StL 2019 Game 50 thread: Fri 5/24 vs. Braves

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This topic contains 69 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by Avatar gscottar 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #91723
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    gscottar
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    Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, and Red Sox have all built teams to last. They have all been big winners the last few years and look to continue that into the foreseeable future.

    The Brewers and Phillies are looking to move into that territory and the Rays and Twins might be more than one hit wonders.

    The Cardinals aren’t on par with any of those teams yet.

    #91755
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    Minuteman3
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    “MM3, with all due respect (seriously, not sarcastically), I do live here, and no it doesn’t. On average, Cards games have 95%+ attendance, and they trailed only the Dodgers and Yankees in total attendance for 2018 with 3.4M. Cubs follow as #4.”

    I think I failed to convey my message in my post. What I am saying is that one time out-of-town visitors looking forward to attending a Cards game with their family may have second thoughts after reading one or more headlines like the one I quoted. In this day and age, safety is becoming paramount and not something that can be assumed. When I was being raised in New Orleans I knew the turf and knew where and where not to go. I was a street smart kid because I was a kid of the streets but that was many moons ago and I would hesitate to visit any city with a reputation like Chicago, New Orleans or St Louis unless I was pretty well educated on when and where to go that would give me the least chance of being robbed, attacked or murdered. I don’t know any of that about St Louis so my only visits have been at 70mph on I-44, 55 or 70.
    Only yesterday I was talking to my neighbor who went to a game a couple of years ago and stayed at a hotel near the stadium and had a great time until he returned to his car in the ’24 hour camera surveilled’ parking lot only to find it smashed up and robbed of every valuable in it. He thought he knew his way around having been there twice but at least he wasn’t attacked personally.
    I still want to go to a game at Busch but need to find a tour group that delivers you right to the stadium and picks you up after the game. I know they exist but at the moment I am not medically ready for the trip.

    #91758
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    forsch31
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    So you want the Cardinals to be like those teams. Let’s look at how those teams have been made.

    Boston – in the top 3 in spending on salary for 11 of the last 15 years. The other 4 years they were in the top 6. Also, they have had a losing record in 3 of the last 7 years. Some of their keys players are either amateur free agents that they spent a lot of money on, major league free agents that they outbid other teams for (Price), or draft picks that were made in positions that the Cardinals couldn’t pick the player.

    Chicago – had a losing record in each season from 2010-2014, including 101 losses in 2012. Their payroll was 3rd most in 2009 and dropped to 20th in 2014 before slowly climbing back to 5th last year. 4 of their key position players were drafted in the top 11 players in a draft over the last 10 or so years. They have signed a few major league free agents by outbidding other teams. They will have some key players that will be getting some raises in the next few years.

    Houston – 6 straight years of a losing record from 2009-2014, including 3 straight years of 100+ losses. 2 of their biggest stars were drafted in the first 2 overall picks of the draft. Another was drafted 11th overall. They used other high ranked talent to acquire other key pieces. Their payroll was 30th in 2013 and was up to 7th last year. They still have some players that will be due for some raises shortly.

    Los Angeles – haven’t had a losing season since 2010. They have done a good job drafting. Only Kershaw and Seager weren’t able to be drafted by the Cardinals. They have been in the top 2 in salary from 2013-2017 before falling to 4th last year. They will also some players due for big pay raises in the next couple of years.

    Yankees – they had a payroll over $200 million every year from 2005 to 2017 before finally falling to just under $200 million in 2018 (4th). They can afford to throw money at players or pay players to just go away. They have made some shrewd deals that have paid off. They traded Chapman for Torres and then re-signed Chapman in free agency. They also were able to acquire Stanton after the Cardinals had a deal for him turned down by Stanton.

    Brewers – from 2012-2016, they had 3 losing seasons and 2 seasons that they were no more than 4 games over .500. A lot of their success is built on the trade for Yelich who supposedly wasn’t on the market until after the Cardinals acquired Ozuna.

    Phillies – 7 straight years of .500 or less records including 3 with 90 or more losses.

    Minnesota – 7 of the last 9 years with a record less than .500.

    It looks to me like the key is to go through a prolonged period of losing so that you can rebuild a strong team for a couple of years. OR, spend money like it grows on trees to lure high priced talent.

    #91759
    stlcard25
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    Cubs, Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, and Red Sox have all built teams to last. They have all been big winners the last few years and look to continue that into the foreseeable future.

    The Brewers and Phillies are looking to move into that territory and the Rays and Twins might be more than one hit wonders.

    The Cardinals aren’t on par with any of those teams yet.

    To be fair, there i$$$$$$ a huge difference between most of those teams and St Louis. The upper tier plus Philadelphia have staying power due to huge markets, and I can guarantee the Brewers, Rays and Twins will be back in a down cycle before long.

    Right now we are seeing the fruit of the “contend every year without ever tanking or truly going all in” mentality of the FO. If you hit on a few exceptional talents in house (such as Pujols, Yadi and Waino) then you can afford to not take many risks and still be World Series contenders. If those “hits” turn out more like Carpenters, Cmarts and Flahertys then you look like 85-90 wins and an outside shot at a Wild Card yearly.

    I don’t foresee this changing anytime soon so it will really depend on talent evaluation and development. If Nolan Gorman looks like Nolan Arenado in 3 years and Nunez or Montero become a stud hitter as well, then maybe they become a top dog. If they miss on that and struggle to get hold of any fresh pitching prowess, then it’s possible they slide into 80ish win range for a while. Such is life in a small market.

    #91760
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    gscottar
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    These points have some validity and they have been made numerous times in the past however I contend:

    1. The Cardinals could spend like those teams if they wanted to. They choose not to. Some people view that as wise and some don’t. The point is that this organization is always sitting on dry powder. We are not a small market team in reality. That is a myth. Yes I know what the population of St. Louis is but we all know their market is much bigger than the city limits. Their attendance and tv ratings alone illustrate that. A couple of years ago Forbes ranked the Cardinals the most profitable team in MLB.

    2. As I pointed out in a different thread a couple of days ago, a complete tear down like the Cubs and Astros did is not necessary. I outlined how the Yankees did a mini rebuild in 2016 and then were winners again shortly thereafter. I think that could happen here too.

    If our only chance of success is to build slightly above average teams then hope and pray we land on a once in a generation talent then that sounds like a bleak outlook to me. And I remind you that the level of competition has changed in our division. For most of the last 50 years (except for a period in the 70’s and early 90’s) we have been able to win our division on a regular basis by just being the superior team. That is no longer the case. The Cubs have been better than us the last 4 years and they are again this year. In fact I would argue they are a dominant closer away from being a World Series team, and I have no doubt they will get one before the deadline. We have failed to stand up to the Cubs and they are continue to knock us around until we choose a different path.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Avatar gscottar.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #91768
    Brian Walton
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    gscottar, I agree with most of your comments, but not this one:

    “We have failed to stand up to the Cubs and they are continue to knock us around until we choose a different path.”

    2018: St. Louis 10 wins, Cubs 9
    2019: 0-3, but 16 games to go.

    Focusing on what happened three years ago and more is not all that relevant to today. The teams are different.

    As far which franchises are models, I clearly see it differently. If the Dodgers formula is so great, why do they spend tens of millions more every season and still fall short every time? They haven’t won the World Series in over 30 years! The Cubs have one, the Astros have one, the Yankees have one since 2000 and none in the last 10 years, etc…

    If only there was a magic formula.

    P.S. As these discussions usually do, it can come down to how one defines “success”.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Brian Walton Brian Walton.
    #91779
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    gscottar
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    The Dodgers being labeled as a big spending team is actually kind of misleading. Yes their payrolls have been huge the last few years but most of that is due to pre-Friedman spending. Since he took over the front office their payrolls have come down every year and more money is coming off the books this year. He is a small market executive that just happened to have inherited a big market payroll. Other than internal extensions their biggest FA splurge has been Pollock.

    The Yankees are not the free wheeling big spenders they were under George Steinbrenner. His sons along with Brian Cashman are much more in tune with analytics and targeted spending. Do you think George would have intentionally stayed under the salary cap like the Yanks are doing now? Nope.

    And this notion that the Cubs got their great players from tanking and drafting is not true either. They got some of them that way but a lot of their players came from shrewd trades and FA’s.

    I agree there is no magic formula to building winning teams but I am saying that relying on our old tried and true methods are not as effective as they used to be because the landscape of the division has changed.

    I also don’t take much comfort in our 10-9 series win against the Cubs in 2018. Time and time again over the last 4 years when the pressure is really on we wilt against them. Our nosedive this year just seemed to coincide with their sweep of us at Wrigley. Coincidence?

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 4 weeks ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #91859
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    forsch31
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    The Dodgers are the only team that I would reasonably say the Cardinals should be more like. They seem to have done a better job of identifying the good talent. However, they are still a big market team that spent as much as $291 million in 2015. They were at $253 million in 2017.

    The Yankees had a payroll of $243 million in 2016. If they weren’t a big market team that is able to withstand high payrolls, they wouldn’t have been able to rebuild quite so fast. It also helps that couple of things have went their way. Stanton agreed to go there instead of St. Louis. Voit ends up being a very good player for them. I can’t recall any scout raving about him before going to New York. The Chapman trade to the Cubs and then re-signing with the Yankees helped a lot.

    I am not going to say that Epstein is not a good trader. He has done a good job of making some trades to make the Cubs very good. However, if you remove Bryant, Baez, Almora, Schwarber and Happ, who were all top 10 overall picks, and replace them with lesser players, what do you have then? After all, the Cardinals have not had a top 10 pick in the draft in forever.

    I think the Cardinals should eat a contract like Cecil’s more often and move on to better players. Admit that they can get a better overall player than Fowler and then do it. However, that is easier to say than to actually accomplish. We need to sign Keuchel but not for 5+ years or trade a few prospects for Bumgarner. Wacha and Hudson need to be out of the rotation. Webb needs replaced on the roster.

    It still remains that the teams that were named have done things that are unacceptable to the Cardinals, losing or high spending.

    #91883
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    gscottar
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    The Dodgers had a payroll of $271M in 2015. They currently have $112M in obligations for 2020.
    The Yankees had a payroll of $225M in 2016. They currently have $159M in obligations for 2020.
    Those two teams are much more disciplined now. They use all avenues to build a team including internally.

    Yes the Cubs had great draft picks but where would they have been without Lester, Arrieta, Rizzo, Chapman, Davis, Zobrist, Russell, Quintana, and Hamels? Heyward and Darvish were also not drafted by them but have had mixed results.

    The point is that all avenues have to be open to build a team: drafting and developing, trades, and free agency. You have to know when to be aggressive and when to be disciplined. I don’t buy the argument that we don’t have the financial resources to play with the big boys. We just need to make better decisions.

    #91888
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    forsch31
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    BTW, my payroll figures come from Cot’s and they are the year end figures.

    You can say those teams have those obligations for 2020 but if you consider having to fill out a 25 man roster, arbitration and options, those figures jump a lot. For example, baseball reference estimates the Yankees payroll for 2020 at $201 million. The Dodgers are estimated at $173.7 million but if I understand it correctly, it assumes not re-signing Hill and Ryu.

    Who cares what the other Cubs players bring or brought to the team. The point remains that they have acquired a key portion of their team by LOSING. If they had been a winning team, they wouldn’t have acquired those players I mentioned earlier. The Cardinals have been a winning team.

    We may have financial resources in reserve but I don’t think they have $75 million a year in reserve to equal the big market teams.

    #91890
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    gscottar
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    The Cardinals could have a larger payroll than the Dodgers next year, so there goes that old tired argument.

    The Cardinals have been a winning team the last few years if you strictly want to consider winning %, but if you want to look at playoff wins and championships, then not so much. Are we still clinging to 2011 and 2013? I would rather compete for championships than trying to run down a wild card spot.

    I don’t have access to the Cardinals financial books but is my opinion they could spend up to the luxury tax line and still be profitable. Goold has made that assertion in the past also.

    #91891
    Brian Walton
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    If some Cardinals fans are clinging to 2011, then Dodgers fans are clinging onto 1988. I don’t care how good they supposedly are. They haven’t won the World Series since Whitey Herzog was managing. Until they win titles, they are not any more than an expensive disappointment in my eyes.

    And if you are willing to lower the sights to playoffs, the Cardinals were better at that than the Dodgers until 2016. The last three years have been down for sure, but I am not convinced trying to be like LA is the answer – unless you like spending a lot to still be disappointed in October.

    Making better decisions is more important than spending more money. Easy to say, hard to do.

    #91892
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    gscottar
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    If you look at the Cardinals way of doing things over the last 50 years you would have to say they have been successful. If you want to narrow it down to the DeWitt era you would also have to say they have been successful, at least overall.

    However, if you want to narrow it down further say since 2014 or 2015 then the narrative begins to change. Just because a certain system has worked in the past does not mean it will work in the present or in the future. Things change. I would argue that the NL Central is immensely more difficult now than it was 10-15 years ago. Perhaps a “steady as she goes” approach is not the answer any longer. I’m not saying I have all of the answers but I am trying to understand why some are willing to defend using the same approach over and over even if it is no longer producing the desired results.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #91895
    Brian Walton
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    I wonder how the Dodgers would fare if they had to play in a tougher division. It might help explain their October failings.

    On the Cardinals’ business approach, it is easy to say there should be changes, but what should they be? It is not going to be as simple as spending more money.

    As long as 3.4 million fans keep showing up every season, I wonder why DeWitt would want to make major changes. They can do enough each winter to re-kindle optimism. A simple return to the post-season might be enough for them to justify maintaining the status quo. As bad as it has been lately, three more wins and they would be a wild card.

    The next four months will be very interesting…

    #91898
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    gscottar
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    If making money is Dewitt’s number one objective then he shouldn’t change anything.

    As for the Dodgers they have won six consecutive division titles and two consecutive NL pennants, and reduced payroll the last couple of years. That doesn’t sound like a bad organization to emulate unless we are now saying that anything less than a World Series championship is a failure.

    #91899
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    forsch31
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    So, if the Cardinals make the playoffs this year, does that make their way of doing things OK?

    Also, the Dodgers have lowered their payroll to the same level as the Cardinals. How are the Cardinals supposed to lower their payroll to the same level and improve?

    #91900
    Brian Walton
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    What is “OK” and not OK is a personal decision. But all the tough talk is meaningless unless unhappy fans vote with their spending (and watching = ratings). To date, there does not seem to be evidence of significant change. Then again, the happy days of a 20-10 team were not very long ago – May 1 to be specific.

    #91901
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    NJ315
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    They are always close to the wild card. I just disagree with some of their processes and decisions. For example why not conduct a manager search? Interview a few people including Shildt. The result might have been the same that Shildt got the job. But what was the hurry? Why not talk to other candidates and see what they had to offer? I am not questioning the result just the process. Another question why extent Mikolas so soon? I get that it might have cost more money if he had another great season but was the risk of that higher than waiting in case he didn’t? Goldy’s extension made sense Mikolas didn’t.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatar NJ315.
    #91903
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    forsch31
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    NJ, I agree with that sentiment. I feel the Cardinals have went through a period of time recently where they are reacting to what has went on rather than being proactive.

    I strongly disagree with the thought that all these teams that are now winning, have done so by doing things that are acceptable to fans (losing) or able to be done by the Cardinals (going over the luxury tax threshold).

    Improvements need to be made. Starting pitching needs to get better. The FO needs to do a better job on trades.

    #91904
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    gscottar
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    Forsch, I would answer your question with a yes. I would be happy with a playoff spot every year even if doesn’t result in a championship. The playoffs can be fluky but we should do everything possible to at least get there and see what happens. To me any season without playoffs is a failure.

    The Braves back in the day won their division around 15 years in a row but only one World Series championship. Most would consider that era a success for them.

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