It's OPENING EFFING DAY people.
The defending World Series champs will take the field tonight in Miami and kick off the 2012 season with a new look that may and or may not work. Fresh WC took some time from shampooing his beagle to engage in an Opening Day coversation that includes gay kissing, booze and virginity lost.
No Pujols. No LaRussa. No Ducan. No Theriot... It's a new era for Cardinals baseball. They open the season tonight in baseball's newest stadium against the Miami Marlins.
That's right, it's Opening Day. And by 'day' we mean night. And by 'opening' we mean excluding the games that were played last week in Japan.
Last time we saw these birds, they'd just completed Game 6 of the World Series (the best baseball game ever played) and Game 7 of the World Series (clinching the 11th title at home). So there's no where to really go but down right? I mean it's exciting to start a season, but do we have to have a little pain before we can get the juices flowing for a new season? Or can we lose an all-time great player, manager and pitching coach and keep rolling right along?
Maybe it's just me, maybe it's the Blues pending playoff run, maybe it's the summer weather in March... but the chatter around the Cardinals has been low this off-season... and it's been a VERY tumult filled off-season.
Is this just World Series hangover?
In all honesty, I think the only name you mentioned that we'll truly miss will be Duncan. I firmly believe he had the magic touch. Carpenter aside, he polished a lot of turds in that bullpen and won a lot of games without a lot of talent.
Did we love #5? You bet. Was he the greatest player in baseball? Absolutely. Is he still? Probably.
But the most important question for the 2012 season (and beyond) is did we avoid financial Armageddon and set a precedent for fiscal responsibility in the age of dumb-money contracts? I say Yes. Yes we did. Let's be honest - if AP is a day under 37, I'd be shocked. Old guys break easily. If the MLB operated on a pay for performance system, he 100% earned that contract. But it doesn't, and I think the Cards played the smart hand and let someone else pick up that risk. We had the best player in baseball and we had him for nothing. We got two Championships; he got a big check from Anaheim. Everybody wins. (Except Anaheim).
TLR will be missed, but I don't think his absence will fundamentally hurt the organization. The change will help Yadi to flourish as a leader. Change is good.
It's a new chapter for the Cards and I couldn't be more excited about 2012.
The last time that the Cardinals took the field without Pujols, you wern't legal to drink. The last time the Cardinals weren't managed by LaRussa and coached by Duncan, you couldn't DRIVE.
Maybe it's my OCD, but that's a shit ton of change in one off-season. And even though I'm going back on everything I wrote Monday, I kind of think that the Cardinals are a little wimpy in the middle of the order without AP anchoring the 3 spot.
Maybe Beltran is a stud. And Maybe Berkman is back to being Berkman. But something about having #5 in there was comforting in a way I don't think we'll find this season with anyone on this roster. Hell, maybe ever again. AHHH!
Wainwright is back for 2 more years before leaving.You think that Matt Cain contract is going to provide, what, 3 to 5 more wins this season? Dude sees the green in his future if he can be close to 2010 Wainwright.
I look at it like this: When TLR started the '96 season as a Cardinal, I'd slept with one girl. All I wanted out of life was a fresh pack of Marlboro Lights and an excuse to evade adult supervision. In 1999, I had about $4 to my name and regularly wore two earrings. I lived in a house that smelled like cabbage in a complex with a penchant for burning furniture in the parking lot. Going out to eat meant McDonald's.
Lots of important people came in and out of my life in the last 16 years, and each played an influential role. Sure, I did some cool stuff between 1999 and 2012, but I'd take 31 year-old me over 16 or 20 year-old me any day of the week.
I firmly believe the best is yet to come. Each year gets better.
You change, you adapt, you better yourself. You grow. The Cardinals are no different.
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal - Schopenhauer
Dude hasn't managed so much a co-ed softball game in his career, but is now defending a Major League championship. At this moment, literally, he has no more on his managerial resume than either of us. But here is. Ready to take on the world.
Like many virgins trying to find their way, Mike is going to get a bit akward at times. What's the over/under on the first game he pretty much blows. Or at least the first game that provokes a "Was This A Good Idea" column from someone at the Post Dispatch?
I'm going May 7th.
Look, no one liked busting Dusty Baker's balls more than me, but at the end of the day, he wasn't the reason the Cubs sucked.
Sure, a manager can make bad calls that result in losses, but lets be realistic about their actual role in the success of a team.
Matheny knows the organization from the top-down. He knows the city, he knows the press, he knows the fans. There's only so much he can fuck up, and I don't think he will.
I'm certain the PD will be hard on him, but they should be. I support anything that drives him to win. I think DeWitt has made some good calls since November and I think Matheny is one of them.
Let's put a bow on this.
3 things that might happen this year that would look awesome if they did espically after we talked about them.
1) Somebody has an baby. Any baby counts, but we'll get the 'Skip must be tired... his wife just had a baby last night." Illegitimates count.
2) Dan Mac has an awkward interview with someone that casually mentions they should 'grab a drink sometime' and he has to nervously laugh then clarify later that he will not actually be having a drink with said interviewee.
3) A gay couple is put on Kiss Cam. St. Louis reacts poorly.
What say you?
1. St. Louis would certainly react poorly to a gay kiss cam kiss unless it was Will Ferrell (LINK HERE) but I don't see that happening.
2. I'll take your Dan Mac scenario a step further and say that we'll see Strike 3 in 2012. He likes the sauce too much, ATH.
3. Lance Berkman will put on 15lbs and win a Gold Glove at 1B.