1. Checking in on the Cardinals: Is Matt Holliday set to make a high-profile return to the franchise? This isn’t a take-it-to-the-bank prediction, but I’m offering my best (and educated) guess. If Holliday is up for it — and I think he is — he’s the clear favorite to succeed Skip Schumaker as Oli Marmol’s new bench coach.

This would be fantastic. Holliday is a Cardinal Hall of Famer, a smart and highly respected baseball lifer, an excellent teacher, and an acclaimed leader. And he understands the baseball-instruction principles and the overall standards of the Cardinal Way. Holliday absolutely loves this franchise, and would serve it with distinction.

I’ve written extensively about the Cardinals since 1989, and I respect Holliday as much as any Cardinal I’ve ever covered. I put him right up there with Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina. So yeah, I would be pleased with this move if it happens.

Do it!

Holly has all of the requirements for the job including the high-level credibility of a player that played 15 MLB seasons and was named to seven All-Star teams. Holliday received league MVP votes in eight seasons, won an NL batting title and four Silver Slugger awards, and finished his career with 316 home runs, 1,220 RBI and 816 extra-base hits. And he’s a World Series champion.

And perhaps above all else, Holliday and Marmol are close friends, have excellent chemistry and mutual trust, and won’t hesitate to challenge each other in a productive way when it’s time to make tough decisions and do what’s best for the Cardinals.

2. Bird Bytes: If he becomes the bench coach, Holliday would also work with hitters. But Turner Ward has the inside track to become the team’s lead hitting coach. The Cardinal players like and respect him and enjoy working with him. Ward earned trust and respect as Jeff Albert’s assistant hitting coach in 2022 … No additional word on the open pitching coach position, but the team’s Major League Pitching Strategist, Dusty Blake, is believed to be the leading candidate. He’s already established himself within the organization and is well liked by the front office, field staff, and pitchers … conventional wisdom: the Cardinals will try to make a trade for Oakland catcher Sean Murphy this offseason. Hope so. He’s superb defensively with an above-average bat that has ample power. Murphy’s power has been muffled by the strong pro-pitcher environment at Oakland’s home ballpark. But during his career, when playing on the road, Murphy has a .484 slugging percentage, .817 OPS, is 26 percent above league average offensively, and has homered every 19.8 at-bats … don’t forget, you can watch top Cardinals prospects Jordan Walker (outfield), Masyn Winn (shortstop) and Tink Hence (pitcher) competing in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game this Sunday at 3 p.m. on MLB Network … in the Fall League Walker had a .353 OBP, .535 slug, .887 OPS, 4 homers and 13 RBI in 16 games … Winn batted .311 with a massive .456 OBP with seven stolen bases in eight attempts … in 6.1 innings Hence pitched to a 1.42 ERA and struck out 30.4 percent of hitters faced.

3. And now for a bold prediction: Speaking on the “Opening Drive” morning show on 101 ESPN, St. Louisan Greg Amsinger, the lead host of the MLB Network, said the Cardinals should pursue Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner in free agency.

Amsinger went way beyond that, however.

“The St. Louis Cardinals will have a new shortstop,” Amsinger told hosts Michelle Smallmon and Carey Davis. “I can’t really say why I believe this, but I’m telling you Trea Turner will be the shortstop of the St. Louis Cardinals come opening day 2023. He’s the perfect fit, the missing link, and if the Cardinals don’t recognize that they’re missing out.

“He should be their No. 1 target. He will be their No. 1 target. And he eventually will be the shortstop of the St. Louis Cardinals.”

Amsinger later added, “(The Cardinals) are going to put all of their eggs in one basket and pay a ton of money, probably $200 million for a shortstop, and it’s going to be Trea Turner.”

4. The Blah Blues: After going down to the visiting New York Islanders by a 5-2 count on Thursday night, the Blues have lost six in a row and have been outscored 30-10 in the six stinkers. That includes a negative 14-goal differential (20-6) on high-danger zone scoring chances. The Blues continue to get overrun at five-on-five, scoring only 5 of 24 the goals at five-on-five during the six-game losing skid. This is embarrassing. So much for the huge show of force at practice the other day, topped by a stern players-only lecture by frustrated GM Doug Armstrong, an appearance by chairman Tom Stillman, and an extra-exhausting practice under the loud supervision of coach Craig Berube.

The Blues responded to all of that with another clunker. They played well against the Islanders for the first part of the first period before falling apart and packing it in at the start of the second period. This extremely well-paid team isn’t good or honorable in any area, be it performance, effort, competitive character, or conscience. In this space the Blues will be viewed as a team of sluggards and potential trade pieces until they prove otherwise and redeem themselves. The fans deserve a helluva lot better than this.

5. I’m going with Mizzou to make it three wins in a row by nudging their way past Kentucky on Saturday at Faurot Field. The Tigers opened as a 1.5 point underdog, but as of Friday afternoon the betting line had dwindled to a pick ‘em. Why do I think Mizzou wins this one?

– The Tigers have the nation’s 12th-ranked defense according to the respected FEI efficiency rankings that can be found at Football Outsiders. In the SEC, only Georgia has yielded a lower average of points-against per game (11.8) than Missouri (18.2) in conference contests.

— Kentucky quarterback Will Levis is talented but overrated. Or, at least overly hyped. In SEC games he’s thrown four touchdowns and five interceptions. In SEC games, Levis has a passer rating (132.8) that isn’t much better than Mizzou QB Brady Cook (127.6.) Granted, Kentucky has played a more difficult SEC schedule so far. But if Mizzou’s defense can hold Georgia to 22 points in CoMo – as they did earlier this season – then the Tigers should be able to contain Kentucky’s offense.

— The Wildcats have been just OK at running the football, ranking 49th nationally in the Pro Football Focus grading. (For perspective, Missouri is 50th in the same category. The key will be getting a pass rush on Levis. The MU defense held South Carolina to 3.8 yards per play last week, and I’d be surprised if there’s much of a regression vs. Kentucky.

— Both teams should be hungry. Kentucky is coming off a 44-6 wipeout loss at Tennessee, and Mizzou (4-4) needs a win in the goal to become bowl eligible – and also show that their two consecutive victories going into this game was no fluke. Brady Cook is coming off his best performance of the season in the 23-10 win at South Carolina – but it’s imperative for Cook to play turnover-free football against Kentucky. Scoring points will be a challenge, and Mizzou can’t afford to give Kentucky any freebies.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend.


Bernie invites you to listen to his opinionated sports-talk show on 590-AM The Fan, KFNS. It airs Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Friday from 4-6 p.m. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the show podcast at or the 590 app which is available in your preferred app store.

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All stats used here were sourced from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, Stathead, Bill James Online, Fielding Bible, Baseball Savant, Brooks Baseball Net and Spotrac.


Bernie Miklasz
Bernie Miklasz

For the last 35 years Bernie Miklasz has entertained, enlightened, and connected with generations of St. Louis sports fans.

While best known for his voice as the lead sports columnist at the Post-Dispatch for 26 years, Bernie has also written for The Athletic, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore News American. Bernie has hosted radio shows in St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Bernie, his wife Kirsten and their cats reside in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis.