St. Louis Cardinals

Exit Interview 2018: Matt Carpenter

Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat.  Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them.  The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable.  Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.

Player: Matt Carpenter

Season stats: 156 G, 677 PA, 111 R, 145 H, 42 2B, 36 HR, 81 RBI, 4 SB, 1 CS, 102 BB, 158 K, .257/.374/.523, 143 OPS+, 4.9 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 15, Goat 17

Overall grade: A

Positives: Was basically the hottest player alive from mid-May through the end of August, hitting .317/.420/.677 in that span with 32 home runs….had a series for the ages in Wrigley Field right after the All-Star Break, putting up a ridiculous .529/.619/1.706 line and swatting six home runs in those five games, including one that he didn’t even start…his three home run, two double day in that series was even more incredible when you realize that Mike Shildt took him out of the lineup in the sixth….had nine home runs in just short of 200 PA against left-handers, even as he hit just .232 against them….actually put up a 1.068 OPS against left-handed starters….23 of his home runs came on the road….his OPS was over 1.000 for both June and July….hit .301 with a 1.024 OPS in games the Cardinals won….had 140 plate appearances with a full count, easily the highest number of PA of any count….hit .394 and had a 1.472 OPS when the count ended with zero strikes….13 of his home runs came with two outs in the inning….hit .291 with eight home runs in the first inning….22 of his home runs came off of finesse pitchers….had 19 RBI against the Cubs and 11 against the Brewers….had a 1.015 OPS leading off a game.

Negatives: Started the season ridiculously slow and was hitting .140 in mid-May….he bookended the season with rough stretches, as he hit .200/.331/.324 in his last 41 games….hit just one home run in September….went 2-14 during the last week of the season as the Cardinals fell out of the playoffs….hit .198 in games the Cardinals lost….hit .220 with runners in scoring position, though he did have a .886 OPS in those situations….hit just three home runs in high-leverage situations….hit .150 with an .857 OPS in the ninth inning….hit .206 versus power pitchers….hit .185 against fly ball pitchers.

Overview: It was a weird year for Carpenter, honestly.  He started the season ridiculously slow and came under fire by some fans that thought he was a “diva” because he could seemingly only hit in the top spot and even then wasn’t doing much.  Those comments basically evaporated as he scorched his way through the summer, fueled seemingly in part by the salsa he produced from the garden Adam Wainwright planted for him.  Then, just as the salsa hit it big in local grocery stores, the magic wore off and his struggles, while not the only reason, were a big part of why the Cardinals fell just short.  So it’s hard to say that a man that almost led the league in home runs, was in the MVP discussion, and created a taste for salsa didn’t have a A season, but there were definitely some clouds to that bright outlook.  On the plus side, it felt like his defense was better than it had been and there were much fewer TOOTBLANs from his legs, most likely the influence of Jose Oquendo‘s return.

Outlook: Carpenter’s still a great talent and if the Cardinals can get a true slugger and attention-grabber, Carpenter could be even greater because it still feels to me that, as good as he is, Carpenter’s not necessarily the guy you want as the focus of the offense.  I also wonder about those slow starts and slow endings.  This was the second year that Carpenter had not gotten out of the blocks quickly, though 2018 was much more dramatic and much longer-lasting than 2017.  Some of the comments we were making at the beginning of the season, pointing out his age and style of play, are still worth keeping in mind.  I expect that Matt Carpenter will have a very good 2019, especially if he has someone like Bryce Harper taking off some heat for him, but I also have a feeling Carpenter’s window as a very good player is perhaps starting to close.

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St. Louis Cardinals

Exit Interview 2018: John Brebbia

Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat.  Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them.  The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable.  Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.

Player: John Brebbia

Season stats: 3-3, 2 SV, 3.20 ERA, 45 G, 50.2 IP, 43 H, 5 HR, 16 BB, 60 K, 3.02 FIP, 1.164 WHIP, 10.7 K/9, 0.5 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Goat 3

Overall grade: B

Positives: Was fourth on the team in appearances even as he bounced back and forth between the majors and Memphis due to having an option remaining….had a double-digit K/9 rate….gave up three less home runs in one less inning pitched than he did in 2017….limited batters to a .301 OPS in the last two weeks of the season….in three April games, kept batters to a .235 OPS….batters hitting sixth in the lineup managed to nick him for just a .095 batting average….if batters swung at the first pitch they mustered just a .545 OPS….the first batter he faced got him at a .195 clip….batters hit .174 with two outs and runners in scoring position….in 29 middle-leverage plate appearances, gave up a .143/.172/.179 slash line….threw 12.1 scoreless innings in the eighth….had a 1.93 ERA on zero days’ rest….in 13 PA, all the Milwaukee Brewers managed against him was a walk….ended the season with 6.1 scoreless innings.

Negatives: Struggled in seven July games, giving up a .997 OPS and posting a 7.36 ERA….batters in the first spot in the batting order had a .883 OPS….rarely battled back from a 3-1 count, with a 2.250 OPS in eight just plate appearances….actually had his highest OPS against (.759) with two outs in the inning….three of his five home runs came with men on base….had a .286/.423/.476 line in high-leverage plate appearances….had a 11.57 ERA in the fifth inning (2.1 IP)….batters hit .342 when he had two days of rest….gave up two home runs in three games against the Phillies.

Overview: Baseball is not always very fair.  Even though Brebbia tended to be one of the best relievers out of the Cardinal bullpen, the rules of baseball roster management meant that he wound up riding the Memphis shuttle a few more times than he should have.  While Brebbia’s high-leverage numbers weren’t all that outstanding, given the makeup of the bullpen, especially before the July shakeup and again down the stretch, he probably should have had more chances to get important outs.  He was one of the few out in that bullpen that could get some strikeouts and overall proved much more reliable than many (including myself) expected him to be.

Outlook: Unfortunately, if this roster resource is correct, Brebbia has two more option years and, as such, could wind up being in a jam again next year depending on the construction of the bullpen and how much flexibility there is in it.  Still, I would expect given the results that we saw this year and a staff that should more fully embrace statistical data and other information that Brebbia will see some more important time in 2019 as a member of the Cardinals.

St. Louis Cardinals

Exit Interview 2018: Matt Bowman

Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat.  Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them.  The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable.  Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.

Player: Matthew Bowman

Season stats: 0-2, 6.26 ERA, 22 G, 23 IP, 29 H, 4 HR, 11 BB, 26 K, 4.73 FIP, 1.739 WHIP, 10.2 K/9, -0.6 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 1, Goat 1

Overall grade: D

Positives: With all his issues, did have a double-digit K/9 rate….allowed the fewest runs in a season than he ever had before (just, unfortunately, in a career-few innings)….didn’t give up a home run to a right-handed batter in the majors….was very good at Busch, limiting batters to a .205 average under the Arch….limited leadoff hitters to a .282 OPS, including one hit in 10 AB….batters hit just .143 when he was ahead in the count….hitters had just a .683 OPS in medium-leverage situations….pitched pretty well in the 7th inning, with a .217/.250/.348 line in 6.1 innings….batters had a .635 OPS against him in the seventh through ninth innings….in 11 PA when he threw more than 25 pitches, batters had a .143/.455/.143 line (three walks in that span will kick up the OBP).

Negatives: Gave up three runs on Opening Day to the Mets and things really never got better after that….Bowman was on the major league DL twice and the minor league DL once dealing with blisters and other issues….He was optioned to the minor leagues for the first time since becoming a Cardinal on July 5, just nine days before the manager change….was brought up to pitch two games in the Chicago series after the break but allowed three runs in 2.2 innings over two days and was sent back to Memphis….left-handers had a 1.006 OPS against him in the bigs….batters had a 1.035 OPS against him when he was on the road, which worked out to a 9.24 road ERA….batters got to him for a .319 mark in April….third-place hitters slashed .364/.417/.818 off of him….batters hit .370 when they swung at the first pitch….they had a 1.077 OPS when the at bat ended after one pitch….he allowed a .323 BA with runners in scoring position….batters had a 1.000 OPS with two outs and RISP.

Overview: I don’t know that anyone expected Matt Bowman to be the lynchpin of the bullpen, save maybe a former manager, but it was still surprising to see how rough he was this year.  It would seem fair to blame some of the issues on overuse, especially since “stress” seems to be one of the causes of Reynaud’s Disease, which is what led to Bowman’s finger issues.  Bowman should never be a high-leverage guy and the idea that he was some sort of double play machine like Seth Maness never had any basis in fact, but you could make a case for him being the 12th guy on a staff, especially if he was handled better than he was in the past.

Outlook: That said, the 40-man roster is crowded and some folks are going to have to come off of it.  Even if Bowman was expected to return to his old self, which is not something you can guarantee, for better or worse he’s a huge reminder of the Mike Matheny era and, given how much this team looked to make a fresh start, that’s probably also going to count against him.  As I write this no decisions have been made, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him non-tendered, but I imagine someone else that needs some pitching might give him a minor league contract to see if his health problems are behind him.  (EDIT: Cincinnati claimed Bowman off of waivers and if there’s anyone that needs pitching, it’s Cincy.)

St. Louis Cardinals

Exit Interview 2018: Steve Baron

Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat.  Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them.  The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable.  Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.

Player: Steven Baron

Season stats: 2 G, 5 PA, 1 H, 2 K, .200/.200/.200, 11 OPS+, 0.0 bWAR

Hero/Goat: None

Overall grade: C

Positives: Returned to the major leagues for the first time since 2015 when he was with the Mariners, though most of the year saw him in Memphis….spent nine days in the bigs and got a start, which might be a better ratio than Francisco Pena had all year….had a three-hit game May 8 against Oklahoma City….all of his AB were consecutive, which is something you write when there’s not much else to talk about….cleared waivers and returned to Memphis, where he backed up Carson Kelly and then Andrew Knizner….hit .290 in night games at AAA and actually hit .346 in July (9-26).

Negatives: Not only did he get just one hit in the bigs, he also just hit .213 during his season at Memphis….he had just five doubles and no other extra base hits in a hitter’s league….had a .381 OPS in day games at Memphis….hit .197 versus right-handed pitchers at AAA….hit .118 in 51 AB hitting ninth.

Overview: Look, you probably don’t even remember Steve Baron.  He played when the Phillies came to Busch in May, when Yadier Molina was out with his….hey, we know about that and we don’t really need to revisit it here….and Carson Kelly got hurt went on the 10 day DL as well.  Baron came up, Francisco Pena played most of the games, then Baron went back down.  Eventually they needed the 40-man spot and waived Baron, but unsurprisingly nobody else was quite that desperate for a minor league catcher.

Outlook: I know that there’s a Brotherhood of Backup Catchers, but Baron is going to have to really up his game to even reach that level of play.  I mean, it’s possible that the Cards will have him come back and be Knizner’s backup at Memphis again this year because they don’t need anyone that is likely to need playing time in that role, but it still feels like they could do a little better there.  If the Cards don’t resign him to some minor league deal, he’ll probably latch on somewhere for at least the early part of spring.  It’s strongly possible, though, that he’s seen his last major league time.

St. Louis Cardinals

Exit Interview 2018: Harrison Bader

Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat.  Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them.  The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable.  Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.

Player: Harrison Bader

Season stats: 138 G, 427 PA, 61 R, 100 H, 20 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 15 SB, 3 CS, 31 BB, 125 K, .264/.334/.422, 106 OPS+, 3.8 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 6, Goat 5

Overall grade: A-

Positives: Put himself into both the Rookie of the Year and the Gold Glove discussions, even though he didn’t grab either one of them….his speed was outstanding, most notably scoring once from second on a bouncing ground ball to the middle infield….was above average by OPS in his first full major league season….continued to do a number on left-handed pitching to the tune of .292/.370/.517….10 of his 12 home runs came away from Busch Stadium….evenly split his home runs between the first and second halves and his overall slash line showed little difference after the All-Star Break….in fact, he hit .301 with a .906 in August as the Cards went on their run….hit .319 with a .911 OPS in games the Cardinals won….went 3-5 to lead off games….hit .467 after the count ran to 3-0….had a 1.083 OPS when he was ahead in the count….hit .311 with a runner on first and less than two outs….hit .292 off of starting pitchers and .294 off of finesse hurlers….had a 1.694 OPS in three games in Kansas City.

Negatives: Struck out 125 times in 427 plate appearances, which works out to basically one every 3.5 at bats….struggled in September, hitting .221 with 31 strikeouts in 27 games….hit .222 with a .586 OPS when he was the leadoff hitter….had a .212 average when the pitcher had the advantage in the count….hit .211 with runners in scoring position and .220 with two outs and RISP….had a .571 OPS in late and close situations….hit .215 in high leverage situations….hit .215 in the seventh through ninth innings….had a .232 BA with a .303 OBP against relief pitchers….had a .264 OBP against the Pirates.

Overview: It’s not like Bader came completely out of nowhere.  I mean, he’s been the top non-pitching prospect in the system for a while (depending on your opinion on Carson Kelly, I guess) and held his own last year in the major leagues.  However, I’m not sure everyone thought that he could become this phenom on the bases and in the outfield.  For a while there, it seemed every night there was a diving catch or a remarkable burst of speed coming from the rookie outfielder.  Without that September slump, he probably still wouldn’t have been ROY but he could have been a strong third at least.  (As I write this, the finalists have not been announced but I expect he’ll miss out.)  Bader brought some energy and excitement to the ballpark, a type of energy that (save for maybe Tommy Pham last year) had been missing for a while.

Outlook: It’s not surprising that the fan base, especially a certain segment that still holds the Runnin’ Redbirds near and dear, took to Bader and his full throttle approach to the game.  He’s fun and exciting and good, good enough to move Pham to Tampa Bay.  Can he keep it up?  That’s going to be the real question.  Bader’s going to have to be able to figure out how to strengthen his game against right-handed pitchers and make the adjustments to the adjustments the league is going to most certainly make to him.  If the Cardinals do wind up winning the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, it’s possible Bader might have to share some playing time with Dexter Fowler.  Barring that happenstance, though, expect to see Bader patrolling center a lot in 2019.

St. Louis Cardinals

Exit Interview 2018: Matt Adams

Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat.  Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them.  The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable.  Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter.  Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.

Player: Matt Adams

Season stats: 27 G, 60 PA, 5 R, 9 H, 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB, 18 K, .158/.200/.333, 43 OPS+, -0.3 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Hero 3, Goat 1

Overall grade: D+

Positives: A third of his hits in St. Louis were home runs and 44% went for extra bases….didn’t play any outfield after returning to St. Louis….hit .220 on the year with a home run against left-handed pitching, which is something considering his career line is .208….two of the homers and four of the RBI came against his old Nationals team in a game in early September….had two different two-hit outings in the 12 starts he had for the Cardinals.

Negatives: Those two hit games means that 44% of his hits came in two games while five came in the other 25….brought in to provide power off the bench but all of his homers came in starts (his double was a pinch-hit, though)….was 1-9 pinch-hitting in September….ended the season in a 1-for-17 skid….made two errors in 104.2 innings at first base wearing the birds on the bat, belying his normally stellar first base defense.

Overview: The reunion of Matt Adams to the team that drafted him was a great story.  The problem was Adams had been on the DL with a broken thumb earlier in the season and the power just never fully returned.  Adding a fully functioning Adams would have been a great stroke for the team, allowing Matt Carpenter some rest while giving a threat in the late innings on a regular basis.  Thankfully, Adams was a waiver claim so all the Cardinals gave up was money to pay him the rest of the year.  If nothing else, it was good to see Big City and he may have a John Mabry-like career where he plays for St. Louis a number of times as his career goes forward.

Outlook: Adams is a free agent and will probably get a spot as a bench bat for someone, given how well the earlier part of his season went.  It just doesn’t seem like it will be with the Cardinals, who have enough 40-man issues without keeping a guy that may or may not be able to regain his power.  I think Adams is a National League player, especially with his usually reliable glove at first, so I could see him maybe joining up with Pittsburgh or San Francisco on a one-year deal.

St. Louis Cardinals

A Little Cardinal Conversation

The last week here on the blog was dominated by our annual Twitter project and other things kept me from getting into a real discussion about the beginning of St. Louis’s offseason.  However, I’ve fired up the laptop (as the desktop is still not working) and want to at least make a few notes about the activity of the last week or so.

First off, we got the details on Adam Wainwright‘s incentive-filled contract and, boy, that was much more of a deal for the club than I was expecting.  When we first heard that Uncle Charlie was coming back, I knew it would be at a significant discount, but I had thought that the base salary might be something like $5 million and then some incentives added on to that.  Instead, the base salary is just $2 million and there are various levels of incentives for games started, games finished, and games appeared.  You have to figure that the latter is probably going to the most relevant of the different categories, though if Wainwright is as healthy as he says (which, as you always have to say with the optimistic legend, is a big if), he might get a solid chance to be the fifth starter to start the season.  Even so, it’d be a little surprising to see him start over 20 games.  Even if he was an excellent throw-back, as the linked VEB article notes, he would max out at $10 million.  If he’s good enough that he’s pitching that often, $10 million will be a steal.

Even if he starts the year as a starter, and with all the depth the Cards have that’s no guarantee, odds are he’ll be in the bullpen most of the year.  You wouldn’t expect that he’s got the closer punch to beat out Jordan Hicks or any other option the club may bring in, at least not enough to get that even that first $500K bonus at 25 games finished.  No, the appearances is likely where Wainwright will make most of his money.  Let’s assume he gets five starts and then 30 appearances out of the pen.  That could be pretty valuable and would cost the Cardinals $2.5 million, $3 million if he got to 35 instead.  Thirty-five might be pretty reasonable.  The Cardinals that got over 35 relief appearances last year were Hicks, Bud Norris, Mike Mayers, John Brebbia, and Brett Cecil.  I would think that Wainwright would be more likely to have long appearances (maybe a couple of innings) and not be in that regular 7-8-9 mix, so getting fewer appearances might be more likely.  (Interesting that Wainwright didn’t try to toss in an innings incentive as well.)

There’s really no downside to this deal.  If Wainwright gets hurt, it won’t cost the Cardinals.  If he’s bad enough, they have incentive not to pitch him.  If he’s great, he gets some money but the Cardinals still get a deal.  Even if you still have reservations about how Wainwright is going to be going forward–and I have to say I’m a little optimistic that you’ll see something more in line with those last few starts than over the last few years, though he’s obviously well off his prime–you have to realize that this is basically no harm, no foul and it allows a legend to go out a little more on his own terms.

The Cardinals also started their 40-man cleanup work.  By rule, they had to get those four players that were on the 60-day DL (Alex Reyes, Luke Gregerson, Michael Wacha, and Dexter Fowler) onto the regular 40-man roster because the 60-day isn’t used in the offseason.  With Wainwright returning and not freeing up a spot, St. Louis had a little work to do.  Norris, Tyson Ross, and Matt Adams were free agents but there was still one more spot, at minimum, that had to be cleared.

The Cardinals actually cleared three via the waiver methodFrancisco Pena cleared waivers and elected free agency, but that does not mean that his time with St. Louis is done.  Remember, Pena came into last year’s spring training on a minor league invite and the Cardinals wound up putting Josh Lucas on waivers so that he could make the team over Carson Kelly.  I don’t know that the club would do that again, but I wouldn’t completely pen Pena’s Redbird obituary.  If nothing else, if the Cards wind up moving Kelly this offseason in some sort of deal, Pena would make sense as again the veteran backup while Andrew Knizner would get the full year at Memphis.

The other two players, however, were claimed by other teams off of waivers and, as such, are gone from the Cardinals for the foreseeable future, if not forever.  Greg Garcia was the first to go, winding up being claimed by his hometown Padres.  It sounds like the best possible option for Garcia, who was really being squeezed out in St. Louis.  With Yairo Munoz needing some regular playing time and Jedd Gyorko still able to play many positions, it made Garcia pretty expendable since he was reaching his first shot at arbitration.  Garcia gets to play at home and hopefully can contribute to the Padres in a veteran role.  It’s just a little weird to see the Padres claim a major league Cardinal rather than their continual Rule 5 raiding of the minor league system.

Friday, the Reds took Matthew Bowman off of waivers, closing a significant chapter of the prior regime.  There’s no doubt that Bowman and his usage became almost shorthand as a reference to many of the issues fans had with Mike Matheny.  Even if Bowman was completely healthy and effective, neither of which he has proven yet, bringing back Bowman with those associations could have been problematic.  I think Bowman was better some may give him credit for in St. Louis but it felt like he was trending down, that the Cards had squeezed all they could out of him.  You have to wonder if David Bell called Matheny when Bowman went on waivers, looking for a recommendation.  If Bowman is healthy, he can help a team, but I’m not sure Cincinnati is the best place for him to try to regain his footing.  If nothing else, staying in the NL Central means the Cards will get a chance to see him fairly regularly, for good or ill.

So that’s what the Cardinals did.  The question is, who did they do it for?

The general manager meetings start this week and the rumors are likely to be flying around as the decision makers meet, the agents start to lay out their ideas, and baseball stokes the hot stove.  There’s a lot of talk about this season being different than last, when a slow moving market drug well into January and beyond.  I don’t know how much I completely buy into that, but I do think both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are locked into their new teams in enough time for you to buy jerseys for Christmas.  Whether the market will move around them or they’ll create a bottleneck still remains to be seen.  I think there will still be some folks looking for work after Christmas, though perhaps not at the level that we saw last winter.

I think that I’ve lined out all my reasons for the Cardinals to go get Bryce Harper on the various podcasts and, indeed, my reasons aren’t much different than everyone else’s.  It’s a very, very rare chance to line up one of the best talents in the game so young that a 10 year contract would likely mean he’s still productive at the end of it.  There’s a huge difference between trying to give a 31-year-old first baseman with foot issues a $250 million, 10-year deal and trying to give a 26-year-old outfielder with no significant injury history $350 million over the same span.  Besides the youth and athleticism, the financial landscape is significantly different now.  The FOX Sports Midwest billion-dollar contract has kicked in.  Ballpark Village is up and going.  The young talent is fully implemented.  The money is there and there’s got to be something done with it if only to keep the pitchforks and torches brigade away from the stadium.

I know St. Louis has less of this issue than some places, but you have to continue to excite the next generation, so that they’ll always want to come to the ballpark, especially when they get to the place where they can do it themselves or then start taking their families to the game.  How do you sell baseball to the younger generation?  Oftentimes by having that superstar, that player that transcends the game.  Bryce Harper is the best chance to have that.  Hopefully the front office recognizes that.

We’ll see what else comes out of the meetings, what other rumors might get stirred up this week.  Hopefully we’ll have a reason to get another post out soon!