***The Cardinals' ninth inning comeback Sunday night is precisely why I hope Tony LaRussa comes back next season. He gets the most out of each of his teams. That was certainly the case last season. And, this club had every reason to pack it in at mid season and didn't. It was overmatched due to injury but it didn't quit.
***Interesting that LaRussa has speculated that he might have alienated a player or two by pushing his team to compete every night. If so, too bad. If a guy making hundreds of thousands or even millions to play baseball wants out because his manager got on him, there's the door. It's ridiculous that this even comes up in 2007. All of us have a boss or bosses that irritate us from time to time and we deal with it--without making millions. I suggest any player who can't go out and give it 100 percent when the umpire says "play ball" use some of those millions to hire a therapist. That way he can talk through his "feelings" on a couch in the morning and go play the game at night.
***I'll say this for Scott Linehan. The guy is accountable. Despite having fans and media all over him for his team's 0-3 start, he takes phone calls on his radio show every Monday night. Admirable.
***If the Rams continue to throw the ball short to keep Marc Bulger in one piece, maybe they should get Marques Hagans dressed. He is the receiver with the ability to make guys miss after the catch. Unproven, yes, but so are a lot of young guys on defense getting a shot due to injury or suspension. Torry and Isaac are great route runners and have first class hands. But they are not breakaway threats after the catch. Drew Bennett has size and reliable hands but isn't fast or elusive. Hagans is elusive and shifty and might give the Rams passing game a jump start.
***Speaking of Bennett, Marc Bulger IS trying to get him the ball in the red zone. He's thrown four times to Bennett in the end zone the last two games. The execution hasn't been there in part because Bennett and Bulger have had little work together in practice because Bennett has been fighting a quad injury. Practice does matter despite what Allen Iversen says.
***The Rams were 2-1 at this time last year because they were taking the ball away more often. But, despite fewer turnovers, I think this defense is playing much better than last year's. It did fade late in the fourth quarter Sunday but they held the Bucs to three points at halftime and ten points through three quarters--on the road and without three starters. But the ultimate test is coming this week. The Cowboys offense is rolling, averaging a league high 38.7 points per game.
***Disturbing stat of the week: the Rams are minus 42 in point differential in the second half of the first three games. They've been outscored 51 to 9 after halftime. Yikes. They're being outscored by an average of 14 points in the second half.