The first thing that Cardinal fans have to do is to take a deep breath. The 6 game losing streak is not good, but the situation with Yadi is of the most concern. I have made a couple of comments about the handling of Molina by Matheny on a couple of Bernies columns in today’s post. I also have the comments on my face book page.
I am going to explain what I would do if I was Matheny. If you have read my articles on my website you will see that I am very creative.
What Mike should have done after yesterdays DH sweep by the Pirates was to tell the guys to go home and relax. They need to get a good night’s rest and be ready to play some Cardinal baseball on Wednesday.
It is important for Mike to appear calm and to keep the players relaxed and focused on what they need to do in the game. The players need to prepare as if this is just a regular game and to forget what has happened the last few days.
After the game on Wednesday he needs to call a pre game meeting for Thursday. He needs to take charge and let the guys know they are a lot better baseball players than how they have been playing in the last few games. He needs to look at them and say we are all going to work our rears off at practice to get our game where it should be. Mike needs to also stress all the positives and compliment them on how happy he is with their play up until this little detour! At the end of the meeting he tells them to be prepared to work tomorrow.
Personal note – When I was in the dirt if we had a game that we didn’t field well, guess what we worked hard at in practice? It is the same with hitting and the other parts of the game. I loved practice more than the game, that is where the real players shine in preparation. Here are a couple of articles that can make a difference in the way the game is played in the major leagues. I talked to Joe Garagiola Jr. in the MLB office a couple of years ago and he told me most MLB teams don’t take infield practice before games. Check out this article on this subject-http://baseballcommentary.com/2013/03/mlb-needs-to-start-taking-infield-practice/ This article is about how MLB needs to improve the way they take pregame batting practice.- http://baseballcommentary.com/2013/03/mlb-pregame-batting-practice/
I found out the Cardinals do not have a good old fashion infield practice the coaches just hit grounders while the hitters are hacking away! I wish they could have seen how I ran my infield practice; the players just loved it and enjoyed the challenge. You push and repeat, repeat and repeat some more. I have refined the infield practice to get the players more work. You can never get too many ground balls. This is how you get in the groove in baseball.
Here is some input on what to do with certain players and how to get them back in the groove. Craig needs to get into the cage and relax and concentrate on hitting the ball to the right side. Holiday is close to breaking out and that is exactly what he is doing, pounding the ball to the right side. When you concentrate on hitting the ball to the opposite field in the cage and on the field, it makes you stay on the ball longer. This is what should be done with Jay, hit the ball to left field. His past says he is a slap hitter that uses the whole field. Kozma is just missing the ball and would benefit by using the beans or small ball procedure in my hitting program. My players always said that after using the beans or the small balls that it made the baseball look larger. http://baseballcommentary.com/2013/03/the-best-hitting-program-in-america-3/
There are two problems that I see in the future and one is not having a strong #2 in the rotation. We need to hope that Lynn and or Miller will step up and be that person. The other is the Yadi situation, he is irreplaceable.
Mike needs to be optimistic and push the guys to be the best they can be. There is so much in between the ears, even at this level of play.