I like it. If there isn't that true OBP monster to get on the bases and move around swiftly to set the table, while not go with your best hitters and get them the most at-bats the most often. Over the course of the season, such a move could mean 14 to 15 more at-bats for Bryant, and then 14-15 more at-bats for Rizzo at No. 2 vs. No. 3, and so on. If they are just themselves, and let's say it is 14-15 more PLATE APPEARANCES, then they're getting on base more than five of those times. That could be 10-13 more times they're on base. I like the math of what that does for the offense. Not a bad approach at all. Sound approach.
Location. Location. Location, sir. I wasn't really given a choice on timing.
Probably not. I like to think we've done a good enough job covering the team that there aren't any surprises. Zack Thompson should be well-known, and he's done well in spring to position himself and get attention from the right people. Johan Oviedo has impressive. Kodi Whitley, someone who has been mentioned often in this chat, is likely to pitch at some point in the majors this season, and could have a prominent bullpen role at some point. Sosa is another example. There hasn't been, say, the Ryan Ludwick to emerge from the unknowns of the six-year free agents and thunder through camp, but that's also because the Cardinals sign fewer of those kind of players these days. They trade for a Dean, for example.
I have no idea how that will shake out, but yes there is cooperation and coordination and there will be communication, too. The Cardinals can prioritize, for example, being on the road at that time if they wish, and they probably will when it comes to April. They prefer to be on the road in the opening month because it's tricky to sell tickets at that time. They'd rather have the summer home dates.
So many. So, so ,many. The mountains are right there. Get to the mountains. Or at least to Red Rocks and to Morrison. Go to Boulder, eat at Lucille's or get to The Hill by campus and get a burger at the Sink. Find a Beau Jo's for pizza. Get a burger at the Cherry Cricket -- which has a new spot right by the ballpark. After the game go for a pizza at Ian's Pizza. It's a Wisconsin-based chain and it's got Mac & Cheese pizza. Open late. Good stuff. If you're older than 21, get to Falling Rock, about a block and half away from the ballpark. Grand place. Visit Tattered Cover to be overwhelmed by books, and the Colorado History Museum is sneaky good fun. They've recreated a frontier Colorado town -- and when I visited the last time I had the revelation of seeing a friend's last name on the post boxes for the first residents, and yes it was the same family. Remarkable. Can't go wrong roaming.
Depends on their age, I suppose and how it's delivered. Yes, most players would love to make the big-league paycheck, and some players think that being in the big leagues means all they need is that one chance and they'll go four-for-four and never sit again. How often does that happen? But reps are part of the gig. Most players go up and down from majors to minors in their careers. It's the rare talent that arrives and sticks. So they know the reality, they know the importance of reps, and they know the value of playing. There's money to be had if a player gets the reps in the minors and returns as a starter as opposed to taking on rust in the majors and never getting that chance.
Chris Carpenter has been here. Ozzie Smith, too. Rick Ankiel is currently here. In the near future you'll have Ryan Ludwick, Jason Isringhausen, and Braden Looper around as well. In addition to the former Cardinals who are coaches and officials with the team.
It could. That is the idea of the schedule, for sure. To determine the division winner.
Trick question. The answer is Rick Ankiel. He's here to get a feel for what goes into coaching the modern game, and he's trying to learn if there's a fit for him and his experience in it. This is a good chance for him to learn -- and sure share some stories and some pointers, but for the most part he's getting the lessons, not giving them.
I would imagine one of the players in the middle of it will start the season in a profound slump. There will be a piling on of peers and social media and the like about his true level of talent and how he only hit when he knew what was coming and ... we'll see who has the strength to get out of that. The scrutiny will be severe and unrelenting.
Always. I enjoy that trip. Make it whenever it's on the schedule. I'm the road warrior on the beat. If the Cardinals bus, I drive.
There are no lines to read between. Rick Ankiel has said he's curious about being a coach. He approached John Mozeliak several springs ago about having some role with the team, and this is how it starts. This is how it started for Carpenter and Ryan Franklin and for Alan Benes and others. They come in, see where they fit, what they like, and then the organization sees if there's a fit for them and how to make that grow. Carpenter and Franklin really stand out as examples. One leaned into coaching. The other leaned into scouting.
There are only a few days that Mozeliak is not in spring training, and that has been true since I started coming to spring training in 2005 and before that. He is heavily involved in evaluating players and making roster decisions. He's the boss when it comes to both of those things and his decisions are the ones that are final. So, yes, he second-guesses evaluations by coaches. He takes into account things they do not -- options, rosters, waivers, roster management, everything. He has the final say. He and Girsch and DeWitt usually come to a consensus on things with input from the manager and the coaches, and if he wasn't around to guide daily conversations and evaluations of players then this decisions would ring hollow and that's no way to lead. He's in it. Every day.
That's a great question. The answer is -- yes, almost certainly. Any team would benefit from an outside view, someone with new thoughts, new lens, new info, past success elsewhere. The Cardinals have become cloistered, and they're comfortable with that, but that's not because they haven't looked outside the organization. In recent years they have, conservatively. Moises Rodriguez was brought in from outside the organization, and he's steadily advanced to AGM. Randy Flores was brought back from outside the organization because he had different experience, different viewpoint -- but a familiarity with the Cardinals process and people. The Cardinals saw that as one of the ideal hires: a Cardinals guy but not one isolated to his Cardinals experience. Dan Kantrovitz was also that kind of hire -- coming back to the organization. And the Cardinals had an agreement worked out with him this past offseason for him to return for a third tour with the Cardinals. He instead took a job running the draft for the Cubs, and he also had the Astros after him at one point for a front-office job. Not sure how that would have worked in hindsight. That's a long way of answering, yes, there's definitely a benefit for any team to get some added brain power from outside, and definitely for the Cardinals.
No. It's because of trades (Yankees) and money spent on international talent (Dodgers) and some excellent drafting done by the Dodgers. The Cardinals have a prominent miss in Buehler who has been a big win for the Dodgers. But it's not because of the money the Cardinals have actually invested in the act of scouting. They have done better to increase that investment in recent years, and to expand it, and to compensate their scouts so that fewer of them jump to the Rays or elsewhere for better salaries. The Cardinals needed to do that to remain competitive.
The pressure is on to produce and the Cardinals -- like other teams -- have not balked at replacing the hitting coach when a season goes upside down. This is a critical season for Albert and his approach, yes. The Cardinals have invested greatly in his influence throughout the organization, so he could face a reassignment if it doesn't work vs. out and out dismissal. But he's in the focus, yes.
And that frustration is valid. The Cardinals don't have givens, don't have certainty in those spots, all they have is arguments and hope. The Cardinals see Goldschmidt and Carpenter as at that level, and from the mix of options they have in the outfield or DeJong. Fans want the guarantee. The Cardinals want return on their investments and time for their young players. It's very easy to see this disconnect there. Consider Lane Thomas. Fans see him and what he does in Class AAA and that's in Class AAA, and the Cardinals are optimistic about what that tells him he could do in the majors, just hasn't yet.
There has not been any movement on that regard, from what I have been able discern.