Bobo's here early today. Where's all the ballplayers?
Ah,, the legacy of Skip Schumaker . . .
Ideally the Cardinals would have at least one lefty starter and maybe, just maybe, that could be Austin Gomber some day. But he is a back-of-the-rotation starter or perhaps a middle reliever. As for the bullpen, Tyler Webb appears to be more a depth guy, a Memphis shuttle guy until he exhausts his options. Maybe Brett Cecil makes it back for the second half of the season. Would the Cardinals look outside the organization to balance up the staff? Perhaps, but the current pitching depth (soon to augmented by Luke Gregerson) is currently an organizational strength. There is not much motivation to add to that group. And suddenly all of these injuries have moved some potential trade chips off the table.
That game ranks up in the all-time playoff bests for sure. The Blues were perilously close to falling behind 3-0 several times in that game, then they stole it with the dramatic late push. I can't blame the Jets for feeling a bit cheated today.
It sounds like Mike Shildt is ready to concede that walking him deliberately might be the only way to address this. Pitching carefully is not good enough because it only takes one slight mistake for Yelich to launch another rocket.
There's a chance. As I've noted before, Mizzou's lawyers are familiar with the NCAA landscape. If this school doesn't get credit for exemplary cooperation, then those lawyers should spread the word that schools should refuse to cooperate going forward. Is that what the NCAA wants?
Again, ideally the team would have more lefties in development. As we've seen, buying a lefty in free agency (Brett Cecil!) is a hit-or-miss proposition. But high-end pitchers can get hitters from both sides of the plate out. I would take quality over righty-lefty balance -- unless those lefties are very good pitchers, capable of being more than mere specialists. In other words, I'd rather develop a Dakota Hudson or Ryan Helsley than add a Jeff Fassero.
Arena conflicts play a part in the playoff scheduling, as well as the TV needs. Playing every other day gets to be a bit of thing for the last three games, bouncing from city to city. An extra would be welcome somewhere in there. As for that goal, I was pleasantly surprised that the Toronto war room applied the rule correctly. The fact that Schenn buried the shot into the middle of the net (or least where the net was) helped greatly.
I am not as hard as Ovechkin on some others. Yeah, he should have pulled up. But he is not fighter by trade, so he doesn't get the etiquette. Also, the kid wanted to rumble. It's not like Ovie was looking to pick on him.
This is an interesting series. The Blues have had some strong stretches here and there, but I would say that Winnipeg has carried much of the play. Jordan Binnington has been brilliant in three of the four games and that's given the Blues a chance. Other than Game 3, these games have been a coin flip. This is playoff hockey: A hot goaltender and some puck luck went a long way.
True enough on the Schenn goal, but in the old days, before the Toronto war room, the on-ice crew might have been influenced by the crowd. The war room concept is a wonderful thing. The old days of Denis Morel and Ron "Horrible" Hoggarth working games were pretty bleak. The visiting team was not getting a break.
No kidding. Once they sanctioned tripping Thursday night, all bets were off. Like you say, it took a vicious head shot and/or blood to get their attention. This was an over-correction from some touch fouls called earlier in the series, like an offensive zone trip call on David Perron and a defensive zone trip call on Jay Bouwmeester in the defensive zone.
The Blues don't quit, so that's a good thing. It would be less nerve-wracking if the Blues would just take control of a game and keep control. But that would be too easy on the fans, it seems. This way is much more of an adventure.
I would bet he stays his course, given the late-game success. The Chief does not like to change things up. The players appreciate that. But the changes he made in Game 5 weren't all that dramatic -- like moving Gunnarsson next to Pietrangelo and sliding Dunn down to the third pairing -- so I would imagine he would ride them.
Are we having fun yet? Or is this torture?
Hudson is a bigger concern. He was missing often and by a lot with his location. With all the pitchers coming and going on the Memphis Shuttle to keep fresh arms available, I could see him land back at the Triple-A level at some point to build confidence. As for Flaherty. I would expect him to be fine. The league has a book on him now so he has to adjust as hitters adjust. This is just part of the normal process.
My pessimism about fringe pro football is explored weekly in this chat. Football is an expensive sport, even at the fringe level. Unless fans can bet on the XFL, I don't see it making it long-term. The AAF had great TV exposure -- giving it immediate legitimacy -- and it still didn't survive a season. I know Vince has made a ton of money in his day, but this seems like a terrible bet.
The PGA Tour is multi-cultural. Top players emerge from all over the world, with a wide range of nationalities. But it is still a country club sport and broadening the appeal at the grass roots level is no easy task. I'm sure the PGA would love to see a more diverse talent pool because that broadens the sport's fan base. Just look at Tiger's impact on TV ratings and the casual fans drawn to tournaments. But, again, it's a global sport drawing talent from many continents. The top of the pyramid is very small. Getting onto the tour and staying there is a monumental challenge. There are thousands of golfers capable of playing at that level and only a few hundred who can make a nice living on the tours.
At least Ozuna is pounding homers, too, so there is slightly less carping about the Cardinals jumping at the chance to get him rather than waiting out Miami with the hopes of landing Yelich.
Again, I would stick with the combos that finished Game 5. Why not? Perron played well with O'Reilly before.
Binnington gets the nod. It's like Kurt Warner with the Rams. He came out of nowhere to lead the team to a title. Marshal Faulk might have been the heart of the "Greatest Show on Turf" and the Vermeil/Martz braintrust had the winning vision, but Warner coming out of nowhere to save the season was the ultimate difference maker. Jordan is trying to do the same.