The Blues do have a pretty close group. They got into the bunker mode last year and stayed locked in for the whole Cup run. So, yes, they have a better chance of not driving each other nuts inside the bubble.
There are a long list of guys you simply cannot keep out of the Hall of Fame. If Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and A-Rod aren't in the Hall, then it's simply not legitimate. So that's where the dam bursts, one way or another. So many other players already enshrined in Cooperstown took performance-enhancing shortcuts. There is no way to parse the "clean" players from the cheaters. Maybe the Hall just has to assemble a big PED display so future generations can understand what happened and learn from the widespread transgression.
No, there will not be a lot of cap-neutral trades after the season. A few teams may move a D-man with a certain cap hit for a forward with a similar hit to balance their roster, but most of the GMs will be looking to move money and/or buy out players. Terrible teams like Detroit and Ottawa could weaponize their cap room and gather prospects and/or draft picks to take on salary. But most teams will NOT be eager to take on salary while trading away picks and prospects. Most teams will need to hang on to future assets to make future salary caps work. The NHL cap may not rise appreciably for years, so every GM has to plan ahead.
Well, the team was wildly profitable until the pandemic hit. After 12 straight winning seasons, seven trips to postseason play during that span another NLCS appearance last fall, Mozeliak doesn't have to slink around the office avoding eye contact.
Plummer was a high school outfielder with some power projection. Independent analysts actually liked that pick at the time, since the Cardinals had a history of shunning high-ceiling high school hitters in favor of safer collegiate picks. Unforunately, injuries helped derail Plummer. But the Cardinals did get Paul DeJong, Jordan Hicks, Harrison Bader and Ryan Helsley -- plus Jake Woodford, who may debut late this season in the STL. That's not bad.
No. The Cardinals expected him to play. I haven't seen anything on Twitter about him suffering whiplash while eating lunch.
Cecil is healthy enough to pitch, but his fastball tops out at 83 mph and dips to 80 when he tries the sidearm thing. So he's just not good enough. If Giovanny Gallegos is ready to go, he's the guy that bumps Jake Woodford for the moment. But we'll see lots of guys coming and going, especially when the roster is trimmed to 28 in two weeks, then down to 26.
Mozeliak ultimately oversees the farm system. so ultimately he gets credit for the success of the operation. He is responsible for assembling the roster, so it's idiotic to say that team that he assembled won in spite of him. If the team was good enough to win the division and go to the NLCS, that reflects well on the guy running the baseball operation.
I doubt that the Cardinals will hit .230 as a team. If the team doesn't hit much in Week 1, the we could see Dyland Carlson along with Brad Miller in Week 2. As for the Cardinals having just the 16th-best pitching, we'll see how it plays. Lots of injuries and illness out there, including on this team. I believe the Cardinals can survive this war of pitching attrition, especially if Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes can add anything at all as the season plays out.
MLB wants it for a number of reasons, among the need to drown out the on-field communication between players. Also, as we saw on the first night of TV, there will be a need to obscure at least some of the profanity.
Apparently that is the case. Now THAT is weird.
Actually, we decided on the motto in earlier chats, before the pandemic. "Time to Fly . . . But Our Landing Gear Is Down."
There were some crazy times back then. There is a lot less insanity now because the stakes are so high financially and most players realize that staying away from mayhem can really pay off. That said, there was that one throw-down in Sauget that made the news . . .
And there will be fake crowd noise in the NHL's playoff bubble hockey.
Also, on a normal day at the park that canned chant drives me crazy. There has to be some evil subliminal message in there somewhere. That chant might be conditioning us for something bigger.
The need for full disclosure for investors runs up against the unique medical privacy concerns created by the pandemic. This is an excellent point because the shroud of mystery has covered the NHL again. That makes wagering or daily fantasy a bit murky. It's like the old days when a guy would be regarded as "day to day" even though his right arm was severed at center ice during a nationally televised game.
Mizzou can't be thrilled with the elimination of most (if not all) non-conference games in some of the current planning. Non-conference play was their ticket to bowl eligibility under a first-year coach. The Tigers could win a few games in the SEC East this season, but this side of the league has gotten its swagger back. Gary Pinkel got out just in time.
No, the Pirates will finish last. But the Cardinals will be in the four-team pile with the Reds, Brewers and Cubs. The Reds will be fun to watch at the plate, but they have finished at least 10 games under .500 every season since 2013. Their cozy ballpark can take a toll on pitchers. Their long-suffering fans are way overdue for some fun and it would be great for baseball to see them roll to a 40-20 season. But until they actually win more games than they lose . . .