It's inherent in some people; lacking in others. And the collective force of individuals forms a team will that can be very predictive of the future...
The Cardinals are now 10-11 in one run games in 2010.
We can sit here and ask how a team paying almost 40 million dollars, close the payroll of the Marlins team, to it's 3 and 4 hitters, can go entire games without scratching out even 1 run. But this is baseball. Over the course of 162 games, you're going to have off nights at the plate. But I think the stat above is much more telling, because it paints a broader picture of the character of this team.
What it's showing me is that, while expectations are still high, this unit of men doesn't really have the 'hammer' when the outcome of any particular game is in the balance. They lack the testicular fortitude to impose their will on other teams and win when winning is in doubt.
They're mentally weak.
And that doesn't bode well for the post-season, my friends. Not at all.
In fact, I'd submit to you, that games like last nights meek 1-0 loss to the LA Dodgers are the kinds of losses that are more effectual than we'd like to admit. You think Chris Carpenter is happy that a night's hard work is all for naught because Matt Holliday didn't work the count or Skip Shumaker couldn't get on base? Do you believe that he isn't harboring some resentment for his mates that looked like they'd rather be at Nobu than Chavez Ravine? Are you certain that these guys even give the least bit of flying fuck about each other?
I'm not so sure anymore.
Of all the Cardinal teams that had a championship pedigree, this is the one time that I can honestly say that everyone involved seems to be in it for themselves. And that's not to say these guys don't individually want to win or that they can't win. But it doesn't feel like a team that's going to necessarily be pissed at themselves for screwing Carp out of a win. Or that would even think about it for 10 seconds after the game, for that matter.
We never hear these guys talk about one another. Never snapping at reporters when they ask probing questions about teammate's struggles.
10-11 doesn't mean almost average. It's a referendum on a teams spine.
In the Cardinals case, they're going to need to decide fairly quickly if that snapshot of the first 1/3 of the season is the norm or aberration.
I’ve been a bit distracted over the past two weeks, which has had an adverse effect on my ability to generate coherent thoughts on those crazy Redbirds, or really on anything else for that matter.Some might blame it on the amount of alcohol I’ve consumed over this short period of time, but that would only be partially to blame.In any case, I've missed you lovely people! What better way to illustrate that than by bitching and moaning incessantly about a bunch of random crap? Nothing, I say!
Extra Innings – I had the pleasure of watching this past Saturday’s game against Milwaukee, as a result of the nice folks at Fox Sports who decided to make it a nationally showcased telecast.Thanks, guys!However, let me tell you one thing about watching contests like that.The extra innings make me a mad woman!Not only do they tend to be tedious, but they are also ten times as stressful as regular old run-of-the-mill innings.EVERY SINGLE PITCH is honed in on and analyzed and strategized in ways that just don’t happen with 1 out in the bottom of the 4th.Plus, you get pitching changes to coordinate with each subsequent batter that make those extra outs drag on FOR ETERNITY.I swear, I aged about thirteen years on Saturday afternoon. When Colby Rasmus finally singled in the winning run, I think I developed Alzheimers.
Vehicle Shopping – One of the biggest distractions of the past couple of weeks has been the fact that I’m in the process of purchasing a new set of wheels.I’ve been driving the same car since I graduated high school (approximately one hundred years ago), so I finally decided over Memorial Day weekend to put the poor thing out to pasture and into retirement.Having never purchased a vehicle before, this has been both illuminating and frustrating.Who in the hell is actually in charge here?How many different people does it take to coordinate this kind of thing?I mean, it seems to be a fairly common practice.Shouldn’t there be a predictable pattern? The car is being delivered on Thursday, but as of press time, I still don’t know exactly how much it's costing me or the terms of the loan I'm taking out against it.I’m no expert, but those seem like relatively important things to know. Could someone please get me a flow chart?
Denny Reyes – Going back to that Saturday game, I was ready to set fire to a basket of kittens and burn down an orphanage after Reyes choked up the lead and eliminated any possibility of Adam Ottavino notching his first big league victory.What a big mean jerk!Thanks for screwing everything up, DENNY!I certainly hope he sent Adam a letter of apology or a large bouquet of Fruit Flowers afterwards. It's the least he could do after that disgusting display of futility.
Gas Grills – I am positively TERRIFIED of my gas grill.Every time I go to light the thing, I’m convinced I’m going to die in a fiery explosion that quickly engulfs my entire city block.There is no logical reason for me to assume this, yet I cannot stop the paranoid suspicion that an errant flick of the Aim-a-Flame is going to result in me being hurled to my death from my tenth floor balcony in a burning ball of flames.I was reminded of this over the weekend when during a Saturday afternoon deep cleaning spree, I decided to clean off the ol’ grill and get it ready for summer.I’m not kidding when I say my hand was trembling when I turned the gas on.I’m a complete schizoid.
Bullpen Ballgames – You know those agonizing extra innings I mentioned earlier? Well, that’s pretty much how I imagine the entire game is going to be tonight, as Tony LaRussa has promised us a sampling of all the best the Cardinals bullpen has to offer.Blake Hawksworth technically gets the start, but make no mistake, they’re probably going to trot out more pitchers tonight than is mathematically possible.It’s going to be excruciating, which is why I’m happy I have plans with my girlfriends to watch The Bachelorette instead.As painful as that no doubt will be, at least I will likely be drunk and in bed before the first pitch is thrown.
Aziz Ansari is a funny guy. He’s kind of got a stilted delivery that is vagrance, if just a little, of the late great Mitch Headberg. But you wouldn’t have known it if you watched the MTV Movie Awards last night. His material was the comedic equivalent to a soft, steaming dog pile. I literally had to change the channel in the midst of his R. Kelly tribute AND his Avatar riff, both following a very tepid open.Many may question if the ‘stage’ was too big for Aziz, but I don’t. I question the writers that were doing their best to turn Aziz into the Muslim Jay Lenno. Cut budget on video screens for every square inch of the stage and beyond, not on write staff…
You ever get the feeling that David Freese is snake bit? That things were going juuuuust a bit too good for him, so the Baseball Gods sent down a fluke rolled ankle? And before you comment that getting loaded and driving a vehicle around isn’t ‘bad luck’- well, you’re right. So maybe this is karmatic payback; is that what you’re saying? Perhaps…
Friday night I went to this birthday party. The people that were hosting were in their 50’s and never had a kid. You know what else they had? A lighted washer pit. I sick ass pool. An outdoor and indoor bar. Huge TV’s everywhere. A pool table in the middle of their living room. Cuban cigars…
A hypothetical: Albert Pujols’ games are picked up by FOX all summer long every Cardinal game is available to the entire nation. What does his stat line look like? .500/115/275? The guy doesn’t ever not deliver on the big stage. He’s got more sense of the ‘moment’ than any other athlete in any sport…
Movie Snot: I came home buzzed on Saturday night and got on the Video OnDemand. Found ‘Land of the Lost’ and got about 25 minutes into it before turning off the TV and going to bed. One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Again, I was pretty drunk. I was going to be entertained by just about anything that was on that screen. Yet I couldn’t take one more minute of that movie. Just a terrible, terrible idea for everyone involved…
Will Ferrell. The Trevor Hoffman of cinema? He’s definitely lost command of the change-up ...
Ryan Ludwick physically looks like he’s a terrible RF. But watching the dude every day, and it’s pretty apparent that he could be in the running for a Gold Glove in 2010. The guy seems to make a difficult catch every single game. Surprisingly good D from Ludwick…
I know people go and see shit like the A-Team or Shrek 4 or The Next Karate Kid- but damn, can a brother get an original movie every once in a while that doesn't sidle up to a dong and honk the night away?
I get it. People pay to see 15 Twilight's and 24 Batman movies and at the end of the day, movie studios are in business to make cash... but re-watching the Hangover on HBO this past week it's pretty clear that funny ass movies that are INTENTIONALLY funny are extraordinarily hard to come by.
My solution? More of that Jason Segel. That dude is funny.
Also, did you see that Eddie Murphy is preparing to go back out and try some stand up? The clip below is NSFW (x10, really) but at least Eddie is realizing that he pretty much pissed away the comedy genre for a generation by making shit kid movies and making a boat load of money in the process.
Give me Delirious ANY. DAY.
Can you believe it? Eddie Murphy was actually FUNNY. In fact, this was the very first stand-up act I ever saw and it made me want to be a stand up comic soooo bad.
I got a blog instead. Ugh.
Now some links...
Great showdowns in movie history, illustrated. LINK HERE
We all enjoyed Hooks' recap of his trip to the north side of Chicago (especially the part where he brought home a mashtastic W on Sunday), but I've got my own little baseball road trip to share with you. This weekend I'll be in Washington DC, and I get the honor of taking in a ballgame at the historic Nationals Park.
Wait, yeah it's called Nationals Park - no naming rights is crazy! The place was designed by the same group who did Busch III. It took some real out-of-the-box thinking for this one:
Who said cookie-cutter stadiums were dead?
And because I just can't escape the Cards' new rival, I'll be in attendance Sunday for the vaunted Reds/Nats match-up of the titans. Tickets have been incredibly hard to come by - mostly because the Nationals box office didn't want to waste paper by printing more than the mistress, wife and kids tickets.
So if I'm not in a fit of rage because of seeing Bronson Arroyo's leg kick for a couple hours, I'll share some fun observations with you.
In a pretty awesome coincidence, I'll be in town the night of Stephen Strasburg's debut (Strasmus!) on Tuesday, but unable to attend the game. It's unfortunate because of my obsession with 21 year old boys he's a really good pitcher...but I'll at least be in town and able to see Nationals fans getting pumped up over their future ace.
Now, if you don't mind exploitation for a second: what else should I do while in DC?
I know about the big "mainstream" things (monuments, Smithsonian, White House) - those are all on the agenda, as this is my first trip there. But give me something I wouldn't see on a shitty CitySearch (ShittySearch?) Top 10 list or something. Probably more importantly, give me a good place to eat. Burgers/Pizza/Steak/Cupcakes, it's all good baby.
Listen, there are only so many Rick Ankiel dick jokes and in-depth analysis of robotic looking athletic apparel models any sane person can take before they crave something more substantial.
We get that.
We can’t provide it to you, but we get it.
Thankfully, some of our friends around the globe send us links to their work and ask us if we’ll put it up on this crap site. And sometimes we even venture off this island of terrible prose and find something interesting not on RedTube.
READING ASSIGNEMENT 1) “All 30 MLB Stadiums in 60 Days (STL Edition)”
Author: Navin Vaswani
About The Author: Currently on "The Baseball Road Trip Of A Lifetime." Navin is hitting up all 30 MLB stadiums in 60 days, and writing about his experiences for Canadian newspaper The Globe And Mail.
From the Author: “I visited Busch Stadium recently, on getaway day actually, and had a fantastic time. Cardinals fans are as passionate as they come, and it was a pleasure to be surrounded by knowledgeable fans, and steeped in tradition at the ballpark. There's something about weekday afternoon baseball and, in a place like St. Louis, it's that much better.”
READING ASSIGNMENT 2) “Take the Extra Base In Front of Pujols?”
Author: Joe Posnanski
About the Author: Joe Posnanski is a Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated. He was sports columnist at The Kansas City Star from 1996 to 2009, and during that time he was twice named the best sports columnist in America by The Associated Press Sports Editors. He was also nominated for twenty-one awards by the APSE, and won additional first place national awards in feature and project writing. Joe continues to write columns for The Star.
More than one person flat out refused to believe that I had never been to Wrigley Field. Not just for a Cardinals game, but at all. It's true, though. Before Sunday I'd never even seen the stadium in person, let alone catch a game in it.
Big mistake. BIG.
I wanted to hate the place. I mean, it is the mecca of all that Cubs Suckdom and liking anything associated with the epitome of losing isn't something I'm inherently comfortable with... but I but blind hatred aside and morphed into a 10 year old boy.
Seriously. It was bad. Looking back on the pictures I took- I think I took about 40 pics in the first 5 minutes inside. Most of them completely worthless. Whatever. I didn't give a fuck.
In fact, here's a slide show I put together to some music. How awesome am I?
7 other random observations from the trip:
1) Ballpark Village needs to get done. And if it takes giving small business owners the opportunity to make something even close to what Clark St. is to Wrigley Field is- DO IT.
Without a doubt, the best thing about Wrigley Field is that it's a freaking huge party. I can't emphasize how important the 100 or so bars and restaurants within 6 blocks in any direction is to this. And I know DeWallet wants a bunch of deep pocketed 'anchor' stores to come in before they break ground on Ballpark Village... but Cardinals fans deserve this atmosphere in the summer. I'm sure it's never going to happen, but give me 15% of what they have in Chicago over the next 5 years and I'll be happy.
I know. It's not happening. STFU.
2) Albert Pujols: Appreciate him now. You think you enjoy this man's greatness. But there will be a time in your life, 10 perhaps 15 years from now where there will be an incredible void, never to be filled again.
As baseball fans, we are lucky as hell to be rooting for a guy that is better than anyone to ever play this game. As long as I live I will remember the first time I saw a game at Wrigley Field as vividly as anything I can remember something. Why? because Albert Pujols jacked 3 shots out of the park and gave me carte blanche to talk tons of trash to everyone wearing blue.
But that's my memory. This guy has provided so many of these moments, that we're all going to have one really special to us by the time he retires. We'll have shows where schmucks like me will sit around a TV set and talk about Pujols games like old girlfriends.
And you'll watch. Because it's Pujols. And he's the best we'll ever see.
3) Troughs are good. Oh, a big place where a bunch of guys can pee without having to stand in line for 10 minutes? Yes, please.
Sanitary? Who cares. I've got a belly full of beer and need to piss. So these troughs were not only economical, they were FUN. PEE EVERYWHERE! YIPPEEE!
4) Every stadium should be designed with this park in mind. No, we don't mean the steel beams in the line of sight. Or exits that wouldn't be fit for a shed. But parks with 2 things to do when you're there... drink beer and watch baseball.
If you're not interested in either of those things, then Wrigley Field would suck. But since you read this site, you are a huge lush- so you'll agree with that last point.
It's deceivingly big. It blends right in with the neighborhood, but holds 41,000 people. It's like a huge bar. A huge bar full of losers.
5) Surprisingly- lots of TV's and Old Style doesn't taste like dick. Every time I needed a replay, there was a TV near to see a replay. So the common complaint of no replay board is kind of moot.
Plus, since I was in Wrigley, I went Old Style. And it wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated. In fact, I think I enjoyed the first 3.
6) This is the 'fun' rivalry. I wore red. I stood and cheered every Cardinal play that was meaningful. I turned around and slapped honke fist bumps with Cards fans behind us.
And not once, was anything said.
I wrote about this last week (see below) but this isn't the best rivalry in baseball. After all, we don't have any meaningful history in important games to speak of. But everyone had a damn fine time before, during and after the game.
Perfect by me.
7) STL represented well. Probably more people in red were out since it was a holiday weekend, but I'd guesstimate that over 30% of the crowd was Cardinal affiliated in some way. And there was no shortage of Red Bird fans in the bars all over Chicago... not just down by the stadium.
We've got some good fans. Thankfully the Cardinals haven't figured this out and don't take advantage of this fact.*
Now that I've been there, I realize that the Cubs make a ton of money... but for a ton of people. And lots of times, it isn't for themselves. It's probably like wrangling cats trying to get a fair cut of everything that's going on down there by Wrigley. So no doubt, every Soriano strike out has to be more painful for the Cubs owners than rest of us. After all, we aren't footing the bill for 140 million!
*Obvioulsy this is not true. At all
So there you have it. What'd I miss? Anything?
Just some observations of a drunk kid in Chicago for the Cards/Cubs series.
Cards Diaspora is off today, most likely being immature and throwing Snickers bars into public pools or something... but we wanted to take a moment and thank our Armed Services and the people that support our Armed Services for protecting our ability to act like complete jagoffs.
Unfortunately, some of these fine men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice. Today, we pause... remember... and say thanks to everyone that has, is and will protect our way of life.
I’ve never seen a Cards/Cubs game from Wrigley Field.
In fact, I’ve never seen Wrigley Field.
For a myriad of reasons, some trite, some not, I’ve always missed out on baseball’s funnest rivalry when it takes place in northern Illinois. Sometimes it was bad timing, most of the time it was lack of friends (in Chicago and otherwise, I suppose) inviting me. But that’s all in the past now… I’m going to the game Sunday.
I’ve gotten all sorts of interesting feedback from veterans of Wrigley Field the past day or so, but really, I just want to make sure I limit the drinking to the point where I don’t partake in a urinal slide.
If you’ve got other suggestions, feel free to make them in the comments. I even believe FWC, who had a spectacular fail this week when he produced exactly 0 words and 0 pictures of Cardinals related stuff when they were literally 2 miles from his house in San Diego, will be in town. So I’ll be able to admonish him in person.
Here’s to you having a big weekend as well, doing it is, well, whatever you do. Also, thank a veteran or active service member. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice so I could guzzle Old Style and get a farmer’s tan in the world’s largest gay bar. It’s the least you can do.
Chuck Norris, have a seat. This is the baddest Mexican to ever live. LINK HERE(HT: FWC)
A pretty unique idea if you need to send a card. LINK HERE
A golf ball hitting a plate of steel in super slo-mo. LINK HERE(HT: JH)
Watch the demo of the Giants Stadium press box from multiple angles. LINK HERE
SATC II came out yesterday... so you know what that means.LINK HERE (HT: DMV)
The 5 worst movie scenes of all time. LINK HERE (HT: FWC)
That's a week. For more reading, be sure to hit the links above and go to the live blog below and get creepy with Frank Stallone. Have the best weekend ever and we'll see you back here next week for more average writing.
When we were planning last night’s live blog of the Cardinals game we figured that the Padres, despite their strong start, wouldn’t be able to match the potent offense of the mighty Cardinals from St. Louis. 13 innings and one run later, we’d like to revise that thought process.
You can read the whole transcript of the chat below- and I have to say- using the Cover It Live application is cool as hell. All sorts of different things you can do to make it a really interactive experience for everyone. It’s like a virtual bar, only you don’t have to pay for the booze.
The highlights, in case you missed it:
+ Will Leitch, founder of Deadspin.com, former scourge of Buzz Bissenger, groom to be and author of the new book “Are We Winning” stopped by for an hour and participated in the reindeer games. We were right in the middle of trying to confirm some unfounded reports that Jon Jay’s new GF was a girl that had a lot of ‘friends’ in high school. He couldn’t have picked a better time visit. Do us a favor and buy the book. Here’s a chapter excerpted from it.
+Frank Stallone, brother to Sly, and friend to the unemployment line also stopped by. And it got weird real quick. In our defense- it was after midnight at this point, so it’s not like socially well-adapted people are on live blogs past 12, right?
+ Matt Sebek of Joe Sports Fan provided us with some amusing headlines.
+ Jay Randolph Jr of KFNS came by and lit everyone up with his charm and personality. You'll probably be hearing a bunch more of him now that McKernan and him are bros again on 590.
+ Speaking of... Justin Boyd of InsideSTL and all around good guy was a little drunk. But he made himself known.
+The Sign Guy pretty much proved he’s a fake when he was dropping Joe Buck and Kahlil Greene sign suggestions that would make Artie Lange blush. I'm thinking that his 15 minutes are close to being over. Hopefully. PLEASE!
+ Mike from the excellent STL website Punching Kitty, and winner of yesterday’s poll on who you’d like to see come by, was very pithy.
+ Drew Silva from Roto Worldstopped by and told a story about his friendly encounter with Bill DeWitt.
+ Our new columnist Trumbsy found out that our readers are all creeps.
+ And HMW did his very best to try and keep everything running smoothly. A special thanks to him for setting everything up. He even has Will’s cell phone number now. So he can expect some drunk dials later this weekend.
We will plan on doing another one of these in the future. Hopefully even more of you knuckle draggers can make it out… We’ll keep you posted.