Monday, October 31, 2005

Albert the Great

Soooo. Albert Pujols. DiMaggio reincarnated? Maybe. But how hot is he?


  1. Defense
    i. Hustle (10) Yes. Sometimes to his detriment. 9.5 points.
    ii. Agility (14) Digging out all those throws, sliding to the bag...lovely. 13 points.
    iii. Catcher (5/0) N/A. 0 points.
    iv. Awareness (8) He and Yadi worked well on those pick offs. Everyone has brain farts, but you know that he knows that you know that he knows exactly what is going on. 7 points.
    v. Defensive Stance (8) He's always on his toes (maybe because his heels hurt, but anyway). But, yeah. Nice. 8 points.
    vi. Pitching Face/Post-strike out (5/0) N/A. 0 points.
  2. Offense
    i. Hustle (10) Yes, again sometimes overly aggressive. However, those are the ones we remember, not the times he takes an extra base setting up a run or drawing a throw. And he is obsessed with scoring runs. 9.5 points.
    ii. Batting Stance/Face (12) What pitcher looks forward to seeing that face? Mercy. 12 points.
    iii. Power & Average (12) Ahem. 12 points.
    iv. Pitcher's bunting ability (5) N/A. 0 points.
    v. Selflessness (14) It seemed he was trying too hard to that big hit this year. I don't think it was selfish; he was the only guy who could do that for long stretches. 13 points.
  3. Dugout/Clubhouse
    i. Press Conferences/Interviews (8) Albert can be surly. Albert can be distant. Even downright rude. Dealing with the press is part of the package of being a superstar, and sometimes he doesn't handle it well. For the most part, he realizes what is expected and obliges with honesty. 6 points.
    ii. Quotes (8) A lot can be summarized, "I just trust my hands, and tank the Lord, we won da gang, mang." But there was, "I can't believe I did it (giggle)." 7 points.
    iii. Chatty (8) He's not exactly silly, but it's not like he sits on the end of the bench and broods all the time. Though, he was deadly serious when he took Rodriguez's bat away before Eckstein's grand slam. 6 points.
    iv. Fights (6) During the NLDS, Ramon Hernandez took exception to something and told Albert. Albert said, "I don't care." 6 points.


  1. Personal Hygiene (16) Again with the meticulous shaving this year. 15 points.
  2. Commercials (local) (8) Not that I saw. 0 points.
  3. Commercials (national) (10) Nike. It was weird. But Nike. 9 points.
  4. Commercials (MLB) (10) No. 0 points.
  5. Dress (10) Little better. 9 points.
  6. Rumors (6) The whispers about his age persist. 3 points.
  7. Awards (6) Maybe I should wait until they're actually given out this year. But I bet Jones will win MVP, even though I don't think he is. Whatever. Pujols has a few, he'll get more. 5 points.
150 points for The Best Player I'll Ever See. That's pretty hot.

Yadi, Yadi, He's Our Man

I've updated the PWF for the end of the season. First, I got rid of the "average," instead going with a maximum value. Second, I updated some of the categories. I added a "post-strike out" (Defense) and "bunting ability" (Offense) for pitchers and took out "Chatty" under "Offense" and folded it into "Batting Stance/Face." Third, I removed "Line Drive v. Fly Ball," it was too weird. Here's a refresher:


  1. Defense
    i. Hustle - Dives for grounders up the middle? Prevents extra bases?
    ii. Agility - Scoops balls out of the dirt? Throws on the run?
    iii. Catcher - Self-explanatory
    iv. Awareness - Spatially as well as situationally
    v. Defensive Stance - Always ready or picking flowers?
    vi. Pitching Face/Post-strike out - Nobody looks good while pitching, but some don't look terrible. Also, does he gesticulate wildly after a strike out or go about his business?
  2. Offense
    i. Hustle - Always goes for the extra base? Runs out infield grounders? Goes hard into 2nd? Reckless or judicious?
    ii. Batting Stance/Face - Repetitive nervous ticks? Sticks ass out? Off-balance? Grimace? Knowing smile? Sneer? Chatty?
    iii. Power & Average - Chicks dig the long ball. But we also dig seeing boys wiggle leading off of first. This one's tough.
    iv. Pitcher's bunting ability - Can they?
    v. Selflessness - Advances the runner? Pads own stats?
  3. Dugout/Clubhouse
    i. Press Conferences/Interviews - Coherent?
    ii. Quotes - Witty or stupid?
    iii. Chatty - Silly? Headcase? Loner?
    iv. Fights - With teammates or for teammates?


  1. Personal Hygiene
  2. Commercials (local)
  3. Commercials (national)
  4. Commercials (MLB)
  5. Dress
  6. Rumors
  7. Awards
We'll start with position players and go from there. First up, Molina:


  1. Defense
    i. Hustle (10) He caught 64% of runners trying to steal. 9 points.
    ii. Agility (14) That spin tag in Game 5? 12 points.
    iii. Catcher (5/0) Indeed. 5 points.
    iv. Awareness (8) He made some silly mistakes, but he's getting better. 6 points.
    v. Defensive Stance (8) Hello? 14 points.
    vi. Pitching Face/Post-strike out (5/0) N/A. 0 points.
  2. Offense
    i. Hustle (10) He tries, he's just so damn slow. 7 points.
    ii. Batting Stance/Face (12) Yadi's adorable, but that crouch he had was odd. He also often looks worried when looking down at Oquendo. 8 points.
    iii. Power & Average (12) After starting the year 0-fer-April, he started to hit a bit. If his hand hadn't been broken, Yadi might have been a bit better post All-Star (.246/.303/.346). But he's not there for his hitting. 6 points.
    iv. Pitcher's bunting ability (5) N/A. 0 points.
    v. Selflessness (14) Yadi has stats to pad? I kid, I kid. It's a little hard to do much with him because of his speed, but I will forever remember the day he was involved in two double steals. 11 points.
  3. Dugout/Clubhouse
    i. Press Conferences/Interviews (8) Yadi can be a little hard to understand sometimes. 5 points.
    ii. Quotes (8) Somewhat bland. Always talks about the pitcher, though. 5 points.
    iii. Chatty (8) He seems like a combination of goofball and ridiculously serious. 4 points.
    iv. Fights (6) Sometimes I think he's a little paranoid about sign stealing, but I'd rather that than not worried at all. And by all accounts, the pitchers love him. 5 points.


  1. Personal Hygiene (16) Here's the thing. He's missing a tooth. So unless he's planning on getting bowled over by Ty Wiggington several more times, he should get that fixed. 11 points.
  2. Commercials (local) (8) No. 0 points.
  3. Commercials (national) (10) No. 0 points.
  4. Commercials (MLB) (10) No. 0 points.
  5. Dress (10) I don't recall ever seeing him in street clothes. Let's say 5 points.
  6. Rumors (6) There was that one from the gals at On The DL (that place is creepy, yet oddly fascinating). You go, Yadi. 5 points.
  7. Awards (6) Soon. Very soon. 0 points.
Yadi ends up with 118 points. Next up, position number three.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Bob Broeg, 1918-2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Congratulations To The White Sox

I don't expect my ball seasons to last for long
Never tell myself that my dreams will come true
Being used to second I anticipate it
But all the same I hate it, wouldn't you?

(bellyscratcher:) So what happens now?
(Chorus:) Another signing and another pick
(bellyscratcher:) So what happens now?
(Chorus:) Another season and we need that kick
(bellyscratcher:) Where are we going to?
(Chorus:) We'll get by, we always have before
(bellyscratcher:) Where are we going to?

Time and time again I've said that I don't care
That I'm immune to gloom, that I'm hard through and through
But every time it matters all the bats desert you
So any year can hurt me, and they do

(bellyscratcher:) So what happens now?
(Chorus:) Another signing and another pick
(bellyscratcher:) So what happens now?
(Chorus:) Another season and we need that kick
(bellyscratcher:) Where are we going to?
(Chorus:) We'll get by, we always have before
(bellyscratcher:) Where are we going to?

Call in four months time and I'll be fine, I know
Well maybe not that fine, but I'll survive anyhow
I won't recall the names and places of each sad occasion
But that's no consolation here and now.

(bellyscratcher:) So what happens now?
(Chorus:) Another signing and another pick
(bellyscratcher:) So what happens now?
(Chorus:) Another season and we need that kick
(bellyscratcher:) Where are we going to?
(Chorus:) We'll get by, we always have before
(bellyscratcher:) Where are we going to?

Hope Walt will provide.

-apologies to Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Look Who's Choking, Too

On the one hand, it's a little sad the NL is getting it handed to them for the second straight year - like a bad sequel. On the other, it's not really because the Astros are a bunch of spoiled little brats who need to learn how to play in a real stadium. Tonight's the night I've been waiting for, though. Brandon Backe is pitching. I will be hoping for some very bad things to happen to him. Like having his lips sewn shut just prior to first pitch.

Red Hot Mama will be joining me tonight for the final smack of the 2005 season. I hope the game is played in the usual nine inning format tonight, I don't have any beer. If you'll miss the smack talk terribly over the next few months, and I know you will, look forward to April 14th.

White Sox 2 at Astros 0, Zip, Nada, Nothin

See below for the Cardinals' 2006 schedule...

1st Inning: I live in the Pacific Northwest, where one would think people could drive in the rain. This is not the case and I missed the top of the first. I did not care enough to TiVo. Uh oh, Garland has only pitched once in three weeks. Yikes. Ugh, Biggio leads off with a double. And I remember that the buzzing makes me want to kill. Hee, Taveras can't bunt. Blech, Berkman singles in Craig. Let me take this opportunity to say that the Astros are a bunch of freaking babies. You play an outdoor sport, pansies. Quit whining about the roof. Double play! Time to take the field, Astros.

2nd Inning: So many commercials. Sweet, Konerko gets a double on the first pitch. Damn, the Astros are really complaining about the roof; they're even bigger babies than I thought. Why is Bud wearing headphones? Now a walk. Good start. Can the Cardinals disown McCarver please? Damn, line out right to the shortstop and Konerko is doubled off second. Nice play. Another walk. Oswalt's not exactly pounding the strike zone. Oswalt is officially a hick. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Pop up to first in foul territory. Oswalt escapes, but he threw a lot of pitches. Lamb flies to center. The Astros have shaved. Lane went to USC, eh? I like our USC grad better. Joe takes a shot and the umpires and Tim giggles a little. BARTMAN!!! Only fat. Eh, walk. Good at bat, though. Cute little double play ends the inning.

3rd Inning: Are all the women at the game wearing a ton of make up? Geez, ladies, it's a baseball game, not a rodeo. You aren't there to be seen. Must be a Texas thing, like giant, teased hair. These Charles Schwab commercials are freaky and need to go away. Garland looks ridiculous trying to bat. Backe is such a punk. Someone is going to kill him. Strike out, ground out, tapper back to the mound. Way to let Oswalt settle down, Sox. Missouri has hosted the most World Series games behind New York. That is one useless piece of information. Grrrr, safe at first. DAMMIT, pitch out, but Everett gets hit on his way back to first. I hope that hurt. Oswalt bunts him to second. Biggio drives him in. Arughhhhhh. First unearned run for the Sox all post season? Do we really need to know about Biggio's pants? I think not. Strike out, cool. Berkman singles and Craig's at third. Hit out of the park...foul. Another single makes it 3-0. Strike out. Gah. Very messy inning.

4th Inning: Taveras almost goes all Reggie Sanders, but makes the catch. NOOOOOOO. NOT SCOOTER! The White Sox have apparently stopped trying to make Oswalt work. Mark Mulder's on the TV. But he's playing golf right now. A. J. Pierssdfnoiehny keeps stepping out to break Roy's rhythm, something I wish the Cards had done a few times. And he walks. Nice play by Ensberg. Wow, I remember Boatman's Bank. Shit, Lane hits a home run. He does sprint, which is something I guess. God, Tim is retarded. Comebacker for the first out. Oswalt's swinging out of his shoes. Joe is not convinced that was a home run.

5th Inning: It looks like the Sox may have gotten hosed on a call. I really can't tell on the replay. But it was Angel Hernandez who made the call. Shannon won't even say his name. Wheee, Crede hits a home run! Nope, Lane's hit was not a home run. The shoe is on the other foot tonight. Should I try to make some joke about Shoeless Joe? Garland is trying to bunt. That's cute. Whoa, Garland pulls back and laces it foul, but then strikes out. Podsednik singles and it's 1st and 2nd. C'mon Other Gooch! Yay Other Gooch, into center field. Terrible throw by Taveras. 4-2 now. Houston's pitching coach wasn't too happy Oswalt was getting away from his fastball and he may just be right. Dye has a very good at bat and bloops a single into center to score another run. Konerko doesn't learn anything watching Dye's at bat and flies to center. C'mon Other Eyechart! And he unloads into center and the Sox have the lead!!! Some female Astros fan has this look on her face of complete disgust, like "How dare they?" Well, honey, they're better than your team. Get used to it. CFB, I'm thinking. Another walk. Tenth batter of the inning. Oswalt hits Crede, who is pissed. Much yelling between the benches. Garner needs to shut up. Springer isn't really getting ready to pitch-he's unwrapping gum. Dang, fly to right ends the inning. C'mon Garland! Biggio grounds out. Taveras pops out. Whoooo, 46 pitches in that inning for Roy. Rowand makes a fine running catch to retire Berkman. 1-2-3.

6th Inning: Garland grounds out quickly. Can anyone understand Ozzie? Bleh, 2 very quick outs. Ensberg can't handle the ball and The Other Gooch reaches. Dye hits an easy fly to center. You know, I remember almost nothing about last year's World Series. I don't know if I've blocked it out or if I spent those four night completely drunk or what, but it's a lot of fun to watch having so little invested in the outcome. Strike out, pop up to short. I hate Brandon Backe. Nice play by Uribe over a diving Crede (I think).

7th Inning: Oswalt's still out there. Tim with more insightful analysis, saying the starters aren't going to pitch complete games. Thanks, Tim! Four pitch walk to Konerko. Ah, pitching change. I believe this exemplifies "Pooping Your Pants On The Biggest Stage." Nice job, Roy. Springer coming in and gets The Other Eyechart to pop up. Rowand strikes out. Crede grounds out on the first pitch. Very nice, a moment of silence for Rosa Parks. Holy crap, this is awful. I think it's time to stop the "God Bless America" during the 7th Inning Stretch. Activity in the Sox pen. Ehhh, walk. Teeny tiny little bunt moves the runner over. Bagwell pinch hitting. Time to get Garland out of there. This could really bite them in the ass. Bagwell pops it up. Hee hee, Craig strikes out. I was wrong. Nice job, Garland.

8th Inning: Wheeler in, fly to right. Mr. I Don't Believe In Dinosaurs singles. Pinch runner steals second; not a very good throw. Fly out to deep left. Well, for what passes for deep left in that bandbox. The Other Gooch grounds to third. Politte's in and Joe says he's from St. Louis. Cotts is up in the pen, he's also from the area I think. Maybe the Cards should be scouting in their own back yard a bit more. "We Like Lance-A-Lot"? Really, really bad. Nice, strike out. Walk. Cotts coming in. Gah, another walk. Dustin!! Our old pal. Shit, tie game. Well done, Hermanson. Strike out ends the inning, but....

9th Inning: I've noticed Astros fans boo just about every pitch they don't get the call on. Not every pitch is a strike, morons. Dye swings at ball four and is thrown out. Konerko is HBP. That really did hit him, it wasn't a phantom hit like the other night. Gallo is coming in. He makes cheap wine. But he gets AJ to ground out. Time for Lidge. Will he blow another one? God, Konerko is bald. Lidge didn't blow it yet, as Rowand strikes out, but there's hope if it goes to extras. First pitch pop up, nearly had a collision. Uh oh, walk. Oh, no! Pick off throw gets away and Burke goes to 2nd. Jesus, now he steals third. Walk to Biggio. Setting up the double play. Now, does Taveras squeeze? Well, no. It looks like he's trying to hit a nine-run home run. No, Tim, you really shouldn't try the squeeze with two strikes. Now he strikes out. Shoulda squeezed, Phil. IBB to Berkman. This is not a very good situation. Jenks still has his sweatshirt on. Ah, seeing Backe's reaction was almost as sweet as the strike out itself.

10th Inning: Crede grounds out on the first pitch. Strike out. So, um, yeah. Lidge looks good. Another strike out. Lead off walk. That's never good. Pitching change. Foul pop up on first pitch. Pop up to center. Another walk. Good grief. How many walks can you give? Grounder back to the pitcher.

11th Inning: I really don't know if I care enough to stay up much later. Yawn. Qualls in. Lead off single.... C'mon The Other Gooch! Oooh, almost a pick off. Podsednik steals second on a pitch out! Iguchi flies to right, Scott starts to tag up, but somehow screws up and can't make it to third on a terrible, terrible throw (which luckily for the Astros stays in play). Dye swings at some crap and strikes out. IBB to Konerko. Now Jenks is warming. Timo Perez pinch hits, who grounds to first on the first pitch. Lame. The buzzing again. I want to kill. Biggio strikes out. Jenks hits Taveras. Walk to Berkman. Uh oh. Ensberg pops out. Another comebacker.

12th Inning: Meh. Strike out. Crede grounds out. Broken bat pop up. Just end the game. Lane flies to left. Strike out. "This game is like swimming though syrup." If you say so, McCarver. Strike out.

13th Inning. That was a funny looking pitch, Qualls. C'mon, Widger. Yet another lead off walk. It sure would be nice if one of those came around to score. Oh, man. Nice DP. Though, it was helped by the fact that Podsednik just stood there and looked at the ball for a few seconds. TOG strikes out. Marte in to pitch. Lead off walk. I want to go to bed. Biggio strikes out. So does Taveras. Berkman grounds out.

14th Inning: If you're still with me at this point (and really, there's nothing happening so you shouldn't be), did anyone else notice that the scoreboards in Chicago said "That's A Winner"? That pissed me off. Dye gets a single. But we've been down the road of having the lead off guy on before. I'm not going to get my hopes up. WOW, that was one hell of a double play. Text book. BLUM HITS A HOME RUN!!! 6-5! Rowand gets on via a slooow grounder to third. Crede also hits a slow roller, but it's right along the line and Ensberg lets it hit the bag. OK, Blum has terrible hair. Walk to Uribe loads the bases. For Widger. Who WALKS. Easy RBI, 7-5. Rodriguez comes in. Podsednik strikes out, badly. Ensberg strikes out. There's a shot of a sad lady on her phone. Walk to Palmiero. Backe goes out to the pen. Lane pops up. Uh oh, 1st and 3rd after Uribe can't handle the ball. Buehrle in to pitch. Popped up!!

I'm not spell checking this. So, I'm sorry for any spelling mistakes. Join RHM and I tomorrow night for some World Series smack. Night, all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2006 Schedule

Since the Cardinals release their schedule so late, I thought I'd put it together. Of course, all of these are subject to change, blah, blah, blah. And I think I've got all the series right, but no guarantees.

@ PHI 3, 5-6
@ CHC 7-9
MIL 10 (Home Opener), 12-13 (Yes, that's two series with an off day after the first game)
CIN 14-16
@ PIT 17-19 (This doesn't make sense, but it's what their site says)
CHC 21-23
PIT 24-26
WSH 27-30

@ CIN 1-2
@ HOU 3-4
@ FLA 5-7 (that's a lot of travel)
COL 9-10
ARI 12-14
NYM 16-18
@ KC 12-21
@ SF 22-24
@ SD 26-28
HOU 29-31

CHC 2-4
CIN 5-7
@ MIL 9-11
@ PIT 13-15
COL 16-18
@ CHW 20-22
@ DET 23-25
CLE 26-28
KC 30

KC 1-2
@ ATL 3-5
@ HOU 6-9
All Star Break 10-12
LAD 13-16
ATL 17-19
@ LAD 21-23
@ COL 24-26
@ CHC 27-30

PHI 1-3
MIL 4-6
@ CIN 7-10
@ PIT 11-13
CIN 14-16
@ CHC 18-20
@ NYM 22-24
CHC 25-27
FLA 29-31

PIT 1-3
@ WSH 4-7
@ ARI 8-10
HOU 11-13
SF 15-17
@ MIL 18-20
@ HOU 21-24
SD 25-27
MIL 28-October 1 (Yep. One off day in September.)

What In The Blue Hell?

It's time to form a posse. Someone's getting their ass kicked but good.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Don't Touch That Dial

I'll be out of the loop for a few days so here are some things to look forward to. Or at least things that I'm going to write.

A liveblog of a World Series game in which I openly root against and taunt the Astros. I'm thinking up some very mean names for Backe. Maybe I should invite RHM over. In fact, I think I will.

End of the year PWFs: Now with bullpen! I'm looking at you Ray King.

Perhaps some minor league stuff, Arizona Fall League, people in winter ball, etc.

Rampant free agent and trade speculation. See if you can spot the rumors I make up!

Enough songs for a bellyitcher double album. Who wants to design the cover art?

Any requests?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Congratulations To The Astros

It's too bad the Cardinals stopped playing after the first game or this could have been a really good series. The Astros did "all the little things," the Cardinals didn't. So there you go. It looked like the Cards didn't even want to be there.

I'm not even going to talk about the umpires. Smacks of excuse-making. And this is on the backs of the hitters.

At least Albert brought the series back to Busch so everyone could say goodbye to the team and the stadium.

But, go White Sox. I'll be damned if I'm rooting for a Wild Card team. Oh, and I really didn't fancy being the team that coughed it up to two "cursed" teams in a row, so we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cardinals (1-3) at Astros (3-1)

We're back where the season started. If it's going to end tonight, so be it; I liveblogged the first game, I'll liveblog the last until the very bitter end. I don't care about bad umpires, dirty slides, missed tags, short porches, flag poles on the field. All I care about is seeing the team I watched for six months show up. If they lose, the least they can do is go down playing like Cardinals. That means no extra outs, no semi-conscious at-bats. Just do what they did all year long. Play like you want it, not like it's owed to you.

1st Inning: I'm in the car, but the first two reach on a HBP and walk. Then...nothing. Brutal. Lead off single for Biggio, Grudz couldn't grab it. Bunted over. With a base open, would you walk Berkman? Well, they didn't want to but did. Ensberg whoopsies one to Carp for the 2nd out. Very nice play by Luna (4th string 3rd baseman) to end the inning.

2nd Inning: Grudz continues his exercise in futility, grounding out. Yadi doubles after a very nice at-bat. STFU Lyons, Molina will kick your ass. Arugh, Luna couldn't hold up on a high pitch. Carp grounds out on the first pitch. Lane does need to see one up by his chin. But he singles to left. Shit, hit and run, second and third, no outs. Struck him out. One down. Carpenter looks a little scared. Out at the plate!!! I just adore Yadi. He came to play. Damn, Biggio pokes one into left. 1-0 Astros. And now Yadi takes a foul off his bare hand. Can we please get one break? Burke strikes out to end the inning. Sigh. The way things are going, one run might be enough.

3rd Inning: Eckstein fouls a ball off his leg. And they're booing the trainer. Fuckers. Bloop to center! So tough. Then he steals 2nd. Off Pettitte. Shut your mouth, Jimmy. Base hit sends Eckstein to third. Pujols plays chess? Oh. And he strikes out. Goddammit. Unreal. Reggie hits a loooong foul ball. And then strikes out. Show me something, Larry. Well, he walked. Which loads the bases for...Grudz. Who does NOT swing at the first pitch. GRUDZ COMES THROUGH!!!! 2-1 Cards!!! Arugh, Yadi strikes out. The crowed goes wild as Berkman flies out to Jimmy. Strike out. Ground out. Nice job shutting them down after we score.

4th Inning: Ensberg just gets Luna. Carp flies out to right, Lane makes that look hard. Eck flies out to right, too. They're finally making a pitcher work, though. They hit Lane!!! WOW. Probably an accident, though; it was a breaking ball on the butt. FC, Lane out at 2nd. Single and it's 1st and 2nd. Pettitte bunts them over. I noticed Larry shaved his playoff beard yesterday. Duncan comes out to talk to the infield. So, it's 2nd and 3rd for Biggio again. And he hits it to left again, but this time Reggie's there and he doesn't fall on his head.

5th Inning: Jimmy whoopsies a chopper in front of the plate. Damn, Albert ropes one right to the third baseman. Reggie singles to left on the first pitch. Show me something, Larry. Reggie steals 2nd. Meh, Larry grounds to 2nd. Burke strikes out. Berkman singles to center. Ensberg strikes out. And another strike out.

6th Inning: The Bushes are at the game. Jesus, Mark. HUSTLE. Out by a mile. Then Yadi singles. Arguh. Luna pops up. Grrrrrr. Carpenter grounds it back to Pettitte. Man, that looked like it could have been something. Lane loooong fly ball, but not long enough to get to the Crawford boxes. Fly out to right. Ground balls, Carp. Ground balls. Comebacker to Carp. He's elevating the ball. Worrisome.

7th Inning: Eck reaches on a bad throw. Oh, he's picked off. That's not good. Two outs on the basepaths. Oh, Jimmy you are so lucky that's a dead ball. Jimmy's safe at first, Lamb pulled off the bag. And Pettitte is knocked out of the game. Damn, I wanted Albert to have another shot at him. Qualls in. I miss the Astros' old bullpen. Nice play gets Pujols at first. Bleh, grounder to third. Crazy-ass half inning. Clemens is relaxed, Mulder is tense. Grounder to Eckstein. How does Biggio not get diseases from his helmet? Oh, Luna misplayed it and Biggio's safe. Oh God. Foul Ball. Wow. Shit. 1st and 3rd. Carpenter, do this. Now. Berkman home run. 4-2 Astros. I'm going to cry. 338', what a joke. Ensberg out trying to get to second. Pop up to center ends the inning, but the damage has been done. With all the scoring problems the Cardinals have had, it's not looking good.

8th Inning: Walker hits the ball off of the pitcher's glove and still gets thrown out. That's just the epitome of the series. Play some damn Cardinals baseball, guys. Quit swinging at the first pitch, quit giving them extra outs. Grudz, fly to center, Yadi weak grounder. Mabry in for Walker. Thanks for the memories, Larry. Izzy also in. Fly to Jimmy. Grounder to short. Pop up to 1st. Here comes Lidge.

9th Inning: J-Rod leads it off. Swings at a ball in the dirt and is thrown out at first. Mabry also goes down swinging. We were totally outplayed these last four games. Totally. Eckstein scoots in through the left side. He takes 2nd. Jimmy walks. OH MY FUCKING GOD HOME RUN ALBERT. Reggie strikes out. Pujols slides to beat Tavares to the bag. Thom sounds so sad. Another grounder to Pujols. And here's Burke. So catches the last out. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

White Flag

Come home with your shields or on them, boys. The Astros will NOT celebrate at Busch.

I know you think that I shouldn't still watch this
I could tell you that
But if I didn't see it well, I'd still have felt it
Where's the fun in that?

You promise you're not trying to make the game harder?
Please return to where you were

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above the Arch
You're the Cards and always will be

I know you leave too many on
But now's the time to come back again
Miscues caused nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't get back here again
But you don't live by the rules of "It's over"
And tonight you'll show them why

Well, I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above the Arch
You're the Cards and always will be

And then next spring
In our new park
All that was there
Will be there still
Will you wonder
What might have been
Or will you think
Let's do it again

Well, I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above the Arch
You're the Cards and always will be

Well, I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above the Arch
You're the Cards and always will be

I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above the Arch
You're the Cards and always will be

-apologies to Dido

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Be on the lookout for the St. Louis Cardinals. They have been missing since last week. Discription: Timely hitting, solid bullpen, never-say-die attitude. Also, be aware heart and desire have not been seen for some time.

In addition, the NLCS is missing one (1) strike zone.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I hate baseball.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My Eyes! My God, My Eyes!

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(AP Photo)

Really makes you appreciate Jimmy, huh?

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

All Knotted Up

The series and the Cardinal batters. Mulder pitched a great game, Oswalt was just better. Like other-worldly better. That combined with the less than stellar defense, well, the Cardinals were totally out played. Tip the cap and such.

It's not that we lost, after all Roy was nigh unhittable, it's the way we lost. I don't know what was happening with Yadi behind the plate tonight or Jimmy batting. Can't give the other team free bases or have Albert keep coming up to lead off the inning. Tavarez...ugh. Marquis did well, even after his little bitch-fest to the Post. So it was an off-night for pretty much everyone. Terrible timing, but after playing so well for four postseason games, it was almost bound to happen. Better now than in an elimination game. Need to regroup and take a couple at that monstrosity they try to pass off as a ball park in Houston.

And I hope to Christ Reggie is OK.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Man Oh Man

My stupid stupid TiVo is not letting me see the first inning. Minor inconvenience, though.

Like I said, few coherent sentences. Good Carpenter, not super-sharp, but good. Good Reggie, Eckstein, Albert. Can't fault Izzy for the misplay. Otherwise, good Jason. It's very nice to be up a game. Home run, squeeze play, four-pitch inning, guy thrown out at home. Lovely. About that squeeze. Chris showed bunt, so the Astros knew something was coming, but whether it was a safety or suicide, they couldn't tell. So they pitched out, hoping that something would be tipped. Grudz didn't go. One of the Fox guys said that La Russa might have thought, "Well, if you want me to put on the squeeze, I will. Much good may it do you." And it was a beauty of a bunt. And to get out of a bases-loaded jam (of his own making, granted) in the bottom of the inning? Magnificent. Color me concerned about Larry. Yeah, he got a hit, but he looked bad, and in pain, striking out later.

And Larry, Reggie, Grudz, Suppan, Scott, anyone I missed, and I guess Matt too...absolutely love the playoff beards.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Open Letters to St. Louis Cardinals

Way back when the season was young, the leaves were green, and the humidity in St. Louis was still gathering strength I wrote to the Cardinals. Alex's post reminded me of those letters, and I think it's time they heard from me again.

Dear Abe,

Don't be nervous. We don't expect you to hit a home run off Roger Clemens (though we'd take it). Just be your normal steady self in the field and everything will be fine.

Dear Larry,

Please, for the love of God, watch out for the walls. I know you'll be ready to play, but if you feel the need to take one for the team, try to get hit in the butt.

Dear Bullpen,

Hi guys! 'Sup? Got all those kinks worked out now? Sure, we all miss Al, but ya gotta move on. Marquis' with you now and he's gonna be great out of the pen. Speaking of which, Jason this is NOT a demotion. We need your A+ sinker in the 7th or 8th. Embrace the role. Julian, please keep it together. Izzy, forget that they're the Astros. If you need hypnosis, I'm sure someone will oblige. King, I'm very sorry for your loss, but it's game time, buddy. Brad, please stop with the home runs.

Dear David and Mark G.,

Love the double plays. Keep doing that. David, a squeeze and a home run? Yes, please! I'd like to see a couple walks, Mark G., but doubles into the gaps are great, too.

Dear Yadi,

You're so adorable. I know you've got a cannon, but I'd hate to see a wild pick off, so don't be reckless. Also, please don't stay up watching your brothers.

Dear Jimmy,

You must watch out for walls, as well. I know you haven't had the type of season you wanted, but you can take care of that now.

Dear Starters,

You know what you need to do. You know you can do it. Don't get fancy. Don't get cute. Don't think too much. Chris, you'll be fine. Mark M., I hope you're arm is as healed as they say. Matt, remember what you did Saturday? More of that. Jeff, what's the word of the day?

Dear Bench,

Keep on keepin' on.

Dear Albert,

You are Albert Pujols. You can do just about anything. But lay off the junk low and away (unless it's one of those that you hit out of the park one-handed, those are OK).

Dear Whole Team,

Kill the Astros. Thanks.



Monday, October 10, 2005

Night Terrors

Here's my fear. The Cardinals really, really, really want to get back to the World Series. I'm scared they're going to get all anxious and start pressing. That won't work, especially against Pettitte, Clemens, and Oswalt. Of course, I'm scared of a lot of other things, like a meteor hitting the stadium, but a repeat of the series against the Giants is the biggie.

Oh yeah, and the bullpen. They give me nightmares.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Stay Classy, San Diego

C'mon. You knew that was coming.

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Take That, Boston & More

Karma's A Bitch, Part II: So TSSWMNBN, how does it feel to end your team's postseason two years in a row? Does that money blanket keep you warm at night? Do those boos that rained down as you made yet another error balance out all the tradition you said Boston had? There will be no Queer Eye appearances for you, Red Sox. There will be no book deals, no Fox or ESPN drooling. I was happy after we took two of three earlier this year, and sorta thought I'd like some revenge later in the season. But now you're just another super high payroll team that can't get it done. I'm so over you. You too, TSSWMNBN. I've met someone better.

Larry Walker, Comedian
, Part II: "He ain't the buffest of guys," Walker said of Mulder, who stands 6-6 and 215 pounds. "He's built like a fungo bat...."

Confession time: I never got to email the Post to stand behind fellow bloggers who do this for free at the real Birdwatch. I'm so sorry boys, I suck. But I'm glad to see that Goold was apologetic and accommodating. As a side note, I've really liked Goold's coverage this year. It's always a good idea to inject new blood into a one paper town.

Yadi has some catching up to do. Big brother Bengie has hit three home runs in his series.

Condolences to Ray King.

Ok, Matty. Let your beard grow, smoke a joint, whatever it is you need to do tomorrow. I wanna win.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Baseball 101

Do you need an instructional video for your little league baseball or recreational softball team? Our new product is guaranteed to provide results. Volume 1: Plugging The Holes - Defense shows your pitchers how to field a comebacker without losing their cool. Your first basemen (or women) will learn the art of stretching to dig throws out of the dirt while keeping their hamstrings attached. See how your infielders should be positioned to turn double play after double play. Is your team overly reliant on the long ball? Watch perfectly executed hit-and-runs on Volume 2: Big And Small - Offense. Sacrifice flies, bunts and suicide squeezes are also extensively covered. If your team is too station-to-station, learn how to hone the perfect home run swing and how to take advantage of ground rule doubles. In Volume 4: Taking Command, catchers will be taught how to pick off runners from any base and to take charge of the pitching staff. One of our more popular courses, Volume 5: Underrated - Baserunning demonstrates how to take a lead to rattle the opposing pitcher, when to go first to third and when to go first to home, and the best times to tag up among many other techniques and tactics on the base paths.

For more information or to order, contact:

Tony La Russa
c/o St. Louis Cardinals
250 Stadium Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63102

Credit Cards, Checks, Money Orders, and stray puppies are accepted

Please note that Volume 3: Bridging The Gap - Middle Relief is currently unavailable.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Random thoughts while watching the TiVo of the game

-What did we do to deserve Morgan & Miller? If this is the price to win the series, I'll gladly pay it.
-There's too much to read. I don't know how I'm going to catch up with all of it.
-Albert totally beat Sweeney to the bag.
-Regarding carpooling with Reggie, "Said Walker: 'It was just a way to save gasoline. Heck, I shower with the guy, so a ride home is no big deal.'" That Larry, what a card.
-After the Nunez-Pujols DP, Bochy was looking over to the Cardinals dugout with a look of bewilderment, like "Wow. How'd they do that?"
-I feel very bad about Peavy's injury. That's a terrible blow for the Padres. The Cardinals know what it's like. However, since I want the Cards to win, I won't necessarily miss him. Didn't someone blow out their knee jumping on home plate after a home run?
-I love Jimmy's reaction when Albert's called safe.
-Tony was very jokey and relaxed. Huh?
-Mulder put away Reggie's helmet for him.
-Do I really want to watch the last three innings? I hope that Thompson got all his butterflies out of the way today. Flores, Eldred, and Izzy too.
-I somehow missed Albert getting doubled off first earlier today. D'oh!
-Disagree with throwing the ball back. We are NOT Cub fans.
-I saw this picture earlier and kinda wondered about it. Then I saw Yadi tousle the ump's hair (through his cap, obviously) and Montague had such a cute "Aw, shucks" look on his face.
-Lots of empty seats in the upper deck in the ninth.
-The boos for Izzy. It was really more like an admonition. Plus, a lot the fans at playoff games are there on corporate tickets and think they're badass.
-There was a weird little convo between Pujols and a Padre after the final out. Dunno what that was about.

Ok, I have a day and a half to get all worked up again.

Monday, October 03, 2005

OK, I'll Admit It

I'm terrified.

As the day started, I was prepared to go about my business with a stoic dispassion. Then I got stopped at a train crossing, but there was no train. Ever. Ten minutes of waiting before I gave up and turned around. Now I've got that weird panicy feeling - an omen of some sort to be sure. And it didn't go away.

Reading about the NLDS certainly didn't help. Yeah, people are picking the Cards, but everything has this "only if" feel to it. Peavy scares the pants off me. Morris in Game 3? Aieeee. No Al Reyes. My mouth is dry, my stomach in knots. I hate baseball.

Ah, but salvation comes from strange places. A local TV station is having a Simpsons "Honestly Abe" week. Nunez is going to come up big.

Obviously you don't come here for in-depth statistical breakdowns. Maybe some amusing song rip-offs. But you can expect a lot fewer coherent sentences from here on out.

Redbird Roundtable

So if you've been just about anywhere in Cardinal blogs today, you'll know I'm behind. Consequently, you get no introduction here, straight to the chat.

Part I, VEB
Part II, CardNilly

Part III, right here!

lboros: ok, so we all have concerns but basically we win this series, right? how many games
bellyscratcher: Simontacchi!
Ryan: 4
bellyscratcher: 4
Dan Up: Four at least, because I'm giving Peavy one scare-all-the-cardsbloggers start
lboros: yeah ok, 4
Dan Up: if Astacio goes Lima it could take longer
Scott: Simo was at the ballpark today -- nice hand for him. I say three. Peavy doesn't get a second start.
bellyscratcher: Someone will go Lima Time on us
Ryan: or MaMO meltdown
Dan Up: after this year I wish it was Jose Lima
Ryan: really!
lboros: tempting fate ......... who do we match up better against in rd 2, hou or atl?
bellyscratcher: ATL
lboros: why?
Rob: Depends on Clemens.
Ryan: Pettitte scares the hell out of me
bellyscratcher: Juicy pen
lboros: roger that
Dan Up: I'd rather face Houston, that offense is of the bubble gum/scotch tape variety
bellyscratcher: And yeah, last year the 'Stros didn't have Pettitte
Scott: I was rooting for the playoff game today, just so they'd have to burn one of their pitchers...
Ryan: uh huh, almost
Ryan: had one
lboros: we beat the stros' pen last year. the pen is better this year, and rolen's gone
bellyscratcher: I hate the stupid HOU park
Rob: Jose Freakin Macias...
Ryan: except we could hit for good Power there
bellyscratcher: Also, no Cedeno
Scott: But Houston doesn't have Beltran/Kent this year, either. And Lance isn't quite as dangerous as normal...
Ryan: Bags can only PH too
bellyscratcher: Their hitting is shit, but pitching is better
lboros: pitching wins
Ryan: yeah, but we've done well against their top starters
lboros: diff't story in the playoffs
Ryan: pitching and HRs win in the POs
Ryan: true
Dan Up: honestly I'd rather have a big offense in the playoffs, if one guy in your offense loses it you can still score runs
Dan Up: but if one guy in your rotation blows up, you've lost a game
Ryan: working for BOS
Rob: Berkman had a big September.
Ryan: ensberg didn't though
Scott: I dunno how to think about the Astros staff. They scare me, but they've had mixed results against us. There was that first series after the ASB where they were fired up and hard charging, and we swept the top three.
bellyscratcher: I'd love to face Atlanta. So's HR off of Farnsworth last year...
Scott: And then there was last week, where we couldn't beat Brandon Backe.
Rob: I think Berkman's coming back from an injury though.
lboros: atlanta's an easier matchup
Ryan: perhaps
lboros: their big gun andruw jones is easy to neutralize
bellyscratcher: By far
lboros: and their pen is a joke
Ryan: Chipper has been clutch for them too
bellyscratcher: they have that kid, tho
lboros: the guy who kid kill you is furcal
Ryan: Frenchie
Scott: I think Atlanta's a better club, but a better matchup, too...
Ryan: furcal gets neutralized by yaddie some
bellyscratcher: Beer time
Scott: Already there.
Ryan: 6 in...kidding
lboros: who will win that series, hou or atl?
Scott: Hey, just to return to the other conversation, Mulder has a lousy past against SD, and Morris and Soup ain't great, either.
bellyscratcher: I had to deal with smack talk today
bellyscratcher: HOU
Dan Up: I think Atlanta's a better team, but Houston has a better chance to luck out and take the series
lboros: luck out because . . . .?
Scott: Is Hampton d-u-n this year?
Ryan: yes
Dan Up: I don't know, they just strike me as a team that's more likely to go on an over-their-heads streak
Scott: sweet.
bellyscratcher: I don't think those early season games are gonna figure much, Scott. That's why I wasn't too worried about Philly.
lboros: i have the same sense danup
Dan Up: yeah we had that third baseman back then
Ryan: biggio has been on fire too
Rob: It's amazing that ATL and HOU are the #2 and #3 teams in the NL and they've won 90 and 89 games.
lboros: guys like lamb and lane could get hot
lboros: it's an incredibly weak field
lboros: we have the worst playoff team in mlb history
lboros: in round 1
bellyscratcher: the NL is sad :-(
lboros: followed by a 90-game winner . . . .
Ryan: yeah our pen's not as solid as it was last year vs HOU
Ryan: on paper, we're by far the best team in the NL
Rob: The talent is in the AL. That's good, I suppose.
bellyscratcher: On paper, the Cubs have an all-world rotation, though.
Ryan: good point, but they also have Dusty
lboros: yeah but we have . . . . o never mind
bellyscratcher: They're leading the league in simulated wins
Dan Up: Next year I'm all for wrapping the Big Three in styrofoam before every regular season game
Ryan: TLR pulled a Dusty with Carp
Ryan: this year
lboros: sure look like it
bellyscratcher: I think you may be right.
Ryan: why the hell did he decide to get all macho about pitch count this year of all years
Rob: The sad part is it probably cost Carp the CYA too.
Dan Up: I can't fault him for Carpenter. Marquis he nearly slagged, but Carpenter wasn't throwing as many pitches as you'd expect
Ryan: oh yeah, there's no way he gets it
Ryan: true
bellyscratcher: The # of pitches wasn't too bad for the # of innings he's thrown
Rob: Carp wasn't slagged, but he didn't get the red carpet treatment either.
lboros: 120 pitches in the clemens game
lboros: which was supposed to nail down the cy . . . .
bellyscratcher: that was more about 20 I think
Scott: I dunno -- I still think he's got a shot. The best pitcher on the best staff on the best team in baseball, with a whole mess of wins and not so many losses.
Ryan: 'cept the pundit class LUVS roger
Dan Up: yeah if Dontrelle played anyplace but Florida he'd be a mortal lock to win it
Scott: If the writers weren't noticing the late swoon because of all the other things going on in baseball, they could just give it to him based on his dominant summer..
lboros: and probably should.
Dan Up: but you could hide Elvis in Pro Player and nobody'd care
bellyscratcher: And some wag said Willis has a great smile. Then somebody on said he hits well, so should win. BS.
Dan Up: Marquis for Cy Young!
lboros: anthony reyes!
Ryan: yeah, at least if we play ATL nobody will be at the Braves' games
bellyscratcher: Nah, Suppan
lboros: bill pulsipher
Ryan: nice
bellyscratcher: Ooooh, yes.
Rob: Whatever happened to Gabe White?
Dan Up: Rick Ankiel for the lifetime achievement award
Ryan: the li'l slugger
bellyscratcher: Poor Rick.
Dan Up: The other day I suddenly remembered Gabe White had played for the Cardinals this year
Dan Up: after like two months of having totally forgotten about him
bellyscratcher: After the sucker punch in PIT?
lboros: is gabe white w pitt?
Dan Up: I don't know what did it, it was just an epiphany
Ryan: so did Boston's own Mike Meyers (not party on garth mike)
Scott: Yeah, I was flipping through my scorebook and found a game in which both Cali and Cedeno had played... Crazy.
bellyscratcher: Wow.

Part IV, Get Up, Baby! Go read the rest! It continues at The Birdwatch and Cardinals Diaspora.

Also, after a season of smack, RHM and I went out with a bang, playing Hangman, which I messed up.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

About Last Night

So RHM and I...worked a little blue yesterday. Ahem.

It was very nice to see Pujols hit a ball to right field. Almost as nice as the grand slam for #40 & #200.

Thanks to stupid Fox I can't watch today's game. So smack will have a delay.

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