Thursday, June 30, 2005

I Knew It

I have something to admit. I'm psychic. Unfortunately, it only applies to baseball, rather than stock picks or lottery numbers. Last year, I was near perfect in calling home runs. This season it's taken a little longer to get into the groove. But witness:
Perhaps it's best you miss the beginning of tomorrow's game. You won't have to witness the ugliness of the many, many Reds miscues.
which I said to RHM after Tuesday's game. And what happened? A badly misplayed ball by the Reds' centerfielder to give Sanders a double and two errors by the Reds' shortstop in the 2nd essentially cemented the Redbird's win. Never you mind that I said Eckstein and Morris would hit home runs.

How about Larry Walker? He needs an injection every week if this is what he does afterwards. Unnecessary curtain calls aside, that was a fun game. Mo was good (aside from the titanic OMHR), Reggie continued on his march towards 300/300. Yadi played first base and that is funny.

Today is the 100th anniversary of Moonlight Graham's only Major League appearance. Celebrate by visiting Baseball Reference's "Cup of Coffee" page to see those ball players who realized their dream, if only for a moment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Summer In The City

It's very hot (98 heat index), but Matty's used to the St. Louis weather.

I'd like to see someone try to take on Ray King. They'd get a slider somewhere painful, toot sweet.

Oh, yeah, the number of comments is still screwy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

No Pickles

RHM has her cute/wishful thinking story up. I know I said the sky was falling, but I was 99% kidding. And yeah, we've been made fun of before. Nuthin' doin', RHM. Which is exactly what will happen to the Reds tonight. Every top half of every inning: nuthin' doin'.

By the way, the # of comments is screwed up, it's a haloscan thing, they're upgrading servers. The comments are there, the number's just wrong.

Choose or Lose

Lee is creeping up on Albert. Lee is having a monster season, and he's going to be in the game no matter what, but I want Pujols to be the NL's leading vote-getter -- just because I'm petty and don't like the Cubs. Looks like Rolen and Edmonds are pretty safe and Eckstein is close to Izturis (thank goodness that silly Neifi campaign collapsed faster than Gary Hart's), Grudzielanek is way behind Kent. Yadi's in fifth among catchers, pretty good for his first full season. Why some people continue to vote for Piazza, I'll never understand.

Dontrelle Willis is really cool:
"I don't know, man. It would be a very huge honor considering that our manager is not the [NL] manager. I mean, honestly I would start one of his [La Russa's] guys. They have a couple of guys who are throwing the ball well, like [Matt] Morris. So if I made the team, I would want him to start one of his guys, to be honest."

--Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis, on being considered to start the All-Star game (

"I won't be mad at all. How can you be upset at an All-Star Game?"
--Willis, on how he'd feel if he wasn't chosen to start

The P-D and Miami Herald (might hafta register), too. Kid's got his head on straight.

Mulder wonders what the hell is wrong. Welcome to the club, Mark. Duncan thinks, "...the changes will come quickly." Which is nice to hear, though I'm not holding my breath. lboros makes me sad. CardNilly has his usual good preview up.

You know, I'm getting pretty tired of seeing Claussen. Why can't Milton pitch against the Cardinals? Watch me bitch and moan about Mulder to Red Hot Mama tonight.

Oooh, ooh. I just checked my email, and I got the Good Sports Recordings email, too! I have been curious about this CD since I first heard about it -- and the clips (this opens an mp3) sound great. Ozzie sings "Cupid" (you can never go wrong with Sam Cooke). Plus, some of the proceeds go to very deserving charities. There's a little something for everybody (and there's a DVD).

Monday, June 27, 2005

"Utilityman" Is On The TiVo

And "Family Guy" and "Prime Suspect" were on. Made the evening much more bearable.

Scott has a very nice post about Cedeno at CardNilly. Over at VEB, SirVLCIV looked at the consequences of pulling a pitcher too late. Marquis says all the right things, but that's now two starters who have admitted to not feeling right all year. Yadi absolutely owns Pirate pitchers (base runners and batters, too, especially if they're stealing signs).Which is why I didn't understand why he bunted (or tried to) twice Sunday. I question that far more than having Walker pinch hit. Dan at Get Up is getting into the minor leagues, which is good. This year was the first I've ever paid the slightest attention to the draft, and I'm eager to see how these kids do. In a similar vein, the boys over at Scout have a weekly mailbag going with Springfield's Cody Haerther. If you don't already-check out their daily Cards In The News, as well (though I think that link's only good for Sunday-here's the main page). Gibby took down #45. One of these days I'm going to look into Cardinal fans' propensity for giving players nicknames that end in "ee" sounds. I'm afraid someone's going to call Pujols "Albie" and it will catch on.

Off day game: Grudzielank signed a one-year deal (and I believe part of the deal is that the Cardinals cannot offer arbitration). Who should play second base? Re-sign Grudz before the end of the season or go after someone else?

Sunday, June 26, 2005


That was awful. Marquis has a decent game and the team can't get a run across with the bases loaded and no one out. Or they pop up behind the plate twice with the winning run on third. Or they look like little leaguers on the base paths.

Terrible, terrible, terrible game. I'm not going to think about it anymore. And there's an off day tomorrow, too.

Carpenter was awesome yesterday, though.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hot Soup, Comin' Through

Bonus points if you know what that's from.

Back on May 18th, I said, "He'll never pitch a no hitter..." in the comments regarding a crappy outing from Suppan. Maybe not, but he came damn close to a CGSO until he tired a bit in the ninth. After the game, he said he wasn't thinking about the three previous starts. But, come on. He knew what winning this game meant to the club. He certainly can rise to the occasion, can't he? So, Jimmy, and Yadi helped quite a bit.

Deuces Wild:
2 2-run home runs from Jimmy
2 home runs from Taguchi (he almost had a third)
2 hits from Rolen
2 hits allowed by Suppan through eight innings
2 Double Plays turned
2 Walks (Pujols, Suppan)
Double by Suppan
2 batters HBP

Roger's gone, Cali's up, Flores DL'd. Seabol sent down, Luna called up. I really liked Seabol and I hope he comes back soon.

Friday, June 24, 2005

New Game Time

7:40 CDT, due to the giant explosion in the city this afternoon. No, the black cloud hanging over downtown was not because of the baseball team.

Let's Play a Game

Last night Bernie Miklasz posted this:
Kind of interesting and kind of strange...

after the game La Russa and Ducan had a closed-door meeting in TLR's office with assistant GM John Mozeliak.

Not sure what the hell that was all about.

Now, they could be talking about a trade deadline wish list. Perhaps there's a trade involving pitching coming up. Or, this could be just a normal, weekly meeting; Walt's in Memphis, so Mozeliak is filling in. Put on your tin foil hats -- anyone got any theories?

Thursday, June 23, 2005


There's not really much good to say about this game and I don't want to delve into the bad. Albert hit a home run. There was a nice play at the plate. Scotty got a hit. But really, it was an all-around ugly game. Errors abounded, spotty pitching, going against an S.T.L., a crappy strike zone, etc. Sure, the ninth was pretty exciting for a bit. But ultimately a case of too little too late.

Anytime a team gives up seven unearned's bad.


Why didn't I think of this last night? I should have used the title:

"I Want To Believe"

I'm kicking myself.


That's how Mulder described his pitches. We noticed. Duncan explained what's going on:
"He's doing a lot of things differently," Duncan said. "His delivery is a lot longer than it used to be and it's taking him a long time to correct it. How it happened, I don't know. It probably happened over the course of the past couple years. He's developed some bad habits and it's hard to get out of them ... He knows it. He sees it. He feels it. But in the heat of battle, it's harder to" make adjustments.
Mulder added,
"Location was terrible," Mulder said. "It's been on and off like that all year, and it gets frustrating after a while. It's tough, because I know I'm not a pitcher like this. I'm better than this. And, like I said, it wears on you, and it gets to be frustrating."
His mechanics are screwed up, which is actually good to know. If Duncan was at a loss, I'd be worried (especially about some unvoiced owie) more than annoyed. I don't know if he's as stubborn as Marquis, but I think it sounds like Mulder's pretty fed up with himself. Can he get back on track before the problem really gets in his head? I have no doubt he wants to, and if anyone can help it's Duncan - Mulder just has to buy into the plan (something I'm not convinced Marquis has done completely yet). Maybe he's like an addict who has to hit rock bottom before seeking help. Admission is the first step to recovery, Mark.

Now, if he's adamant about getting fixed, there are going to be more rocky outings as things get sorted out. I'm perfectly willing to ride them out. I'll be happy to. Pitchers don't change their mechanics overnight. I just want some reassurance that Mulder is working on this very seriously. But, sigh, I suppose progress reports printed up in the P-D are too much to ask. I guess we'll have to rely on seeing him out there. For me, though, watching him pitch over several starts in a row may prove difficult - a lot of his games have fallen on days without Extra Innings.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Sky Is Falling!

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(photo from here)

Sorry, Reds

You don't mess with us today.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Marquis?

Sure, he goes every fifth day,
But I don't like his WHIP
He's been giving up walks and runs
At an alarming clip
He can't rely on his fastball
I wonder if it's his grip?
I even began to dread the days he starts.

He's always had some troubles
With keeping concentration
When he's out there on the mound;
I can sense the frustration
In him and in the coaches
Over the pitch location.
I want this to just be a bump in the road

He's gotta have a better second half-
Can't have another gaff

How do you solve a problem like Marquis?
How do you get his head out of his ass?
How do you find a word that means Marquis?
Lackadaisical! Unfocused! Not throwing gas!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell him,
Many a thing he ought to understand.
Tony and Dunc just pray
He listens to what they say.
How can Marquis make up for lost command?

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Marquis?
I know that someday he could be quite grand.

When I watch him I'm confused-
The ball is battered and abused
And I never know exactly what to think.
Unpredictable as weather,
He's as flighty as a feather.
He's a stud! He's number four! He's on the brink!

I know he's still pretty young,
And at least he has swung.
Maybe he's just needs to be under someone's wing.
He is great! He is wild!
He's a riddle! He's all riled!
He's a headache! He's an ace!
We want that ring!

How do you solve a problem like Marquis?
How do you get his head out of his ass?
How do you find a word that means Marquis?
Lackadaisical! Unfocused! Not throwing gas!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell him,
Many a thing he ought to understand.
Tony and Dunc just pray
He listens to what they say.
How can Marquis make up for lost command?

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Marquis?
I know that someday he could be quite grand.

Apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It's That Pickle Guy Again

Well, it's a little hard to make fun of a team that just fired the manager and pitching coach. Will they go all KC Royals on us? Or have they already packed it in? We'll soon find out.

Here's RHM's cute little story for today.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Please Don't Wear the Solid Jerseys...

...Cinci. They are so very ugly. My isn't she creative? I guess RHM doesn't know about Jimmy's fractured rib (incredible good luck for the Reds). Or David's increased shoulder strength. And doesn't remember Yadi getting in Manny Ramirez' face last year. Well, that's fine. I'm sure the Reds are looking forward to the um...ah, well, the post-game buffet at least.

Due to a poor shoe choice this morning, I'm feeling a little testy. Bring it on.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Deep Sea Fishing

Are Devil Rays fish? Anyway, they aren't a very good baseball team. Oh, they try hard and made it a close game today (helped by the Cards leaving 10 on base), but the body design that helps so much in a liquid environment does not translate to success on the diamond.

I didn't get to see Saturday's game, so I missed the throwback uniforms. And some hilarious photoshopping by the Rays. I loved seeing Scotty back in the lineup; gotta get Edmonds better. Morris has trimmed his beard, getting dangerously close to shaving-which he Must. Not. Do. Seabol got a look in the outfield today and performed admirably. There's just not a whole lot to say about this series. I mean, sweeping Tampa is what good teams do.

The Reds are next. Remember what happened after the last time Red Hot Mama and I went at it? We lost three of four to the Padres. However, being 20 games over .500 and 9.5 games up on the division soothes my superstitious-ness a bit. A nugget of info from the game wrap:
In their runaway race to the division title last year, the Cards didn't go 20 games above .500 until July 7 and didn't lead by 9 1/2 until July 20.
And we all remember July 20, 2004.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Soundtrack of our Lives

I'd like to talk about Friday's game (a kinda close win), but instead, I feel that this is about all I can talk about, which happened three years ago Saturday. Everyone has their own best memory. Whether it's the call of The Wizard's home run (which is melded with the video for eternity), a routine pop-fly, or the description of a well-turned double play, Jack taught us baseball. He taught us how to play, how it can humble us, and how this little boys game can elevate anyone to a hero. Who didn't hear his voice when they were at the plate in little league? In listening to those calls and remembrances, one of the things I learn is that I am the prototypical Cardinals fan. On one side, my family comes from the south at a time when the Birds were the southern most team. On the other, I am, at the very least, a fourth generation Cardinals fan (and quite possibly a sixth generation). Baseball is the sound of my summer. And Jack Buck is the voice I heard growing up.

You can remember the first time you heard Jack Buck's call. You can remember where you were - car, backyard, under the sheets after bedtime. I was at my grandparents' house. It was hot outside, the doors were open and the game was on TV, but KMOX was playing over the radio. They were wearing the awful double-knit they'll be wearing this afternoon. I'd like to believe they Cardinals won, but I don't remember the results. I just remember The Voice.

I miss Jack Buck - if only he could have seen last year. I get chills listening to his old calls and imagining what he would have said when Rolen went yard last October. I'd like to think he was happier than anyone listening.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Friday Afternoon Goof-Off

SI's John Donovan gives some props to Jimmy (on the second page) and reevaluates Casey At The Bat...the Devil Rays wanted Albert to try catching...Mailbags Galore...You know what would be a cool idea? Get all those kids at the Cards minicamp on a bus to Tampa for one of the games this weekend. Give them a little tour to wet their appetites, have Duncan glare at them, make them watch Pujols take BP.

More: Brad Thompson is the Cards' rep in MLB's Father's Day post cards.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Blame Canada

The Cards lost a series for the first time since San Diego was in town May 5-8. I think the boys were confused by the metric system, Celsius temperatures, and strange money. Let's just move on.

First a bit of gossip. After Sunday's game, I called my parents. There was a lot of background noise, so I asked where they were. My dad said, "We're at Farotto's," then his voice dropped several decibels. "We're sitting next to Stan Musial. Your mother is speechless." They used to see Jack there quite a bit, too. Even though I lived in St. Louis for nearly 20 years I never met a Cardinal. The closest I got was seeing Jose Oquendo at my orthodontist.

I figured out the problem the Cardinals seem to have with soft-tossin' lefties. "Soft-Tossin' Lefties" = STL. It's like matter and anti-matter.

Nooooooo! Part One:
La Russa indicated that Cedeno, sidelined June 6 by a strained right hamstring, will be reactivated sometime next week.
Part Two: Anthony Reyes goes on the DL. lboros has the Reyes part of his interview with Redbirds pitching coach Dyan Miller up. I hope he can avoid further injury (and keep his pitches down); it'd be awfully nice to have an effective pitcher making the minimum next year.

Off day game: Guess the 2006 starting outfield.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

More Than Wow

I feel I should probably say more than "Wow," for that game. First of all, I hate hate hate Extra Innings. This game was not on (neither was Mulder's 10-inning shut out). Second, I hate hate Russ Adams. Third, I hate that Shannon isn't on this road trip. I would have loved to hear him call this. Wayne just doesn't have the same ability to paint a picture as Shannon (neither compare to Buck). All night long it was, "That's a strike, and the count is oh-and-one," and "Carpenter strikes him out." I missed Mike's "Hee hee" and "Mmm-mmmm-mmmm."

So Mr. Canada hit two two-run home runs. Mr. So-Close-To-300/300 hit a home run. Mr. I'm-Better-At-Baseball-Than-All-Of-You added a home run as well. Tonight's game marked Walker's first hit at the Jays' park.

As wonderful as it is to see Walker with home runs (I'd be happy with hits) and a couple 3-for-4 nights, it is completely overshadowed by Mr. Ex-Jay throwing a freaking gem. So how good was Carpenter? One hit, one walk (erased on a double play). One batter over the minimum. Ten strike outs (two below his career high). Obviously, the only guy to get past first base was Adams (may he be forever cursed) on his double. All in a mere 95 pitches. That, dear readers, is fucking dominance.

How much fun would yesterday's game have been if it was Carp v. Halladay? Of course it could have ended up like heralded pitching duels such as Mulder v. Pedro or Mulder v. Hudson. But, I get the feeling Carp is a little further along in the mental aspect of the game than Mulder.

A minor quibble-I always thought a "no-no" was no hits, no walks (i.e., someone had reached on an error), was I wrong? --As you can see in the comments, The Ol' Goaler set me straight.

Mr. Chris Carpenter


Monday, June 13, 2005


I found myself with little interest in watching this game or in its outcome. Maybe it's the emotional let down going to Toronto after playing the Red Sox and Yankees at home. Perhaps it was because Halladay is very, very good or because the lineup had both Seabol and Schumaker. Whatever the reason, there was just...nothing in this game.

It was good to see Mabry hit a home run. Also good to see Eldred out there. Suppan did what he does-kept it close; not surprisingly the offense just couldn't get anything going against Halladay. We'll get 'em tomorrow.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

How The Mighty Have Fallen

Two of three from the Red Sox then two of three from the Yankees. Ahhhhh.

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(AP photograph)

How fantastic for Seabol. After just one at-bat with the Yankees four years ago, he hits his first major league home run against them to put the Cardinals ahead. That deserves a curtain call. And a shower of beer.

Morris wasn't super-sharp (three walks, six hits), but he was effective (one ER). I know King gave up that second run, but I'm not really sure why he was in there; Matsui hits lefties better than right-handers. It was an...interesting choice. Pavano's home run was unnecessary, but as Julian didn't lose the lead, the dugout phone seems to have survived. I especially liked Tony coming out to talk to Eckstein and having him run before he stole second. A clever little deke. I had the YES Network announcers (Michael Kay and David Justice) today. They could not understand why Jimmy faked bunt. Totally confused them. Otherwise, if they added, "Oh, he's so pretty," they would have sounded like me about Jimmy. They were very complimentary of the team and fans. Except dwelling on the whole pitcher-has-to-bat thing a little too much and explaining the Triple Crown categories, they weren't too bad.

A little love for Yadi at the official site. Rolen's not quite ready. That's OK, he can take an extra week or two-just get him healthy. I TiVo'd Cards' draft pick McCormick's start in the College World Series (although I know he threw 137 pitches) to watch tonight since Desperate Housewives is done for the season. The P-D also covers these things.

Another Saturday Night...

I would like to thank my local Fox station for showing the Cubs/Red Sox tilt this afternoon. While I listened to the Cardinals game (or rather, Johnson's dominance and Mulder's ickiness) I got to watch the Cubs come from behind to beat the Sox for the second time. Pretty much the worst way to spend a Saturday afternoon, baseball-wise. And it was raining here. So, I'm watching the TiVo of Friday's game.

Eldred will be activated tomorrow, Gabe White DFA'd. There was some hand-wringing out on message boards about who would be the odd-man out. Since both are righties, some thought Brad (who also has options) might be the one to go. That idea is lunacy. The boy's done nothing but throw strikes. With all due respect to Dan at Get Up and Len Cleavelin (who, let's face it, know a hell of a lot more than me), I'm going to call him "Brad the Rad."

Here's something annoying:
Two other teams have come to Busch around .500 like the 30-31 Yankees and used successful series here to slingshot into winning streaks. San Diego did it, and Washington followed.
So, um...yeah.

I'm a little upset with Mulder, so I don't really want to say anything I'll regret. But my knee-jerk, completely-unresearched, based-on-losing-spectacularly-in-his-last-two-starts (I'm not counting the 2-1 loss in Colorado) reaction is that he's becoming incredibly, maddeningly, disappointingly frustrating. He seemed to have some issues with finishing guys off today. I mean 0-2 on Cano, and he walks? Defense didn't help (from what I recall from the radio, Nunez had a tough day), and he's never done well against the Yankees who were torn a new one by Torre Friday night, but I still wonder what's going on with Mark.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Yankees at Cardinals

Hey, it worked last series...who am I to tinker with it?

1st: Jeter grounds to second. Nice hand for Womack. Womack grounds to second. Sheffield's bat wiggle is distracting. High fly to left center. Eckstein grounds to first. Four pitch walk to Grudzielanek. Bad pick off gets Grudz to third! Jeter makes his jumping throw and it's a bad one, Giambi can't pick the throw, Albert safe, Mark scores. Long single for Edmonds, runners at the corners. Larry! Base hit to right scores Albert, Jimmy to second. Oh, Sanders goes swinging. Nunez grounds to third.

2nd: Starting to rain in St. Louis. Grounds to short, David bobbles, but still get Rodriguez. Matsui pops to left. C'mon Jason. That was close, but Posada walks. Boos for Giambi. Popped to Reggie. Looks like a high strike zone tonight. Not good for either pitcher. Yadi flies to Womack in left (that's so weird, but he can't look worse out there than Manny). Marquis Ks. Eckstein grounds out 1-3.

3rd: Cano singles to right. Wang's first plate appearance. Bunt, Molina goes to second and gets the lead runner, but they can't get Wang at first. Jeter says "Dammit," after a foul. Jason, what's up? Another FC, Nunez gets Wang at second on a nice play. Womack bounces out 1-3. Grudz grounds to 2nd. Nice, one of the auctions at Pujols' golf thing yesterday raised $80,000. And he gets a double into the corner. Whoa, what just happened? Jimmy hits it to left, Albert is sent home, Jimmy almost gets picked off first after the relay to Jeter, but Giambi can't handle the throw, and Edmonds is on third. Larry walks (last ball intentional), setting up a double play. Reggie-base hit to right, Larry's incredibly awesome baserunning makes Sheffield throw off line, Edmonds scores, Larry at third, Sanders at second. IBB to Nunez to set up a double play for Yadi. PB!! Larry scores. Yadi lines to Sheffield. No one can advance. Cano misses Jason's grounder and two more runs score. Eckstein walks. Grudz flies out to right, making the first and third outs of the inning. Poor Mark.

4th: Marquis, with a big lead, walks Sheffield to lead off the inning. Rodriguez hits a can of corn to center. Nunez talks to Marquis about something. Arugh, Matsui singles past a diving Eckstein to center. Al tells a rambling story about how Torre got his job. Marquis not focusing. Posada, who is goofy looking, Ks. I know he knows he has this big lead focus problem, but I wonder how to fix it. Maybe it's just experience. Oh, Jason, come on. And Giambi pops to short. Not sure how I feel about the "pinball" theme Fox has going for the All Star Game. Albert has a not great at-bat, grounds out 6-3. Same thing for Jimmy, only 4-3. Oh, low strike to Walker. Now he walks. Jeter tries to be fancy and toss behind him while running away from second and screws up, two one, two out. And people think Jimmy showboats? Nunez grounds to Giambi, who kinda bobbles it but recovers for the put out.

5th: Cano lead off double. Big boos for Tino. Wang out of the game. Cheers do not drown out the boos. The $21 million oopsie for Jocketty grounds out to short, Cano to third. Damn, bloop double for Jeter, Cano scores. Ok, Marquis, now can you concentrate? Womack flies to center, Jeter to third. Sheffield grounds to short. Quantrill in. Yadi out. Marquis grounds to Jeter. Surprised he didn't make some pirouette on that play. Eck grounds to second. Bleh.

6th: Rodriguez grounds to second. Matsui grounds to third. Posada singles to right. Giambi grounds to second. HOW COULD MCGEE NOT TEAR DOWN 51??? What the hell? That ain't right. At all. Grudz grounds to short. Jose Albert! Home run to dead center - 415 feet. Curtain call. Jimmy grounds to the pitcher. Larry grounds to second.

7th: Cano grounds to first, unassisted. Bernie lifts it to center. Jeter grounds to short. Marquis at 101 pitches. I think he should go out for the 8th. I hope for a three pitch, three outs inning for him then. Sanders pops to right. Oh, no; Sheffield is lazy getting to a fly, Nunez out stretching a double into a triple. Damn, Molina lines right to second.

8th: Pinch hitter Russ Johnson strikes out. Sheffield grounds out to 3rd. Rodriguez singles to right. Goes to second of defensive indifference. Flores getting loose. Jason Ks Godzilla. Seabol pinch hits for Marquis after 113 pitches. Groom in to pitch. Seabol Ks. Wonderful game from Jason. Eckstein flies to right. Grudz gets a double. IBB to Albert, no cycle for him. Boooo! So pinch hitting for Jimmy. So's in a bit of a slump. And he looks totally overmatched-K.

9th: Flores and Taguchi in. A "Yankees suck" chant? That's not cool. Where are we, Shea? Posada flies out to Sanders on the track. Giambi walks. Molina talking to Flores, who hasn't been very sharp. I think Randy Flores is quite attractive. Cano goes down swinging. Let's go Flores! Foul pop up, comes out of Albert's glove. He's going to be mad. Sharp grounder to Nunez, out at 2nd!

That's a Winner! Wow, did the Yankees look bad. I gotta think Torre gave them hell in the clubhouse. Though he sounded pretty relaxed on Live at Shannon's.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Yeah, off days suck.

The P-D has a little quiz to get you ready for the weekend series with the Yankees. They also reprint the article from the NYT mentioned at Viva El Birdos if you are lazy and don't want to register. For those interested in history and Cub misery, the NYT has a pdf of the original story from the end of the 1918 World Series (gotta register for this).

Things I keep meaning to put up links for: The Heckler, The Brushback, and Yard Work (Karl Ravech is very pretty as a blonde).

Wang and Johnson will pitch this weekend. Get your double entendres ready!

Can't Win 'Em All

But I'll take two of three any day of the week.

What can you do when Wells was pitching like that? Nothing but tip your cap. He shut the Cardinals down, allowing only four hits with no walks. Bernie is not feeling gracious. The boys were a tad impatient, but what are they supposed to do? Stand there and take three strikes then sit down? Boomer only threw 20 out of the zone in 94 pitches. The hits just didn't fall in. Mueller made some great plays. Foulke made the ninth inning fun, but was able to get out of it. Carp just hit a wall in the 6th (does that seem familiar to anyone else?). Plus, he's had some issues with left handed batters this year

.317/.387/.497 with four home runs, 17 walks, and 33 strike outs in 164 plate appearances
.215/.246/.301 with two home runs, seven walks, and 42 strike outs in 174 plate appearances for right handers

before tonight, which certainly didn't help the numbers. The Sox had four left handers and three switch hitters in the starting lineup (including Wells). Although, Damon was held in check, which is something.

In other silver lining news, Thompson was lovely (he did forget that he can't go to his mouth on the mound, silly rookie). King also looked good, aside from the home run to TSSWMNBN; I'm going to convince myself that was a gift (Matthew Leach offers some insight into Ray's recent troubles). And the guys didn't go quietly. Oh, yeah, Skip made his ML debut. Welcome to the show, kid.

By the way, Pujols had as many hits as TSSWMNBN in this series; both got their second hit in the ninth inning.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It just got away from me, I swear!

Hmmm. It seems we may have some hurt feelings today. Not to mention hurt arms, backs, and wrists. This was not quite the "clean game" we had Monday. Larry and Veritek may not be able to sit for a while, Grudzielanek and Youkilis will have very colorful bruises, but thankfully nothing serious.

During the game I was so mad. I thought the Sox were completely bush league. They were losing, pretty badly, for the second night in a row, and lashed out. I thought they were frustrated and acting like spoiled brats.

But thinking about it, I could make a case for the five HBPs to be mostly mistakes. Ok, Walker gets hit, it happens, he took his base. Veritek, well, maybe a bit of retaliation for Larry, but probably not. Why give the Sox a runner and a reason to get fired up-plus risk a warning and losing the ability to pitch inside? As for Grudzielanek's HBP, it was 96 mph, so unless Mantei is sadistic or stupid, or both, that could have been a mistake. Then Reyes hit Youkilis on the wrist. Well, Youkilis did kind of turn into the pitch, but it was high and tight. Tony's not going to order that so late in the count with Reyes pitching the way he was. He'd bring in someone else for one batter to do the job. It was probably going to be done, just not then.

Then I read Grudzielanek's quote saying Veritek thinks the Cards started it. Not the most diplomatic quote, but that's still bull. Walker gets hit three times in two games, and they started it? The Cards have made the Sox look foolish so far, but the Cards started it? Where exactly in the game did the Cards show them up before Walker was hit the first time? The only things I could think of was Nunez bunting Walker over after the first time he got hit or Taguchi's attempted squeeze in that same inning. Either someone was yapping in the field or Veritek is pissy about something from Monday. And he didn't answer questions after the game.

So what if they were all intentional? Walker gets hit for some reason. Veritek, being the captain, gets the retaliation. Fine, should be done. But, no, the Sox hit Grudz. Mantei couldn't help throwing to first to keep Grudz close. So, Mark stole second. Yes, it was a finger to Mantei. You hit someone with a 96 mph pitch, he's gonna get back at you. That makes the Red Sox mad, and after getting way up and in on Sanders, they hit Walker again. Well, that ain't right and the Cards get Youkilis.

I'm sure the truth is somewhere in the middle. Here's my theory. Veritek knows that Walker's first HBP wasn't intentional, so when he gets plunked, he thinks the Cardinals are overreacting, thus starting something. Mark gets intentionally drilled. Walker and Youkilis are both unintentional (but another Red Sox would have been hit).

I really hope there's none of this nonsense today. Everyone's been "protected." The best revenge is winning. Remember Zambrano's meltdown last July? Carpenter told Sosa to get his guy to calm down or someone was going to get hurt. I have my doubts about Wells, but Carp will be the consumate professional.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Oh My God

There are two? And we have both? Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

Wil (pick 200, I think) will never be an Albert - things don't work like that. But then again, who really saw Albert coming; he was drafted in the 13th round.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Red Sox at Cardinals

Liveblogging this game...

1st: Joe: "Look what the humidity does to [Damon's] hair." C'mon Matty. Lead-off single. And here's TSSWMNBN. Lots of boos. Cheers finally drown out most of them. He tips his cap. And hits into a double play! Sweet. Now that that's done with, let's play some ball. Ortiz is unattractive. Pop up to Reggie. Don't you throw at my guys' heads, you stupid knuckleballer. Damn, got Eckstein by half a step. Grudz flies out to right. Let's go, Albert! Crap, K.

2nd: Double for Ramirez. Good stop by Mark, but Manny's on third. Shoot, driven in by Veritek's single to center. 1-0. I hate the Red Sox. Matty...what are you doing? Don't walk Payton. 'Kay, fly to center. Local boy Mueller at bat. You know, I thought that by watching FSN I'd be able to avoid most World Series talk, but Al and Joe keep talking about it. Shut up! Another fly out to Edmonds. Gotta keep the ball down, Morris. Edmonds grounds to second. Scotty's tired after fielding and hitting off the tee today. Reggie!! Single. Now he's gotta tie his shoes. Walker, let's get it going. Stop talking about October you jerks! Don't know Veritek's CS stats, but it seems like we could run on Wakefield. And we do. He maybe looks out, but called safe. Oh, shit-Reggie thinks the ball is caught and only goes to third. Whoo-hoo Nunez!! Single to right scores Sanders and Walker gets to third. He's so very good at running the bases. Ech, I wonder if Walker could have made it on the PB, but Nunez gets to second. YADI! We now have our first lead against the Sox in the five games this century. [edit-I totally forgot about those games in Fenway a couple years ago. Whoops.] Everyone thought that was a balk, but apparently not. Gorgeous squeeze by Matty scores Nunez, Molina to 2nd. Eck trying to bunt for a hit, foul. When did TSSWMNBN start chewing? Has he always and I just didn't notice? Gross. Shoot, Molina is slow, out at the plate on Eckstein's infield hit. Stupid Ortiz. He's supposed to suck on the field. Oh, well. 3-1 Redbirds.

3rd: Loooong throw for Eckstein, but gets his man. Hmmm. The on the replay, Molina was safe. Yadi catches a pop up. More boos and cheers. What a catch by Albert! Joe and Al are saying the VP of the Cards tried to catch the ball. Grudz grounds to short. Oh, yeah, the ball definitely hit the VP. So that's two calls in the Cards' favor, one for the Sox. Pujols grounds to short and doesn't really run out the ball. My god, is he balding. Jimmy fouls and fouls. Hate the knuckeballers. Jimmy strikes out.

4th: Missed how Ortiz got out, but he's out, so I don't really care. Manny grounds to short, Albert picks the throw. Skippy Shoes (that's his nickname-I've decided) in the dugout. Trot flies to Walker. Red Sox show some impatience that half inning. Very nice. I agree with Al? That can't be right. He's talking about how the [Reggie!] the team just isn't firing on all cylinders. Good lord, could you pitch any slower, Tim? Another PB moves Reggie to 2nd. They are missing Mirabelli tonight. C'mon, Larry! Damn, chases that crap. PB #2 this inning, but it's ball four, and Sanders stole 3rd before the PB. Yadi's chopper gets Reggie home, Nunez to 2nd. PB again and Nunez to 3rd. Good play by Mueller, helped by the fact that Morris is slow.

5th: Easy grounder to 2nd from Veritek. WOW, what a play by Grudz!! Oh, yeah, next guy flies to left. Man, that was a fantastic play. It's so nice to have that great arm out there. Pujols has been doing his yoga evidenced by the several great stretches to get the ball. Ooof- Nixon runs into the wall to catch Eck's fly ball. Walk to the Man Of The Inning. And Grudz promptly steals second! Walk to Pujols. Oh, that sounded so good coming off Jimmy's bat, but didn't have the distance. Reggie grounds out. Shoot.

6th: Wakefield grounds out 6-3. Ugh. Four pitch walk. More boos. The boo-ers seem to be much quicker on the draw than the cheer-ers. And TSSWMNBN ground in another double play, right at Eckstein. Walker HBP on a very slow pitch. Nunez flies deep to left, Manny gets it, kinda forgets that there's somebody on, and Walker's into second easily. Walk to Molina. D'oh, hit and run, but Morris flies to center. Huge hole in right center, David. Let's go. He gets the grounder through, and they don't even throw to home! Walker scores! Pitching change. Now that everybody's swings are all screwed up, an actual pitcher coming in. Mantei in, Veritek very thrilled. Grudz out 4-3.

7th: Matty in to face the heart of the order. Ortiz hits the ball down the line, but Walker with a bullet to hold him to a single. Thompson warming. Albert and David laughing it up at first. Don't like it-pet peeve. Manny flies to left, Morris got away with one there. Nixon same thing. 50,270 announced attendance. Morris in low 90s. Oh, I'm not sure about that second ball to Veritek. C'mon Matty. Molina goes to talk. Al says Matt didn't want the fastball, they go with a cutter and get 'em swinging. Morris has thrown 80 pitches (1 run, 4 hits) through 7. My oh my. Getting a nice calf massage in the dugout. Arugh, about 10 feet short for Albert. He looks pissed, as well he should, he's o-fer. Embree in to face Jimmy. Damn, K. Oops, Jimmy, watch that language. Bleh, fly to right for Reggie.

8th: Matty back out. 4-3. Fly right at Edmonds. Greek God of Walks up as pinch hitter. Is Matty really getting to 94? Jesus-Pujols could have lost his arm! Red Sox go in order. Halama pitching, Taguchi in for Walker. First pitch, fly out to right. Abe tries to bunt for a hit, but no go. Yadi punches the ball into right for a single. Morris batting. Loud and long standing ovation for Matty. Wonderful to see. Izzy getting loose. Oh, yeah, throw to first, Yadi's a threat to steal. E-6!! Ha ha ha. Eckstein with a triple to score Molina and Morris! And chants of "Ed-gaaaar, Ed-gaaaar." Music to my ears. Oh, poop. Grudz grounds out.

9th: Okay, top of the order. Matty's going for the complete game. One pitch-out to Taguchi. TSSWMNBN fouling off pitches. Nice play by Nunez to get him! And Ortiz pops up on the first pitch. That's a WINNER!

It doesn't mean as much as the last time, obviously, but this was a sweet win to get. The boys came to play. Morris was pitching beautifully, the defense was superb, the baserunning smart, the hits timely. Let's do it two more times.

Question of The Day

Not that it matters since I won't be at the game, or anywhere near St. Louis, but my heart says boo, my head says do nothing (or maybe laugh at him). I want TSSWMNBN to go 0-fer-St. Louis. I want him taken out hard if he's covering second. I want him to boot routine grounders. I don't care what the Post-Dispatch or Matthew Leach say. I'm still mad. I wasn't when he signed - I understood. But when he started saying Boston wanted him more, that he wanted to play for a team with tradition, that he left his heart in St. Louis (for a few million more)...well, screw him. CardNilly says it was a messy divorce, which makes sense because I'm acting like a jilted lover.

Also, Schumaker has been called up from Memphis (scroll down). He was not on the 40-man roster. Three guesses as to who gets dropped. And the first two don't count. Albert gets a fancy watch for his efforts last week, as he and Washington's Nick Johnson were named Co-Players of the Week.

Open Letters to St. Louis Cardinals

Dear Mark M.,

Hi there! What's up (besides your pitches and ERA, ha ha)? Seriously, though, here's the thing. Every time you do something like this, all the questions about last year pop up again. We already went through a season with a Good MM/Bad MM. Please don't make me ask you to grow a beard.

Dear Larry,

I find your accent amusing. Not amusing is your current slump. I know you're just as upset as the rest of us. And that just about every part of your body is hurting. You're a big boy, if you need time off, tell Tony. Or perhaps what you need is more regular at-bats. Whatever it is, I hope you get fixed soon, eh.

Dear Roger,

Um...yeah. Thanks for distracting Clemens from first base last October.

Dear Yadier,

How on earth did you get a triple? Also, will you finish what you started with Manny? Cause that would be cool. I love when you pick people off, but I think we need to work on the backhanded stabbing-it makes me nervous.

Dear Brad,

Don't worry about that last game; you're still awesome. I think maybe you just need more than one day's rest still. I just realized you were an infant the last time your team won the World Series. That's scary.

Dear Other New Guys,

So far, you've been a very pleasant surprise. Mark G., I'm voting for you. David, I know you've had more errors than you're used to, but you're on a ground ball staff now, don't let those mistakes get to you. Abe, you've done a great job filling in for Rolen at third. Scott S., I want you to stay up-can you play outfield?

Dear Scott R.,

Get well soon.

Dear Whole Team,

Kill the Red Sox. Thanks.



Saturday, June 04, 2005

I Like Winning

Especially like this. Not that shutting out the Astros is any considerable feat this year (knocking on wood furiously). But, oh, Carpenter. Oh, goodness. That's some mighty fine pitching.

I got a phone call midway through the game. After making my apologies for inattention and expletives, I missed a few innings. This call was from a dear friend that I drag along to games sometimes. She very much misses saying "Rent-aaaaa-riaaaaaa." Now, there is no love lost between me and TSSWMNBN, due to his assertion that the BoSox have "tradition" (what are the Cards, an expansion team?) and talk of respect (read: dollars), but I can identify with the love for names. As a young 'un, my sister and I would vote for the All-Star Game (back when ballots were of the paper variety, not manipulated by multiple email addresses [vote Eckstein!]) based on funniest names for the AL players. In fact, this is still my strategy. Vote for Cardinals and funny names. What, you were concerned about the lack of stats on this site? Calculus I can handle; the formula for VORP, not so much.

Anyway...the game. The roof was closed, and it was hot. You could see the sweat dripping off the starters. Particularly gross was Carp's hat. But no matter how sopping wet, he pitched a gem. King, eh, still concerned about him. Tavarez, lovely. It doesn't hurt that the Astros' entire outfield are people I have never heard of. Some very nifty double plays, Sanders working on his goal of 30-30, and bad, bad baserunning from the Astros. Did they hire the Cubs' former 3rd base coach?

Thursday, June 02, 2005


For the bitter taste this game left in my mouth.

We all knew it was coming. It couldn't last forever. Izzy couldn't have a perfect save record and an ERA under 1.00 all season. Plus, it was long and drawn-out so we could savor the moment.

I hate losses like this. Too many left on base (13 today), not enough production from the big guys (1 RBI from Walker, none from Pujols, Edmonds, or Sanders). Sloppy weather. Multiple leads given up. Walking in a run always puts me in a foul mood, but when it costs the game, well...let's say I wish I had some cookie dough.

So on to struggling Houston for the weekend. It would be nice to be clicking when the bean eaters come to town.


Ok. I don't know what's up with the comments not all showing up. I'll have to look into it tonight.

Cards up 2-0 after one...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I'm Taking Bets

How many days does Cedeno have left with the club? I'm setting the over/under at five.

Cardinals 1, Rockies 2

Up is down. Black is white. The sky is orange. Fish walk among us dressed in suits. Mulder had two hits. The Cardinals scored one, ONE, run at Coors Field and had no extra base hits. The two through five guys were hitless with two walks and three strike outs; Jimmy and Molina wore the collar. Walker's batting average is only .009 higher than Molina's. If we can get Edmonds up with the bases loaded with two outs tonight, what are the chances he'll make the third out for the third game in a row? Yelch.

At least the defense was better than Monday - Nunez and Grudzielanek did particularly fine in the field (but it doesn't cancel out The Suppan that Mark pulled on the basepaths).

In other doings, lboros has a great interview with Bing Devine up at Viva El's Part I and Part II...and there are even newer pics of the new stadium up.

Wake Up, Ash and Maple

Wake up, ash and maple, wake up
Wake up, ash and maple, wake up
You're sound asleep, wake up, ash and maple, or I'll weep
The starter's out, it's the seventh inning, and it's time for you to go deep
Wake up ash and maple
Wake up ash and maple, well

Whatta think when you're in the rack
While we're all waiting for *crack*
And what will Hal McRae say when you fly out to the track�
Wake up ash and maple
Wake up ash and maple, well

I really hoped that you would win by ten
But dammit, it looks like you'll suck again
Wake up, ash and maple
Wake up, ash and maple, you gotta get home

Wake up, ash and maple, wake up
Wake up, ash and maple, wake up
Their bullpen's not so hot, it's time to bat around
There's still a chance, it's close and late, and the Cubs are gaining ground
Wake up, ash and maple
Wake up, ash and maple, well

Whatta think when you're in the rack
While we're all waiting for *crack*
And what will Hal McRae say when you fly out to the track�
Wake up, ash and maple
Wake up, ash and maple
Wake up, ash and maple

-apologies to Simon and Garfunkel

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