$tan $hoots…and Misses

It isn’t often that a non-soccer player…am I the only STL kid who didn’t play soccer?…will venture onto the pitch . Well….it’s only due to our Friend, Mr. $tan Kroenke.
…Mr. Kroenke owns professional teams like most people own handkerchiefs. He currently owns the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids & Britain’s Arsenal soccer club. The Arsenal compete in the Champions League in Europe. That is REALLY a big thing in Europe… really BIG… and really lucrative.
…some quick background, in each European country there are many different tiers of soccer leagues. They are rated by skill level. Each year, the top 2, 3 or 4 teams from one tier are elevated to the next higher league. The Bottom 2,3,or 4 teams of the higher league are “relegated” back to the lower league. In England alone, there are 8 or 9 different tiers of leagues! For example, in the 3rd tier, each year the top 2 or 3 teams are elevated to the 2nd tier and the bottom 2 or 3 or relegated to the 4th tier. This happens from tier 1 to tier 9 or 10 or whatever it actually is. The Top team(s) from each country enter the highly lucrative Champions League.
…For example, last October, the winners of the Champions League, Bayern Munich, earned an estimated 130m Euro’s for winning the title that year. The previous year, Liverpool netted around 111m Euro’s for winning the Champions League title. Of course as the Champion of the Champions league, endorsements of all amounts flow into the coffers of the Champion for that year. Just reaching the Champions Group Stage guarantees each club a minimum payment of 15m Euros/year. If a club reaches the last 16 in league play, that club earns an extra 9.5m Euros plus additional payments the longer they stay in the competition for that year. It really is BIG MONEY. Btw…the “soccer year” from start to the crowning of the Champions League winner is about a 10 month season.
…now our Friend, Mr. Kroenke proposed that the Champions League pull away from this “tier” system and form their own Super League. No team would ever be “relegated” (demoted) so the members of the Super League would be raking in the big chips of the best European League year after year. This idea would have pulled the premier teams completely out of the current system. It was greed …plain & simple.
…..this proposal met heavy resistance throughout Europe. In London, home city of Arsenal, hundreds of Arsenal fans met more than 2 hours before kickoff to demonstrate their unhappiness. They set off fireworks, banged metal screen above the main box office, lit flares, used blaring airhorns and chanted, “We want Kroenke out—we want OUR Arsenal team back” & “ OUR club..OUR home. Sell up Stan”. Clearly, Stan K has shot & missed in his effort to expand his bulging financial account. What a shame 😊 Sooo..$tan $hoots & misses…..again…in professional sports.
…unfortunately, the Cardinal pitchers seem to be missing their target…twice now they’re pitches have hit the opposing batters in the head. Recently, Jack Flaherty hit Jonathan India (Cincy ). Last night Bryan Harper (Phil), one of the league’s stars, was struck in the head by a “sinker” by Genesis Cabrera. Strangely…at least to me…BOTH teams get warned about any hitting any more batters. This has happened twice by the Cards and each time the opposing manager has argued vehemently….what has his team done wrong? Getting hit by the pitch? Are they being punished because their batter couldn’t get out of the way of the pitch? How ridiculous!! I’d like the MLB to consider the following regarding batters being hit in the head. If the batter misses any games due to the pitch, the pitcher would be suspended (without pay) as long as the batter is incapacitated. It seems, the ONLY way the current MLB players seem to react is to hit them in the wallet. Further, if the opposing team gets hit by a pitch below the chest area once in that same game….that’s OK by me. Let the 1st team know that you’re unhappy about having your players put into jeopardy..settle it THAT game & move on. Anything more, by either team, would result in immediate rejection & a 10 day suspension. Now, many may say, he didn’t do it intentionally. Well…if his control isn’t good enough for the major league level, what is he doing on the mound?
… For decades, these MLB professionals were able to “police’ themselves. It doesn’t seem that the current group of players are allowed to do that. Milwaukee & the Cubs recently had a bruhaha over batters being hit by pitches. Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera made it clear, “It was a message that we had had enough” when he delivered a 95mph pitch behind the lower legs of Brewers pitcher, Brandon Woodruff. To me, that was a perfect way to signal your displeasure but apparently, it ruffled MLB officials feathers. Earlier in that game, Wilson Contraras (Cubs catcher) was hit in the hand buy a Woodruff pitch. That was the 3rd time this season & 7th time since 2020 that Contreras had been hit by Milwaukee pitchers. The MLB needs to step back…let these professionals “work it out”.
….The Cardinals offense is “off” a bit also. Who would believe that Nolan Arenado would have less doubles, less HR, less RBI’s, a batting average 80 points lower, an OPS 260 points lower than Yadi Molina after 22 games? The Cards didn’t miss on this trade….it’ll just take a little time to “even out”.
….with the NCAA transfer portal open to all….if a player “missed” on his 1st signing, try it again…..so, look @ this swap.. DeJuan Gordon, a wing player for K State entered the portal, Mark Smith of Mizzou entered the portal…and.. yep…Gordon commits to Mizzou & Smith to K State. Both have a “new” life, so to speak, in the new NCAA Basketball world of transferring like you’re riding a bus or subway.
….the Blues appear to be getting into the playoff mode. I don’t see every game but the last game that I watched saw the Blues checking the talented Colorado Avalance team early & often. This stifled the Avs “break out” from their defensive zone and provided the Blues with more offensive chances—they capitalized and grabbed a 4-1 victory. With the Blues teetering on the last playoff spot, the comeback win last night over the Minnesota Wild was a “really big one”. I only saw the last half of that game. It’s good to see that tenacious, full time checking mode again….good…it’s just in time with the playoffs looming on the near horizon! Also, Mike Hoffman has regained that “shooting touch”that we’ve been hoping to see this year. The Blues are riding Jordan Bennington a lot right now. Why not? He’s proven that he CAN do it. Yes…he may, like all keepers, miss an easy one every so often…so be it! Taranseko seems more engaged…. is it due to his new linemate, Bozak? Whatever…it’s working!
…Apparently, Mizzou didn’t swing & miss in recruiting this year. Eli Drinkwitz signed 22 players in this signing season that put him #20 in the nation, according to Rivals. That’s the highest rated class in MU history! Eight signees were in-state with 6 from St Louis & 2 others from East St Louis. Congrats!
…well, I’m not missing my ending…. Please feel free to comment directly on my Facebook page (Bob Ryan), or send to me directly & I’ll post it for you using your initials. Catch up on any blogs that you’ve missed on bobryansportsblog.com.