Chasing Gold

Chasing Gold! Historically, Gold has been a symbol of power, wealth and fame. People have been chasing it for centuries. It still holds true, in some ways, today…especially in the Olympics
…for some, who’ve been chasing Gold for decades, it’s has been very elusive for most and came as a shocking surprise in the Olympics when they finally caught it! While only a few of us know the names of most of the competitors, there are still surprises. In the 400m freestyle swimming event, an 18 year Tunisian, Ahmed Hafnaoui, won the Gold Medal. Hafnaoui had qualified for the event with the slowest qualifying time (8th) yet won the 5th gold in Tunisian history. A couple days later, the 1st Alaskan to win a Gold Medal in swimming, Lydia Jacoby, won the GOLD by coming from behind in the last couple strokes and won the 100m breaststroke for the USA.
…In an early round game of Mens’ Basketball, Gold seemed a long, long off for the USA. France knocked off the USA 83-76. Leading 45-37 @ half, the Americans slumped badly in the 3rd and were outscored 25-11. Can you imagine an USA Mens’ team scoring 11 points in an entire quarter? France outrebounded the USA 43-36 and the USA team could not knock down key 3 point shots throughout the 4th quarter. In the next round, the USA did pound Iran 120-66.
….as one views the Cards, it seems that the Cards management doesn’t feel the need to Chase GOLD by acquiring new piece(s)—especially pitchers. Cards seem satisfied with their current corp of veteran castaways to fill the gaps in the staff. The Return of Jack Flaherty & Miles Mikolas from the IL appears to be the remedy that the Cards are expecting to lead them to GOLD. Flaherty is the ace and I’m anxious to see him back too but I’m not as excited about Mikolas. He missed all of 2020, has thrown only 59 pitches this year and turns 33 years old in August. In his last full year,2019, Mikolas held a 9-14 record, 4.16 ERA with a batting average of .272 against him. If the Cards wanted to really chase GOLD, they’d move for a Golden player. Max Scherzer, with his $34.5m current contract is the man. The Parkway Central grad would be a perfect fit for this “stretch run” of 60ish games as he becomes a free agent at the end of this year. He carries around an impressive resume that includes 3 Cy Young awards,4 seasons of 250+ strikeouts and with a WHIP under 1.00. He has over 2900 strikeouts with only 666 walks!! Would you trade Matthew Liberatore for him? The question is– Will the LHP Liberatore be another Carlton(HOF)? Ray Sadecki (1-20 win season), Larry Jaster (.500 pitcher in 7 seasons?). Tampa Bay has already traded him to us. Generally, they do a wonderful job of evaluating talent, so their evaluations ended up in a trade to us. For me..YES, I would trade him for Scherzer!
…the Blues hope that they hit GOLD in their off season acquisitions. With their 1st round draft pick, StL chose Zachary Bolduc. This 18 year old forward probably won’t see the Blues next year but hopefully, in a few short years. The Blues also acquired left-handed shooting forward , Pavel Buchnevich, from the NY Rangers. Buchnevich scored 20 goals and 48 assists (68 points) in 48 games last season. While I can’t say that I know much about their style &/or skill, both of these players seem to fit the mold of aggressive, checking, scoring forwards that HC Craig Berube desires. Blues MUST be pleased, they signed him to a 4 year deal this week. The signing of Jaden Schwartz by Seattle was not surprising. He didn’t seem to be the same player in 20-21 and his scoring fell way off with only 8 goals (lowest since 15-16. Jeremy Rutherford, Blues “beat” writer, gave him an “F” on his play for 20-21. Further, working against him was the plethora of LW in free agency this year which the Blues will address shortly. Also walking away was Mike Hoffman as he signed with Montreal. Hoffman DID seem to come alive in the playoffs with his power play skills. However, for much of the season he seemed rather slow and not a real asset 5 on 5.
…Jim Sterk stepping away from Mizzou job suddenly seems strange to me. On the doorstep of August with fall athletics ratcheting upwards, he leaves? I think that there’s more to the story…but maybe I’m just getting cynical about “moves” at these high levels. Was his personal “Gold”(salary) high enough @ Mizzou? He didn’t really give a reason but his future actions will tell more of the story.
…striving to earn more GOLD for their coffers, Oklahoma & Texas have jointly expressed their interest in moving to the SEC. For the SEC, adding 2 more longtime, elite national powerhouse programs to the conference would be a coup and add much GOLD to the conference in money, prestige, & ratings. On the other side, The Big 12 would shrink significantly in prestige as well as some broadcasting revenue…some might already question if they had much prestige outside OU & Texas anyway. Is Clemson far behind in the chase for GOLD? I’m sure Alabama doesn’t care but I would think that many SEC programs on the “cusp” of Top 10 or top 20 rankings might nod “yes” outwardly but really wonder inwardly about these additions. What does it do to THEIR chances of ever grabbing the football GOLD? Further, if the SEC grabs a couple more prestige schools in football, what does that do to the NCAA playoffs? Or…does it just become a SEC Tournament 😊
…This is the time of the year when MLB teams with playoff hopes go GOLD chasing. In hopes of maintaining that playoff spot. In the NL, San Diego swapped 3 minor league players to the Pirates for 2b Adam Frazier. Currently, Frazier is 2nd in the NL in batting average @ .324, 1st in HITS and 8th in RUNS CREATED. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay surprised some by acquiring a proven “GOLDEN” power hitter, Nelson Cruz. The seemingly ageless 41 year old has been a powerful, consistent hitter for much of his 17 year career. At this point, the Cards have been quiet.
….Well, I’m done chasing GOLD for today. I love reading, as most others do, YOUR thoughts on chasing Gold. Please send to me rjryansr@charter.net or post on my Facebook page (Bob Ryan) or post on my internet site that’s devoted to these blogs… http://www.bobryansportsblog.com or simply email to me & I’ll post it for you! Thanks!

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