Greetings. Greetings Greetings. Hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day. Hard to imagine anyone had a better weekend than the Cardinals. They took two of three from the Cubs. They set and then reset a ticket-sales record for an individual game. They saw the Yankees totally rip off the whole HOFer blazer thing with their new blue coats. They got a strong start from Adam Wainwright. They won a game with speed. They are playing like everyone expected the Cubs to play and the Cubs are ... not. You've got questions. I've got some answers. Let's see how the line up. And away ... we ... go.
At last check, he remains in the ICU at a Des Moines hospital, with doctors and the team expecting to have a better understanding of his immediate recovery in the coming days. Poncedeleon has been alert, able to eat on his own, and still in danger after having surgery to alleviate swelling of his brain. For those who don't know, Poncedeleon, a righthander for the Cardinals at Class AAA, took a line drive off his skull during a game last week in Iowa. The Cardinals have classified the injury as a "severe head injury," though specific details have been guarded, presumably out of privacy for the pitcher, at this point.
Thanks for listening to the podcast. I find it fascinating how soaked into the soil Whiteyball is around St. Louis. I know that it has to do with the generation that is now arriving as season-ticket holders and active members on social media and so on. Fans who were, say, ages 10-30 in the 1980s fell hard for the most successful and first successful team they saw. That's what they want to see -- and when the current team doesn't have success, inevitably the argument goes it's because they have lost their way, not relied on the things that they knew worked (albeit, on Astroturf, in a less power-mad game, and so on). I think it's hard to combat a charismatic team. We saw an example of that last night in the Bronx, right? Every Yankee player from here forward is going to be compared to Derek Jeter, and here's betting the don't line up. For whatever reason. And some of that will be that the past always polishes the stars, right? The further we get away from the 1980s, the better those Cardinals look, and they were really good. The further we get away from Jeter's career, the better it will look. Legends grow. Already today I heard an argument that Jeter is ... wait for it ... underrated as a ballplayer.
Whitey Herzog and that group set a style of play that, no pun intended, the Cardinals of today could chase all they want and never catch.
That doesn't mean they couldn't find anther way to be an appealing, entertaining team.
Let's go to the readers to find out.
Sure. They are one pitching injury away from that not being possible. They are one pitching trade away from that being a likelihood. Their July move will be revealing.
He sees the reality. He was the one who brought it up to a couple of us, saying that he is aware he will return to the team in a different role from whence he left. He stated that Gyorko has played too well to remove from the starting lineup and Peralta has to find his opportunity elsewhere. He did not think he would need a second rehab assignment -- but he's accepted it. He's gone out as the Cardinals have asked. That has to say something about what he thinks awaits him upon his return -- either with the Cardinals, or if they could work a trade for him.
For the Cardinals Radio Network. It's a pause for the other stations that career games to say, hey, you're listening to this other station carrying a game.
Actually, I was part of the beat when he returned as a pitcher, and I was on the beat that spring when he tried pitching again -- and then suddenly retired. I didn't get that it was a punitive decision on his part. Maybe I read it wrong in the book. Maybe he had some issue with a specific reporter, but I got the sense that he just had an issue with all reporters -- and I asked him about that recently. He said it wasn't that he minded the questions or was angered by the repeated ones (thought those were annoying), he just didn't have the answers. He would have pat responses. He would always insist on knowing what the interview was about before it began. And he would, as he was encouraged by the people he trusted, to deflect or just ignore questions he didn't want to have to answer. He's not alone in that approach. You'll recall a few years ago I wrote about how the Cardinals had given Jaime Garcia a script of answers to recite to reporters no matter what the questions were. With Ankiel, after talking with him through the years, I believe he wanted to avoid reporters and the questions because he was asking himself the same thing -- and couldn't find the answer.
One thing that will work to the Cubs' benefit is the number of starters likely available. Last year, the market for elite shutdown closers on the move was ... Chapman and Miller. The Yankees could extort quite a price because they had both and they had teams in need. Look who made the World Series. Starting pitching could play differently this season. The Giants may have two starters to move, but the Royals and possibly the Rangers and other teams will also have their arms on the block. No one team will have a monopoly, and the interested teams will have choices. It's a market that could favor the buyers for once, and that will give the Cubs more of a chance to spend less than they did on Chapman. It will still be a price, but not as high, and they'll be willing to make it.
It would take me a good 20-30 minutes to go through and answer this, honestly. I'd have to do some research beyond the obvious answers. And if I disappear for 20-30 minutes without the reward of reporting to do, then well, things get restless around here.
I'll throw it open to the group and print some of the answers as we steam along.
What payroll politics? He's on the equivalent of a one-year deal. The Cardinals have walked away from those before. Other teams have as well. If you're going to call payroll politics on moves then it's better to really look at the length of the contract, not just the immediate cost. Sure, it's not idea to move on from a salary that large, but then Wigginton happens.
The union would frown on the injury risk of playing on ice.
He said he will be playing in Memphis tomorrow, on a rehab assignment. That's what he expected.
Oh has really worked to learn English. He jokes with his teammates in English. He greets his teammates and media in English. And he and Molina can talk baseball in English.
I agree with your read on why Maddon made such a stink about the slide rule as he did, and that he took the tone he did. That made him the story and it took the heat off a rookie, who maybe wasn't schooled in the rules in the way a prepared team does. And, yes, it also distracted from how uneasy the Cubs looked, how riddled by injury they are, and how just-off they're playing. Lots of similarities between the 2017 Cubs and the 2016 Cardinals right now, and that doesn't work well for the fun-loving bunch.
Maddon adores Boulder. I adore Boulder. So we have common ground there, and even know well some of the same places, whether he cares that we do or not. I have always enjoyed talking baseball with him, and even when he was with the Rays would do my best to seek out his thoughts on topics I was working on that he may have interest in or knowledge about. Good storyteller. Funny. Insightful. These are things that make anyone enjoyable to interview or talk to. He enjoys the give and take, too. That's even better.
I think the view of him might depend entirely on the color of your jersey, and it is only heightened now because of the general view by rivals about how the Cubs are acting as champions. It's in the eye of the beholder.
Good luck with that. Games changing. Hard to have Galacticos like that. Ask Washington.
Let's hope not. They don't need 13.