I recently spoke with Evan Makovsky, a local radio show host, about the recent Hall of Fame results and the Cardinals as they stand at this point with just a few weeks to go before pitchers and catchers report. Here’s what he had to say.
Steve Hirsch: Are you surprised that no one was elected to the Hall of Fame and do you think we will have the same results next year in 2014?
Evan Makovsky: I don’t think we will have the same results next year when guys like Frank Thomas are on the ballot but as far as this year goes, I wasn’t expecting zero people to get in. I thought Jack Morris had a strong chance, but considering the PED class, a statement was obviosuly made, and I think that hurt the chances of others on the ballot.
SH: Is the fact that no one got in bad for baseball or does it not make a difference?
EM: I think it’s a referendum on the steroid era where everyone is saying, ‘OK: The greatest pitcher and hitter of their generation aren’t in the Hall of Fame.’ So, it’s really an indictment of the sport as far as what went on when they played and what people believed was authentic and what wasn’t.
SH: What do you make of Mark McGwire dropping down to just 17% of the vote as opposed to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens who received around 35%.
EM: It’s pretty simple: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were better players than Mark McGwire.
SH: As the Cardinals seem to be done making major moves this offseason, do you think their lack of depth up the middle will hurt them throughout the season?
EM: It’s hard to say. This has kind of been the Cardinals formula – not making high-profile moves…and producing from within. It was time for them to part ways with Skip Schumaker. It looks like they’re going to go with Daniel Descalso at second base. It looks like Rafael Furcal is going to be OK at shortstop, you hope. Pete Kozma struggled in the N.L.C.S. series against the San Francisco Giants but he certainly looked good coming up at the end of the season…It’s definitely a fragile situation, but this is kind of their methodology with the way they go about things. They don’t go out and sign big-profile free agents or make big-time trades, but I guess we’ll see how it works out.
SH: Are you surprised that Kyle Lohse is still an unsigned free agent?
EM: Particularly since Greinke signed so quickly, I guess I am a little surprised that Lohse is an unsigned free agent and I have no idea where he’ll end up, but it appears conclusive that he won’t be a St. Louis Cardinal next season.
SH: What do you make of the Texas Rangers signing Lance Berkman?
EM: I think it’s good for him, because he can be a DH. He only played 32 games for the Cardinals last year but it obviously panned out for him, defined by the clutch hit in game six with two strikes against him. He had a great 2011, he was just hurt in 2012. I don’t think it’s that big of a loss for the Cardinals and with the kind of money he’ll be making, it kind of makes sense for him at this point since he was weighing retirement at the same time.
SH: Do you think the Cardinals will try to extend Adam Wainwright’s contract sometime in the near future?
EM: Without knowing the inner workings of the situation, I think both sides would like to come to an agreement and have intentions of doing so. I believe Wainwright is happy here and that he wants to stay with the Cardinals. Obviously there’s a business aspect so if they can’t meet eye to eye on a business point, then that’s another issue. But i have a feeling that they will get it done.
Evan Makovsky (@followemak) is the host of “The E-Mak Show,” which airs on weekdays from 6AM-9AM on Sports Radio 1380AM in St. Louis.