Each and every off season I like to ask myself what I would do if I were the GM of the St. Louis Cardinals. I look at what I perceive to be the team’s weaknesses and find ways to go about reinforcing those weaknesses.
Going into this offseason, I see two main priorities for the Cardinals as they attempt to return to the World Series for the third time in four years. First, find a starting shortstop. Second, remodel the bench.
FIND A STARTING SHORTSTOP
I know it’s joked that I must be Clint Barmes’ agent, because nobody has ever campaigned harder for their team to acquire him than me. I’ve banged his drum the last couple times he’s been a free agent as I looked for ways for us to improve at shortstop. Coming off a rough year with the Pirates, Barmes still was impressive defensively at shortstop, which is enough for me. Continue reading
104 days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. For fans of 28 other teams, that coundown had already begun. For Cardinals’ fans, it begins now.
Last night the Red Sox did what they did all series long. Pulled a rabbit out of their hat.
The entire series they didn’t hit well. In fact, only David Ortiz had more hits than games that were played in the World Series. But they got the hits when they needed them. Something the Cardinals were unable to do.
In Game 4, it was Jonny Gomes (2-for-17) getting a home run. In Game 5, it was David Ross (3-for-16) getting a double. In Game 6, it was Shane Victorino (2-for-13) knocking a triple off the green monster with the bases loaded. Continue reading
Have you ever? No I’ve never! The was the reaction of the baseball world after last night’s game ending obstruction call in Game 3 of the World Series.
After throwing out the potential winning run in Yadier Molina at the plate for the second out of the bottom of the 9th, Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia saw Allen Craig advancing to third and fired off a throw. His throw went wide as third baseman Will Middlebrooks dove, trying to snag the errant throw as Craig slid safely into third base. The still injured Craig worked his way back to his feet and tripped over a still outstretched Middlebrooks. He worked his way over Middlebrooks, continued home, and was thrown out by a couple feet at home.
Extra innings, right?
Third base umpire Jim Joyce had signaled obstruction on the play when Craig tripped over Middlebrooks at third. That mean that Craig was a protected runner until he reached the next base. In this case, that was home plate for the game winning run.
Was it the way you want to end a World Series game? No. Was it the right call? Yes. Continue reading
In a turn of events that has me remembering back to Game 2 of the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was spotted last night with a foreign substance on his glove. The substance was spotted and tweeted about by Cardinals minor leaguer Tyler Melling who has since spoken with the organization and deleted the tweet (probably ordered to under threat of release).
Since then, about the only defenses for Lester being mounted are an MLB statement indicating that they have no evidence of any wrong doing (which considering the lack of research they’ve done is unsurprising) and that Melling, a high A ball pitcher who didn’t have a very good season, is a horrible baseball player and as a result isn’t worth listening to.
One Boston writer proclaimed that Major League Baseball had refuted Melling’s claims with their statement this morning, which isn’t what happened. Major League Baseball’s statement said that they couldn’t draw any conclusions from the video and that nobody on the field last night complained about it. That’s not refutation, that’s just saying there wasn’t enough information in plain sight to decide one way or the other.
But is there more to this story? There definitely appears to be. Continue reading
On Sunday night, instead of watching baseball and writing blog posts, I was busy at the hospital as my wife and I welcomed our first baby boy. Our son Micah was born on Sunday night. As you can see, I have already begun to indoctrinate him into Cardinal Nation like any good father should.
Unfortunately, he has seen more losing games than winning games since his birth. They’ve really got to work on that. I was hoping they’d reel off six straight and we could go into next year with him never having seen the Cardinals lose. Maybe next time.
But with the Cardinals leading the NLCS 3-2 over the Dodgers, I’ll pass along something I realized the other day. The Cardinals went to the World Series the year I was born (1985). The Cardinals went to the World Series the year my wife was born (1987). They went to the World Series the year we got married (2011). And this year our first son was born, could it happen?
So I hope that I will be able to resume my regular posting here shortly.