Cards-MLB….the new norm

The virus has changed…and will change permanently…many of the ways that we do things. Of course, MLB & the Cards are no different, there is a new norm from a wide variety of angles…
…the MLB’s new norm is Homeruns & Strikeouts…swing hard at every pitch as pitchers strive to blow the ball by everyone with fast balls or hard sliders to strike you out. If that’s the goal…it’s working…Home runs are tied for the all time high (2.8 hr/game) and 18 strikeouts in a game.
Those averages are for the combined totals of both teams. There are 54 outs in a game (1/3 by strikeouts). So the new record-breaking norm for a 9 inning game is 3 hours,7 minutes. The fans don’t like it and show it by their attendance. Last year, MLB attendance dropped below 70 million (69,625,144) for the first time since 2003! The New NORM — Fans want action, a good pace to a game (without so many pitches that are meaningless and so long between innings), keeping the ball moving in athletic action. The MLB MUST be wondering if they’ve lost even more fans in this virtual season.
…. The Cards are doing their part to circumvent this new HR norm…..they are 30th in HR with a meager 13 HR! Fortunately for StL, in the Central division–only Cincinnati is above the league average in HR. On the other bright side, the Cards are also 30th in strikeouts with “only” 112 strikeouts!
….the new norm in the Cards OF battle….from my view… is now down to 1 spot….Fowler seems locked into RF, Carlson assumes one spot each day sooo…that leaves O’Neill vs Bader.
….when Paul DeJong returns, what will the new norm be? Edmon has struggled at the plate with a consistent flow of off-speed pitches. Will he platoon with Carp @3b ? (both hitting in the same area–.210) Play in the OF (see above)? This new norm would seem to have Edmon playing regularly but not every day.
…I’ve never been accused of being able to “read in-between the lines”. I was direct and responded much better with direct language-written & spoken. With age, I’m a bit better but..when I saw the name St Louis City SC for our new soccer team… it sounded a bit unusual to me…why use the word “city”? Well….after some research, I found that StL County, in the early talks, made it clear it would contribute no tax money to the project. Hence, the name “City”.
…in a possible new norm…probably set unknowingly…. Fernando Tatis, JR hit a grand slam with the bases loaded on a 3-0 pitch with his team comfortably in front. The next batter, Manny Machado saw the next pitch whiz behind his head from Texas pitcher, Ian Gibault. That pitch was intended to let the Padres know that they weren’t supposed to swing @ 3-0 pitches…why? So the pitcher can throw a strike and you shouldn’t SWING at it? It’s time that there is a new norm regarding 3-0 pitches. . I don’t think it’s wrong to swing @ 3-0. The automatic “take” wasn’t designed to assist the pitcher…it was used to prevent batters from swinging at bad pitches outside the strike zone. The goal was to assist these batters in getting on base via the walk. Btw…The Texas pitcher, Ian Gibault(with that name, shouldn’t he be playing hockey?) was suspended 3 games & his manager, 1 game. So what.. they made their point and a starting pitcher needs 4 off days between starts anyway!!
…the Blues could not maintain their “old” norm with a “heavy”, continual fore-checking game. Last night’s 6-2 loss is a case in point. A team CAN’T give up 6 goals in a Playoff game and expect to win. Only in game 4 of the series vs Vancouver did the Blues dominate the action. Game 5, was the pivotal game, it was a heartbreaker—2 goal lead in 2nd period evaporates and then the crushing defeat. The Blues could not match their outstanding play prior to the virus (save 1 game) in the series.
…the Cards continue to tout their “youthful” team as the new norm. Factually, the Cards average age of 28.7 is 18th in the league. We’re in the middle of the “New Norm” of a roster’s age. Even, the Dodgers and the Yankees are each slightly lower than the Cards in team age.
…I was…probably still am…opposed to the 7 inning games for doubleheaders. But…I must admit, I really enjoyed the first Cards DH that saw each game fly by in 2 hr 15 min. All the other games seem to crawl along…almost reminding me of intrasquad games….give everyone an inning to pitch, lots of swing & misses, high pitch count for seemingly every batter.
…Let’s hope that isn’t a new norm…..currently the Cards are 25th in runs/game in the MLB. The 4.04 runs/game isn’t enough to make the playoffs….in a normal year…but…
….speaking of playoffs—Let’s hope that the 2020 model this isn’t a new norm—the MLB has 8 teams in each league scheduled to make the playoffs. The 3 division champions, the 3-2nd place teams & 2 wildcard will fill out the playoffs. This system could easily see two non-division champions playing in the World Series. Hopefully, this new norm is only being used this year as the owners try to salvage some income from this truncated season. Sadly….I think it’ll be continued when the owners count their cash after the playoffs. I would remind them , however, that the NFL isn’t around dominating Sundays & NCAA taking care of Saturdays in this weird 2020 season.
…after watching a 5 game series with the Cubs…I know that they have a new manager and a new norm but…it appears to me that some key batters for the Cubs(Rizzo, Contereras, Bryant, Baez) have changed their swing. To my eyes, it doesn’t seem that those players are really taking a strong, balanced swing as they once did….Bryant’s wrist injury may have been his cause because he was swinging “all arms” and Baez seems to be off balance, swinging wildly as he spins around on every missed swing. Rizzo’s intent seems to be drawing walks instead of slashing the ball.
…Jim Edmonds has worked many of the StL TV games with Dan McLaughlin. Jim knows baseball and provides many inside tips and explanations on batting but maybe he’s attempting to establish a new norm with the repeated use of the same phrase, “he’s trying to do too much”. I assume that means that the batter is taking a swing for the fences. Come on Jim….there is more than 1 way to express that idea.
…a new norm on the horizon will be the status of the minor league system. Many long-time minor league teams folded up this off season and won’t be back. Will the MLB keep this outlandish 51 player pool, being used now, that players are “called up” on a minute’s notice? MiLB players have been grossly underpaid in the past. I’m not sure that level of pay will be accepted by many young players any longer. The new norm will see a shrinkage of the MLB minor league systems with the MLB owners actually owning the teams.
…There are many “new norms” in baseball but not the MLB standings…as I write this, it looks familiar to most fans— the 3 AL division leaders are NY Yankees, Minnesota, Oakland. In the NL it Dodgers, Braves, Cubs are on top. Not a great deal of surprise in those standings.
….I’m using a new norm…. a bit shorter this week….as always, check out the bobryansportsblog.com web site for past blogs….it is fun to see comments about Cardinals 2-3-4 years ago.

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