By Josh Kramer
And the beat goes on with “Throwback Saturdays.” You got to love learning about the past in order to better understand the present or more easily predict the future. What was happening on February 25, 2011? How about on February 25, 2010? Let’s find out.
One year ago..
Cardinals Could Still Fly
Here is a snippet..
So due to the loss of one player the Cardinals are toast? They mine as well start worrying about the 2012 season. Why even bother going to Spring Training? Baseball doesn’t work that way people.
Sure Wainwright is arguably the best pitcher in the game. Sure the guy has finished in the top 3 in the NL Cy Young voting the past two years. I realize the guy has pitched over 230 innings in each of the past 2 seasons. I am well aware the guy has a combined 39 wins over the course of the past two years. The guy’s combined ERA over the past 2 seasons is under 2.5. I will be the first to admit it. The loss of this ace will hurt. But baseball is a team game. And it is a long, long, season. It is a 6 month grind. There are 162 games to be exact. Want to know how many games Wainwright played in last year? Try 33. That is about 20% of the games. It is a decent chunk. But it is not an astounding number (To finish reading this post, click this link).
I am by no means the type to gloat. But I hate to say it. I told you so. The day Adam Wainwright got hurt was a day of celebration for all fans of NL Central teams other than St. Louis. The champagne was popping and it was only February. Many proclaimed the Cardinals toast. Baseball is a funny game at times. But you better believe that it is a team game.
Now I did not envision the Cardinals climbing out of the 10.5 game hole that they found themselves in on August 25th. In addition, I did not expect them to come back against Texas when they were down to their final strike on two different occasions in Game 6. But I did expect this team to contend. And contend they did, winning the 11th World Series title in franchise history. Now I will note that I said if Pujols was out for the year, that would be another story. I stand by that statement. If there is one player that can turn baseball into a little bit of an individual sport, it is the “Machine.” I never like to say a team is done in February. But I am going out on a limb and saying that without Pujols, St. Louis is a 500 team.
Two years ago (February 24, 2010)..
Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better
Here is a snippet from the middle of the post..
One of the background stories in this game was the old lion vs new lion. The superstar vs the up and coming star. Bryant vs Mayo. O.J. Mayo is one of the finest talents in the League at this time. For those of you from the Cincinnati area, you must remember the O.J. Mayo show that hit Cincinnati a few years back. O.J. and his traveling all-star buddy, Bill Walker, took Cincinnati high school hoops by storm for a three-year period. Mayo enjoyed beating up on the likes of Cincinnati Country Day and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy. I will never understand why Mayo decided to go to a division three school like North College Hill and not a big time division 1 program. Either way, the kid turned out fine and is playing fantastic basketball (To finish reading this post, click this link).
These days, Kobe Bryant looks like the young and fresh lion, and O.J. Mayo is not even a lion. Times have really changed over the past couple of years for O.J. Mayo. He is not the star in the making like I envisioned (or at least it doesn’t appear that way). Mayo came into the League back in 2008 like a man possessed, averaging over 18 points a night. Year two proved to be much of the same for the former top-tier player from the mythical 2007 high school class.
Last year, Mayo’s production declined noticeably. He still had the occasional big night, but something changed. Memphis developed into more of a well-rounded team, and Mayo did not buy in. Mayo’s lack of buy-in, conflict with Tony Allen, and positive test for steroids all led to a downward spiral (11.3 points per game, a career low). This season, Mayo’s numbers are nearly identical to last seasons. Maybe I jumped the gun on this guy. Kobe on the other hand does not look so old these days, currently leading the NBA in scoring. Bryant could really care less though. His sole focus is figuring out a way to capture ring number six.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.