Molina is 13 for 38 since April 5 with eight RBIs, so he's fine. He has put his early-season offensive struggles behind him by hitting safely in eight of his last nine games. Having a good hitter like Matt Wieters behind him should help convince Shildt to get Yadier a few more days off to keep him out of prolonged hitting funks.
I mean, if it's game-winning blast, great, stare at it. But a mid-game homer in a meaningless game in April between two teams going nowhere . . . come on.
While WAR is a useful metric to compare the relative overall value of players, the concept (a star is worth four or five more victories than a replacement-caliber player) is pretty silly. There are a zillion ways players contribute to winning and losing and many of them are not easily quantified.
I see the MLS as a 80 percent bet. How does it fail? The MLS itself hits an economic wall and takes St. Louis down with it. That or the team hires Kevin Demoff to run the team as president.
Shildt is playing the closest thing to "Whitey Ball" that we may see in some time. If only this team had more guys with speed . . .
A charismatic coach to serve as the face of the franchise would have been a good idea. Odds are, most of the players will be faceless soldiers. So somebody has to sell the tickets, right?
I believe the program can return to fairly regular tournament appearances, but these days every school is spending big on basketball and every season is a war. Given Mizzou's miserable fan support, becoming and remaining an upper-tier team in the SEC will be tough. Poor attendance diminishes the program's resources and creates a bad vibe for prospective recruits. I believe Cuonzo Martin will do an outstanding job, but this is a tougher business than ever before and he does not have the massive fan support that other schools have.
That's a good question. I haven't put much thought into that or asked those folks what their long-term outlook is. Can both franchises survive in the market? I dunno . . . the MLS will need every last fan.
MacEachern is a straight-line guy who will bang bodies, but Fabbri has gotten a few looks at the net during his limited duty. He is the more likely player to convert a break into a goal. I would stick with Robby.
Even a regular season game-winner, go ahead and whoop it up a bit. That's fine.
He walked three guys in his last outing, so he needs more work in the minors. On the other hand, this team keeps burning through relievers and needs fresh arms constantly. As some point he may get a call just because he is fresh and others are toasted. The Cardinals may go back to running a 16-man staff, with three or four guys stored at Memphis until they are needed again.
Some of these people could be on the run from the police.
I understand the need to be sensitive and turn the page on some of our society's brazen ugliness in the past, but at what point are we going overboard?
Nobody has been working to bring the NBA or NFL here. Those are dead issues. As I always write, if a multi-billionaire wants to buy a team in one of those leagues and go to whatever lengths necessary to move it here, then St. Louis might get a NBA or NFL team some year way, way, way down the road.
How does the MLS factor into that? It doesn't.
Ever? Like before the end of time? I'd say no.
I have not been following it at all. Can't help you.
Gilmour in heyday might have been a bigger offensive threat, but that;s a good comparison.
The atmosphere has been fine, by all accounts. There will always be cliques -- on the Cardinals and every other team. And when the team sputters, that division becomes a bigger deal.
Mizzou, based on returning talent. This assumes that Jeremiah Tilmon returns and Mark Smith stays healthy.
If you look at culture from that era -- movies, music, sportswriting -- a lot of it is beyond cringeworthy by today's standards. We can all recognize that. We can agree that are doing better and we still have more to do. Does refusing to play Kate Smith advance our society? Or is that energy better spent on something more relevant to daily lives, like the overt contemporary racism that is on the rise?
It's not a matter of if St. Louis is good enough, it's having an owner that wants to do it. Cities don't get teams, owners do.
Good luck finding them. The industry is going away from inning-eating pitchers and toward multi-inning relievers to create matchup advantages. The whole concept of starting pitchers could fade away at the current rate.
He's under contract, so he will keep getting chances. He's made some progress but he obviously needs to get sharper still to set up that slider of his.
The Blues see the backchecking as a problem and it addressed from shift to shift. Overall, this team's defense has been very, very good. But breakdowns are addressed immediately.
Winnipeg is a the True North. Nice city, smaller than the St. Louis metro area by a lot. In the summer, the lakes are a great source of recreation. In the winter, there is no end to the snow.
I point out that the Cardinals draw 3 million fans per year. Not bad for a dying sport.
OK, that's it for this time. See you next week!