A sports 4th of July

4th of July…may mean a lot of different things to each of us…maybe it’s remembering the Independence of our country…maybe its remembering the family BBQ’s …maybe it’s the fireworks celebrating the holiday…maybe swimming parties…we all have our own memories….well here’s a few thoughts on the 4th celebration of firework from the sports point of view for 2017….
….the top 4 All-time War Leaders as Cardinals are 1) Stan the Man; 2) Rogers Hornsby; 3) Bob Gibson; 4) Albert Pujols
…so fireworks go off in Cubbies clubhouse when a backup catcher (Miguel Montero) indicates that he can’t throw out runners stealing due to Jake Arrieta’s slow move home after Washington steals 7 bases….poor Miguel hasn’t learned the PC world yet…ya can’t criticize stars on ur team…or those perceived to be stars by their management…oh …and ….Miguel was released for not being a “team man”… we all know if the Cubs were in 1st place that Miguel would still be the backup catcher 
….fireworks were also booming in Oklahoma City as the Thunder acquired Paul George…with George as the #2 superstar behind Russell Westbrook (16-17 MVP) and a guy who actually guards skilled players…OKC is back in the mix as deep-run playoff team..so it won’t just be Cleveland& Golden State lined up as the 2 finalists as they were this year..isn’t it sad that the Lakers & Celtics aren’t part of the NBA “real” playoff run?
…the top 4 MLB hitters in OPS on July 1 were 1) Aaron Judge-1.13; 2) Joey Votto-1.04; 3) Paul Goldschmidt 1.01 and Ryan Zimmermann 1.008…they are the ONLY guys with an OPS over 1.00 on this date
….I’m of the old school….surprise, surprise…that views wins by a pitcher as a significant stat…in my view, the total objective is to win the game….other stats can useful but how much does this pitcher win..so with that in mind….sometimes I’m a bit frustrated that Carlos Martinez doesn’t win more games…I don’t care how much “stuff” he has…I remember Jose DeLeon of the Cards (late 80’s)…they always said that he had great stuff too..he won 16 games… once… and the very next year lost 19 games…in his career he was a very sub-par 86-119—with his great stuff!…if Martinez is a real ace….he’ll find ways to escape troublesome innings, get strikeouts when you really need them, throw the double play pitch (Gibby used to tell 3B Mike Shannon…you won’t get many ground balls unless there’s a runner on 1B…then turn the DP)…all that being said…Martinez is in the top 4 MLB pitchers in Batting Average against him….#1 Max Scherzer has batters hitting .164 against him,#2 Chris Sale allows a .197 average, Carlos Martinez is#3 at .199 (but he’s 6-6 for the year), Clayton Kershaw is .202..that’s hanging around with some elite company in any pitching category….Carlos….go deep in games-heaven forbid maybe even a complete game, get your strikeouts, win 20 and you’ll be a real ace in the NL! Whip, ERA, quality starts, and all that other stuff is for the losers.
….only 4 MLB teams have NEVER had a CY Young winner…Cincy, Colorado, Miami and Texas.. and with the home stadiums that these 4 teams use….we won’t being seeing a Cy Young there soon
…4 questions for the Cards…1) When Fowler returns…which Card OF is shoved out—Grichuk, Pham or Piscotty? Pls don’t play the PC game of sitting one out each day…this is the Big Leagues…they haven’t paid to play (like these HS traveling teams)…we’re paying them to perform 2) Are Jose Martinez, DeJong, Voit and Mejia all being showcased? 3) Will Aledmys Diaz ever be back as a regular—his range will never increase as a 26 year old (27 on Aug 1) To me…he is clearly trade bait 4) Who’s going to be the closer ?
….Dwight Howard joins his 4th different NBA team in 6 years as he’s traded from Atlanta Hawks to Charlotte for Miles Plumlee (who?) and Marco Belinelli (who again?) and the 41st pick….apparently Atlanta was celebrating big-time after dumping the aging, highly paid center yet they got practically nothing in return…so what does that tell you about what they really thought of Mr. Howard?
…college football traditionalists are celebrating…probably more with refreshments than fireworks.. with the pre-season rankings of the top 4 college football teams….1) Bama-who else? 2) USC 3) Ohio State 4) Oklahoma….Clemson was listed as #5 – the new kid on the block…next thing I know…we’ll be seeing Penn State in the top 5 too 
…Cardinal Nation seemed to be celebrating the new contract of John Mozeliak this week…Has he been kicked upstairs to get out of the way, given more authority over other facets of organization, being promoted for quality work, separating himself from this team and the manager, following the newest alignment of management….who knows…maybe all of the above …personally, this team seems to be running-in-place….only the quagmire of the NL Central Division teams… where no one can gain traction and all run in place…has kept them from being 10-15 games out of 1st place…which they would be in 4 of the other 5 divisions of MLB…it just seems like a very strange time to being promoting a high level administrator considering the type of season that the Cards are experiencing
…the 4 best hitters hitting back-back-back-back thus far in 2017 are Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmermann, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon
…there were loud fireworks AFTER the Manny Pacquiao & Jeff Horn fight…probably more than during the fight..many fans thought that Pac-Man got robbed… I haven’t seen the fight or a replay of the fight… some factors to consider…any time that you go to decision—anything can happen….Pac-man is 38 years old…and still fighting…he’s lost something….Horn had the entire Aussie crowd with him…maybe they influenced the judges in their cheering…Pac-Man is just 5-4 in his last 9 fights (overall 59-7-2)..I smell a rematch  If I were Horn…I’d fight some chump prior to Pac-Man to make some extra cash.
…the Blues 4 best moves in the off season thus far—acquiring Brayden Schenn (center iceman), trading Lehtera(free up cap space), drafting Klim Kosten (I have high hopes for another real “shooter” to supplement Tarasenko), having no hesitation about paying Parayko…
…the fireworks were going off for the fans of Dr Seuss as the Cardinals wore their version of the Cat in the Hat socks on Saturday night…I don’t have a count…but … it seems to me that the Cards wear their actual uniform less than they wear these tribute, special, different uniforms…. I know its all about money…fans seem to buy anything that looks different…but ..come on..enough is enough..sorry Dr Seuss
…the 4 most likely guys to get traded this summer in MLB—Martin Prado (Miami), Addison Reed (NYM)—he’d be my target if I were the Cardinals, Ryan Madson (Oakland), Mike Pelfrey (CWS)
….update on 4 former Cardinals & St. Louisans….rather sad…in an article on June 8th listing the worst player on each MLB team…players listed were Peter Bourjas (Tampa Bay), Pete Kozma (Texas), Cody Asche (FZW-CWS) and Scott Van Slyke (LA Dodgers)..on that date, Jonathan Broxton was listed as the Cardinals weakest player….seems like he was released longer than 4 weeks ago….speaking of being released—Seth Maness was just cut loose by the Royals.
…through July 1, the 4 most surprising MLB teams to me(good & bad)…Cubs (huge downer- I expected a drop off but not them falling off the cliff), Az (51-31 record is shocking), Minnesota (they were a last place team last year),Atlanta –just 1 game under .500 @ 40-41.
…wonder why the Tigers are losing in 2017…they have 9 guys that are 30+ years old on their roster including these 4 “stars”– Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez
…fiery discussions should be going off someplace in the Cards upper levels….the Cards are 24 of 35 in save opportunities in 2017 thru today…Colorado has the best percentage 28 of 36..Phillies are worst at 11 of 35
….Fireworks in the Cards lineup again as Randall Grichuk clearly shortened his swing in the minors (btw…why isn’t that guy the hitting coach?) …Grichuk is smashing those breaking balls now…the exit velocity off his bat has always been very high… so contact is crucial.. but will he be able to adjust as the pitchers adjust to him again…look for more high fastballs, changeups, breaking pitches off the plate to him

…Now I’m getting ready for some 4th activities…your thoughts are ALWAYS welcome…I don’t expect the responses to agree with me….how boring would that be to everyone?…so have at it…Happy Independence Day to all!

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