Hey Bob! What do you think about…

….Hey Bob….WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT the Blues after their post-season?  They are in the top 5-6 teams of the league. Their scoring blossomed this year with 9 forwards scoring 20+ goals.  Picking up Nick Leddy strengthened the team.  For me, the question marks come after the names of Ivan Barbashev & Colton Parayko.  Barbashev was very, very good in the regular season. Aggressive checker & a goal scorer. He finished 5th on the team in goals with 26 and led the team in “hits” with 160. However, in the post season, he just didn’t play the same way. He DID have 1 big hit but no scoring!  He’ll be in the last year of a friendly $2.5m contract in 22-23. He needs to produce & play aggressively or…he would be very attractive trade bait for other teams. Parayko has been 1 of my favorites for a couple years now but he seemed to disappear in parts the Denver series(especially game 6).  Maybe it was their speed? Who knows but he’s got to play better and assert himself more often. BTW…our loss to Denver doesn’t look so bad since the Av’s are crushing Edmonton with a 2-0 lead in the Series including a 7-0 whooping.

….Hey Bob… WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT this new Cardinal—Brendan Donovan? I luv his play and his batting. In his first 44 MB games, he’s played 6 positions, batted in all 9 spots of the batting order, held a .341 average and a .901 on-base %. In addition to his versatility which enable the Cards to sit a player who needs a “break”. It still has me wonder why these very athletic men in the prime of their lives can’t play almost every day. Anyway…back to Donovan…he has the ol’ fashioned, level swing taking the outside pitch to the opposite field and pulling the inside pitch. Let’s hope that he doesn’t change it to conform to the “modern” upward swing approach. More than likely, he won’t continue to bat at such a lofty mark but with his swing & keen eye, he should continue to be a regular “replacement” starter. He & Tommy Edman get on base, use their speed for off & defense & bring excitement.

…Hey Bob… WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT Flaherty?  Well…I’ve heard a great deal about his “stuff” and surely he has the confidence…maybe even cockiness…to win.  But…he’s in his 6th year with the Cardinals. He’s only pitched more than 17 games twice in a MLB season. Clearly, durability seems to be a batter that he can’t “put away” easily. He does have strong stats for his career..32-24 record; 3.36 era; 570 strikeouts in 490 inn of MLB pitching. Sooo… he’s shown good “stuff” but part of being a star is being durable. It’s time for him to produce in a consistent way

….Hey Bob… WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT the MLB’s lack of competitiveness across the league?  The answer is easy…money!  In the MLB, the MLB network features some selected games but does not manage all the broadcasts like the NFL and now the MLS. The MLB is light years behind the NFL in TV deals with the networks/streaming. In the NFL, where the LEAGUE controls/works out the deals for ALL the televised games, each team earns around $300m. With the incomes being more equal, the teams of the NFL have their “up” and “down” times. It’s based on football evaluations, handling of the pay scale, injuries, coaching, etc. Not all teams are exactly equal, but eventually, most teams win…at least enough to contend for the playoffs every so often.

 ….This is exactly what the MLS has just done…they just signed a deal with Apple to stream every game for the next 10 years. The deal was worth $2.5billion for the league….every team will benefit equally. This balances the playing field for all. The MLB is “behind this curve (ball)”.

…. In the MLB, the table isn’t even close to being equal…some teams have the money to spend…and others don’t! Look at the standings, you can determine rather easily the teams that have the money! For example…look @ the Pirates over the past several decades. They’ve won just 1 Wild Card game  and have lost all other 1st round post-season appearances since 1979! Their last World Series championship was 1971 (50+ years ago). They rarely have a winning record(over .500) to draw fans. They are averaging 12,000+ fans/game this year.  Their 2022 salary for their current 26 man roster is $36m. Compare that to the salary of one Cardinal player—Nolan Arenado. His salary is $35m…by himself!!! According to the latest figures, the current Cards 26 man roster has a payroll of $123m. How can the Pirates compete on an equal plain? A MLB national network that would cover all the games (by streaming) would even out the income base for all the teams and would be a huge improvement for baseball. That is…if the current big boys of the league (NYY, LA, HOU, Cards, etc) actually want a balanced, competitive league!!

…. Hey Bob… WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT Matt Carpenter. First of all, I hardy recognize him without his beard (NYY don’t allow it). I’m very happy for him that he’s landed an MLB position. His letter to the Cardinal fans when he was “cut” was very touching. Sooo…how could you NOT root for him to land another MLB job. Just by chance, I put on MLB network on Saturday which was featuring Matt Carpenter. The Hitting Guru on the show used a slo-mo tape to show that Carp wasn’t turning his front foot/leg as a Cardinal. Hence, he was getting “locked up” so that his bat didn’t strike the ball as his body/hips were turning. How long did the Cards watch that same weakness w/o seeing it? Obviously, someone in NY helped Carp make the change.  I don’t know how long he’ll hit but Yankee stadium is the perfect spot for a left-handed batter with the short RF fence. Remember, it is the house that Babe Ruth built (actually it was the house built FOR Ruth!!).  My instincts tell me that he’ll cool off but I’m wishing him luck.

…Well that wraps up my “what do think Bob” topics for this one.  What about YOUR feelings on any of these topics. Please share your thoughts in a couple of ways…post directly on Facebook(Bob Ryan), send to me via email/messenger or through my website & I’ll post for you. Thanks for the read (and response) and pass the word to your sports friends!  Bob