Same Song, Another Verse

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  • #183994
    SoonerinNC
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    With the Cardinal loss to Arizona today they are in their familiar position, second place behind the Brewers, three games out.

    Major culprit is again offensive inconsistency. In the first 20 games (admittedly a small sample) the Cardinals have scored 4 runs or less 11 times and worse 2 runs or less 9 times. So again it is blowout time or making anyone look like the second coming of Cy Young.

    Jeff Albert was hired 5 years ago and it has been like this most of those five years. And the story is it will take some thim for his approach to bear fruit. And it seems that woe be unto you if you disagree. First it was the “Budda” Mark Budaska who was released in mid season for disagreeing with Albert. And then Shildt, who only made the playoffs all three full years that he served and voted Manager of the Year one of those years for daring to want his own hitting coach.

    Frankly, I feel that John Mozeliak is the problem. I give him credit for landing Goldschmidt and Aranado. But has also made a number of bad deals and has loaded up the minors with less than marginal talent.

    And I am beginning to question Maddux. Too many pitching injuries.

    I was sceptical of Flores for awhile but his draft choices are emerging. Am excited about not only Gorman but also Winn, Walker, McGreevy, Grafcello, Burleson, Donovan, Pallante, Nootbar and even Thompson is doing nicely.

    This should be the final test for the International group. Their going cheap and picking up older international players has not produced results. Both MLB and Baseball America had over 20 international players in their preseason top 100 prospects. Nary a Cardinal in the group. Seemed to change strategy this time around by going more quality than quantity with the pickups of two top Latins and the Korean kid.

    Love my Cardinals and hope for the best. In spite of my disappointment with the Shildt release I am all for Ollie Marmol. And he still has Goldy hitting second.

    #184004
    1964cards
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    Yep … agree with much of what you posted sooner. I was thinking through many of the same issues this morning over my coffee. The lack of offensive production is a tad more than frustrating to me. Didn’t we witness a similar start for the offense last season. What upgrades did we make?

    Hoping for the best …

    #184006
    blingboy
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    What upgrades did we make?

    The first thing that comes to mind is we had the musical chairs in the outfield during the first part of the season. Once the OF was settled on, O’Neill and Carlson had good seasons as did Bader. This year O’Neill and Carson are having slow starts. The other thing comes to mind is we eventually saw less of Carpenter in the lineup.

    #184007
    14NyquisT
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    Sooner…. I agree with your analysis nearly 100%. Your thoughts on the team’s April is spot on as well as the FO accusations. Do we still have a GM? If so, I rarely hear about him. Maybe his strings are tangled up.

    #184008
    sjeff70
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    Of course Mo is the problem. I think you’re being overly generous in your assessment of him. We have to ask ourselves why, or more importantly how, Nitwit (Dewitt) is okay with this product? I think Nitwit is more interested in making money than winning championships and Mo is helping him do that. You don’t have to win championships to be successful. It’s about being competitive to put fans in the seats and having an aggressive marketing campaign = VALUE.

    You could have the best hitting coach in the world but if you don’t have the talent… I have to think that any batting coach worth a grain of salt would advise hitters to hit to all fields, take 2 strike approaches, and if you can’t catch up to a fastball sit on off-speed. These are things that aren’t being done on a consistent basis and some of them aren’t being done at all.

    Anyone tired of Dan spouting off stats during the entire broadcast, every broadcast?

    #184016
    gscottar
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    Overall I am not a big fan of our front office either although they probably operate under the parameters they are given from above. They are pretty good at drafting, developing, and selling tickets but their inability to make wise contract extensions and their overall lack of aggressiveness holds us back. I understand that spending big doesn’t always solve problems but we could do a better job of knowing when to be aggressive.

    I would say that the best front office in MLB right now is Farhan Zaidi and the Giants. They are a big market club yet their current payroll is exactly the same as the Cardinals. They aren’t tied down to any long term contracts so they remain flexible. They also don’t have any superstars on their roster yet they won 107 games last year and are in first place again this year.

    How do they do it? I really don’t know. They seem to have this uncanny ability to sign slightly above average veterans to short term contracts and have them play way above their heads. It is really amazing and I wish we could emulate it.

    #184039
    Onyxgem
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    Lets be honest the offense wasn’t that good last year either and they made no big upgrades what did they think was going to happen….the worst thing for the franchise last year was that long winning streak it made this year a year to do no upgrades at all

    #184080
    sjeff70
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    Good point, Onyxgem; I couldn’t agree more. Fans would have looked at Shildt differently too had the streak not happened.

    #184110
    kscardfan
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    A storied franchise like this deserves more attention than they are given. A Team that rakes in 3 mil + fans per year. A franchise that is Valued at 2.2 Billion, 7th in MLB. A payroll that is 12th in MLB. It has been apparent for at least three years now that this OF was not good at all offensively. I’m gonna use Nick Castellanos, one of the Top FA ofer’s as an example here. He signed a contract for 20 Mil per. The Cards signed Corey Dickerson for 17.5 Mil. Are you kidding me. 2.5 Mil to upgrade an OF that doesn’t have a consistent hitter in the bunch. Still would have been 12th in payroll. (That’s on mo). Instead what do they have for a 4th of’er? Nootbar? I like Lars but please. Adding a Castellanos would have not only immediately made the offense better, but would have pushed the three we have to get better. Who were they nervous about losing their jobs to? Lars, Dickerson? After the way Dejong has been in the lineup daily I doubt the OF’ers are nervous? An OF that is 19th in payroll. (That has to be on mo). Speaking of Dejong who gave that bad extension? Same as the guy that extended Carp? (Again it is on mo). This team reeks of the 70’s teams. Keep enough talent around that the loyal fans don’t grumble too much. (The problem is mo). He doesn’t deserve a Capital letter and the Team deserves better than what he gives. Been watching since the days of Stan. mo reminds me of the contract Steve Carlton didn’t get.

    #184112
    LACardFan
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    Dickerson signed for $5 million

    #184113
    kscardfan
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    I stand corrected. So if you add 15 Mil instead of the 2.5 mil I incorrectly stated, the Cards would be 11th in Payroll. By about a Million.

    #184114
    1982 willie
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    Well a really good offensive outfielder might have helped but I wouldn’t want it to be castellanos. I wouldn’t pay him five dollars and he doesn’t rate to be a cardinal. We will see how the season shakes out

    #184115
    kscardfan
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    Might have helped? You are fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

    #184116
    blingboy
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    I would not draw any sweeping conclusions yet. The corner outfielders do not have too much track record, but what they have is good. (Of course, the same could be said of DeJong at the same point in his career) But opponents had the offseason to devise pitching/defensive strategies to use against them, and now we will see if the youngsters and their organizational resources can adjust and counter that. Goldschmidt will turn 35 this season and Yadi will turn 40. Both should be expected to decline but we don’t know by how much.

    On the pitching side, it is all about health. There is nothing behind what is in STL, at least right now.

    #184118
    Brian Walton
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    #184176
    bicyclemike
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    Some thoughts. The Giants don’t surprise me. A couple of years I go I did an analysis of the financial status of all 30 teams, and the Giants were #1. They are positioned strong from a financial standpoint, good cash flow, fabulous balance sheet, solid market, and have not over-extended themselves. A very well run organization. So different from some 40 years ago when rumors had them moving.

    As for our club, I think we will be just fine and will win the division. We have some talented players who should have their career years either this or next season, namely Bader, O’Neill and perhaps Edman. Carlson should keep improving, but is probably a few years from his peak. Arenado and Goldschmidt are proven commodities who while they likely won’t be at their peak value, should still be well above replacement.

    Yadi looks to be aging quite a bit, but the season is still young. DeJong is the weak link, with a downward trend that is not likely to reverse. If the others can carry the load on offense, we can survive with low performances at catcher and shortstop as long as the defense is there. But there will be pressure on a decision to either play Sosa and see if he can give us what he did last year, and maybe more, or possibly bring in Gorman and see if Edman can handle short every day with decent defense.

    Overall I am not too concerned about the offense, although we have had some droughts already. They should be better than what we have seen though. Pitching is always a concern. Management did a good job bringing in Matz, and filling the bullpen with low cost, good production guys rather than signing a Brett Cecil type. Need to avoid any more big injuries though, as we have already taken a hit not having Flaherty or Reyes in the mix.

    Defensively we are terrific. Great infield, solid up the middle, strong outfield. You got three outfielders who can play center if needed. That says a lot about our defense and athleticism.

    Time will tell obviously, but I see this club as being right there when we get to mid-September.

    #184183
    Brian Walton
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    #184326
    sjeff70
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    For the Cards to win the division the Brewers would have to have many injuries. I just don’t see the Cardinals winning 90 games.

    Don’t pay attention to the aggressive marketing schemes (extremely deceptive like commercials); make your own assessments, objectively.

    Honestly, if your CEO doesn’t have winning as a priority you’re not going to win.

    #185028
    Brian Walton
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    Rob Rains is calling for Jeff Albert to be fired.

    #185031
    gscottar
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    Wow, Rob Rains is bringing the heat! Thanks for sharing Brian. He has a whole list of grievances:

    Edman and/or Donovan should be the everyday SS.

    Sosa shouldn’t be an everyday player.

    Gorman should be called up immediately to play 2B and get ab’s at DH.

    Dickerson should be removed from the roster.

    Jeff Albert should be fired.

    Here are a few edited quotes:

    The Cardinals may not want to move Gold Glove second baseman Tommy Edman to shortstop. They may not want to promote Nolan Gorman from Memphis. They may not want to make a change with their golden-boy hitting coach, Jeff Albert. They may soon have no choice but to make all of those changes – and a few more.”

    “Even if DeJong was still playing shortstop, and playing well, it’s time to admit the signing of Corey Dickerson was a $5 million mistake. The timing of the Dickerson signing in spring training made no sense from the beginning. If they can drop DeJong then Dickerson should go too. Performance matters, right?”

    “Firing Albert, of course, would be an admission by John Mozeliak and his analytic-loving lieutenants that they made a mistake, which they hate to do. This time, however, they may have no choice. Performance matters. Or does it? We will soon find out.

    #185085
    sjeff70
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    A desire to win requires a sense of urgency. I don’t see any urgency whatsoever.

    #185086
    jj-cf-stl
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    “Sosa shouldn’t be an everyday player”

    How do you get there when Sosa’s mlb sample size is so small?

    #185096
    1964cards
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    I cannot argue with many of the points made by Rains. One could argue that the approach the Front Office took to build this line up was fairly risky. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

    – One could argue that Jeff Albert should have been out the door at least one year ago. His results have not been overly impressive.
    – One could argue that PDJ should never have been the prime path at short. His offensive drop off has been well documented. Expecting him to turn things around was a huge risk. They should have pursued a free agent or given another internal candidate the job out of the chute. I feel they stuck with PDJ because of his contract.
    – One could argue they bet too much on the “reunion tour gang” to deliver results. This has not worked out so well to this point. Maybe things will turn around, but age is a real factor here and cannot be ignored.
    – Dickerson has been as disappointment as well. How many plate appearances do you give him before you cut strings? 100? 150? 200?

    #185099
    858booyah
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    If Dickerson doesn’t turn it around it’ll be around July when they cut him loose.

    DeJong is a terrible example. They gave him all the time in the world and Honestly I think I’d have a little more faith that Dickerson pulls out of his funk than DeJong ever OPSing .700 ever again at the ML level.

    I’d Honestly dump VerHagen next before anyone. He’s a bum! With us having Woodford there’s no reason to have signed him. He’s slow to the plate and has trouble throwing strikes in his role. He could be better as a starter but I’m doubting it.

    #185108
    TexasCard
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    I know the season is just a month and a half old and lots of baseball is left to play, but…

    Other than the names of the jerseys what is really different about the 2022 Cardinals than any of the teams over the past decade? It’s the same boring crap and short on required talent to compete at the highest level. Sure they win their share of games and with a second wildcard have a better than average chance to make the playoffs for a short appearance.

    But seriously, what is different? Are they in this thing to win it or not? I will always be a fan of the Cardinals win or lose. However, it sure would be good to see them make some actual rosters moves and coaching too that matter. Anyone paying attention knew they needed front line starting pitching. They played the margins as they often do. Everyone knew they needed a legit shortstop and this was the best shortstop market in years. The position could have been solidified for the next several years and they had the money to spend and failed. Outright failed.

    At some point they have to remove the broken record and try something new or we will be still watching the same rodeo over and over hoping for different outcomes that never materialize. But hey they’ve won a lot of games over the years with this formula but they haven’t won anything in the postseason in 10 seasons and counting. Buckle up not much will change other than a name or two on the back of the jersey changing one washed up or marginal player for another for a rinse and repeat.

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