Another week is in the books and it’s time to dive into what happened this past week and a look ahead at the week of sports and to write about whatever I feel like. So, here we go! Oh, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, we can officially start.
As much as I don’t want to, I’m going to start with the Blues. That was a shockingly, ugly game on Saturday Night. Again, the Blues were handled easily on their home ice in a 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild. There have some bad moments, plays, games this season but, I’m not sure the club was as bad as any of those instances as they were on Saturday Night. I say that because the team was coming off winning two in a row and Vladimir Tarasenko and Jake Allen had played better and were showing signs of life…and then? A game in which the Blues were outshot by the Wild 45-to-16. Also, as Jeremy Rutherford of the Athletic pointed out, not only were the Blues outshot but, Minnesota had a total of 72 shots that were attempted as blocked shots or missed the net. The Blues defense has been brutal to start this season. They have given up three goals or more in 11 of 12 games. The positive? Ryan O’Reilly extended his point streak to seven games (4g, 8a). He is now just one game shy of tying his career-high point streak of eight games. He’s been as good as advertised and many times he’s been the best player on the ice. What about St. Louis native Pat Maroon? He’s off to a tough start. I think he’s pressing. It’s a 1-year deal in front of family and friends. It can’t be easy. However, this is professional sports and you either do or you don’t. It’s another huge game this Tuesday for the Note at home.
I’m excited to tipoff the basketball season this Tuesday night with the St. Louis University Billikens against SEMO. If you are wondering, you can see that game on FOX Sports Midwest. The Billikens are predicted to win the A-10 Conference despite returning only four players that were on the floor a year ago. “At this point, we are so much of an unfinished product.” Said, SLU coach Travis Ford on a recent podcast. “We have a long way to go but, I think we can get there. We like the pieces on our team. We really like our guys. We are not only learning a new system but, learning each other and they’re just now figuring out where each other likes the ball, where spacing is concerned, and the next part is figuring out the system.” The Billikens are athletic, big, and physical. This is a tournament team. They should be fun to watch and much of that is being done with homegrown talent. Also, every Tuesday on the website you can hear “Tuesdays with Travis” and that will be a weekly conversation with Travis Ford. You can hear my preview of the season with Coach Ford here.
I don’t know about you but, I get into the hot stove season as much as I do the regular season in baseball. I find it fun and I find myself checking out where certain players are going and for what price. The Cardinals lost a couple of players this past week. One of those was pitcher Matt Bowman. If you missed it, he was claimed on waivers by the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, one day after San Diego claimed infielder Greg Garcia. Bowman would have been arbitration eligible for the first time and he’s coming an injury plagued season. To me, the bigger issue was his usage. In 2016 and ‘17, Bowman made 134 appearances which tied for 13TH most in the NL over that two-year span. Wow. Mike Matheny never hesitated to go to Bowman and to his credit, Bowman never hesitated to take the ball. Greg Garcia is off to San Diego and he’ll have a chance to play for his hometown team. This dude was all class while wearing the Cardinals uniform. “To say I was a St. Louis Cardinal means a whole lot to me.” Said Garcia. “More than you’ll know. The fans were just awesome.” You can listen to a very open and honest interview here with Greg. Garcia, had a career .374 on-base percentage as a pinch-hitter. His 37 career pinch hits place him 6th all-time among Cardinals. Only Gerald Perry, Steve Braun, Willie McGee, Dane Iorg and Matt Adams had more pinch hits as Cardinals. Pinch hitting is one of the toughest jobs in sports and he was very good at it. I wish him all the best.
How about M-I-Z? That’s a HUGE win for Mizzou and Barry Odom against Florida. I mean huge. He’s working his November magic again and it couldn’t come at a better time. Clearly, Emanuel Hall makes a difference when he’s on the field. He’s a weapon. He stretches the field and opens everything up. He finished with 77 yards on four catches. Missouri has opened as an 15.5 point favorite over Vanderbilt and they are 5-1 under Barry Odom against their remaining opponents. Nine wins? Yep. It’s possible. They have Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Arkansas, and then a Bowl game left. That gets them to the potential of nine wins and the what if game? What if they beat South Carolina and Kentucky? Regardless, things are looking up after a huge win.
Congratulations to the newest members of the Missouri Hall Of Fame. There were some of the biggest names in sports in St. Louis yesterday and the class was headlined by former Ram Issac Bruce, 6-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee, 16-year Major League pitcher Mark Buehrle, just to name a few. One of the inductees you may not have heard of is Incarnate Word head basketball coach Dan Rolfes. His record overall in high school stands at an astonishing 525-70! In addition to coaching the girls at Incarnate Word, he also started the Knights Basketball program, which helps boys and girls of all ages throughout the area. It’s because of his dedication that countless kids have gone onto college on athletic scholarships. “That goes beyond winning any state championships.” Said Rolfes. “I would sacrifice every win to have that happen and there’s no doubt about it.” Hear more from coach Rolfes here. By the way, there were a total of 18 new inductees into the Missouri Sports Hall Of Fame this weekend. Congrats!
Yadier Molina regained the Gold Glove last night and that’s number nine on his mantle. I have felt for quite some time that he’s a Hall of Famer but, this adds to his resume. I think what some forget is how he handles a staff. This year it was an extremely young staff. Also, how many times did the opposition not run, hit and run, bunt because of Molina? Those are all factors as to why he wins the award. Mike Shildt told me he’s the smartest player/coach/manager wearing the Cardinal uniform. I would say he’s the toughest as well. His durability is incredible. Well deserved.
Now, let’s answer some mailbag questions…
Q: Danny Mac, I would like to know if there has ever been anyone in the booth doing games with you that you ever got really mad at? You don’t have to give any names and a yes or no will do. You always had good people working with you. Thanks- Dunc!
A: Thanks for the question and checking out the site. Interesting question for sure! Not really. The one thing that we all have is passion for what we do and passion for the Cardinals and trying to do a great job. We may disagree about decisions in the game but, that’s what fans are doing at home. We think that’s fun. Ricky and I go on for hours before the game about what we would here and there and we disagree a lot and agree on a lot but, it’s always done with a huge amount of respect. I mean this sincerely, I work with great people and they are some of my best friends in life. However, it’s fun to get after each other. Hopefully, that answers it.
Q: Dan, No rants or questions but, instead offer a compliment on your broadcasts. I believe it was your best year. Your knowledge of baseball and Cardinals history is very evident. I started listening to “Scoops” and really enjoy it as well. Now, if the Cardinals can step up their game, we will be watching some October baseball next season.
A: David, thanks for the kind words. It will be an extremely interesting offseason considering what the interest level may be in Bryce Harper. With that being said, I love the Cardinals pitching. They have a chance to be very creative. Let’s see how it plays out.
Hey, I gotta run. You can expect to hear a podcast this week with John Paul Morosi, a baseball insider from the GM Meetings coming up and with Jim Kavanaugh. Jim is leading the group to bring MLS to St. Louis. Also, if you love baseball, make sure and come to this event next Monday.
Bud Select presents
The Dan McLaughlin and Tim McKernan Q and A
Live from the Improv Shop with special guest John Mozeliak, the St. Louis Cardinals, President of Baseball Operations.
Thanks as always! Dan