We all have to do it at some point…we’ve all got STEP UP at sometime. Decisions at home, work, with friends often require this type of decision. It’s also true in the sports world..
…Wrapping up the World Series by STEPPING UP were the Houston Astros. Since their 2017 debacle with trash cans to bang on, the ‘stros have stayed highly competitive. Houston has seen 3 World Series appearances and five straight ALCS appearances since 2017. This wasn’t by accident. Houston was built to win by this this organization. It was so well-built from a player standpoint. Even after the cheating scandal was exposed, Houston still had the roster to compete at the highest level. They were built for the present in 2017 and the future. Clearly, the 2017 debacle wasn’t their only shot to win it all. Yet, some players fell to the needs of instant, easier, illegal approaches. They tainted this terrific “run” by cheating.
…Back to 2022, Houston & Philly were the STEPPED UP the most in the ’22 post season. In batting, the Phils led all playoff teams with 75 runs. Houston was 2nd in runs with 53. But digging deeper, Houston was 2nd of the 12 playoff teams in OBP (on base %), Philly was #6. The Astros were 4th in slugging (Philly was #3). On the mound, Houston was 2nd in team ERA (2.29) while Philly was #4 (3.24). Houston’s staff was #3 with an 0.95 in WHIP. Philly was #5 holding a 1.05 WHIP. They were the two best playoff teams.
….Also both teams saw their “stars” STEP UP at the plate in the Series. Bryce Harper led the Phils in almost all the key categories—Most Hits(22); most HR (6); Most RBI’s (13); avg-.349; OBP-.414; slug%-.746; OPS an unbelievable 1.16. His super star talent was easy to see. Houston saw some of their seasoned veterans STEP UP TO THE PLATE along with some budding stars. However, the top Houston batter was Rookie Jeremy Pena. Pena shined brightly like a star as he STEPPED UP with some remarkable stats in the World Series He scored 5 runs(tied Schwarber for the most runs scored. He was tops in OBP in the Series @ .423. He also was 2nd in Slugging % to Schwarber @ .600.
… One would have to think that in order for the Cards to STEP UP, they would be in the SS market this off-season. There are 3 good and 1 very good SS out there this off-season. All of them would improve the team and all are about the same age 28-30. The 4 Free agent SS this year are-Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts & Dansby Swanson. All would be upgrades for the Cards. Some think that Bogaerts is the best of this highly talented 4-some. I haven’t seen Bogaerts much at all….if at all. I have seen Turner. He’s really good. To my eyes…it’d be great to see the Cards STEP UP TO THE PLATE and sign the best one– Trea Turner (LA Dodger SS).
….The Cards have 2 good players at the corners—Goldy & Arenado. Their outfield is a mix & match variety now—which means none of them are real “stars”. An outstanding SS who can hit will ease the OF discomfort. Turner is 29 years old holds a career batting average of .302 (hit .298 last year), has 230 stolen bases (Cards fans LOVE speed) with 27 in ’22, the OBP of .355 is much higher than the league OBP of .312. He’s been in the Top 7 of league MVP voting 3 times!!
…Of course, it’ll come down to money. Don’t know his asking price but I’m guessing that he’s looking for a $300m total contract. Turner is 29 right now. Soooo… a 8 year contract takes him up to 37. Consider that Ozzie Smith was still starting 134 games at 39 years of age in 1993. Turner could do it! STEP UP TO THE PLATE CARDS and make the move!!! Edman could become the every-day 2B and add stability to the massive changes that seem almost like a picnic-ride when it ends. Kids racing on & off constantly.
…the Blues are off to a horrible start(sorry, you can’t sugar-coat it)! The Blues roster is loaded with seasoned vets who have earned strong salaries. Changes in play &/or salary must occur. To my non-trained eyes, the team just looks slower in speed & reacting to situations. The opposition has been flowing through open ice like it’s the Ice Capades😊 The Blues have a $71m invested in 14 players for next season. They are going to have to choose between several different veterans soon in order to STEP UP. O’Reilly & Schenn, who both carry hefty salaries, could be targeted. As it looks now, the Blues will be forced to STEP UP TO THE PLATE sooner rather than later to make progress towards the playoffs before it gets out of reach.
…Taking a huge STEP UP, LSU edged Alabama in OT by scoring on a 2-pt conversion to win a 32-31 game. 1st year Head Coach, Brian Kelly (moved to LSU from ND this year) gambled & won. Each team is now 7-2 in a game that had 6 lead changes. There were 3 lead changes in the final 4:44. Bama had tied it up with 21 seconds left on Will Reichards’s 46 yd FG. Bama scored first in the OT and kicked the 1 point conversion. LSU went for the win after its TD in OT. Bama has 2 losses now, one would think that they’d be eliminated from the NCAA Playoff Picture for this year. A crowd of 102,000ish turned Death Valley into “Deaf Valley” with roars that continually seemed to send vibrations throughout Tiger Stadium in this classic game! Rumors are that HC Brian Kelly could have ran for mayor of Baton Rouge, LA and won in a landslide last night 😊
…Well, I’m tired of STEPPING UP for today. Now it’s YOUR turn to STEP UP. All views are invited about these suggestions or others. Post on Facebook or my web page (it’s easy) www.bobryansportsblog.com. If you prefer, just email to me & I’ll post it for you! Thanks for the read!! Have a Great week STEPPING UP to meet your challenges! Bob