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Cardinal Baseball and Bowhunting

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Season at a glance!

Posted by Dave on 06/15/2012

Ok. Y’all, I have been terrible about writing blogs this last year or so, but you know what my first child (son) just turned 7 months old, so well there you have it.  I am going to try to get back in the habit of writing more as I enjoy the tweets back.

I have a few thoughts on the Cards tonight before we begin in my opinion the most boring home series of the year (royals).  I know my K.C. friends get a kick out of it and I used too as well, that was 2 or 3 World Series appearances ago however with a couple rings, but I digress.

1st comments have to be about Matheny. Rookie guy at the helm and everyone got hurt and is staying hurt. Not his fault for the most part, however this is what makes or breaks managers.  He has handled the injuries well.  The rotation may have some fault there, but definitely some at John’s feet as well.  The bull-pen or bear-pen as I have referred to them a couple times on twitter is where I see some issues.  In reality if Mike calls their name they should be ready whoever it is.  I just want to know why, whoever always seem to be Boggs in the 8th, again will digress.   Injuries in the pen have actually outside of Boggs in the 8th taken me out of second guessing Mike, because I suck at rolling dice too.

2nd Carlos Beltran I hated you in K.C. not because of K.C. but because their fans love minor league guys and I befriend them, and they annoy the crap out of me.  Then you had to go and get traded to Houston, then that Met thing worked out well.  I loved to hate on you, but wow such an amazing talent.  I am rooting for this guy to get a ring someway somehow.  This team is surviving because of you, thank you!

3rd Furcal I don’t know if Mike was mad or not at him when spring training started.  Hard to be mad at someone that didn’t have control over that kind of a function.  None the less he has been what the cards have been missing for some time and I enjoy watching the guy play.  Not to mention he responded to me about my son so loving him for that.

4th I miss Jon Jay.  Now last year right after Colby was traded I was not as high on Jon Jay that he proved to be.   I do not believe the scouts when they put a “ceiling” on someone as well.  My thought is pretty well in my opinion proven by Jon.  This guy raised his ability in October.  Jon stepped up to the challenge and remained calm and delivered.   This is the kind of guy that some “fans” will say told you so but honestly no one last year could have imagined Jay being so vital to this team.  In my mind winning the series is an easier stretch.  As a side note I in Springfield I did like Jay much more than Colby, he had some issues but fixed those as we see now.

5th David effn Freese and Matt patch Adams.  These guys don’t have to hit .330 and win gold gloves, be nice if they did. I realize their numbers are low, more of a concern on Freese that Adams but he tried pulling too much.  I told my buddy @deckacards that if Adams hits .270 I’d love it.  I believe he agrees.  I’d like Big Mac to get David to really stay with his natural swing.  That right center swing makes him deadly, he can always pull the ball and that makes the D play him true and makes him lethal.  Matt just needs to hang on I like his talent and think he can help this team for a long time.  Not to mention by all reports he is a good kid.

6th Holliday and Yadi.  So important those two.  Yadi is what a lot of cards fans knew the backbone of that pitching staff.  You don’t let that go and at this point I can honestly say I am happier to have Holliday and Yadi than Holliday and Albert.  I understand who Matt is and I am fine with that.  Yadi’s values exceed his paycheck into that of the rotation and bull-pen.  Best catcher in the game no one else comes close.  I love Matt in Left field.  Maybe not his defense every play, but he is respected on this team in the clubhouse that’s worth a lot y’all.

7th Allen Craig.  I can’t figure out how to type out his importance.  This guy was almost the World Series MVP!  Again I will point out Kevin; we had a lot of discussions when we watched him here in Springfield.  You could as I did, get the feeling then this kid have that x-factor.  When the game was on the line and you needed that at-bat “send me in coach”.  His D at 3rd was short but like that guy that used to play for us finds a way in the lineup.  I am so excited to see him succeed could never explain to you why he is just a guy I will cheer for.

In summary, this team has ticked me off with its pitching and errors last 5 weeks.  None the less this team is just as capable of making that run that happened last year.  Sometimes as fans that haven’t been in that locker room in a while you forget what it’s like adjusting to a new man in charge.  While I sometimes feel this is Tony 2 it’s really not.  The team is playing different, honestly I love his style.  I will forever respect and be annoyed by TLR ball.  At the end of the day he knew what he was doing and proved it for 33 years.  Mike learned a lot from Tony,  I believe John Moz did as well.  We may suffer awhile this season but we will have some fun too.  Long post but hope you enjoyed it!

Go Cards! Kick the crap out of the Royals!

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Time to defend

Posted by Dave on 02/22/2012

 

Ok, so I haven’t said much since June of last year.  Ah well kinda had a kid so that’s my excuse.  I’m not going to comment on that guy that used to play for us.   I’m excited to see how this team will play this year however.  I am expecting a very fun team to watch as they seem to be not just a team, but friends that enjoy playing and being around each other.  I am going to list a few things I’m mentally expecting.

  • Fun filled games with late pushes for exciting wins
  • Great starts by an amazing 1-2 combo at the top of the rotation
  • Win or compete for the division title
  • Breakout year by one or more young guys
  • Allen Craig to perform
  • David Freese to stay healthy
  • Motte to be the Motte of the postseason all year long

I do expect to see them make a push to repeat and defend their title.  I might be exhausted because I have an infant in the house or nuts, probably a little both.  I like the team that is assembled, I think there are some holes to fill possibly.  As we have seen with this franchise though those things have a wonderful way of working themselves out.  Position battles I am interested in is Descalso, Skip battle and if Tyler Greene is on his way up or out.  The other battle at CF I think Chambers is going to make it very difficult for the Cards to send him down to memphis.

So with the dreams of wonderful celebrations in October on Twitter with all my tweeps I have hopefully got this poll to include with this post.  Here’s to a fantastic season with defending champs going into the season. So yes my vote is they will defend their title.

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Was Franklin right?

Posted by Dave on 06/30/2011

I have spent a few weeks thinking about Franklin and his comments regarding the cardinal fan base not being the best in baseball. Then it hit on a post game show. I didn’t see Baseball Heaven being stated all the time. So if Ryan is right and I am sad to say at this time I agree with him. Why are the fan’s of the Cards no longer the best.

I’m going to start with TLR. That may seem odd but let’s think about things for a minute. Before TLR we saw a lot of young guys get a real chance in Stl not that they haven’t since but he and Walt loved to trade those guys for vet’s that didn’t need to gain experience at the MLB level. Now after 16 year’s in town we have seen younger fan’s think that guys come up from memphis immediately ready to play at All-star and MVP level.

If you have watched the game longer than 10 year’s. You know that the leap from AAA to MLB is arguable one of the biggest in sports. We see guys in every other sport go from college to impact player’s in their respective sport much quicker than in baseball. So now after 16 years of seeing young guy’s traded we haven’t had to tolerate or watch young guys grow. We are used to seeing veteran’s polish up their skill’s or in a lot of cases come in and just maintain.

Younger Card’s fan’s do not understand or appreciate watching a player grow on the field. The frustrating part of that is a growing moment is usually a costly play/pitch or K.

I know there are exception’s to this but I think it is part of the frustration card’s fans expel towards the team that has lead to that way of thought.

The next is one of the hardest thoughts about it I could think of. We got very used to post season success through the first half of this decade. After going to two Series and winning one it’s hard to accept not winning the division or not making a run in the playoffs much less not even making them.

The cardinals have created a perfect storm with the average fan that is frustrated they want to win so badly that they overlook the type of things that got Stl to winning again. Few people remember the days of Joe Torre in Stl and the disappointing teams and season’s they had in the early 90′s. Now on any and all radio show’s that I can pick up in Stl or any other city. All I hear is Cards fan’s that can out tony tony. I’m not saying I agree with all his move’s but fan’s have become much more vocal in critizing the team than I can ever remember in my life.

This has spilled over to booing the team. Now I won’t say that you shouldn’t boo the cards when they fail. All I say is that I won’t and I won’t teach or say that I think it is acceptable. That does not mean I won’t yell at them to do better. IF you consider that the same then ok, I do not.

The Minor league team’s are much closer and more reported on. Growing up I rarely heard of the minor league team’s much less the players on those teams. ON FSN we get reports and rumor’s about the guys in the minor’s much more often. Granted this year it is because they keep going down to the minor’s to bring guys up. By the time they get there the folks that have not seen them have thoughts’ they will be a MVP or All Star right away. Then Jiame Garcia happens and it further fuel’s that fire.

I know that my friends that have kids in High School or right of or younger not a lot play baseball or ever have they grew up playing soccer. They have assumption’s that player’s can develop at rate’s that most cannot.

The final aspect that I think creates some issue’s is the reporter’s. Combine that with folks like me and probably you blogging about the cards and that creates more vocalized opinion’s about the game. There is a certain reporter that vocalizes his distaste for bloggers. In part because we take reader’s away from him and create job issue’s which all of us that were pre-internet remember the days’ of getting the paper as soon as we could to read about the cards. I remember looking over the box score in the paper the next morning now it’s online after the last out.

I don’t think everyone is effected by each one of these factor’s nor do I think these are the only factor’s. But after a few weeks closer to months. I think Franklin was right. Now that said the move that came yesterday was correct he is a great guy seems so via interview’s and his old twitter account. I wish him well in his future but he was not helping the team and the right baseball move was finally made.

Go Cards

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Joplin clean up day 2 by a cards fan

Posted by Dave on 05/29/2011

Yesterday was day two of my trip. Last night I was way to tired to type out what we saw. Although the day was cut short because of more bad weather. We saw a few things that I wanted to pass along to others. As well as some conversations from today. We went to Branson today with my mom to spend the day.

To start off with today we ran into a friend of mine that is a DJ on a local radio station and we were talking about Joplin. Some people were in shock that after 5 day’s it’s still looks as bad as it did hours after the tornado hit. That just proves if your close enough please get involved and go help so your able to see but also able to help and hear the stories. This has far more damage than what your used to seeing from a tornado far more!

Yesterday we found an 85 year old guy that had to use a walker and a cane to get around. Yet he hid in his closet and watched as his house his only house was blown away. What got him into the story was that people had talked volunteers into helping them only to get to their house to find they shouldn’t be the first on the help list he was their neighbor and in far more need of help. There was little we could do for him. We got his car out of what used to be a garage looks like a slab that could have a carport now. The garage has little proof of ever being there except for the header and the garage door. We were thrilled to help him!

A couple about a 1/2 mile away we found the husband was hurt and the wife was there trying to finish up as some other’s had helped get out what wasn’t ruined the day before. She was wanting Christmas ornaments her kids had made for her as they were growing up. The tub was supposed to be in the attic. That is a loose term though when you no longer have a roof. We got up there slowly to make sure it was safe. One of the guys found the tub it was supposed to be “air” tight. The strength of this storm was shown though. The tub was filled almost to the top with water.

After we got it down we asked for her survival story. Her husband was at the the Walgreens around the corner and was trying to get home before the tornado hit. As he was driving home he saw it coming in the rear view mirror they had planned as soon as he got to the driveway they would run to the closet in the living room. He did make it home they ran in got in the closet and the tornado reached their house within a few moments. As they were in the closet the small cracks in the door insulation was being sucked into the closet even them trying to stuff the cracks with coats couldn’t keep the insulation out.

They came out of their house a few moments after it left to looking out at a pretty well flat neighborhood. They were scared beyond words because none of their friends/neighbors were coming out. They went back into their house to see what all of their’s was damaged. Over the next 25 to 45 minutes their neighbors who most of had been buried by debris finally started to appear. They were happy to report to us that no one on their block had died because of the twister.

Part of our group came across a newer car that on the outside had very little damage, and seeing a lot of the vehicles there that is AMAZING. They came up on the car thinking someone had to be working in this house since there was no damage to the car. They got to the car to find the tornado had sucked insulation into the car leaving it worthless. The windows were not cracked, broken or open. The strength of this twister is jaw dropping.

I know that I will be going back to help more just not sure when. I hope for those that can’t come and help to see what damage has been done this give’s you an insight into the pure/raw damage of this.

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Joplin Cleanup by a cards fan

Posted by Dave on 05/27/2011

Now I know I am a Cards baseball blogger. Today’s post has nothing to do with baseball. So if you only want baseball check back later or read an older post.

I live about an hour away from Joplin I have worked in Joplin in the recent past and I have family that lives in joplin and friends in an around there. Today and tomorrow though I am going to help people that have had their lives turned upside down. I am going down with my church.

Today we helped a lady that I felt needed to be wrote about. She’s not someone who was seeking attention. She is a wonderful person who taught elementary for 35 years in Joplin. Now she is retired and now she is looking for a job as she has lost everything. I will not use her name fyi.

She takes care of her grandchildren and was beyond thrilled that they were not with her Sunday night. That night she hid in her bathtub. The bathroom is the only part of the house that still had a roof over it. As she came out of the house to see all the destruction, she helped people before herself. Today is Thursday and she is just now going back for her things. That night she went out and helped all those she could. Many she found dead including children.

What is so striking about her is how adjusted she is to loosing most all her possession’s. To her it was just stuff no reason to cry over stuff right, her and her grandkids are healthy and can move on. We helped get everything of her’s that could be saved loaded and moved to a locked building so those scum bags that want to loot will not gain much of what used to belong to her.

I want to point out that she is not in the main part of the destruction. She is across the street. That part there is nothing to save, only a small glimmer of hope some valued possession might be found and saved. She was going through her living room, what was left of it at least. We moved part of what was left of the ceiling on the floor, and there it lay. To some it’s a book to disregard to other’s it’s a sacred book to live by and have faith in. She like I fall into the latter. Her Bible lay, no other possession brought even a second thought if it was ruined but the Bible left her torn a part and distressed.

Now she will get a new Bible and may receive some new one’s from some new found friends up the road. What is so amazing about her story is just this, it’s not a story about someone that tried and tried to save a TV only to have it ripped from their grip by the tornado (true story by the way). She know’s what’s most important and let it show without concern.

I wish I could tell all the stories from today, this is just one of many. I hope this story helps you.

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What kind of move is this?

Posted by Dave on 05/24/2011

Amid friends and family being affected so badly in Joplin by this tornado the other night. I wanted to step away in the the wonderful mental retreat of baseball and mention a few things about Boggs being sent down. At first glance there is a lot of people complaining but is this really a bad move right now?

Well at first glance yes it is Franklin and Batista both need to find new means of employment. Now for those thinking Greene should be first on the list you are letting your anger towards him dictate that and not realizing how shallow this team actually is. There is no more or better proof that middle infield depth does not exist in the cards system than Pete Kozma getting the call to MLB. I am in no way shape or form a fan of him. Many of nights we hung our head in shame watching him in Springfield over the past few years. But we know guys given a shot sometimes make the most of it so for the Cardinals I hope that he does.

Why TLR is so stubborn, hard headed, dedicated what ever term you want to use to describe Batista and Franklin insert it. I don’t think anyone actually knows but this too could be an issue of lack of depth in the minor’s. Even though we are seeing Sanchez and Salas come in and be all that and more for rookie’s. If you ignore Batista and Franklin, and realize TLR loves the closer by committee the biggest issue in the pen is the lack of a long reliever.

We as cards fan’s know from watching Motte learning how to pitch at the MLB level is not a good idea. So if the Cards are (I hope) look for two pen guys on the market to replace Franklin and Batista. Having Boggs go down for a few weeks get stretched out to be that long guy, this move does make some sense. Now I know some will have the thought why not just let him start stretching out in STL? I would be inclined to send him down and let him start games and really get the rest in between starts to make sure he’s not over used. If he is still in the pen sometime’s and we know he would even attempting to stretch him out TLR would use him.

The scary thing about this is that now we are surely going to see more of Franklin and Batista. This team cannot win series after series depending on those two guys at this point. The other thing the Cards can’t afford is for Boggs to let his ERA stay up as high as it has lately. So going down only hopefully helps the cards.

I at this point am hoping the cards start searching via trade for a pen guy not a closer. I don’t see the need to trade for a closer at this point. TLR is great at the mix and match and this would at least get some rookies with the potential to be a everyday closer some great experience.

One other thing about sending down a position player over a pen guy. Only pitchers give up Home runs. Yes a OF can possibly bring them back in but by in large that is only criticized because the pitcher made a bad pitch. Now I know that pitchers do make bad pitches and Home runs are given up.

In summary I will say(type) that I agree with this move of Boggs going down. If it work’s and he get’s stretched out and better control this could be one of the moves that really makes a huge impact on this club. It’s not often they need a long reliever yet, and yet being the key word.

GO CARDS!

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Close it out

Posted by Dave on 04/19/2011

Well the cards sure would look different this part of the season with 4 more wins. This is a subject that has been a subject for far to long in St. Louis. Even giving the closing percentage Ryan has had in the past couple of years, the number everyone knew was his age. It has come to that point again where the TLR must start to look to someone else to close out games. I don’t know if the team (players) are still behind Franklin or not I would assume they are vocally but surely some of them in their own minds are wishing someone else would close so they could get those w’s.

So the big question is who? The cards sure looked to have traded one option. Chris Perez is now a Indian and closing games there. It appears the GM thought that Motte would be the guy. I think we all know he is not the guy. So the question is will the GM trade the next guy. We have little everyday needs. So trading a prospect in the pen for an everyday guy is unlikely, I hope. Can the cards find that guy that is already in the system?

There are a few options in the pen. I don’t think anyone person at this early point in the season should be named the “closer”. Instead I would rather TLR do what he does anyhow. Mix and match. Boggs appears to be the guy that has the first shot at loosing it. I don’t think he should be the only one though. K-chez (Sanchez) needs to get a few more appearances. He has the stuff to do it, he needs the confidence now in his stuff at the MLB level before giving him that chance.

As far as the mental make up of the closer and who has it and who doesn’t. I don’t know of anyone outside of the team that can make the call. It is so difficult of a situation, the crowd is louder there is more pressure. So from the outside looking in especially when because of the language barrier they may not talk to much, it is difficult to gage. So that being said, only time and experience will show if either of those can do it.

Who can help them adjust to that? Well I’m glad you asked. Is it franklin maybe, he has his own mental issues right now the blow to him has to be a issue. Wether he admits it to reporter or not he has been able to get MLB batters out for a long time now all the sudden that is gone. If he moves up to the 7th or 8th I think in a month yes he could help them adjust to it. For the home games though I would say Adam Wainwright. He no longer has to worry about his pen sessions or preparing for a game. That is extra time he can dedicate to the guys in the rotation and the pen helping them. While the Duncan and his staff will help sometimes a guy that has been there done that is worth their weight in gold.

I would love to see this start tonight don’t wait to let franky and his lack of whatever it is continue to turn an W into a L. I could see TLR using Miller to start some in the 9th as well to help lower the pressure on the young guys for the last out or two. It will be difficult to watch this season, if TLR does not make a move. Change is constant so someone please tell TLR its time for that change

Go Cards!

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A new season

Posted by Dave on 04/17/2011

So I didn’t post anything after the first week of the season for doom in gloom. Now that is not to say I was happy or encouraged with the first week. I think Cards fans need to learn to not get to high with the a win or to low with a loss. That being said there are a couple thought’s I have after seeing a couple weeks of the season go by.

First off no one has a reason to truly doubt Albert. He is coming back in his form as usual no shocker. I have noticed that this season and last he has expanded the zone more than he has in the past. I don’t know if that is just coming with age or his desire to do more. I would prefer for him not to but if he is comfortable doing it and gets results I won’t argue.

Colby. So far this season he has been the most important part of the Offense and the most dangerous part of the Defense. I am not sure why some people think that in just a few season’s that he is going to be Jim Edmonds like or any of the other countless amazing veterans we have had in the past. The key word there is veteran Colby is adjusting very well at the plate and it will just take some time for him to get used to the range and dimensions of the major league outfields. The thing that he has to improve on quickly is that worm burner throw that showed up the other night. The plus on Colby that people are forgetting is he is historically a slow starter in april. What is in store for batting can be amazing even if he just keeps this kind of a year up.

Theriot. Now I know a lot of cards fans are mad or upset that Brendan is gone. I am not one of those for a few reasons. I will admit he has great ability yes. But he has many downsides. His attitude got him kicked off or to leave a college team. That is not a plus no matter if you want to admit it or not. He was a one year wonder at the plate he has not been a .290 hitter outside of just one season. The other issue that always drove me crazy was his throws to Albert always backed him up into the base path and Albert was jumping out of the way of the runner. No matter what Ryan is never going to be good enough to fill in for AP should he get injured. So moving on to Theriot his throws more often than not do not to that. He has the ability to get on base and has proven it over and over again at the MLB level. Theriot is not the player I would want for a long term deal but for a short stop gap I’m ok with him.

This team could be over achieving the last few days but I don’t think they are far from what they have been doing. This team with the lineup has no reason not to hit. The question marks will be the closer. I am not sure Franklin at his age can keep it up for what the season requires. The pen especially after the injuries is something that I expect to be exposed at some point. Now as long as the starters keep up what they have done this season they won’t be to bad. We all now at some point though the starters will have a ruff week, and when that happens, how will the pen hold up?

I am not going to go over each player or position tonight but I felt that some of these points need to be brought out. Let’s go get the Dodgers tonight.

Go Cards!

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Baseball is a business!

Posted by Dave on 04/14/2011

We all know that players play for money in any sport. Sure we all start out as kids playing the game we love. Somewhere along the line the player knows this is his job and he needs to perform to make a living, a very nice living. There is a moment from time to time you get to see that kid that has his dream come true.

Last night we saw that. Now I’m sure most people didn’t think twice about Sanchez MLB first outing. Some may be excited to see his stuff. This outing was a perfect time to get him out in the mix. Mainly because he had a lot of runs to play with to get his feet wet. Now we don’t know that the Dbacks hadn’t quit, most likely yes. So 5 strikeouts may or may not be who he will be every two innings. Thats not the point I want to talk about today though.

Every kid playing in the back yard dreams about 2 different times in the big leagues. We always dream of bottom of the 9th 7th game of the World series and we hit or get the last person out on a full count. The other time I remember simulating the most was the first ever appearance. It’s a much more likely dream to come true than what Waino did.

Watching Sanchez last night was a blast I stayed up in hopes to see that first appearance for him. If you missed it you truly missed out. The expressions on his face on the bench not to mention the emotions pouring out showed just how much work he has put into baseball since signing and working through the academy. The part that stood out to me was the smile on his face while he was batting.

As fans we sometimes I think let business side of baseball effect the way we cheer for our team. We know that money buys players and managers and does affect how the team does. We cheer from a business side of it forgetting that the players have forgotten how much of a privilege it is to play this game on tv and in front of so many people.

If you saw Sanchez though you did see the purity of sports. That chance to make a childhood dream come true. Where stats don’t matter completely, when all that matters is you did it. Long boring bus rides hours of throwing a ball when nobody is watching or cares what you do or who you are. Time lifting weights, running watching your diet. All the little things seem today to be the best investment he has ever made.

It’s something so small a once in a lifetime chance he will never again not have played in the bigs. It has finally come and now gone. I am not saying that he is the closer of the future or anything else. I just was happy to see the expressions on his face and the joy he had that he had a chance given and did very well with it. I hope that others found the joy out of seeing that as well, if not I of course meant to bring it up to you today!

Go Cards!

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Free Pass

Posted by Dave on 02/17/2011

Have you ever thought about a NBA coach getting a Technical foul or a NFL coach getting a un-sportsman like conduct for 15 yards. Some of the differences between the sports are as the saying goes “it is what it is”. What about MLB though. As I was sitting at a college game the other night I began to think about this.

How is it that of the 3 sports (I know nothing of hockey) MLB is the only one that doesn’t blatantly help the opposing team when a manager goes nuts. Now I understand he can be thrown out of the game but at the MLB level can you really say that is a huge disadvantage in a normal season game.

I have wondered how players in the NBA or NFL can easily voice their displeasure with the official and yet in the MLB they don’t seem to have the same amount of chance to voice opinion. Now I know they do but it just seems interesting that in the NBA and NFL it takes a few penalties before the player is ejected and in the MLB it’s a verbal warning and then thrown out while going back to the other sports it’s a verbal then penalty then ejection from the game.

Still not advocating a change in baseball but just found it interesting as I saw this up close at a college game and the warning’s knowing after that it was just two free throws. So I wonder what it would do to the game if the batter got a free pass for this? I don’t think it would help most likely hurt. Just thinking about some of the interesting things that make up that great sport of baseball.

Posted in baseball | 1 Comment »

 
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