He's a pitcher and former Met, whose recent engagement got a lot of attention on web sites. He brings depth that the Cardinals felt they needed while Duke wasn't available, Siegrist was on the mend, and Lyons was lopped into a long relief role. All of that has sorted itself out.
Matt Carpenter does, and that might give off the impression that they all do. I haven't checked Dexter Fowler's number since his return from the DL -- but I think all he's done is get on base so they may not have changed much.
Not quite. Simmons made it clear that he was looking for a chance to manage, and wanted to work in that direction. And that goes back quite a ways, back to when, you know, Tony La Russa was the manager for the Cardinals and he had a coaching staff that was clearly in place, and wasn't looking for a bench coach and wasn't a place where a bench coach would go to try and later be a manager. So, there wasn't a fit -- not on either side for Simmons. He also had contacts elsewhere. And a job elsewhere, one that he felt could move him closer to managing. Did I mention San Diego? Right, yeah, I should have mentioned San Diego. That was a place where he where he found a good mix of opportunity. So, it is entirely because he was working with/for other teams, and working toward something.
Not sure. Buddy's choice. I'm up for whatever the local suggests.
He's got -- whoa -- four more years guaranteed at more than $20m per. So here's another ding against him that I should have brought up. I misrepresented it earlier -- but that's because he has an opt-out. That's what I was focused on. He can opt-out after this season and head to free agency, and this year's market might be a time to do that considering J.D. Martinez is the other like bat out there. Those guaranteed years though that he can keep make it a heavier contract, and I should have pointed that out earlier. Sorry for that. He also has control over where he can be traded. There is a list of 20 teams that he can block a trade to, which gives him some financial leverage.
In general? Michael Wacha.
In the immediate future? Not sure I see one. Hard to see the team's motivation at this point, so it would, again, take a player pursuing it.
Hold on, let me look up The New Colossus, so I get this right:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
I missed the part where it says bring your tired English-speakers, your poor English-speakers, your huddled masses yearning to speak English. No, that's not in there. So, I respectfully -- and vehemently -- disagree. The world bends over backwards to make English-speakers feel at home in so many places -- with English street signs, English hotel signs and ads and English menus, and on and on. The least we could do to return to the favor is to respect the languages and cultures who have come to us for a home.
Maybe your politics veer toward Ronald Reagan. Consider how he described our country during his farewell address:
"I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind, it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind swept, God blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace - a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors, and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here."
There's no password to entering the Shining City on the Hill, the one "teeming with people of all kinds" and inviting "commerce and creativity," and since there is no password to get in there is only compassion and action and contribution.
And those are the same in any language.
To his credit, he works hard to make sure he's not having any lingering issues and also to make sure that he strengthens his mind anyway he can. He's talked about how he found chess to do so, and he has other workouts that he does to keep his brain in shape like he would any of his muscles. He thinks a lot about this stuff and knows what a nightmare that was for his family and his friends, and he does all he can he make sure he maintains the health he fought to regain.
Thought that went without saying. A player must be on the 40-man to be called up in September. Any player in the organization can be put on the 40-man at any time.
It is the first time I can remember the offense making signals to the bullpen, especially like Fowler did after the curtain call. That's what helped me put it all together, to be honest. I had heard about what it was and had seen them do it, but when Fowler pointed to the bullpen and then did it, it took on another dimension for me.
As for this season: It has not lacked for storylines and it has not lacked for interest from fans. Those are both rewarding things from where I sit. I have things to write about, and I know there is an audience for those things. Those are the best things about covering the Cardinals. Social media has brought a new tone things for sure -- and some of the things that might have been muttered under a fan's breath or kept to the barstool are not shared publicly or fired at me in the chat or on Twitter. That wasn't the case in 2007. That's new this year. And I believe the political climate has only ratcheted up the vulgarities and anger out there. What I've run into most that has maybe made this season more difficult than others is this one-way street that shouldn't exist on social media. It has to be two-way. I welcome the engagement, but it's got to be a give and take and should have the right to defend our coverage, and sometimes that can only be done in blunt 140-character burst. And I don't have any control over the tone in which those bursts are read. There are other times when people want accountability, but offer none if they're wrong. That's also new. Social media invites -- incites? -- a tone that didn't exist in 2007.
Sure. Playing in the postseason matters to the organization, and they want players to know what that's like as they advance toward the majors. Think of Albert Pujols. He jumped from Class A to Class AAA so he could get playoff experience. We've seen the Cardinals do that with other players too -- and some were demoted a few years ago to get Texas League playoff experience. The team believes exposing prospects to the playoffs whenever possible shows what is expected at the major-league level. Now, it shouldn't come at the cost of the major-league team, but really if a player can sit in St. Louis or contend for a title in Memphis they should contend in Memphis 11 times out of 10.
Sure, with one caveat. First, there are two wild-card spots and only one division winner, so the odds are better when there are two to win vs. one. That's the math. The caveat: To get in the wild-card race the Cardinals are going to have to win games, and some of those games are going to be against the Cubs, and thus by winning their way into the wild-card race they will also have taken a run at the division.
Thanks, Johnny. That too, I hope, went without saying. Abhorrent what happened.
Faster than you can say them.
Sounds good, Patrick. It's a shame that sharing a quote from the Statue of Liberty and another from Ronald Reagan leads you presume someone's politics, and not just, you know, ask. But, hey, go on. I appreciate your honesty, and I hope at some point to earn your fairness.
Fair numbers to point out. Have to look at his career in context, too.
I have not. But I've heard all about them. A scout recently saw them and told me, "They've got something special going on down there. Stubby has that machine working."
Money spent internationally. Savvy picks made. Scouting edges. Luck.
As movable as he wants to be with a no-tade clause.
That Bosnian suggestion seems reasonable. It would be cool if Busch Stadium had an area that featured food from many of the cultures surrounding the ballpark. Heck, take a walk down South Grand some time and you'll see all sorts of cultures and food and languages. And it makes it a great walk.
Also, aiding someone who wants to learn is different than requiring someone to learn.
The crown of arches was a cool feature, especially the shadows that they cast on the field that mirrored the Gateway Arch that we saw above.
Well put. All part of the varied offense we're seeing from the team that is new, and doesn't need the one big swing to get them into a game. It's been a revelation for the Cardinals.
Impressed. Glad they brought you into the fold.
Rogers Hornsby won the Decade Triple Crown in the 1920s.
Albert Pujols won the Decade Triple Crown in the 2000s, and didn't start until 2001.
Alright, time to head to the ballpark. There are still gobs of questions in here so I will try to stop back by if there's a chance. Look for Mike Smith's collection of the best questions and the mildly OK answers that followed. That will be posted on StlToday.com. Next week, Eclipse Day, I will be traveling back from Williamsport, so check your local listings for what that means for the Cardinals Chat. There is a rumor that Ben Frederickson or Rick Hummel might step in and pinch-hit for a bit. A lot has changed since the last chat. Even more could change from there. While the Cardinals go on the road to two tough places to win, the Cubs have the easier schedule. Lots of jockeying ahead. We'll cover all of it.
Off to Fenway. Maybe I'll catch a foul ball.