Kind of a Hush

A popular 60’s song, There’s Kind of a Hush by Herman’s Hermits depicts rather will the tone around the sports world this week.

…I was fortunate enough to attend 1 of the NYY-Cards games in the Lou. It was a very special “feel” around the park. The crowd was fantastic (largest crowd EVER @ Busch), there were many Yankees fans boldly wearing their Yankee garb, it was a hot, StL baseball night. The crowd was very supportive but not unruly, not rude to the NY fans and the NY fans reciprocated. There was just a special feel—A KIND OF A HUSH. The 1 run that scored in the 1st inning by the Cards proved to be the ONLY run of the game in a 1-0 win.  Sooo…there was a real BIG HUSH of the NYY-StL bats throughout the game, especially with runners on base.

….This KIND OF HUSH game felt like royalty facing each other! Both teams have very strong fan bases, terrific attendance, tradition and are very proud of their team. These 2 clubs have been in many World Series’. They are both viewed as baseball royalty by many fans. Yet, these 2 teams have seldom faced each other in regular/post season games. But…the Cards & Yanks do go way, way back. The Cards were 1-5 in the 2010’s; 2-4 in the 2000’s against NYY. Then go all the way back to the 1964 World Series when Cards won it 4 games to 3. These 2 teams played 10 games in the 1940’s (5-5) and were 4-7 in the 1920’s. Maybe the rarity of the competition spawned this “special” feeling about the games.

…There was a KIND OF A HUSH when fans “checked out” the Yanks batting numbers prior to the series. Versus the entire MLB, The Bronx Bombers lead the MLB in runs/game; also 1st in Home runs; 2nd in OB%’ 2nd in Slugging %. Further, the Yankees demand certain requirements to play of them.  They, alone it seems, make these demands; No name on the back of uniform, No facial beards, long hair is not allowed. I saw a pic of Harrison Bader w/o his long locks… didn’t recognize him 😊

…There was a KIND OF A HUSH when Aaron Judge came to the plate. He’s 6-7, 282 lbs!! He’s an unbelievable looking athlete up close. Already this year he has 43 HR’ & 97 RBI’s but still carries a .301 average & an OPS of 1.078!! He is probably the only athlete in the MLB that has the “build” to play in the NFL and/or the NBA if he had decided years ago to go in that direction. He leads the MLB in WAR with a 6.2 (WAR means Wins Above Replacement).. frankly, that seems too low to me. But..the analytics provide us with this “precise” number.

…Jordan Montgomery, making his 1st Cardinal appearance, was facing his former teammates of a week ago. The NYY offense remained KIND OF A HUSH as he pitched 5 innings of shutout baseball before suffering a cramp of some sort. The Yanks were shut out for the 5th time in 2022. Only two Yankee runners reached 2b in the game!!

…Many baseball fans experience a KIND OF A HUSH when they hear about the 2023 MLB Season. 2023 will have a brand new type of schedule. Each team will play 56 games against their own division (14 v each team). Then 60 games against the rest of their league– 6 games vs all other 10 NL teams. That leaves 46 games for play vs the AL. That’s 3 games vs 14 of the AL teams & 4 games against their “natural” rival.  Is that rival going to be KC? I really wish that it was the Yankees!!! I’d love seeing the Birds play them every year. So as a fan, you’ll have the chance to watch 8 AL teams @ Busch each year.

…There’s a KIND OF HUSH going on in Blues negotiations. Ryan O’Reilly & the Blues are working on a deal. This will be the 31 year old O’Reilly’s last major contract. The Captain is coming off a 6 year,  $7.5m/year deal signed with the Buffalo Sabres/Blues.  He’ll probably take a slight cut (5.5m-6.5m) for fewer years. Nonetheless, he’s still a strong defensive center & wins many faceoffs. The Blues have the added pressure of already failing to sign David Perron. They don’t want another strong veteran presence to disappear. I’m thinking 3 year deal. He’s a valuable, experienced player. (& its not my $$)

…Jordan Kyrou has another year remaining in his contract but he could be extended. His terrific speed is exciting, his shot has improved to make him a regular season favorite. But in the playoffs, when the checking gets much tighter, his play slipped last year.  Sooo…he’ll need to “button that down” to get the Robert Thomas type money ($65m for 8 years.

…There’s almost always a KIND OF A HUSH when NFL football comes up in a conversation anyplace in the Lou. The fans in Lou have been burned twice by greedy owners so it’s very understandable. But…if you still do watch the NFL (I really do think that there are many “closet” watchers of the NFL…I am) There has been a tremendous amount of change in many of the key QB’s in the league. Matt Ryan is now a Colt; Russell Wilson will wear Broncos Uniform in 22; Baker Mayfield is now at Carolina; despite 20 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct; the Browns sign DeShaun Watson to a 5 year contract…what’s the over/under that he’ll reach the end of that contract? 😊; the Washington Commanders acquired Carson Wentz for draft picks; Steelers signed Mitchell Trubisky for 2 year contract; Bills traded for Case Keenum for a 7th round pick; Falcons signed Marcus Mariota for 2 years & Drew Lock signed with Seattle. Lock is starting his 4th year in the NFL—Congratulations!! I really didn’t expect it! Yet, looking back at his Senior year…that was the last year (2018) that Mizzou won 4 consecutive SEC games!!

…It’s not exactly a KIND OF A HUSH…but the St Louis CityFC has taken positive concrete steps towards developing a program. The U16, U17  teams are obviously based on recognizing & developing young talent for the future. The City2 -Next Pro team is similar to the minor leagues in the MLB. Members of that squad are professionals working their way upward to the actual CITY club. Keep your eyes on them!

…the MLB goes into a KIND OF HUSH  when it comes to 2022 batting styles in the MLB. I get frustrated watching the vast majority of the MLB players take that long, upward arc in their swings with their only goal to hit a HR.  Hits… baserunners…make the game exciting. But, I don’t feel like that there are enough hits-period!  Further, I believe that MLB pitchers (and most pitchers in general) are NOT as effective off the stretch so baserunners are crucial.  Sooo…arbitrarily I checked out last Sunday’s games. I chose Sunday’s games because most teams play their “best 8” players. Not too many sit out on Sunday since Monday is often a day off.  Since .264 is the MLB batting average on this date, I wondered how many players we actually see above that average. Sooo…. I panned through each MLB boxscore on Sundays’ games. Here’s what I found….Shockingly.. Cleveland had the most batters over .264 with 6 batters but none over .300. 4 Teams with 5 batters over .264 were the Dodgers, Mets, Blue Jays & the Yankees(all holding playoff spots currently). 4 Teams had 4 batters over .264 were Atlanta, San Diego, White Sox. 6 Teams with just 3 batters over .264 were the Cardinals, Phillies, Red Sox, Asstroes, Rangers, Rockies. 8 Teams had just 2 batters over .264 were: Angels, Twins, Tigers, Tampa Bay, Pirates, KC, SF Giants, Cubs. 4Teams with just 1 batter over .264 were Seattle, Marlins, Nationals, Arizona. Oakland was the only team to put out a lineup w/o one single batter hitting over .264. They are a last place team!  MLB—wants more action, more excitement? Find players who get hits, get on-base. The HR’s will come later.…Well…. It’s KIND OF A HUSH but not a big surprise, this blog is reaching its conclusion 😊 As Always, Thanks for the read & pass the word. I’m always looking for more readers!  If you want to comment or read the comments, go to Bob Ryan Facebook Page. I’m hoping that you won’t have KIND OF A HUSH when it comes to responding 😊 If you want to go back & read earlier blogs, check out  www.bobryansportsblog.com  Have a great week!  Bob

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