Hope you all have a great day. It has been a busy last few days. Fire away.
Spring training could not come at a better time. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14. The Cardinals should be in playoff contention all year, and you never know what will happen once you make the playoffs. The Blues have definitely fallen apart. Hopefully they'll rebound.
I haven't heard of any MLS games coming to St. Louis anytime soon to gauge interest. Honestly with the Cardinals and Blues news these last few days, I haven't had time to focus on any of the local MLS news lately. Mike Faulk does a great job on that front. We also have two soccer writers, Joe Lyons and Tom Timmermann. I assume they will be the point men on MLS news.
My colleague Benjamin Hochman actually asked Yeo about Minnesota today. He asked him if he learned some things from the Wild since they have played so well this year. Yeo says he has definitely taken some lessons from his experiences in Minnesota and from working under Ken Hitchcock.
Thanks. As far as leadership, my conversations with Hitchcock centered on how he delegated and how he prepared himself in the offseason. Despite his success, he was always willing to continue to learn from other coaches and to give back to his former players who are now coaches.
I assume the Tom Stillman and the ownership group signed off on his offseason moves because he made them with the eye on the future. In his defense, he didn't want to burden the Blues with bad contracts in the future. “They’ve been nothing but supportive, but when I talked to Tom last night it’s a business,” Armstrong said today. “I get it. He gets it. I get it. He wants results. I want results. I shared with him my long-term vision, why I’m making decisions that I make.
“I don’t make a decision and tell him what I’ve done."
Armstrong isn't ruling out any trades. He wants to see how the team responds at this point. "I don’t want to sabotage this season, but ultimately the players are going to let us know," Armstrong said. He added: “We’re going to do what’s best for this organization short and long term. Kevin (Shattenkirk) is a good player. We want to be a good team. Kevin’s a St. Louis Blue. He wants to be a St. Louis Blue. we’re going to ask accordingly.”
I wouldn't venture to guess how Sacramento impacts St. Louis' bid. The MLS called a press conference today on expansion, but the big news in St. Louis today is about Ken Hitchcock's firing with the Blues. I've been focused on that front.
You make some very valid point. As I wrote in my column, the spotlight actually is now also on Armstrong. The players, however, must step up. They cannot use Hitchcock as an excuse.
I actually made that point to Armstrong when I asked if the "pride" he mentioned is missing in part because he let two key veteran leaders go. “That’s a great question,” Armstrong said. “And what I tried to do over the summer was look at this franchise in 2020, 2021, 2022, knowing that the players that we have to sign moving forward.
“I made a decision that I thought was best for this team long term. And that’s the business I’m in. I can’t look at what would have been easiest for me but what was best for the franchise.”
I doubt there would be rioting in the streets, but I hear your point. Keep in mind, however, that as long as Correa didn't snitch nobody could prove which Cardinals officials, if any, knew. If you're the Cardinals, you have to consider Mozeliak's track record in the organization. He has respected the organization well, and you would think that matters.
I don't put much stock in anything Chris Correa says. I think he's a lying, thief who rose up the Cardinals' front office by passing off the Astros' information. If he really cared about that issue, he would have told his bosses right away. If it was about finding the Cardinals' proprietary information, why did he leak the info to Deadspin? He did this to gain information for his benefit, as MLB, the FBI and a federal judge found. He let his ego drive him jealous. Now he's in federal prison. He can say all he wants, but only one guy is in federal prison. The Cardinals never asked the FBI or MLB to investigate his claims.
That's a good point. Hitch only has this year on his contract. I need to double check, but Armstrong is signed at least through 2017-2018.
This is a very valid question. Unfortunately for Hitchcock, the players may have taken a pass knowing he was done.
You make some important points. After a while, players tend to tune out the message.
That works at times, but who will you get to take Jake Allen?
The players deserved much of the blame, just as Armstrong should be held accountable for getting rid of two veteran leaders who kept the players in line.
Thank you, and you make very good points.
No. Correa was given the chance to speak with MLB investigators once he was convicted, but he declined through his lawyers. He either decided not to snitch or decided not to clear his former colleagues. Either way, he cowardly declined to speak to MLB investigators.
This firing will test Alex Pietrangelo's leadership skills. He's young and still growing, but he needs to step up now. He has no choice.
Jake Allen. Jake Allen. Jake Allen. The rest of the players, Armstrong, Hitchcock.
Quite simply, Jake Allen is the biggest reason the Blues have struggled this year.
His first shot will be at third base. Wong will be given every chance to prove he's ready to play every day.
Thanks for participating in this week's chat. I have to run to the office to attend a baseball-planning meeting. I promise to go longer next week.