Not What You Expect!

In life with our experiences, we form certain expectations in our life & in sports. Some aren’t what we expected…others a bit beyond…and some we saw coming.
…As we pass the ¼ pole in the MLB season, Cardinal fans have a team on-the-heels of the Milwaukee Brewers (again)! Under the new playoff system (5 per league), the Cards look in good shape.
Totally unexpected by me was that the Cardinals are 3rd in the MLB in fewest strikeouts! Also unexpected is that the Cards are tied for 1st in stolen bases in the MLB! On the pitching side, the Cards are, rather expectantly, in the middle of the pack (12th) in ERA. In the Wins-Above-Average by position, one would expect that the Outfield that’s missed both corner OF for much of the season would be down….and it is! The Cards are 28th of 30 team in Outfield WAR ranking for 2022. Unexpected was the top WAR ranking in the league for 2B for the Birds!! Unexpected was the lowest WAR rating for LF (includes fielding & batting).
…the NIL has “hit” the NCAA hard. You could see this one coming…With Alabama the kingpin in SEC football, their key players are capitalizing. QB Bryce Young, who broke the single game passing record @ Bama as he threw for 559 against Arkansas last year and won the Heisman Trophy, is earning $3.1m this year as a Junior in ‘22. (Undoubtedly, it’ll be his last year as an “amateur”). Young has deals with Cashapp, Subway, Logans’ Roadhouse & BMW-Tuscaloosa. USC’s QB, Caleb Williams, is around $2.5m in his NIL “salary” for 2022.
…Young isn’t the ONLY Bama player who has gained from the NIL ruling. Will Anderson, OLB, has a $1.3m deal for the year. Jumping from Georgia Tech to Alabama ..wonder why? 😊 Jahmyr Gibbs- has inked a $632,000 deal. Signing for $615,000 is safety Jordan Battle. He was 4th in tackles & tied for 1st in interceptions last year. Leaving the National Champions (Georgia), WR Jermaine Burton has inked a $524,000 deal to play with a star QB (Bryce Young). Already made to order with a nick-name of “Kool Aid”….”Kool Aid” McKinistry returns with $473,000 contract in his pocket as a D-Back. Not hard to guess his sponsor 😊 Yet another transfer to Bama (from LSU) is Eli Ricks who has signed a $469,000 deal. This isn’t all the Tide players gaining from NIL…only the ones in the top 100 of the USA in NIL “benefits”! Please note…it was a QB, WR, & D-backs who are earning the big bucks.
…a long term question….how will the weaker NCAA-F teams EVER be able to compete in NCAA-F since they won’t be able for find NIL sponsorships at the same quality & quantity as the “very elite” teams. What are the long-range effects of the NIL in NCAA-F—D1? Will there ever be a team limit of money &/or #of players with contracts over $500,000/year? I would think that non-league opponents of these super-rich NCAA-F teams will demand much more money to “take the loss”. But carrying home a potful of money doesn’t take away the “whooping” taken on the field & in recruiting battles. I would expect the rich to get richer & the poor to get poorer with the NIL incentives.
…It seems that some MLB teams are ALWAYS rebuilding. Year after year, their high expectations are pushed down the road. They infer that it takes years to rebuild a team. Well, those expectations don’t fit the Minnesota Twins who are 31-24 with a 4.5 game lead in the Central in 2022. The Twins struggled through an ugly 2021 season with a 73-89 record. Their aggressive off-season moves have vastly improved the team in 1 year. First acquiring an ACE for their staff in Sonny Gray from Cincy in exchange for their #1 draft pick of 2021. Next they signed a top free agent in SS-Carlos Correa—a major step. Still not done…the Twins engineered a pair of successful trades. 1st, dealt catcher Mitch Garver to Texas for Isiah Kiner-Falefa and RHP Ronny Henriquez. Then turned that around by dealing 3B Josh Donaldson, INF Isiah Kiner-Falefa and C Ben Rortvedt to the NYY for C Gary Sanchez & INF Gio Urshela. These trades made the club better vastly improved. BTW…Gray is 3-1, ERA of 2.41 with only 23 hits in 33 innings. Wouldn’t Gray have looked really good in a Cardinal Red uni?
….many fans of SLU soccer expect a “huge” 2022 season. Reaching the Elite Eight in 2021 with a 16-1-4 record, the Bills are led by local Head Coach, Kevin Kalish. Doing the StL thing…he attended Aquinas-Mercy HS! In his 4 years as HC @ SLU he holds an impressive 41-17-11 record. In 2021’s final rankings, the Bills were #6. A very productive Saint Louis attack were led by Jr’s forward Simon Becher (14g, 10a) and midfielder John Klein (7g, 15a) along with Frosh forward Isaiah Parker (3g, 7a.) SLU scored 51 goals in 2021 while a stout Billiken defense anchored by Soph defender Kipp Keller and Soph Keeper Patrick Schulte held opponents to a total of 18 goals while posting 9 shutouts. SLU’s key returning players are Forwards, Jr Simon Becher (14g,10a) & Frosh Isaiah Parker (3g,7a). Midfielder John Klein recorded 7g,15a in 2021. The SLU defense is led by Kipp Keller with Soph Patrick Schulte in the nets.
….what did the NCAA & colleges expect when they instituted the “transfer portal”. I suspect they anticipated “some” transfers but …to me… it seems overwhelming. In life, and especially NCAA-F, the Grass almost always seems greener some place else. Some…maybe most… talented athletes who are non-starters are NOT accustomed to being out of the spotlight, much less not in a starting spot. In D-1 Football last year there were 2,654 transfers through the portal. This year its 2,669 football transfers through the portal…That’s about 20 players/team! Of course, the very highly rated teams accept very talented transfers. The teams with fewer “star” athletes suffer as several are transferring “out” to teams with winning programs. Some of the weaker teams are losing 10-20 players/year! Sooo…the weak/mediocre teams get weaker and better teams get stronger! The gap grows.
….I expect that you’re ready to see the STOP sign on the Blog! You got it 😊 Thanks for the read & I expect that you’ll express your thoughts on any of the topics by an email to me or posted on FB. Don’t hesitate to disagree. In case you’ve missed some of the past blogs…you can find them on

One thought on “Not What You Expect!

  1. Thanks for the insights Bob. I’m going to add that no one expects Colleen Quigley to qualify for the World Championships in Oregon in July but it just might happen. Like the Olympic trials, she’ll need to be in the top 3 in the US in the championships on June 22-25.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s