Random Monday Thoughts

It was so good to watch Cardinals baseball this past weekend. All 3 games were on in our household, and even if we didn’t get to sit and watch every pitch (it was close though), I enjoyed having the game noise on the in the background. Here are some thoughts from the game.

  • Dylan Carlson should be playing every day. I’d be happy with a starting outfield of Tyler O’Neill in LF, Carlson in center, and Dexter Fowler in RF. Right now, that’s the best overall alignment for the team.
  • I saw a lot of complaints about keeping Roel Ramirez in the game, even though he struggled by giving up 4 consecutive homers. With 8 games in 5 days, the team need to preserve it’s pitching. They are looking at 3 of those games as bullpen games, so every arm saved was important. It was a rough debut, but he took one for the team.
  • Max Schrock might be able to stick after players come back (probably at the expense of Edmundo Sosa); he had 2 really good games to start his career. He was the key piece of the Stephen Piscotty trade with Oakland, but it’s taken a while for him to get here. He’s good enough to play second and third, but I’d be skeptical of throwing him at shortstop. With Tommy Edman as the backup at short, he shouldn’t have to see time there.
  • Jack Flaherty will start a game against the Cubs this week. There have been questions as to why he wasn’t pitching against the White Sox. The team has been very up front about keeping him on a schedule; he’s been throwing on his normal days and Saturday and Sunday were not his days to start. I don’t blame them from protecting their ace, as he’s still young and has a lot of innings in store for the team.
  • Imagine a 7th-8th-9th combo of Ryan Helsley, Alex Reyes, and Giovanny Gallegos closing out games?
  • The Cardinals had 7 players make their MLB Debuts against the White Sox: Carlson, Schrock, Ramirez, Seth Elledge, John Nogowski, Jake Woodford, and Rob Kaminsky.
  • It was nice seeing Kaminsky make it. He was a former first round pick of the Cardinals that was traded to the Indians for Brandon Moss; at the time, people were upset to see Kaminsky go. Since then, he’s moved out of the rotation, stall out at Triple A, and return to the Cardinals on a minor league contract this past winter. Here’s hoping he sticks around as guys return from the IL.

On to other stuff…

Sunday was the celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Negro Leagues; all MLB teams wore a patch for the occasion (if possible, watch the ESPN+ broadcast of the Braves/Marlins; they had a lot of good information about the Negro Leagues). It’s nice to see the MLB recognize the league, but more needs to be done. I’m all for the MLB to recognize the Negro League as an official major league. There are a lot of questions that would need to be answered (statistical records, which specific leagues, incomplete box scores, etc), but it’s something very overdue. Many of the greats deserve to be recognized for that they did as players (Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell) and more players need to be inducted into Cooperstown (Buck O’Neil). For the traditionalists that worry about the impact to stats, there wouldn’t really be any changes to the major leader boards; once Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, many of the greats that made it to the MLB didn’t accumulate many stats (Hank Aaron played 26 games before being signed by the Boston Braves). Those that played full careers in these leagues didn’t accumulate the numbers that the MLB leaders have.

For anyone looking for a good book on the Negro Leagues, check out Joe Posnanski’s The Soul of Baseball: A Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America. Posnanski nails O’Neil’s love of baseball and what the Negro Leagues mean to the game as a whole. O’Neil is one of those people I would have loved to have met when he was alive.

The Cleveland Indians demoted pitchers Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger last week after both players broke quarantine protocols to go out in Chicago. Plesac was initially caught, while Clevinger was later revealed to be out with him. The Indians used the demotion as a penalty for the pitchers being careless. Apparently many teammates were not happy with the duo and considered opting out of the season after the incident; making matters worse, teammate Carlos Carrasco is considered high risk after battling leukemia last season. The little known issue comes from the guilty parties; if both spend an extended time off the MLB roster, they could be delayed in hitting free agency. This situation would be interesting; would the players association file a grievance on their behalf? I’m sure a lot of players would be upset about the manipulation of service time, but I’m also sure a lot of players would be upset to be their teammates right now.

Moving off of baseball…

I’ll be brewing beer next weekend, since my kegs of my Norwegian Pale Ale and Farmhouse IPA have been killed. I’m planning on a hazy IPA (thanks to some advice from Jeff Hardesty of Narrow Gauge Brewing and Bill McFarland from Omega Yeast and formerly of Center Ice Brewing) to start. I’m also going to try making a hard cider. After those, I’m remaking my award winning coffee stout for the winter. I also have a gallon of my lemon pepper saison aging in an oak barrel.

As far as craft beer, I’d highly recommend Juice Jorts (Pale Ale) from Maplewood Brewing, I Don’t Like Mondays (New England IPA) from Fat Orange Cat Brew Co, DDH Little Big Hop (Session IPA) from 2nd Shift Brewing. For a healthier drink, I’ve been going with Dogfish Head’s Slightly Mighty (Session IPA).

With all due respect to John Wick, is there a better action series than the Jason Bourne movies? We’re re-watching the series right now, and I forgot how good and in depth the story was. Matt Damon does a fantastic job as the lead. I’d really like to see some more of the movies, both with Damon and with Jeremy Renner, who appeared to be taking over the franchise at one point.

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