Dann Bilardello on the State of the Muckdogs

The manager of the St. Louis Cardinals short-season Class-A affiliate discusses his 2012 club.

After 22 games, the 2012 edition of the short-season Class-A Batavia Muckdogs had a 14-8 record, including an eight-game winning streak. Prior to Wednesday night's game at Hudson Valley, third-year manager Dann Bilardello sat down to discuss how the 2012 edition of his club has come together.

Given his club leads the New York-Penn League in batting average (.273), on-base percentage, slugging, OPS as well as ERA (2.60) and the fewest walks issued (42), I'd say the short answer is "pretty good".

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Bilardello indicating frustration

Despite all the recent success, nothing ever goes perfectly or can be taken for granted. For example, on Wednesday, Bilardello had three separate disputes with the two-man umpiring crew.

This photo captures the second - a discussion about an interference play the umpire admitted he did not see. The first was on a catch/trapped ball by centerfielder Matthew Young in the second inning during which the home plate arbiter was overruled by the ump closer to the play.

The final beef was after a stolen base in the eighth inning in which the Hudson Valley runner looked to be out, but was called safe. Had he not been stranded, it would have been the tying run in what became the Muckdogs' ninth consecutive victory and 15th win overall, 4-2.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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