The Red Six showed that defense, especially in the outfield, and contact, smart hitting, can still win games as long as you have the pitching to go alongside. The days off during the playoffs gave the Red Sox a chance to mask one of their few weaknesses, their bullpen, because they routinely could run starters out to the bullpen, where they would not have been during the regular season. Yes, they hit four homers in the final game but they we were not a home-run hitting team. Nor, more importantly, were they a strikeout team.
I think Bob just welcomed an occasional break from the regular reporters. But the real breakthrough came the year he was going into the Hall of Fame and I spent nine hours with him in Omaha, an astonishing fact to Gibson. His potential, intimidation factor wasn't grossly overrated but overrated nonetheless.
I think the Tampa Bay Rays winning 90 games, with Tommy Pham, as perhaps their best player, and starting pitchers routinely going one or two innings and sometimes fewer. .
Players will file officially today and the doors swing open to all teams for every free agent five days from now. The first five days belong to the original team.
I like outfielder David Peralta of Arizona, outfielder Michael Conforto of the Mets and outfielder Michael Brantley of Cleveland. Only Brantley is a free agent. Conforto is the best defender of the lot. But you'd rather have Harper than any of the others.
The Cardinals aren't behind the Phillies, at all, at least not right now. They need one big hitter, preferably lefthanded, a lefthanded reliever or two and perhaps a veteran starter to be considered strong contenders. I don't see them that far behind the Cubs with Chicago's aging rotation and the Brewers, as you saw, basically, have no rotation. Those are the only two teams that really matter. Houston, Boston and the Yankees are in the other league and you may never play them.
I do not believe Adams will be back. Martinez certainly is on notice. There must be improvement in several phases or he will be gone. Carpenter actually ranked high in bunt singles and I agree he could do more of that, but if he didn't hit so many homers, who was going to drive him in? Smarter play on all counts, however, would be something to which to aspire.
Not that much probably. The teams that wanted him still will want him. But he has put himself under more scrutiny by the fans of the team that does sign him. They shouldn't accept less than all-out effort.
The only umpire I can think of who had a really high-pitched voice was the late Lee Weyer. I'll try to run down that story sometime.
The Cardinals might want to spend their money elsewhere than on a reliever (Rosenthal) coming off surgery although he certainly sounds as if he threw well. Kelly would be a good addition but they have bigger problems. At this stage, he is more of a sure thing than Rosenthal but Kelly doesn't really have closer experience.
About two percent. He's not going anywhere.
Thank you. I can see the bullpen being improved through both avenues although mostly through free agency and mostly from the left side.
As I understand it, they thought they had Price one night and the next morning they didn't.
I'd love to see Freese here but Martinez, who isn't arbitration eligible, still is the better value because he doesn't make any money and really is the better hitter although don't bet against Freese in October. I think Freese will be allowed to go free agent but somebody will sign him. If he were a lefthanded hitter, the Cardinals would do it.
I assure you Cardinals fans, or sports fans, in general here, would not be OK with it. You'll note that in each of those other cities _ Chicago, Houston and Boston _ there are several other pro franchises to deflect attention. We have one other pro sports franchise here, and one which has has gone championship-less a lot longer than the Cardinals.
I don't know about the Cardinals but I have little or no interest in Donaldson.
Stubby was just hired as the first-base coach. Jeff Albert, assistant hitting coach at Houston, will be the hitting coach. He used to be in Cardinals' system. And thanks for your kind words.
Fowler often has been as good or better as a righthanded hitter in his career. He thinks this year was an outlier.