The Week that Wasn’t

Some weeks just seem to work completely contrary to what we expected. Now….in this case…our “week” may be 10 days or so….the week that wasn’t…
…this week wasn’t the week that the Blues got buried or traded…just the opposite…an unbelievable week with 3 home games worked miracles for the Blues. I happened to be at the Blues stunning 3-1 win over Vegas…hockey is SO MUCH better LIVE than on TV. It brings to life the actual speed of the game! Anyway…..Vlady scored just 48 seconds into the game as he took a pass just inside he blue-line as he was open & put it away cleanly. Sammy Blais scored the 2nd goal with some open space also in the 1st. The Blues…at least for this one game…checked much tighter. Bennington had a season high 50 saves. The amazing OT win later in the week when the Blues, after shellacking the Wild 9-1, the Blues scored in the last 2 minutes to send it to OT then in the last 2 seconds of OT to win it! WOW! For the moment, the Blues are back in the playoff picture. Some of the veterans, especially Hoffman, seemed to have their skates halfway out the door, until the Blues climbed back into the playoff picture. ….However, the Blues have Colorado (#1 team in division) scheduled 3 of the next 4 games. The Av’s seem to have 4 lines that can all skate & counter attack quickly & often. The Blues lost earlier this week 4-3 after being down 4-1 after 2 periods. The Av’s snapped a 4 game losing streak (including 1 to the Blues) with the win. I think the Blues over-passed in the earlier part of the game. The Av’s were playing their 2nd unit keeper-Devin Dubnyk. I’d keep peppering him with shots….he’s 2nd unit for a reason! Blues DO have a challenge in this tail end of the schedule to reach the playoff stage.
….This wasn’t the week that the Cards went crazy at the plate. As I write this, the Cards are 12th (of 30) MLB teams in batting average with a .236 mark. Can you imagine, the Cubs are last with team average of .167!! The Cards are 13th in strikeouts in MLB—with 104 K’s in 420 AB’s. That 24.7% of the time a batter strikes out! Looking at the 9 Card players with the most AB’s this year, 3 are under .144 batting mark…ugh. A side concern Paul Goldschmidt has 1 (ONE) HR in 43 AB. At that same rate, he’d hit 15 HR for the entire season! Only 2 players have really it– Nolan Arenado is good, really good. Yadi Molina has been really terrific in the first 10 days….he’ll cool off….but, he & Arenado have carried the club thus far.
….This wasn’t a real memorable homestand for some Cardinals. Matt Carpenter. Yes…he did bunt to get a hit against the shift…it only took 2 years to put aside his pride and take that gimme…and he finally banged out a hit- of course, it was a HR..what else did you expect? Meanwhile on the same home stand…. Yadi Molina gets recognized for his 2000th game as a Cardinal catcher. That’s really a tremendous accomplishment. There are only 5 other catchers who have caught 2000 MLB games (Ivan Rodriguez 2,427, Carlton Fisk 2,226, Bob Boone 2,225, Gary Carter 2.025),but Yadi is the FIRST to catch all of them for ONE team! In his 1st year, Tony LaRusso inserted Yadi for every day play & made it clear that he didn’t care what Yadi batted so Yadi escaped the couple years of “breaking in” as most players did back in those days. Congrats Yadi—it’s been a good journey!!
….this wasn’t a normal week for the NCAA. The NCAA is about to adopt the policy that any player can transfer once in their career for any reason WITHOUT sitting out a year. That’s fine….as long as these players are truly STUDENT-athletes. Let’s follow the model of the US Military back in the day of the Vietnam War—15 hours of credit each semester, 2.00 grade pt avg with a total of 4 years. If a young man didn’t fulfill those levels, your draft deferment was eliminated. I’d think those would be good guidelines to be implemented with regard to transfer student w/o “sitting out” a year.. Then, there’s the point about transferring within the same conference. Should that be permitted? These ARE young adults….let’s treat them like adults—making decisions that have consequences while still honoring their freedom to change schools.
…one has to wonder if in this week…or any week that.. wasn’t…if the fans didn’t know the salaries of the players, would it impact our feelings/ judgments? Somehow we don’t seem to mind if movie/TV stars make millions in just a few months with all the “retakes” that they require to make it “good”. Athletes don’t get “retakes”! I suppose that most people equate higher salaries with more production….but, that correlation is often, very often way off base. Would Matt Carpenter…and others like him… be viewed differently if we didn’t know their salary? I’m really interested in YOUR thoughts on this question. How would all..or any of us..feel is our salaries were public knowledge? Is that why the bench-jockey often becomes the “fan favorite”…because he’s the lowest paid player?
….this wasn’t the week for the Cards Outfielders. They’re having their “chance”! With Harrison Bader & Tyler O’Neill on IL, others had a chance to grab a starting role. But…no one nailed down a spot. Some not so sparkling reviews of the week….Lane Thomas seemed hesitant & unsure in CF and played a single into an extra base hit as he dove (late), missed ball & went by him. Dylan Carlson keeps giving us his impression of Babe Ruth with his prolific, long, upcutting swing. He does have 3 HR(tied for tops on the team) &a team leading 9 RBI’s but his .243 average with 13 K’s in 37 AB’s isn’t what I envisioned. I thought that he’d be a .280 hitter, with good ribbies and use his speed on the bases. Much to my surprise, Carlton was given the “day off” on Wednesday! A 22 year old doesn’t NEED a day off with team day off on Thursday. He’s got to play…AND play every-day to become a better player…not watch from the bench. The other candidates have not taken advantage of their opportunity. Justin Williams hit in spring training but holds a .208 batting mark currently. Austin Dean, has a better average –.267 but 1/3 of his outs have been strikeouts. Without playing a game this week, Harrison Bader has looked better & better!
…this surely wasn’t the week …or the 2 weeks…for the Cubbies…which I know breaks your heart 😊 The Cubs are tied for last place in the Central Division with a 5-7 record but that isn’t the worst of it. The highest average of any starting player is .243! There are 6 every-day starters batting .200 or below…and we’re complaining about our .220 batters! Their starting 8 field players have 95 strikeouts with just 52 hits for 2021. The break-up of the “Big 3” –Rizzo(.171), Baez(.200), Bryant(.243) doesn’t loom as such a disaster any longer. I mean…this trio who are supposed to lead the Cubs are leading them straight downwards. Take a look…The Cubs have the fewest hits in the MLB currently, have the lowest runs/game in MLB, have the 4th most strikeouts in the MLB along with other dismal batting numbers. This trio, who are all FREE AGENTS at the end of this year. which seemed so significant a year ago …. now appear to be the “scrapping away the trash after an accident.”
….Well…that Cubbie news wraps up the “Week that wasn’t” for me. It’s always good to read your thoughts…post on my FB page, or send to me for publication—using only your initials as the writer. Thx for the read!