Alas, I think that book, as enjoyable as the reaction to it has been, has been pushed down the shelf a little bit and replaced by other, newer, snappier, hipper books, at least one of which was a riff on some of the things that appeared in my book. Thanks for reading it. It's cool to see it still on shelves and in the library -- and a reminder to get back to work on another project.
They have before. At least twice that I can remember, and he would certainly fall into that category of opportunity creates closer that I mentioned earlier. If the Cardinals go the route of collecting arms and offering up the ninth the one reliever who claims it, Morrow would be a natural add to the competition, and an early favorite to emerge with the ninth in hand.
I only know that MLB intends to expand, that Manfred has made that a priority for him as well as extending baseball's footprint into international markets, ala the NFL and London. As far as the restructuring, the details in that article I have not heard directly. What I have been told through the years is exactly what I've relayed to chatters in here and readers in print -- that the 15/15 break for the league a few years ago paved the way for perpetual interleague play and that it could one day lead to every team plays everybody and that those two things were a gateway to the universal DH. That is a path many in baseball saw as possible. The 32-team breakdown into geographic hubs would add to that. It would balance the schedule for competition, and lead to an expanded postseason, that probably would feel more and more like the NBA schedule in look and feel, and finally see the crumbling of the leagues as anything more than folders to slip teams into for the purpose of standings.
I see the allure of having the Cardinals play every team every season, especially if it's home this year against Seattle and out to Seattle the next. That rotation seems to make more sense than the every-three-year wheel that interleague is currently on.
That said, I would miss the leagues, the history, the separation of the game. It's just getting harder and harder to see how they're preserved outside of seeding and the All-Star Game.
They had an opening. They were able to get him the job he wanted. He was healthy enough and able enough to accept. They were able to get him the situation he desired.
It doesn't really work that way. Technically, he doesn't have a contract for 2018 yet. He is under control for 2018. All the Cardinals have to do is renew his contract during spring training. That's it. They can even impose the salary they want to give him on it. That's by rule. Aledmys Diaz is in the same spot, though there is a limit by how much a player's salary can be slashed by renewals. So, Pham made around the minimum this past season and next year the Cardinals will run his production through their in-house algorithm, offer him a salary, and if he doesn't agree they'll likely renew him at that salary anyway. He has basically no leverage as a player with less than three years of service time. Now, next year at this time he has more leverage. He'll be arbitration eligible and another season like this one and he'll make good bank, fortunes galore. So, there's no tearing up a contract that doesn't exist unless you're suggesting the Cardinals tear up a) the CBA or b) their in-house policy, and neither of those things are going to happen.
The Cardinals had 54 games where the starter threw 100 or more pitches. I don't think they set such a number as a goal. Actually, I know they don't. If they did, it would be 162 because that would be a juggernaut pitching staff.
Answered earlier in the chat. Please scroll back. Thanks.
If you had 1:45 p.m. and the under for the first Yu Darvish question re: Maddux, then you lose. It took almost 90 minutes for the first connection to be made. I don't yet know if Maddux will lobby for Darvish, but I'll stick by past reporting on this subject and the perception from the Cardinals point of view that Darvish is going to command a deal beyond their view of him, and that while he might go above them in the market, his salary and where he goes could free up a starter that they value more. That's the feel right now. Perhaps they market for Darvish isn't that robust, and he comes back onto their radar. Perhaps, Maddux tells the Cardinals some inside tip that bumps their evaluation of him up a notch. Either of those two things are just as likely right now, but unknown and unconfirmed. What is known is the expectation he'll go beyond where they intend to shop for a starter.
They will try. The clock is ticking on the Cardinals when it comes to clearing up the roster and making moves so that they can make some calls on protecting players. That means moving earlier in November, and that's something Mozeliak has preferred to do anyway. If they're able to make an early play it could be for the bat via trade and it could also be for a closer, to nail down that ninth. Those are the two early areas the Cardinals would look to move on, and then let the starter market simmer for a bit. Now, that may not fit the agents' plans with the closers. They slow play that market to pit teams against one another, and that could linger.
I didn't get the sense in the past week or so that he's looking to manage again.
I have never heard this suggested, and it would run counter to the setup of the postseason and the goals of the current schedule. First, they want to build in a day in case of poor weather and that day has to be in place between the movement of cities or else it would put the whole schedule on a fritz. That's a big, big, big reason why you see the off days situated as you. The other part is a goal that is best articulated recently by the union when it comes to off days during the season and the expanded number of them coming in 2018 and the travel protection that will be in place next year: Baseball wants its best players at their best on the field more often. That's the best product the game has. The union rightly suggests that fatigue is leading to injuries and that it is contributing to a sloppier, slower game. They want to avoid that during the regular season -- and they certainly want the best that each team has to offer at the time. While any seven-game series is a test of pitching and a test of stamina and a test of performing at less than the best, the kind of grind you're talking about would further sap the quality of play, the availability of the bullpens, and cause real issues if the weather gets involved.
Good question. A few of them are going to the Dominican for winter ball. Tommy Pham, for example, intends to. I'm not sure about Adolis Garcia, but it would make sense for him to do so, and he may already have ties to a team. I'll circle back and check on that. I apologize for not knowing off the top of my head. I've asked about Delvin Perez getting some missed games via winter ball and I was told that is not the plan. The Cardinals want Perez to take part in their development camps in Jupiter, Fla., this winter and then arrive ready to go for the instructional league work that will happen in January, a new time for baseball and for the Cardinals. Perez will get one-on-one tutelage there, and it seems he'll also get the attention of Oquendo at that time in Jupiter. The preference is for him to be in a controlled setting like that then to be with a winter ball team. Many of the Cardinals' young international players are going to be in the Dominican at the facility there at some point this winter, and they'll be a part of play there.
Two hires who have long been named as candidates, and it's great to see baseball adding some diversity to their managerial ranks. That was long, long, long overdue. I'm also intrigued by how the Matheny Trend burned bright and then burned out. Remember that quick rush to hire first-time managers who had been former players like Ausmus and Weiss and so on. There are really only two standings: Matheny and Counsell.
I should add that going back to this past spring during the World Baseball Classic there was a lot of crackle about the work that Alex Cora did and how his relationship with players and his strong view of putting a team together and his experience with Houston was going to give him that perfect mix of resume bullet points for a managerial hire. Several players lauded what he could do in that role when I asked.
That leaves just one question: Sandy Alomar Jr.? When does he get his shot?
See earlier in the chat, Mr. Manfred.
That is not the only outfielder the Marlins have to trade. Not at all.
All things being equal, of course adding a bona fide, fear-inducing, wall-rattling, 60-HR possible slugger is by far more appealing than any other player. He has a quality that is rare, and he does it well. Alas, not all things are equal. Contracts matter. Control matters. Age, position, cost to acquire -- these things all matter. If we're making deals in a vacuum here nothing but talent matters, then, heck, getting Nolan Arenado would really change the complexion of the Cardinals for 2018. But he's not available. So, you have to take into account all the other factors, and when you do Donaldson as a presence in the middle of the order brings something the Cardinals did not have. Hosmer is a similar player to what the Cardinals have for sure, but he's one more of them than they had last year and he'll staple down the defense at first base.
Of course I agree that adding a sublime talent with Stanton would be a more significant upgrade, but it's not about just a significant upgrade. It's about the most realistic upgrade.
By definition, an upgrade is an improvement, and the Cardinals need an upgrade.
I'm not sure what value you'd get from that metric. And they do use information like that. I will say this: It has dawned on me this postseason that the TV broadcasts around baseball are far more advanced and agile with their use of actual advanced metrics than the local radio broadcasts.
It's been a grueling postseason. We'd say the same thing about the Cardinals and Rangers back in 2011, and we certainly saw that with Cleveland and the Cubs a year ago. Cost of contending.