Reading the Crystal Ball

Trying to read a CRYSTAL BALL for the future….often bring some surprising results …here goes..

…The crystal ball shows us a cloudy future for Cardinals Mgr Ollie Marmol. He espouses the “produce every day” theory. If he looked at the MLB crystal ball, he’d see that isn’t realistic for MLB players.  Sure they can make routine plays but that doesn’t seem to be much of a “production”. Outstanding defensive plays are very beneficial to the team. many do you usually get in 1 game? 1 or 2?

… Players aren’t going to produce every day offensively. Its unrealistic! You usually need a hit to produce. So  in a 162 game schedule, your need 162 hits to produce every day.  In 2021, only 2 Cardinals had 162+ hits (1/game). Marmol’s verbiage sounds good…but it isn’t realistic. His non-playing experience in playing & managing may be establishing hurdles that can’t be jumped. That results in a constant shuffling of lineups, positions, and erodes player confidence. The constant/continual shuffling often makes players uneasy about their role and often negatively impacts their play.

….Our crystal ball lights up in a Blue background…wait…I see it now… the Blues WILL resign David Perron. While the 34 year old may lose a step or two, he has a very strong shot. He was 4th on the Blues in goals with 27. He led the entire team with 11 Power Play goals. He earned $4m last year and apparently is looking for a 2 year contract $5m/year1 & $5.5m in year 2.  My crystal ball shows that the Blues will get it done! Trading Ville Husso is a small way to clear some $$$ space since he would expect a raise.

…The crystal ball seems very clouded when it comes to finding starting pitching for the Cards. Currently, the WAR (wins above replacement) for starting pitching is 10th best in the NL with no immediate improvements on sight. But their Crystal Ball does light up when looking @ the StL Infield WAR rankings. In the NL, they are #1 @ 1b, #2@2b, #2 @ 3b and #9 @ SS as I write this blog. The crystal ball tell us that the nucleus should be there a few more years. A trade for a “good” starting pitcher (i.e. one that can go 6 strong innings repeatedly) is badly needed (maybe even 2 of them).

…Another cloudy crystal ball seems to show some Tigers? It’s the MU Tigers! Their placement in the SEC as an also-ran in the conference makes it cloudy.  The SEC, while the best football conference, doesn’t get MU past the dark clouds of losing. Of course Mizzou does get to carry a heavy wallet to the bank on payout day. Is it worth it? Btw…the new additions by the SEC (Texas/Oklahoma) push MU further away from the top. How long will the MU fans accept 6-6 records and trips to the tinniest of bowls? Last years Armed Forces Bowl(MU v Army) was ranked as the 27th best of 35 bowl games in level of play. 

….Btw….the crystal ball gets very murky when it looks at the continually changing schedule times for MU games. Many  fans travel to Columbia from KC & StL to attend the game each game. The continual time changes of Kickoff due to TV constraints during the days leading up to the game make those trips difficult to plan and very frustrating for the fan. Will these fans continue to spend their $$$ on MU home games with these last minute changes AND a poor-average team?

…. our crystal ball lights up with the the Tiger stripes again! Some of the  “new” Tiger Additions—bright many accolades into Columbia. Luther Burden (ESL) the WR was a very highly rated HS receiver in the USA (top 5-10 in USA) will play his year@ Columbia. He’ll be gone in 1 year as he’ll be drafted. Ty’Ron Hopper has transferred in from Florida & will be the #1 running back on MU this year. He also has a quick ticket to the NFL. This is the new NCAA style, grab the super-stars and expect to enjoy them for a year. Will it be enough to compete in the SEC? The crystal ball gets very cloudy about the Tigers 2022 season. Outside the crystal ball, some observers still feel like the Tigers don’t have the line play to “beat the big boys”.

…the crystal ball shines again!  This time we see the logo of the Chicago White Sox. Plagued by injuries to a couple of their best players for most of the season, the Sox are fully armed now. Currently in 3rd place holding a 40-43 record Look for Tony LaRusso to guide his team back towards the top of the AL Central.

…the crystal ball flashes a “TU” sign!  The Cards should be grateful that they aren’t in another NL division. With their current 45-42 record–in the NL West they’d be 10 games out in 3rd place; in the NL East they’d be in 4th place 9 games out!

…the crystal ball again gets bright as some very young, probable St Louis Cardinals of the future come into view. Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, & Zack Thompson have already seen Busch Stadium’s turf in 2022 and performed well (at least at times). Highly touted catcher Ivan Herrara was disappointing. As expected he didn’t hit well but surprisingly his receiving skills were below par. At the next level, knocking on the MLB door according to my crystal ball is Jordan Walker, who is the 1st name to pop up.  Maysn Winn & Connor Thomas (LHP) come into view next. Alec Burleson (OF) is yet another “hot” prospect.  There are still more. Use one or more of them to get a quality starting pitcher NOW!

….The crystal ball goes completely dark. Then the word “YADI” appears. What has happened to him this season? We know that he was badly overweight when he reported. But…that was 3 months ago!!

When there are references to him on the air…”he’s getting in shape”… WOW!!! How long does that take an athlete who was scheduled to play on April 1 to get in shape…we’re in mid-July now..3+ months later? I think Yadi’s stringing the Cards along. I bet he’ll be here around Labor Day! When he does report, he’ll play immediately. The Cards “fill-ins” have been lacking in a real bad way.

….Suddenly, The crystal ball goes retro…could the Cards have read their  crystal ball  any better in 1981 when they traded Gary Templeton for Ozzie Smith (THANK GOODNESS THEY DID). Ozzie had never hit @ SD. His averages in his first 4 years @ SD were .258, .211, .230,.222.  He was known as a fielder who could steal bases..period. Sure, Templeton had given the fans the finger and grabbed himself but…did that alone get him moved?  Not really, he was a prima donna —he didn’t want to play on the turf (which StL had). He also didn’t want to play in the Astrodome or Montreal…or the rain!  As Whitey said, “in the other 80 games, he’s good to go” 😊

….Oops… the crystal ball just went dark! My session has come to an end. How about YOU with your own crystal ball—send me some thoughts either on Facebook (Bob Ryan) or directly to me through my email If you’d like go to to catch up on blogs that you may have missed.  Thanks for the read!  Bob