October brings questions

October brings us to MLB crunch time & playoff time with NCAA-F/NFL in mid-season. By this time, changes have been made ..maybe repeatedly. As always though, there seem to be more questions than concrete answers at this time of the year.
….the Mizzou loss to Tennessee 62-24 … it really wasn’t THAT close…sees many questions surface. MU went…for the 1st time…to a 3-3 “front” (3 d-lineman, 3-LB)…OK…maybe a good idea….but 1 of the LB was actually a LINEMAN! Now…how in the world does a coach expect a D-lineman to have the agility, speed, quickness to move side-side vs the Vol run game or expect him to “cover” a pass receiver? Immediately, the D-Coordinator Steve Wilks comes under close scrutiny. A former NFL coach, Wilks was hired this year by Coach Drink. Wilks has moved from the field level to the booth…I don’t care if he’s watching from a helicopter or a TV at home….the MU defense looks bad no matter where you watch it from! Then, the MU D-Line Coach , Jethro Franklin, was fired.
….To me this all raises questions about Coach Drinkwitz! Poor defensive schemes, pointing fingers at assistants or bringing out the hatchet to the staff that YOU hired after 1 month of the season . I would assume that you watched and worked with them at practice every day and YOU agreed with their moves/plans. Now… after a very, very bad loss…it’s not JUST the Assistant Coaches….it’s the Head Coach who wears the blame!
…Last nights Wild Card game raised a new question. Clearly, Max Scherzer was very, displeased to be removed from the game. Scherzer shook the hand of Manager Roberts when it was clear that he was going to be removed. Was this a “going away” handshake? ..maybe like…nice knowing ya, I’m outta here if this is how you treat me. Still fuming in the dugout, Scherzer was barking at Roberts. After time & reflection, will this quick removal in a key playoff game lead Scherzer to “moving on” from LA this off season? No matter how many wheelbarrows of money they offer him, pitching the big games in key spots is worth a great deal more to Scherzer at this point of his career. Boy…I’m dreaming now…. wouldn’t it be unbelievable to have him in the Cards rotation?
….Despite basking in the glory of reaching the 2nd Wild Card spot, the Cardinals do have questions facing them for ’22. “In-house” planning of Alex Reyes raises Questions. Last night’s failure pushed his issue closer to the front of the Cards questions. Listed as the #1 prospect in the organization for 4 consecutive years, Reyes had a long history of “arm issues”. He was used in only 23 total games over the previous 3 years, with multiple IL trips. The Cards made Reyes the Closer coming into the season. He did a good job, a really good job….up until about July 1. Then, the usage seemed to have caught up with him and his arm. He gave up 6 runs in 10 innings in July then 9 runs in 10 innings in August, 7 runs in 13 innings in September, as well as multiple game-ending HR’s. Nonetheless, Schildt still trusted Reyes in the biggest game of the year. Why? Once again, Reyes couldn’t do the job. To me, there isn’t any question…..The Cards top priority this winter is obtaining a proven closer.
…The deeper question about Reyes has to be asked… why would you move a starting pitcher who throws every 5 days w/o the pressure of being “ON” for every single pitch… into a spot where he’s required to throw his hardest every outing, every batter, every pitch with the game hanging in the balance AND still he was used 69 times! I think that his arm “lost” some zip as the summer unfolded. I hope that the questions are being asked about either a) making him a starter again or b) using him as a “piggy-back” reliever who pitches 3-4 innings every 4th or 5th day. Can this highly touted pitcher take 65-70 trips to the mound in a year & remain healthy? I think we saw our answer this year.
….As St Louis U Basketball looks ahead to their 21-22 season, the immediate question is “can the Bills replace their 2 foundational players of the past couple years, Jordan Godwin and Hashan French? This pair carried the Billikens in most of the key parts of last years games. Coach Ford seems to have brought in strong players and may actually have a stronger bench. But…we’ll have to see if it unfolds well w/o the dynamic pair who graduated.
….One must wonder after seeing the Cards silent bats vs LA if all the “rest” days of the final week assisted or detracted from the Cards effectiveness at the plate. There is no substitute for game action. Sure, it was the Dodgers quality pitching but resting in the final week for a 1 game playoff game seems to bit superfluous for these professional athletes.
…of course the biggest Blues question centers around Vladimir Tarasenko. Will he remain a Blue? Will he be produce like a few years ago or like last year? Can the 200+pounder somehow find a way to plant himself in front of the net or put the puck in the net?
….so now it’s YOUR turn to ask the questions 😊 Who and what would you ask? Put your questions directly onto my Facebook page (Bob Ryan), or put them as a comment on this site or send to me and I’ll be happy to publish. Thanks!! Bob

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