The Cubs. The punching bags of professional sports once again shoved themselves into the national consciousness when they allowed the CBS reality show 'Undercover Boss' come in one late summer week when the Small Bears were out of town and film an episode that aired during the baseball playoffs. If you're not familiar with the show, it's the most formulaic TV ever created. And I mean that sincerely. It never, ever varies. And in fairness, it doesn't really need to. If you're interested in the inner-workings of companies you've heard of, you're watching this show. Basically an owner of a large business agrees to 'go undercover' at his or her company and do all the menial tasks that your mother warned you about when you got all those F's in high school. The boss will fail pretty spectacularly, but find gut-wrenching stories of woe along the way. He will also find one bad apple that he or she is appalled at and will speak to sternly during the reveal.I happen to not hate this show. Perhaps working for large companies, I have a perverse fascination with commerce that's unhealthy. Maybe I'm just drained from watching 8 hours of football on Sunday night when this show airs. But I've probably seen 7 or so of the 10 episodes they've done. Honestly, the Subway one I learned a ton. The most recent Dick's Sporting Goods? Not so much. But the one that had Cubs owner Todd Ricketts participate was truly a blogging goldmine for the CD. So much so, that I can report that this post was the highest viewed post in 2010 for the entire site...READ THE WHOLE POST HERELooking back, I can't believe the Cubs were happy with this. At all.I mean the OWNER of the CUBS was stealing, got caught, then lied about it. Worse, he decided to try and rationalize his actions in the one on one interview with the producers after the fact. Couple this with about 1,434 health code violations, a groundskeeper that called the front office incompetent and an overarching sense that the Cubs aren't going to be powerhouses in anything anytime soon with this family at the helm... well you had some damn fine viewing for Cardinal fans."Bartman" the documentary from the ESPN 30 for 30 series that they are continuing is also scheduled to debut in 2011. So if you're taking wadgers on the most viewed posts for next year, keep that in mind.
Over the Holidays, Vince Coleman had the opportunity to take in the film "True Grit." As a long time fan of Coen Brother greats such as Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Big Lebowski, and No Country for Old Men, Vince Coleman was excited to see what he predicted to be a "Coen Brothers style" Western. Boy, was Vince Coleman wrong. I was wrong like my agent when he told me "this will all blow over," and wrong like my boy Phil in '93 when he brought me that 9 iron into the clubhouse. This film is a classically structured Western! True Grit is the story of Mattie Ross, (Hailee Steinfeld) a precocious 14 year old girl (and the films narrator) hellbent on obtaining justice for her murdered father. She retains Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) to track and capture Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin [who potentially beat up on Diane Lane, who is his wife and is real fine] ), the murderer. Ross chooses Cogburn, a slovenly curmudgeon whom she is told possess "True Grit." Both Steinfeld and Bridges will likely receive oscar nods. Against Cogburn's wishes, Mattie insists on accompanying him on his journey into the "Indian Nation" in search of Chaney. They are joined by Ben Affleck's dear friend Matt Damon, who plays Texas Ranger LaBoeuf. Along the way, with no shortage of classic Western surprises and trademark Coen Brother's dialogue, all three learn a lesson in "True Grit." This film is a remake of the 1969 John Wayne film of the same name. It shares little in common with anything the Coen brothers have released to date. True Grit is quite simply a Western made to Coen Brother's standards. I found it to be very entertaining and artfully made with as many laughs as any "comedy" I'd seen lately.
I gave it 4 out of 4 Stolen Bases!
With apologies to Mike Vick, the NL Central was a REAL dog fight in 2010. Literally.It was two dog teams fighting to top a very mediocre division. But Hookshot, just how mediocre was it? So mediocre that the Reds got no hit in Game 1 of the NLDS... and that was their BEST game of the series. Seriously. The other two were such massive blowouts that at least game one could have been a respectable glance at a morning box score, you know, if it wasn't the second no no in post-season history. Details, details.And in an inspired bit of picture prose, HMW decided to give the Reds absolutly no sympathy:You can read the whole story here: LINK HEREAt the end of the day the Reds got swept, the Cardinals got left out and the Comedy Central was alive and kicking once again...
Back in April I took a stab at some predictions for the upcoming Cardinal 2010 season. Punches were not pulled and bets were not encouraged. In fact, we were pretty open with the fact that this site is historically horrible at making any sort of predictions. And that might be underselling it, actually.But that didn't stop us from taking a bunch of random stats, putting some names and numbers next to them and calling it a post.What follows are the original predictions and then in the ( ) you'll find just close we were to making a correct prognostication.Here are the orginal predictions:
Throw out the Brad Penny on the K's (not totally awful considering he didn't play 4 months after hurting his back hitting a grand slam) and the Shumaker BB totals and I don't think I did half-bad. Hell, I nailed 3 calls exactly. Not easy to do.So next time someone asks you why you read this garbage you can tell them with a straight face that we're providing insight that stands the test of time.Or that everyone once in a while we give something away. Either way.
- Team Wins: 94 (Ended up with 86. Damn, a few wins away from the postseason.)
- HR's: Albert Pujols (42) (NAILED IT EXACTLY)
- Wins: Adam Wainwright (20) (NAILED IT EXACTLY)
- Hits: Matt Holliday (217) (Holliday led the team with 186)
- RBI's: Matt Holliday (121) (Pujols led team with 118, Holliday ended up with 103)
- Steals: Brendan Ryan (15) (Pujols led with 14, Ryan ended with 11)
- Walks: Skip Shumaker (77) (Pujols had 103... Shumaker ended with 43)
- John Goodman Game Appearances: 2 (Can't remember the big fella at any games, so 0)
- Rainouts: 4 (Best I can tell... NAILED IT EXACTLY)
- TLR Ejections: 4 (Only 2. One ejection led to a suspension for 1 game)
- ERA: Chris Carpenter (2.48) (Waino had a 2.42 to lead team, Carp ended with 3.22)
- Saves: Ryan Franklin (25) (27 for Franklin, so I was pretty close here.)
- K's: Brad Penny (140) (Uh oh. 35 for Penny. Wainwright ended with 213)
- Team BA RISP: .289 (.263, so not close on this one. Higher than expected when I looked it up.)
- NL MVP: Matt Holliday (Joey Votto won, Holliday wasn't in contention.)
- NL Cy Young: Adam Wainwright (Roy Halladay won unanimously. Wainwright was second)
- Games you'll be at: 9 (Shot high here. I only went to about 5...)
It's all over, but I think I just saw the first ad for 2011 Christmas... The Rams have been tabbed to close the 2010 regular season on Sunday night? Oh, how the talking heads are going to feast on this all week. The open pulling for Seattle and their 7-9 record to get in the playoffs will be palpable so they can have another week of screaming for a rule change. SCREW THEM. The playoffs start Sunday for the Rams and the whole country will have to suffer through NFC West football like we did all year...Not much gets done Christmas/New Year's weeks in the MLB. That being said, the Cardinals are playing with fire by not at least having some sort of discussions with Pujols' agents. Once the calendar hits 2011, there's only about 7 weeks until players report. Pujols has never negotiated in season...Movie Snot: Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps. I loved Wall Street. So I was pretty sure this one wasn't going to live up to my expectations. And it most certinaly didn't. 3 things: 1) Gordon Gekko doesn't need to get morals. 2) The female lead wasn't cast right and wasn't written right. And probably more of the latter than the former. Doesn't want to get married, but then takes a huge ring. Always pissed and kind of average looking, but the millionare playboy can't live without her. Just not a good role. 3) Susan Sarandon, feel free to take a trip to the south before you play a woman from the south. C-...Dude. Lee, Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels. The Phillies really are sending out this rotation in 2011. That's just insane. And I woke up this morning having had a dream about those 4 guys. So I guess I really need to consider getting a girlfriend... The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl is going to be hard to top. Seriously. It was on last night and featured not only a last minute drive where the Toledo coach went for 2 and the win, but also a hail mary hook n' ladder play on 4th and forever on the ensuing FIU deperation drive that set up the actual game winning field goal. Throw in two back-to-back 80 plus yard runs and that's a bowl game that no one gave a rip about that turned out to be 20x better than the bowl your excited for will be...If you missed the Isaac Bruce Christmas Story I worked up on SB Nation last week, take a look. It includes video. LINK HERE...Kudos for HMW's '12 Days of Crapmas' series he ran the past two weeks. I've gotten nice notes from people all over the place saying how much they enjoyed that series. On a related note, the bacon videos I promised a couple of weeks ago have been on hold, but are still in the works. Stay tuned...
Did you get what you wanted?Kind of? Sort of? I hope so. You're a good reader and derserve all the nice things in life. We went with the generic 'Seasons Greetings' in case you are Jewish or Muslim. This site is way bigger in the mid-east.
Allow me to do my Andy Rooney impersonation...ahem...Didja ever wonder what it would have looked like if Rob Deer played for the Cardinals?"YES! CONSTANTLY!" you say. Now here's our answer: Jesus, that IS Rob Deer, dressed up like a Cardinal. He cracked many fastballs in his days, so I guess reducing him to little nutcracker form kinda makes sense.I don't get the Beckett Nutcracker Monthly, but $60 seems like a lot for a flippin' nutcracker. Although if you buy it and write DEER on the back, it would make for a good wiffleball home run derby or backyard horseshoes championship trophy (assuming you also replace the baseball with a mini can of Busch).That'll do for this year's Twelve Days of Cardinal Crapmas. We hope you had the chance to read all of our lovely gift ideas; if not - see below for a quick link to each day. Merry Christmas to all.____First Day: Really Ugly Boat ShoesSecond Day: Bro ShirtThird Day: Ryan Theriot BobbleheadFourth Day: Single Marble w/ StandFifth Day: Dog-Ear CapSixth Day: Cardinal Napkins
Seventh Day: Coasters, Feat. Game Used Dirt
Eighth Day: Homemade Tissue Box
Ninth Day: Cardinals Garden StoneTenth Day: 10K Gold Toe RingEleventh Day: Bo Hart Jersey
SWEET MOTHER OF ASS:It's 5% off TODAY ONLY people!! FIVE PERCENT. And there's free shipping.In my mind, the guy selling this jersey will personally run straight to your house from Texas and deliver it, arms flailing and everything. Go to eBay right now and make this happen.
I don't want to be one of those jerks that says "wow, I never win anything" right after I win something, because that just wouldn't be true. I've won things from time to time and sometimes those things are kind of cool. I'd rather have won the Powerball once, but that's not happening. Overall, I'm pretty sure that my ratio of entering something to winning something is around average.Late in the summer Variety, The Children's Charity, had a beer tasting event about 5 blocks from my house. Drinking to support disadvantaged youth seemed like a good enough excuse to get drunk to me- so I did just that.For whatever reason (i.e. the girl selling the tickets was probably cute) I bought a raffle ticket to a contest where I could win a neon sign made however I wanted. A few hours later I won.It finally arrived yesterday and this is what it looks like:That's right. That's a genuine Cards Diaspora NEON SIGN. And it's going to be in my living room long after this site is dead and left for the Way Back Machine. Maybe you were once of those lucky bastards that got neon signs somewhere along the way, but I've never had one. And it's pretty undeniable that neon is SUPER COOL. And yes, I did solicit ideas for the sign, since I could have whatever I wanted. The only one that was slightly amusing was the suggestion of making the sign say "making neon signs is a terrible job" just to see what the maker of the sign would do with that. But after that moment of meta that I'd never bear witness to, I'd be stuck with the ultimate hipster neon sign.So I played it safe, got a CD sign and can't wait for everyone I ever have over to my house to stare at it and tell me how awesome I am for having a neon sign.Fade me.
It looks like today is "Celebrate Rex Ryan's Wife" day on the internet, so we'll chip in too.What do you get the female Cardinal fan who has everything, but could use an expensive piece of jewelry that almost no one will notice, other than studs like Rex Ryan? Walmart has the answer:Yup, a Cardinals Solid 10K Gold Toe Ring. My sources tell me that people still go to Wal-Mart to shop, not just take pictures of fat customers. Interesting.I've never been one to notice women's feet right away (until the last second before I'm kicked in the balls), so I don't get the whole foot fetish thing. But if toes and toe rings float your boat, what better way to buy something expensive for your special lady and be a big creep at the same time? Win-win.At first I really didn't have any way to wrap up this post, but I glanced down and saw that Walmart provides one of those "Here's What People Actually Bought Because They Thought This Sucked" list:I love thinking of the scenario where a husband is looking for Cardinal jewery for his wife, sees the $100 price tag and says to himself, "Fuck it, I'm buying some floor mats."