Bobo's here and we have some ballplayers. Let's go!
Old-timers will recall how Brett Hull chafed at the NHL's shift to defensive-minded hockey -- the neutral zone traps and such. Coaches of teams in the bottom half of the league opted to reduce their margin for error by clogging up the middle of the ice while keeping the score down. The Golden Brett caught the tail end of a great era for hockey scoring before all that took hold. Teemu Selanne can say the same thing about his early days. This is not to take away from Hull and Oates, because that was an amazing tandem. Hull ditched the big windup and developed a quick release. He lurked on offense and jumped into holes. Oates could make sure the puck was waiting for him. Hull valued the quick release over holding the puck and aiming. And he was a volume shooter, like Tarasenko.That was some run.
So be it. When the club is looking at maxing out at 12,000 attendance after potentially starting at zero, that will lower the spending for sure. They will try to win, as always, but they will have to work within a tighter budget while cycling out some contracts and preparing for bigger moves for 2022. Watching how the young pitchers fare will be interesting. They have some plus prospects on that front. Watching Carlos develop (or not) will be interesting. So will tracking the development of prospects once minor league ball gets going again because there are some interesting hitters there.
Bringing a guy from with big NFL experience can be a plus, but only if that pays off on the recruiting trail. By all accounts Wilks will bring an upbeat presence and a lot of energy to the job. Obviously he has a ton of experience too. The NFL is all about the Xs and Os, so I trust that he can adjust the defensive schemes to the talent. And, yes, the next defensive line coach will have a big job.
Outlawing the shift will only encourage more dead pull hitting. For baseball to evolve back to the George Brett style of hitting, batters will need to adapt to the shifts and resume using the whole field while valuing bat control over launch angle.
For the first group, it just happened organically. After that, each group in place decides who it lets into the club and with what criteria. That evolves as leadership is passed from year to year.
I think the Cardinals have been very, very clear about their intent. They are not pretending to be the Mets, Padres, Dodgers or Blue Jays this year.
Flaherty's potential earning for a monstrous deal is bigger obstacle to a long-term contract here than his activism. Also, it's easy to imagine him wanting to play on the West Coast. The Dodgers have lots of money coming off their books in a few years and the Angels always need pitching.
The White Sox operated on the cheap for years. They were overdue to spend. The Padres have been through ownership changes. Right now they have one that wants to spend. The Blue Jays are a big market team.
Bader, at this point, is a platoon centerfielder and defensive replacement. Maybe there is a bit more there, maybe not. Can Carlson hold up in center field defensively over a longer haul? Can Lane Thomas play? These are the bigger unknowns.
Bill DeWitt Jr. wants his franchise to be consistently good. He does not like tanking. So he is not going to tank a season just because other teams look better on paper.
The absence of gate revenue is a pretty good excuse. In a few years, if financial order is restored and there is a $30 million hitter in his prime willing to sign here, then this debate will be more relevant.
It's hard to assess Mozeliak's record on bailout trades because this team hasn't bailed out on his watch.
There will be some unemployed hitters on the market looking to keep their career alive. The Cardinals have found some useful guys in the past. That will be worth watching?
I actually watched both teams play last weekend because I was in K.C where my son-in-law is a big NFL fan. But I am the last guy on earth to consult for investment advice on football.