Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Predictable Happenings Often Happen In Baseball

Just when I think he can't do anything more absurd, Big "Ball Scratcher" Zambrano does something like this and totally reaffirms my complete disdain and disgusted amusement. In the Cubs win against the Pirates today, my old buddy Carlos threw himself another one of his legendary hissy fits and found himself ejected and faced with a probable suspension. It all started with a wild pitch that found him attempting to make a play at home, which caused him to make contact with the umpire, which caused him to throw a ball into the outfield, toss his glove and proceed into the dugout where he promptly beat the water cooler with a bat. My sweet heavens. He makes my job of hating him with the red hot fire of a thousand suns INCREDIBLY easy.

In other predictable news, I was speaking with my sister's fiance tonight and he was regaling me with a tale of one, Mr. Jason Isringhausen. Evidently, he worked his magic against the Cleveland Indians on Monday and successfully helped the Tampa Bay Rays choke up a ten run lead and the all-but-sure win. In total, the bullpen gave up 7 runs in the bottom of the ninth, including a trademark game losing two run single from Izzy. Oh, how I miss those retina shattering, brain blasting, soul crushing moments! As a running joke in our family, this will no doubt provide endless hours of entertainment.

As for the Redbirds, well those plucky little fellows keep right on keeping on. After taking two of three from the Royals and two of three from our beer swilling rivals in Milwaukee, they have officially taken the first place spot in the NL Central. However temporary this may be, I am really quite pleased. After a tumultuous day at the office, I needed some good news to keep me from jamming a pen in my eye. As it stands, I'm still tempted to pull a Zambrano and club someone over the cranium with a bat. It's either that or have six or seven Black Russians. The jury is still out.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Holy freakin' hell. The Cardinals just completed a sweep of the Chicago Scrubbies. Did anyone else see this? I'm completely blinded by euphoria. My roommate was equally ecstatic, by which I mean, she posted her very first Facebook status update tonight about the Redbird's success. And I quote, "Sweeeep it up Redbirds! Show these baby bears who's boss." I have to say, she's a loyal Rick Ankiel fan. In so much, that her fantasy baseball name is "Sprained My Ankiel". Plus, she has a shirt with his name on it. Without giving too much away, she wants to have his babies. I commend her. Bravo, young lady! As soon as he recovers from mashing his face into the center field wall, we'll be in business. Anyway, I've gotten off course. The whole point of this post is to gloat over how the Cards won three games in a row against he Cubs. What. The. F!@#??? Although we have serious problems doing that thing where people smack baseballs, run around and score runs, our starting pitching has been nothing short of....awesome? It feels weird to say. Joel Piniero isn't supposed to be good, but has been. Todd Wellemeyer isn't supposed to be good, but he pitched a couple of the only wins we've had in May. Chris Carpenter came back last night and reminded everyone how much fun it is to watch him destroy human confidence. And Adam Wainwright? Oh my sweet lord, he came back from a few frosty games early in the month to pitch a game tonight where he spent 8 2/3 innings on the mound. My phone has been exploding with fun tonight. The only downer has been a Cubs friend of mine who has expressed a bit of intestinal discomfort. BUMMER.

In any case, I'm headed to another wedding tomorrow and this is a terrific way to start my long weekend. The fact that Adam Wainwright didn't win American Idol is downright criminal.

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Had To Know This Would Happen

You see, friends, THIS is exactly why I endorse unyielding pessimism, cynicism, skepticism and any other "ism" you can think of. If my research has taught me anything over the past few years, it's that being a bitter malcontent is the only thing that can save us Cardinal fans from the soul mutilating heartbreak that will tempt us to stick our heads in an oven half a dozen times a year. One might argue that I'm only kidding myself and that I'm actually just making myself miserable for no real purpose, to which I say, "kindly go swallow a straight razor." It's science, people. I don't make the rules. Anyhow, after a rain-out on Friday and back-to-back losses to the surging Milwaukee Brewers, the Cardinals are now two games out of first place and a half game (gulp) behind the Scrubbies. This was probably inevitable, as I suppose they call them "hot streaks" for a reason. The Redbirds maintaining that early season momentum was about as likely as me winning the Kentucky Derby. (Keep in mind, I've got the endurance of a panda bear.) With both Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick on the DL, it would seem that it is virtually impossible for anyone to hit balls and run around the bases like they're supposed to. (See Adam Wainwright's two hitter on Saturday that ended in a loss. Let me tell you, I got an expletive laced text from my pops after THAT little gem.) Despite Colby "much-hyped minor league ingenue" Rasmus stepping it up recently, the Cards have only scored 10 total runs over the past five games. Plus, our starting pitching has slumped to 2-9 in the month of May, which now that I really think about it, doesn't seem like a very effective combination if a team is trying to win baseball games. (Swallows bottle of Xanax.)

The good news is that Kyle Lohse is taking the mound tonight (against our old mongoloid friend, Braden Looper,) to make up the Friday rain-out and Chris Carpenter is making his return on Wednesday night when the Birds take on the Cubs for what feels like the 97th time already this season. Mr. Carpenter rejoining the rotation makes me happy for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that it keeps Todd Wellemeyer that much further away from both the mound AND my irrational subconscious. After the turd he tossed yesterday, (5 2/2 innings, four runs in the 1st, 7 walks,) I'm ready to tie him to the hood of my car and drive off a cliff. It'd be like Thelma and Louise, but with more conviction and arguably better hair.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dirty Dugout: Update #1

Well, things in the "all girls, special ed" fantasy baseball league are going just about as well as one might expect. I proposed a blockbuster trade with WMPA (i.e. Kelly) for Mark Teixeira a while back, yet considering it required a league-wide vote, the damn thing nearly took a decade to process. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how much impact it has had on my fledgling fantasy season, particularly since I wasn't starting any of the guys I traded for until NOW. As a result, I'm still lodged squarely in second-to-last place.

As unlikely as it may be, SMA (i.e. Jamee) is ruling the league and has been kicking our collective butts around the diamond for this first month of play. Considering the draft was wholly random and completely out of anyone's control, I don't actually give her any credit, yet the fact remains that she is the one to beat here in the early phase of the season. Her gloating is a bit premature, but as much as it PAINS me to admit it, warranted nonetheless. Now, onto the stats...

As of 5/7/09:

1. SMA (i.e. Jamee) - 73

2. NATV (i.e. Ashley) - 66

3. YANK (i.e. Abbey) - 62

4. FUKU (i.e. Nicole) - 58.5

4. NICK (i.e. Laura) - 58.8

6. GRAY (i.e. Molly) - 57.5

7. MSH (i.e. Rigi) - 55

8. WMPA (i.e. Kelly) - 48

9. PIMP (i.e. Lindsay) - 40

10. SK (i.e. Emily) - 31.5

I have to give myself some well earned grief for regularly starting a handful of injured players over the past month. Brian McCann (AtL), Vladimir Guerrero (LAA) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Bosox) were all placed on the DL, yet they continued to sit in my lineup FOR WEEKS. To that end, I realize it's hypocritical to complain about incompetency in my league if I'm a complete derelict myself, yet here I go anyway. My awards for the first few weeks of the season:

Best Use of a Cardinal Player: SK has Albert Pujols. Holy hell, I want to stab her in the face.

Best Use of Eye Candy: SMA owns both Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter. She is in first place. I firmly believe this is a causal relationship, as her success clearly has nothing to do with baseball knowledge or enthusiasm. It's got to be something, right? Synergistic team sexiness is as good an explanation as any.

Best Use of a Player No One Likes: Last time I checked, WMPA had gaping spots in her outfield and second base. By which I mean, she isn't starting any players at those positions. However, she DOES have Milton Bradley sitting on her bench. Interestingly enough, I was present for his first at-bat at Wrigley as a Cub, after which he nearly ate the umpire before getting kicked out of the game. (SK can attest, as she was there with me.) What a friendly fellow! It was very polished, as though he just might have done this before. On a scale of 1 to "Carlos Zambrano Crazy", Mr. Bradley is right up there.

Best Use of a Random Dude No One Has Heard Of: I've actually heard of Brad Ausmus, but I'm mentioning him here because I find it fascinating that NATV has him starting at catcher, despite the fact that only 7% of all ESPN fantasy baseball players own him. Clearly, she knows something we don't. Insider trading?

Best Use of the Bench: GRAY was unfortunate enought to end up with Chris Duncan (StL) on her team after the draft. Presumably because someone warned her about how he stumbles around the outfield like a drunk gorilla, she currently has him riding the pine. This is probably the best decision she'll make all year.

Best Non-Excuse to Start a Flame War: I had an almost unhealthy obsession with hating FUKU and her fantasy football team this past winter and I see no reason for this to change simply because we're playing a different sport. As such, I'm taking this rivalry to the next level. I haven't quite figured out how, but I'm pretty sure Prince "Fatty Fatty Bombalatty" Fielder will somehow be involved. How does it feel to know your first baseman would probably wrap you in bacon and swallow you whole if given the chance?

Okay, ladies of the Dirty D, that's going to do it for me this time around. I'll be back to check in with you over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, tell your mothers you love them and get a damn haircut.