Happy 4:20, braugh.
Why today? Why April 20th? Somebody told me a long time ago that 4-20 was police code for pot. This is most certainly false, but I've stood by this reasoning for years, so I'm not backing down now.
I don't smoke pot, but I am the asshole who snickers when somebody at work mentions it's 4:20. Therefore I feel inclined to present the 4 players most widely assumed to smoke pot. Please note that these players have never been actually proven to smoke the kind, but rather, if this news did matriculate down the news cycle, you wouldn't be even remotely surprised.
1- Rick Ankiel. Because players chief, that's why.
2- Kieth Hernandez. Because nothing brings your coke high down like a phatty J.
3- Larry Bigbie. Because when your tummy hurts, you need to numb the pain.
4- Tito Landrum. Because he could.
Again, these players haven't burned one down with any of the CD Staff, but we're not saying we'd totally be against it either. Just that we have our suspicions about these 4.
Feel free to add any suggestions we missed.
A few observations:
1) Holy Assballs.
1a) That's the exact opposite of "Bro". I saw it - it's in the dictionary.
2) The price was $198 to begin with and now it's on "sale" at $139.97. You almost had me, MLB Shop. So close.
3) Out of all the million bazillion people on Facebook...NO ONE has 'Liked' this shirt yet? Have a sense of humor people. I think we can get this to 100 Likes, who's with me?
4) Did MLB.com ask Cam from Modern Family to come in and help design some shirts for them? God, I hope so.
5) Look at those cuffs. Seriously, behold all of their wonder:
Despite a ton of fashion articles on my blogging resume, and all the fashion talk here at the CD, the rumors of Trumbsy, the ML and myself starting our own Fashion Police show are wildly inaccurate. Plus, I'm half as FAB-ulous as the dude on that show. And I don't bang nearly enough guys.
We don't ask much of our loyal fans, but we've got some homework for you. The first thing is to click on the link at the top of the article and "Like" this on Facebook. If your friends know you, they'll appreciate the irony, plus it'll be something to talk about during a long and boring Tuesday. And most importantly, if you end up seeing this in the wild this week, whether it's at Busch, or Hrabosky's at 1am, click a photo of the guy for us. We'll make it worth your while. Just don't sleep with him, ladies. Although you'll know that he's got way too much money, so by all means...
UPDATE: There are actually seven other teams with these shirts - LINK HERE. The one with Mr. Met on the back is awesome.
I'm sitting in my chair, watching the Cards v Dodgers game and needing to go to the gym. I keep putting off leaving for about 6 half innings, before finally sucking it up and getting in the car.
I turned on KMOX for possibly the first time in 5 years, not wanting to miss any action during my 6 minute drive. When 'it' hit me... I was finally, actually into the 2011 Cardinals season.
For whatever reason, Opening Day and the home series that followed weren't all that exciting to me. I can't put my finger on why, but I was just kind of blah. The slow start didn't help matters at all. And quite candidly, I was kind of wondering if I'd just lost interest in this team or in baseball.
I'm happy to report I'm back in. The switch has been flipped. So watching a 6-4 road trip get capped off with a cockshot HR in the bottom of the 9th off Ryan Franklin (again) is a little more upsetting than it was opening day. In fact, it's infuriating.
But maybe not for the reason you're pissed off.
Bottom of the 9th, up 1 run, on the road. That's when you give the ball to the closer and he lives or dies. Tony LaRussa effectively neutered Franklin as the closer by bringing in Trevor Miller for a L v L match-up. In a pure baseball game played in a vacuum maybe this makes sense.
But this is real life, and by not giving the pill to Franklin at the onset of the inning, you're screaming to the world that this situation isn't working and that you're not confident, in any way, that this guy can get 3 outs without surrendering a run. Miller ends up surrendering a double and then the next batter cranks a deep ball over the CF fence. Game over.
Franklin isn't a bad guy. By all accounts he's a stand-up guy. This season, he was asked by the Cardinals to come back and play, not the other way around. If the Cards would have told him that he'd be competing for the closer role or that they were thinking about going in a new direction, Franklin was going to retire.
So it's fair to ask now, if this option is on the table.
Franklin doesn't want to be a set-up guy in a bullpen mix. He got his chance to be the man in St. Louis and has done fair to OK in the grand scheme of things. But unrest is at an all time high and Franklin, who decided this past winter to jump head first into Twitter, is hearing directly from people that adulated him before the season, just how bad he's sucking right now.
I know that effects the dude. He's hearing those doubts rattling around in his head. He's evaluating if he wants to go through the uphill battle that's ahead. To know that even if he goes 19 for 19 in saves, but blows the 20th... people are going to flip shit.
Matt Sebek, of JoeSportsFan.com has mentioned to me that he thinks Franklin might retire before the season ends. And at this point, I'm going to have to agree.
These next few weeks will be very interesting for Franklin. And his career might hang in the balance.
St. Louis was Harry Carey and Jack Buck... not some goofball half-lit talking out of his ass. And certainly not in the company of such extraordinary talent as Mr. Buck.
Now, a season or two from Mike Shannon retiring, the dude is beloved. His missteps verbally not only adulated, but enjoyed by Cardinal Nation with very little dissension. In fact, If Shannon just decided to not spend one second of a game talking about the actual game, I don't know if you'd get more than a 'that's Shannon for ya' from the unwashed masses.
Last night we got a little taste of another titan of the baseball broadcasting world- the incomparable Vin Scully. Who still calls games in a solo booth and spins yarn like it's his EFFING JOB.
"Cardinals take the lead in the top of the 2nd as two birds fly home..." I mean this guy shits great announcing, right?
READ: 'Do The Cardinals Need Albert Pujols on InsideSTL': LINK HERE
Even though I'm not old enough to remember it, I bet there was a time where Vin Scully wasn't as revered as he is now. So how did he and Shannon climb the ladder?
Just get behind that mic every game, every summer and just work. So I ask you this will all sincerity... is Dan McLaughlin on his way to becoming a legend?
Dude is coming into his 12th year as the play-by-play voice for the TV broadcasts of the Cardinals. He's only 36 years old. And when you put him next to Al or Ricky Horton he sounds far less grating than I can ever remember.
Please don't mis-remember this. I'm not saying he IS or WILL BE a broadcasting legend. But you have to admit that Dan is far less terrible than he used to be. And he doesn't seem to ever miss work. So maybe this was how a guy like Shannon or Scully started out. Wait out the haters and before long, nobody remembers when you were the new sucky guy, you're now the legend.
12 years from now he'll be 48 and nearly a quarter century in, hitting the theoretical prime of a career for a broadcaster, on a medium that will continue to be the dominant force for watching sports?
Shit. This might actually happen.
We need to quickly move to the Friday Links...
- 101 impressively defaced pieces of currency. LINK HERE
- Cute Roulette. Take your chances on cute. LINK HERE
- Top 10 song flow charts. LINK HERE
- Cam Jansen of the STL Blues tops the Top 5 Hockey Fights 2011. LINK HERE
- 40 famous band names before they were famous. LINK HERE
- Lonely Cheetos. The website. LINK HERE
That's it for the week. Fresh WC is interviewing Ozzie Smith for the site and we should have audio of that next week. Seriously. That should be interesting.
Dude absolutely smoked AZ pitching this series and pretty much equaled his 2010 output these past 3 days. Good on him, hope it keeps up. I happen to think he's going to have a pretty solid statistical season.
In lieu of more re-hashing of what this offensive outburst 2 nights in a row means (hint: who the F knows at this point), let's play new music Thursday --
Rock: Foo Fighters "Rope" -- Dave Grohl, as weird as this sounds, is one of the few rock stars left that know how to make a song that rocks but also has a hook. Solid first single from FF's forthcoming album. LINK HERE
House: Martin Solveig & Dragonette "Hello" -- Now being used as music bed in a crap commercial, this song is gaining steam on the pop top 40. The video just hit, though and if you like tennis, some of the aerial work on this video is pretty sick. I don't know why they couldn't shoot more pre-game anything in this style. LINK HERE
Pop: Katy Perry f. Kanye West "E.T" -- Anything. ANYTHING to get 'Firework' off the air. Doesn't hurt this this is a pretty good pop song. LINK HERE
And after scouring several websites for new music that might be half-way good- I give up.
I give you... The Cleverly's. LINK HERE
A periodic check in on the Cardinals season through the spectrum of a single game.
Game 11: The Blowout Hidden In a Shootout.
The Cardinals biggest offensive output to date was marred by an equally offensive performance by every single pitcher the team employs.
8 runs and 3 HR’s is usually enough to beat a line-up that was created merely to exist. The Diamondbacks are neither positioned well into the future or a veteran club hanging on to past glory. They are a team with only one purpose- to play out the string. They’re instantly forgettable and neither on the come or the go. They play in mostly empty stadium in a mostly apathetic baseball city. Their exploits are in a vacuum where raw emotion doesn’t exist around them.
It’s probably a pretty nice life to lead. The ultimate slacker dream; to hide in plain sight.
And while the final score was a 5 run separation. And while the Cardinals did creep within 1 run on multiple occasions. And while we can take solace in the fact that the bats are waking from a winter slumber… the longer 2011 extends, the more I’m reminded of 2010.
This isn’t to say that the season can’t be salvaged. You’re right, it is early. But the one takeaway from 2010 that really sticks in my head is this feeling of, well, blah.
The Cardinals weren’t bad, per se. They did win more games than they lost. But they never got into that zone of momentum where it can carry you to bigger heights to drag you to the breaking point. They maintained this purgatory state for months on end and no one could really get too worked up about the damn season either way.
I was sure that 2010 was an aberration. That the malaise that coated every game and every week and every month was an accidental fall into the ranks of the D-Backs or Orioles or Royals where the games are to be played but not enjoyed. Just played sans emotion. Sans meaning.
11 games into 2011 and the funk that marred ’10 hasn’t been disinfected. The spark that a team either has or doesn’t looks to be missing again from the St. Louis Cardinals.
Maybe it’s not fair to charge this new group of teammates with immediately eradicating the memory of a lost season 2 weeks into the new one. But it’s also not fair to say it’s way too early to start looking for trends.
Maybe things will change, but through game 11 I think we’re re-evaluating what needs to be done for this team to be championship caliber again. And maybe that includes letting go of players that were previously thought un-letting-go-able.
Oh, and props to Pauly D for letting us use the term blowout withot a lawsuit.
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.