Cardinals Off-Day

By Ben Godar

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Description

A new St. Louis Cardinals podcast, every off day. STL Cards talk hosted by two longtime Cardinals Blog Bens: Ben Humphrey and Ben Godar.

cardinalsoffday.substack.com

Episode Date
49. The Last Inning with Alex Crisafulli
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For our 2nd off day of the week, we are so glad to have Friend of the Pod Alex Crisafulli join us. You probably know Alex from the Chirps podcast, as well as his writing at Birds on the Black and Viva El Birdos.

We banter about many topics related to the historic final seasons from Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, as well as the maybe final season from Adam Wainwright.



This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 29, 2022
48. The 700 Club
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Remember when Albert Pujols hit 700 HRs? That was awesome.

After gushing about Pujols, we talk how Wainwright’s dead arm might impact the postseason rotation. Then we look at the options for the postseason bench and wonder if the Cardinals will prioritize hitting or defense. Finally, we answer your questions.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 26, 2022
47. The home stretch
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There’s just more than two weeks left in the regular season. Dylan Carlson and Steven Matz have returned. Tyler "O’Neill and Jordan Hicks have hit the injured list.

We talk about these latest moves, then how the organization struggles to develop pitching. Finally, we talk about the players selected for the AFL and answer your questions.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 19, 2022
46. The Albert Pujols Devil Magic continues
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It is an off day today, which is the only reason we can assume that Albert Pujols will not hit another home run today.

We continue to stand in awe of what The Machine is doing, and talk about how this performance fits into the rich history of Cardinals Devil Magic. Then we talk about the returns of Flaherty and Matz, and what we might expect from them in a postseason. In our final main segment, we share our thoughts on the coming rule changes.

To end things, we answer your questions.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 12, 2022
45. The returns of Pujols and Flaherty
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It’s been two weeks since the last Cardinals Off Day, and in that time, Albert Pujols has hit .429 / .487 / .914 and crushed 5 HRs.

We talk Pujols in this episode: Both the amazing run he’s on now and the possibility that he might return again next year. From there, we move on to Jack Flaherty, who hopes to rejoin the Cardinals after a final rehab start. Then we dig into the Cardinals outfield in the 2nd half, which has seen 4 players hitting well above average, but Dylan Carlson notably lagging behind.

Finally, we answer your questions.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 01, 2022
44. More Questions on Flaherty, O'Neill, Burleson and beyond
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Ben Humphrey was lucky enough to be on assignment at Busch Stadium for the fantastic games against the Brewers Saturday and Sunday, so he’s calling in remotely to this episode. We dig back into another full mailbag and answer questions about the outfield depth, the rotation, managerial moves and much more.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 15, 2022
43. Post Trade Deadline Mailbag
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The Trade Deadline has come and gone and our mailbag is overflowing. For today’s Off Day Episode, we just answer your questions. We touch on everything from the minor league system to the major league outfield to what the rotation will look like next year.

As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions @cardinalsoffday on Twitter. You can send in questions anytime - we’ll always try to get to them when we next record.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 08, 2022
Special Trade Deadline Live Episode
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Our guiding principle here at Cardinals Off Day is to only drop new episodes on off days, but we made an exception for the Trade Deadline. Thanks to everyone who joined us live for this Twitter Spaces live recording.

We discuss the Cardinals acquisitions of Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery, what did and didn’t happen in the Juan Soto deal and more.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 04, 2022
42. A Juan Soto package, the Edmundo Sosa trade and what kind of pitcher the team might target
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We hope you listen to this episode early. With the Trade Deadline less than 48 hours away, this latest news and speculation could lose its timeliness in a hurry.

We start by recapping the Edmundo Sosa trade and what it likely means for the middle infield to have Paul DeJong back on the major league roster.

Then we talk about the Luis Castillo deal, what it tells us about the Seller’s Market, and which remaining starting pitchers that have been linked with the Cardinals we think are realistic fits.

Finally, we breakdown the latest in the Juan Soto saga, including Jim Bowden’s comment that the Cardinals are not only among the final three teams in the running, but that they are offering the most major league talent.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 01, 2022
41. The latest on Juan Soto to the Cardinals
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The Trade Deadline approaches. We discuss Jeff Jones report that the Cardinals and Nationals have discussed a Juan Soto trade structured around Nolan Gorman and more, potentially with or without Patrick Corbin included.

Then we look at other players who may be available and of interest to the Cardinals, particularly pitchers.

Who will the Cardinals have to give up to make a deal? We take turns arguing for and against trading each of the Cardinals top trade chips.

We answer a question about extending outfielders and jointly recommend dearpandemic.org for anyone honestly looking for good information about Covid-19 or the vaccines.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jul 28, 2022
40. Kyle Reiss talks Cardinals Draft, Top Prospects and more
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We’d like to think we have many friends here at the Cardinals Off Day podcast, but no friend of the pod has joined us more frequently than Kyle Reiss - and we’re glad to have him back.

With the 2022 MLB Draft just concluded, Kyle joins us to discuss who the Cardinals selected and what that might say about their priorities, what they’re looking to develop in their pitching lab and more.

We then discuss the seven (seven!) Cardinals featured in the latest update of the Baseball America Top 100.

Finally, we discuss the prospects who have made the big leagues this season. What do we think of the production from Matthew Liberatore, Zach Thompson, Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan so far, and where do we see it going from here?

You can (and should) follow Kyle at: @kyler416, where he GIFs the nightly highlights from the Cardinals minor league affiliates, and is just generally a delightful presence in your timeline. You should also catch his live Prospects After Dark and Prospect Macarena shows and read his work at Birds on the Black.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jul 25, 2022
39. A conversation with John Mozeliak, the MLB draft and a 2nd half preview
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The All-Star Break is the longest off-day of the season, so we’re unleashing a super-sized episode.

We begin by recapping the comments Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak made over the weekend on Blogger/Podcaster Day at the ballpark. He touched on a wide range of topics, from managing people, to how the manager seeks input from the front office, what happened to the study of wind currents and more.

Next, we take a look at the Cardinals 2022 MLB Draft, which is still underway, but started with a surprising emphasis on funky, left-handed college pitchers.

We then look back at our preseason predictions and evaluate how accurate they were thus far, as well as how the rest of the season looks to turn out.

After that we answer your questions, many of which were about trades the team might make before the deadline.

Ben Humphrey’s Off Day Recommendation is “The Bear” on Hulu. Ben Godar recommends “The Church of Baseball” by Ron Shelton.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jul 19, 2022
38. Will the Cardinals trade to fill the Flaherty and Matz hole?
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Since our last off day, Jack Flaherty has returned to the disabled list, and while Steven Matz is now making rehab starts, his return to the majors is still a ways off. So… will the Cardinals make a trade to bolster the rotation?

We discuss that in detail, plus answer your questions.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jun 30, 2022
37. We want pitchers who throw good pitches
We want to be honest with you: We recorded this episode before the Mikolas near no-no and Jack Flaherty’s start. But to give you our take on these developments: No-hitters and the return of a staff ace are both good.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, we hope you’ll enjoy this episode:

Main Topics
11:35
-Pitch Value vs. ERA - A tale of Woodford, Hudson and how the Cardinals operate
-Starting Pitching: With Matz as a Question Mark, what will they do to cover innings?
-What do you do with Paul DeJong?

Listener Questions
45:11

Wrapping Up
1:04:32
-What are we watching for?
-Off Day recommendations

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jun 16, 2022
36. Make room for Tyler O'Neill and Dylan Carlson
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After an unusual 5-game series in Chicago, the Cardinals get an off-day with their two corner outfielders expected to return to the team soon. We discuss how the return of O’Neill and Carlson might shake up the lineup and playing time. Then we talk pitching and how this Cardinals team will get the innings it needs from the arms it has available.

We answer listener questions, then wrap up with what we’ll be watching for and off-day recommendations.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jun 06, 2022
35. Liberatore, Gorman and the Cardinals of the Future
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On our last episode, we talked about the team being on the cusp of #Gormania, but concerns about his strikeouts and defense still kept the top prospect down on the farm. Now Nolan Gorman is a St. Louis Cardinal… and he brought his friends.

**You can celebrate #Gormania with a t-shirt in a variety of styles and colors. Get yours at: http://bit.ly/gormania Proceeds go to the nonprofit More Than Baseball, which supports minor league players.

08:15
The Cardinals Youth Movement is already underway

21:15
Will they abandon the defense-first approach for the offensive upgrades of Yepez, Gorman and Donovan? What will that mean for their pitching staff?

28:15
It’s Game 7 of the World Series. The Cardinals are out of pitchers. Who would you put on the mound… Pujols or Yadi?

36:35
Listener Questions

54:30
What will we be watching for?

Off Day Recommendations:

Distance: The Game Belongs to Bob Gibson by Roger Angell

Roger Angell archive at The New Yorker

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
May 25, 2022
34. Gormania
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We are back after a long hiatus, with our precious off days being repurposed for make-up games. There’s a lot to talk about, and we kick things off with:

0:11:00
Gormania - When will Nolan Gorman get the call to St. Louis? Should he be there already? What will be his role when he arrives?

0:30:17
April Awards - Most Surprising Player, Most Likely to Rebound, and with apologies, Most Likely to Continue Sucking

1:02:10
Listener Questions

1:34:40
What are we watching for?

1:35:65
Off Day Recommendations

Ben Humphrey recommends Eno Sarris’s article Not Swinging is an Art Form but is it Bad for the Sport?

Ben Godar recommends an obscure little film called Field of Dreams, which he suggests giving a rewatch to appreciate how weird it is on the announcement that a Field of Dreams series will begin filming this year.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
May 09, 2022
33. It's April, Jake
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10 days into the season, we try not to react to Small Sample Size Theater. But we still found some topics worth bantering about.

09:56
Adam Wainwright is among a rare group of pitchers who not only pitch at age 40, but often well beyond.

18:53
Albert Pujols weird (in a good way) early returns on contact.

25:36
Jake Woodford’s pitch mix may have changed, but the underlying metrics still don’t predict much success.

39:02
The moving in the fences study that the team shelved.

50:43
Listener Questions on who the high-leverage relievers are, when will we see a Goldschmidt home run and when have we seen a bench this good.

1:05:17
What are we watching for?

1:08:37
Off Day Recommendations:

Ben Humphrey recommends Derrick Goold’s article on the Cardinals shelving their study to consider moving in the outfield walls at Busch Stadium.

Ben Godar recommends Mark Belko’s article showing the Pittsburgh Pirates player salaries are generally covered by ticket and concession sales alone, with the team pocketing TV money, revenue sharing and other income.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Apr 18, 2022
32. MiLB Preview
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You probably know Kyle Reis from Prospects After Dark, Birds on the Black, The Dirty Flirty, and his nightly GIFs of Cardinals minor leaguers. He joins us for another Super Sized preview episode to discuss everything going on down on the farm.

04:26
Gorman, Liberatore, Yepez and the prospects who might make a major league impact this season.

29:56
Triple-A and the overall organizational philosophy on pitching.

57:18
Double-A sleepers, Michael McGreevy and releasing older prospects. Also: Fond remembrance of Ronnie Lott in Tecmo Bowl.

1:13:26
Masyn Winn and lower level guys who could be Cardinals of the future.

1:29:15
Kyle’s plans for GIFing and more in 2022.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Apr 08, 2022
31. Season Preview 2022
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We are back for a new season of The Cardinals Off-Day Podcast, complete with new theme music from de Vant. (Thanks, Micah!)

In this super sized episode, we preview the 2022 Cardinals season.

04:00
We draft the 2022 Cardinals based on who will accumulate the most WAR, and also recap how they did in last year’s WAR draft.

48:32
We each predict the Top 5 pitchers in terms of starts for the 2022 season, plus recap how we did on these predictions last year.

1:04:50
Ben and Ben each wrote a narrative prediction for how the St. Louis Cardinals season will unfold. They have to read each others, sight unseen.

1:18:00
What will we be watching for?

1:24:20
Off-Day Recommendations

Ben Humphrey recommends Derrick Goold’s article on Paul Goldschmidt’s new bat.

Ben Godar recommends When Harry Caray was a Rebel with a Microphone, by Myron Cope.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Apr 06, 2022
Episode 30: Pujols Returns
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It’s a Spring Training off-day, and in consideration of our recording schedule, the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to terms with Franchise Legend Albert Pujols on a one-year, $2.5 million contract to return to the team as a bench bat and mentor.

00:40
Albert Pujols returns to the Cardinals. We discuss our feelings about seeing Albert return as well as what it means from a baseball perspective.

32:14
Starting Pitching: The Cardinals plan was always to discount shop on starters, but even with the injury to Flaherty, the team has not pursued any high-end additions. We discuss whether that is a bug or a feature of this Cardinals team.

48:00
Box Score of Yore: Sept. 9, 2010 vs. the Atlanta Braves - the last game to feature Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright.

1:04:55
What are we looking for?

1:08:15
Off-Day Recommendations: Ben Humphrey recommends this piece from Outsports about Ray Gibson, the transgender son of Hall of Famer and Cardinals Legend Bob Gibson.

We’ll be back next week with our Season Preview, then on our regular off-day schedule through the season. Don’t forget to follow us on cardinalsoffday.substack.com and on Twitter @cardinalsoffday.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Mar 29, 2022
Episode 29: Labor Peace; Game On
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Our long national off-day nightmare is over. With the owners and Players Association agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement, we are now looking at a month of whirlwind free agent signings and a truncated spring training, followed by an April 7 Opening Day and a full 162-game season.

After a few choice words for the owners and the lockout they put us all through, Ben and Ben dive into the St. Louis Cardinals. They talk the most recent signing of Drew VerHagen, reports that the team is in talks with Albert Pujols, and what other moves might be likely from the team over the next month.

Then they dive into the rule changes in this CBA, including the Universal DH, expanded playoffs and more.

As always, thanks for listening. Be sure to follow @cardinalsoffday on Twitter to stay in touch in between episodes.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Mar 12, 2022
Episode 28: Merry ZiPSmas
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There are many ways to celebrate the holiday season, but as Cardinals fans and lovers of advanced stats, I hope we can all come together to celebrate the annual tradition of ZiPSmas.

Cardinals Fans must have been very good this year, as not only did the ZiPS projections release just before Christmas, but they included some very promising projections for a number of Redbirds players.

We were lucky to have Dan Szymborski - creator of ZiPS - join us for a discussion of the Cardinals projections, some of the nuances under the hood of a system like ZiPS, and even which store brand Dr. Pepper knock-offs are the best.

We hope you enjoy the conversation and wish you all a very happy new year.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Dec 30, 2021
Episode 27: Locked Out
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After a flurry of free agent signings and other moves, at midnight on Dec. 2, Major League Baseball owners chose to lock out the players and shut down the offseason until further notice. What a bunch of jerks.

In this episode, we talk about the Cardinals signing Steven “Dr. Thunder” Matz while the Cubs - of all people, the Cubs - signed Mr. Name Brand himself, Marcus “Dr. Pepper” Stroman. We also chat about two more Cardinals who won’t be returning - Luis Garcia and Jose Rondon.

From there, we pivot to consider what the Cardinals might do whenever labor negotiations thaw. We end by answering a few more listener questions, including some holiday-themed queries about our favorite Cardinals gifts and ideas for baseball reading.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Dec 02, 2021
Episode 26: (Non)Tender is the Off-Season
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The GM Meetings have come and gone, and free agency is here… at least until the CBA expires on Dec. 1.

Ben and Ben got together to chat about all the developments in Cardinals Land in the early offseason. First off, we recap the Oli Marmol and Skip Schumaker hires. Then we move on to the free agents who were non-tendered and a conversation on why the team parted ways with former first-round pick Nick Plummer.

We end the show by looking ahead to free agency. The Cardinals brass and media that covers the team have talked a lot about pitching, so who might the team realistically pursue? What could that 5, 7, 9 man rotation look like? And is there any chance the Cardinals get involved on one of the big middle infield names?

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Nov 12, 2021
Episode 25: Shildt Canned
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At 1:43pm on Thursday, I got a text from a friend (White Sox fan) saying “I’m actually shocked at Shildt news.” I had no idea what that news could have been. My first instinct was something more like Jon Gruden e-mails. Firing would probably not have been in my top five guesses.

But of course, that is exactly what happened, as John Mozeliak and Bill Dewitt, Jr. quickly held a press conference to announce the firing of their field manager for the past 3+ seasons.

Ben and I recorded an EMERGENCY PODCAST SPECIAL EDITION last night to discuss the news, what possibly could have led to it and what it might mean going forward. If this was truly the result of a “philosophical differences,” what does that tell us about the philosophy of the Cardinals going forward? And who might take over as manager?

In a cosmic coincidence, Ben and I were also scheduled to be guests on the Meet Me at Musial podcast recording last night. So you can also check that show out as we touch on some of the same but some other aspects of the Shildt firing.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Oct 15, 2021
Episode 24: It's all off-days now
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The Cardinals played the juggernaut Dodgers to a draw for 8 1/2 innings, but ultimately lost the one-game Wild Card and thus their season has come to an end. We are no longer in the world of off-days. It’s now the off-season.

We look back at the Wild Card game - noting the strengths of this Cardinals team that kept the game as close as it was, but also the weaknesses and a little #BullShildt that ultimately contributed to the loss. But it’s all with the caveat that it was just one game and frankly: These things happen.

From there, we shift gears into offseason mode, and say farewell to the Cardinals who are headed into free agency or have options that are unlikely to be picked up, and consider who if any of them may yet return.

Thanks to all of you who have subscribed to the podcast and/or to the Substack. This was a new venture for us, and it was really a shot in the arm to see how many folks followed along. We’ve been grateful for all the interaction and questions over Twitter and e-mail throughout the season.

We will be doing periodic pods through the offseason, around key moments and deadlines. Our guess is these will come around once-a-month, but we’ll drop an emergency pod if/when there are big, breaking pieces of Cardinals news, like when they sign Max Scherzer and Corey Seager on the same day, or when the DeWitts announce Mike Shannon was right and they are selling the team.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Oct 08, 2021
Episode 23: Wild Card Preview
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The regular season ended Sunday. With a rain-soaked field, intermittent showers continuing, and neither team really giving much of a s**t who won the game, the officials eventually came together and decided it was best to send everyone home. It was the right decision.

And so we look ahead to the Wild Card game, the coin-flip game, which the Cardinals will play on Wednesday against the Dodgers. Here on the off-day podcast, we don’t often have the chance to preview a single game, so we go all-in: The starting pitching match-up, the line-ups, the bullpens… how do the Cardinals and the Dodgers match-up?

We’re hoping for a Cardinals winner and a chance to see what this team can do in a full postseason series. But win or lose, we’ll be back after the Wild Card game. Go Cardinals.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Oct 04, 2021
Episode 22: Let's go streaking (into the playoffs)
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The Cardinals have won 16 games in a row, a new franchise record, putting them on-pace for 90-wins on the season and a shot at the one-game Wild Card against either the Giants or the Dodgers.

We discuss the good and bad versions of what that “coin-flip game” could look like, as well as which of those terrifying opponents we would want to face. But first, we answer several questions from listeners, covering everything from the playoff rotation to Edman playing time and how this win streak might effect offseason moves.

Ben Humphrey recommends Katie Woo’s breakdown of the Cardinals unlikely double-play in Saturday’s win over the Cubs.

Ben Godar recommends Luke Epplin’s excellent Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball, which he calls quite possible the best baseball book he has ever read.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 27, 2021
Episode 21: DeWittball works, if you want it
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The Cardinals are in the thick of the Wild Card race, and they owe it all to DeWittball. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to stay the course.

We talk about the roster changes that still might come, especially with the returns of Dakota Hudson and Jack Flaherty.

Then we consider Cardinals Devil Magic. What is it? Can we define it? Is it truly - like the Supreme Court definition of pornography - something that we simply know when we see it?

Next, we dive into the recent announcement that the Cardinals are considering making changes to Busch Stadium in response to the degree to which the recent developments around the ballpark have further pushed it towards playing as an extreme pitcher’s park. Ben Humphrey makes the case that this may well be tied to fans not enjoying the style of play that it takes to win in such a ballpark.

We wind things down with several questions from listeners, then talk about what we’re looking for and give some off-day recommendations.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 16, 2021
Episode 20: All the teams are bad, even the good ones
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The Cardinals may not have felt like a playoff team for most of this season, but after watching three games vs. the Reds, we agree that none of the teams battling it out for the 2nd Wild Card spot feel like “good” teams.

After considering the Cincinnati series, we touch briefly on the highly predictable and uninspiring September call-ups.

Then we dive into a little Bull Shildt segment, looking at the manager’s decision to remove Alex Reyes from the closer role and his promise that he will “play matchups” going forward. Ben Godar said he would eat a pack of 1989 Donruss if Shildt went longer than a week without naming a new closer. It does not look like and baseball cards are in danger of being eaten.

Lastly, we dive into the recent Athletic article about Kolten Wong, and all the ways he’s coming into his own in Milwaukee that he was never able to in St. Louis. For both of us, it dovetails with the image we have in our minds of a Cardinals coaching and player development staff that is stodgy and behind the times.

Ben Humphrey recommends the excellent baseball movie Sugar.

Ben Godar recommends Ben Lindbergh’s The MVP Machine, which covers the rise of a new generation of player development experts that are now taking on key positions with organizations like the Giants.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Sep 02, 2021
Episode 19: Are the Cardinals creative enough for Kim in the bullpen?
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After a 6-0 run last week, this week’s 2-4 record has us reconsidering the potential for a Cardinals Wild Card run.

First off, we tackle the news that Kwang Hyun Kim has returned to the roster, but will be working out of the bullpen. We both see potential benefits from getting him back with the big club sooner, but wonder if Mike Shildt can be creative enough to capitalize. Then we talk about Shildt’s bullpen usage throughout the season. He’s slotted guys into defined roles and ground a few of his relievers into dust, much like his predecessor, but on the other hand… what alternatives did he have?

Next, we talk about the news that Yadi and the Cardinals are discussing a one-year deal around $9 million to bring him back next season. We put some numbers on just where Yadi sits among his fellow catchers in this late stage of his career.

Lastly, we answer a few more questions from listeners, these dealing with Miles Mikolas’s contract and what we expect from Lars Nootbaar.

Ben Humphrey recommends Joe Posnanski’s imagined rejected game story from August 24, 2011, titled: The Cardinals will win the World Series. It’s a great time to read that story, as today’s Cardinals look a ways out of the race… but not nearly so far out as that 2011 team was.

Ben Godar recommends Carlos Martinez’s Instagram account, one of the finest pieces of performance art from the last decade.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 23, 2021
Episode 18: Inside the Field of Dreams game and answering your questions
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In the week since we last recorded, the Cardinals have gone 6-0 and find themselves flirting with Wild Card relevance once again.

Before we get to that, Ben Godar shares his experience at the Field of Dreams game, which he was lucky enough to attend. As both Bens are Iowa boys, we kick things off with the question of how humid and buggy it was around all that corn.

After that, we dive into a very full mailbag. Questions touch on everything from how the Cardinals may get back into the playoff hunt, what their September call-ups could be, and how they may sort out the middle infield situation heading into next year.

For Off-Day recommendations, Ben Humphrey calls back to the Field of Dreams game and recommends the article Black Sox: 'It ain't so, kid, it just ain't so'. Ben Godar suggests checking out the documentary Screwball, about the gonzo Florida-based PED scandal that netted A-Rod and Manny Ramirez. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 16, 2021
Episode 17: Kyle Reis stops by to talk draft, prospects and more
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We were lucky enough to welcome back Kyle Reis of Prospects After Dark, The Dirty 35 and more to talk about the Cardinals draft picks and minor league system overall.

It’s one of our longer episodes but we cover a lot of ground. We kick things off looking at the draft picks and specifically, the way Randy Flores and Co. once again saved a little money in the first round to Go Big on a real toolshed of talent with their 2nd pick.

We also spend quite a bit of time talking about the upper minors - Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore and Zach Thompson. Will we see these guys in 2022, and if so in what roll?

That leads us into a more philosophical discussion of how the Cardinals have utilized their top prospects, often rushing them into full-time roles and as an excuse not to sign more talent to bolster the depth. We go pretty deep into this idea, with ownership, the front office and the manager all sharing some blame.

You can follow Kyle on Twitter at @kyler416, but come on, you already do, right?

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 09, 2021
Episode 16: Happ, Lester and wait until next year
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The Trade Deadline came, and the St. Louis Cardinals acquired two of the best starting pitchers (of 2016). We discuss the moves for J.A. Happ and Jon Lester, as well as the moves the Cardinals did not but perhaps could have made.

The Box Score of Yore is back, and this time we look at a series of games… the five starts Fernando Valenzuela made as a Cardinal at the end of his career, after being brought to St. Louis in a trade to add innings to a beleaguered starting staff.

As for off day recommendations, Ben Humphrey suggests you check out the Sports Info Solutions Baseball Podcast (but only after you’ve listened to this podcast). Ben Godar recommends the Olympics highlight show hosted by Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Aug 02, 2021
Episode 15: The One Before the Trade Deadline
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We kick things off by breaking down all of the St. Louis Cardinals moves at the trade deadline. Then after zero minutes and zero seconds, we move on to the rest of the episode.

Mo made some interesting comments in an interview with Jim Hayes Tuesday night. We interpret those comments and consider to what extent roster inflexibility is a problem for the team. That turns into a conversation about innovations this organization has lagged on and what they could take from clubs like the Rays and the Dodgers.

Ben Humphrey gives Ben Godar a quiz on Paul DeJong, and the numbers from the Cardinal shortstop are surprising.

For your off-day pleasure, Ben Humphrey recommends this article from Jason Stark on how teams decide whether to buy or sell. Ben Godar goes in another direction and offers some tips to make a great BLT.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jul 29, 2021
Episode 14: Anatomy of a trade rumor
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The MLB Trade Deadline is just six days away. The Cardinals have won 7 of their last 10 games… and still remain just as far behind Milwaukee as they were at the All-Star Break.

We talk about whether these last 10 days have changed the calculus for what the team might do at the deadline, then dive into how to read the many Trade Rumors that will float across Twitter and elsewhere in the coming days. (Short answer: Don’t trust Ken Ro5entha11.)

Then we do a little forensic investigation to determine what has caused Harrison Bader’s massive - massive - improvement in strikeout rate this season. Is it working with ex-hitting coach Bill Mueller? Having surgery to remove polyps on his nasal passages? Something else?

Ben Humphrey recommends David Laurila’s piece at Fangraphs about Nick Plummer’s return to prospect status.

We’ll be back in just a couple days. Let us know if there’s anything you’d like to hear us discuss as we inch even-closer to the trade deadline.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jul 26, 2021
Episode 13: The All-Star Break Spectacular
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It’s the longest break of the Major League Baseball season, and we’re back with our All-Star Break Spectacular.

We put on our tuxedos and handed out awards from the first half of the season. Aaron Miles plays a much larger role than you might expect.

Then we look ahead to the 2nd half by each proposing a trade that seems like the kind of thing the Cardinals might actually do. Prepare to be… underwhelmed.

For Off-Day recommendations, Ben Humphrey recommends the Sports Illustrated article A Game of Speech…, focused on the work of interpreters in baseball. Ben Godar recommends They Say You’re Done…, about how the Giants coaching staff is motivating veterans like Brandon Crawford.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jul 15, 2021
Episode 12: The Cardinals might suck, but the Cubs suck more
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It’s the last off-day before the All-Star break, and the Cardinals are set for a 3-game series at Wrigley.

We start by talking about how we can still enjoy the season even if the team remains less than competitive. From there, we move on to talk about Cardinals All-Star Alex Reyes. Despite the honor, the saves and the low ERA, we both see warning signs and think “selling high” might be the (unlikely) right thing to do.

From there, we focus on the Cubs. A coin flip determines sides for a debate over “who sucks more,” the Cardinals or the Cubs? And for our box score of yore, we look at a very unusual Cardinals/Cubs game at Wrigley from 1930.

Ben Humphrey recommends the episode of the Starkville podcast with Andrew Miller, focused on “the sticky stuff.” (Starkville is available via a subscription to The Athletic.)

Ben Godar also recommends a podcast: Crushed, from Joan Niesen. It’s a highly-bingeable 7-episode series looking back at The Steroid era. Even for those of us who lived through it, Crushed provides rich context and deeper insights into everything from the Andro in Big Mac’s locker to the infamous testimony before Congress. Niesen is a St. Louis native for whom the ‘98 HR chase was a formative moment, so there’s lots of great content for Cardinals fans in the series.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jul 08, 2021
Episode 11: Sticky Balls
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The Cardinals sputter into the off-day an even .500 after dropping three of four to Atlanta.

We discuss the new rules on foreign substances, which go into effect on Monday. Then we analyze a classic piece of MoSpeak on what the Cardinals may or may not do in the trade market. As for what they already are doing, the Cardinals are bringing in potential bullpen pieces off the junk pile… a move that has worked well in the past.

For the Box Score of Yore, we take a look at a game from September of 1963, the day after Stan Musial became a grandfather.

As for Off-Day recommendations, Ben H. suggests this Eno Sarris piece on the variations in baseball bats. Ben G. recommends Sandlot Peanuts, an out-of-print collection of Peanuts strips related to baseball.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jun 21, 2021
Episode 10: Tyler O'Neill is a video game creation
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Our first episode of the week focused more on the pitching side of the ball, so this time we’re looking at the offense. First, we tackle the Tommy Edman narrative, which may have grown larger than the skill set the player brings to the table. Then we quick-hit through Tyler O’Neill, Yadier Molina and Paul Goldschmidt. We spend a lot of time looking at the players profiles at Baseball Savant. Be sure to check out Tyler O’Neill’s ridiculous, create-a-player video game sliders.

We ended the episode with some recommendations for your time on this off-day.

Ben Humphrey suggests this Yahoo! piece on how humidors are coming to more MLB parks - including Busch Stadium.

Ben Godar recommends the book A False Spring by Pat Jordan, a memoir from a “bonus baby” pitching prospect who never reached his potential.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jun 10, 2021
Episode 9: The injuries and the losses pile up
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It’s been two weeks since our last show, and the Cardinals trajectory has taken a downward turn. Injuries are piling up on both sides of the ball. In the first of two Off-Day podcasts this week, we talk injuries, the rotation and bullpen, as well as when reinforcements might be coming. For the Box Score of Yore, we take a look at a game where the Cardinals managed to walk 16 batters in an 8-inning game.

Got questions you’d like us discuss on Thursday? You can email us or connect with us on Twitter.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Jun 07, 2021
Episode 8: Off-Day After Dark
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There was no minor league baseball in 2020, so after our first few weeks of minor league action in almost two years… what do we know about the players in the Cardinals system? Kyle Reis of Prospects After Dark and Birds on the Black joins us in a special episode focused on the minor leagues.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
May 20, 2021
Episode 7: Dodger Pujols
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Alex Crisafulli becomes an official “friend of the pod” by joining us as our first guest. Alex and the two Bens banter about Albert Pujols joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, then consider if anything we’ve seen over the first month+ of the season has revised their win total projections. Finally, they look at a remarkable Box Score of Yore from the end of the Whiteyball Era and the beginning of the Dirtbag Phillies era.

You can subscribe to the show here on Substack, in your favorite podcast app, and you can follow us on Twitter.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
May 17, 2021
Episode 6: Pujols
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In the two weeks since the last off-day, the Cardinals have played their way into 1st place and the best record in the National League. But even with all that success, it was the Angels DFA of Albert Pujols that most caught our attention this week. We discuss whether or not he could return to St. Louis and look at a Box Score of Yore from one of Albert’s greatest performances.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
May 10, 2021
Episode 5: The Roster Churns
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We answer several listener questions, touching on Matt Carpenter’s future and how Mike Shildt is doing. We look at the surprise promotion of Scott Hurst and consider the coming of the 6-man rotation. We also look at how Jack Flaherty’s 500th strikeout rates to the eras of past Cardinal greats. We end with a Box Score of Yore, looking back at the 1996 game when the Cardinals set their team record with 7 home runs in a game.

Don’t forget to subscribe at cardinalsoffday.substack.com and follow us @cardinalsoffday on Twitter.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Apr 22, 2021
Episode 4: .500 Ball
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In this episode, we look at the Cardinals plans to implement a 6-man rotation, and consider the characters in that unfolding drama. We answer a listener question about the precedent for a team’s three outfielders to potentially be its bottom-of-the-order hitters. Lastly, on the day of Yadi’s 2,000th game behind the plate as a Cardinal, we look back at his very first game. Old Friends like Ray Lankford and Hector Luna even make an appearance.

You can subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast app, follow us on Substack or on Twitter @cardinalsoffday.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Apr 15, 2021
Episode 3: The Home Opener
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Just a few hours after Nolan Arenado announced his presence to the Busch Stadium faithful with authority, Ben and Ben talk about bullpen usage in this season of reduced workloads, what’s up in the outfield and with Matt Carpenter, and share their favorite aspects of the Cardinals Home Opener.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Apr 09, 2021
Episode 2: The Day After Opening Day
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Didn’t we just do one of these? After the Cardinals posted an 11-6 win on Opening Day, we talk about bullpen usage and the “closer,” misconceptions about Edmundo Sosa and how to stream games this season. We also answer a listener question.

Connect with us or ask a question at: cardinalsoffday@substack.com.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Apr 02, 2021
Episode 1: Season Preview
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Ben & Ben talk about what they learned during Spring Training, then draft position players by expected WAR and starting pitchers by likely starts. They touch on the small surprises in the 26-man roster, and end with what they’re looking for on Opening Day.

This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Mar 29, 2021
Cardinals Off-Day Episode 1 - Preview
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This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit cardinalsoffday.substack.com
Mar 24, 2021