Category: Dailies

been a while

sorry folks.  It’s been too long since I’ve blogged.  Reason’s why:

none really.  just got lazy.

In my attempts to jump start this blog, we will begin with the trade deadline, currently about 16 hours away. 

Teixiera to Atlanta means that  ATL is now the NL east frontrunner.  Doesn’t matter that they are not in first place.  They will be in two weeks.  The Mets need to address their outfield issues, mainly an injured Carlos Beltran.  He’s been an enigma all season and now he’s hurt.  Mets are in big trouble if they cannot get this guy healthy in a hurry.

The Cubs look good.  Really good.  I mean, REALLY good.  Sure they lost today, but still.  The NL Central will start to get tough, especially if my Cardinals start playing like they did this weekend: with a lot of guts.  Problem is: they have severe pitching issues.  I think the Cardinals need to make a move and make a move for an older veteran.  Why?  The rotation needs stability and a calming influence, and maybe that’s a move to get Matt Morris back in the rotation.  I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but with the Giants in last place, they may look to get some younger players since their roster is so old.  That could mean someone like Kelvin Jimenez and Blake Hawksworth may get moved.  Or a non-pitcher like Joe Mather, or one of the many infielders in Memphis.  The Giants’ youngest infielder is 25, but the next youngest is 32, with the remaining over 35.  That team NEEDS to get younger and the Cards have plenty of youth in the minors.  The question becomes: how good are they?  Brendan Ryan seems untouchable, but the rest are up for grabs.  Not sure what that says.

Either way, the Cardinals need to make a move to say something to the fans.  Either they are in for the haul or they are bowing out.  If they choose the latter, my guess is that Encarnacion and Miles might be on the market, with the potential of Ankiel and Ryan getting the opportunity to stay up the remainder of the season.  That’s the only way Ankiel is coming up: if he stays up.  They need to see what they have with him at the big league level.  Sorry Rick, but there is little time to keep playing around with you.  Either you are going to be here or not. 

Part of me hopes you come up, make a splash, and leave the organization.  It would probably be best for both sides to move on.

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U G L Y in S T L

In what has been a rough week for Cardinals Nation, something very funny happened, and it really had little to do with baseball.   Rep. Shimkus (R-Il) decided it was a good idea to compare the Iraq War strategy to a Cards/Cubs game.  That was histerical! 

What a dope.   I’ve never agreed with the sports/war comparisons, since one is for entertainment and the other requires people suiting up to kill people in the name of something, whether it be Christianity, Islam, USA, or Earth (got to love Star Trek).   He really did his best Derrek Lee impersonation to try a stretch like that, but ended up the same way I would have: flat on his face eating dirt.  Putz.

Worst part about it is that people are outraged over the whole thing.  What he said was stupid and had no relevance when talking about an unjust war, but seriously people, there is no need to ask for him to resign or even apologize.  What he said didn’t hurt anyone or anything other than his own reputation.  But again, he’s a congressman.  He doesn’t have much of a rep anymore anyway.

On to baseball…

 

As many know, the Cardinals lost a member of the team in a tragic way.  In the efforts of not going into it too much, let me just say that what he did was dumb, and it cost him his life.   We now know that he was quite drunk and had weed on him, which doesn’t mean he smoked it, just had it.  This is not the same as losing Kile back in 2002, when he died suddenly in his room of a heart attack at age 33, where incidentally, pot was found.  There is little to know explanation for something like that.  In this case, there is a reason things happened, and it’s obvious and sad.  I hope everyone, not just players, remember what happened to Josh that night and never pass on a cab when offered.  There is a reason they are offering.

LaRussa really ticked me off with trying to attack the media pre-emptively, talking about an agenda.  First off, the media always has an agenda: to report the news.  Every day we hear about people dying because of drunk driving accidents, shootings, and fires.  Why should a situation where this happens to a member of a prominent community organization NOT be covered in the same way, if not more so?  That doesn’t make sense.  Sure, you are people like everyone else, but you sure don’t get paid like everyone else to do your job.  You work in Entertainment, which means you are in the public eye, and because of that, you live a public life, regardless of your desire to do so or not.  No one is making you be in the public eye to begin with.  It’s your choice, and with choice comes responsibility.  And you, just like politicians and movie stars, make a choice to be where you are.  It’s part of the territory.

Let’s really talk baseball now, shall we?  Sorry to get on a pulpit and all, but hey, it’s my blog and I can if I want.

The Cardinals got swept in Milwaukee.  Four points:
1) I said it before and I will say it again: there is not enough new blood in the lineup to get this thing going.  Not enough was done in the offseason to get a big-ticket player.  What’s the gamble? You won it all last year, so winning again in a bonus, basically.  Make the big move and show that you are trying.  I got the impression this offseason that they were going to be satisfied with winning last year.  I don’t blame them.  I’m satisfied too.  That’s my own dilemma, though.
2) The pitchers are going to start suffering if the offense does not get it going.  I think the only one who isn’t suffering from no offensive support is Looper, and that is not going to last long.
3) Wainright is putting too much pressure on himself and his curve is flattening out, which is why hes getting hammered.  he just needs to relax and pick Reyes’ brain on how to stay levelheaded on the mound.
4) The Brewers are for real.  I know the Cardinals have been distracted, but the Brew Crew is back and they are currently the team to beat in the NL Central.  They will need a big bat at or before the deadline to make them a real NL contender.

the Yankees have a clubhouse issue, and I am not talking about personalities.  They need to let their athletic training people go, given all the hamstring injuries.  That’s not okay.  They’ve pulled more hammies than ESPN’s hourly broadcast of Ken Griffey Jr’s injury.

Carpenter now is going to undergo surgery for his elbow and will be out 3 months.  What’s the point anymore.  I’m writing this season off until I am given a reason to reverse that.  That’s okay, though.  The team, the city, and fans got our championship last year when we really shouldn’t have.  I’m willing to start focusing on next year, even though it’s barely May. 

Nah, I’ll keep rooting for them and blogging about the season.  What else can I do?

Cards – Cubs, part 1

Watched the game on TV today.  It’s been a few days really since I saw an entire game due to work-related good times.  I was fiending.

Single biggest play of the game was Rolen’s pop-up with Dunc and Albert on first and third, no outs in the eighth.  Rolen gets a hit there or ties the game, I think the Cards win the game.  Yes, Chicago scored in the ninth, but Izzy would have been in to seal the deal.  It was a great pitch, just above Rolen’s hands, which is his weakness.

Yadi pulled an Aramis R. and watched his honron too long.  Both probably deserved being plunked the next time, especially given the managers involved.  Aramis has at least earned some of the ability to stare.  Yadi, still got a few more homers for you can get a pass.

Marquis looks like the Marquis of 2004.  Tough, a bit arrogant in a good way, sinker was down and got a lot of ground balls.  Good for him, bad for the Cards.  Cards have now lost every game against an ex-pitcher.  Isn’t it like seeing the ex-girlfriend that wasn’t "smart enough for you" now graduating from law school and marrying the guy you hated, all while you are still toiling around, playing video games?  Where’s Jeff Weaver when you need a moment with that desperate ex just to make you feel better about yourself?

I’m not sure what to make of Reyes.  He made it out of the first two innings, which has been his trouble spots, but then he got tagged for 4 in what were his best innings.  Too many pitches, too many long counts.  I like his high-riding heater, but he needs something down to really make that effective.  The changeup was not there tonight and he’s relying on it too much as it is.  His sinker in conjunction wiht the high heat could be killer and Yadi needs to force the issue.

TLR should not have taken Edmonds out.  Percentages be darned.  He needs to earn his keep and those are the situations where he does it.  If the pitches were the same, Edmonds rakes the first high slider into right to tie the game.

Best part of the game: the sock display. 
Worst part: still too many goatees.

Dunc’s new nickname

After seeing a picture of Chris Duncan’s head after splitting it open, his new nickname is "Friar", given the now-bald circle left on his head.

Ol’ Friar dinged his head, missed his start, but hit a pinch double in the 8th.  Oh those monks always seem to come through!

eek.

Ended up getting tickets for the game today.  Boss gave them to me and some coworkers joined.

I should have known the Cards were going to lose: Gunz came.  As we left the game, he reminded me that he is 2-12 in his last 14 Cards games, one of which at Wrigley.  (I may hate the place as a building and the fans and the bathrooms and the seats, but I’ll still see a game there.  It’s a national landmark!  And it’s good to make fun of Cubs fans after they lose.  You’d think they’d be used to it by now.  I digress.)

We made our way downtown and, when our sources advised that it was going to rain before the game started, we decided to get some grub.  We ended up at An American Place, on Washington and 9th.  Nice place, but too much like a hotel lobby.  A very nice, hotel lobby.  In fact, it was the hotel lobby.  The place we thought was the restaurant was actually the lounge, and the restaurant was really part of the lobby.  The food was good, a bit pricy, but that’s okay, we were entertaining coworkers so it was free.  Good times.  Everything was good, but I would stay away from the chocolate cake, unless you want a piece the size of a KitKat bar.  For $8, there should have been a big slice of cake with a pint of ice cream on the side, not a spoon roll.

We made our way to the game around the 2nd inning, Cincy up 2-zip already.  Never a good sign, but hey, it’s still early.  Score stays the same until Griffey homered.  After I found out that Griffey moved into 10th all-time, I was mad that the Cardinals didn’t make a bigger deal about it.  He deserves the recognition.  He’s earned it the real way, suffering through serious injuries and still being one of the better players.  He used to be the best.  But you can still trust that he’s clean: he’s still as skinny as ever.  And his hammy is probably about to explode again.

After Encarnacion hit the three-run homer – his second of the night – the game was over.  We kept ourselves entertained by wanting to flick rubber bands at someone’s nasty bare feet hanging over our head.  Seriously, the bottoms of their feet are yellow!  Really gross, but we couldn’t stop laughing.  Got to love Cards fans: they sure make themselves at home.

the other two guys are European, so we spent some time explaining the game to them.  They tuned us out pretty quickly.  The beer was wearing off apparently. 

Anyway, Cards lost, Gunz and I can never go to games together again because his bad karma trumps my good karma, I found a garage cheaper than Macy’s ($3 instead of $5, which is still a bargain for being a long block from the stadium), and us fans are left to place our bets on which star will carry this team until the rest of them wake up and smell the freshly cut grass.

The rain may buy us a day before we roll the wheel.

Opening day…of sorts

I thought it was time to go big time.  If reality television has taught me anything, it’s that any idiot  can be famous.  It is now time that I am that idiot.

I’ve been a Cardinals fan my whole life.  There are pictures of me when I was six months old, 250 pounds, wearing my baseball outfit.  But you won’t see them unless you can find the lock and key.

My first Cardinals game was for my 8th birthday.  The Cardinals won 10-2 with a grand slam from #19, Tom Pagnozzi.  My favorite player was Ozzie Smith.  My dad and I used to wait hours to meet him, and every time, the signing would be over before we could meet him.  I finally met him a few years ago, but it took me being at the airport at 5:30 am, getting ready for a flight to Hawaii.  He’s a nice guy, which really made all the waiting worth it.

Now, we begin with the point of this blog, to give my thoughts on the Cardinals and anything else I want to talk about.

My thoughts on the Cardinals/Cubs games:

1) The Cardinals fans were just as loud today at Wrigley as the Cubs fans.  Always a good thing.
2) The goatees have to go. 
3) The Cubs can spend all the money they want.  Until they do these things, they will never win a championship on the North Side:

  • Get a new stadium.  Wrigley [stinks].  The seats are too small, the sight lines are ****.  The wind plays into the game too much.  It’s crumbling and you’d think it was snow falling in July from the breaking cement.
  • Day games [stink].  That’s right, I said it.  They [stink].  Join the rest of us in the new century and start playing more games at night.  You will attract better players who enjoy night life and can sleep all day.  The best guys want to have a night life and don’t want to be in bed by 10.
  • Don’t spend money on guys who have never played certain positions and don’t want to.  That’s how you introduce bad team chemistry.  Chemistry isn’t everything, but when things are bad, good chemistry will keep the team from imploding.

4) Albert needed to get mad before he broke out.  It’s on now.
5) I think the same for Rolen.  He’s usually pretty even keel, but I’m sure he made Cubs fans even more upset with him for not signing with them when he had the chance.  See bullet 2 for his reasoning.  Except he just likes to sleep in.  I bet he gets really bad sunburns too.
6) This team will not win the division if Carpenter is not healthy.  Too much stability lost without him there. 
7) The team did an injustice by not making a major off-season move.  Everyone will be out to get them and they did not make themselves better.  They kept themselves right where they were, which is where they were when they were below .500 after the All-Star Break.  Injuries included, because Jimmy isn’t playing like he was in the first half last year and Eckstein hasn’t hit his stride.

And more baseball rants:
1) I am now officially a fan of the Yanks-Sox rivalry.   Why?  After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that instead of being an "east coast bias" thing, it’s really more about two really good teams that want to beat the **** out of each other.  And when players jump ship to the other side, the fans treat it like wresting tag team partners breaking up mid-match and one ends up having a chair smashed on his head.
2) Alex Rodriguez is a freak.  He will not only match the home run record, which may be Bonds’ or Aaron’s or Oh’s, but he will demolish it.  I’m estimating 1000 home runs by the time he retires.  And he will win multiple championships.  And he will win one single-handedly. 
3) Manny is actually Lil Jon.  I saw him snapping his fingers and staring while he was standing in left field.
4) The Yanks-Sox rivalry could not be as good if there was a salary cap.  But it is also the reason Royals/Twins games aren’t as good as they could be.
5) Did some replace JD Drew with his brother?  He hasn’t slipped on a stairwell yet.
6) Roger Clemens is going to shock the world and sign with his old team…the Blue Jays.  He said he only wants to pitch for teams for whom he had already pitched, and he could pitch in NY and Boston a lot if he goes to Toronto, and then he doesn’t have the pressure and he’d still be the man.  And they are a really good team.  If he did that and joined Halladay, the East would be over and the Blue Jays would be the team to beat.  I should contact his agent and tell him my plan to begin Canadian domination.
7) Someone, somewhere, is calling him "Milky" Cabrera.
8) Pete Rose should never be allowed in the Hall.  Gambling on games that you can determine the outcome is the biggest no-no in sports and should not be tolerated.  If you want to argue about it being a disease or whatever, I don’t buy it in this case.  Or that other bad people are in the Hall and we shouldn’t be moralists, let me add that I do not feel that an individual player’s racism and the ability of a manager to change the outcome of a game because he’s got money on it are on the same level.  Being a racist didn’t break the game’s rules (unfortunately, I may add, and it was encouraged for some time), but gambling on baseball does.  So to heck with him and his supporters.  If you support his addition to the Hall, then you support terrorism.  (Hey, it worked for Bush…)

Final thought:

Nuke your store-bought chocolate chip cookies before enjoying with some ice cold milk.  It truly is one of the miracles of the world.

Cheers.

p.s. A quick thank-you to my muse, Alyssa Milano.  If you can do this, I can too.