GOING ALL IN

If you want to succeed in life, business, relationships…you have to go “ALL IN” to make it work. Likewise in the Sports World.
…watching the entire Euro soccer final between England & Italy is another classic example. England scored in the first 2 minutes of the match when Luke Shaw capitalized on a nifty pass and beat the keeper to the short side. Immediately, England dropped back most of their players (playing a 5 deep configuration) and conceded the mid-field to Italy. England was playing to “hold on” for 88 minutes!! WOW! That’s not going “ALL IN” in my eyes. I could understand it if your team was up 2 goals or there was far less time…even half the game. In the 67th minute, Italy scored when Veratti’s header hit the left post & Bonucci followed it up on the goal line. Match went to penalties & Italy prevailed 3-2.
…Some MLB teams seem to be shying away from going “all in”. Apparently, they think that grabbing the Wild Card spot will a) appease the fans b) provide a good chance of winning a title. Personally, I think reaching the Wild Card level satisfies fans IF your team hasn’t made the playoffs for some time. Regarding the success of Wild Cards, since 1995 when Wild Card teams were introduced to the MLB, there have been 76 wild card teams. Seven have won the World series. That’s about a 9% success rate. Playing to be the “Wild Card” team isn’t going “ALL IN”.
…The Cards have gone ALL IN in getting Arenado this year but 1 man isn’t enough in the MLB. The Cards apparently felt like they had enough pitching in the rotation & in the pen for 2021. Long-term Pre-season Injuries to MIles Mikolas, Dakota Hudson, Jordan Hicks have been followed by the wipe outs of ace Jack Flaherty, Ponce deLeon & Carlos Martinez. This has devasted the staff. I was hoping for an “ALL IN” approach by the management with at least ONE acquisition of a high quality pitcher. Instead, the Cards have gone to older, soft throwing hurlers with mediocre career resumes. Recently added to roster were: 36 year old, Wade LaBlanc (career record 46-49, 4.56 ERA,9th team);34 year old Justin Miller is 13-5 for his career and holds 4.67 career ERA. His best year was 2018 for the Nationals with 7 wins, 11 holds; 34 year old Luis Garcia-he’s 14-17 with a 4.28 career ERA of 327 games. It seems to me that the Cards are asking the fans to go “ALL IN” but aren’t doing it themselves.
…With the expansion draft, the Blues will lose someone but there are other rumors. The rumors about Matthew Tkachuk possibly being available, immediately makes me think GO ALL IN! Get this guy! This 23 year old is said to be a physical player(he’s 6-2, 200 lbs) and active. Some call him a “pest for that reason. He has 278 points in 349 games. He’d be an instant hit in the Lou. The Calgary Flames haven’t advanced past the 1st round since 04-05 so they’re open to change also.
…Right now, Alabama is the premier collegiate football team. Yes….their recruiting skills bring in the highest level players but…Head Coach Nick Saban wants the latest, fresh, current, innovative offensive ideas. He continues to go “ALL IN” by hiring new offensive coordinators regularly. Working backwards… Currently its Bill O’Brien –coming off a 6 year tenure as an NFL Head Coach of the Houston Texans. He follows, Steve Sarkisian 2019-20, Michael Locksley 2018, Brian Daboll 17-18, Lane Kiffin 2014-16, Doug Nussmeier 2012-13, Jim McElwain 2008-11, Major Applewhite 2007. With this constant turnover of veteran, highly skilled, experienced coaches, Saban has gone all in to learn the latest, newest, fresh approaches in College offensive Football and pick & choose between several different varied approaches. He keeps improving himself. The current trend now is to move a wide range of talented players around, often after reaching the LOS, to get mismatches…then choose the best matchup.. thus making success easier. Of course, it makes it easier when you have the best athletes to find those mismatches on the LOS.
…Trying to go “ALL IN” isn’t a guarantee of success. the Cards went ALL IN to obtain Marcel Ozuna in 2018 . The Cards acquired Ozuna after his sparkling 2017 year following 2014-16 when the played similarly to his play in St Louis. Trading away prospects is a gamble. Frankly, more of them flop than turn into productive players but…in this case, not so much. The Cards sent Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen & Magneuris Sierra. Alcantara is now viewed with very high regard despite being on the lowly Marlins team. Forget about the W-L record…he’s on the Marlins. Look past that stat & check out his work in Florida—398 inn, 7.8 hits/9 inn, 332 strikeouts, 0.9 hr/9 inn, WHIP-1.265. Zac Gallen got moved to Arizona (probably a worse team than the Marlins). His stats this year are: 41 inn, 49 strikeouts, 7.1 hits/9 inn, 1.1 HR/ 9 inn. Each pitcher is 25 years old. The only Card pitcher with a better hits/9 inn is Jack Flaherty. The 25 year old Sierra is a fleet footed, light hitting OF batting .243. All that for Ozuna who cost $21m over the 2 years, then left. At least one could say that the Cards TRIED GOING ALL IN with the Ozuna trade….it just didn’t work out. For one, I was shocked at how poorly his outfield play was for the Cards. Further, his arm was not of the highest level.
…in the MLB All-Star game, the networks & the league tried going “ALL IN” by miking up players on the field..including batters in the box. As you would expect most of the comments were rather generic but there were a few personal nuggets like 1b Freddie Freeman talking about his kids getting the chance to meet/talk with other players personally. I didn’t think that pressuring a batter in the batters box to break his concentration to answer a question (like what pitch are you looking for) just micro-seconds prior to his swing was a good idea. Are they dodging a law suit if that batter gets hit by the pitch & is hurt seriously? Ask those questions to the on-deck batter. The banter between the 2 managers seemed real and enjoyable. All the hype about Shohei Otani was highlighted as he won the HR Derby, was the opening pitcher for AL and was the lead-off man! WOW-what a 3-some combination!! What does it mean…if anything at all… that the AL has won 8 straight All-Star games? What if the MLB put more “stakes” to the All-Star game…like the winning league gets the home field advantage in the World Series?
….Well…I’ve gone “ALL IN”….how about you? It doesn’t cost anything—give me YOUR thoughts. You can use http://www.bobryansportsblog.com , Bob Ryan -Facebook page or an email to share YOUR ideas.

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