Field Notes 1/28 -

Field Notes 1/28

ONCE AGAIN I APPLAUD THE CARDINALS FOR NOT OVERPAYING FOR A FREE AGENT. Jeff Weaver was 3-10 with a 6.29 era for the Angles last summer before being picked up by the Cardinals. The Cardinals continue to show the kind of restraint that allows them to be consistently competitive. After all, the Cards have been in the post season six of the past seven seasons and have won the pennant in two of the last three seasons. Last year, some fans were screaming about the Cards not signing A.J. Burnett. No way should they have committed the five years and 55 million that the Blue Jays did. Again, they showed restraint. Burnett was 10-8 with a 4.70 era last season in Toronto. Respectable but hardly Cy Young worthy.

I DIDN"T KNOW BING DEVINE WELL BUT CERTAINLY KNEW OF HIM HAVING GROWN UP HERE. I would occasionally see him at the stadium. I'd say "hello Mr. Devine" and he'd say "how are you, young man?." At 43 now, I don't hear that often enough anymore. His track record as a baseball executive is really impressive when you research it.

TIGER WOODS AND ROGER FEDERER PROVE AGAIN TODAY THAT THEY ARE THE MOST DOMINANT ATHLETES ON THE PLANET. No one is even close to either of them in their respective sports. I think one of the keys to their success is they intimidate the heck out of their opponents. They're both so good that guys they're playing with or against feel added pressure to play their best and their performances suffer. Any time Tiger is playing, I'm glued to the t-v. I love golf and I am in awe of the way he performs and the way he handles himself on and off the course.

I COMPLETELY DISAGREED WITH DAVE CHECKETTS' DECISION TO RAISE TICKET PRICES BUT I DO AGREE WITH HIM THAT ST. LOUIS WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT AN NBA TEAM IN ADDITION TO THE CARDINALS, RAMS AND BLUES. No way. There are only so many dollars to go around. And the NBA is a high dollar ticket. But, Checketts should be thanking Andy Murray for putting fannies back in the seats at the Scottrade Center. His move to raise prices after the worst season in franchise history was one of the clumsiest marketing moves I've ever seen. I will say this: at least the Blues have created some original promotions to help the draw the fans back. But, the biggest incentive is that fans now believe they may see the Blues win. At the very least, they know they'll be competitive. Plus, they're playing a more exciting style of hockey. It's one thing to be bad. It's another to be bad AND boring. That's what the Blues were before Murray took over.

GLAD TO SEE ROGER WEHRLI MAKING THE FINAL 17 FOR HALL OF FAME CONSIDERATION. But, I doubt he makes it and that's a shame. His numbers scream that he belongs in Canton: 40 interceptions and seven Pro Bowls. And for most of his career opposing quarterbacks consistently threw away from number 22. The busiest guy on the field was the cornerback opposite Roger Wehrli. But, the Hall vote is influenced too much by team success. And, that has nothing to do with individual greatness. I watched Wehrli's entire career and he was year after year one of the four or five best corners in the game.

AFTER WATCHING ILLINOIS GET DRUBBED AT PURDUE IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT ILLINOIS, MIZZOU AND SLU WILL ALL LIKELY MISS THE NCAA TOURNAMENT. Mizzou wasn't supposed to make it but SLU and Illinois had to be considered strong candidates. Both are at this point major disappointments. There's still some time but right now, barring conference tournament championships, it appears that we'll only be following the Salukis come March.

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