Reading the Writing on the Wall

As life unfolds, sometimes you can “read the writing on the wall” for the future…
…. Today Vladimir Tarasenko read the writing on the wall. Meanwhile, the Blues are reading the writing on the wall about their roster. They have been “testing the waters” on moving Vlady. This is one of many issues facing the Blues. In addition, with unrestricted free agents Mike Hoffman, Jaden Schwartz and Tyler Bozak now on the market, the Blues have some significant decisions. The Blues are coming off a rather pedestrian season. Their 20-21 record in “the regular season was 19-20-17 so some change is necessary. Their overall team stats are “right about in the middle” of the conference. The management has determined that if they want to “go for it” or remain stuck in the pack. Vlady’s injuries seemed to have changed his game. He no longer gets involved at the net…he’s become a perimeter player. Sooo…who cares if he’s 225 lbs if he’s on the perimeter. He played 17:25/ min-game. That’s not the norm for a 1st liner. In the NHL. 1st liners played an average of 19:20/game last year. 2nd liners-16:22, 3rd-13:28. Reading further, Mike Hoffman had a late surge but really didn’t live up to the pre-season hopes with his style & production. His lone goal in the playoffs seems to have pushed the door open wider to his movement. Jaden Schwartz has been a fan favorite but, this year Schwartz’s play fell off in significant categories—goals (8), takeaways (18), shots attempted (124-about ½ of previous season). His salary last year was $4m. Feisty Tyler Bozak is 35 years of age, while he gives great effort, the Blues need some additional scoring on the 3rd/4th lines. As the Blues “read” further, they realize that they could use some additional size in the defensive corp to contend.
…staying on the ice, Tampa Bay wins the Cup over Montreal for back-back Cups. A red-hot GK, Andrei Vasilevskly recorded his 5th consecutive shutout in a series final. The Lightning really dominated this series with much more quality depth through all 4 lines coupled with a brilliant scorer, Nikita Kucherov, to lead the way. For example, Blake Coleman (3rd liner) & Pat Maroon (4th liner) each had 4 shots in the final game. In addition, TB also controlled the special team play. On Wed, Montreal had ZERO shots on its 3 power plays while TB got 3 shots playing short-handed! The Blues DO have a long way to go..Colorado crunched us and then they were eliminated in the next round.
….While Cards fans are frustrated with the team this year, there are 6 MLB teams who have NEVER won the World Series. All were expansion teams at some point. These long-suffering teams are: 1) San Diego Padres (1969-1st season)-lost World Series in 1984 & 1998. Reading the writing on the wall right ow—its seems like the Padres will go deep in the playoffs this year 2) Milwaukee Brewers (started as Seattle Pilots) in 1969—only 1 Series-losing to Cards in 1982. 3) Texas Rangers(opened in 1972). They were just 1 strike away in 2011 against ST. Louis TWICE but the miracle Cards turned it around. Texas actually opened play in 1961 as the Washington Senators. 4) Seattle Mariners-began 1977 have NEVER won the AL pennant and haven’t tasted playoff waters since 2001. 5) Colorado Rockies-since 1993 won NL pennant in 2007 but were swept by the Red Sox. 6) Tampa Bay-expansion in 1998 –have won 2 AL pennants (‘08 & 20) and have made the playoffs 6 times between ’06-’20 but no Series cigar yet.
…in the NCAA Football world, the writing on the wall is about the D-1 Football playoffs. The proposed plan will expand from 4 teams to 12 teams! 4 conference Champions (not necessarily the 4 best teams) will receive a 1st round bye while #5-12 open up play. Like sports on all levels….post-season play is expanding & growing each new contract. Reading the writing….soon,the NCAA may model the High School format of all teams beginning STATE title play with all teams playing in District competition and then advancing—all the way to the title game.
….In a sport that the Lou doesn’t seem to read about….the NBA has reached the Finals. While neither was the top seed of their division, it’ll be the Phoenix Suns v Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks are in the Finals for the 1st time since 1974 when Kareem “ruled”. Bucks are led by Giannis Antetokounmpo from Athens, Greece their leading scorer @ 28.1 ppg. Remarkably, the Bucks still won key games late in the season while he missed games due to a knee injury. In fact, a decision about his even getting on the court in this series, wasn’t reached just hour prior to tip-off. Devin Booker (son of former Mizzou star-Melvin Booker) leads the Suns as he carries 25.6ppg. The Suns lead the series 1-0 after winning the opener 118-105.
Now…Some quick ”reads” …like swinging at the 1st pitch and putting it in play 😊 what a novel idea!
…reading about the “new” NCAA world…even before Arch Manning decides his college destination, he’s on track for $10m contract with sponsors.
.. It made sense that the Cards didn’t have a spot for Albert but Albert is proving to still be a productive batter for the Dodgers. In his 1st 36 games,106 at-bats, he’s batting .253, OPS .747, 6 dingers. Doesn’t sound great? Remember all the noise about Mookie Betts signing in LA last winter? Currently his numbers of 74 games,338 AB, .246 average, 10 HR, OPS .805. Albert’s rising to the occasion.
…Super Bowl repeat? Apparently both the Chiefs & Bucaneers had a strong off-season. The Chiefs bolstered their offensive line by adding 2 proven NFL o-lineman for better protection for Mahomes. The Bucs went the other way..they resigned key free-agent from their OWN team to stay strong on the DLine. (trying to keep the pressure on QB!) We’ll see which team” read the writing” correctly.
…Reading the writing about what “could have been”……I watched Lance Lynn on a CWS game yesterday…I think the Cards goofed there…In 2018, Cards allowed him to “move on”. At the same time, they signed Carlos Martinez to a 6 year contract for $80m We know Carlos’ numbers, meanwhile Lynn has never had a sub .500 record for a season; his 10 year ERA is 3.48. Further, In his career for a 9 inning average—he’s allowed 0.8 HR; 9.0 strikeouts; 3.3 walks; and owns a 112-74 lifetime record. Plus…I like his somewhat “nasty” demeanor on the mound. BTW…the Cards do have a $500,000 buy out available on Carlos after this year which, if I’m reading the writing correctly, will clearly be invoked.
….don’t forget to check out for any blogs that you missed. YOUR thoughts are ALWAYS invited on my Facebook page (Bob Ryan). If you prefer, send to me & I’ll post them with your initials (or your name-whichever you prefer). If you prefer to have me email you my blog directly, just send me your email and you’re be added to his private list. Thanks! Bob

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