Sports CRYSTAL BALL!

Sure…we’re already into 2023 but not far….let’s see what our CRYSTAL BALL shows us now.

…The CRYSTAL BALL shows us that the Cards will be “bringing up” their prized prospect, Jordan Walker,  very early in the season. My Crystal Ball says around May 1’ish. Walker has been extremely impressive thus far in his minor-league career. He’s a real athlete..not just a baseball hitter. He’s 6-5, 220, just 20 years old!  Could you imagine hitting free agency at 27 years of age?

…My CRYSTAL BALL says that the Cards want to save a year before he could be eligible for free agency. As Chris Bryant found out, your extra year is reserved if you miss just 15 days. Bryant was brought up on April 17, 2015. Just 1 day after the minimum had been reached by the Cubs. After the 2015 season, Bryant filed a grievance against the Cubs for delaying his call-up to the majors for the purpose of delaying his free agency, accusing the team of service time manipulation The grievance was finally heard in January 2020, with the arbitrator ruling against Bryant. The Cards won’t be quite so obvious…look for him around May 1-10th.

….Along these same lines…my CRYSTAL BALL lights up again….If Walker does “walk on water” as predicted, the Cards  will have a surplus of OF. Tyler O’Neill & Dylan Carlson are the closest to free agency. Both seem to have clouds over their heads—O’Neill for his way up/way down performance & Carlson for durability and the lack of power &.. or.. lack of getting on base. One of these 2 could bring back a starting pitcher. My CRYSTAL BALL tells me that it wasn’t an accident that the Cards didn’t spend free-agency money on a starting pitcher for a reason.

…The CRYSTAL BALL turns red …don’t be surprised if Jack Flaherty forces a trade or moves on into free Agency. Seemingly, he wants a new start with more accolades & more $$$. Of course, all of us fans want more production, more wins, more innings from him. In the last 3 years combined, he’s pitched 154 total innings. He’s shown promise but uneven production.

…My CRYSTAL BALL says Mizzou football will be better next year. The Change @ QB, whoever it may be, will be an improvement. While I admired Brady Cook, his style just didn’t translate with the latest trend in 2022 NCAA Football—throw, throw, throw. Cook was a QB, my CRYSTAL BALL  tells me, more suited for earlier decades. In those days, the QB ran the ball some, scrambled some, passed some but the offense wasn’t exclusively based on the pass game as it is now. Take a look—leaders of passing in SEC-#1-Georgia’s QB-Stetson Bennett 4127 yds; #2 was Mississippi State who was Coached by a passing pioneer, Mike Leach. Leach pioneered the “Air Raid” offense (almost all passing). Leach died suddenly late in the season. #3 in passing was Alabama. Sooo…if ya want to run..oops pass.. with the big boys, my CRYSTAL BALL tells me to pass more often. This is a big year for Coach Drink….my CRYSTAL BALL (now turning black & gold) shows that he’ll turn the corner with a 8-5 record including a bowl win.

… The CRYSTAL BALL turns cloudy with this week’s Baseball quiz…This contemporary pitcher, who’s delivery varied from all different angles, was drafted by the Dodgers but only pitched 2 years for them. Covering parts of 18 years, his lifetime record was 219-100, lifetime ERA was 2.93, with 3,154 strikeouts while winning 3 Cy Young Awards. Who am I? btw.. Bob Gibson only won 2 Cy Young’s!

…. My CRYSTAL BALL  lights up brightly. I’m seeing the Blues active in the trade market in the off-season. The 2 players, Thomas & Kyrou, that the Blues have crowned as their next stars require younger, speedier players than some of the current veterans. Some of these vets are home-town hero’s. Soooo…it’ll be painful. But…GM Armstrong isn’t afraid to make moves.

…My CRYSTAL BALL lights up again. As distasteful as it was, Dion Sanders arrival @ Colorado shook up the NCAA-F world. Basically, he told all of the players from 2022 team—take a hike! It worked. He’s signed over 18 transfers at this point. Why wouldn’t other coaches try doing this same thing with some of their recruits after 1 or 2 years who aren’t “developing” as expected. Btw…former St Marys’ WR & Jackson St WR… Kevin Coleman Jr resigned with Louisville. That “official” 1st day of transferring will become a “hit” on Sports-TV according to my CRYSTAL BALL.

…My CRYSTAL BALL tells me that Nick Saban, now 71 years old and worth $60m, will coach until he a) loses 4 games in a season; b) gets really shellacked; c)Georgia beats him 2 more straight times; d) he loses to a cupcake. Then….he’ll step aside! If he keeps winning BIG, I think he’ll stay for awhile longer.

…. I was amused as Saban was on  the pre-game Show for the Championship Game -Georgia v TCU. In that show, Saban had a very difficult time saying while making it as “generalized” as he could make it…that Georgia was going to kick butt and win easily.  He knew it & it almost killed him to say it😊

…The CRYSTAL BALL  lights up again but has some clouds showing. Like it or not… the transfer portal is here to stay. you win some..you lose some. Over 1500 players have entered portal in 22-23 season. Some teams were hit harder (I’m not sure what that tells us?!)Texas A&M lost 25 scholarship players. 18 were Top 100 recruits and 7 were from the top rated recruiting 2022 class. But…they aren’t the only one…Arkansas lost 23 players, Florida & Arizona 22 players, and Cal 21. The next transfer window opens on May 1 and closes on May 15. Underclassmen who want to use their one-time transfer and be immediately eligible to play in 2023 need to enter during that period. My CRYSTAL BALL tells me that portal use is only going to increase.  

…The CRYSTAL BALL shines brightly as it shows the answer to quiz… Pedro Martinez.

…Thanks for your time & read!  It’s really SUPER to read YOUR thoughts/ideas—agree or disagree—doesn’t matter. Post directly on my FB page (Bob Ryan) or send to me & I’ll do it for you. If you’d be kind enough, spread the word of the Buzz to your family/friends. Missed some Buzz’s…go to www.bobryansportsblog.com to catch up. Bob

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