Who wants a keychain?
Pretty much everyone, right? Unless you’re living in Clayton or something, you have to lock your doors. And unless you’re from Collinsville, you’re going to use a keychain and not twine.
And beer. It’s the weekend and you want a tall frosty bottle of beer, don’t you? You need a way to get that damn cap off.
Good thing our friends from WholesaleKeychain.com are here to help everyone live free and drink easy.
They’ve done CardsDiaspora.com a solid and sent over a beer opener sample pack engraved with our URL so all your friends can think you’re super cool.
We want to give you one.
We’ve got 4 to send out to anyone that wants one. If you’re interested, just leave a comment below (about anything) and we’ll mail them out next week. If more than 4 people comment, then we’ll draw out of a hat and send them out at random.
Comments will close SUN 08/05 @ 11p CST.
Seriously, though… if you need something to give out at an event/function/party, check out WholesaleKeychain.com – quality people, making quality keychains for people everywhere... but Collinsville.
Those people need a bath.
Who wants a keychain?
You guys, I'm waaay too excited to sleep. I'm leaving the Windy City tomorrow, taking the I-55 Hellway south and headed to the promised land.
OFF TO ST. LOUIS I GO, BITCHES!!!!
Now, don't get me wrong. I love Chicago and think it's the best city on the planet. (This is, of course, based on my relatively limited knowledge of all cities on Planet Earth. I'm sure Taipei is lovely this time of year.)
That being said, I look forward to this trip every summer. My family is awesome and getting to a three game series in STL is a huge priority. It's a weekend in which I actually get to watch baseball with people who don't inherently hate my guts.
WHAT A NEAT THING!!!
It's the BEST and I am basically beside myself at this point. Three days, three games and so many opportunities to make fun of the Dubs, hate on the Reds and wish for a fiery Pirates implosion with no real threat to my person.
HOW CAN THIS POSSIBLY GO WRONG???
My plan is threefold:
1. Eat lots of hot dogs, maybe grab some nachos on the side. (Extra jalapenos, hold the black olives because THEY ARE DISGUSTING AND CANNOT BE TRUSTED.)
2. Drink a few cold brews. (By which I mean, I have to HYDRATE. Duh.)
3. Watch the Cardinals lay waste to the Milwaukee Brewers for three straight days.
It's a flawless strategy.
I'll see you in St. Louieeeee, my friends.
We get email at Cards Diaspora.
Most of the time it's cut rate Cialis offers for Fresh WC. But we get email.
Every now and again, we get some good email. And today happened to be one of those days. Friend of the site Bo sent over his farm report culled from several sources and complied here for your enjoyment. So in lieu of actually coming up with something for ourselves, we're going to rip it off and post it here, give it a little graphic, and not compensate him at all. He lives in Denver, anyway. So what can he do.
With Zack Cox shipped out, I was curious what the Cards had left to work with at 3B - considering 3 of their top 6 picks in this past draft played the position. Here's an update on some Cards draft picks from 2012.
RHP, Michael Wacha. Enough has been written about this kid's 5K performance the other day with Cards' scouting director, Dan Kantrovitz, tweeting that his fastball sat at 95 mph and touched 97. Mozeiak was on hand too.
OF, James Ramsey, the Florida State version of Tim Tebow, was the Cardinals 1st round pick, 23rd overall. Many considered this selection a reach and thought the Cards could have nabbed him at 36th overall. But Ramsey signed below slot and maybe that was the plan with the new CBA rules in place, which fine teams for over-spending on draft picks. Ramsey hit .364 his senior year and drove in 67 in 65 games. He made the jump directly to the Cards' High-A affiliate in Palm Beach. In 27 games there he is hitting .266 with 9 RBI and 35 Ks.
3B, Steven Piscotty, selected in the supplemental round, with pick number 36, started off up at Quad Cities, the Cards' class-A affiliate. The 3B prospect has appeared in 25 games with 1 HR and 11 RBI while posting a .309 average and a .387 OBP. Piscotty played at Stanford with infamous Pirates first-round selection Mark Appel who elected not to sign and return for his final year in school. A curious play at 3B, Piscotty only hit 12 HRs in 172 career games at Stanford. He did post a .340 career average and 132 career RBI, but he has a distinct lack of power for a position you'd typically expect more from.
3B, Patrick Wisdom, the Cards' supplemental round pick, number 52 overall out of St. Mary's in California, has batted .277 in 35 games at the hot corner in Batavia. So far, 3 HRs, 15 RBI. But he has shown some patience at the plate for a 20 year old taking his first professional cuts. He has drawn a team-high 17 BBs vs. 23 Ks to give him a .371 OBP.
C, Steve Bean was the Cards' supplemental round selection at #59 overall, out of Rockwell HS, Texas. He was a "premier North Texas catching prospect with a solid bat and outstanding arm." He got off to a rough start at Johnson City, batting only .125 in 24 games with 1 HR and 5 RBI. He's since been moved down to the Cards' Gulf Coast League affiliate where he has appeared in 2 games, collecting 1 hit in 8 ABs for a, you guessed it, .125 BA. But keep in mind, Mr. Bean is still shy of his 19th birthday.
3B, Carson Kelly, out of Westview High School, Oregon, was selected in the 2nd round, 86th overall. It took nearly triple slot value to pry him away from the Univ. of Oregon - Kelly signed for $1.6m. Only a couple weeks past his 18th birthday, the 6'2" 200 lb Kelly has already belted 7 HRs in 32 games at Johnson City. However, he is only batting .240 with 5 BBs for a .275 OBP. Give this kid some time and we could see big things out of him.
A couple late rounders having noteworthy starts:
Tulane catcher Jeremy Schaffer was taken in the 18th round 570th overall. Cards moved him to 1B. He finished his senior year at Tulane so he'll already turn 23 next January. In 35 games at Johnson City he's hit 6 HRs and collected 31 RBI while posting a .299 average. He has K'd 26 times however to only 6 BBs.
RHP Mariano Dixon Llorens out of Miami Dade CC South was taken in the 25th round 780th overall. This 19-year-old right-hander impressed down in Johnson City. He appeared out of the bullpen 8 times, collecting 2 saves and did not allow a run. In 15.2 innings he struck out 28 batters and walked only 6. But Llorens was moved up to Quad Cities and his first appearance, August 1, was ugly. He came on in the 9th to protect a 10-8 lead. The result? 1.0 IP, 2 2Bs, 1 HRs, 3 ERs, 27.00 ERA, and an 11-10 loss.
Thanks again, Bo. 738 words. Not a single fact we checked. Hopefully you weren't making this up.
The MLB trade deadline came and went on Tuesday and the Cardinals were predictably silent. They did acquire RH relief pitcher Edward Mujica from the Miami Marlins for 2010 first round draft pick Zack Cox.
So far Mujica is 0-3 with a 4.38 ERA in 2012. He has kept RH batters to a .211 average, though. Effectively positioning himself as the Cardinals replacement Kyle McClellan.
Not exactly Larry Walker stuff here.
Cox wasn’t exactly AAA and with David Freese proving himself to be a 130 game guy and the defacto face of the franchise, Cox was expendable. He wasn’t going to transition to 2B and the Cardinals are OK with corner OF depth. I’ll go ahead and wish him luck, even though it’s been since 2010 when I thought about Zack Cox.
Meanwhile, around the NL Central the Reds made an impact moving by getting Jonathan Broxton from the Royals to set up Aroldis Chapman. Plus, the addition of Joey Votto in a couple weeks will be like acquiring a superstar via trade. The Reds have somehow surged to 11-2 with him sidelined with a knee injury.
The Pirates looked hard at a Justin Upton deal with the D-Backs. And this was a scary idea for the rest of the division. Pair him with MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen and that’s a dynamic top of the order that can beat you in multiple ways. Instead, the Bucs opted to ship less talent out of town and get 1B Gabby Sanchez from the Marlins. In limited action in 2012, Sanchez has stunk.
So at least we can hang our hats on that.
I was going to do a little research on some close/late stats for the Cardinals, but Bernie Miklasz has done it all. LINK HERE
The Cliff Notes version? These boys need to grow a pair. If they were even less than average in 1 or 2 run games in the seventh inning on, then the Cardinals would be right there with the Reds in the NL Central. Instead, they’re in danger of falling to double digits off the pace for the division.
Hell, I guess we could have shortened that up to: they lost a series in Chicago. You think they’re doing good?
You dont' want to read words. So let's go old (grade) school style. Dim the lights and let's watch a movie. And just like your teacher in 7th grade trying to prove he/she wasn't totally hungover, we're going to even tie it into a relevant theme.
Now, the Friday Links... Remix.
- Bob Ross. Remix. LINK HERE (via Fresh WC)
- Mr. Rogers. Remix. LINK HERE
- Obama. Remix. LINK HERE
- Double Rainbow. Remix. LINK HERE
- Bed Intruder. Remix. LINK HERE
- Call Me Maybe. Remix. With More Cowbell. LINK HERE
Big hump today.
The Cardinals have been drawn to 5 games over .500 like stink on shit for the better part of 2 months. Every time they go over, they fall back. Every time they get close to .500, they surge ahead.
So headed into a weekend series with the Cubs and having the chance to get to 7 games over .500, take 3 of 4 from the Dodgers (2 with addition Hanley Ramirez) and hit the road feeling like things are trending up would be a big plus.
That’s still pretty ugly there. The Pirates are going to fade away soon enough, but those 8 game tears from the Reds (including 2 last inning comebacks in 2 days) are going to put the Cardinals out of reach for the NL Central title if they don’t WIN series at home and KILL the NL bottom feeders.
It’s going to be a brisk 94 at game time today. Time to take advantage of fall-like weather and get after it.
If Lance Berkman’s 2011 was a career zenith, (great numbers, clutch post-season, World Series win, defying everyone who thought he was done and the Cardinals 1y for 8M contract was stupid, etc al) then 2012 might just be his nadir.
Berkman decided early in the off-season that he wanted to re-run it for 2012. And the Cardinals rewarded him with 12M to do so. Many in Cardinal Nation wondered if this was the right move.
After all, the previous 2 seasons with the Astros and Yankees, Berkman averaged .250 with a paltry 48 RBIs and 14 HRs. His career OBP was off 40 points. Candidly, there were times watching the Yankees where I was like “whoa, forgot they had Berkman!”
2 out of the past 3 years had been pretty bogus. Just so happened 2011 was a dream.
To fans, rewarding past performance is easy. To teams, it’s the riskiest business.
You have to calculate your risks versus future rewards. No doubt Berkman had earned a raise. He was a value at 8M and if he replicated 2011, he’d be a value at 12M. But was this an aberration? A last huzzah for a guy you could make a Hall of Fame case for?
Unfortunately, at this point… yes, 2011 was anomalous.
64 at bats, with most of July in the books. 18 hits. 3 errors as a shaky first baseman. Obviously an extended stay on the DL after a knee operation and a frustrating start to his re-boot after the All-Star game have not helped anything.
Earlier in the week, Berkman indicated that he “didn’t want to retard the progress of Allen Craig”. Last night he was hit with a pitch in his still healing knee and left the game. Nothing is going Mr. Berkman’s way. Everything that went well in 2011 has soured in 2012. And at a certain point, sadly, it might be time to wonder if it will get better? Or is this train off the tracks for good?
If the Cardinals make the post-season in 2012 and Berkman is healthy and coming through with some signature moments, then he’s worth it. His time off just provided some more time for the Allen Craig’s and Matt Carpenter’s of the world to develop. But if the Cards are watching the Reds and Pirates in the playoffs because they invested 10% of their payroll in a guy that couldn’t contribute anything meaningful?
Well that’s a lose/lose situation.
Let’s hope Lance’s knee is good. Let’s hope he gets 2011 back on track. He’s a charismatic player- the type of guy that you’d want to hang with. Hell, the kind of guy you want to root for.
Time, though? It’s becoming a scarce commodity.
Poor wibble babies.
Those precious angles from Los Angeles are all hottsee wottsee in St. Louis and the LA Times says that they can’t play outside for too long or they’ll get too gosh darn hot.
Juice boxes and orange slices for everyone in the clubhouse @ 5. Be there!
Oh, and the Cardinals have lost 8 straight to these guys.
(Yes, it’s a very slow news day. Yes, it’s probably actually smart to not be outside today. But that’s not going to stop 40K+ for sitting in this heat for 4 hours tonight. Not much you can say about this team anymore besides 5 games over .500 seems to be the cap on 2012.)
The Cubs are an albatross.
Hilarious in their eternal quest for greatness, committed to less than excellence. The Cubs, after 2012, will now have gone 104 seasons without hoisting a championship trophy above their collective heads. A staggering run of futility continually perpetuated to be something that actually will be overcome. Exhibit A.
Trouble is, they can’t win. They won’t win, because they can’t win.
Not in the sense that they are hindered from signing players that are better at their position than any other player. No, they can certainly do that if they want. But they can’t win in the same way that TV cannot have commercials or beer cannot have alcohol. Possibilities, both. But crippling to the economy of their product.
Since early 1990s when baseball had to do more than exist to make maximum profit, teams have had to devise a way to market themselves to attract attention. The Yankees were the evil empire. The Cardinals were the NLs most storied franchise with the best fans in baseball, etc al. Many teams have failed to brand themselves as much of anything. Miami is what? Loud? But the Cubs have won on this front. They’re the lovable losers. The teams that’s been around FOREVER, but hasn’t tasted success since your grandmother’s grandma was a baby.
The Cubs are built to lose. They make money losing. Winning ruins that.
Think about what happens if the Cubs did win the World Series. Several weeks of media coverage. Maybe the hugest victory parade ever. An off-season of Cub pumping. Then what?
The martyrdom that every Cub fan bases their cheering on ceases to exist. Boston, who also had a generational drought, had been close before. They were a good team that just didn’t happen to be better than the Yankees on several occasions. Once they got over the hump of winning a ring, their focus shifted from being cursed to trying to re-identify themselves as winners. Most seasons the Red Sox are good and competitive, though. The Cubs? The Cubs are bad most seasons.
Sans the ability to have a common bond of suffering, what do the Cubs become? A team, like any other, trying to find an identity.
They continue to lose, albeit by acting like they’re trying, and they keep making gobs of money of the suckers that root for them and believe that everyone is working towards a goal of winning the World Series.
Cubs fans, what are you doing? Just because you’ve been doing something a certain way your whole life, doesn’t mean it’s right. Or that you should keep doing it. Take your things and find a new team to root for. Or keep enjoying your weekends like the one you just had.