Top 10 Lessons of Spring Training

We’re reading daily of the rigors, fun, lessons of all the Cardinals down in Jupiter. The Cardinals have a highly organized, baseball intense, holistic approach to working with their players. Many of the “bases” are covered by the Cards staff…but …here’s the TOP 10 REAL STUFF that should be covered at Jupiter..
1) 1st-3rd….let’s work on the idea that as soon as the runner sees the ball being hit to the OF that he’s thinking 1B to 3B….make the OF throw us out. We must escape from the 3 hits=1 run formula. Sure….it it’s directly at the OF….don’t be foolish…but too often we seemed to be putting on the brakes as we approached 2B. Let’s look at it statistically….if we score on the 2nd hit (instead of the 3rd hit)—we should score 50% more often. Now there will be a certain percentage throw out at 3B….let’s say 20%….that still leaves us with an uptick in scoring.
2) All players should be assigned, or hire, financial advisors….I couldn’t believe that Ernie Banks had $16000 at the time of his death…ouch! Even if they don’t make it to the Bigs….they’ll have to earn money in their life. I realize that the life style of a MLB player is totally different than us average Joe’s but….come on…you can plan for during and after career.
3) Can’t the Cards mgmt., or player committee (Manifesto Mike) likes committees….find some creative nicknames…it would spice up the game…and from the team’s point of view…what could it do to sales of merchandise? .. anyway….it seems years ago we had Stan the Man, the Babe, Hamerin’ Hank, Dutch, Dizzy, Dazzy, Smokey, the Yankee Clipper, etc… about Marco “the Magician” Gonzalez ? the Ironman (Yadier), Grizzley Adams, double J, Manifesto Mike (MM) …heck….these committees would work….if they don’t….lock them in a room with a few cases of beer and the names will flow 
4) What one of the first things that YOU heard as a kid…..”Now boys…this is a team….we’ll all dress the same…we’ll have no renegades on this TEAM..yada-yada-yada” The NFL is psychotic over the smallest difference but in the MLB….just look at the hats …some worn pulled down, some cockeyed to the left, some bend the bill of the hat… or look at the pants ….some show 3 stripes of socks, some with one stripe showing, some wear their pants leg down to the shoestring level like they’re wearing hunting pants. Could we make it that every Cardinals has the exact same look? Heck….the next thing could be that each player uses a different font on the back of their jersey…or different colored numbers …. Or cut-off sleeves …showing my age here…but in the 50’s the Cincy Reds actually wore sleeveless jerseys….I guess because all of their starters had arms like fire-hoses.
5) Invent or find new batting gloves….this new type would not have to be tightened after every pitch……or better yet….no gloves at all
6) Mandatory—every single day…pitchers MUST learn to bunt in the NL….any time a player advances without a hit in the MLB (sacrifices, errors, WP,walks)…good things happen for the offense.
7) Each player must be required to have his own chauffeur…..come on….the game ends at 10:30 (3.5 hours)…..go out to eat (and drink)….look to go home at 1-3pm every night….this is for safety…..and just think of all the jobs that would be added to our economy Heaven forbid that TWO players would actually ride in the same car!
8) Train your #8-9-10 pitchers on the staff, who are athletic, to become pinch runners….why let them snooze the bullpen with a lumbering batter gets on base in the 7th, 8th, or 9th….by that time…ur not going to use the #8,9,10 hurlers….go back to point 1…collect $200 and continue.
9) At each stadium, take tours of the equipment… goes back to Vince Coleman not being swift enough to elude a fast moving tarp but it just happened again to Toronto’s OF Saunders who injured himself on a sprinkler.
10) Manifesto Mike needs to impart to his players that his team will lose a minimum of 60X…of those about 30-40 had ONE big inning or one big play that turned the game around….the other 20-30…ya just get beat….ya know.. you are playing other MLB players who are getting paid equal or more than you to win also….relax….MM needs to learn early in the game when “its over”….on the other hand…hopefully he’ll listen to some degree to the bench coach … i.e. ingame strategy coach, David Bell. As good as MM has been….one area that he needs to elevate this game is the key moves of close games. These key moves happen all year long but are only emphasized in playoff time (because the national media is there…ya C the local media guys are reticent to challenge MM on these moves thoughout the year)

I’ll be traveling to Jupiter with the General this week to see first hand if the Cards are implementing some, all or none of my ideas…..oh well….there isn’t 5 inches of snow in Jupiter ….