Starting the final limp to October, this week marks big things for the Cardinals’ family and the PH8 team. My return to the site is just a blip on the radar, but I admit it is good to be back. No one could have predicted the free fall that St. Louis has experienced since the dust-up in Cincy, but not all is doom and gloom for the Birds on the Bat.
It would take a miracle collapse by the Reds for the big league club to see a return to the playoffs, but at least one affiliate has already captured a title while another looks for back-to-back crowns. All of this from an organization that was supposed to be floundering after last year’s trades, and that will be the main topic I cover for the next few weeks.
Johnson City captured the Appy League Championship, and Batavia made a spirited Semifinal run in the NYPL with most of the players coming from this year’s draft. Those playoff-tested Baby Birds hope to make the jump to the Midwest League for 2011 and will be under the watchful eye of long-time Quad-City Times beat writer Steve Batterson.
Batterson will be my special guest Wednesday on UCB Radio, so feel free to listen in and drop your questions on the chat board. Colby Rasmus, Jaime Garcia, and Shelby Millerare just a few of the players ‘Bats’ has covered over the years so it is sure to be an interesting hour. In addition to that interview, Thursday marks a special day for everyone involved in the United Cardinal Bloggers.
The Social Media Night grants those that dedicate much of their free time to covering the Cards a special experience, and I can’t wait to hear all about it! Join me Wednesday in debating where this may lead in the future and how much can be learned from spotlighting the fans’ point of view.
Memphis stunningly pulled off a title run last year and looks every bit as prepared for the repeat performance. The Redbirds open their PCL Championship Series tonight against Tacoma, and everyone can listen in no matter where they call home. While some of the AAA players are not getting a chance with the big club (for at least a few more days), my thoughts today center on their manager.
Chris Maloneydefinitely belongs as a dark horse candidate to take over for Tony La Russa, but maybe he should be getting more of a look. While the future is uncertain for many of the current big-league Cardinals, the reality is many of the current Memphis roster will be called upon for a bigger role in 2011. This mainly has to do with money concerns but how the St. Louis Opening Day team looks next April very well may be decided by who is calling the shots.
TLR has his hands full right now, and that is sure to continue well into the Winter. John Mozeliak feels the pressure as well, so the next six months are certainly lining up to be as important as any felt since the early 1990′s. Whether or not you are a fan of how Tony gets the job done, his record speaks for itself. The ownership will not force him out, but stories like this can only make the DeWitt family lose their appetite.
At the very least, Maloney has earned the chance to be considered if 2010 marks the end of TLR’s tenure. Make him part of the staff if nothing else, so the young players have a connection while trying to bypass the ‘Rasmus Route’ of fitting in…no one wants to see a repeat of that mess. Promote the Springfield crew up a level and see if the third time really is a charm.
Is it time to move on and see what new leadership can do with the game’s best player? It all starts with a couple of must-wins against the Baby Bears to try and salvage what has mostly been a season to forget. Thanks for reading (all three of you)