Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
Hmmm . . . I'll go with Randal Grichuk. A pitcher would be a better comparison, but Randal was a player who flashed brilliance but suffered maddening ups and downs. He looked like he could become special, but he never fulfilled that promise. So close yet so far.
I'd say the Rams. My son--in-law is a Chiefs fan and actually watched their last playoff game start to finish. Very impressive. I could see K.C. advancing over the Evil Empire. It would be fun to see the Rams fall short, but I dunno . . .
The Cardinals are open to adding a value addition or two, particularly in the bullpen. Maybe the Cardinals add a starting pitcher, too, since there could be some bargains sitting there next month. The team has lots of depth the, but a bargain is a bargain. And trades will remain a possibility -- into spring training and the regular season -- due to the redundancy of utility guys hitting from the right side of the plate.
Pat Maroon hoped to get another contract in his hometown and stick around. And he is a popular teammate. But this team has a lot of depth up front and moving to a bigger role elsewhere might help him get a better deal for 2019-20. Many teams are interested in Brayden Schenn, but with the Blues hanging around the back of the playoff race and Schenn's connection with Jaden Schwartz paying dividends again, perhaps the best call will be letting Schenn go into the last year of his contract here next season.
The contrarian view! Actually, many fans feel that way. These massive contracts boggle their minds and, like you say, they often yield disappointing results. I don't believe there is any collusion among owners in baseball. There has been a Great Awakening. For years and years I have been writing about the value of investing in talent at the front end, drafting/signing/player development, rather than the back end. That's how the Cardinals have operated for some time now and almost all the MLB teams are following that lead.
No, I never asked Travis about his time at Mizzou. That was a heck of his team that one year there. Let us not forget Motown's own Nathan Buntin, who 14.8 points and 9.5 points per game. Or former University of Detroit gunner John McIntyre. My home state was critical to Mizzou's success during that period.
I haven't seen him connected to the Cardinals in this market. I imagine his lack of versatility explains that.
Market forces drive the prices up or down. I am astounded that so many people spend so much money attending baseball games, but they do. The way to drive down prices to a family-friendly level is to stay home. When enough people do that, then the Cardinals will adjust pricing. Otherwise they will continue to offer limited discounting.
Allen is raking in guaranteed money and the Blues aren't so deep in goal that they can just send him away and keep writing those checks. And at the moment other teams aren't trading for him. As for Armstrong, the Blues won-loss record on his watch is pretty good and he produced just the second Final Four team for this franchise since 1986. That said, he probably gets one more coaching hire and one more crack at adjusting his goaltending before his time here runs out.
The Blues have excellent depth up front and pretty good depth on defense, including some cost-controlled guys at both spots. Obviously goaltending is the glaring need. Adding, say, a Tristan Jarry to the pile might add comfort since Ville Husso is losing this developmental year to injury. If they deal Gunnarsson and/or Bouwmeester due to their expiring contracts, they will do so to restock draft picks. To move Schenn, Tarasenko or Pietrangelo, they would need to get a can't miss prospect and a first-round pick, plus another piece.
Yeah, another indicator was him passing up on an empty-net goal while trying to feather a lead pass the other night. Keep the game simple, fellas. Play with confident. Don't think, act. Shoot the puck. I can hear the Ghost of Ron Caron bellowing from an empty suite high above Enterprise Center.:"SHOOT THE PUCK!" I added Jaden Schwartz to one of my fantasy teams hoping to get a second-half steal, but during a season when guys all over the NHL are putting up numbers, he is not. There were some indications that Schwartz might be the only untouchable Blue -- but he sure looks touchable to me.
That was the story on Snyder. Back then Bill Laurie and Enos "Stan" Kroenke were throwing big jack into the program. Snyder was the Next New Thing in coaching. And he might have been had he kept his personal life under control. He coached well early on and he certainly recruited players -- raising eyebrows across the industry with his tactics -- but then things went back in a hurry.
Jordan Binnington made a big difference by consistently stopping pucks. Like some of the guys have been saying, he makes the easy saves. That sounds simple, but you've see Jake Allen play. Trying to find value in Steen's absence is a stretch. Alexander logged big minutes in that 5-2 victory over the Capitals, for instance, and he has been generally solid when healthy this season.
I would expect Harper to easily top $300 million. You sound a bit bitter about Bryce. If he lands in Philadelphia as many expect, the Nationals will see lots of him. That team could be loaded, so you're theory will get a test. As for Machado, no, he is not a leader. But is an excellent player who plays on the left side of the infield, which adds great value to him. He may not get anywhere near $300 million and he could actually become a value signing as a result.
He's had pretty good results on the road, where the fan unrest doesn't get into his head. And he can certainly get hot in stretches. Established high-end goaltenders are scarce these days so, yes, there is a chance he could stick around in the role you describe.
No, there is just a realistic view from management on that. The Cardinals have lots of pitchers these days and Reyes hasn't done much pitching in recent years. So he is one guy in the pile. If he comes back and puts it all together, great, but assigning him a role in January and then counting on home to do huge things would be stupid. Maybe he will reestablish himself as one of the top young pitchers in the sport, but in the meantime whatever the team gets out of him should be considered a bonus.
Obviously letting go of Hutton was a mistake since the team could have found the money to do that while also giving him a chance to start. As for Bishop, he bounced from Ottawa to Tampa Bay and on to Dallas after leaving here while suffering injuries and instability. Better than Allen? At the moment, yes. A cornerstone, franchise-changing goaltender? No, as he has proven at three other stops.
Allen got the start in Boston because he won at Washington. Binnington is getting lots of work, but is he ready to play every single game for the Blues at this stage of his career? Probably not. But I would expect to see a lot of Jordan as long as he holds up. Why not? He continues to play with confidence.
But this is NOT a good season for the A-10 and with SEC joining the Big Ten, ACC and Big 12 as really deep leagues, there are fewer bids beyond the power conferences. So, yes, SLU would be hard-pressed to get an at-large big unless dominated the regular season and reached the A-10 Tournament title game. Odds are the Billikens will need to earn that automatic berth to be sure.
He is rather, um, unconventional. I'm sure folks outside of the STL consider him an acquired taste. That said, he is an institution in a storied baseball market. That has to count for something, right?