Congratulations to Yadier Molina, Rafael Furcal, Carlos Beltran and Lance Lynn for being named to the 2012 NL All-Star team. Here’s hoping that David Freese can get in on the last chance fan ballot and Matt Holliday is the one chosen to replace Matt Kemp, who is still battling injury.
6 All –Stars! That’s S-I-C-K.
Unless you’re the Cardinals, and then 6 All-Stars is parlayed into a 41-38 record.
We’re not short of opinions on this site, but today I don’t know if we have one on the ASG selections. Honestly, I’m happy for the Cards players that have been selected. David Freese isn’t going to win the last-chance ballot, but he is getting some national run and that’s nice. Holliday, regardless of your opinion on him, is having an All-Star caliber season. So it’s not like Cardinal fans stuffed the ballot box for guys that don’t deserve to be in Kansas City.
On the other hand, just how the hell do you have 6 guys that could make an All-Star team and only get your record to 3 games over .500? Honestly… 6 All-Stars, with a combined VORP of 3? 0.5 per All-Star?
Do we blame it all on the bullpen? They’ve been brutal for stretches, sure. Or maybe it’s the run runs these guys go on padding the stats and not belying their actual value? I guess that’s a possibility.
Who do we blame? Matheny?
Forgive being the turd in the punchbowl, but doesn’t having 66% (maybe) of a starting baseball team on an All-Star team get us something better than this? You would think so.
So I woke up and started reading about the testicle eating fish in Papua New Guineana that have killed two men and the British Angler that went on a mission to catch these ferocious sons of bitches and I wondered if being a Cardinal fan this season is much different.
We're constantly getting our nuts crunched.
The Cardinals are playing like they don't have any.
Hell, I think we have a theme for the end of season DVD! "NUTS: The 2012 Cardinals". 40K (insane) people decided to brave 105+ degree heat yesterday and just as they'd settled in, the Pirates loaded the bases and bitched slapped some sense into people.
It was the second straight beating at the hands of the Pirates. A team that hasn't had a winning season since Bill Clinton was President. A team that has 50% of the payroll of the Cardinals.
The Cardinals finished June with a losing record at home, friends. Regardless of what they do today, it's another lost series for the Birds on the Bat.
And that 7-8 game winning homestead that we needed? That's shot to shit as well. It was looking like the Cardinals had finally busted through the gravitational pull of .500, but now we know that was a mirage. Oh, and that whole rationalization... it's all good, we just got to beat the Reds head to head!... that you're starting to prep for use? Stop it. Just stop it now.
Gross weekend, Cards.
Coach Mac Update:
HQ got a call from Coach Mac on Sunday pointing out that we omitted the guy who gets kicked in the nuts for a 'talent' on America's Got Talent. Apologies for not thinking of this sooner.
The Cardinals welcome 3 shitbag teams to Busch stadium for 10 games in 10 days. The Pirates, Rockies and Marlins are all reeling and all are about at their breaking point where they become sellers at the trade deadline and start “planning for the future” by calling up talented rookies, making exotic line-up decisions and otherwise doing the things teams do when they know the postseason is a pipedream.
On the other hand, the Cards are only 1 game over .500 at home this season. Which is not only very un-playoff like for any team, but totally out of the norm for the Cardinals the past two decades. They’re a team that does pretty good on the road, but thrives at home.
These next 10 games present 1/16 of the opportunity a team has in a season. And the Birds need to take 7-8 games to make up ground on the Reds. It’s going to be hotter than two rats humping in a wool sock pretty much this whole homestand. The boys need to bring it every night and start separating the NL Central wheat from the chaff.
I don’t even know what the hell that means, but they need to do it. Hard, I would assume.
It’s time to get after it men.
(SIDE INDULGANCE) You know how you’re a good recrutier? There are 30 teams in the NBA. There are 60 picks in the NBA Draft. There are 345 DI basketball schools. There are 1725 ‘starters’ on said college basketball teams. These numbers don’t include thousands of foreign hopefuls wanting to play in the NBA. Yet Coach Cal has all 5 starters AND a bench player drafted last night?
Just saying.Now, the Friday Links...
- Don't drive into a horse. LINK HERE
- Use the heat, my friends. LINK HERE
- That's one way to enhance a textbook. LINK HERE
- Looks like Toy Story 4 was discovered. LINK HERE
- Who else wants to shop here? LINK HERE
- How to hack a road sign. LINK HERE
After alternating taking beatings with delivering beatings over the past 8 weeks, the Cardinals have finally taken the fencepost out thoust ass and put together a 5 game winning streak that has pushed their record to 5 games over .500.
Still 3 back of the Reds in the loss column, the Cardinals have at least separated themselves from the Pirates. A win, I suppose, considering they've been languishing behind the Bucs for the past two weeks. But a perfunctory look at the standings also reveal two stats that are startling.
That's the run differential for the Cardinals in 2012. Meaning, the Cardinals have scored 71 more runs than their opponents in the 75 games they've played. 71! The next best in the NL? 38 (Reds).
The Cardinals are on pace to nearly score 1 full run more per game than their opponents. That's the sign of not just a good team, but a GREAT team. If you're scoring at at +.70 or more pace over the course of the season, you're going to be in the playoffs barring some bad luck and/or playing in a division with an even better team (the Rangers lead MLB with a +89).
Problem is, the Cardinals are 5 games over .500. The Rangers and their +89 are 16 over .500. Meaning the Cardinals are have, technically speaking, pissed away at least 8 games they should have won. And a quick jog of the memory feels like this is about spot on. And while the Cardinals have had momentary laps in pitching, overall, the staff/pen has been serviceable.
If this run differential continues on it's current pace, this Cardinals team will be in the playoffs. Sure, the 10+ run drubbings of teams like the Royals and Astros pad this. Still, this number is a good barometer of a teams overall postseason potential.
The Cardinals have one of the best home field advantages in baseball. Tuesday July night against the Pirates? Full house.
So the fact that their home record is very average. And that they're 4 games over .500 on the road bodes well for the Cardinals. They've got a nice little 10 game stand at home after the finale with the Marlins in Miami. You figure coming home hot, with a fan base that was ready to see any signs of life is going to be a positive.
Oh, and those 10 are against the Pirates, Marlins and struggling Rockies and their new 4 man rotation.
That's enough positivity for one day. Get back to your cube dwelling.
It's Week 7.
Last week Ryan got an early jump on Bachelor: Agusta (To be hosted by Hootie Johnson) while a bunch of other filler happened. Honestly, I just re-read the recap from last week and I can't say it wasn't the most boring episode of the season.
Let's step it up men.
This week? The boys are in Prague, looking to see which one of the show producers decided to 'test drive' Arie before he got cast as a Bachlorette contestant. (See what I did there? Test drive?) Also, hometown dates next week homies.
7:06 - "Ever have hot wine?" - Arie. As a matter of fact, we get 2 hours each week with Chris, so yes. Yes we've had whine. Hot? You be the judge.
7:13 - Looks like Mr. Arie was fishing off the company peer and had previous relations with the person who is currently in charge of shaping the love life of the person that Arie is trying to bed... errr... court. Awkward Turtle.
7:15 - Broseph. Man to man. When a girl keeps coming back to honesty over and over again in the same conversation... change the subject. It's not going to end well for you. Ever. Never ever. (BTW - Emily is not threatened by 'Cassie' if she's letting this go. That might be the one last trick the producers had in their back pocket for some drama... and it flopped.)
7:25 - L-BOMB. Arie dropped the first L-BOMB! That's called coming over the top.
7:33 - HollyWolf on the 1 on 1. Let's go to the text messages.
7:36 - First a cave, now a dungeon. Give STLs finest a fucking change, man. I mean what woman is day dreaming about her romantic dates in fucking dungeons and stalactite holes. Is that in 50 Shades of Grey? Hell no it isn't.
7:38 - Wolfner on that FILTHY WHORE who cheated on him.
7:40 - Bring her home HollyWolf. Show her your Bevo Mill.
7:47 - How big is Prague? 1.26M people big. But small enough to run out on to the streets, calling out yearningly for "Emily" and then "EMILY" before running into her in (another) immaculate ally before wild smooching commences. You want to find Prague? It's just a quarter mile south of heaven.
7:48 - Just for the record...
8:00 - "Thank you for that." Poor Doug. He's getting dumped and decides this is the time to make his move with a little mini-peck. That was 3 knuckle cringe moment.
8:01 - "Have a good one." Ooooof. Looks like that son should have been a little more racy in his letters, eh?
8:24 - Jef with one f and Emily are re-enacting their relationships with marionettes. It's times like these where I don't know how I got to the point to where I'm writing re-caps of this stupid, stupid show. Does anyone want to come to my office tomorrow and punch me in the face? I deserve it.
8:34 - This date with Jef won't end. Oh, hey. Here's an e-mail from my mom. Wonder what she thinks about tonight's episode?
8:41 - HollyWolf is feeling good. He's headed for a lucky Linbergh. Chris, on the other hand? He's about as stable as a 20 minute old Jenga game.
8:53 - Roses for Arie and Jef with one f... when Chris decides to stop the rose ceremony? To drop a (partial) L-BOMB! This is some back-door shit, Christopher. Give Wolf equal time! The defense just can't pull the jury aside before the verdict, can they? B.S.
8:56 - Wolfner got jobbed.
8:57 - Emily Denkinger Maynard, more like it.
8:58 - Our boy Wolfner represented STL big time this season. No fears. No tears. Cheers HollyWolf, let the reward be the journey. And by journey, I mean to Lucas Park this Saturday. You in?
Cut: Doug, Wolfner (Sigh)
Next Week: Hometowns. And tears. Sweet mercy are there tears.
The Cardinals put together 3 wins in a row for the first time since, like, 1987 over the weekend. Luckily we get to feast on these bottom feeders 6 times per season, ensuring 4-5 wins in interleague play.
Are the Cardinals back on track? Ready to push the Reds for the NL Central lead? Who the hell knows. A stiffer test awaits in Miami this week and we can reassess after that. But let’s not get cozy with the idea that this squad is anything more than some post riders until they push to at least 5 games over .500.
In the meantime (and in anticipation of a very feminine Bachlorette post tonight) let’s take a look at some pictures from the tryouts for the new St. Louis Saints franchise stating this year in the LFF.
Lingerie Football League. That's right, men. Ladies in sports bras tackling eachother.
PS: The original St. Louis Saints might not be too happy about all this. Has anyone gotten a comment from them: LINK HERE
Some observations, if we may:
The coaching staff is so 2002 it hurts. He left tryouts to go see Minority Report in the theaters.
This woman can't get enough attention, can she? I mean, she already ruined the Athletica. Not the Saints, Hope. NOT the Saints!
These guys. Webster's has already changed out 'Leering' on their online dictionary.
Sometimes the jokes write themselves. (Yes, his name is not spelled correctly on this photo. But I think he should spell it like this, so it's not getting changed.)
See the full slideshow with video (LINK HERE). And consider this payment for the past 6 weeks of Bachlorette talk.
It’s finally here people.
Like it or not, there is no more LeBron or Durant or Westbrook or Wade to talk about. Although, ESPN will surely spend millions reporting the most recent bowel movement of Osi Umenyiora, the actually football is still many months from now. If you want live sports, you’re getting baseball.
In St. Louis, this may or may not be a good thing.
GOOD: The Cardinals have 34 wins and are in the hunt for the NL Central title. They’ve been banged up, but get a big boost with the return of CF Jon Jay and 1B Matt Carpenter this weekend. They haven’t seemed to reach their potential yet, meaning there is room for improvement.
BAD: The Cardinals have 34 wins and are falling out of the race in the NL Central. They’ve been banged up, but P Chris Carpenter, P Jamie Garcia and 1B Lance Bermkman are out this weekend and for the forseeable future. They haven’t seemed to reach their potential yet, meaning that if it hasn’t happened by not, it probably won’t.
Again, the whole middle of the road thing from earlier in the week.
With the summer now cranking, it’s time the Cardinals decide to do the same. Piss poor hitting and questionable management have led the Cardinals into a deeper hole in June than we’d have expected. It’s time for someone to step up and go on a tear. It’s time for this team to actually get off the median and pick a lane. Up or down. Where are we headed fellas?
What I do know for sure is now we have the time to actually watch and pay attention closely.
Now, the Friday Links…
- Never dress like a Zebra. LINK HERE
- If you promise grapes, get the grapes. LINK HERE
- His job. He loves it. LINK HERE
- Oh, boy. LINK HERE
- The guy has a point. LINK HERE
- YouTube. Always YouTube. LINK HERE
Opening day 2012 was a slog.
The annual STL holiday was one to forget as the Cardinals not only got their asses handed to them, but the city was soaked by rain, causing hours of delays to the eventual start. Any sort of carry-over from the magical 2011 post-season run was rebuffed by piss-poor baseball and Mother Nature.
The next morning I got a call from Coach Mac.
He had his work tickets and was going to entertain two clients. He needed someone to go with him to the game. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t really want to go. The drinking slash cold slash soaking from the day before had really taken its toll, but Mac wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
After all, it was ring day. And we got a replica of the real ones the Cardinals were getting. How the hell could I pass that up?
In 2007 I went to replica ring day and got what amounted to a fancy toy. The fake ring was plastic, bulky and worst of all… attached to a stand so you couldn’t even wear it. (Sadly, even though I was long out of college, I broke it off the stand so I could wear it.)
Maybe it was this fact that had drawn down expectations. Maybe it was the hangover. But I promise you that when I walked into Busch Stadium I wasn’t expecting much of a promo item.
I got the single best give-a-way the Cardinals, or any St. Louis sports team has ever done.
In fact, during the on-field real ring ceremony, Coach Mac and I started taking pictures of each other in the stands and texting them to out of town friends. When the rain delayed the game before the first pitch, we actually left the stadium and went home. The day wasn’t getting any better. We generally acted like 8 year olds.
So it comes as no surprise that when the team announced that they were having a SECOND ring night that tickets went almost instantly. (More surprisingly was the Cardinals willingness to buy 45K more rings. I’m sure they’re not more than 4 bucks when you buy in bulk. But that’s way, way more than the normal magnet or poster.) Now the price gouging on tickets to the next night has become news:
Let me just say this: It’s worth it. I still wear the thing around. And damn it, people want to call me a douche, but they can’t. IT LOOKS THAT REAL!
Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for story time today.