With the official start of spring fast approaching, here are five things I believe:
1. Craig Berube is the man. When he was hired, very few of us thought he was going to be anything but a quick stopgap until the Blues get Joel Quenneville. I’m not saying the Blues won’t talk to Coach Q. I am saying they may have something special with Berube. He’s not Ken Hitchcock in a press conference; however, he is genuine, tough, and holds each and every player accountable. It reminds me of the Charlie Spoonhour press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach at UNLV. UNLV had tried to get Rick Pitino first. Charlie came to the podium and said, “I know I wasn’t their first choice, but I wasn’t my wife’s either.” Maybe Berube isn’t the first choice, but he may end up being the right choice.
2. We’re a great golfing community. Nobody does a better job than the Metropolitan Golf Association at putting on big-time events, the junior programs are outstanding, and the teaching pros are some of the best in the country. That’s why it’s absolutely amazing that when Adam Long won the Desert Classic in January, he was the first St. Louis kid, raised on this side of the river, to win a PGA Tour event. Think about the number of hockey, baseball, basketball and football players we churn out, and yet none until 2019 have ever won on tour. Maybe the trend is changing. We have some really good players on the way up, including Scott Langley, who played very well at Pebble Beach.
3. I think the most intriguing Cardinals story of 2019 will be Alex Reyes. I believe that of all the people in the organization, the one with the most ability is Reyes. He’s just been unlucky with injuries. We don’t really discuss him because he hasn’t pitched really in two years. However, his talent is breathtaking. If the Cardinals were to get 25 starts out of him, watch out. The entire staff has a chance to be really good – Reyes has a chance to be special.
4. The NCAA coming down hard on Mizzou sends the wrong message. I do agree Mizzou is not without blame. Twelve athletes had a rogue tutor do academic work with them. However, Mizzou completely cooperated with the NCAA and still got nailed with scholarship reductions, recruiting restrictions and no postseason games. North Carolina got nothing, and its infraction lasted a lot longer and involved hundreds of athletes. Mizzou is right to fight this ruling.
5. This has been a strange winter for me. It’s the first time in 21 years where I didn’t have a child playing basketball. We started with Alex at age 5, then Brooke and then Dom. I coached about 500 games of each of the three kids. Then, when they got to high school, I sometimes broke the speed limit so I wouldn’t miss a game. They gravitated toward other sports in college. But I contend there’s nothing like a high school game on a cold night with a packed house inside and a great rivalry on the floor. I go to games now to get some video for a newscast, but it’s not quite the same. I wish I could do it all over again. Being a father and watching your kids play is just awesome. Moms and dads, don’t ever take it for granted!
Frank Cusumano is a 17-time Emmy Award-winner on KSDK-TV; he also hosts The Pressbox on The All New 590 the Fan from 10 a.m. to noon each weekday and contributes to The Dave Glover Show on FM NewsTalk 97.1. Follow him on Twitter @frank_cusumano.