A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Shop Tawk, With Daniel

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 24, 2016

It’s Shop Tawk Time over at the Cardinal blog and I will post the link to his article when it’s up. Daniel told me he would check in throughout the day to discuss any Cardinal/NL Central questions we might have.


As you know, I don’t have too many of those. But maybe you guys do. My first question is, why is Yadi Molina so revered in St. Louis? Is it just his WAR number? Because I don’t get it. He seems to be a player on a pretty steep decline but maybe he’s healthy now. Although for an aging catcher who seems to leave it all on the field every game he plays, I’m guessing his body is starting to wave the white flag.

How old is Adam Wainwright? Seems like he’s been around since the mid-80’s.

What’s the fallout from the Cardinals hacking into the Astros data base? Will there be a penalty? I honestly haven’t followed this since it went down.

Assuming the Cardinals are playing for one of the wild card spots, and I think everyone assumes that, what chances do you give them of getting it?

Enjoying these questions so far Daniel? lol. Sorry, these are the only ones I could come up with this early.

Maybe the Flappers will generate something…….

Thanks in advance for the Playing Pepper spot at your blog!

46 Responses

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  1. Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:15 am

    As always, I look forward to interacting here! Let’s see what I can do with these.

    1) When Buster Posey reaches Molina’s age and wear and tear, no matter what he does on the field I imagine y’all will be still very fond of him. That’s where Molina is at. There’s hope that his offense will improve, since he’s dealt with injuries over the last couple of years, but we know he’ll never again be that force he was from 2011-2013. He’s still a wonder with the pitchers, he still contains the running game like few others do, and he’s still been part of 4 World Series teams. They’ll retire his number when it’s all said and done, but age comes for us all.

    2) There’s always that player that seems to have been around forever, isn’t there? How often in college sports do you see a player and say, “Surely he was here 10 years ago.” You could tell me Hunter Pence played with Reggie Jackson and I might believe it. Waino, of course, is 34 but has basically two seasons lost, so the hope is that his arm is more like a 32-year-old one. There should be still some very good seasons left in Uncle Charlie.

    3) Chris Correa was originally going to be sentenced for his involvement in the hacking scandal on the same day as the Cardinals home opener, but that has been pushed back until June. MLB has said they won’t do anything until after the legal process has run its course. If there is any punishment coming to the club, which there well may be even though I think this was basically contained to Correa, it will most likely be a fine, I’d think. If it does come to losing draft picks, that would seem to be only an option for 2017, not this year.

    4) You know what happens when you assume, Craig! While obviously the Cubs look very good and probably will be tough, a lot of winter champions aren’t so winning when it comes to October. The Cardinals would seem to have a solid chance to win the division still. Given that, I would think they’d have an even better chance for the wild card, though obviously that’s not assured. Lots of things went wrong last year and they still won 100 games. A little health, a couple of the “ifs” they have break right, and they’ll be right in the thick of it again.

  2. snarkk said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:17 am

    The Giants have been unable for nearly two decades, until perhaps now, to develop outfielder farmhands into legit major league outfielders. How does the Cards farm system continually seem able to find and develop good outfielders?…

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:23 am

      Honestly, I don’t know, though the recent book The Cardinals Way (which will be linked in the Pepper post today) has some insights on how the Cardinals approach drafting. They’ve been better at finding pitchers, of course, and the outfield well might be getting a bit dry. There are a couple that might get a look this year, but I don’t think they’ll reach the Grichuk/Piscotty level of impact.

  3. snarkk said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:20 am

    How’s Leake doing this spring?
    His cup of coffee with the Giants, colored by him being hurt almost immediately, kind of PO’d a lot of Giants fans, based on some things he said which indicated at the time he didn’t want to be with the Giants. If the Giants starters continue to suck, we might be PO’d at him even more if he does a good job for the Cards…

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Well, you take spring stats for what they are worth, of course, but you might be a little perturbed. One earned run in 11 Jupiter innings, with 12 K and 1 BB.

  4. Carstie Clausen said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:44 am

    There have hardly been any seasons during my more than 60 years of baseball memories where the Cardinals have been totally irrelevant in the NL or their division. Throughout baseball history the Cards have been the only competition the Giants have had for overall excellence. St. Louis has been in and won more World Championships than NY/SF; while the Giants have more victories overall and have had more players make the HOF.

    So how do the Cardinals generally keep on being always competitive, generally good and not infrequently excellent?

    • unca_chuck said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Branch RIckey made a deal with the Devil in 1920.

      • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:56 am

        Shoot, I didn’t know that was public knowledge. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • chipower9 said, on March 24, 2016 at 11:40 am

        Was that the three-way deal with Robert Johnson at the Crossroads?

  5. Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Over 60 years, there’s more than one method. Of course, they were the folks that first started the minor leagues, which helped with their earliest success. I think they’ve been lucky, as everyone has to be, getting players like Stan Musial and Albert Pujols. Lately, they’ve really gotten a feel for the draft and have been able to evaluate players a little bit better than most.

    Seriously, I can’t recommend The Cardinals Way enough if you are interested in the organizational atmosphere and focus. George Kissell played a huge role in developing drills and other training techniques, things that are still used to this day.

    I ask the question in Pepper about the Giants’ continuity, but Kissell was like that for the Cardinals–institutional memory and trainer of all sorts of players. Red Schoendienst is a little like that as well.

    • snarkk said, on March 24, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Red S. Is still around? He must be old as dirt by now …

      • unca_chuck said, on March 24, 2016 at 10:58 am

        He’s baseball’s Abe Vigoda. I thought he died 10 years ago.

        Still kicking it apparently.

      • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 11:09 am

        92 and still comes to the park most days and gets in uniform in spring training. I don’t know that he’s still hitting fungoes but I wouldn’t put it past him.

  6. willedav said, on March 24, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I enjoy checking in on your blog periodically.
    You might have covered this earlier but I wonder what you would like to see happen at 1b.
    Also, how much longer can M Holliday play LF adequately?

    As for Molina, is there anyone who can step in and hit ml pitching in your system? Posey plays some 1b for SF but injuries have often limited his backups and the team is scrambling as witness bringing in guys like Kottaras and Olivo to minor camp. What are Cards plans beyond Molina?

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog.

      First base is an interesting situation. You have Brandon Moss and Matt Adams, both left-handed power guys that don’t necessarily bring a lot of contact or average. It would seem a bit of a redundancy, but Moss was kept instead of non-tendered and Adams is still young. I’m not sure how it’ll work, but right now there doesn’t seem to be any push to move one or the other.

      Then you have Holliday learning to play the position over the winter. Stephen Piscotty could have been the right-handed 1B option, but now that Holliday seems adequate there I think they’ll keep Piscotty in the outfield. I wouldn’t imagine Holliday will be over there too often, but it does extend his career. Holliday probably has a couple more tolerable years in LF in him–he robbed a homer in the first game he played in left this spring–but being able to give him a less taxing spot isn’t a bad thing.

      I’d like to see Moss get back to his past power numbers and win the job outright, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

      The catching situation has been one of the weaknesses of the system. For years, they had solid glove/no-hit backups to Molina because he played almost every day and nobody of any quality (the thought went) wanted to play so infrequently. They went out and got Brayan Pena to back up this year, which gives them a better bat and hopefully will let Molina rest a little bit.

      Carson Kelly is about the only name in the minors that seems to have a chance to be an heir apparent, but he’s not had an at bat at AA yet, so he’s not real close. You have Michael Ohlman, who started in the Baltimore organization, who will probably be at AAA this season. Ohlman has pop but I think his defense is lacking. So no, replacing Molina in a few years is going to be a tough task.

  7. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 11:34 am

    “St. Louis has been in and won more World Championships than NY/SF”

    Stix, the Giants have been in the World Series more times than the Cards, although the Cards have won the thing 11 times, and the Giants 8 times. (Although I don’t respect the Cards’ WWII-era World Series championships as much as the Cards fans do.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Seems like we discussed those war-time ones before. I can grant you 1944–I mean, if the Browns are in the Series, there’s something wrong–but ’42 and ’46 were pretty much full-fledged seasons with players not away at war. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Carstie Clausen said, on March 24, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      Guess i lost track after 3 in 5. Winning will spoil a lot of previous certitudes. Yes, those wartime wins were a bit cheap, but hey, to go all Steiny ~ “a win, is a win, is a win”. They still count in the record books, though afficionados might demur.

  8. willedav said, on March 24, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    On Baggs blog at the Merc news he said Gorkys has messed up a couple times in the OF, not cutting off balls he should have. He and Schulman said the inside the park HR yesterday should have been better contained in front of him.

    Giants Cubs on ESPN…which reminds me—wasn’t there a blowup from Cubs mgr. last year about his guys being hit and him saying they would deal with it? Was this vs. Cards?

    I haven’t watched anything including yesterday, so what’s up with this? The guy has never hit ml pitching.
    Angles at ATT are pretty important, esp for a CF looking at triples alley over his shoulder.

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Yes, there was a little bit of a back-and-forth with the Cubs and Cardinals. From what I recall, a Cub batter was hit (it seemed accidental, but I guess it depends on the POV) and Madden made comments like that. Next day they hit three Cardinal batters.

      • willedav said, on March 24, 2016 at 1:31 pm

        Yeah, that’s it exactly. How did Cards fans react to that? Something that’s over or not to be forgotten and filed for future reference? I imagine if LaRussa was still in the dugout things might have gone quite differently.

        Reason I mention it in this context is that Cubs pitcher in preseason last year hit Pence and basically ruined his entire year.

      • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 1:42 pm

        At the time, it seemed a bit of hubris for Maddon to complain one day and over-the-top retaliate the next, but I imagine for the most part it’s not going to be much of an issue. The Cards have enough reason to be motivated against the Cubs, whether it’s the NLDS or Heyward/Lackey or the preseason hype, so I would think that’ll be far down the list.

  9. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Giants game is on ESPN, 4:00 PM Pacific Time, Bum pitching.
    Dodgers game is on the MLB Network, 7:00 PM, Kershaw pitching.

  10. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Daniel, I think my biggest beef (although I wouldn’t really call it a beef, because I don’t really get worked up over it) is that Musial played all during the WWII years except for 1 season, while Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams missed 3 each, and Hank Greenberg missed a total of 4. And those are just some guys off the top of my head. I know there were a few key Cardinals missing multiple years, too, so my argument doesn’t totally hold water, but admittedly the Musial thing bugs me a little.
    In the same way it bugs me a little that Mays had to miss 2 seasons in the military while Mantle never got drafted, which had a big effect on the Giants and Yankees fortunes during those 2 years.
    And, sure, I totally get it that Mantle had a rare bone condition that made fractures life-threatening. So I totally get why he failed the draft.

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Fair enough, though Joe D’s and Williams’s missing years were ’43-’45, which plays to the point I mentioned earlier. Musial did get a lucky break in not having to spend much time at war, though–IIRC it was because he was a new father.

  11. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    I have to admit that, overall, Musial is a big blank to me. I haven’t read a biography of him yet, so I don’t have any knowledge of his life-story. And none of his baseball achievements have a way of standing out to me. He was consistently great, but he doesn’t have that 1 thing that really sticks in my memory, like Mays’ catch in the ’51 World Series, or DiMaggio hitting in 56 straight game, or Williams hitting .406. I need to read a Musial biography at some point.

  12. chipower9 said, on March 24, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Daniel – I too sneak over to your blog on occasion. I have mentioned before that I grew-up in northeastern Oklahoma, and was a Cards fan as a kid. Sorry, I am drawing a blank on any questions. Keep up the great work, and good luck with your season.

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Appreciate it. The same to y’all. Should be another great year.

  13. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Shocked to see that Garry Shandling passed away. I’m a huge fan of his “The Larry Sanders Show,” a terrific show, IMO. I like behind-the-scenes type of shows, and the Sanders show was a funny and poignant look at a fictional late night talk show, but based a lot on what really happens behind the scenes at these kinds of shows. Shandling brought a lot of depth to his character, as did the other actors, Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor in particular.

  14. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Speaking of losing people, during the ESPN broadcast of the Warriors game last night, it was mentioned that Maurice Lucas had passed away a while back. I totally didn’t know that. I was wondering how I missed that news, so I looked up the info on Wikipedia. He passed away on October 31, 2010.
    Giants fans had their minds on one big single focus on October 31, 2010. All other news got missed.

  15. unca_chuck said, on March 24, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Don’t know who gets SI, but the Giants made the cover of their Baseball Preview, with the caption “The Even Year Odds – SF’s secret weapon: That every-other-year magic (And adding another ace doesn’t hurt)”

    SI jinx my ass . . . I hope

    • zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up on that. I don’t subscribe to the magazine, but I check each issue at Barnes and Noble to see if I’m interested, and buy certain issues. (Subscribing would be cheaper, but then I don’t like having magazines piling up, mostly unread.)

      The concept of an SI Jinx has always bugged me, mainly because jinxes don’t exist; but also because, of course, the athletes on the cover are going to fail at some point. ALL sports are loaded with moments of failure. Succeeding at sports is difficult, and SI often puts athletes on the cover at the peak of their success, and it’s a sure thing the athlete will fail at some point, sometimes sooner than later.

      • Cardinal70 said, on March 24, 2016 at 5:27 pm

        And now, with the regional covers, they would have jinxed four teams. So at least three of them will be “jinxed”.

      • snarkk said, on March 24, 2016 at 5:49 pm

        Yep, regional covers spread that jinx around, or reduce its impact. I’m sure the Dubs were on a cover or three last season, and they won it all…

      • wilcojoe said, on March 24, 2016 at 6:00 pm

        Yep, its definitely a regional thing. The Astros were on the cover down here.

  16. Flavor said, on March 24, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Daniel– just getting a chance to run through the thread. THANK YOU for spending so much time here today! Really enjoyed reading your takes.

    • Cardinal70 said, on March 25, 2016 at 9:36 am

      The pleasure was all mine. Enjoy the season, folks!

  17. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Not exactly a pitchers’ duel between the Giants and Cubs tonight.

    • Bozo said, on March 24, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      A real nail-biter

  18. zumiee said, on March 24, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    MadBum is now sporting a Spring Training ERA of 11.12.

  19. willedav said, on March 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Zum, pretty sure I heard Bill Walton say during one of the Pac 12 games this year that son Luke is named after Maurice Lucas his old Blazer teammate.

  20. Flavor said, on March 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Heyward saying he wasn’t stealing signs just asking Fowler if the pitch was a strike. MadBum is such a wound up freak it wouldn’t surprise me if Heyward is telling the truth.
    I, for one, am getting a little tired of Bumgarner causing all of these scenes on the mound. They are usually over something very small and he completely disrupts the game with his antics…..

  21. mrsprtdude said, on March 24, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks Daniel. Great info on the Cards.Never liked them ( except for the Clark homer, which was and is an all time highlight for me, as he was my favorite Giant back then:) Good luck!

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