Bobo's here early today. Let's have some fun.
Next year? Trip to the Final Four. That should always be the goal when you spend to the cap. Obviously the current group has a lot to prove and almost certainly the team is headed toward significant change.
The Rampage won four of five games before taking a 5-2 loss to the Texas Stars yesterday. Top prospect Jordan Kyrou pumped in two more goals, giving him 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in his last nine games. Those are big numbers to post in the AHL. He would be playing in the Top 6 on some NHL teams right now, but for the moment the Blues don't need him. Winger Sammy Blais and defenseman Mitch Reinke are producing as well.
There isn't much in the middle any more. The Phillies probably qualified for that third category last season, but clearly that team is determined to spend this winter. The Mets were threatening to fall back into that third category, but now their aggressive GM is changing that. Revenues vary dramatically, as do payroll. The top revenue teams -- Dodgers,. Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs -- are in their own universe as far as revenues go. Those are the teams flirting with luxury tax. The Cardinals are in the second tier in terms of both revenue and payroll. A Forbes study placed the Cardinals seventh in value in 2018 and right now Baseball Prospectus is projecting their 2019 payroll at ninth, a hair behind No. 8 Houston. The Cardinals can certainly afford to take their spending up a notch, but, again, this franchise is not on the same revenue planet as those bigger markets.
Would enough people vote to make that interesting? What's the vibe out there, do people really care about the XFL?
The teams that can afford to pay Harper and Machado are not teams that need depend on marketing those players to make their nut for the 2019. I believe Machado will sign sooner than later, but teams don't feel any real deadline on those two. The only factor is whether if the bidding teams opt to spend money on other stuff instead. The Phillies, for instance, have already loaded up. That doesn't preclude a play for either guy, but it certainly positioned that team to be more circumspect in its bidding.
The Rays are looking for a bat and that team failed to land Nelson Cruz, so I guess Martinez would still be in play along with Nick Castellanos and Wilmer Flores. On the other hand, Jose has been available for a while now and the Rays have pursued other players.
Prices only go up for players. Ozuna at his '18 level has real value. And if he ever got back to the '17 level, he could really cash in on the market. So any attempt to extend him this winter would be an attempt to get him at a value price -- while offering him security as an incentive. There is risk in that, especially, as you note, because Ozuna did not get his shoulder ready for last season.
I agree that one more proven reliever could make a big difference. Injuries are inevitable and there are always breakdowns in performance. Relievers are an especially volatile bunch. At this point the Cardinals are probably waiting for the market to play out so they see if they can make a value signing. But playing it too cute could cost them a shot at postseason play. There is absolutely no excuse for the Cardinals to have anything less than a shutdown bullpen next season/
Alex Pietrangelo is an elite all-around defenseman, better than any other Blues defensemen. Just because the team managed to win a few games lately doesn't make him expendable. If another team wants to make a premium offer I'm sure Doug Armstrong will listen but, again, top-end defensemen have extreme value in the league. Thomas? This is the guy the Blues expected to make an impact this season. He will be a Top 6 forward for a long, long time. Sundqvist looks like a nice fourth-liner, capable of scoring in double figures, but 20 goals seems like a push. The only Blue at the WJC is winger Klim Kostin, who remains nowhere near NHL-ready.
An eight-team bracket would be great. That would open the door for an elite Group of 5 team while giving all the Power 5 conferences a clear chance to be represented. This would likely end the conference championship games -- a big money maker -- but the extra playoff round would be super lucrative for the industry. It's just a matter of time before we get there.
I'd love to see the NFL face some real competition, but it such a huge lift to make a rival league work.The XFL would need to build significant gate revenue immediately and then somehow sustain it. Both challenges are great. The NFL is entrenched and highly successful in spite of some poor leadership.
Minnesota is slipping. Out West, Edmonton is due for some more suffering. Dallas is just so-so. Colorado is a one-line team that allows too many goals. So, yes, the Blues could get back into the race by stacking up a bunch of victories. The talent is there to accomplish that, too.
No and no. He certainly can handle the everyday load as a fielder, but let's see how he holds up against big league pitchers as he gains more exposure at this level. He can hit mistake pitches nine miles, but can he consistently hold up against good pitching? His sample size is too small to prove it either way.
We'll see. The MLS has proven its staying power while the XFL is just a concept at this point.
That's easy. Baseball players can play forever, make tons of money and collect a nice pension. Football players suffer terrible injuries, including life-altering concussions. Also, most quarterback prospects fail. Either they wash out completely or they bounce around the league as a back-up with contracts that aren't fully guaranteed.
I'd say better. For a while the Rams were a steady sellout. It took years of abject failure to drive down Rams attendance.
Sure, if the Harper market utterly collapsed and he shifted to a short-term ask, the Cardinals could get in on that. And in the 1 in a 1,000 chance the Cardinals ended up with Harper, that could lessen their appetite for a Goldschmidt extension.
Ever? Sure, some day in the distant future that could happen. Who knows, some day St. Louis may have a new all-purpose stadium to replace the Dome. That's unlikely, but it could happen.