Welcome back! Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
One case where this happens: Due to logistics, sometimes our hockey beat writers fly with the team because it's really tough to meet the travel schedule by flying commercial. Not a lot of direct flights from St. Louis and some of these NHL cities are really hard to reach. The team charges the newspaper for the flights. And it is no picnic for the writers -- they have to file stories while traveling versus finishing in them in the press box before retiring back to their hotel. But they do it to make sure we have coverage.
He cleared waivers, so Toronto can discuss a trade with the Cardinals. These teams have made deals before, obviously, so there's a chance this could happen. Gyorko could miss a few weeks with his groin strain so it's a thought. Also, this could be a test drive before free agency. But because the team is getting Ozuna back, that will free Yairo Munoz up to play more infield. Also, Matt Adams can bump Matt Carpenter over to third and Kolten Wong hopes to return later on next week. So the Cardinals don't have to overspend here.
There are still a fair number of good NFL fans in this area. And knowing that the league is never coming back is a tough realization. To go from the Super Bowl to a nightmarishly bad team for years and years to no team at all . . . it's hard to believe all that happened, when you look back at it.
Martinez isn't a great right fielder, obviously., but all he does is hit. And he is a great clubhouse/team chemistry guy who doesn't cost the team much. I'm with you on that. Gyorko is a handy guy as well, particularly given his ability to hold up defensively at third base. But that is one logical spot where the team could add an impact bat, so fans yearn for more.
They added a second-line center, a third-line center, two Top 9 wingers in Maroon and Perron, plus they hope to return a Top 6 winger in Fabbri. Thomas and Kyrou are elite forward prospects and Bouwmeester should offer a bit more after surgery. So that is a lot of potential growth. But top 5? I'll agree with experts that see Nashville and Winnipeg as the teams to beat in the Western Conference and Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Washington as Cup threats back East. The Blues are in the next group until they prove otherwise.
1986. There was just something special about that team. It kept getting better. A goal here, a goal there and they beat Calgary in the conference final and (I believe) win the Cup.
Mike Van Ryn is the new guy, so it will be interesting to see what he brings to the mix. Fresh coaching eyes and a massive talent influx ought to change things. O'Reilly has been a real good power-play guy, due to his ability to win draws and also make plays around the net. The Blues will start more power plays with possession this season. Having two balanced units will be helpful too.
I would expect them to be quite cautious moving pitchers. Their young guys have minor league options left. Martinez and Wacha are coming off injury-plagued seasons, Reyes hasn't been able to stay healthy and the team needs to see if Mikolas was a one-year wonder. Also, the pitching talent coming in behind the current wave isn't as good. And it's not like the everyday lineup is full of holes.
So unless there is a cornerstone offensive player with contract left available for this team on the trade market, I don't see the Cardinals compromising their team strength. This is the one edge they have on most teams and they have already moved some hurlers of value.
Same as last year -- if he struggles, the other guy (or guys) will play. There's not a long leash for Jake. But remember this about last season: He played well in December and took loss after loss after loss due to poor offensive support. This team should give him a lot more leads to play with. That should help him convert more good performances into victories and keep his head in a better place.
It's certainly fair to be skeptical. Maybe at some point he could join the bullpen pile, but his latest setback cleared the path for Adam Wainwright to win back a rotation job.
It has been impressive, but we don't know the outcome. The 2012 team rallied fiercely in the final two weeks to catch the Atlanta Braves, beat them in the wild card game, then rally from the grave to beat the Nationals. That was a late transformation under Mike Matheny. And the 2006 waited until the playoffs for their turnaround. They made the playoffs despite finishing just over .500, then morphed into World Champions.
Todd Worrell was NL Rookie of the year in 1986. But, no, I don't see Flaherty winning it this year. Juan Soto is amazing at age 19 and everyday players have an edge for this.
Interesting question. How long can colleges hold off on the whole cheerleader/dance squad thing? It's one thing for the NFL to glorify sex and violence, but, seriously, when will colleges have to reform? True story: I wrote a campus newspaper piece back in the late 1970s questioning why the school rented out the Golden Girls to question events, such as keg parties at Tiger Towers to woo potential tenants. I was ahead of my time!
There is a month left in the season. That's not a ton of money. While Toronto is ready to move on from Donaldson, I'd expect the Blue Jays to demand at least a mid-level prospect. I'm surprised the Nationals were willing to let guys go just to get them off the books. That's stupid. All of these teams are raking in big shared MLB revenues.
It's interesting that a lot of talent goes unblocked through the waivers process. Once upon a time the Padres claimed Randy Myers to block him from Atlanta and then got stuck with Myers -- at a cost of $13 million, which was real money back in 1998. Obviously the Nationals weren't just going to let Murphy go as they did Matt Adams, so some national scribes have dinged the Cardinals for that. But it is amazing to see how much good talent passes through waivers every year, setting up late trades. Gentlemen's agreement among GMs?
Of course, it just takes one knee-to-knee hit to undo all that work. Just ask Sam Bradford how injuries can plague a guy. Is Fabbri such a poor soul? We shall see. Obviously the Blues protected themselves at forward by adding so many other players.
Not so sure about Hilton. He got caught up in those wide receiver auditions a few years back, then his move back to defense has been hindered by injuries and inconsistency. Can he finally make his stand this season? The Tigers sure hope so, given some of the inexperience elsewhere in the secondary. Perkins has been all over the depth chart this year, landing as the back-up "SAM" linebacker. It sounds like he will be a nickle package specialist, at least at the start.
True, but that would be selling low on him. I believe the best tactic would be to see what he brings next season. If he excels, perhaps then is the time to trade him rather than invest in him for the long haul. As noted earlier, the Cardinals need to hang onto pitching and see what happens with all of these injuries and the depth in behind the current crop of prospects. The front office could have a much better handle on Wacha and the rest of the pitching by next July.