A little delayed, but it’s simply because my computer has taken that long to thaw out from our harsh winter. So here are February thoughts….
- Bryce Harper finally signed. And in what really wasn’t a surprise it was with the Philadelphia Phillies. Much was made towards the end of the fall last year that the Phillies would be BIG players in free agency this off-season. And after Manny Machado did surprisingly sign with the San Diego Padres, the writing was on the wall that the Phillies were going to do everything they could to lock up the other mega-star player of the off-season, Bryce Harper.
- We are fully in the midst of spring training for the St. Louis Cardinals and yet once again the camp began with a pitcher being sidelined with an unexpected injury. This time it was Carlos Martinez. After seeing the All-Star come out of the bullpen at the end of last year because of shoulder and oblique injuries he has been sidelined three weeks from camp for shoulder weakness. We don’t know what this means, as there is no visible tear in the MRI scans, but this is not a good sign. Martinez is just one year removed from being one of the top starters in the league, and despite the recent thoughts of moving him to the bullpen to “save” his arm, I would much rather have 200 innings of Carlos than 60 innings. But again this depends on his health.
- Ah the St. Louis Blues. Rolling off 11 straight wins and getting fans back on the bandwagon. They seem to have found their stride as they are back in the playoff picture and heading toward the postseason. But leave it up to the Blues to say, not so fast fans!!! Vladimir Tarasenko is out at least 10 days with an “upper body” injury. Word is that it is not the same shoulder injury that kept him out earlier this year. Let’s hope that is true because Tarasenko has been playing his best hockey since wearing the note and if they want to keep their play up they will need #91.
- Finally Antonio Brown has been dealt. The wide receiver forced his way out of Pittsburgh and is now an Oakland Raider. While everyone is praising the trade for the Raiders, I just don’t get it. Yes the trade itself was a good one, giving up just a 3rd and 5th round pick from an All-Pro receiver. But aren’t the Raiders in the middle of a complete tear down? Actually they aren’t even in the middle, they are in the beginning of it! They just started it last year. So why did the Raiders make the trade? Yes they improved their talent pool but they are still a question at quarterback, you know the position that will giving Brown the ball. And we know by now that Brown WANTS the ball. And if he doesn’t get it, he will make it known.
- We are nearing March Madness 2019 and yet again, barring surprising conference tournament runs, our local teams will not be going dancing. Both Mizzou and SLU are young and showed some signs this year of promise. But I find it baffling that they can both find themselves so short-handed. Cuonzo Martin, in his 2nd year with the Tigers, and Travis Ford, in his 3rd year with SLU, have short handed teams and their player rotations are costing them wins because they don’t have the depth. Mizzou and SLU are both down to a seven man rotation and even with injuries that should not happen to big-time programs.