bicyclemike

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  • in reply to: 2020 Spring Training Game(s) Thread #123533
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Saw that Cecil took the loss, although did not see or hear anything regarding the game. Is it the same old Brett – possibly the worst free agent signing in Cardinal history?

    in reply to: Outfield Dilemma … #123211
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    If Williams crowds his way into the picture, I love the problem we have.

    In talking about O’Neill and Pham with speed, I should have clarified. I do not see O’Neill as being the base runner Tommy is. Pham will steal you a base 25 times a year. Not sure Ty will do that.

    in reply to: Outfield Dilemma … #123127
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    If O’Neill stays healthy, he should be able to increase his contact rate and hit for power. Tommy Pham was similar. He was striking out at an alarming rate early in the majors because he was playing sparingly, and tended to be injured a lot.

    O’Neill reminds me some of Pham, with more power but less speed. Just needs the reps, which hopefully come if he is healthy.

    in reply to: Outfield Dilemma … #123077
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    The one thing about comparing players of different eras you can say is that the stars of yesterday would star today, and vice versa. If a guy was 10% better than league average in 1950, he would be that in 2020.

    The greatest of the great would be great no matter what the era. There are a few examples that show that. Ted Williams was great in the late 1930s, and was great in the late 1950s. Stan was great in the ‘40s, and still had enough to pull the ball for a single in his very last at bat against the hard-throwing Jim Maloney in 1963.

    The game has changed. Williams and Musial would strike out more today, but they would be the Mike Trout’s of baseball today if we could warp time in some manner and have them born some 60-70 years later. Likewise Trout would be the Babe Ruth/Jimmie Foxx of the ‘20s and ‘30s.

    Although you cannot truly find a comparable Babe. He may never be duplicated – he started out as a Randy Johnson/Steve Carlton type and transformed into a Barry Bonds.

    in reply to: Former Cardinals in the News #123012
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    With names being thrown around like Garlic(k), Martini, and Cingrani, I am getting craving for a nice spaghetti dinner. 🙂

    in reply to: Kolten Wong’s role and growth #122771
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    I have always liked Wong, since the day the club drafted him. He had the tools to be an excellent player at a key defensive position, and has grown into the role quite well.

    I pegged him as our future lead-off hitter a few years back, but batting second is probably more appropriate at this point. His tenure on the club now puts him in a leadership position. He should build on last year and continue to be one of the best players on the team. Him and DeJong could end up being one of the best keystone combo’s the organization has ever had.

    in reply to: MLB announces pace of play changes #122668
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Cranny – the strategy in a DH league is in watching your pitcher even moreso than in a non-DH game. Jim Leyland, who managed in both leagues, said that it is actually tougher to manage in the AL because you never have that automatic pull-the-pitcher situation come up. So you and your pitching coach have to always be on guard and thinking “Do I send him back out there this inning, or go with a fresh arm”.

    With the pitcher batting, the decision is often made for you. It’s a trade-off, as there are certainly times where your pitcher is going good in a close game, and then he comes up in a situation where a hit would mean a couple of runs. So you do not necessarily have that decision, although still you may encounter that in a DH game where perhaps a left-right advantage is an option.

    There is plenty to question in both types of play. Personally in all sports I like the old style, where guys were more versatile. I liked it in football when the kicker was often also a position player. But sports naturally evolve into specialization. It’s a fact of life.

    in reply to: MLB announces pace of play changes #122554
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Great clarification stlcard25 – for some reason I was thinking it was a 3-out rule. 3 batters is not a big deal.

    But again, all the gimmicks to speed up the game are not needed if they just kept the hitters in the box. This whole routine hitters go through stepping out of the box has had the most impact by far in extending games. I also think, although do not know for sure, that more foul balls are hit today than in the past.

    With pitchers pretty much all fastball-slider guys today, and hitters mostly looking to hit home runs, I think that leads to fouling off more pitches. It certainly seems that way.

    Lastly, the modern theory on hitting is to work deep into the count. So guys also tend to let more hittable pitches go by early in the count. Matt Carpenter is a prime example of this.

    But still – make a rule that hitters have to stay in the box for say the first four pitches, unless they have a problem of some sort (dust in the eyes and that sort of thing). If the AB goes longer, maybe allow two step-outs from then until the plate appearance is over. None of this Skip Schumacher-step out every pitch-undo and redo the batting gloves-pause-step in routine.

    in reply to: Brad Miller Signing #122451
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    Nice lefty bat off the bench. Pay no attention to his PH numbers from a year ago. Guys will be a roller coaster year to year in PH roles. What you did last year means nothing for this year.

    I have liked Munoz’ bat the last couple of years. Looks like there is potential stardom there as a hitter with regular time. The problem is his defense is bad, so tough to go with him everyday. Seems like an AL guy who will end up being a first baseman in the latter part of his career.

    in reply to: Mets are a mess #122450
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Met Keith Hernandez at that Tristar show last Sunday. Couldn’t talk too long as people were waiting for his autograph. I had on a retro-style Cardinal shirt that pays homage to the 1926 team, and right away Hernandez goes “I like that shirt”.

    I told him “We gotta get you in the Cardinals Hall of Fame”. He mentioned that he was up for it again this year. I said I will do what I can on social media for him, and then said “You should have been in there before McGwire”. He just shrugged as if to say “What can you do?”.

    I asked what he thought of Ted Simmons getting voted into the baseball HOF, had he said “I think it’s great”.

    Good guy. Deserves to be in our Hall so get out and vote for him people!

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by bicyclemikebicyclemike.
    in reply to: “October 1964” by David Halbersham #121848
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    Sure thing Boyer. Also another minor correction – the author is David Halberstam, with a “t”. He wrote several good books on history, not all of them sports related.

    Not sure of the exact dates, but Frank Lane was brought in as the Cardinals GM around 1956 or so, and stayed a couple of years. Then Bing Devine was promoted to the job, with his first deal being acquiring Curt Flood from the Reds system.

    At that time Branch Rickey had left the Pirates, and was working with investors to create a third major league, the Continental League, when the owners balked at expansion. Eventually expansion plans were finalized, and around ‘61-62 Rickey returned to the Cardinals in that advisory role, which as I stated sort of watered down Devine’s job. There was quite a lot of friction between the two.

    I believe Rickey left after the ‘63 season.

    in reply to: “October 1964” by David Halbersham #121799
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    This book is a great read, although it has been at least 10 years and probably more since I read it.

    Long time Yankee GM George Weiss was indeed a tough nut to crack for the players, and would keep salaries down as much as he could.

    Devine hated it when Rickey returned to the Cardinals as a special advisor. However, Boyer14 is mixing up Frank “Trader” Lane and Branch Rickey. It was Lane who wanted to deal Musial, and did trade Schoendienst. Lane was GM around the 1956-1958 time frame, with Bing taking over in ‘58 I believe.

    The Cardinals dealt Red to the Giants when it appeared Don Blasingame was ready to take over second base.

    But Rickey did occasionally disagree on deals Bing wanted to make. The deal that brought Dick Groat over from Pittsburgh for young Julio Gotay, with others involved, was one Rickey would not have made. In hindsight, the Cardinal probably do not win 93 games in ‘63 and ‘64 without Groat.

    in reply to: David Price Trade Thread #121520
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    One of those mistakes James is talking about is likely when they came in with an overwhelming offer to David Price, when it looked like our club might sign him. Boston way over paid for Price, and now are sending him with Mookie out west.

    in reply to: Cubs thread #121421
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    I always thought Illinois was 50/50 Cardinals and Cubs. Surprises me that maybe the Mets or Yankees are not the most hated team in the Land of Lincoln, or maybe the Brewers.

    in reply to: Mets are a mess #121420
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    On that call of their last game, Keith just puts his head in his hands and does not say anything. You can tell he’s thinking “Is this what it has gotten to – we go crazy over a meaningless win?”

    I am actually meeting Keith briefly this weekend at an autograph session in Houston. But I am going to say anything about the Mets. Instead I am going to get his reaction to Ted Simmons’ HOF induction.

    in reply to: Nolan Arenado trade thread #121272
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    The difference in the Rockies, 2018-2019 was primarily pitching. They had a young, talented rotation in ‘18 that looked like it would carry them for a few years, and they drastically regressed in ‘19.

    Another factor was letting LeMahieu walk and his highly-touted replacement did not do so well, plus letting Ottavino walk.

    If Brendan Rodgers or another youngster can realize some of his potential, and guys like Feeland, Marquez and Sentzatela (sp?) get back to pitching quality starts, the Rox will be much better. 94 wins? That is asking a lot.

    in reply to: Nolan Arenado trade thread #121269
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    “That’s what being a Cardinal fan means. I can live with it.”

    That is how it is being a fan of any team. Other than the Yankees from 1921-1964, teams go through ups and downs, occasionally hit a stretch of 3 or 4 seasons where they are near great, then fall back for awhile.

    The latter-day Cardinals probably peaked in 2004-2005, but did not win it all either year. Other than those two years they have mostly had competitive teams.

    The Red Sox and Giants have likely had higher win standard deviations over the last 20 years than St. Louis, but one thing about them, when they have gotten to the World Series they have won. Quite a different feeling for fans of those franchises, as prior to this century they were mostly the Series loser when they got there – although the dead all era Red Sox were good Series teams.

    in reply to: How disappointing is Harrison Bader? #121092
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    Let’s hope the reward justifies the risk, Cranny. One era comes to mind where the Cardinals were thought to have their future outfield be Luis Melendez, Jose Cruz, and Jorge Roque. They had a nickname even, although I do not remember what it was. Had the movie been around before that time they would have likely been called “The Three Amigos”.

    And of course in true Cardinal fashion for that era, they kept the two guys who never did much, and basically gave away the guy who ended up with over 2000 hits in his career.

    in reply to: MLB announces pace of play changes #121090
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    Oh, and on the pace of play, the only thing MLB needs to do is get back to the time when batters stayed in the box between pitches. It used to be guys would step out on occasion, but most of the time just stay in the box waiting for the pitcher.

    These days guys step out between every pitch. Might need to make a rule of “no more than one step-out per AB, aside from issues such as wind, injury and that sort of thing.”

    in reply to: MLB announces pace of play changes #121087
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    As many know I am a former skeptic of DH baseball, who has come to enjoy the game either way, and actually like the DH. It seems a natural progression towards specialization – the offensive counterpart to “designated pitchers”.

    I like keeping the pitchers at a maximum of 13. With the one inning rule, there should be a little less need to carry a bunch of relievers, but there will still be plenty of opportunities for a guy to work to only one or two hitters.

    The one-inning rule is really going to make managers think. Say your starter has been sailing along through six, then walks a guy and the next guy doubles, in a close game. Who do you bring in knowing the guy needs to finish the inning? You can’t just throw a guy out there thinking “if this guy does not have it, I will go with the other guy”.

    Now one thing that will happen a few times is a guy will not have it, and by the end of the inning the game will have gotten totally out of hand. Fans are going to be screaming loud and long when that happens.

    I won’t be surprised if the one-inning rule ends up going the way of prohibition after a season or two.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 6 days ago by bicyclemikebicyclemike.
    in reply to: Nolan Arenado trade thread #120867
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    I thought for sure Arenado was headed to Anaheim sometime before the ‘21 season before they inked Rendon.

    Now we get to the “B” teams. At this point we probably go into the season with Nolan a Rockie, and see what things look like around last June. Would not be surprised if the Rox pitching came back around and they are fighting for a post season berth, and keep Arenado all year.

    in reply to: Are the Cards the NL Central favorites still? #120865
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    I think we are still the club to beat due to a solid starting group, good bullpen, good defense, and the potential to see an improved offense.

    You never know how a season will play out, but I believe our pitching sets us apart from the rest of the group. We might see Mikolas, Hudson and Flaherty end up as the three best starting pitchers in the division.

    in reply to: Cooperstown Class of 2020 #120772
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    Great lines Euro! There was another Carson show where Uecker was talking about how he was originally a pitcher, and was warming up for a scout. He went on about how he was feeling good and throwing well and felt he was really impressing this scout. Then the scout said “Ok, let me see your fastball”.

    That was the end of his pitching days.

    Yeah, I am not real big on the automatic retired number for a guy that gets elected to the Hall. I would not have retired Whitey’s number for example, nor LaRussa’s. I think Tony’s was retired before he was elected.

    My guess is Ted will be an exception, and not retired. Sort of similar to Joe Medwick. Although I don’t know why Medwick’s number was not retired when Enos Slaughter’s was. Seems like with those guys where they played well before this retired number thing came around, neither should have been retired. But if you are going to do it, then do both.

    Like I said, the Cardinals process is awkward.

    in reply to: Why not Castellenos? #120771
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    I am okay pass on Nick. The Cardinals need to see what they have in Thomas and O’Neill.

    Bader should be better, but the bar is low as he had many plate appearances where he had no clue what was coming. But he is probably at that point where you play him in center every day, cheer for the great defense and see if the offense gets there with consistent reps.

    in reply to: Cooperstown Class of 2020 #120684
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    Uek! What a great guy. My favorite Uecker line, which is not a call while broadcasting but was made during n appearance on Johnny Carson when Johnny asked if he had won any awards during his career. Uek in his dead-panned style said “Sure…Minor League Player of the Year one time………(pause for build-up….. Course I was in the Major Leagues at the time”. 🙂

    So now that Teddy is enshrined, what will be the Cardinals approach to this awkward “Retire the Hall of Famers numbers” deal? I say awkward as not all HOFers numbers are retired. Will #23 no longer be worn? How about Larry Walker’s 33? Likely not an issue for Walker as he was with the club such a short time.

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 1,292 total)

First-hand news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals™ and their minor league system for 20 years