Folks: Joe is running about 15 minutes late. He'll be here ASAP. Thanks for your patience.
OK, folks. I'm here at an undisclosed location to talk all things sports. The angst level is decidedly lower than a week ago at this time. Coincidentally, traffic is lighter. All the better for having your interrogative addressed by the ChatMeister. This may be a somewhat briefer chat than the typical marathon. We'll call it a Fun Run. Still, no boogy boarders allowed. Only legitimate long boards as we climb the big wave. At this point, I'll stop testing your patience.
Lou Piniella got traded from Seattle to Tampa Bay, I believe. It can happen. Piniella wanted the trade to occur as his tenure with the M's had begun to turn for the worse and Tampa was his hometown.
It's an easy second-guess. Craig wanted and wants to play. Recall he played productively with a fractured kneecap in 2011 and might have been World Series MVP if not for David Freese's heroics. If the Cardinals had a productive alternative, maybe the situation would have been different. Allen is also sharp enough to read tea leaves at least as well as fans and media. The club was attempting to fit Adams, Craig and Taveras into positions. Eventually something was going to give. Craig didn't want it to be him. The combination of his health, his production and his contract made him the point of least resistance. There may be debate about whether his foot caused his ebb in production of if it was bad habits resulting from the issue. Regardless, Craig's numbers stoked Mo's desire to find a taker for him. As stated in today's column, I don't see the benefit of an also-ran jamming him back into the lineup after he suffered an additional injury to the same foot. We'll see.
Who would ever want to leave Baseball Heaven? Seriously, both players were drafted and developed by the club. They graduated with many of their Cardinal teammates from player development. As Allen said yesterday, they are lifetime relationships fortified by on-field success. I would never lampoon these guys for genuine emotion. I recall Mike Matheny once telling me the game's mobility makes it easy to look upon teammates as associates but rare to see them as lasting friends. Kelly and Craig counted many friends within the clubhouse.
I see the Cardinals as very well positioned to make a run. Their competition did little. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are degraded by injury. The Brewers are suspect in middle relief and prone to an offensive regression. I don't believe it's going to take 90 wins to claim the NLc.
No, I can't. It's not my story. But like you I anticipate another shoe is about to drop.
I would project Joe as a No. 4 on a good team. I don't see him as a 200-inning pitcher but I may be biased because of his use as a utility arm here. One thing is certain: The Red Sox see him only as a starter. I wouldn't expect a swing role in Boston barring a collapse in performance.
The Cardinals' blueprint would suggest folding next year into a short-term extension. If I'm the player, I retire before I pitch for 500K with Lackey's resume. I suspect assurances were given both ways prior to last Thursday's trade. Incentives could also be attached if the Cardinals are squeamish about an extension. If you're Lackey, it's tough to make such demands before you've even thrown a pitch for a new club. Success may change the equation.
I've been consumed with Cardinals lately so I regretfully say I can't offer a first-hand impression based on anything other than OTA's, which is to say I don't have much. I've yet to speak to anyone unimpressed by the vibe in Earth City. If they can keep their medical sheet relatively clean, I'm bullish on them to craft at least a break-even, perhaps a 9-win season. Bradford is a huge variable and I don't think it possible to judge him until large, angry men are in pursuit of him with the clock running.
Pham is an interesting name. He's playing pretty well at AAA. He's an athlete but he's had problems staying healthy. Grichuk appears to be a favored son since he arrived in the Freese deal. He possesses power but is somewhat raw at the plate. There remains a logjam in the OF. Typically, a surplus offers grist for trade. Ask James Ramsey..
Well, we do like our mythology in The 314. I thought using Molina's absence last season as rationalizing a vote for him as MVP a bit of a stretch. However, some who's judgment I trust held that belief. I share the belief that Molina is the division's most indispensable player. The Pittsburgh Pirates may challenge that re: McCutchen. It's fairly obvious opponents have dialed up the running game in Molina's absence. Pierzynski is the game's active leader in games caught. He knows how to run a game. That shouldn't be glossed over for all the talk of him as an instigator or a guy into his own numbers. He's also a LH bat who can give Matheny another option off the bench upon Molina's return. It's the BFIB's right to become emotional about their heroes. It's my opinion that it's the media's responsibility to balance that with perspective. I don't see benefit in ranking injuries. The Lackey move softens the Wacha loss for the time being.
I tend to think so. His inability to play other positions may complicate the equation. But I can see him remaining here beyond his current contract. Of course, the club has significant input on the answer.
I don't see AJ as a negative. Certainly not short-term. A team can put up with anybody for 2 months as long as he produces. AJ has an obvious role here.
There may be a column on the way about this, so I won't give away the story here. The NFL isn't as deep into advanced metrics as MLB. It's more of a team sport so the division of responsibilities is tougher to ascertain. I do believe, like MLB 20 years or so ago, the NFL will continue to tailor advanced metrics. Kevin Demoff is intrigued.
I have questions on defense and receiver. MU was a dynamic defensive team last year. There might be some erosion this year. I think Mauk will be a positive. Vegas has set the O/U for Truman wins at 7.5. Maybe I'm influenced by the Tigers serving as spread monsters last season but I'm bullish on the over in '14.
I 've always thought the job Manfred's to lose. If the owners plan to endorse a candidate by month's end and Manfred already has 20 of 24 votes necessary for selection, I like his chances. Bud has backed his candidacy.
Yes. I don't know about the role.
This club is eternally positioned to go deep-sea fishing. It's swimming in cash and it's cash flow is only going to broaden.
His average is not gaudy. Far from it. But Robinson offers versatility. You're spot on re: his role in last night's win. He came pretty close to a threejack in last night's eighth.
I would suspect he's in play.