If you find yourself in San Diego and like beer and good bars, go here.
If you find yourself in San Diego and like beer and good bars, go here.
But really, unequivocally and absolutely shitty. 10 games in and the dude looks completely lost, totally un-confident, and for the first time I can ever remember, 100% mortal.
Ok. I know what you're thinking. it's 1/16 of the way through 2011. He's earned a bad week and a half out of 10 All-Star years. The guy is going to turn it around. And all that is more than fair. But with the same breath, I can't help but wonder what the hell is going on here. The Pujols DOESN'T slump. He comes back from a 60 Minutes knob slobbing with like 24 RBI's and 10 HR's the next game.
The Pujols is not a man... he's a machine.
So he goes out against the D-Backs and leaves the sacks drunk, grounds in to another DP and generally continues to look like the human embodiment of constipation.
Theory 1: The Contract. He wants to be P-A-I-D. 30 mil for 10 years. He knew that this was going to be a dark cloud hanging over the season, but had always been able to put the blinders on and continue to stroke it. Hard. Now 10 games down and Pujols is thinking about how every 0-fer he puts up just gives the Cardinals the leverage they had so little of during the past 2 seasons when negotiating an extension was everyone's priority. PROBABILITY? 30%
Theory 2: He's hurt. The Pujols is one tough son of a bitch. He'd punch your dad in the face and wreck his shit. He's not going to bitch about a known ailment (elbow) or unknown problem to the media. Maybe the guy is struggling because something is going on with that body that we're not aware of. PROBABILITY? 20%
Theory 3: Bad Luck. It's not like he's striking out at a record pace. He just happens to be hitting the ball hard in places with a fielder standing post. Lots of DP's are the symptom of hitting the ball hard. He can't outrun the double up since he's smacking it to the left side of the infield, right? A couple of inches here or there and Pujols is having an average start and is 2 big games away from being on his normal pace. PROBABILITY? 60%
Theory 4: He's old. His birth certificate (?) says he's 31. Maybe he's 37 and this is the start of what would be the period of time where a star would decline. PROBABILITY? 10%
Theory 5: He's off the juice. Man-Ram didn't fail a drug test. Until he failed a drug test. We all saw the 60 Minutes piece and his HS pictures. Dude wasn't exactly 'beefy'. PROBABILITY? 5%
Or it's slump. Baseball players are known to have them.
The problem is that for anyone else a .260/25/90 year would be a great investment. But the Cardinals are going to have to make a choice this fall if they want to invest in Pujols for the next 8-10 years for heavy, heavy jack. And quite frankly, this franchise can't afford the dude to have the line above. Or even really close to that.
So while The Pujols has earned the right to slump, it's not just costing the Cardinals scoring opportunities, but it's making everything far more difficult to figure out.
The Padres and the Pirates are two teams that will be pacing the rear of their divisions when the 2011 season closes. So naturally, the Cardinals have lost 4 of the 6 contests that they’ve partook with these titans of mediocrity.
Naturally this slow start has gripped Cardinal Nation with either angst or apathy, pending on your investment level with the team.
Apathy from those who checked out around the three quarters pole in 2010 and saw a feckless team submarine their chances at division title or wild card berth by getting creamed by sub-par competition. They’ve seen this sorry act before and all the promise of many games ahead, to them, is nothing but delaying the obvious- This team just simply cannot produce the essential runs needed to win baseball games.
Angst from those who believed that the maturation of Rasmus, the signing of Berkman & Theriot and Pujols in a contract year would prove 2010 to be an aberration and not the norm. A team that would be worthy of overcoming a crippling loss of an ace with timely veteran hitting and a mix of youngsters that have blistered minor league pitching but have yet to get a fair shot in the bigs. And now they see that 2-4 as something that is what it is… but still hold out hope that a week into 2011 this is more ‘a slow start’ than a continuation of a brutal past.
Either way- no one is feeling good about the start to 2011. The manager is walking out of press conferences to take heat off the offense. Statistical comparisons with teams pre dead-ball era are abundant and startling. Fans are staying away from the product in droves.
Perhaps it’s hyperbole to you… but the Cardinals are soon approaching the danger zone. You won’t be able to deny this much longer.
No wins equals less fans equals less money equals a real argument that this team, including Pujols and LaRussa, needs to be disbanded and started over. Meaning 2012 and 2013 are washes and the Cardinals will be almost 10 years removed from a World Series by the time they can hope to contend again.
I just passed out typing that.
Let’s wait until the first road trip of 2011 to pass any definitive judgment on the Cardinals. But let’s also knock it off with the “we’re only 6 games in line” as well. The crossroads come at different points in every season.
Now, the Friday Links…
- 10 great responses to bad spelling on Facebook. LINK HERE
- Justin Bieber with no eyes. LINK HERE
- Why are there rings on Saturn? LINK HERE
- Pre-historic brain found pickled in a bog. LINK HERE
- Still the best video I've seen all week. LINK HERE
- Too. Much. Pink. LINK HERE
3 cold, boring hours later, we ended up with the following.
Yeah, we got that happening too, Brandon Phillips.
Not so much with the smiles. no comments
3 losses to teams that WILL be under .500 and at the bottom of their divisions this season, I see.
Inability to win at home, at all.
IS IT 2010 AGAIN? no comments
History dictates proper etiquette.
Social norms evolve over time, but changes are usually subtle and nuanced. Every once in a while something new is introduced to culture that limits our ability to refer to precedence, though. And yesterday, that something was a little place we like to call the Internet.
The St. Louis Cardinals were nice enough to have a group of people that routinely write about the site come out to Busch Stadium yesterday. We had a Q&A with General Manager John Mozeliak. We got a tour of the new Redbird Club. We were treated to the newest fare from SportService in a party suite. They opened up a tap of beer.
Smart move by the Cardinals. This site has no integrity whatsoever, so before we go any further, let me get my agreed upon shilling out of the way so I can make a return visit:
BUY SEASON TICKETS! BUY A BUNCH OF MERCHENDICE! DONATE IF YOU WANT!
Now that’s out of the way I can tell you that the ‘blog-o-sphere’, for lack of a more revelatory term, is a pretty egalitarian place. Anyone can start up shop, start yapping about the Cardinals or anything else on their mind, and if it’s any good people will come to it. If the site gets lazy or boring, people won’t come to it and it’ll become a wasteland.
CardsDiaspora.com isn’t the most popular website on the web. It isn’t the millionth most popular website on the web. But we’ve done a pretty good job of throwing up some new crap daily for several years. And in the world of websites- that’s tenure.
It’s also allowed us to have contact with writers and editors of many, many other sites over the years. Many of whom we’ve never met, but know a good deal about. And this is where the whole thing gets a bit touch and go.
How do you act when meeting someone that you know a great deal about, but have never met? And not like a celebrity, but someone that also knows a great deal about you…
Take Bill Ivie. I know he just bought a PT Cruiser. I saw a picture of it on Twitter. He contributed to this very site. I see his offspring growing up on Facebook.
Conversely, he was worried about me Saturday when the UK Cats lost in the Final Four and has desperately tried to convince me that having a ‘Bachelor’ type segment on this site would be worthwhile.
But I’ve never actually met Bill. I’ve never looked the guy in the eye, shook his hand.
It was pretty cool to meet not just Bill yesterday, but 10’s of other webmasters too. Many of them were in the same boat as Bill – people I knew pretty well, but had never met. Which brings me back to my main question… how exactly are we supposed to handle these situations?
Perhaps our situation is more exacerbated, since we live on the web. But as communication continues to be less ethereal and more digital, this is a problem that you’re going to face. Probably sooner than later. You’ll develop a relationship online, but does that carry over to off-line?
Where are the starting points? What do you actually say? What IS the etiquette for these types of situations?
Quite frankly, telling Bill “good to meet you” sounded ridiculous when I said it and even moreso in retrospect. I’ve met the damn guy. I talk to him like I talk to anyone else I know. But we don’t have anything to look back on and reference here. We’re in the midst of a new phenomena that is creating situations that, while are inherently good, are also unchartered.
So if someone has experience in this area and would care to share… I think we’d be all ears.
But seriously. We like free beer. Go buy season tickets and tell them that The CD sent you.no comments
Yesterday I wasn't able to be a big part of the Opening Day festivites around CardsDiaspora. Why? Well I was working with the Mo Lottery on a new concept I had for them where we go around in a golf cart and give away money.
We call it the Cash Cart and it's something we're hopefully going to be running all season long...
And so another season begins.
By the looks of the complete shit show the Cardinals treated ‘The Nation’ to on Thursday, it looks like we’re all in for a real treat. And by treat, I mean a swift kick in the balls around every bend.
Blown save? Check. Gigantic lapses of infield defense? DOUBLE check. Franchise player grounding into double plays to kill rallies? TRIPLE CHECK! It was like the holy grail of how you don’t want to start the season AND piss off the fan base at the same time.
It's one game, buddy. It's not the end of the line.
++++ The full diatribe on the game can be found on InsideSTL.com (LINK HERE)
Let’s move on to other trivial stuff that may not be of interest to many, but to me it’s the really important.
Cardinals have a new organist. Dwayne Hilton (presumably not of THE Hilton’s) had a rough day at the office when he screwed up ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’. In fact, I was perfectly sober and (as the dork I am) belting out the ‘Root, root, root for the CARDINALS’ line when his (seemingly eternal) pause threw me off.
Somewhere Ernie Hayes was snickering.
Also, this bad boy was up for about 0.0 innings before batters started complaining and it was covered with a giant vinyl drop.
My roommate drove Ozzie Smith on to the field.
No really, he did. And he almost hit Pujols getting on to his truck. I debated with him at the game if this was to have happened if I’d have to literally move out of my house. I think I would have. Even if he was just on the 15 day DL or something.
This guy wins the day for re-inventing his Lil Lil Eckstein jersey into a new personalized piece of paraphernalia.
Lastly… and I really mean this. I think the Cards fans are really under applauding Stan Musial. He doesn’t have many more of these appearances left and while he got the biggest ovation, we could have done better. Me included.
Now, the Friday Links…
- How you don't throw a log. LINK HERE
- Now this is a blind. LINK HERE
- David gets my nod as friend of the year. LINK HERE
- Wrestling. LINK HERE
- If you play Angry Birds, you'll like this. LINK HERE
- How those cool NBA spots are made. LINK HERE