Howdy, folks. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah. Feel free to ask many any questions. Fire away.
I actually need to put in some calls to Cardinals GM John Mozeliak to check in. As a policy, I know he won't discuss trade talks, but it's worth a call. I saw that they have been linked to the Twins' Brian Dozier, but I haven't verified that rumor yet. With all that said, Dozier would be a definite upgrade. If they can land him, they should.
See my answer below. It's too early for me to handicap this one. All I can tell you is that Dozier would definitely upgrade the offense. The Cardinals have a solid lineup, but it can definitely benefit from Dozier's bat.
I had never considered that, but I don't see why that wouldn't work. St. Louis is a great sports market. It would definitely support an NBA All-Star Game weekend.
Only the Tulsa Roughnecks had a worse record than St. Louis FC in 2016, so you have to agree that they have nowhere to go but up. It's difficult to gauge USL, but there's no doubt they at least have a coach that had a brilliant playing career. Preki is a proven coach, so hopefully the team will grow with him.
You make some very good points and ask some important questions. If you file for public funds claiming you might pay a $200 million expansion fee - as SC STL did on MLS' advice - then you should lower your demand after MLS says the expansion fee will be $150 million. People forget that SC STL tried to dig into the public's money for $120 million. That's ridiculous. If you consider that many of the SC STL are likely to come from the county, it would seem fair for the county to pick up some of the tab. I wonder if SC STL folks knew they couldn't get the support from the county. These are very smart folks who know how these games are played, so I assume that the city vote is the one they view as the easiest avenue to get into the community's pocket book.
I learned a long time ago to not assume who leaks a story. You'd be surprised who leaks information sometimes. Regardless, the Cardinals could benefit from adding Dozier.
This is a very good question. Rain would be the absolute worst news for the Winter Classic. They tell me that they can deal with the temperature, but rain could be a tough blow to overcome. I notice that rain is forecast for Monday, but the forecast can change drastically over the next few days. Keep your fingers crossed.
I hadn't thought about it.
I would say a 6. There's no doubt that they really want to catch the Cubs, just the Reds, Brewers and Pirates want to catch them. But they're not going to break the bank to do what is necessary to catch them this year.
I don't know how legit those Dozier rumors are. I do know that the Cardinals could use Dozier. I don't think anybody with the Cardinals can truly tell you how good Wong will be as an everyday second baseman. He's a career .248 hitter with a .309 on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage. You can argue whether he deserves an everyday role to see what he can do, but at this point you cannot deny that Dozier would be the better gamble at second base.
I hadn't considered that theory. I'm sure he would deny it if I asked him. He would argue that he and the Cardinals front office are always trying to look at ways to be better.
Thanks. You make a very good point on the defensive complaints. Encarnacion is a much better defensive first baseman than people recognize, but you also are right that first base isn't exactly the most crucial defensive position. The Cardinals need to be better up the middle. They weren't very strong at short, second, center and left, and that proved costly.
Coach Hitchcock downplayed any concerns about Allen's health, so I was definitely surprised that Allen isn't given the start behind the net tonight. It is definitely something to look at closely in the next two games.
Up to this point, I don't know how you can justify hitting him anywhere other than seventh or eighth. I've never been one to buy into the "second leadoff guy" argument. You want your best hitters to hit as many times as possible, so that second leadoff guy theory rings hollow because you're denying him more at-bats in the long run.
You make very valid points. There is something to be said for your way of thinking. I agree on many points. My job, though, is to point out that if the Cardinals claim they want to win this year they should try. I would have no problem if Bill DeWitt Jr. said he and Mozeliak decided that the best course of action for the team's future is to play for the wild-card and try to regroup and make a serious run in 2018. I would argue, as you clearly are, that a 2018 chase might be more realistic.
We need to see what the roster looks like in spring training to truly understand the direction of the club. I don't think the Cardinals can afford to give up too much defense.
I can only judge attendance by what I see and the numbers that are reported, and I can assure you that Busch Stadium is one of the top draws in baseball.
At this point, the ownership group has earned a lot of goodwill and trust from fans because of the 2006 and 2011 titles and the 2013 World Series appearance. A .500 season would force them to make changes, but I cannot imagine folks from Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois and throughout Missouri will stop making their annual pilgrimages to watch the Cardinals unless the team is one of the worst in baseball. Until then, the BFIBs will continue to support what has been and continues to be a great franchise.
There has been plenty of research that has shown that communities don't get the so-called return that sports teams promise from building stadiums. I wish folks would read the countless information available. It's almost as though Gov. Nixon doesn't remember that local citizens are still paying off the dome.
I'm pretty sure you're not Mo, but you do make good points.
I don't know. I think it all depends on which city MLS can hold up for the most money. If MLS expansion was truly about rewarding the best soccer cities in America, you would think MLS would already have a team in St. Louis. If this is the cradle of soccer, as some soccer fans here claim, why hasn't MLS bothered to put a team here?