Archive for the St. Louis Cardinals Category

N The Zone SEASON 2 FINALE

Posted in Football, nba, NBA Draft, NFL, Podcast, Special, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2017 by A-Train

Closing out the 2nd season of “N The Zone” with a bang! After announcing the sponsors and guests of the show, the final monologue of the season is delivered by The Livn Legend. Now, he hasn’t spoke out the newest public figure LaVar Ball, but he does this week after his encounter with Fox Sports 1 host, Kristine Leahy. Plus The Livn Legend gives his thoughts on sports journalist Jason Lee Whitlock. 

NOTE: The following contains language that some will find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

N The Zone SEASON 2 FINALE – Open and The Monologue 05-21-17

Tiera Dobbins returns to talk everything Pittsburgh Steelers that includes their AFC title loss to the Patriots, along with analysis on their recent draft picks and an early outlook at the team for the 2017 season.

N The Zone SEASON 2 FINALE – Tiera Dobbins 05-21-17

Chris Lollis of “Cardinals Nation 24/7” joins the guys talking how that got started along with the moves and transactions of the St. Louis Cardinals and the criticisms of manager Mike Matheny.

N The Zone SEASON 2 FINALE – Chris Lollis 05-21-17

Taylor Hay and Tiffany Pugh of the St. Louis Slam women’s football team joins the show. Taylor plays running back, while Tiffany plays middle linebacker on the Slam. They talk about how they got started with the team, their careers outside of football, also what they plan to do when their time in football is done. They are fresh off their national championship run last season and currently headed toward another playoff run this season, so they speak on the differences from this team to last year and they also give their favorite NFL teams and players.

N The Zone SEASON 2 FINALE – Taylor Hay and Tiffany Pugh 05-21-17

 

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So Many Shows…In April

Posted in Podcast, Special, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 24, 2017 by A-Train

It’s been a while since we have been on here…but let’s keep you informed with the latest episodes from “N The Zone.”

N The Zone ft. Zennie Abraham – Intro and Throwback Monologue (on Zennie) 04-02-17

N The Zone wanted to “dedicate” a segment to Zennie Abraham of Zennie62.com on his coverage of the Raiders staying in Oakland. We tried to reach him but got stopped by a gatekeeper instead. Then, the throwback monologue is on Zennie from Palmer. Did Palmer do his homework or not? Has Zennie been exposed? Listen and you make the call. We know that Zennie owes someone some money. NOTE: The following contains language that some will find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised.

N The Zone SEASON 2: Leah Lackland 04-10-17

Leah Lackland is our guest on “N The Zone,” talking hypnotherapy. She discusses how she got into it, why she enjoys it and how it can help you through everyday living. Quite an intriguing conversation and things you can learn from in this segment.

N The Zone SEASON 2: Maria Chappelle-Nadal Part 1 04-10-17

In this first of two parts, Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal sits down with Palmer Alexander to discuss the radioactive waste problem in St. Louis and why there hasn’t been any leadership over solving this problem.

N The Zone SEASON 2: Maria Chappelle-Nadal Part 2 04-10-17

In part 2 with Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, the conversation still pertains to radioactive waste in the St. Louis area and the companies that have involved themselves with this matter. It also includes the upcoming town meeting to help find solutions and hold people accountable on this matter.

N The Zone SEASON 2: Father Mike Freymuth 04-10-17

Father Mike Freymuth from Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the guest on “N The Zone” discussing about how he is helping out in the St. Louis community through their food pantry. You can find out how you can help or donate at www.helpstlouis.org

N The Zone ARCHIVES – Mike Matheny and The Defenders “The Monologue” (from 10-17-15) 04-16-17

The St. Louis Cardinals season is here and they are off to a rough start. Almost more of the same from last season with the poor offense and defense. So, we take you back to October 2015 when Palmer gave his monologue on Mike Matheny. He talks about the defenders of Matheny on social media and how he was called a “hater” for being critical of Matheny. As always: The following contains language that some might find objectionable. Parental discretion is advised. CHE-TOA-TAH!

A-Train

America’s Pastime in St. Louis

Posted in Baseball, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2016 by thelegendkil

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ST. LOUIS, MO

@thelegendkil

The last couple of days of sports around these parts have been absolutely disgusting. From a student athlete at the Saint Louis University using unflattering language directed at the President of the United States ,to Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward having racial slurs hurled at him in his first game back at Busch Stadium.

And this isn’t ground breaking, not the first time we’ve heard about this. It’s been happening, but the thing is now, we are seeing this more frequently. It wasn’t that long ago we were talking about the protest at the University of Missouri and the rise of racial tension on the campus and throughout the city of Columbia, Missouri. For those who had friends and family there raced up the I-70 corridor, in the case of violence that has seemed to follow most protest as of late.

Now back to Saint Louis University. When I read the story written by Danny Wicentowski of the Riverfront Times, I instantly thought about how ironic that remark was coming from a student or athlete at the college nestled not far from low income housing. The remarks prompted a response from Robyn Browning – who wrote a letter to the President of SLU Dr. Fred P. Pestello urging for more action against the baseball players and requested to have them removed from the team.  Robyn also sent same letter to the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference Bernadette V. McGlade. Calls have been made to the Atlantic 10 Conference they’ve have not been returned yet. You can also read Robyn’s open letter @robynbirdfly.

Now on to the St.Louis Cardinals fans who can’t get over the fact that Jason Heyward is no longer wearing the birds on the bat. A day after playing in his first game as a member of the Chicago Cubs, New York Daily News columnist Kate Feldman wrote a piece about Heyward being hit with racial taunts. I’m not surprised in the least that some of the Cardinal baseball fans did that.

There is a sector of Cardinal baseball fans that are so annoying. They act as though it’s such a great privilege to wear the Cardinals jersey. Heyward only played one season in St.Louis and hit .293 with 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in – that’s right 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in.

People are breaking into salami sweats over a baseball player under 15 home runs and wasn’t a RBI machine by no means. He hurt Cardinals feelings by rejecting them – and by joining the Chicago Cubs. I Don’t remember Chicago Cubs fans treating Shawon Dunston like this when he played for the Cardinals. And I know circumstances were different for Dunston – and the only similarity being that Dunston is a black player for a bitter rival.

These people need to get over themselves. They should be more mad the Cardinals didn’t resign pitcher John Lackey who struck out 11 Cardinal batters en route to a 5-0 shut out, pitching out of a couple of jams.

Meanwhile, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright hasn’t won a game – and Lackey was clearly the team best pitcher last year. He is undefeated so far at 3-0.

And by the way so far so good since the Cardinals and Heyward didn’t agree on a deal, Heyward is hitting under .200 with just 7 RBI’s.

I also think the local broadcast on Fox Sports Midwest fanned the flames and kept bringing up that Heyward said that the Cardinals core of players were too old. Cardinals color commentator Al Hrabosky said it’s is true about the Cardinals core being older. He even went so far as to mention Matt Holiday, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright.

I don’t blame Heyward at all for choosing Chicago. Let’s face it, there is more to offer entertainment-wise. He’s 26 and single. And if these jilted fans feel this way, think about the region we’re living in.

It’s those little things, which are symbolic of the “Cardinal Way.”

Follow me on Twitter @thelegendkil

The View From Mt. Airy Special – The St. Louis Cardinals Nearly Made History

Posted in Baseball, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2016 by MtAiryPhil

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@MtAiryPhil

PHILADELPHIA, PA

1947. Brooklyn, NYC. Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson takes the field for the Dodgers as MLB reintegrates after 35 years as an all-white entity. Yes, there were black ballplayers in the majors (and NFL) as the century began but were slowly weeded out as racist owners like Braves and Redskins owner George Preston Marshall gained power over the commissioner’s office.

We celebrate this day across baseball America. But there’s a backstory that is rarely told, and in my opinion, is just as important.

1942. St. Louis Missouri. The Cardinals win the World Series after a franchise record setting 106-win season. The team is stocked for the future and poised for an extended reign at the top of the National League. Virtually entirely homegrown, this elite unit was led by Manager Billy Southworth (former GasHouse Gang CF) who too was a product of GM Branch Rickey’s invention, the “farm system.” Despite their successes however, the Cardinals would average less than 7,000 paying customers in 1942 at Sportsman’s Park, and would outdraw their AL counterpart (and tenant) the lowly last place Browns by just over 150,000 fans enroute to their championship.

Dismayed by the Cardinals seeming inability to transfer their on field successes to the box office, GM Rickey conceived a brilliant and extremely covert plan to draw an entirely new audience while enhancing his team at the same time. Secretly he began to court, and sign in some cases the best talent he could woo from the Negro Leagues. History will debate forever who exactly signed Cardinal contracts amongst the Black players however what we know for sure is that they never played a day. Why? Dizzy Dean.

Dizzy Dean had created a legend in the Midwest by ’42.

Hall of Fame. 30-game winner. However, a sore arm had shortened his career and the Cardinal legend had been relegated to the radio booth. He longed for more and secretly yearned to be GM of his beloved St. Louis Cardinals. So when opportunity arose, he jumped in with both feet.

According to Hall of Fame shortstop Ray Dandridge, he mistakenly mailed his contract to the general office of St. Louis baseball vs. the personal mailbox of Branch Rickey. A secretary and friend of Dizzy Dean’s opened it and shared it with him. An avowed racist, Dean immediately shared it with Cardinals owner Sam Breadon, exclaiming “he’s going to field an all nigger team Sam!” Breadon reached out to MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who vetoed the plan and questioned how this could even occur without the knowledge of the owner. Despite 106 wins and the World Championship, Branch Rickey was fired. It would be 5 years before he would succeed where Dean couldn’t stop him. Hello Jackie Robinson. Welcome to Brooklyn. Now you know.

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The Train Report (Throwback Edition): The 1996 St. Louis Cardinals

Posted in Baseball, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2016 by A-Train

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(@TheATrainSTL)

St. Louis, MO

In this edition of “The Train Report,” let’s take Cardinal fans back to 1996. The year when the Tony LaRussa era began and the Ozzie Smith era ended. Background first, my story second.

THE BACKGROUND:

Let’s take you back to 1995 when the baseball strike ended and the season was shorten. The Cardinals finished a pitiful 62-81. Joe Torre’s future was freed up after the first 47 games and Mike Jorgensen took over the last 96 games. Torre then went to the New York Yankees and won 4 World Series titles. YIKES. The first, during the ’96 season. DOUBLE YIKES.

They saw the retirements of long-timer Jose Oquendo and Tom Henke, who was an All-Star and the Rolaids Relief Man Of The Year award winner.

The Cardinals said goodbye to Todd Zeile, who was already traded to the Chicago Cubs during the season and hometown guy Bernard Gilkey, who was traded to the New York Mets in the offseason and wound up having a career year in 1996. Not to mention, the funny cameo role he had in the first “Men In Black” movie.

The ace of the staff was Mark Petkovsek…EXACTLY. Mark Petkovsek. Say that name, three times fast. No starter on that staff had double digit wins. Henke (36 saves), along with the trio outfield of Gilkey (.298, 17 HR, 61 RBI), Ray Lankford (.277, 25 HR, 82 RBI) and Brian Jordan (.296, 22 HR, 81 RBI) were the only bright spots. But that team stunk and was in dire need of change.

That offseason brought such change. Bill DeWitt, Jr. bought the team from the Anheuser-Busch family. General manager Walt Jocketty said no to interim manager Mike Jorgensen and got former Oakland A’s skipper Tony LaRussa. Huge move. LaRussa then added Ron Hassey, Tommie Reynolds, Dave McKay, hitting coach George Hendrick and pitching coach Dave Duncan.

The Cardinals would add veterans Ron Gant, Gary Gaetti, and Dennis Eckersley. It also saw the returns of hometown favorite Willie McGee and Luis Alicea. Not to mention, the Cardinals went out and nabbed starters Andy Benes and Todd Stottlemyre. But there was one move that stuck during that season that caused riff between a manager and a player.

Royce Clayton.

Why him you ask?

Well here is what I know:

Clayton was a young shortstop that had average speed and average defense. Also, there was Mr. Smith. Smith had announced that it was his last season and wanted to have a great sendoff by being the starter. LaRussa had both shortstops, one young, one not so young compete for the starting job. Now many believe that LaRussa already knew who he had in mind to start. Smith had the better spring at the plate and played way better defense than Clayton (who had 8 errors in the spring)…and didn’t win the starting job. LaRussa chose Clayton. Smith, of course, was unhappy with the move because he felt he was in great shape to start the season, even at the ripe old age of 41. Now the many stories I have heard about the Smith/LaRussa are crazy. But if you want to delve into that, check out this article in 2011 from Howard Friend at Bleacher Report about the Smith/LaRussa feud.

The team started off bad and looked like they were headed to the bottom of the Central Division. By the end of May, they were in 2nd with a 22-29 record. Then a 6-game winning streak put them in 1st during June. After flip-flopping from 1st and 2nd, by the All-Star break they landed back on top. The Cardinals let a 4-game lead slip away by late July and found themselves tied. They would go back and forth with the Houston Astros in August until the lead went to 2.5 games for Houston. By early September, in the midst of a winning streak, the Cardinals took the division lead and wouldn’t give it up and won it.

THE PARTS THAT I REMEMBER THE MOST:

At age 12, I can remember the Cardinals clinching the National League Central for the first time while in Pittsburgh. Eckersley pumped his right fist as the players ran out on to the mound in celebration at old Three Rivers Stadium. They looked primed and ready for the postseason.

That year they got in the postseason and played the San Diego Padres and NL MVP Ken Caminiti. Speaking of Caminiti, I was shocked when he passed in 2004, but wasn’t surprised that he took steroids in his ’96 MVP season. He had a monster year and a monster series against the Cardinals. However, they were swept in three games. Good riddance. Uber excitement, at this point the Cardinals hadn’t been to the LCS in 9 seasons. I was geeked and excited.

In the NLCS they went against the Atlanta Braves, the previous season’s World Champions. I felt pretty good that they could beat them and I was nervous in all seven games of the series because anyone of them could be a complete turning point.

First game was in Atlanta at old Fulton-County Stadium, and they got beat 4-2. Bullpen couldn’t keep the game tied and Benes did the best he could to hold the Braves. They lost the game in the 8th inning thanks to 2 runs given up by Petkovsek. Not a huge deal but still they were down 1 game.

Still had some confidence that the Cardinals could do some damage in Game 2. It damn sure was a tight one when it got to the 7th. With the score 4-3 and the bases loaded, Gaetti unloaded a deep drive off starter Greg Maddux. Gaetti was 38 and nearing the end of his career. The previous year with the Royals he hit 35 home runs, and the Cardinals hoped that he could gave that power he had in KC and bring it down Interstate 70. He wound up with 23 in the season. This grand slam gave the Cardinals an 8-3 lead, to which they would hold on to that final score and even up the series.

As happy as I was, I was still nervous because it was the Atlanta Braves. I hated the Braves. At that point, they had reach the postseason every year (except the 1994 strike).

The last thing I wanted to see was an NL team, MY team, defeat them in the NLCS.

Game 3 back in St. Louis was LIVE. No I wasn’t there at Busch Stadium II but watching that game, it was a damn good feeling to see the Cardinal fans electric in an afternoon game. It was surely a great feeling for Gant, hitting 2 home runs off future Hall-of-Famer Tom Glavine was epic. The excitement on his face as he trotted around the bases. It was like he wanted pure revenge on the Braves. I wanted that for him too. Gant had already participated in 2 World Series with the Braves, so his presence with the Cardinals meant that playoff experience was on deck. He won the game by himself with 3 RBIs in a 3-2 Game 3 victory.

The next game was probably one of the best playoff games I had ever watched at that point. Although, the Birds were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the 7th, a player I had never seen before on the team, Dmitri Young came to the dish with two men on base.

Young kid, big stage. He would falter right?

No, he didn’t.

Young hit a triple off Braves reliever Greg McMichael and drove in both runs to narrow the Braves lead to 1. Clayton would then knock in Young to tie the game at 3. Busch II was rocking high. In the bottom of the 8th, Jordan sent a deep drive off McMichael to give the Cardinals the lead. Eckersley, who already came in the top half, shut down the Braves in the 9th to earn the win and a 3-1 series lead. The excitement I had that night would be the last excitement I would have for the rest of the series.

In the next three games, the Braves’ bats not only woke up…they never went back to sleep. The Cardinals’ bats literally died. I hoped so bad that they would get to their first World Series in 9 seasons, so I could see the excitement that the older generations got to see. Those dreams died the minute Game 5 started.

Game 5, 14-0 Braves. A complete ass whipping in a potential clincher. I was mad, but not angry. The Cardinals were still up 3 games to 2.

Then…

Game 6, a 3-1 defeat. Doesn’t seem like a lot, right? But that game was bad. Pretty damn bad. It set up a Game 7, which is very exciting but sets up a possible collapse by the Cardinals.

That wouldn’t happen, right?

Game 7, 15-0 Braves. Another complete ass whipping in a potential clincher. I remember my father enjoying every minute of that. I had a headache literally while watching that debacle. It was unreal. Catcher Javy Lopez was LCS MVP. The heavily favored Braves, who were on the brink of elimination, came back and won those last 3 games to take the series and face the New York Yankees. The Yankees would prevail in six games. Good that the Braves lost but ouch that Torre won. It would have definitely made for an epic series if the Cardinals got there. But they didn’t.

If you had kept count of those last three games of the ’96 NLCS, the grand total of runs the Cardinals had was…1. That’s right, 1 run.

But it wasn’t meant to be, it gave us hope that they could do it again. But they wouldn’t get back to the postseason for another 4 seasons. However some excitement back 2 years later…some guy named McGwire took the baseball world by storm. (This was before the steroid stories broke)

But that’s how the 1996 Cardinals season was for me. I can’t believe that was literally 20 years ago. It brought a lot of highs and some lows, and believe it or not, that was the last time LaRussa ever faced a 3-1 collapse in his tenure with the Cardinals.

Coming up on the next “Train Report,” I’ll take you to the 2001 St. Louis Cardinals, where it featured the surprising rookie debut of one Albert Pujols.

Keep taking the A-Train. Drop a comment if you like.

Follow me on Twitter @TheATrainSTL

AND…

Follow N The Zone on Twitter @NTheZoneShow

Ten For Tuesday: March 1 Edition

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Los Angeles Rams, MLS, NFL, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2016 by Shane Gray

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(St. Louis, MO)

Shane Gray (@RealShaneGray)

Welcome to my new weekly column entitled “Ten for Tuesday”. I hope you all will enjoy the debut edition, which touches on yesterday’s Rams feature, the St.Louis Cardinals, why I’m not necessarily hyped about the prospects of MLS to STL, what Mizzou Football must do to regain elite their elite status, the good and bad of the NFL Combine, the mystery of NBA Pre-Draft Measurements, the wonder that is Stephen Curry and much more.

With that said, I hope you will enjoy week one of “Ten for Tuesday”.

Let’s get to it:

1- For those who missed it, I penned a feature yesterday named “Monday’s Missile: Los Angeles Rams Not Worthy of St. Louis’ Support”. It has proven to very controversial and his elicited very strong, passionate responses from folks all over the nation. If you haven’t yet taken a look at the rather brief read, I’d love for you to take a moment to do so. Whether you love it or hate it, I’d enjoy hearing your take on the feature. Hit me up on twitter via @RealShaneGray and let me know how you feel.

While on the topic of the aforementioned feature, I’d like to make a couple things clear that I didn’t touch on yesterday:

One, I wish no ill will whatsoever towards the Rams players. Obviously, they had nothing to do with the move. I interviewed several of them on different occasions over the last few years, and think the world of guys like Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Quinn, free agent wide receiver Brian Quick and former Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis, all of whom were great people, great interviews and wonderful assets in the community.

Two, I wish to congratulate any and all CLASSY fans from L.A. who will get to watch the Rams return to Cali. I don’t blame them for being excited. Not at all. As for those who want to bash St.Louis and the fans here, however, well… that’s another story altogether.

2- With the Rams moving on, I plan to turn more attention back to the St. Louis Cardinals. I will be honest and admit that much of my focus turned away from the Redbirds after the Rams came to St. Louis. As a child, though, I was an absolute die-hard, live-and-die Cardinals fan. They were my first true love in regards to a sports team. Somewhere along the way, though, I lost my passion for the game even after playing it in college.

As probably everyone is aware by now, the Redbirds are in the thick of Spring Training in preparation for the 2016 Major League Baseball campaign. Can they hold off the rival Cubs? Will the Pirates again make major noise in the division? That discussion will come on another day and I look forward to diving into some Cardinals coverage this year.

3- Switching gears, a group of prominent, local investors — including Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt and former #STLNFL Task Force co-head Dave Peacock, among others — recently united to form #MLS2STL and are exploring the possibility of bringing an expansion MLS franchise to St. Louis. (In case you missed it, here’s the full story.)

While I have nothing against MLS and am all for anything that would be a positive for the region, I do have one significant reservation about bringing an MLS team to the city.

Why am I so lukewarm on the MLS2STL? Here’s why:

I don’t believe St. Louis is currently viewed by many as a four team region. If true — and I have reason to believe that is indeed the case — I’d prefer our third professional club to be something other than an MLS franchise.

With the MLB and NHL deeply rooted in the Gateway City, that realistically only leaves room for one other major pro sports league/team, and I’d personally hate to reduce or remove any future hopes for an NFL expansion team with truly committed local ownership and a 30 year plus iron-clad lease, or even a chance at an NBA franchise at some point down the road in exchange for MLS. I could be wrong, but I think the presence of MLS would greatly reduce any chances of eventually making a run at having a team from either of those two more prestigious leagues,and if that is indeed true, that bothers me.

As for the NBA, keep in mind that Stan Kroenke relative Bill Laurie nearly locked up an expansion team even WITH the NFL and three other pro teams in town. With that considered, IF a legitimate effort were made at a time when there are but two major pro teams in town rather than three, I think it could certainly get done.

4- Speaking of the Association, Stephen Curry continues to amaze me. To me, he’s the best player in the League right now. He’s the best scorer and best shooter, he’s money in crunch time, he’s a willing and effective passer and he can D up when the chips are on the line.

In short, if there’s one guy in pro basketball that I’m paying to watch play right now, it’s Curry… and nobody else is a close second at the moment.

5- Last year, the Missouri Tigers football program fell off and fell off hard, going 5-7 in a year filled with off-field controversy, on-field struggles and the eventual resignation of Head Coach Gary Pinkel, who ran the show at Mizzou for 15 years, leading the Tigers to ten winning seasons, 10 bowl games, six bowl wins and a combination of five Big 12 North/SEC East Division championships.

After a down year, what does Mizzou need to do to get back on track?

To me, the most glaring hole on the Tigers roster a year ago — and something that was always a strong point during Missouri’s best years within the Pinkel era — was a deep, productive receiving corps.

Last season, the Tigers lack of depth and overall talent at receiver was undeniable, and the offense struggled to produce points and generate big plays largely because of it.

If Mizzou is going to get back to its winning ways and again become a power in the SEC, they need to get their wideout talent back to something close to the level it had been prior to the 2015 debacle.

6- I have always enjoyed the annual NFL Combine, and watched it extremely closely when covering the Rams and preparing for draft-related articles from 2011 through 2015.

That said, the Combine can be either a blessing or a curse for NFL talent evaluators and NFL teams — depending on how it is utilized.

When game tape is kept as the priority, the combine is a fine tool to further evaluate prospects. When the combine is used strictly as a complimentary tool to hone in on what a player has done on the field and fine tune evaluations, it is great.

But when scouts and teams take the bait and move someone up or down a draft board based more upon the combine than what a player or players actually did on the gridiron, teams are asking for major problems.

The combine is fine to help refine grades on a given player, but when the grades become based more upon the combine stats than the football stats, teams are begging to end up drafting busts.

7- Speaking of the combine, the NBA Combine has always been fascinating to me in regard to the measurements, and — more specifically — the height measurements.

At the NFL Combine, players are measured only once, and in their bare feet. But at the NBA Combine, prospects are measured early in the morning (when players are 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch taller than they would be late in the day), and are measured both in their bare feet and in their shoes.

As many of you are probably aware, in-shoe heights are commonly used on rosters in college or pro basketball. One can argue about whether that makes sense or not, but its been a common practice in recent decades to either list players in roughly their shoe heights or add anywhere from a half-inch to over two inches to a player’s barefoot measurement.

For example, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love was measured at 6’7″3/4 without shoes at the 2008 pre-draft camp, but has been listed at 6’10” throughout his pro and college career.

Former Cavs guard and rumored lover of Lebron James’ mom Delonte West was measured at 6’1″1/2 barefoot, 6’2″3/4 with shoes while being listed at 6’4″ for portions of his pro career.

John Starks, who starred for the New York Knicks during the Patrick Ewing era, admitted to a 6’2″height while playing with a 6’5″listing.

Finally, former Oklahoma State standout Byron Houston — from way back in the Big 8 days — measured just 6’4″ barefoot while being listed at 6’7″ both in college and the NBA.

On the other hand, there are always a few players who use their barefoot heights and are even taller without shoes than their listed heights. Longtime legend Kevin Garnett is one of those players, listed at 6’11” while being been measured at 7’1″ in shoes. Another future Hall-of-Famer, Kevin Durant, is listed at 6’9 but stands close to 7 foot on the hardwood in shoes.

In general, when you see a player’s height on a roster, you can bet it is either an in-shoe listing or roughly an inch to an inch and a half above their barefoot height, but it’s always interesting — to me at least — to see the extremes of the over-inflated listings or the few who utilize their barefoot measurement.

8- With the concussion issue coming to the forefront in the NFL, particularly after Will Smith’s blockbuster “Concussion” movie, has it changed how you feel about your son, brother, nephew or cousin playing the game?  I’d love to hear your take on the topic. Hit me up on Twitter (@RealShaneGray) and let me know how you feel about your loved ones playing football.

9- Speaking of movies, let’s play make believe for a quick second and pretend that YOU are going to star in a sports-related feature film. If you were the star and had your pick of women to play the role of your wife or girlfriend, tweet me her name and why you chose her using #NTheZone and #MyLeadingLady. It will be interesting to see what women y’all have been scoping out.

10- Finally, on next week’s N The Zone Podcast with Palmer Alexander (@thelegendkil) of the St. Louis American and Arlington Lane (@TheATrainSTL), we will be introducing a new segment entitled “Ask Shane/Get at Gray”. For those following me on twitter, DM me your question/questions, and I will answer a few of them over the air next Sunday. For those whose answers are chosen, we will let you know by tagging your twitter handle when tweeting out the segment. I look forward to the inquiries.

Thanks for reading…

 

MLS2STL Group Formed To Advance MLS Options

Posted in Bill Dewitt, Dave Peacock, Major League Soccer, MLS, Sports, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Sports Commission on February 17, 2016 by Shane Gray

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According to a February 17 press release, a group of St. Louis business and sports leaders — the MLS2STL Group – has been constructed to explore and advance the city’s candidacy to be granted a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber responded to the formation of the MLS2STL Group with the following statement:

“We know St. Louis is a tremendous soccer market and are pleased to see many prominent business and sports leaders becoming involved in the efforts to bring a Major League Soccer team to the downtown area,” Garber said. “We look forward to working with the group to further evaluate St. Louis and see if it is ready for an MLS expansion team.”

The MLS2STL Group is comprised of the following members:

-Bill DeWitt III (President, St. Louis Cardinals)

-Rob Ebert (Partner at Bryan Cave)

-Jim Kavanaugh (Co-Founder and CEO of World Wide Technology)

-Vicky Lynch (Consultant for Lynch Sports and Events)

-Bob O’ Loughlin (President of Lodgning Hospitality Management)

-Dave Peacock (Chairman of the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Sports Commission)

-Jim Powers (President of UniGroup)

-Jim Woodcock (Senior VP, Partner and Global Sports Co-Lead for FleishmanHillard)

-Chris Zimmerman (President/CEO of St. Louis Blues, Scotttrade Center and Peabody Opera House)

Recently, MLS announced intentions to expand the league to eventually expand to 28 teams. The professional soccer organization anticipates having 24 franchises by 2020. Currently, the league is comprised of 20 clubs.

The MLS2STL Group is expected to work close with the St. Louis Sports Commission in an effort to conduct baseline market assessments for a potential franchise owner or owners. In addition, they plan to explore possible stadium sites, funding options and the region’s ability to host an MLS expansion team.

 

 

 

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