Cards get the shot they need!

Many Americans are waiting for the vaccine—for the shot. Hopefully, we’ll all have it soon. Meanwhile, the Cardinals got their “shot” last week. This shot has many ramifications for the Cards & the MLB in 2021….
….the shot last week…trading for Nolan Arenado proved to be the antidote for the fan indifference & frustration with the Cards. Arenado brings in some very impressive batting credentials…. He’s 2nd in career HR for any batter under 30 years old(he’ll be 30 in April)..only Mike Trout has more! He’s been in the top 10 NL MVP voting for 5 of his 8 years and has won the Gold Glove EVERY one of his NL years! It seems that he has a real passion for the game. He’s a REAL star!
….the shot, needless to say, energized the fan-base. He’ll definitely make the Redbirds better…much better….while all of the other NL Central Division teams are retreating. No longer are the expectations “well…let’s try to make the playoffs”….now its “Let’s get to the Series!!
… Further ramifications of the trade “shot” is that it will probably led to the resigning of ol’ vets– Wainwright & Molina. I’ll be surprised if Yadi doesn’t sign now. Sure… they wanted millions of dollars but at their age…they want most of all to WIN…and win BIG! It wasn’t coincidental that Wainwright’s signing was just 1 day prior to the trade announcement. Ya don’t think the Cards mgmt. might have let Waino “in” on a little secret do you?
…this “shot” wiped out the immediate past.. for Rockie fans…Almost exactly 1 year ago, Arenado signed a franchise record 8 year, $260m contract. Seemingly, he’d be a Rockie for life. It appears, after just 1 year, that the Rockies mgmt/owner decided that the waters were too deep to compete with Dodgers/Padres soooo…why keep the highest paid player on the team. You can lose just as well with inexpensive, weaker players 😊
….the rumor is that the “shot” missed the DeWitts but hit their wallet…causing it to suddenly open much wider 😊 But, let’s give credit where credit is due…. The DeWitts DID open their pocketbook wider…. much wider.. to bring in Arenado. Maybe, it was precipitated by the Season Ticket Holders response to their yearly renewals (which I heard was down). Or… maybe… the NHL going deeper into the summer months for their playoffs & the Blues grabbing away some of the fans interest, time, and money. Or…maybe…they realized the opportunity to elevate their roster substantially by adding a STAR player for practically nothing was too much to pass up. Or, maybe…a little of all of these reasons. Congrats to MO & the DeWitts for the heist…oops …. trade!
….The shot had adverse effects in Denver. This Rockie’s instant dropoff to mediocrity …or worse…is becoming all too common in the MLB. It’s about the money (as usual). The Dodgers sit atop the MLB in the salary scales. LA has a payroll @ $194m…give or take a million or 2! To give you an idea…that total exceeds the combined salary of 4 MLB teams (Clev, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay & Baltimore) by $32m. This huge gap in the pay scales isn’t healthy for the game. A tight salary cap is required as in the NFL. Many of you don’t watch the NFL any longer….but… of the 14 playoff teams, there were many “small” market teams—Tampa Bay, KC, Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Baltimore. Notice that Clev, Pitt, Tampa & Baltimore are those same 4 cities who combined matched the Dodgers salary!!
….another inoculation for the MLB Players Association leads them into asking for the establishment of a “bottom” level on salary scale for all MLB teams. That may help… but establishing a spending cap at the top..with very tight, enforceable penalties if the quota is exceeded… would be much more likely to obtain the same goal of more competitive teams. You don’t improve by paying he weakest players more money. Ya need to have the better players on your team to win…e.g. Arenado.
…the “shot” wasn’t needed in other parts of Missouri. The KC Chiefs have an exciting, entertaining offense led by 2nd year, gun-slinger-like QB, Patrick Mahomes. Tampa Bay has the precise veteran surgeon of Quarterbacking in Tom Brady. It’s the personification of young v old. To portray the difference in age in a different way—Brady played in his 1st Super Bowl when Mahomes was in kindergarten!! Everyone is expecting a high scoring game. Watch closely between refreshments—a) Can KC contain the TB rush from its front 4? b) will the 2 best TE – Gronkowski v Kelce— see man/man coverage in 2nd half in key downs with the hopes of making the QB go to a different receiver? (Kelce/Gronk seem to become more relevant as game unfolds) C) Can Tampa contain the KC special teams from making huge plays? And then then the usual….turnovers & penalties…that generally lead to trouble.
…side effects of the “shot”…cleverly, the Cards used some of that $50m that they received from Colorado this year to package Dexter Fowler & his $16.5m contract in a trade. That clearly opens up a full time spot for Dylan Carlson while removing a larger contract for a player that isn’t in the Cardinals plans any longer. Can Matt Carpenter be far behind in a similar deal?
…every shot ALWAYS has a small portion of people that have ill effects from the shot. Nolan Gorman was slated to “arrive” in the Lou in ’22 as a 3B. This highly touted left handed hitting 3B, has a “mature” frame, avg athleticism but according to scouts, he’s been a terrific batter in his minor-league career with power. But…his MiLB numbers look different to me. In 2019, Gorman batted .241 @ Peoria. Keep in mind that out of all of these “prospects” about 10% of the minor league players actually make the MLB!! Further..…with Arenado’s 5 year contract and his desire to play every day, Gorman seems to be the “odd” man out @ 3B to me. He probably wished now that he HAD been traded.… but he wasn’t… soooo…but where does he fit into the plans?
….the Blues have received a real “shot” to boost their offense with the exciting play of 22 year old, Justin Kyrou. In 10 games he has 5 goals, 7 assists. His anticipation coupled with his speed has made him a threat each time on the ice. Justin Faulk continues to look like a changed man to me. He appears to be more confident in attacking with the puck. The Blues still aren’t checking as they did in their Stanley Cup championship year but they do seem to have more speed. The style of play in the Western Division has always leaned towards to a more wide-open, offensive oriented style. LGB!!
…it seems like a team took a “shot” in the dark in choosing its name…the new Seattle hockey team scheduled to begin play next year will be named the Seattle Kraken! I had absolutely no idea what a “Kraken” was…or is? Is it a computer game? a new drink? A show? None of those….A Kraken is a legendary sea monster of gigantic size and cephalopod-like appearance in Scandinavian folklore. I guess we’ll start seeing that word popping up much more often in scrabble games now 😊
Thanks for the read….if you’ve missed any of the blogs….you can find all of them on my web site.. bobryansportsblog.com or the more recent ones on Bob Ryan-FB page. Please comment freely on the Facebook page or send me an email & I’ll post it for you.

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