Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Wild Cards, Ankiel, and Others

  • Gosh, Obviously I want the Cardinals to win every game, but is it Possible that A Devoted fan of the Cardinals could Really cheer for the other team, simply because of the Ever-present looming possiblity of a Scary Chicago team in the postseason? ......NAH!
  • Possiblity of 6 men added to the rosters as soon as Wednesday. LaRussa has already mentioned worries about the roster being "overcrowded." Here are the ones mentioned to be brought up from Memphis and who I think should be brought up and who should stay home (not counting that will come off the DL:

  1. Ankiel-He's baaaaack. With the popular motif of strengthening a "tired" bullpen Ankiel is a likely candidate to join the Cardinals at expansion. Not only is he a Southpaw (much needed in the Cardinal's sea of righties), but he has been outstanding in his last few starts.
  2. Danny Haren, Simo-man, and Evan Rust-These guys are in the same boat--as their chances of being recalled are the same. At that point only one of thse three will prolly get out of said boat. The post-season will push one of the starting five to the bullpen, which will lessen the need for another righty in the pen. Look for Jason to get the nod.
  3. John Gall-scary hitting and suspect fielding is this kids story so far. With an already deep outfield I don't see the real motive to bring him up. However, Gall will be a Redbird...a Memphis Redbird that is.
  4. Scott Seabol-The 29 year old 3rd baseman has been unbelievable this year hitting .299 and 32 roundtrippers. He has better hitting stats across the board compared to Gall. "Magic 8 Ball, will Seabol make the team?" "Sources say 'Yes'."
  5. Bo Hart-You can't not like this guy. Hart has a ton of experience from last year and has huge upside. His experience and charisma is a plus. Outlook: On the bubble. Look for LaRussa to add him in case of late season injury.
  6. Colin Porter-Porter got a call up earlier this season, but does not have impressive numbers this year. A reliable outfielder and known for his speed on the basepaths, he would be useful as a defensive sub and pinch runner. However, that position is pretty much filled by So Taguchi. On the other hand he would be a lefty coming off the bench. Magic 8 Ball: Outlook doubtful.
  7. Cody McKay-Always nice to have a third catcher. Things can get ugly after just a few hard hits at home. Just ask Molina after Saturday's game. McKay impressed in Spring training, but what have you done for me lately? More than likely he'll make the cut.


Friday, August 27, 2004

Great American Ballpark Bummer

I had a great time at the Great American Ballpark. I think that I might be able to say I had a good time. In the end though, I have to say I was bummed. Cardinals were snubbed by great pitching and super defending. Here are some of the highlights and some other thoughts:

  • I didn't know that Cincinnati was Central Time. The Reds' home is just an hour and a half from my home near Lexington--which is Eastern Time. I was thrilled thinking I might catch some BP, but LaRussa cancelled it because of the evening flight. My wife had a huge headache--Lord bless her for coming. Did ever mention she is a Cubs fan? No? Well while we were in engaged I was flying home through Chicago and thought it would be funny if I got her a Cubs hat to wear while I wear all my Cardinals hats. Boy was that a mistake. She goes out of her way now to catch Cubs games on TV. I fear I may be sent to Purgatory a little longer for that one.
  • If you told me before yesterday's game that the Cardinals would not reach second base all game I would have told you to shut up. Then I would probably have said something about how you know nothing of baseball. Then after the game I would have apologized to you. The Cardinals were dominated by the Reds. I guess they were due. We really have taken it to them this year. I am not pleased with the amount of close games lately. If Carpenter hdan't pitched so well himself I would have started ranting about how we need better pitching. But it has been our skinny hitting that has got me concerned as of late.
  • Wow is that a beautiful stadium. Great view of the Ohio river. I was extremely dissapointed that the scoreboard was out for the entire game. Apparently a computer virus had accessed the system and they were attempting to fix it for the entire game. I feel for the slob who was downloading MP3's that got them in to that situation. Players kept wondering what inning it was.
  • Shout out to the great Reds' fans of section 521, who tolerated having this outsider among them. Really great people there who were friendly and helpful. They cheered me on when I put on my rally cap in the ninth. Actually I think they were mocking me. That's what the problem was I waited till the 9th to put it on. I have never seen so many people go to the game and actually not watch the game. I think the scoreboard being out had something to do with it. 19,000 people at the game. A fourth of them were prolly Card's fans. 3,000 of the Reds' fans prolly left after the 7th. Otherwise the people of Cinci were great and I had a great time...except.
  • Beer. $6 a pop. Not quite as pricey as our St. Louis brews but I witnessed one couple drop over $50 on booze. Can vendors tell someone, "You've had enough?" Might have been my imagination but there seemed to be more drinking than usual. I guess I might even drink a few if my team was 5 games below 500 and 3.3 Million games out of first.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Pujols' Third Hit

  • Fortunetly I don't have as much time as usually to spend on my post-- I get to spend the evening at the Great American Ballpark. I've never been to Cincinnati so I am quite excited.
  • After a two-run homer and a double, Pujols lays down a great bunt to catch the Reds on their heels. I would love to see Barry Bonds lay down a bunt these days. Pujols' bunt single was the difference. At what point do you say, "Bonds gets a whole lot of walks, Pujols wins games." I think we are getting closer.
  • Sanders should be back in the lineup, as he had padding on his elbow. Womack should be back as well.
  • Looking closer at Cedendo's contract, the Mets might be picking up part of it. Anyone know where I might be able to track down this information?


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

One of these Things is not Like the Other!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Here are some players and their salaries with less than 150 ABs for the 2004 season. (Players with significant injury time are excluded)

J. Macias-CHC-$75oK
T. Hollandsworth-CHC-$1M
A. Nunez-PIT-$625K
J. Offerman-MIN-$500K
J. Grabowski-LA-$301K
M. Sweeney-COL-$400K
Q. McCracken-ARI-$1.75M
T. Perez-PHI-$750K
V. Wilson-NYM-$715K
D. Berg-TOR-$800K
J. Carroll-MON-$310K
A. Nunez-KC-$300K
R. Gload-CHW-$302K
D. Brown-KC-$309.5K
J. McEwing-NYM-$500K
D. McCarty-BOS-$500K
D. Glanville-PHI-$550K
M. Ojeda-SD-$305K
R. Cedeno-STL-$5.375Million!!!

What are the Cardinals thinking?!?! Something has got to be done!
For a great article concerning Cedeno, go to: http://www.go-cardinals.org/ and check out the August 20 entry.

Salaries from USAToday.com; Stats as of 8/25/2004

Monday, August 23, 2004

Pine tar, 26, Cinci, and Gymnastics

  • It would take the Pirates skipper to call Tavarez for his hat. LaRussa made another one of his "bush-league" declarations. Seems to throw that around a lot. 'Lendon seems to be the type to go Pharisee-letter of the law stuff. Pirate fans would prolly refer to him as "scrappy." Although Tavarez deserves to get kicked if he really did have pine tar on his hat-which he does go to EVERY time-my question is, "Why is this the first time he's been nailed for it?" His hat has been checked twice before--however both previous times he was found clean. Not saying I have the answer here--but something doesn't fit.
  • Magic Number as of 8/22/04 is 26. Wow! The Cards are 40 games over 500! This is the first time that has happened since the last game of the '85 season! Two more wins and they will have twice as many wins as losses.
  • This Thursday will be my first time to see a game in Cincinnati. I sure am excited. I've heard that the ballpark there is great--guess the name fits.
  • (Trust me, this is connected to the Redbirds) Before you stop reading 'cause I said the world "gymnastics" let me quickly inform you that "gymnastics" comes from the Greek word gymnos meaning "nude." Now that I have your undivided attention--I have a beef. There are two articles in particular that have drawn my attention. First is Christine Brennan. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/brennan/2004-08-22-brennan-hamm_x.htm This article goes on to say that Hamm should give up his medal. At first I was outraged to hear such a statement. It is a logical conclusion to connect a request that Hamm give up his medal and that he did not deserve it. Brennan tries to detach her noble request that Hamm "transcend sports" and avoid saying that he doesn't deserve gold. Where she fails in trying to avoid implying that Hamm did not earn the gold, she makes a good statement about sports in general. When my father and I were watching the '87 series I would always yell, "Drop it! Drop it!" at every pop-up the Twins had a chance to catch. My father would ALWAYS say, "Now, Son. You don't want to win that way." Now that I'm older, I agree. I don't know what I would do in Paul Hamm's place, but that sure does seem to be the RIGHT thing to do. Funny how the right thing to do sounds so outrageous doesn't it. At this point you might be saying, "John, you told me this had something to do with baseball." You're right which brings me to this point. 1987 Tommy Herr is called out for being "tagged" out on the basepaths. After seeing the replay AFTER the game, the ump announced that he made a bad call. This play COULD have changed the outlook of the entire series. So let's call the twins and tell them they have to play it over. "But, John!" you interject, "You don't know if that could have changed the outlook." You're right. And we don't know that Paul would have done differently knowing that he might of had to score higher. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? No! Which is why this next article makes me burn! http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/oconnor/2004-08-21-oconnor-hamm_x.htm Ian O'Connor demands that a second gold be given to the South Korean gymnast. This is absolutely ridiculous! Check this quote from Paul Hamm's mom in USA-Today, "It's particularly upsetting that the media is calling for him to give up the gold medal. Would you do this after the Super Bowl, ask the Green Bay Packers to give back their rings or award double rings?" Couldn't be put clearer! Paul Hamm, if he knows that he would have lost to Yang, should ethically give up his medal. If there was a chance that Hamm could have done differently than what is done is done. A second medal is a disgrace. All of this is moot. The South Koreans did not file their complaint in time. There are rules for this. By the way, did the U.S. basketball team in Munich get gold medals too?


Thursday, August 19, 2004

We Need So!

According to StLCardinals.com, LaRussa is considering putting Luna in center so Jimmy can take a break. Tony admitted he would have So starting center-field if he was not in AAA. Why not send Cedeno down? Rumor has it that Taguchi will be back with the Card's by the next road trip. His speed and his excellent glove would be gladly welcomed back. Inserting infielders so Edmonds can get rest is ridiculous, especially for a team of the caliber of the Cardinals.

Card's magic number is 31 after the loss. Looking forward to that number getting a lot smaller.

Carpenter should be starting this week. Looks like the skipped start was just out of precaution. Haren got the "W" anyhow. Looking forward to beating up on the hapless Pirates. Now a Brewer fan. Let's keep those Cubbies out of the playoffs. I really ain't got nothin' against 'em--they just scare me (at least while healthy). I am also interested in watching the Braves and Dodgers--should reveal some possible postseason tibits of interest.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

So Far...

So far the theme of my webpage has been: "Do the Cardinals have enough hitting to survive?" Most people laugh at me or tell me to be grateful that my team is dominating. After lurching on some message boards, I have seen that the ney-sayers are preaching loudly from their soap-boxes against Cardinal pitching.

To myself and to them I say, "Enough already!" The rotation and the bullpen have proven themselves. The lineup is unbelievable. 14 games ahead of their nearest division opponent! They just took 2 out of 3 against the NL East leader.

As an all sports adict I am glad the olympics are here. But at some point you get your fill of Gymnastics, SIMMING, and volleyball. Would it kill them to show some of the other sports?

Back to baseball. I am not the only one ( I think) that really wants the Cubs NOT to make the playoffs. Sammy will get out of his slump, pitchers will heal, and they are too dangerous. I would rather face Barry Bonds and SF's horrible bullpen. The Braves played some of their best ball against the Cards and only won 1 game. (the one game they would have lost it if wasn't for some silly Cardinal fielding errors) It really is looking like Yankees v. Cardinals. Any doubters?


Friday, August 13, 2004

Email, Simo-Man, So, Trade, and Stuff

Please pray for all those who may be affected by the hurricane.

A. For those of you who have been trying to reach me at shelton@netscape.com and are coming up craps, please email me at my wife's email: gracejones18@hotmail.com. I will let you know when Netscrap decides to get its act together.

2. Looks like this old forcaster did okay. (Plus a good tip from another Cardinal website, Stlcardinals.com). Simo-man as Mike Shannon likes to call him has been called up from Memphis and So Taguchi has been sent packing. Personally I think the Cardinals would be better off sending someone like Cedeno down to AAA. So has a better glove, better speed, but doesn't really hammer the ball. With the aqusition of Walker, we can afford to send the $5M man (Roger)--packing.

D. Apparently I spoke too soon about a "player to be named." John Gall will still be in the Redbird's organization and instead the Rockies will receive 24 year old Southpaw Louis Martinez. He was involved in a shooting in the offseason, but was cleared of all charges (in the Domnican Republic). Card's claimed him during spring training off waivers. The final look on this trade seems to be a good one. Here's to Walker's health.

IV. It has come to my attention that I do a lot of complaining (not just from you, Pete) covering a team with the best record in baseball. Let me tell you why:
Because this is the most fun I've had in baseball since 1989. (Will Clark destroying the Cubs in the NCLS) But this is the most fun since 1987, when my beloved Card's had to play in the Metro-dodge-the-debris-that-the-evil-towel-waving-fans-are-throwing-on-the-field-Dome. I don't want the Cardinals to do so well and then blow it. I've seen it before and it isn't pretty. My father still loves to remind everyone at family occaisions how I cried whenever the Twins beat the Cards. Hey I was 9! But I digress, I haven't seen a team dominate like this since the Mariners were ripping it up what seems like just a few years ago. I can't say enough about how well the Cardinal's are doing in just about every aspect of the game. I guess that's why I concentrate on the negative-- I don't have to write as much.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Cardinal Zone (Part two)

Stymied by Marlins pitching Cardinal bats do just enough to squeeze out another dubya. Marlin pitching is pretty impressive. "At what point will I start to get on the Cardinal hitting and leave the pitching alone?" you ask. That's still a long way off my friends.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

2 Hits and some Injuries

Carpenter, Marquis, Suppan, Morris, and Williams have only missed 1 start COMBINED this year. Come Sunday, look to see that stat rise to 2. Carpenter made an early exit yesterday due to back spasms. Although he said he should be ready to go, I doubt Tony will start him. Look for some roster moves.

Pujols has bone spurs, and his trainer says that he will be able to play though the pain. This injury is one that does not go away easily and should have Cardinal fans alarmed.

If you told Beckett that the Fish would give up just two hits in the game yesterday, I guarantee you that he would have said, "Deal!" What you didn't tell him was that two of those hits would be homeruns and the Marlins would muster 1 run themselves. In one of the strangest games all year, Pujols and Jimmy did what they do best.


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Cardinal Zone

Submitted for your approval. Stats that go beyond thought, sight, or mind. You have just crossed over into the....(dramatic pause) Cardinal Zone! Doo, doo, doo, doo....

Cardinals' Starting Pitching Stats


Monday, August 09, 2004

Renteria, Marquis, Walker-Not Necessarily in that Order

I. Marquis has an excellent outing--against Leiter no less. He settles down after a 1-run first to win his 9th straight. To paraphrase the Little Rascals: (Insert Buckwheat's voice) Pretty Good Pitching.

II. Just realized that my new neighbor might be as big of a Cardinal fan as I am--NAH! Is there a way to measure--fanship? The level of a fan is equal to the square of the sums of his knowledge of the team and his/her attendence at the ballpark? But what about transplanted fans? Their mecca-like trips across country to Redbird Headquarters should factor in as well...right? I am passing this one over to the math department at the liberal arts college in town. I'll keep you updated on their progress.

III. Renteria goes 5-5 to tie the best hitting game of his career. (No homers) Which leads us to...

IV. Walker, 2nd or 4th. If Pujols, Edmonds, and Rolen don't clear the table with one of their many home runs, surely one of their doubles will leave them on base. Wouldn't Walker be good here--as a greater homerun threat than Renteria? With all due respect for Matheny and Sanders, why put Renteria in a place where he won't necessarily score runs. What a great problem to have!! I salivate every time I look at the lineup.

Womack .293
Walker .321
Pujols .319
Rolen .338
Edmonds .300
Renteria .294
Sanders .252 (Reggie is in a funk, and with his weak glove it's the one place where I can complain).
Matheny .253 (Matheny is worth his weight in gold via his golden glove behind the plate).

V. The two players that were "to be named later," have been named: Chris Narveson (AA) a 5-10 Southpaw who was a promising prospect (he has been strong as of late) and John Gall (AAA) outfielder, batting .297 with over 20 homers. Neither have seen MLB action. Seems like great tidings for the Cards, but many Fred-Bird faithful don't realize that with Walker comes a surplus in the OF. Ray Lankford, who was scheduled to come off the 15-day DL last friday might ask to be released rather than be demoted. You can't help but love Lankford. Here's wishin' him the best--whatever decision he makes.

VI. At some point I might have to demand that we do the impossible and find someone that wants to pay Cedeno his outrageous salary. Trust me. He'll clear waivers.

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Interesting Move

Interesting. Very interesting. Walker, for a minor leaguer and two players to be named later. AND Rockies agree to pay 7.5 M of Walker's 2005 contract. I like-a lot-so far. Who are these two? Walker received a standing ovation and was key in the 2-1 victory over the Mets earlier today. But are the Redbird faithful applauding a tad prematurely? I hope not. LaRussa is all smiles. I hope--as I have chanted so many times now-that we don't need to add better pitching instead.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Carpenter 8 IP (I'm wrong again)

A. Can't ask for much better.

B. Seems like every division leader is starting to seperate itself. Cardinals are still 9 1/2 better than the streaking Cubs.

C. When Rolen reaches 30 homeruns it will be the first time in Cardinal history that 3 players hit 30+ in a single season. (Edmonds, Pujols)


Thursday, August 05, 2004

Trade Traffic

Deadline has come and gone. I suppose the Card's big-wigs know more about this stuff than I do. I kept hearing the same refrain from players and "importants" alike: "We don't want to upset the balance." Marching to the beat of "If it ain't broke don't fix it," the Cardinals silently went through July 31--confidently. We will see if this will be another year of the "sins of the past."

Most important transactions:(in order of importance)

A. Cardinals staying put

B. Nomar-Cubs think they can make a run at the post-season by improving a glaring weakness. Once they get there, they are relying on pitching getting healthier. This trade should worry the most confident of Cardinal fans.

C. Loaiza-Yankees gain a VERY quality starter to an already stellar rotation. At what point will the Bombers stop spending $$? Does Steinbrenner have a limit? How much CAN he spend? Shouldn't teams at some point wisen up and stop selling their "pennant-souls" to the AL NYers?