Tag Archive | "Confusion"

Is Hands Off Best For Jaime?

Jaime Garcia has, at times, been one of the best pitchers the St. Louis Cardinals have on staff.  At other times, he has been erratic.

JaimeGarcia

It is a subject that has been poured over many times, but Jaime Garcia can go from “lights out” to “nobody’s home” with just a bad call or missed play behind him.  The lefty has shown moments of brilliance and moments of complete confusion, sometimes in the same game.  Much has been said about it and, behind the scenes, much has been analyzed about it.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has said in interviews that he fully believes that he could have helped prevent the amazing collapse of Rick Ankiel on the mound had he not been hurt and not on the field during the 2000 playoff run.  He has stated that earlier in that season, Ankiel had struggled and he was able to bring him back into focus and get through the situation.

Thirteen years later, Jaime Garcia has Matheny for a manager and the two are trying to find the best way to help the pitcher overcome mental lapses and realize his potential on the mound.

During a recent interview, Matheny has revealed that the team will attempt to take some pressure off of Garcia by not looking into every detail of the starter’s games.  It seems there is some concern that he tries to adjust his mechanics too often, becoming too much of a perfectionist and getting inside his own head.

“I’m not dissecting everything he’s doing,” Matheny insisted after the win. “I know everybody else likes to right now. I’m just watching him go out there and do his thing. He did a nice job of pitching without reading into every situation that he gets into or out of. … I made a commitment to myself not to microscope him.” –from StlToday.com

Garcia will need to continue to pitch at the level he projects at in 2013 for the Cardinals to remain successful.  In addition, with the young talent being developed in the system, Garcia may be pitching to secure a spot on this team in the near future.

Either way, getting Garcia out of his head and into a routine will be a good thing for everyone involved.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball
Follow him on Twitter here.

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What This Team Needs

That seems to be the question lately on everyone’s mind. What do the Cardinals need to make a run at this season?

The one common theme I see out there seems to be confusion. No one is real sure what this team needs or what it will take to put things over the top. Fans say that the team needs to shake up the roster, but then complain when Ryan Ludwick gets traded. This team needs a table setter who can cause havoc at the top of the order, but fans are not ready to embrace Jon Jay. The team needs the veterans to step up and be leaders and, well, that leads us to our discussion today…

In Monday’s game against the Reds, the Cardinals took the field and prepared to play one of the biggest games put before this team this season. I will not say this game or series falls in a “must win” category, but winning the series and walking away with a tighter division race would definitely not hurt any fan’s feelings for sure. As Carpenter finished his warm up pitches and prepared to start the game, Brendan Ryan was not in position on the field. When he arrived, he then called timeout and exchanged his glove with one from the dugout, thus delaying the start of the inning further and disturbing the star pitcher’s rhythm.

After the bottom of the inning concluded and the Cardinals came into their dugout, ESPN cameras caught Carpenter leading Brendan Ryan down the corridor towards the clubhouse. While Carpenter was obscured from view, it was obvious that he was talking very sternly to the often distracted and playful Brendan Ryan. Ryan listened very intently, nodding occasionally, and the two emerged and went back to the game at hand.

Many fans saw this as over the top, flamboyant, “diva like” behavior from one of the team’s top stars. Talking with fans during the game through Twitter, I heard many voice their opinion about how it was wrong of Carpenter to do this and how it was a case of a star player putting his needs before that of the team. I am sorry, but I have to disagree.

First of all, I do not think we have anything to talk about if this is not a nationally televised game. With ESPN on hand, there are more cameras and more angles to capture the game. Due to this, the cameras caught the conversation that, in my opinion, was being conducted in an area that the players involved felt was private. This was not a manager and player coming to blows in the dugout for all to see. This was not the superstar player physically attacking the lackadaisical play of a mediocre teammate. This was a conversation had between a veteran and a young player in an area out of the public eye.

It is also important to note that Brendan Ryan, during all of his struggles, has consistently been on the filed during games that Chris Carpenter pitches. Becoming known around the Cardinal fan base as Carpenter’s “personal shortstop,” Ryan’s glove is highly valuable to the veteran groundball pitcher and has been said to have the complete support of Carpenter for a spot on the field during those games.

As fans we like to second guess our favorite players and managers. As writers, we like to dig for something more to talk about that gives us some controversy to discuss. Sometimes, however, we have to step back and realize we cannot have it both ways. If you think a roster shake up is what this team needs, then do not second guess the trading of a star outfielder. If you feel the team needs to run more, generate runs, and be more aggressive, expect the young, talented outfielder to get his chance. If you want to see someone on this teams step up and be the leader that it needs, do not be surprised when someone gets pulled aside and told to straighten up during important games.

Move along, folks, there is nothing to see here but a team that is starting to act like they want to win.

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Solving Conversation Problems at Busch Stadium

If your buddies weren’t able to come to the game with you because they’re on vacation this time of year, you might be watching the game with “peoples” you don’t usually hang with. Conversation topics might be lacking, and with beer being $10.00 a bottle, the wallet can only stand so much. So, here’s some mid- season Cardinals topics to get the conversation going.

Mention centerfielder Colby Rasmus. Everyone who can see the Arch has an opinion on him. Some say he is very J.D. Drewesque. Others love his offence enough to overlook his sporadic confusion in the outfield. Offensively, his 2010 Batting Value is 17.1, the highest in all of Major League Baseball for center fielders. However, St. Louis fans are so accustomed to watching Jim Edmonds control the game with his fielding performance, that watching Rasmus in the outfield can at times, be painful. And yes, even the female fan is struggling with not being able to watch Jim Edmonds this year. That, however, has nothing to do with his WAR stats.

To read the rest of this post, check out Venuing Voices by clicking here.

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