Tag: Louis

St Louis Could Have Learned The Value Of Patience By Looking At The Cubs

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St. Louis felt that the decision had to be made. After all, the Cardinals had been expecting to reach the postseason, as here they were at only a game over .500 at the All-Star break. So manager Mike Matheny was fired after two straight losses to Cincinnati, giving way to interim skipper Mike Schildt.

Had the front office studied very recent history within its own division, St. Louis might have exhibited more patience. The team the Cardinals are chasing right now were in nearly the same situation just last season, but thankfully they did not fire their manager.

Actually, the situation of the 2017 Cubs was even a little worse than that of the current Cardinals, for Chicago was two games under .500 and had lost three of the last four heading into the Midsummer Classic. Those results were deemed unacceptable for the team that had seven months before brought home the organization’s first World Series Championship in over a hundred years, and the overwhelming favorites to win it all again.

Many fans in the Windy City feared that Joe Madden has lost the managerial magic he had held the previous season, as his star studded Cubs had spent exactly zero days atop the National League Central division. Not only did the hope for a repeat of a World Series Championship appear bleak, but also even the likelihood of qualifying for the postseason.

General Manager Theo Epstein could have bade farewell to Madden at that point, just as St. Louis GM John Mozeliak just did to Matheny. Instead, Epstein chose to stick with his skipper, and that patience was clearly rewarded.

Madden had the Cubs playing much better after the All-Star break, and by September they had passed the Milwaukee Brewers to gain first place. They carried that momentum through the rest of the regular season, after which they disposed of the Washington Nationals in the National League Championship Series.

Even though they fell just a few outs short of winning their second consecutive pennant, the Cubs still had mounted a great comeback without taking the drastic step of replacing their manager. Certainly Chicago would have preferred another World Series Championship but, considering how far behind they were in July, it was quite a feat for Madden to get them to the playoffs at all.

There is no doubt that the Cardinals, who have not reached the postseason for two straight seasons now, would be thrilled to finish where the Cubs did last year. Had their front office exercised the same patience as Epstein and his staff, St. Louis would have a better chance to get there.

Instead, they chose the easy way, firing the manager. That tactic is usually one hopeless teams resort to, so what does that say about the current state of the St. Louis Cardinals?

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Source by Doug Poe

Categories: Sports Betting

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St Louis Rams Preview 2006

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The St. Louis Rams struggled last season going 6-10. They closed out the 2005 season by going 1-4 over their last five games. The lone win was against Dallas (20-10) in a meaningless game. This season the rams have a new coach–Scott Linehan. Are the problems gone as well? Linehan not only steps into the Rams coaching job for the first time, but as an NFL head coach too.

Quarterback

Marc Bulger will be the guy again in St. Louis. The main question surrounding Bulger isn’t his ability–it’s his health. He’s had arm problems in the past. However, the QB position is one of the more solid ones on the offense. Waiting in backup is the competent Gus Frerotte. They also have Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s had limited duty, but he impressed.

Running Back

Marshal Faulk is gone. He had knee issues and will miss the entire 2006 season. He’s technically retiring, but there a chance that he returns for one last season in 2007. The man for the Rams is Steven Jackson. While Jackson gained over 1,000 yards last season, he wasn’t a “great” running back. He’s got the potential, but he will have to step it up a notch this season.

Receivers

The Rams receiving unit is above average. Any unit with Tory Holt and Isaac Bruce would be. In the 2006 draft, the Rams picked up TE Joe Klopfenstein from Colorado in the second round and TE Dominique Byrd in the third round. Both will be fighting for playing time and could help improve the offense. If either TE performs well early the Rams will have a very rounded offensive attack.

Defense and Special Teams

Here’s where it goes downhill for the Rams. Up until this point the Rams have sounded like a competent team. The defense is average. The defensive line was weakened by the loss of NT Ryan Pickett. This season, there’s been some shifting with the line and the Rams hope its for the better. One thing that plagues a poor defense is poor tackling and the Rams got their share and went back for seconds. They brought in LB Will Witherspoon to help solidify the linebacker unit.

The biggest question mark on this Rams defense is with the secondary. Will they be able to cover teams with solid receivers? The answer, as it stands, is probably not. The Rams are hopeful that new additions like S Jerametrius Butler will help infuse the secondary with leadership and get it set on the right course. The special teams need some work, but they should do an adequate job.

2006 Prediction

The St. Louis Rams are really on the bubble this season. Their schedule is not that difficult. They have 6-7 games that are probable losses, 2-3 that are winnable games and the rest should be games they win. Depending on how these go, the Rams could finish anywhere between 6-10 and 9-7. A 9-7 finish might be enough to sneak into the playoffs in the NFC. Two critical games come at season’s end when they play Washington and at Minnesota. The first five games are very soft–with the exception of the Denver game. After Denver, the Rams play San Francisco, Arizona, Detroit and Green Bay. They could be 4-1 at that point, but that’s where their schedule beings to get tough.

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Source by Jason A. Martin

Categories: Sports Betting

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