Dennis Lawson

When someone gets traded for a bucket of baseballs and proceeds to blow up bigger than Cee-Lo Green on The Voice, it raises a few eyebrows.  With no consideration for circumstance, it’s hard to blame the Cardinals for handing Matt Adams to the Braves for a player whose name probably escapes you.  But after you consider the sequence of events, it may be really hard NOT to blame the Cardinals for the long game domino effect that got them to this point.

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Mo:  “Mike?  It’s Mo.  Saw that Volquez no-hitter the other night.  Looked like a good time.  We haven’t had one of those since Bud Smith.  Haven’t even seen one recently.  The stat nerds tell me the last one against us was some pudgy guy for the Dodgers back in 1990.  Heck, I didn’t even know Lasorda was a pitcher!”

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Dex In A Box

When the Cardinals signed Dexter Fowler to 5 year / $82.5M deal, he was presented as a lasting solution to a myriad of deficiencies.  In theory, he checked several boxes for a team that needed a CF, a lead-off man, and a big name free agent signing to silence the Ballpark Village People clamoring for upgrades.  Thus far, he’s failed to perform up to expectations, and I’m beginning to wonder if those expectations were misaligned from the start.

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I Blame Brett Cecil

I blame Brett Cecil for pretty much everything now.  Stub my toe?  Blame Cecil.  Accidentally trip the house alarm?  Stupid reliever.  Diaz strikes out?  It’s somehow Cecil’s fault.  Yet another long Tim McCarver tale about Tim McCarver?  Yeah, that’s Cecil too.  The bullpen seems to be in shambles, and Cecil deserves no less than 104% of the blame.

Cecil is the face of a Cardinal bullpen that owns a record of 5-10 record (blame Cecil), and that tidbit does not get nearly the same attention as the underwhelming offense, atrocious baserunning, or subpar defensive play.  It should.  Better relief work could cover up a multitude of sins.  Push just 3 of those 15 decisions to the other side of the ledger, and we’re talking about an 8-7 bullpen record and a 29-24 overall record.  That’s good enough to lead a rather sad looking NL Central division even with Cecil.

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Sierra Has Peaked

Like most of you, I’m absolutely enamored with watching Magneuris Sierra do pretty much anything on a baseball field.  He’s dynamic, exciting and possibly the only player on the team faster than Mike Leake.  He represents the future of Cardinals baseball.  That’s why he’s nearly out of time.

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Actual Bridge Disaster

If you’ve paid attention to John Mozeliak for any length of time, you’ve heard him say this line in one form or another.  It’s his fallback answer for questions about anything from anticipated roster moves to how he decides which argyle socks to wear with a certain bow tie on a given night.  He’ll change up the wording a bit and maybe throw in an occasional variation, but his message remains the same.

Don’t spend too much time focusing on a bridge that you may not have to cross.

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I’m offended that you are taking offense to something that fails to offend me as much as it offends you.  Or something.

With a seemingly innocuous social media reminder regarding one of approximately 471 promotions at Busch Stadium this year, the Cardinals managed to author a tweet that launched a thousand negative reactions.  Running the gamut from predictably insensitive to “meh” to unparalleled outrage, those reactions provide a reminder that social media users enjoy getting offended and angry (while others enjoy poking fun at the offended and angry).

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Brain Versus Braun

Every single time Ryan Braun plays in St. Louis, he’s met with boos.  Loud ones.  Energetic ones with a viciousness powered by raw dislike bordering on hatred.  You can practically smell the loathing through the KMOX audio feed.  The former NL #MVPee gets similar treatment in other stadiums as well, but the Best Fans in Baseball seem to have a special place in their…..*hearts for Braun.

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In the movement to heap more and more raw data on fans, the undeniably ubiquitous Statcast represents the omnipresent data shovel.  Every piece of action on the field becomes translated into data which then spawns its own metadata which is really just data about data.  Life in this new quantifiable hardball reality requires some adjustments – both in how we view the game and how we choose to utilize/ignore the fancy new tools we have at our collective disposal.

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Mo:  “Jhonny, how are you feeling today?  The trainer told me that you were feeling a bit under the weather.”

Jhonny: “I feel fine, John Mozeliak.  Really.  Never felt better actually.”

Mo: “Are you sure?  Because I’m concerned about your physical and emotional well being.  If you aren’t 100%, then I need to know what can be done to get you to that point.”

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The Official Bag Phone of Major League Baseball

 

Mo:  “Neal, Mo here.  Heard the news about Marte.  Thought I’d give you a call to offer my sympathies and a shoulder to cry one.  I’d offer to be the big spoon, but you didn’t make it into town for this series.”

Neal:  “Great to hear from you, Moz.  I sure appreciate you calling like this.  I actually was going to give you a call after I spoke to my PR folks, but maybe you can give me a bit of advice.”

Mo:  “I’ll help in any way I can as long as we don’t have to bury a body again…”

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“His Bat Plays” of the NEGATIVE UZR Tribe of Missouri

Somewhere beyond the Matheny bashing, hypothetical lineup construction machinations, and the usual angst one expects with a 3-9 team lies an unspeakable, horrific possibility.  Maybe the window of opportunity for the Wainwright/Molina era teams has finally closed, and nobody knows it yet.  Perhaps the level of baseball played through the first 12 games more accurately reflects the team’s actual collective abilities than fans would like to believe.  If so, then embracing the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief should begin now.

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