I'd agree with USA Today's Bob Nightengale and go Javier Baez No. 1. Carpenter's power surge ended, so perhaps Yelich or Arenado could slide ahead of him in the race. I see Matt finishing in the mix, but Baez is doing some crazy stuff for the Cubs. Imagine combining the impact of Carpenter AND Bader into one guy.
I would stay tuned to STLtoday for an update on Molina. It will come later this afternoon.
I believe tanking IS an issue for MLB to address. Attendance is slipping. There are a host of reasons for that, including pace of play and MLB's ongoing fight to attract millennials. All these strikeouts and a decrease in actual game action hurts too. There are many factors, but deliberate losing is one of them.
Those games are streamed by Fox, so I'm not sure you can see the steam if you don't subscribe through Spectrum or whatever. Certainly the Blues should fare well in this tournament, but much of that will depend on Fitzpartick's play in goal. He won at the major junior level, so let's see if that carries over. The Note will have lots of firepower for sure. I expect the kids to live up to the hype.
I believe Allen finishes No. 1, thanks to ample scoring support. I'm not sure 90 and 91 will stay together at even stretch, but power-play improvement should get Taraenko back to 40. Schwartz should definitely score 70 points if healthy on this loaded team. As for Schmaltz, I'm sure he wants a "one-way" contract that guarantees him NHL money if he goes to the minors. I'm guessing he would also welcome a move to an organization with less crowding on the blue line. On the other hand, the Blues want to keep his rights as insurance for Bouwmeester and Gunnarsson's return from injury.
Larry was really something. Many a night I would goad him by talking up one of the Blues he viewed dimly -- like Murray Baron -- or by hyping one of the many Blues prospects that clearly wasn't going to make it. He was one of the most knowledgeable NHL observers in the U.S. for a long, long time.
If the Cardinals could get Arenado and lock him into a new contract, I'd take that offense and live with some lost range at shortstop with DeJong. Arenado is the sort of hitter you can build a whole attack around.
Harper and Machado are a cut above. At their age, I could see them both getting crazy term (10 years) plus opt-out clauses. I am guessing some team will be willing to give both to get one of those two. But the guys capable to demanding that is a small group.
Shocking? Harper. This team has a productive outfield right now with Ozuna, Bader and Martinez. O'Neill is a handy No. 4 and there is still the Fowler contract to address.
I'm sure some of these foundations are more legit than others. It's not unheard for these foundations to have big overheads while employing friends of the athlete. That said, you see some tangible good coming from stuff that Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright and Kurt Warner do, to name a few.
Usually a few each homestand, depending on what other sports are occurring and how the vacations stack up.
The NBA has passed it for sure with younger people. The NFL is still big with the kids, perhaps more for the video game aspect than the live experience. Soccer is making a big push too. Baseball holds some romantic allure for older generations, but it is so slooooooow for the kids.
There is a voting bloc in the baseball writers that will scrunch up its collective nose at his numbers, particularly his Wins Above Replacement on a year-to-year basis. That group sees All-Star Game berths and Gold Gloves as reputation based honor. They are less inclined to consider intangible qualities and they are less impressed with longevity statistics. So Molina may not be a shoo-in. Does he get in eventually? I believe so.
But you must admit, on a Sunday afternoon while you are roasting in the heat and humidity, it IS a thought.
Wong's defensive runs scored are amazing. And he finally got locked in at the plate. He was one of the sparks that got this team going under Shildt. He hit well coming off the DL last time, but can he do it again?
I will not be involved. Somehow I feel entitled to damages, though, after enduring all of those game day chats during the team's decade-long decline.
This again? Is this the Jon Jay Troll changing sports?
I covered lacrosse a bit back in Baltimore and my daughter played the female version in high school. I'm a fan. But while a lot of kids love playing it these days, I'm sure not sure there is fan support.
Not sure that replenishing Memphis will be a big offseason goal. Nor do I see subtracting the heart of the offense as a big priority.
That could be the scenario. As much as the Cubs like to stick it to the Cardinals, Joe Maddon is feeling some pressure to get deep into the playoff bracket again. He would certainly manage accordingly if the division title was in hand and there was no motivation to win.