Bobo's here, it looks like we have ballplayers. Let's go!
The Cardinals management team could not have been more clear about their intentions this winter. Given baseball's uncertain economic picture -- which now includes a potentially delayed start to the season -- the front office was going to move deliberately on the personnel side and look for bargains We hit that same point week after week after week in these chats, And, sure enough, that is exactly what has happened.
Are the Cardinals eager to pay Arenado $35 million in 2022, 2023 and 2024, then $32 million in 2025 and $27 million in 2026 as he gets deeper into his 30s? I'm guessing not, especially since he plays the one position where the Cardinals have some potential power coming through the system. And the Cardinals have seen plenty of age-related regression among their hitters first hand. Do they want to try again? Also, Arenado struggled in 2020 and that has plant additional doubt. I believe Nolan is a more logical target for a big budget team with more financial cushion. I've love to be proven wrong about all of this because the Cardinals would be a more interesting team to follow if it had Arenado on it.
Stormin' Norm had some teams that were good enough, Willie Smith almost singlehandedy shot the Tigers past Michigan and into the Final Four back in the old days. Once Stewart turned Rich Daly loose to do whatever on the recruiting trail, he usually had enought talent to reach the Final Four. Given the program's success in the Big 12, his teams proved they could shine in big games. There wasn't anything inherently wrong with his coaching approach. He coached stressed tough defense at one end and he turned players loose offensively at the other end. But the tournament is single-elimination and those 40-minute games can seem awfully short if you stop making shots and the other guys get hot. A team needs to get on a roll and stay on a roll to reach the Final Four. A team needs some luck, too, to win it all. It just never came together for Stewart.
I don't seen an obvious subtraction to make. By putting Steen on LTIR now, the Blues would still have the flexibility to get Vince Dunn signed ahead of training camp and put that issue to rest. There's value in that. They get more cap room by making the Steen move later, but if that forces them to axe somebody they would rather keep then is it worth it?
The Blues got Krug to take the same average annual value as Justin Faulk and Brayden Schenn, so that seems fine even in the pandemic economy. Remember, this negotiation happened quickly, right after the free-agent market opened. Presumably the Blues were not the only bidder. If they were, then maybe they overpaid. But Krug was a pretty hot commodity. The falloff after the top few defensemen in the market was steep. So I imagine he had options.
I believe so. The Bulldogs don't pound the ball on the ground, which is where the Tigers are vulnerable these days. The Tigers are pushing to improve their bowl fate while Mississippi State may just want to get the season over with -- so that should give Mizzou a big motivational edge.
The Blues have subtracted more talent than they have added during this offseason, but they remained committed to spending to the salary cap. The Stillman ownership group gets high marks for that. But don't forget that the Blues collected most of last year's gate revenye before the pandemic hit. The Cardinals took the full blow by contrast. Also, the NHL's collective bargaining agreement with the players does address the lingering cash flow issues for owners. There is some serious salary deferral.
Also, there is some lag time before their next wave of hitting prospects are ready to move in behind Dylan Carlson. So the 2021 season was always going to be dicey. The pandemic only exacerbated that.
The Rams became a mess and stayed a mess until they left. Once the Greatest Show on Turf ended unceremoniously, the franchise's relationship with the fans deteriorated. It got worse and worse as the losses mounted. Finally it became obvious that Stan Kroenke was just biding his time until he could escape the stadium lease and leave. So there was blood in the water for years.
The Tigers are pretty beat up along the defensive line. You saw what Georgia did to them in the second half. Looking at that from the betting perspective, you can see why experts would wonder if Missouri could recover from that thrashing. Meanwhile the Bulldogs have played more competitively lately.
Is Odor a modern ballplayer or what? In 2019 he hit .205 and struck out 178 times. But he also hit 30 doubles and 30 homers. He can run a little, but he was thrown out 22 times in 45 tries the past three seasons. He can play second base, but he's not exactly Kolten Wong over there. Odor is still in his athletic prime, so there's that. But is it a good idea to trade an older swing-and-miss guys for a younger one while taking on additional contract year?
As Doug Armstrong noted, Steen could coach or go into management. He is a smart hockey guy and he commands a lot of respect in the game. As the son of a very good player, this has been his life as long as he can remember.
Just ballparking it here, the Cardinals saved $100 million to $110 million in payroll costs thanks to MLB's pro-rating last season. But the loss gate revenue alone was in the $150 million range, so I don't doubt that the franchise had an operating loss.
Not everybody failed on his watch. But one of the few good offensive stories from last year was the departed Kolten Wong. I believe Mike Shildt still has confidence in him, so that helps.
Yeah, looking at the guy's offensive track record does not stir the anticipation embers.
It's hard not to accuse of him of willful negligance with his management of the franchise during the final seasons here. Once it became obvious that St. Louis was not going to meet the stadium improvement requirements, there wasn't much to build the team back to playoff caliber.
I don't know if paycuts were inflicted on senior management. That has been the case at many businesses hit hard by the pandemic.
I did see the highlights of the Ravens-Browns game. I am glad I did not have to type running copy on that game. Just one thing after another, back and forth until time finally expired. Compare that game to a typical baseball game.
He's a big fish in an ocean there. Lots of personalities in SoCal and he's definitely not one of them. You don't much about him in the media.