ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, ONE SENTENCE AT A TIME!
1–I’m sorry … but I chuckle a lil’ bit at media and fans who holler “Pump the Brakes!” on being positive about Tyler O’Neill’s robust spring-training showing, only to lead a Cooperstown campaign for Lane Thomas based on 84 MLB plate appearances.
2–Mister Lane Thomas may become a really good MLB outfielder who can help the Cardinals win a lot of games, but if you think it’s OK to remain in a constant state of arousal over a player that has only 84 MLB at-bats, then please take a look at small-sample gods Pete Kozma (September 2012), Jeremy Hazelbaker (early 2016), and many others I could mention.
3–Speaking of small samples, and spring training is nothing but small samples, I can appreciate the effort being put into the “he’s hitting the ball hard!” narrative — but at some point a guy has to show more than 1 for 20 with 8 strikeouts.
4–Just a reminder to vote for Keith Hernandez for the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame, please do so after remembering that as a Cardinal he was a two-time All-Star who won six Gold Gloves, a league MVP, a World Series title, a Silver Slugger — and ranks third in franchise history for most WAR by a first baseman, behind only Albert Pujols and Johnny Mize.
5–Matt Morris warrants support for the Cardinals Hall of Fame because of his 101 wins (tied for 14th in franchise history) and the sixth-highest career strikeout count by a Cards pitcher — plus a 2001 season in which he led the league in wins (22) and finished third in the Cy Young voting.
6–And do not ignore Edgar Renteria, who in six seasons as a Cardinal made three All-Star teams, won two Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers and had the greatest offensive season by a Cardinals’ shortstop in modern-era franchise history.
7–In case you were wondering about that, Renteria in 2003 batted .330, had a .394 OBP, slugged .480, had 34 steals, smacked 47 doubles, drove in 100 runs and posted an adjusted OPS that rated 31 percent above league average offensively.
8–And if I may continue, Renteria in 2003 set a single-season record for highest OPS, highest OPS+, RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage, OBP and batting average by a Cardinals shortstop.
9–Renteria anchored an infield that made it to the postseason four times in five years from 2000 through 2004 … and in 2004 he was a key part of a group that won the first NL pennant by a Cardinals team since 1987.
10–I think rookie starting pitcher Johan Oviedo will be mighty good one day, and maybe sooner than later.
11-Contrarian point of view that may or may not be sincere; perhaps I am just being a troll when I say this so you will have to decide: if we demand that Alex Reyes be placed in the Cardinals’ rotation, then Brewers fans should insist on having a Milwaukee rotation that included Josh Hader and Devin Williams.
12–I mean, Reyes is an awesome and exciting talent and everything, and I’d be happy to see him pitch a lot in 2020, rotation or otherwise, but he’s made 7 MLB starts since 2016.
13–Mike Shildt succeeded in overturning calls on replay challenges 28.6 percent of the time in 2018, got it up to 41% in 2019, and improved again with a 66.7% rate in 2020.
14–I don’t think the Cardinals will have much of a bench in 2021, but I’m wrong on many things, so who knows.
15–Is there a way to keep John Nogowoski around, simply because he gets a lot of hits … and hits are kind of good?
16–I wonder if Nolan Arenado noticed that the Cardinals haven’t added any starting pitching.
17–For whatever it’s worth, Randy Arozarena is the strong consensus choice to win American League Rookie of the Year for 2021.
18–I miss Lance Lynn.
19–Of course Mike Shannon kicked Covid’s butt, just because he’s Mike Shannon, and we’re all grateful that the legendary Moon Man fought through such a serious health crisis to enjoy another season of baseball.
20–Yadier Molina is age 29 this spring — yes, again.
Thanks for reading …
Hello, me again. Please check out my 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 live online and download the Bernie Show podcast at 590thefan.com … the 590 app works great and is available in your preferred app store.
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.