Greetings chatters, hope you all didn't lose too many branches in the big storm. If you're like me, you were hoping some hail damage might polish off an old truck. No luck. Anyway, let's roll. Plenty to discuss. All-Star shenanigans. Stephen A Smith said something dumb, again. Another chapter of Rams drama. Important days ahead for Blues GM Doug Armstrong. Lots to discuss. Fire away.
If they don't improve the team, it does. Hoping that injured starting pitchers are going to come back and pitch great has not been a formula for success for the Cardinals so far this season, so I'm not sure why anyone should bank on it for the second half. Some upgrades around the trade deadline would help things and could make sure the Cardinals finish on the winning side, even if it can't spark a push for the playoffs. A losing season would be the Cardinals' first since 2007. That's a big deal. With as much importance as the ownership puts on the run of consecutive winning seasons, it would be hard to imagine nothing significant being done if that turns out to be the case. But then again, it's been hard to imagine ownership watching the team shrivel up as the starting pitching eroded this season without demanding the front office do something of substance to help the slide.
Not exactly, but in a good way. Bader's 2020 was one of his more encouraging offensive seasons so far. It was shortened of course. And splitty; due to his success against lefties and his below-average production against righties. But altogether he posted a career-high adjusted OPS of 113 last season, which is 13 points above league average. There were positive signs if you looked for them. And there are this season, too. He's had a little more success against righties. His power is present. Would be nice to see his .308 on-base percentage climb in the second half, in part because of his game-changing speed. But enough about the numbers. I'll say this. I think the Cardinals are showing they are a more confident, energetic and bouncy bunch with him in the lineup. The team was kind of searching for a spark, and I do think he's doing everything in his power to provide that. Along with great defense.
Kyle Schwarber turns into Super Man every time he hits leadoff. Maybe give Tyler O'Neill a swing at it? Back to Edman is my bet after the break, with Carlson sliding back down to No. 2
More than reasonable. He removed himself from the NFL committee on Los Angeles opportunities before he became the majority owner to avoid signs of conflict of interest (hilarious, right) and registered the Rams as a California company in one of his first acts as majority owner.
You bet. I enjoy covering it and I'm glad the interest has remained. I knew it would be a long process so I've tried to do regular updates on it from time to time, with my opinion of what is happening mixed in. Joel Currier has done a great job on the news side, and I enjoy working with him on the coverage. I hope between the two of us we are giving folks a good mix of news coverage and commentary. I did appreciate Florio covering the news, and I spoke with him a bit this morning about his interest in the case. Seth Wickersham of ESPN also deserves credit for a) being an outstanding reporter and writer and b) showing a real interest in this saga. His stories have moved the ball on the coverage, and he was there in the courtroom with us yesterday. So, yes, while the blanket claim the NFL-centric media has largely ignored the story is often true, it's not always the case. And as the story gets bigger, and it will as it continues to near trial, it will have to be covered by more people. As it is with anything, those who have covered it from the jump should be the most informed and educated on the case. With respect to Florio, his opinion or mine or anyone else's is not what matters. It's going to be up for the jury to decide, if this gets there. It seems to me like the STL side has a very compelling timeline that is going to show what the Rams and the league were saying publicly and to task force leaders that will not compare favorably with what was being said and done by the league in secret. And it seems to me that the NFL/Rams side is going to attempt to prove that the task force pretty much knew it had no chance of keeping the team -- and I think that's going to be really hard to prove. It's also going to come down to how the relocation guidelines are viewed. Are they mere suggestions? Are they a contract that if breached constitutes ground for damages? These are the questions we are seeing the two sides square off over time and time again. It's quite ironic that this is all bubbling up as the Rams prepare to host the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. Karma, right? I would not be surprised at all if Demoff is done soon. He's going to catch hell for this, and Kroenke might need a new human shield. Good point on the Kroenke tab. Remember, he's on the hook for all of the league's legal fees with this case due to the agreement he signed before the move. Those costs have added up fast, though not quite as fast as his stadium cost overruns in Inglewood.
At one point during the offseason the Cardinals were mentioning the idea of bench upgrades as something on their shopping list. That faded, and you're right there is evidence it should not have. It's lacking, and it's hurt them this season.
I can't imagine the league, or the owners included in yesterday's coverage, are thrilled about handing over a bunch of financial documents that essentially explain their net worth. There was already grumbling around the league about this lawsuit becoming a bigger pain in the rear than expected, and now it's taken a step forward. The discovery has been intense, acquiring phone records that could go public if used in courts, and now this. In Missouri, before punitive damages can be put on the table as an option for a jury, plaintiffs have to prove to the judge that there is enough evidence to open that door before the plaintiffs are essentially allowed to get the financial status of the parties who could be hit with punitive damages. Example: It doesn't make a lot of sense for a guy who is worth $10 to be tagged with a million dollar's worth of damages that will never be paid. We're not talking about $10 parties here. We're talking about incredibly wealthy owners, meaning the opening of the door to potential punitive damages could mean a lot of money, perhaps money beyond what the STL region can convince a jury it lost in its doomed effort to keep the Rams. That was why STL side felt like Monday was a big win. The judge green-lighted some big names but also said the STL side needed more specifics on others before their financial data can be pursued. The STL side has 10 days to make those claims sharper and stronger. If they can't, that does not mean those defendants are scrapped from the suit. It just means they don't have to hand over their financials. The dollar amount, I don't know. I think the STL side will aim high, and I don't think they have much interest in settling -- and at this point I don't think there has been much interest in the NFL side. Maybe that changes as more and more gets out. That's also why Monday was big. It was the first chance the STL side had to reveal some (not all) of what it turned up in discovery. The protective order has kept everything quiet on that front until now. So it was a little preview of what is to come. If the league did not like the preview, it could start to change its tune. Again, I do think there is some chatter within the league that it does not want this issue clouding the Rams hosting the Super Bowl in LA. Why settle? If the money is big, and right, and there is enough reason to think a big win in court would be walked back or dismissed by the appeal that would almost certainly follow.
Not sure what scouts are saying about him, but his numbers are quite impressive. Slashing .295 with a .349 on-base percentage and a .521 slugging percentage in 57 games between Peoria and Springfield. 22 years old. Lefty. Outfielder. Can play first base, too. The organization has been impressed and pleasantly surprised with his rise.
I think the days of shopping for a closer in the offseason are probably over for the Cardinals. Reyes grabbing that role and thriving in it is an example of why. He didn't have experience. He had the talent, and he did great when given the chance. If you find out you do need a closer and don't have someone who can handle it from within, you can add one during the season.
I doubt he sees it as quite so simple. Mozeliak has won him a lot of games, and made him a lot of money over the years. The two are in lock step or close to it on the sustained-success plan. That said, yes, I think Mozeliak is under as much pressure now as he has been in a long time, in terms of the direction of the team and the distance growing since the last World Series championship, which reaches a decade if the Cardinals do not make some sort of miraculous run this season. I would not put the Shildt hire down as a minus. He's won a manager of the year award and finished in the top-three for it another year. The Jeff Albert hire and empowerment, the free-agent whiffs, the unnecessary extensions and most importantly the bad reads on some of t he Cardinals own prospects are the biggest problems that have developed, and Mozeliak as the head of the baseball operations has fingerprints on all of them. Hence, the pressure Mozeliak is feeling. Where does that pressure lead if the season is not salvaged? Good question. Could be a firing. Could be a reassignment. Could be a changing of the front office beneath Mozeliak to bring in some more outsiders and different ways of doing business. Could be a shrug. That's on DeWitt to determine, and he's made no indication lately about which way he's leaning, other than making it clear in his actions over the years that Mozeliak is pretty safe. We'll see if that changes depending on how the team performs and what the front office can accomplish the rest of the season.
Some concern is fair. Correct me if I'm wrong but they have usually rolled in those exhibitions during their gold medal seasons, right? Might be missing LeBron's leadership? Somebody better step it up. Jayson Tatum, come on down. Motivation should not be lacking after we are all now wondering if they're going to lay an egg.
Rumors are fun, but nothing more until there's something of substance. It would not surprise me if the NFL floats stuff like that to try to get people to turn on the lawsuit as something that could damage the chances. If you're trusting the NFL at this point, you're doing it wrong. You all know where I stand on this one. If it was a one-man vote and I was the one voting, I would vote for STL to not take the NFL back.
That's nothing new. When Stan stopped talking relocation completely and Kevin was left spinning lies, the decision was made. Kevin was going to be the professional liar. What a great label applied by Charlie Marlow. He should get an apology from his station for having to apologize for using it.
I think Dr. Evil had it right. One billion dollars. *Raises pinky finger*