpenter's shoulder was addressed this past offseason. I have heard about the comparisons between the two, and the sense is that Carpenter's was more severe. It did not require surgery. While that is easy to accept, the notion Ozuna's shoulder has not limited him at the plate is less easy to accept. He was closed off earlier in this season and having a hard time generating lift or generating power. That's completely understandable if he was hitting from a stance that protected the shoulder, even subconsciously. It would lead to bad habits and lead to an erosion of power. Whether the shoulder has limited his swing or just contributed to limits in his swing is chicken/egg, but it is definitely a part of it.
Choice and availability mostly. Some players stick with the number that got them there, especially if there isn't one available that they like. Paul DeJong gave up 11 and chose 12, but he wasn't going to get 12 if Juan Nicasio came back, so he also had to look at alternatives. When Wisdom arrived, 21 was available so he took it and was complimented on getting a big-league number by a peer.
It's not my call, but it's my job to earn it from you.
It would help if they were games ahead. The schedule allows for that.
The ball isn't going to be used by the next pitcher, so teams are just tossing it to infielders and those infielders are either stuffing it in the glove for use to warmup in the next inning or doing what is done with most balls -- tossed to the fans or flipped to the authentication official. It's not anything other than the ball is going to be changed out anyway.
I do. There is a tendency to overreact at times to one game in baseball -- as if a loss means they won't be going to the Rose Bowl, or something. By looking through the lens of the series it allows for a loss while understanding a larger view: win two out of three. Play great for all three. But losses happen. That doesn't doom the season. That doesn't even doom the week or doom the series. Win the series and a loss is just lost in the mix of two or three wins. It makes sense to me because, I'm sorry, there is just no way to win every game and players know that. Matheny's approach was about creating urgency. He wanted teams to believe they could win that game and to urgently chase it -- because he didn't want a team that had won a series to not go through the sweep, or a team to let up in the first game believing it had two more to win the series. He wanted to underscore the opportunity to win that moment -- the need to win that day. It's a different approach. It's definitely a "grind" approach. And he stood by it even when we asked about the series view and how well that worked for him as a player and for the team under TLR.
Injuries are part of it. Aledmys Diaz will tell you -- as he told us -- that his approach at the plate slipped and he struggled to get it back. Bad habits because chronic habits and he just couldn't correct, and by the time he tried to do so he was out of the majors or or out of the starting job. It snowballed on him. Sophomore slump? Sure, that's a part of that, too. Let's give some credit to opponents who exploited the troubles Diaz was having and how he didn't adjust to take more walks.
This will be considered. Unable to pin down a guarantee they will, only that a discussion will happen.
It's the latter. There are a few players that have cut significant checks because of more games.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have done an excellent job building a powerhouse team, a strong lineup, a championship team, and, most impressively, an annual contender without a single homegrown pitcher on it. That has caused issues, as you know. They are about three years into trying to pull off a decade of consecutive success that the Cardinals have already had. The teams are built in different ways to accomplish the same thing, and the Cardinals had a 100-year head start on the success while the Cubs had a five-year head start on losing to get better picks, like Bryant. Not remotely the same situation.
Yadier Molina brought that exact thing up as a factor in the turnaround. Not the entire reason, but a factor. After the game Sunday he talked about how some credit had to be given to the front office for recognizing what the team needed -- before it needed it.
Dodger Stadium is a treasure and covering a game there will never be tiresome, at all.
Agreed. That was noteworthy. Hallion was the anchor for a turbulent crew.
This September? No. Not at all. No.