Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good God

Does anyone here know the Heimlich?

I've never left a game early (well, once when I was about to get heat stroke) until tonight. Jesus, way to go, Jason. You just pitched us out of a compensatory pick. And the post season, probably.

At the game on Tuesday, my mom commented that the team looked like they just didn't care. She's right. They're tired. They're beat up. They're ready to be done. They aren't very good, and they know it. We know it. That's why I think this collapse isn't on par with others; I expected this team to kinda suck. Blame money if it makes you feel better. Blame La Russa if you want to get in with the 2003 in crowd. Hell, if you want to take out an ad (misspelled, of course) in the Riverfront Times, have at it. But if you're shocked by this turn of events, you have unrealistic expectations.

I think, as the season dwindles, the question becomes: What can the Cardinals do next year? It's a question I don't have an answer for yet. Throwing money at the problem won't really solve it. You have to spend wisely. And I, for one, trust Jocketty to do that. So, is a change in the clubhouse needed? Well, if the team is going to go cheap, La Russa will leave. They aren't going to cut payroll, and he hasn't shown the aversion to inexperienced players so many have accused him of. There will be a lot of turn over next year. And that's fine, it's necessary. I don't think we're looking at an Ozzie- or Tino-type clubhouse division, but weeding out some less than happy players is always a good thing.

Yeah, I don't know. It sucks, but isn't unexpected. If a crappy year is what it takes to get rid of the bandwagoners who treat going to Busch as a social event rather than a baseball game, I'm all for it. I guess that's my real motivation: I don't want to be surrounded by sorority girls when I'm trying to watch a baseball game.


Why couldn't I have had tickets to that game? Instead, I went Tuesday and saw Carpenter spit the bit and I'm going tonight when Marquis pitches (shudder). The proxy and I were trying to figure out who was going to pitch tonight's game during last night's game. After naming everyone, we figured it would be Narveson. Dammit. Also discussed (before Albert): a sign reading "Tanks For The Memories" for tonight's game. It would still be funny, I think.

It's like the team forgot the division wasn't wrapped up and did their usual limp to October. Only now it's being compared with the biggest collapses of all time. Let's at least wait until the end of the season to call the 2006 Cardinals The Biggest Chokers Ever In The Whole History of Baseball. Honestly, who's surprised? They had two eight-game losing streaks! The team's just not that good. Sneaking into the playoffs is the best we can hope for. The pitching won't get us very deep, neither will the hitting. I always want them to get to the playoffs, but I don't want to see them embarrassed in the first round.

Besides, I just don't know if my heart and, more importantly, liver can take another post season.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I read somewhere that as fans we were "owed" a championship. That we "deserved" it.

BS. We have been so incredibly spoiled by the team over the past five years.

We aren't "owed" anything. Not a higher payroll, not a hand-built stadium, and certainly not a championship. Bernie isn't owed the finest danishes St. Louis has to offer in the pressbox (which incidentally - not as tiny as he says).

Mad that payroll isn't higher? Perhaps you haven't noticed the very large brick structure just north of Highway 40. The one that was paid for (to the tune of $340M of $365M, or 93%!) by the private owners of the team. Think they're just doing this to get ready to sell the team? Sure, they'll sell, but it won't be in the same way they did with the Rangers. There are severe penalties for selling for a number of years after Busch III opened. And if you think the team didn't need a new stadium...let's just say you can polish a turd, but it's still a turd.

Also contributing to the lack of financial flexibility is the $60M the owners are committed to spending on Ballpark Village. They'd like to spend $550M, with the regional governments kicking in $100M. Not that downtown couldn't use a $60 million development, but a $650 million development's impact on the City...I can't even imagine. I live in the City, and with every new loft and condo, the tax base gets better, the amenities get better, the City gets better. I guess people who live out in the suburbs that only come into St. Louis for the occasional game or to go to the Zoo don't see how a revitalized downtown impacts them. But it's really very simple: housing->people->taxes->schools->families->growth, or, housing->people->jobs for those people->taxes->schools->families->growth. And not just growth in St. Louis City. What does that mean for random fan from Arkansas? Not much, but they can stay a block away from the stadium and walk around downtown after the game.

So, where have I been? I got very tired of the bitching and moaning I kept reading. Honestly people, before you start whining about how La Russa and Duncan hate rookie players, take a look at the freaking roster. And please show me what indicates Reyes is going to be a stud (the one-hitter in Chicago notwithstanding. Heard from Bud Smith recently?). I don't know if DeWitt ran over Bernie's dog or what, but he has had some kind of crazy ax to grind this season. It's too bad, he used to be a good writer, but he's become a prematurely bitter old man shaking his fist at the clouds. It's one thing to be skeptical of the owners, to want them to be accountable. It's another thing to be a dick.

I've also actually been going to games. I've got two next week - right about the time they should clinch.

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