Monday, July 30, 2007

If AWESOME Were A Color It Would Be RED

Now that I've had a day to reflect on the weekend without the influence of Sauvignon Blanc and Captain Morgan, I can safely say without any reservation that IT TOTALLY KICKED ASS. No, I wasn't just tipsy and delirious, we really DID win three in a row against the division leading Milwaukee Brewers. Two of these were even taken in dramatic late inning comebacks that would have certainly inspired me to make out with strangers if I'd witnessed them in person. I don't even know what to say. You know the feeling when out of no where someone surprises you with an extremely thoughtful and unexpected gift? That's how awesome it is in my head space right now. I'm all aflutter with affection, adoration and utter disbelief that I can possibly be so fortunate. I'm so numb with joy I don't even care that Carlos "Big Z" Zambrano won his major league leading 14th game yesterday. And THAT'S saying something considering I usually can't even think his name without wanting to slam my hand in a door.

The euphoria that comes with realizing we aren't completely hopeless is as welcome as it is unanticipated. Directly responsible for this glorious resurgence are the guys in our bullpen. Randy Flores, Ryan Franklin, Russ Springer and Jason Isringhausen combined for 13 shutout innings and gave up only 4 hits in those three games. With our starting rotation being questionable at best, it's comforting to know that our relief corp can come in and be untouchable in the late innings. I mean, we're still giving up 5, 6, 7 runs a game, but at least the hemorrhaging stops when Wells, Maroth and Company get yanked. That's gotta count for something, right? Especially when the eight inning turns Scott Rolen into a clutch RBI addict and makes Albert Pujols a bullpen devouring monster. I don't even know why we bother playing the first six frames anymore.

So now that we've effectively eliminated Milwaukee's lead over the Cubs in the NL Central, (double edged sword if I ever saw one,) I'm going to Wrigley tonight to cheer on the Phillies and encourage the late season collapse I know the Cubs to be capable of. If ever there were a more perfect time to hope for a rabid squirrel attack at the Friendly Confines, I've never heard it. Would Alfonso Soriano cry like a sissy and run screaming into the clubhouse? Frankly, I think believing anything else is unpatriotic.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Break Out The Champagne!!!

Holy hell, we just won two games in one day. TWO GAMES. Math is hard, but I'm pretty sure we just beat the Brewers twice. Someone needs to break out a calculator or something. It blows my mind to even begin to think about it. We are AWESOME at baseball. Just incredible. If we can just keep doing this, we'll win the World Series again for sure. I can feel it.

Dammit, I love the Cardinals.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Who Hired This Guy??

Seriously. We played the Tigers last year in the World Series. I don't remember this guy. FOR A REASON. Verlander? Rogers? Bonderman? Nope. We get Mike Maroth. I'm sure he's a great person. Just a SWELL individual. But he has SUCKED as a Cardinal pitcher. If I wanted to have a stress induced asthma attack I would watch Jason Isringhausen close games. Unfortunately, he hasn't had the opportunity to do that lately.

I'm going to bed. This is absolutely depressing.


I don't know who's responsible for what happened last night, but thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I needed that win DESPERATELY. This enables me to preserve the tiny ounce of dignity I have left after the preceding days. I know it is nothing more then a blip on the radar, but it felt sensational to clobber Jason Marquis and win JUST ONE against the Scrubbies. The relief I'm experiencing is unbelievable. We are still atrocious at the game of baseball, but the tension in my stomach has magically (although I'm sure only temporarily) evaporated. It's like we just took the division, which is pathetic in its own right. Generally, it's not a great sign when you become delirious over avoiding a sweep. We're languishing deep in third place and I'm behaving like we just simultaneously cured cancer and saved Darfur. Heaven help me, but I think I've lost my damn mind!

No matter. Last night was a fun distraction from the realities of the season and the impending series against Milwaukee. I only saw the highlights since during my pity party on Wednesday night I decided to avoid it entirely, but after prompting from my father I finally turned it on late in the game to see for myself that we had a convincing lead. After watching SportsCenter on loop a few times, I'd satisfactorily seen Chris Duncan's grand slam approximately thirteen times and let me tell you, it got no less thrilling in each subsequent viewing. It was also nice to see Pujols and Rolen get in on the action, as it's been disappointing to watch them struggle the past two days. Until now, I kind of thought they both needed a big hug and a swift kick in the rear. At this point, I'd offer them my first born.

Plus, how about that Braden Looper? I had serious misgivings about putting him in the rotation earlier this year, but as much as it pains me to say it, he's our freakin' ace! I have absolutely no issue with eating my words as long as he keeps tossing games like that. In fact, do you think it'd be appropriate to send him flowers?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm Going To Need To Invent Some New Swear Words

Dammit, dammit, dammit. They just aren't giving me ANYTHING to run with here. I'm not asking for much, but the ability to watch a game without being heavily sedated would be nice. I'm dying out here! I just want to win ONE BLOODY GAME!!!!! Would it be too much of an inconvenience for my guys to let me save a little face? I thought Cubs fans were obnoxious when they were losing, but you should hear them now that they're winning. I think I'd rather be deaf.

Furthermore, after watching two games in a row I really cannot take much more of Cubs "on-air personalities" Len and Bob. These guys spent about ten minutes last night discussing how one of them got locked in his hotel room. FOR THE SECOND TIME! (Note: Yes, he said IN not OUT OF.) Later in the broadcast they were reflecting on the tragic death of Tulsa Drillers first base coach Mike Coolbaugh and one of them helpfully pointed out that what killed him was a burst artery in his head that was CLOSE TO HIS BRAIN. Really? As opposed to what, his gallbladder? He got hit IN THE HEAD!!! Thanks for the anatomy lesson, jackass. Somehow that whole hotel room issue started making a hell of a lot more sense. I can just see him sitting on the edge of the bed staring at the door completely baffled. "There's a big wooden SLAB obstructing my exit! However will I escape!"

Anyhow, I can't even think about the actual game last night without wanting to punch a kitten in the face. Although Adam Wainwright was lights out until the fourth inning striking out six of the the first ten batters he faced, we couldn't generate any run support whatsoever. We hit into four double plays and ended up losing by more then five runs for the 25th time this season. Pujols is 0-9 on the series and it looked like Juan Encarnacion (4-4, 1 RBI) was the only guy who thought it was a terrific idea to put runs on the board. I, for one, feel his genius is under appreciated.

So anyway, I think I'm going to abstain from watching the action tonight. I've spent six hours over the past two days wanting desperately to shove my arm in a paper shredder. I'm also running dangerously low on vodka and think my roommate is ready to have me fitted for a straight jacket. These things combined seem to suggest that my mental health is in danger and a nice evening among baseball-neutral friends might be in order. It's either that or move somewhere outside of WGN's reach like the Czech Republic. I haven't really decided yet.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Suicide Watch Starts...Now!!

It isn't over yet, but that doesn't mean I haven't already had thirteen anxiety attacks, a couple of martinis and one legitimate stroke. I'm slowly becoming aware of how fortunate I am not be able to watch this on a regular basis. Until now, I haven't sat down for an hour and a half. Instead, I've been pacing across my living room and wondering how I haven't been diagnosed with Tourettes. Dammit, I HATE Carlos Zambrano. I don't know if I've made that clear, but he absolutely disgusts me. If I could pick any one person to throw into a metal crate and launch into space it would be him. ...

Anyway, I suppose even thus far it's been a moral victory for us Cardinals fans. Kip Wells didn't eat his glove or otherwise embarrass us and it appears that a few of our injured compadres are interested in winning this damn thing. For example, how about Yadier Molina catching Theriot stealing second? Ballsy move, Ryan. Foolish, but ballsy. Molina is equipped with a government certified rocket. Everyone knows that. ...

Also, Skip Schumaker is my new dreamboat. That is all.

Friday, July 20, 2007

RIP 2007. It's Like I Hardly Knew Ya.

After a double dose of disheartening news this morning, it appears that the wheels are not only falling off in St. Louis, but careening wildly into the crowd and disfiguring small children in their paths. I haven't been this depressed since they shot Bambi's mom. Holy hell, it sucks to be a Cardinals fan right now.

First and most horrifying is the news regarding Chris Carpenter's status. Despite reports that he was making strides in his recovery and would be returning to the rotation over the next couple of weeks, it's been announced that stiffness and soreness has returned in his elbow. He is now scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery, which effectively ends his very short season (his only start was the season opener we lost against the Mets) and creates a big question mark as to when he'll be able to return next season. Honestly, I feel gutted. I'd painted this majestic picture in my head of how he'd come back and the team would rally around his inspiring return. We'd take over the division, the league and finally THE WORLD by winning the rest of our regular season games, somehow un-losing a few of those really embarrassing early season debacles and automatically earning two wins for every time we were forced to show up at the same ballpark as the Cubs. It was even in watercolor. Siiiiiiigh.

Next, we got our hides handed to us last night by the Braves. And by "we", I mean starting pitcher Mike Maroth, who gave up 10 runs over five innings, 5 of those coming in the fourth inning alone. Wow! This has turned out to be an exceptionally effective trade for us. Really, he's just what the doctor ordered as this is damn near the scariest starting rotation I've ever seen. I haven't encountered such an intimidating arsenal since Mr. Rogers, the Easter Bunny and a couple Teletubbies played together back in 1997. These guys are positively FEROCIOUS!!

Unless I win the lottery or Carlos Zambrano gets eaten by a tiger, my day is officially ruined. Bring on the martini sandwiches!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wait...What Just Happened?

Okay, someone help me out here. Who was our starting pitcher last night? Because I'm PRETTY SURE it wasn't Kip Wells. No, the REAL Kip Wells would not have held an opponent to just two runs in eight innings. (In fact, I'm pretty sure he has no idea what pitching into the eighth inning feels like.) Is this a joke? Did we acquire an alien byproduct of some genetic engineering experiment that just LOOKS like him? Is this still July of 2007? So many questions, so few reasonable answers. All I know is that Kip Wells (!!!) led the Cardinals to a 6-0 shutout of the Marlins last night with his most brilliant start, well, probably EVER. (Seriously. He has not won a game since May 23rd.) I'm not quite sure what to make of this development, but I can't help but think it's only temporary. He's been the stuff of nightmares all summer, so unless he's had some miraculous physical transformation, I'm not convinced I should be too terribly excited about it. Nonetheless, it made my morning to hear he didn't fall off the mound or accidentally chuck a curveball into the dugout. I do usually have to brace myself for the worst.

Someone I actually am kind of excited about is this Brendan Ryan kid. Filling in for an injured Scott Rolen, he had five assists last night and appeared to be completely comfortable at third base. With Rolen back in St. Louis investigating discomfort in his left shoulder and his usual backup Scott Spiezio out with a finger infection (what??), it's nice to know we don't have to resort to starting one of the ball boys. As my Dad pointed out this morning, if we somehow come back and take the division, we might be the first minor league team to ever make the playoffs. Of course the likelihood of that happening is about the same as me piloting a space shuttle to Mars, but it's fascinating to think about nonetheless.

On another note, does anyone else find it suspicious that Scott Rolen and Scott Spiezio keep coming down with injuries and diseases at the same time? I mean, first it was simultaneous food poisoning and now this whole "infected finger" and shoulder injury thing. Suuuuuuuurre. My bet is that they're actually back in St. Louis playing video games, eating Taco Bell and giving each other wedgies. That or they're moonlighting as mysterious super heroes out saving the world from evil forces. Both of these explanations somehow seem wildly more realistic then an infected finger. What does that even mean? I'm no doctor, but I'm highly confident that's not a legitimate injury. Does it need amputated or require extensive physical therapy? No? Then get your glove and get back on the field, you big pansy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


As the Cardinals continue their ten game road trip, only one thing comes to mind. Are we going to win any more of these damn things? I mean, it would appear we've reached our monthly quota after handily dismissing the Phillies on Sunday and beating the Marlins last night. That's two whole games in a row, people! What an unprecedented explosion of greatness! I've actually calculated the odds of us losing all six remaining games of the trip and although it's weighted by Albert Pujols being positively destructive lately and the fact that Adam Kennedy has finally figured out what he's supposed to do with that big wooden stick he carries to the plate, we do still have Kip Wells in the starting rotation. Therefore, the conservative estimate is 2:1. This should be fun, don't you think?

On another note, I've been asked by a lot of people over the last week what my thoughts are on Tony LaRussa not pinch hitting Pujols in the ninth inning of the All-Star game. (Most of these queries have come from Cubs fans, go figure.) I think I've made it abundantly clear how I feel about the All-Star game, but to reiterate, I could not possibly care less. It makes absolutely no difference to me whatsoever. The amount of attention given to this alleged "spat" between Tony and Al has been absurd. Is this at all relevant to the dismal regular season we're wallowing through right now? Is it providing any insight on how we are going to dig ourselves out of this mid-season hole and progress more ably towards the playoffs? Did it in any way resolve our nagging issues with starting pitching in the first inning or come up with creative ways to compensate for a line-up plagued by injury? No???? Well, then go pound sand, you incompetent waste of toilet water. The end result is that this matters to absolutely no one, ESPECIALLY anyone in the NL Central. (This means you, Cubs fans!) In all likelihood, no one in this division will live to see October and thereby have to suffer the indignity of NOT having home field advantage. (Oh, the TRAGEDY!!) Therefore, your commentary on this issue is serving no other purpose then to annoy the ever loving crap out of me and make me question why I don't own a handgun. Seriously. Why DON'T I own a handgun?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I'd Rather Go To Ikea On A Saturday Then Watch This Stupid Game

So, here we are on the eve of the All-Star game aka "the most pointless waste of a perfectly good night of baseball" and the weary Redbirds don't have a single soul in the starting line-up. This is absolutely shocking. With the EXPLOSIVE way we have been playing this season it's just an abomination. A real head scratcher if I ever saw one.

Anyhow, I really don't get the point of this whole affair. There are a thousand things I'd rather be doing. Scrubbing a toilet at Wrigley Field and shaving my legs with a rusty spoon sound a hundred times more fun then watching a bunch of seemingly random players fumble around and pretend they give a crap about a game that none of them really want to play in the first place. As we so valiantly showed last fall, home field advantage in the World Series don't mean diddly. Take that, All-Stars. Besides, is there really a convincing argument for the NL this year? Seriously??

On another note, I have been absent of late due to a three week tour of the Greater Midwest. First, I visited my very special hometown of Muscatine, Iowa for some family bonding, mullet watching and of course a couple of extra special losses to the Phillies. Then, I took a trip up to Saginaw, Michigan to see some friends, gaze at more mullets and watch the highlights of the Cardinals taking two of three from CINCINNATI!! WOOOOHOOO!!! It was practically like the World Series if the World Series were played between two high school girls softball teams. Lastly, I drove an abysmal 8 hours (with an hour detour courtesy of my directions-challenged roommate) to the Lake of the Ozarks for a mid-summer vacation/Fourth of July Spectacular that included boating for three days, working on my sunburn, drinking my weight in assorted domestic beers and watching St. Louis snag a couple from the Diamondbacks while in a waterlogged, sunburned and drunken stupor. See, Cardinal baseball CAN be fun!!! Basically, my point is this: I have been drunk for three weeks straight and have therefore digressed into a sort of mid season coma. Did I mention the mullets?

On another front, I'm not even going to discuss the Cubs slow creep above 500. I cannot stand those Northside goat molesters and will NOT waste my extensive vocabulary discussing the many, many issues I have with this. I am, however, taking my folks to Chicago's Biggest Beer Garden this Sunday to watch them take on the Astros and am sincerely looking forward to seeing a bunch of drunk chicks in mini-skirts and high heels trying to care about baseball. My Mom comes for the warm $60 beers, my Dad comes in hopes that in between hot dogs he can see Alfonso Soriano choke on his socks and I come hoping against all hope that Lance Berkman will beat Lou Pineilla over the head with his bat. See? We all win!!

Mom, if you're reading this, I have a special account set up to bail Dad and me out of jail afterwards. Ask me for the password BEFORE we start drinking.