The Last Hurrah of Pujols, Wainwright and Molina

In sports, great team dynasty’s doesn’t last a life time but for some they are able maintain it with a collection of some of the greatest players who played in their perspective sport. New England Patriots lasted two decades with Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichcik, The Boston Celtics combo of Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and John Havlicek dynasty dominated the NBA back in 1960’s. The New York Yankees had 5 different dynasty that goes all the way back to the 1920’s, players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhig and into the mid-1990’s with Derrick Jeter, Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte into 2000. And you can’t forget the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty of the 80’s with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy and the 2000’s team with Shaq O’Neal and the Kobe Bryant that lasted for 23 years. In St. Louis the Cardinal Dynasty of Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina has lasted for 22 years starting with Albert Pujols in 2001 and his club rookie record breaking season. Then Yadier Molina join the Cardinals as the catcher in 2004. A year later Adam Wainwright would join Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina in 2005 which all three would end up being this generations greatest St. Louis Cardinals player dynasty combo of all the time. Now of course there will be a lot of debate about this; what about Bob Gibson, Mike Shannon and Lou Brock of the 1960’s Cardinals? There is good argument about that combo that won 2 of the 3 World Series titles that the Cardinals played in, winning all in 1964 and 67, but this current combo of Pujols, Wainwright and Yadier Molina only had one losing season together which was in 2007. In the 10 seasons from 2001 to 2011, with Albert Pujols, the three of them were involved in 7 post season, 3 World Series winning in 2006 and 2011. While Albert left the team following the 2011 season Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina led the Cardinals to the post-season 7 times and one World Series. 

Now the all 3 of them are together again which most likely be the last time we will see them playing in a Cardinals uniform.  Adam Wainwright wasn’t flashy like Bob Gibson, in fact he’s only been selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star game 3 times but his workman’s like pitching has won the hearts of many Cardinals fans around St. Louis  In his career with the Cardinals, Wainwright as won 150 and two Gold Glove Awards and has finished in the top 3 in National League Cy Young Award balloting four times during his current 17 season and he currently is second all-time behind Bob Gibson in strikes.  Yadier Molina has had a Hall of Fame career as a Catcher for the Cardinals. He’s been voted to the Major League Baseball All-Star 10 times during his 18 seasons with the club a 9-time Gold Glove winner and finished in the MVP top 5 twice in 2012 and 2013. And finally, Albert Pujols who is perhaps this generations greatest St Louis Cardinals ever being voted 9 times in the All-Star a 3-time National League MVP and is the team’s all-time record in home runs and RBI’s. It’s been an amazing run for all three of these players as they get ready to play the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the National League playoffs.  And the if this is The Last Hurrah of Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina we may never see another combination last 22 years like the one we are witnessing. I know some believe Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Paul DeJong will caring the next dynasty but it’s a tail order. So, let’s root for Pujols, Wainwright and Molina for One Last Hurrah, it’s been one Heck of a 22-year ride.


City SC Loss Its First Game of the season 1-0

St. Louis City SC suffered its first loss of the season when Minnesota United, Luis Amarilla scored on a second half penalty kick and snapped a five-match winning streak of the expansion St. Louis team, 1-0 Saturday Night. Amarilla goal came in the 78th after a questionable tripping foul committed by Kyle Hiebert. With the loss St. Louis City (5-1-0) ends with the 2nd longest winning streak to begin an expansion season. The LA Galaxy won seven straight games in their inaugural campaigns. Minnesota United goalie Dayne St. Clair finished with 3 saves to earn the clean sheet for the team, while City SC goalie Roman Burki was unable to save penalty kick on 78th minutes.

Joao Klauss was unable to score a goal and continue his record setting streak of at least one goal in his first five career matches. Meanwhile, Minnesota United matched its very own team record with its 3 straight victories on the road against the previously unbeaten St. Louist City SC which entered the match with a Major League Soccer 11 goal differential through 5 games. St. Louis City will go on the road in to playing against the Western Conference leader Seattle Sounders Saturday Night.


St. Louis Battlehawks wins big on the Road against the Roughnecks 24-15 

The Battlehawks scored a huge road win against the South Division Leader Houston Roughnecks 24-15. Battlehawks Quarterback A.J. McCarron three touchdown passes while throwing for 222 yards passes. Darrius Shepherd led the team with 7 catches for 70 and touchdown to the lead the Battlehawks receivers. Hakeem Butler had 4 catches for 27 and touchdown while Gary Jennings had 2 catches for 26 yards and one touchdown. The Defensive for the 2nd week in a row turned on another great performance. Defensive back Brandon Sebastian had the Battlehawks interception. Nate Meadors led the team with 11 total tackles while Defensive Lineman Freedom Akinmoladun and Travis Feeney both had 4 tackles and 1 sack.

With the win the Battlehawks up their record to 5-2 and two game behind the D.C. Defenders who lost their first game of the season against the Orlando Guardians 37-36. The Defenders are 6-1 and lead the North Division. The Battlehawks play their final 3 home games against the Vegas Vipers on Saturday; Seattle Sea Dragons who’ve won 5 straight games after starting 0-2 and the season finally against Orlando Saturday, April 22.


Battlehawks bounce the Vegas Vipers 29-6

The St. Louis Battlehawks bounce back from a disappointed home lost against the D.C. Defenders, by crushing the Vegas Vipers 29-6 at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.  The Battlehawks dominated the game from start to finish by scoring 17 un-answer points in the second quarter, after a slow first quarter start.  AJ McCarron completed 23 of 29 for 236 and threw 3 touchdown passes while running backs Brian Hill rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries and Kareem Walker rushed for a touchdown. The Battlehawks defense limited the Vegas to just 43 yards on 13 careers while quarterback Brett Hundley was 9 of 18 120 and one touchdown while replacing Luis Perez threw 2 interceptions.

Darrius Shepherd was AJ’s go to target, catching the ball 7 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns.  Hakeem Butler and George Campbell also played a role in the Battlehawks receiving core, with Butler hauling in 36 yards while Campbell added 54 yards. With the Victory the Battlehawks improve to 4-2 and will continue their winning ways next Saturday as they take on the Houston Roughnecks.


D.C. Defenders Gives the Battlehawks There First Home Loss of the Season

The D.C. Defenders gave The Battlehawks their first home loss in the team’s history at Dome of the America with a 28-20, Saturday Night.  The Defenders Running Back Abram Smith gave the old St. Louis Football Cardinals Fans flashback of another Washington base Football Running Back John Riggins, when he rushed for 218 yards are 3 touchdowns. One a 62-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 70 yards touchdown run in the third quarter.

Battlehawks Quarterback A.J. McCarron completed 22 of 34 and threw two touchdown passes but lost a fumble and threw a crucial interception in late in the 4th quarter that sealed the Defenders victory.

The game was also was the return of Battlehawks quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who was 12 of 18 passing and ran for 23 yards for the Defenders. Ta’amu led the Battlehawks to a 3-2 record during the 2020 season when Covid-19 caused the XFL to cancel the season. He also had short stints the with Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans.

The Defenders are in first place in the XFL North Division and are the only remaining undefeated team at 5-0. The Battlehawks are now tied with the Seattle Sea Dragons and are two games back with a 3-2 records.  The Battlehawks hold the tiebreaker over Seattle after beating them in on Week 2 and will play them which could determine the final slot for the playoffs. The Battlehawks will travel to Las Vegas to play against the Vipers at 6:00 pm.


Pro Football Still Rules in St. Louis

Major League Soccer is finally here in St. Louis, the Blues hockey, is coming towards the end of the season while the St. Louis Cardinals 2023 baseball season starts in early April. The return of the St. Louis Battlehawks confirmed that Professional Football Still Rules the city after nearly 40,000 fans turned out to see their beloved team after coronavirus pandemic shutdown the 2020 XFL season after 5 games.

Fans were treated with high excitement when their beloved Battlehawks defeated the Arlington Renegades 24-11. Sure, it’s not the NFL and the league has been brutal towards Football fans in St. Louis, but it is still in the DNA throughout the fans in St. Louis and they showed it when they set the League record with the sold-out crowd at The Dome of American in downtown St. Louis.

The Battlehawks improved to 3-1 which is impressive after starting their first three games on the road. Led by Quarterback A.J. McCarren, who was known to lead the University of Alabama Crimson Tide to two straight National Collegiate Nation title, he took less money to play in the XFL than to be a backup Quarterback in the NFL. He threw for 214 yards with 2 touchdown passes and 1 interception. Brian Hill is a local talented Running back who score a touchdown and rushed for 89 yards on 18 careers.

In the 49 year of the NFL in St. Louis, Cardinals, then the Rams two teams produced a total of 16 winning season and qualified for the playoffs 8 times.  The Cardinals played in St. Louis for 27 years and never hosted a playoff losing all three games when entering in the playoffs. The lack of commitment from both local and county leaders in building a new stadium resulted in the team to move to Arizona after the end of the 1987.

When the Rams move to St. Louis in 1995 there was a rough start after four consecutive losing seasons but, in 1999 the Rams found magic in the bottle when they won it all and beating the Tennessee Titans in St. Louis’s first Super Bowl trophy. The team would go back to the Super Bowl in 2001 but loss to the New England Patriots 20-17. Over the last nine seasons of the Rams stay in St. Louis from 2007-2015, the fans were treated with poor on the field performance and an owner Stan Kroenke, who despite saying he was going to do everything he can to keep the Rams in St. Louis, ended up moving the team to Los Angeles after the end of the 2015.

Aside from the Battlehawks fans anguish towards Stan Kroenke and the NFL, they share a passion for the love of Football of their team St. Louis. The Battlehawks didn’t move to another city but were awarded a team because the XFL tapped into the positive vibe by giving a platform to confirm to the Football critics that the sport is still number in a city that’s supposed to be a baseball town. So even if it isn’t the NFL, Pro Football still rules in St. Louis and fans are fulling embracing their team and the XFL.


How Curt Flood Changed Baseball and Sport Forever

Curt Flood was on his way to a potential Hall of Fame career, but what he would be remembered is what he did off the field which a cost him his baseball career. Born in Houston, Texas on January 18th, 1938 Flood was later raised in Oakland California where he played at the same high school as Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson which all three of them sign professional contracts with the Cincinnati Reds. Flood signed with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 and played a handful of games with the team but was to St. Louis Cardinals in December of 1957. During his 12 seasons with Cardinals, Flood started more games (1738) accumulated more than 7 Gold Gloves and was a member of three World Series appearances with team winning two of them in 1964 and 1967.

After the 1969 The Cardinals traded Curt Flood along with Tim McCarver, Byron Browne and Joe Hoerner to the Philadelphia Phillies. Flood complained when Cardinals president Gussie Busch, and CEO of team owner Anheuser-Busch, offered him $5,000, far short of the $90,000 salary which he felt he deserved after having one of his best seasons of his career. Flood refused to report to The Phillies Spring Training Camp citing the team’s poor record and their fans who had reputation of chanting racial epithets. Flood sue Major League Baseball for violations of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. In a letter the Commissioner Bowie Kuhn Flood said’

“After twelve years in the Major Leagues, I do not feel that I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes. …I believe I have the right to consider offers from other clubs before making any decisions. I, therefore, request that you make known to all of Major League clubs my feelings in this matter and advise them of my availability for the 1970 season.”

Flood’s lawsuit was defeated by the Supreme Court when the 9 judges ruled that the reserve clause was exempt from Anti-Trust Law but, it would pave the way towards free agency throughout all of the major sports from Major League Baseball, The NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Soccer. Sadly like some of the great sports figures like Muhammad Ali who was stripped of his Heavyweight Boxing title for refusing to be drafted in the Vietnam War or when Tommie Smith and John Carlos were kicked out of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City for raising the black power solute after winning there medals; Curt Flood was blackballed for refusing to play for another team without his consent to choose which team he wanted to play for, and he would never play baseball again. His contribution on the field made him one of the greatest players to play for the St. Louis Cardinals but his fight against non-competes in baseball helped build union’s collective power for athletes to the point that just before his untimely death in 1997 Congress passed The Curt Flood Act and was signed by President Bill Clinton 1998. Hopefully Flood will be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.


Will the State of Missouri Show Some love For the Battlehawks?

As the Kansas City Chiefs try to win the third Super Bowl in their franchise history on Sunday. The St. Louis Battlehawks will return after the 2020 XFL season stalled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and when Vince McMahon filed for bankruptcy only to have Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Dany Garcia led a consortium to purchase the league for $15 million dollars on August of 2020.  St. Louis was home to two NFL franchises with the Cardinals from 1960-87 and the Rams from 1995-2015. Both of those franchises combined record was below .500 which the Cardinals made 3 playoff appearance losing all three while Rams, despite their five year success from 1999 to 2004 which the team went to two Super Bowl appearances which they won it all during the 1999 season. 

Historically the State of Missouri has been owned by the Kansas City Chiefs because of a stable ownership lead by the Hunt family which is owned by Clark Hunt. Despite a very long period in which the team didn’t win the Super Bowl in 50 years until the arrival of Patrick Mahomes when they won it during the 2019 season, the state of Missouri has been filled with billboards of the Kansas City Chiefs including in St. Louis County now that region no longer have an NFL team.  When St. Louis was awarded and XFL team on December 2018 there was excitement throughout the region thanks to former Battlehawks team President Kurt Hunzeker who went to local High School Football games by team selling merchandises and making appearances on local radio and televisions stations in St. Louis. In hoping to re-energies Battlehawks fans base the team hosted a Fan Fest on January 21 on the same day the Kansas City Chiefs played their home playoff opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Close to a thousand Football fans were in attendance during The Battlehawk’s Fan Fest event which players and the coach engaged with fans as they get ready for their season opener game on the road against the San Antonio Brahmas.  So, it looks very much that the return of the Battlehawks means the team have taken over much of the St. Louis region but, as far has gaining new football fans throughout the State of Missouri is a tough task to overtake because the XFL is still viewed as a quasi-Minor League football and should Chiefs beat the Eagles on Sunday for the Super Bowl title then it will be difficult reenergize fans to watch the Battlehawks if you’re living places like Springfield, Joplin, Jefferson City or Rolla, Missouri. So, the hope for the Battlehawks in this addition to the XFL is for the team to win the League Championship. The good news is The Battlehawks home opener against the Arlington Renegades is expected to be a sellout so that’s a very good start and good impression for Football in the Eastern Region in Missouri. But, winning the League Championship would add something unique in St. Louis which would have both Super Bowl title that was won by the Rams and XFL title won by the Battlehawks.


Chicago Bears moving to St. Louis? No Thank You

The Chicago Bears are in negotiation to close a deal in a new stadium to purchase land in Arlington Heights, Illinois.  The Bears moves to play in the suburbs sound very familiar to what Inglewood California did when Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchase land to build SoFi Stadium which led to his franchise to move his team to move out of St. Louis in 2016 and the Chargers to leave San Diego in 2017.  The Bears have been playing at Soldier Field since 1971 which currently pay nearly $6.5 million a year under their current lease but stadium will turn 100 years old in 2024 and have seen there its best years. So, what if the team can’t find a place to build an NFL stadium around the Chicago area since some politicians aren’t thrilled about the team building a new stadium in Arlington Heights, according the Chicago Sun Teams. So that means that the Bears will move to St. Louis, right? Wrong and it’s shouldn’t happen.

Despite what Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Todd Maisch told the Chicago Sun Times, “I think it needs to happen by the end of this session. If not, you’re going to start to have other states make their cases on why the Bears should be the St. Louis Bears.” St. Louis shouldn’t except another NFL transplant team from another city, we went through that when the Cardinals played in St. Louis from 1960-1987 after the team relocated from Chicago and the Rams played from 1995-2016 only to move back to Los Angeles.  The XFL is returning to St. Louis in 2023 and I can hardly wait for the first game to be played on March 12th at The Dome. Sure, it would be great to have another NFL team but I rather for the city of St. Louis be awarded an expansion team, something that it’s originally from St. Louis, not from another city. So, thanks for the idea the Bears moving to St. Louis but NO THANK YOU stay in Chicago.


U.S.A. Eliminated From the World Cup after losing to the Netherlands 3-1

The U.S. Men’s National Team loss to the Netherlands 3-1 in the Round of 16 to which finished the teams run for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. started well in the first 10 minutes of the game when Christian Pulisic nearly scored a goal from a nice pass from midfielder Weston McKennie won the ball at the Dutch penalty area. But quickly struck back when Memphis Depay scored the first goal after the team were decisive in their counterattack and a string of passes that cracked the U.S. side defense to give The Netherlands lead.  It was the first goal allowed by the U.S. in opening play of the tournament.

The U.S. fought back but struggle to create chances as the Dutch stoop up against the young aggressive trio of Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic who put a valent effort. The U.S. gave up and another devastating goal when Daley Blind scored with less than a minute of the first half to give The Netherlands a 2-0 lead. Haji Wright who sub in the 65th minute of the match scored a brilliant backheel goal in the 76th minute to cut the lead to 2-1 but Denzel Dumfries ended U.S. hopes when he scored on the 81th minute to seal the 3-1 victory for The Netherlands. The U.S. had more shots on goal but The Netherlands but, the lack of a proven goal scorer from the number the nine-position cost the Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s who may have coached his last game as he contemplates coaching a soccer club in Europe.

While majority of the players will be back for the 2026 World Cup which will be in the United States, players such as Tim Ream who’s 35, Walker Zimmerman, Jordan Morris, Aaron Long and Sean Johnson will most likely won’t be back with U.S. National team. Since the U.S. along with Canada and Mexico will host the 2026 World Cup which means they don’t have to qualified for the World Cup, the team will have to play many International Friendly Matches, so they can be prepared and more established when they have to play against the likes of The Netherlands, France, Croatia, England, Germany, Spain, Brazil and Argentina. Whether it’s Berhalter or someone else who coaches this team, many Americans expect the team to be one of the favorites to win the World Cup in 2026.


U.S. Men’s National Team advance with a 1-0 Win over Iran

U.S. Men’s National Team survived a 100-minute match by earning a 1-0 victory of Iran and clinched their ticket into the knockout round of the 2022 World Cup Soccer tournament. Christian Pulisic score on the 37 min of the match to give U.S a 1-0 lead but in doing so he was injured and suffered an abdominal pelvic contusion. The USMNT are hoping Pulisic is ready to play on Saturday along with Josh Sargent, who was also injured early in the second half of the game, when the play against Netherlands.

The pressure of getting out of the group stage of the World Cup was heavy on U.S. Coach Gregg Berhalter’s side after the team failed to make it in 2018, but the team were able to get it down with three drag out group performances. Perhaps the biggest question during the World Cup that will be talked about is why has the talented Gio Reyna played minimal minutes against in this tournament and will he get to play this Saturday against the Netherland? There is some talk that there is tension between Coach Berhalter and Gio Reyna over his fitness and lack of playing time. And will Jesus Ferreira get to start this Saturday at the striker position if Josh Sargent is not able to play this weekend? We won’t know until game time but if the two talented players aren’t apart of the lineup this there will be many questions in regard to Coach Berhalter’s roster decision. This will be the sixth time the U.S. has advance to the knockout in the World Cup when they play Saturday against The Dutch who ranked 8th in the FIFA soccer rankings.