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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • State of the Union: Mo. pro sports

  • It's been a heckuva ride this offseason for both Missouri NFL franchises. MLB spring training has both Cardinals and Royals fans drooling for opening day. In St. Louis, the Blues hockey club started 6-1 when the season finally began in January, but has since fizzled into a sub-par squad. Here's a glance at what each team has done to-date.
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  • It's been a heckuva ride this offseason for both Missouri NFL franchises. MLB spring training has both Cardinals and Royals fans drooling for opening day. In St. Louis, the Blues hockey club started 6-1 when the season finally began in January, but has since fizzled into a sub-par squad. Here's a glance at what each team has done to-date.
    NHL
    St. Louis Blues
    Since beginning the season with a string of six wins in seven games, the Blues have yet to construct a wining streak of more than three games (Feb. 13-17 and March 12-16). With an overall record now up to 16-11, the Blues are behind only Chicago in the Central Western Conference but trail 51-34. Much of the team's success can be attributed to right wing Chris Stewart, who was recently named the NHL's First Star of the Week. Stewart led the league with seven points – including five goals and two game-winners. The Blues leader finished with his first multi-goal performance since Jan. 19 against the San Jose Sharks on March 12. He is the current Blues leading scorer with 14 goals and 28 total points. However, the right wing's counterparts David Perron and Alexander Steen must boost Stewart for the squad to make a run at the playoffs.
    MLB
    Kansas City Royals
    A youthful roster has carried the Royals since training camp began Feb. 22. Impressive hitting from veterans and youngsters has Kansas City off to a 19-6-1 Cactus League record. Third baseman Mike Moustakas has a batting average of .460 through 50 at-bats. Add to that six extra-base hits and four home runs and Moose has developed nicely since becoming a full-time starter a season ago. Veterans Alex Gordon and Billy Butler have averages of .458 and .308, respectively. Pitching has also seen a drastic change. The current starting rotation has moved Bruce Chen to the fifth spot while Wade Davis and James Shields have moved to the top of the list. Royals' starters combine for an ERA of 3.10 in 53 1/3 innings and have allowed 47 hits. Expect the rotation to change throughout the remainder of spring training until Yost is satisfied.
    St. Louis Cardinals
    As the Cardinals attempt to figure out its pitching situation, the team's batting has certainly been an upside. First baseman Matt Carpenter leads Red Birds with at least 45 at-bats with a .327 average, which includes seven doubles and a triple. Other starters have displayed respectable performances at the plate such as second baseman Daniel Descalso and shortstop Pete Kozma who have a combined 30 hits in 93 at-bats. The potential rotation has a solid ERA of 4.40 in 68.1 innings pitched, something manager Mike Matheny will look to correct in the remaining handful of spring training. An overall record of 11-11-1 suggests St. Louis may have to learn its winning ways of last season again in 2013. but it's only spring training.
    Page 2 of 2 - NFL
    Kansas City Chiefs
    What an offseason it's been. Acquiring new players, including former 49ers QB Alex Smith and former Dolphins CB Sean Smith – both considered top-notch market contenders. Add to that a handful of talent at TE, OL, DL, and S and new coach Andy Reid is ready to win now. It will be no easy task to turn a 2-14 team into a playoff hopeful, but if anyone can, it's Reid. The former Philadelphia Eagles coach went from 5-11 in '99 to 11-5 in '00, and from 6-10 in '05 to 10-6 in '06. As for April's draft, several mocks predict the Chiefs will take an OT with the first-overall pick. But with OL Branden Albert signing his franchise tender, Kansas City may be thinking otherwise by paying visits to several top DL and ILB. The team won't rule out a trade to acquire more picks either. Who knows what might happen?
    St. Louis Rams
    Well, Rams fans got what they wanted when the team signed OL Jake Long to a four-year $34 million contract March 18. St. Louis also added TE Jared Cook from the Titans. However, losing RB Stephen Jackson to Atlanta and WR Danny Amendola to New England may be costly for the offense. The depth chart seems bare at this point but the draft, which is loaded with depth, is just around the corner. Defensively, the Rams should compete with the best of the NFC West. A scrappy CB in Cortland Finnegan, a crafty LB in James Laurinaitis, and a high-motor DE in Chris Long should move into the upper echelon of the 32-team league. Look for the Rams to load up on offensive talent, starting with WR Cordarrelle Patterson in round one.

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