Looking through a Different Lens

Throughout life we view situations through our own “lens”—our personal experience, that particular moment &/or situations, our age, etc. Some of us may be looking @ sports through a different lens than the teams or players involved. Take a look…
….You have to start with the Blues Saturday night game, I was wondering what “lens” the officials were looking through! To my non-professional eyes, Nazem Kadri clearly dove into Blues blueliner defenseman Calle Rosen & GK Jordan Binnington. He wasn’t playing the puck..at all. He wasn’t trying to score. From the view of my “lens”, it was a dirty play with 1 purpose-get Binnington. Immediately, the raucous crowd became “church like”—very quiet. The Blues lost their intensity. Amazingly to me, there wasn’t even a penalty called. It seems that the “justice” lens would require that Kadri miss as many games as Binnington (who’s out for the series) From my lens….W/O Binnington, this will be a short series.
….The Cardinals seem to be looking through a “frenzied” lens. Their anxiety to win…to win every game…seems to blind them to the fact that it’s a long 6 month season! The Cards constantly pressing the “change” button for the roster probably rattles many of the players, especially the young ones. It wasn’t always this way. In April 2012, the Cards made a total of 16 transactions during the month. Off the field, in April 2022, the Cards made 32 transactions—twice as many! On the field, rookie manager Ollie Marmol can “talk the talk” before & after the game but is his “put the team in a position to win”lens actually leading to wins? (please don’t be impressed by sweeping the Pirates) . Btw…using my “being petty” lens, would Ollie get a hat that fits him! This one looks 2 sizes too big 😊
… To my eyes, the Cards players seems to be looking through a “jittery” lens…this almost daily up/down with players on the roster doesn’t build confidence or increase long-term production. MLB Players can’t produce EVERY day. Heck, 3 hits in 10 at-bats makes you a superstar these days.
….The classic misuse of this “nervous, daily production” lens by the Cards could center around Tyler O’Neill. Why is he getting the “short term” lens after last season? O’Neill finished 8th in the NL MVP voting in 2021. Goldschmidt was 6th in the voting & Arenado didn’t receive ANY votes for MVP. Soooo….what does this say about O’Neill….clearly—he was terrific in 2021! Doesn’t that level of achievement warrant using a lens with some “patience” look to it? The Cards seemed to panic when O’Neill didn’t come out banging the ball. Their “do it right now” lens had him changing his stance, sitting out, ”giving him a break”(what a croc in MAY). The new wide open stance developed for him, seemed to throw off his timing on his swing & he can’t find the correct landing spot for his stride….ugh!! Now instead of being tied up with inside pitches, he’s whiffing over & over again at strikes over the outside half of the plate. Don’t kid yourself, the entire team is watching what the Cards are doing to O’Neill. Further, without O’Neill’s bat, defense & baserunning in the OF daily, this club isn’t nearly as good.
…In the NCAA-M basketball cycle, this is the recruiting season. Using a “local lens”, SLU has quietly assembled a strong off-season. In the A-10, the Billikens were ranked as having the 3rd best recruiting class. Two familiar names, Larry Hughes Jr & Kellen Thames, join Nick Kramer from SLUH to give Coach provide the Bills with local athletes who can “play”. Count on them to contribute immediately but also to be strong contributors in 2-3 years. SLU used the short-term lens to fill the post-area with 6-9 Temple transfer – Jake Forrester and 7-0 Mouhamadou Cissé. It would seem that Cisse’ will be more of a” long-term lens” project. But, the Bills fill a badly need void in the post area as many teams hurt the Bills there in 21-22 season
…In 2018 Cardinals in 2018, Marcel Ozuna was welcomed with open arms by the fans. Using their “short term” lens, the Cards felt that he’d help their 3rd place 2017 team needed to win RIGHT NOW. Upon arrival, the Cards upped his salary from $3m in a 2 year contract to one worth $21m. He did hit .280 in his first year but his woeful defensive play in the OF persuaded the Cards not to resign him at the end of his contract. For those 2 years, the Cardinals traded away 2 future starting pitchers to Miami. Sandy Alcantara & Zac Gallen were traded to Miami for Ozuna. Both are reaching their “prime” years. Alcantara, now hitting his prime at 26 years old, has a 2.49 ERA, 3-2 record. In his 8 starts, he’s gone 50.2 innings (a solid 6 inn per start). Galle, also 26 year old, was traded by Miami to Arizona. In 2022, he’s 3-0 with an unbelievable 1.14 ERA in his 7 starts. He has registered 39 strikeouts in 39 innings. That was an unusual trade for the Cardinals –they generally use the “long lens” look. Instead, they traded for a player who’d be a free agent in 2 years and giving up 2 very, very talented starters.
…surprising many looking through his “professional batting” lens, the NY Mets impressed Cards analyst, Jim Edmonds this weekend. Edmonds mentioned several times the Mets willingness to take outside pitches the “other way” for base hits. Statistics back him up—in the entire MLB, the NY Mets are 1st in OBP (on base %), 2nd in batting average, 5th in runs scored. Btw…our Cards
…using a “very petty lens” two titans of college football, Nick Saban (Bama) & Jimbo Fischer (Tx A&M) two of the winningest coaches accused each other of misusing the NIL (name, image, likeness) to recruit super players. What a joke!! They both are!! Without any NCAA regulations, this is only the beginning of the Wild-West of NCAA-Football recruiting under the NIL umbrella. An umbrella is required because its raining down storms of money to these players. Many of whom could care less about a college degree. One possible idea is that if a player leaves prior to his 4 year commitment, his scholarship is unusable until those 4 years expire (with a couple players(maybe 5) each year who are exemption from that 4 year requirement. Those players could play 1 or 2 years & move on.
….in the Nearly Forgotten League (NFL), teams usually take a different lens when making a trade. One team uses a very “short term’ lens and thinks that they can win RIGHT NOW. The other team is using a “down the road” lens. Seattle traded their QB, Russell Wilson, to Denver. In return, the Broncs received QB Drew Lock… yes..the MU guy….TE Noah Fant, DE Shelby Harris; 2022 Rounds 1, 2 and 5 picks; 2023 Rounds 1 and 2 picks (with Denver receiving a 2022 Round 4 pick). Clearly Denver feels like their ready to win “NOW” with a veteran QB who’s been there…done that. Seattle, meanwhile, looks to future using their “long lens”.
…Well….I’ve used my “short term” lens to reach the end. Thanks for the read! If you’d like to see other blogs, visit http://www.bobryansportsblog.com for past blogs. As always, I welcome YOUR thoughts on any part of this blog. Don’t hesitate to disagree! No 2 of us are alike in our thoughts. Post them on Facebook (Bob Ryan) or send to me & I’ll do it for you (w/o your name if you prefer).