Is it Prime Time?

Presently, without the NHL, NBA, NFL, clearly the sports scene in the Lou centers around the Cardinals. Is this the prime time for the Cardinals?
…According to experts, we reach our physical apex @ 23 years of age. But, in the MLB, as a player learns and adjusts to the speed of the game, the prime years of an MLB player is between the ages of 25-30 with the highest peak of performance (prime years)in the MLB @ 27. With that in mind….. take a look at some of the ages of WS Championship teams & current teams.
…the 1964 St Louis Cardinals finished 93-69 and won WS. Their lineup & age-C-Tim McCarver,22; 1b-Bill White-30; 2b-Julian Javier,27; SS-Dick Groat,33; 3b-Ken Boyer,33; LF-Lou Brock,25; CF-Curt Flood, 26; RF-
Mike Shannon, 24. Average age was 27.5 with the number of players in “peak Performance” years—6.
…the 1967 Cardinals were 101-60 and won WS. Their lineup had many similar names-C-Tim McCarver, 25; 1b-Orlando Cepada 29; 2b-Julian Javier, 30; SS-Dal Maxvill,28; 3B-Mike Shannon-27, LF-Lou Brock,28; CF-Curt Flood 29; RF-Roger Maris 32. The average age was now 29.4 but 7 players were in the “peak” years of performance.
…1982 St Louis Cards 92-70, won world series—C-Darrell Porter,30; 1b-Keith Hernandez-28, 2b Tommy Herr-26; SS Ozzie Smith-27; 3b Ken Oberkfell-26; LF Lonnie Smith-26; CF Willie McGee-23; RF George Hendrick-32. The average age was 27.25 with the number of players in peak performance years—7.
..Without listing all the players, Maybe the best…at least 1 of the best…teams of all time—1927 NY Yankees 110-44 for the season, average age 27.35 with 7 players in prime performance years.
…Now let’s look @ the Cards-Padres series specifically—the Cards lineup—C-Yadier Molina 37; 1b-Paul Goldschmidt-32; 2b-Kolton Wong-29; SS Paul DeJong-26; 3b-Matt Carpenter-36; LF-Tommy Edman or Tyler O’Neill-each 25; CF-Harrison Bader -26; RF Dexter Fowler-34. The average age is 30.5 with only 4 players in peak performance years. The Padres lineup—C-Austin Hedges-27; 1b-Eric Hosmer-30; 2b-Jack Cronenwirth-26; SS-Fernando Tatis-21; 3b-Manny Machado-27; OF-Jurickson Profar-27; OF-Trent Grisham-23; OF Tommy Pham-32. The average age of the starters is 26.6 with 7 players in “Prime” years.
…Why is this? Well, San Diego has gone through 9 straight sub-.500 years as they “rebuilt”. Just last year, SD was 70-92;in 2018, 66-96; 2017, 71-91; 2016,68 -94; 2015, 74-88;2014,77-85; 2013, 76-86; 2012 76-86; 2011 71-91and you have to go back to 2010 for a winning record of 90-72. Judging from my interaction with Lou fans, they have absolutely NO tolerance for non-competing Cardinal teams. Even if we whine about “squeezing into the playoffs”, miracles DO happen (2006) once we get there. I, myself, would prefer not to “rebuild” for an exceptional team once every decade. This San Diego team does have several very young “controllable” players for the next couple years. Of course, Fernando Tatis, JR is the centerpiece…from the commentators remarks last night, the Cards were NOT interested in him as a young player!!! Are you kidding me? I’m not a pro scout..or a scout of any kind..but his talent is obvious.
…some reactions to Thursday nights game….1st of all….way TOO SLOW! Does the MLB expect fans to watch a 4 hr 19 minute game and stay engaged? Heck, that’s longer than Gone With the Wind or a flight to San Diego . Too many long counts with swings/misses…Get rid of that strike zone box on TV, let the umpires call “the corner” more often. The batters will swing more often. I announced a softball game this week where it was clear that the umpire had a wide strike zone. Batters adjusted quickly—the game moved along quickly—very quickly, actually. It would be the same in the MLB.
….Further, most pitchers (not the exceptional ones) have an off performance every 4-6 appearances. So, when a manager goes through 5 pitchers every night, there’s a strong chance that at least 1 of them will be less than their best. Last night Cabrera was way off. His walks led to the SD rally and the complete change of momentum.
…Then, on a team that prides itself on defense- especially up the middle defense, to hear that Kolton Wong and Fernando Vina are the only gold glove 2b in Cards history stunned me until I learned that the Gold Glove didn’t begin until 1957.
…in the prime of his career, Mike Leach (Mississippi St) football coach pulled a major upset last weekend. His Miss St Bulldogs upended defending National Champion, LSU 44-34 with 634 passing yards! It was only the 3rd time that the Bulldogs beat LSU since 2000 in their annual game. LSU was 18 point favorites going into the game! Leach has always been a pass FIRST type coach. In his 18 years as Head Coach @ Texas Tech & Washington State (two nondescript programs prior to his arrival) prior to Miss State, his record is 229-140 and his team has finished in the TOP 25-6 times. He has been recognized …by many…as very unorthodox despite being Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2008, Pac 12 Coach of the Year in 2015 & 2018 and AFCA Coach of the Year in 2018. He believes strongly..almost exclusively … in the pass game—sometimes called the “Air Raid” offense. In 10 of his 18 years, Leach’s team has led the country in passing. He certainly is his own man…in the off season…he gets away from football (and has a life)—he’s traveled around Cambodia with Washington State reps; he’s studied Geronimo, Daniel Boone, Grizzly bears, whales, and American artist Jackson Polloc. Follow his footsteps @ Miss St….it’ll be entertaining and high-scoring 
…most would probably say that he’s beyond the prime of his football life…yet, out of football since 2015 due to legal issues. Aldon Smith, was reinstated last spring and given the OK to play for Dallas. Despite his 5 year absence, Smith..shockingly..in his 1st game back was in on 11 tackles, 2 QB hits and 1 sack. It really WAS a PRIME TIME performance after a 5 year layoff—amazing!
….according to Yahoo baseball, the top 5 premium players in 2020 were—1) Freddie Freeman, Atl 2) Juan Soto-Wash; 3) Marcel Ozuna-Atlanta (ouch!) 4) Fernando Tatis, Jr-SD 5) Shane Bieber-Clev-pitcher. Luke Voit (Lafayette HS) led the MLB in Home Runs in 20.
…Voit follows Ryan Howard & David Freese as Lafayette grads who had good success in the MLB. Other MLB players from the Wildwood school were- Jeff Gray (2008-12); Scarborough Green (97-2000- came up with Cards); John Dettmer (94-95); Matt Buschmann – 2016. Making the MLB IS being in the Prime time!
…Now its YOUR chance to be in the prime time…put your responses on my Facebook page(Bob Ryan) or on my web site http://www.bobryansportsblog.com or email to me and I’ll post with your initials.

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