Even the "bad" Carlos Martinez has been better than most big league pitchers. We're talking about a guy with a 3.36 career ERA through all of the ups and downs. His roller coast ride has been less terrifying than most. And he looked much, much better prepared this spring to regain his spot high in the rotation. So there's a lot of hope. That said, until we see how each Cardinal looks after the pandemic shutdown, who knows. Maybe somebody got hurt in a kiln explosion. Maybe, in the case of Carlos, his home workout program wasn't the best. Maybe he didn't handle the shelter at home thing well. We shall see.
There is lots of excitement with the coaching change and there is some real promise at QB. But there is also the element of the unknown at QB, too. If the Tigers can get bowl eligible and get back on a positive track that would be a big step after last season's disappointments and the NCAA kerfuffle.
I don't see an immediate need to trade Jaden Schwartz. There are lots of ways to get to a better salary cap place without subtracting a Top 6 forward right now. GM Doug Armstrong may want him for next season with the team's competitive still wide open. Could he exit as a free agent after next season? Sure, because there will be no way to keep everybody as the young forwards get to the bigger dollar days. Armstrong might treat Schwartz as a rental player next season. Or he could try to extend him ala Brayden Schenn and move other parts.
He was on schedule for a mid-summer return. Again, until you can actually see where the guys really are when workouts resume there is no way to put a date on a return. But with a season starting sometime in July, he could be a larger factor in this season (such as it will be) than we imagined back in the winter. While Giovanny Gallegos has done a fine job in the late innings as a Cardinals, thrusting the closing weight on him seemed like a big gamble, Maybe, just maybe, Hicks can make it back in time to handle that load. Can he get healthy? And he regain his velocity and command? There are no sure things, but fans can dream, right?
A big chunk of the playoff games I remember occured within the division when there were no holds barred. Who could forget Garth Butcher, 100 feet behind the play, tried to unscrew somebody's full protective headgear. And, no, Garth never felt remorse about stuff like that.
Heck, I don't which teams will even play this season! If they all show up, the Tigers have to beat the three blood donors, beat Vandy and Arkansas at home and either won at BYU or at home to Kentucky. Not a lay-up drill.
This economic disaster could really put a hurt on the Group of 5 football programs and widen the Division I split. I don't see college basketball dying out because the top 30 or 40 kids will take over-the-table G League dollars instead of under-the-table recruiting cash. The Power 5 conferences will be good at both football and basketball, bit the football side at that level could definitely go its own way for TV deals and the like. We've see that before in the sport.
The big problem is the lack of an aggressive national testing program. It's up to the states and pro leagues have teams all over the map. Some are in great testing shape, others are not. The state-to-state socia-distancing rules are all over the place too. I believe the NHL will pull off its playoffs with the hub concept, picking where sports will be reasonably safe. The NBA could do the same. The NFL could push back its season. Baseball faces the biggest challenge in the short term.
I did not watch the NFL draft, but I have seen a lot of good reviews. Heck, even Roger Goodell came off well without people booing him.
I don't know if Ron Gant had a mean bone in his body, but that guy was jacked when he played here. Also, I wonder how somebody as crazy as Joaquin Andujar would have fared if a skirmish broke out.
I'd keep extra pitching, of course, so if Gomber, Ponce de Leon and Helsley didn't make the top 26, then they would need to be on the team. Sosa was an odd man out, but he can handle multiple spots as a utility guy and in a post-Munoz world that would be handy. Also, if there is no minor league baseball, then Carlson needs to be on the team.
There will be plenty of free-agent goaltenders available, so the market is pretty crazy. I believe Detroit is looking at another year of losing, so moving an asset for a goaltender may not make sense. Ottawa could be a trade fit, given Allen's pedigree and salary cost. I am guessing the Senators will want to win more in 20-21.
I was at Game 3, won by the Cardinals in Detroit with Ray Washburn on the mound. Nobody takes the bet on the Tigers with Gibson pitching Game 7 for the Cardinals, but somehow Lolich was better. Tigers manager Mayo Smith pulled out the stops in that series, moving Stanley from CF to SS to get an extra bat in the order and adjusting his rotation when McLain ran out of gas. The big gambles paid off.
Yeah, Yadi doesn't play around. I don't see him conceding.
Faulk has no-trade protection, but not no-movement. Would there be takers? Sure, there were other bidders when Carolina put him on the block. There are a lot of ways to get to the cap number if Pietrangelo really wants to stay. I expect to see compliance buyouts to become an option before next season. Under the current terms, a Steen buyout would yield some money, but not a ton.
That team won so many games down the stretch and had such strong chemistry. Going into the playoffs I felt the team could be different. The Jets comeback was a big moment, as was, of course, the Game 7 narrow escape against Dallas. Once the Blues got to the Final Four and the scariest teams from the other side of the NHL were gone, it was obvious that the Blues had their chance.
I am not planning on going anywhere, but as we've seen these are very challenging times in the media -- like so many other industries.
I believe the 2019 winnings were about $200,000 per player. That's a bucket drop for Vladimir Tarasesnko, but I'm Sammy Blais felt good about the extra coin.
There's no question that the front office's asset management in recent years has not been the best. You pay a big, big price of Marcell Ozuna, get just an OK return and then let him walk. Go down the list of outfield trades and it's not a pretty picture. And,, of course, there are still multiple contracts that put dead or near-dead money on the payroll. If the next wave of position players (Carlson, Knizner, Gorman, Montero) can play, that and the young pitching should get the team through. But they have to come through because like most teams the Cardinals will tighten up budgeting in a post-pandemic world.
Tiny chance of either happening, but I suppose I would pick the NFL returning.