The fan anxiety over Nolan Gorman is borderline insane. Not all fans are acting like this … just too many of them. I’m appreciative of fans that have a reasonable amount of patience. As a 22-year-old rookie Gorman played 68 games at second base last season, going into the endeavor with little experience. It was a learning year. He wasn’t very good defensively. And from what I can tell, the loons are ready to cast him aside. Not just because of the defense, but also their disappointment with his hitting. OK, let’s go to Baseball Reference.

Gorman had a 106 OPS+ as a rookie. Here’s just a partial list of Cardinal rookies that finished with an OPS+ less than that of Gorman in their rookie seasons: Ted Simmons, Ken Boyer, Red Schoendienst, Willie McGee, Enos Slaughter, Curt Flood, Whitey Kurowski, J.D. Drew, Terry Moore, Ray Lankford, Bernard Gilkey, Vince Coleman, Marty Marion, Colby Rasmus, Ken Reitz and Todd Zeile. I don’t know about you, but the Cardinals should have dumped Simmons, Boyer, Slaughter, Kurowski and all of those other dudes after their rookie seasons. (Minimum 300 plate appearances.)

It would be a bad look for St. Louis U. basketball if these two things happen between now and the end of Selection Sunday: (1) First-year coach Dennis Gates leads Missouri into the NCAA Tournament, and (2) SLU coach Travis Ford comes up short again. There was no NCAA Tournament in 2020, so this will be Ford’s six opportunity to make it happen since becoming SLU’s coach. The Billikens have one NCAA Tournament (2019) under Ford, who was named coach before the 2016-2017 seasons. SLU is currently ranked 91st nationally at KenPom and has never ranked higher than No. 53 in a season. At some point the patience with Ford’s program will thin out, but the Billikens should be able to handle Rhode Island (No. 219) tonight at Chaifetz Arena.

Best bets for in-game props for Super Bowl 57? I’ll go with Philadelphia running back Miles Sanders rushing for more than 54.5 yards. For that matter, I like Kansas City running back Isiah Pacheco picking up more than 68.5 rushing-receiving yards.

St. Louisan Bradley Beal didn’t play Monday night when his Washington Wizards snoozed through a 23-point loss to Cleveland. This time his absence was due to a sure foot. Beal has missed 22 games this season with six different injuries. He’s played in only 52.5 percent of the team’s games since the start of last season. He’s competed in 54% of Washington’s games since the beginning of the 2020-21 season. Beal is the NBA’s sixth-highest paid player this season at $43.27 million. This past summer he signed a contract extension with the Wizards that will pay him $194 million through 2025-2006. (That includes this season’s salary.) The Wizards, 24-29 this season, rank 19th in the NBA in winning percentage (.471) since drafting Beal with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

How difficult is it to win a basketball game on the road in the SEC this season? Our friend Gabe DeArmond had the answer on Monday morning at Power Mizzou dot com:: “Missouri is 2-4 on the road this season (that doesn’t count wins over UCF and Illinois which were neutral site games). The combined road record of SEC teams this year is 36-58. Alabama is 7-1 on the road. Tennessee is 4-2. Those are the top two teams in the league standings. The combined road record of the other 12 teams in the league is 25-55. Texas A&M (4-3) is the only other team with a winning record on the road. Missouri’s win percentage in road games is actually percentage points higher than the overall road record of the bottom 12 teams in the SEC.” baseball analyst Bradford Doolittle is out with his “way too early” rotation rankings and has the Cardinals listed at No. 19 among the 30 teams. But Doolittle thinks the rotation could be better than the rankings model suggests:

“Seems like the Cardinals’ style of pitching never holds up well in the forecasting systems,” Doolittle wrote. “In fact, the previous version of these rankings used a method designed to account for projection-challenged pitchers like, well, most of the Cardinals, and others such as Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs. How did it work? Well, you’re looking at a new method today. This baseline for the St. Louis rotation, combined with its always-stellar defense, is likely as ever to be a winning combination — better than the .500 profile suggested here.”

If Dylan Carlson can’t hit right-handed pitching this season, should he consider ending his time as a switch-hitter and just swing the bat from the right side. Will it happen? Doubtful. Carlson was slightly above average vs. RH pitching in 2021, so I suppose there’s hope. But in his two-plus MLB seasons, per the wRC+ metric, Carlson is 42 percent above league average offensively as a RH batter, and is nine percent below league average when hitting from the left side.

MLB Network named Nolan Arenado No. 5 on the list of the Top 10 third basemen in the majors. I presume this decision was made after panelists got a little too deep into the Scotch.

Just a reminder that Brendan Donovan played six different positions for the Cardinals as a rookie in 2022. He worked at third base, second base, first base, left field, right field and shortstops. He played enough at so many places to compile 468 plate appearances last season, and he won the first-ever Gold Glove for the best utility player in the NL. I bring this up because a percentage of Cardinals fans freaked out when president of baseball operations John Mozeliak reiterated the team’s plans to keep Nolan Gorman at second base. These folks were left outraged – and in a state of disbelief – because Donovan wasn’t named the starter at second base. Why would Donovan be named the starter at second base when he can move around and give the Cardinals added value by being deployed at six positions – and playing capable defense at every spot? Note: Donovan played only 38 games at second base last season. He spent a lot of time playing defense at other spots and was an extremely important piece in manager Oli Marmol’s system. The manager values lineup flexibility and favorable matchups and loves having Donovan available to deploy as needed. Yo! This is a GOOD thing, OK?

I’m crazy but I’m coming around to the idea of Jack Flaherty having a very good season. I may need a checkup.

Investment-related Super Bowl note: However, over the past 21 years, underdogs own a 15-6 ATS (71.4%) edge, including 11-4 ATS in the last 15. Historically favorites to win the Super Bowl are 35-20 straight up but are 25-27-3 against the spread (48.1%). The 1982 game had a pick ‘em point spread.

But over the past 21 years, underdogs are 15-6 ATS against the spread (71.4%) including a 11-4 mark against the spread over the last 15 Super Bowls. As of Tuesday afternoon the Chiefs were a 1.5-point underdog to the Eagles. But I’ve seen the Chiefs listed as a two-point dog at other wagering entities.

Thanks for reading …


Bernie invites you to listen to his opinionated and analytical sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM. 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.

Follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz

All stats used here were sourced from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, Stathead, Bill James Online, Fielding Bible, Baseball Prospectus, 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.