Archive for December, 2009

Top 5 Stories of the Year

December 31, 2009

I’m going to take my best shot at wrapping up what I saw as the best stories of the year. The Cardinals Bloggers are doing this as part of their wrap-up and I like to throw my opinion in with those who actually know what they’re talking about.  I’m sure there are going to be some outrages and difference of opinion in my stories, but what am I if not a differing opinion. So here they are, starting with the stories that were pretty cool to the one that shaped the season. I present…

THE BEST OF THE CARDINALS IN 2009!

Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Mo’

#5 The Intern

I feel like that is an appropriate title for what Colby Rasmus was in center field this season. He basically got to study the position under Rick Ankiel, but all the while knew that he was our boy for the job and Ricky was on the way out. It may just be that I have a thing for young talent, whether it be the clutch hitting center fielder, or that stripper that you look at and wonder if she’s still in high school. There’s just something exciting about talent today that may become bigger talent tomorrow. The kid showed that he had the hard part of the job down. Colby was nothing if not clutch this season, knocking in walk-off home runs and being one the the Cardinal’s top performers in the playoffs. I’m really thinking this kid could be the big show next season and if a certain signing goes our way, we might be looking at an MV3-peat.

#4 The Art Of Pitching And Bitching

Dave Duncan showed the great city of St. Louis one thing this season: He has us all by the balls. When Chris Duncan was traded to Boston for Julio Lugo (a solid, productive move for the ball club since we have Lugo for all of 2010 and they had Chris for about 30 minutes before deciding that he was a lost cause) Dave Duncan showed why from T-ball on up a dad should not be the coach of his son’s team. Dave said he was disappointed by the way the situation was handled and that he considered not returning to the club after the 2009 season. St. Louis reacted in the way any self-respecting baseball city would: We freaked the f@*# out! I’m pretty sure that the city was under the impression that if Dave Duncan wasn’t in the dugout, Adam Wainwright would walk out to the mound, pick up the baseball and wonder “What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” and St. Louis would be forced to forfeit every game. Duncan eventually came around, put the past behind him and is returning in 2010 so baseball will still be played at Busch Stadium, but he sent a message to the front office which was sorta to the tune of “Got you by the balls, Mozeliak! By The Balls! P.S. The club is still looking for a backup outfielder for 2010 and I hear that Dave’s son is actually looking for a job right about now. I’m not sayin’… I’m just sayin’.

#3 Pitcher’s Duel Battle Royal

The 2009 Cardinals had the best pitching squad I’ve seen in…well period. Overshadowed by the Cy Young battle between Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright (I can’t remember which of the two won it, but at least they BOTH didn’t get screwed out of the award) the entire Cardinal staff (almost) had an amazing year. From the starting rotation of Wainwright, Pinero, Carpenter, and later edition of Smoltz, to the emergence of an all-star caliber closer in Franklin, the Cards hurlers were firing on all cylinders. Hawksworth, Miller, and McClellen provided solid numbers and becoming really reliable middle inning guys and pretty much everyone fulfilled expectation. So props to the entire staff as this year was an amazing one for Carpenter, Wainwright, Pinero, Lohse, Smoltz, Boggs, Thompson, Wellemeyer, Reyes, Miller, Motte, McClellen, Hawksworth and Franklin!

#2 Stuck In The Middle With You

I thought long and hard about this one, and instead of making these two the #4 and #5 stories, I decided that I would make the emergence of our middle infield the second biggest story in Cardinal Nation this year. First we’ll start with Skippy. Skip Schumaker made the transition from outfield to second base virtually overnight. The club said adios to Adam Kennedy and since the Cardinals had a plethora of outfielders to choose from, Skip made the transition from outfield to second base. The amazing part about this one? No one really noticed. Skip Schumaker put up really similar offensive numbers while completely changing positions. The fact that he didn’t look like a new-born giraffe at second base was impressive enough, but that he became a reliable, everyday second basemen? Well that’s pretty damn impressive. Skip may actually solve the second base problem that the Cardinals have been dealing with for years and be a constant at a position that seems to have the same curse that the Defense Against The Dark Arts teaching position has in Harry Potter. To quickly take your attention away from the fact that I’m a Harry Potter nerd, lets talk about Brenden Ryan. Brenden seemed to be the proverbial joke coming into 2009. He was like that friend that you really like at parties, but would never trust babysitting. Khalil Green suffered from a debilitating mental disorder and it really seemed like the Cardinals were going to need to use all of our trade chips to pick up a shortstop before the trade deadline. I’m sure Brenden was only supposed to be there until we found a “real” shortstop. What happened? He became the Wizard’s Apprentice. Everyone has been saying that Skip is great at 2nd, but “won’t be winning any gold gloves.” The same can’t be said about this kid. If he can stay serious and keep up the range he has going (he can really grab any ball hit between the opposing team’s dugout and Albert standing on first) then we might not only be talking about a gold glove, but maybe even an All-Star appearance or two. And all those trade chips he saved us? Well they were put to good use when…

#1 John Mozeliak Pimps Our Team

We had 2 MVPs this year, one off the field and one on it. We expected Albert to be amazing and I really apologize that him having the best season of any player in recent memory didn’t make my list, but to me, that’s just Albert being Albert. The big story this year was the front office. First, we got rid of Adam Kennedy and put our faith in Skip Schumaker to play 2nd base even though he’d never done it before. Who would have thought Skip could make a successful transition from outfield to 2nd? John Mozeliak, that’s who. How’d that work out? Just see story #2. Then he capitalized on the fact that we were a playoff contender and built a team that could compete. He ditched Duncan for Lugo, swapped Chris Perez for DeRosa, some minor league prospects for Matt Holliday and picked up John Smoltz for peanuts. You wanna team that competes Mr. Pujols? How’s that? Then Mozeliak entered into the off season to get all the pieces to build a dominant team for the ENTIRE 2010 season instead of just the 2nd half. When all of the other top stories stopped competing, Johnny Mo was just getting started. First he picks up Brad Penny to fix the hole in our rotation left by Pinero, then he starts in on Scott Boras’ chess game for Matt Holliday. The way things sound, he’s about the pull off the biggest deal in Cardinal history. Mozeliak is sending a message that baseball isn’t going to just be about the Red Sox and Yankees anymore, but that the Cardinals and Phillies are going to rock the boat a little. Some people are worried that he’s spending too much money, but considering that a 100m deal for Holliday would be about 1/2 the price Boras was looking for in the first place (180m Texiera money) I’d say that’s pretty good. Last year wasn’t supposed to be our year. We had an ace coming off of an entire year’s rest with an injury, a 2nd baseman who had actually never played 2nd base, our shortstop was MIA and a goofball was standing in his place, Troy Glaus, our 3rd baseman, was injured for most of the season, (should I go on with why last year shouldn’t have been our year?) but When Albert carried us through the first half of the season, Mozeliak carried us through the 2nd. And now that he’s out-Scott-Borasing Scott Boras, it appears that 2010 actually SHOULD be our year. For the first time in history, I wasn’t saying, “Our front office is cheap, cowardly, or whatever,” but instead, “Damn, our front office is pretty much full of badasses.” That’s a big story in baseball and in my humble opinion, the top story from Bird Land this year.


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Swinging Glaus Travels Many Moons To Braves Seeking Medicine Man

December 29, 2009

The Braves' medicine man, or "trainer" as they like to call him, will try to help Troy Glaus improve his game with Atlanta, possibly setting up his Tipi around first base.

Story passed down by many a Brave tell brother Fredbird Follies that soaring red bird of past, Troy Glaus, has traveled many moon to seek the medicine man of Atlanta Tribe. Brother Big Bat Glaus sign with Tribe in hopes medicine man can heal deep his pains and let him compete in more than 14 contests when the sun gets hot in the mother sky. Glaus hopes to fix many knots in back and replace glass bones with strong steel. Glaus hurt many long harvests with Red Birds and no soar with bat sitting many contest in kiva (dugout). Glaus hope to move like the running deer when mother sky warms and play first base with the power of the mighty brother bear. Glaus hope to use mighty stick to hit ball to where buffalo roam.

Glaus said the Cleveland Indians were also an option.

(I apologize that my Native American sounds like a mix of broken Italian and caveman. If any Native-Americans read this article I deeply apologize and hope that peace may be found in a pipe of some kind. However, I think I actually know everyone that reads this and none of you are Native-American so it shouldn’t be a problem.)

A Decade Later: Tony LaRussa Still Can’t Believe Fernando Tatis Hit Two Grand-Slams In One F@*#ing Inning

December 17, 2009

When asked to reflect on the past decade with the Cardinals, Manager Tony LaRussa had many positive things to say about the organization including the retooling of a pitching staff, the emergance of the greatest hitter in baseball, the World Series win in 2006, and, of course, that game that Fernando Tatis hit two grand-slams in one f@*#ing inning.

“It’s been a great decade,” said LaRussa, “I was finally able to lead the club to a World Series victory, we have emerged as one of the most dominant teams in the National League, we hosted the All-Star festivities, and our front office has shown a constant commitment to winning at the highest level.” LaRussa then rocked back in his chair before saying, “And who can forget that it was only 10 years ago when Fernando Tatis hit those two grand-slams in the same f@*#ing inning.”

Tatis’ feat was a major highlight in the 1999 season for the Cardinals when they went 75-86 and finished 4th in the NL Central. “I really think we peaked too early on that April 23rd day in Los Angeles,” said LaRussa of the 1999 season. “But man, totally worth it. When Tatis walked up to the plate in the 3rd inning, down by 2 runs with the bases loaded, he was probably just hoping for a base-hit to tie the game. That guy had never hit a grand-slam in his life, but little did he know that was all about to change. He hit that ball out and then just 8 batters later, he did it again. By the time that inning was over, he’d become the first man in baseball history to hit 2 grand-slams in one f@*#ing inning,” LaRussa lamented, wiping a single tear from his eye.

LaRussa commented on a myriad of other events of the past decade, such as when the Dodgers gave Fernando Tatis a standing ovation after he hit two grand-slams in one f@*#ing inning on April 23rd 1999, and the look on Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire’s face after Fernando f@*#ing Tatis of all people, hit two grand-slams in just one f@*#ing inning.

The Dodger’s pitcher, Chan Ho Park, who gave up, not one, but two grand-slams to the same f@*#ing player in the same f@*#ing inning was unable to be questioned about the event.

“It’s best for him to block that out of his memory,” said Park’s psychiatrist, Steve Gipson, “It was a pretty traumatic time in his life. It took a lot of treatment for him to start forgetting that day, recover from the severe depression that 3rd inning caused him, and put the bottle down. He’s finally starting to forget.”

“But man,” Gipson continued, “No one else is gonna forget that one. Two grand-slams in one f@*#ing inning.”

Former Cardinal, Fernando Tatis' MLB career will go down in history as being defined by one thing. Actually, by two things in one f@*#ing inning.

Pros and Cons: Scott Boras- The Man Fans Love To Hate

December 15, 2009

Scott Boras: The Man Baseball Fans Love To Hate

St. Louis Brings In Pitching Staff To Help Them Throw Money At Matt Holliday

December 15, 2009

Matt Holliday is hoping to have a productive season in 2010 if he's not injured in a freak "money flying at him from every imaginable angle" accident.

David Freese DWI News To Be Blown Way Out Of Proportion

December 14, 2009

In what can be called the “perfect storm” for a news-piece, the story of Cardinal 3rd baseman, David Freese, being arrested for a DWI this weekend is about to made such a huge deal that many fans will be lead to believe that this has been the biggest news of the 2009 off-season.

Many factors contributed to this news story making headlines all across St. Louis. First and foremost is the fact that there is absolutely nothing else going on with the St. Louis Cardinals right now. Most sports writers for the Cardinals are begging on the streets and writing obituaries to make ends meet this December as news runs scarce and families of bloggers and beat-writers all over Cardinal Nation go hungry. One Cardinal reporter had this to say about the incident, “Yeah I’m gonna write the shit outta this story. I’m just sad that it wasn’t more interesting and there are no details about it leaked yet. Maybe I’ll add a couple of facts to make it more interesting for readers. Throwing a dead hooker in the trunk should really spice this story up.”

Another large contributing factor is that everyone is really tired of hearing about the possibility of signing free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday. “We’ve been talking about that non-stop since like July when he first showed up,” said Cardinals blogger Daniel Shoptaw, “I just want to write about something different for once. I kinda wish it was something bigger, but we might as well crucify the kid in the media as much as we can since there’s so little going on right now. Nice of the new guy to throw us a bone at a time like this.”

The Cardinals have also had some alcohol-related trouble in the past, with pitcher Josh Hancock being killed in a collision while driving under the influence, and manager Tony LaRussa being charged with a DWI in Florida a few years back. The media is currently trying to find a way to tie all of these non-related stories together into a widespread MLB conspiracy theory or possibly a discrimination angle depending on how much “evidence” they can find to support either case.

David Freese had little to say about the incident, but has gone on record to say that, “This would be a really great time for McGwire to do his press-conference,” due to the fact that it would “really save my rookie ass right about now.”

Cardinal Rookie David Freese was arrested on Saturday for a DWI, making him the most interesting player on the Cardinals right now and the organization's whipping boy for at least a week or two. Freese will most likely be the topic of every Cardinals news-story today, including this one. Sorry Man.

LaRue Admits to Using Myriad of Non-Performance Enhancing Drugs to Enhance Performance

December 10, 2009

Jason LaRue called an impromptu press conference yesterday in order to announce to the media that he routinly uses non-performance enhancing drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, speed, ecstasy, mushrooms, angel dust, PCP, methamphetamine, acid, cough syrup,  and keyboard duster spray, often all in the same game, to enhance his playing ability.

“I just..I gotta wanna get this stuff out in the open,” said LaRue during his press conference between fits of slurring and giggling, “I am who I am man, that’s, that’s just Jason being Jason.” LaRue ended the seven minute meeting with the press by releasing a loud “Woooo” and falling off the stage. It should be noted that the backup catcher did this entire conference without a shirt on and leaning on a guy he continuously referred to  as “Pinto.”

When asked about LaRue’s confession of often being “So high he didn’t know what baseball was” during games, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa was quick to defend the veteran. “It was the call of the coaching staff on whether or not to play him. In the era of steroids, it was really the least of our worries if one of our guys was downing mushrooms between innings or had to do a couple lines before stepping in the batters box.” LaRussa admitted that there were times when the player’s performance was effected. “Yeah, there were definitely times when me and (pitching coach Dave) Dunc(an) would get together and have to make the call that Jason shouldn’t be breathing, let alone catching a Major League baseball game.”

Baseball commissioner, Bud Selig, said that the league would not be taking action that would taint LaRue’s legacy in baseball. “I don’t really see how it could have possibly given him an edge over the other players in the league,” said Selig, “If anything I’d say it makes his career that much more impressive. Playing baseball at a major league level is an achievement, but doing so while constantly deteriorating your motor skills, reaction time, and hallucinating throughout the entire game, well that seems damn near impossible.” Selig went on to say that all of LaRue’s career statistics will be left alone despite his confession. “Far be it from me to deny his 94 career home runs, 14 stolen bases, and lifetime .232 batting average.” When asked if this would taint his chances at entering the baseball Hall of Fame, Selig said he doubts this will have ANY effect on whether or not Jason LaRue is ever considered. “I don’t think we’ll ever be having that discussion about this player,” Selig said.

In a followup interview with LaRue, reporters questioned why the veteran found it necessary to use large amounts of methamphetamine, acid, and horse-tranquilizers before catching. “Trust me, I wouldn’t have been taking all that stuff if it didn’t improve my performance and make baseball games a lot more laid back,” said LaRue, “but when you have a guy like Jason Motte on the mound throwing 99 MPH fastballs your way, you need something to mellow you out and basically slow down time for a while. It’s really hard to see how an Adam Wainwright curve ball is moving, but when it leaves a rainbow trail behind it, well that makes things a little easier.

When asked about his comments at the earlier press conference, LaRue insists he has no recollection of any press conference happening, but says that over the last 4 days he really has “no damn clue” where he’s been or what he’s been doing.

Upon resigning Jason LaRue, the Cardinals have had to expand the player's locker to make more room for "necessary baseball equipment."

Dennys Reyes Still Looking To Catch Ride Home For Holidays

December 9, 2009

Cardinal's reliever Dennys Reyes is hoping someone will give him a lift home for the holidays since his 1994 Toyota Tacoma has been in the shop for the past 7 years.

Cardinals reliever Dennys Reyes expressed both concern and disdain over the lack of options he had to get back to his hometown of Higuera de Zaragoza in Mexico. As of press time today, Reyes had yet to secure a ride home for Christmas.

Reyes said that he has asked numerous other players for a ride including Julio Lugo, Yadier Molina, and, on the off chance he’s heading that way anyway, Albert Pujols. Dennys says that he offers an outstanding collection of mix CD’s for the ride and knows this awesome taco place in Texas. When asked if he would pitch in for gas, Reyes said he didn’t see the point if someone was heading that way regardless.

“I’m just looking for somebody to help me out this one time,” Reyes said about the need of transportation, “I haven’t really been able to nail down a solid ride home yet and I’d really like to go back and see the fam.” Reyes has spent the last 3 years in the United States during Christmas because he’s been unable to “catch a lift.”

“Last year the Duncan’s invited me over on Christmas and let me crash on their futon in the basement. That was a pretty solid move on their part and I really appreciate it, but I’m still hoping to catch a ride down with somebody if they’re heading that way anyway,” Reyes said he currently doesn’t have any standing invitations of a place to spend Christmas since Chris was traded this past season. “Me and Chris were pretty good friends and I think that’s why I got the invite last year, but with him being traded and all, I’m not sure me and Dave are close enough for him to float me the invitation.”

When asked what his holiday plans were if the petition for a ride went unanswered, Reyes was unsure of how this Christmas would play out. “The year I spent in Kansas City I volunteered at a soup kitchen, and one year I just went to a Ponderosa and took advantage of the buffet. Everything’s closed on Christmas so it’s hard to get a good meal. There’s a Denny’s down the street that says they’re going to be open on Christmas so I might go there for dinner.” When asked if he saw the irony of Dennys Reyes spending Christmas at Denny’s, Reyes said he didn’t see it as ironic, just kinda sad. “Have you ever seen that scene in The Santa Clause where Tim Allen goes to Denny’s on Christmas Eve and spends it with all the other divorced dads who take their kids out? Well, it’s kinda like that, except my kids won’t be there so it will just be me and my country friend steak.”

Reyes said he never encountered this dilemma while playing for Texas and Los Angeles, saying that those places were close enough that he could just “hop a bus home.”

“It’s not like that in St. Louis though,” said Reyes, “It’s gonna be like 250 bucks to get home from here and I can’t afford that kinda cash this time of year. If nobody comes through for me it looks like I’m gonna be spending another year watching all 24 hours of A Christmas Story and spiking my cocoa with some tequila. Merry freakin’ Christmas.”

Reyes was still hopeful of someone being filled with the holiday spirit and giving him a lift. If all else fails, he plans to inquire with Kyle Lohse about at least getting him as far as California.


Cardinals Sign Some Guy Who Isn’t Matt Holliday

December 8, 2009

The St. Louis Cardinals recently signed some guy who definately isn't this big, beautiful bastard. Although the Guy-Who-Isn't-Matt-Holliday may pitch better, he apparently lacks in every other aspect of baseball and life.

In a moment of confusion, Cardinals fans wildly celebrated a major signing by the front office during manager’s meetings yesterday. The mass excitement was soon followed by realization, disbelief, and outrage as fans slowly realized that the person they had signed was not outfielder Matt Holliday.

“At first I was totally stoked,” said Cardinal’s fan Brandon Holth, “but then I heard the newscasters repeat the name and realized that they didn’t say Matt Holliday. I thought that I misunderstood, but then I realized that the name they said wasn’t even close to Matt Holliday and that Matt probably wasn’t going to fill a hole in our starting rotation. That’s when I got an odd mixture of confused, angry, and scared all at once.” When Cardinals fans were asked about the signing of the player who is not Matt Holliday, they simply stated that they didn’t know who this Not-Matt-Holliday-Guy was and frankly didn’t care.

Reporters are admittedly having a hard time continuously reporting that the front office wants to, first and foremost, resign Matt Holliday to a contract with the club when they keep signing players who seem to completely lack being Matt Holliday.

“Usually when you say something is your top priority, you take care of that first,” said area news reporter Shawn Elman. “This is like telling your kids that your top priority is buying them a bike for Christmas, then you go out and buy a bunch of other shit and tell them that if you still have money left, then you’ll get them the bike. You might as well tell your kid that you don’t really love them, but you”ll take their opinion into consideration.” Elman then started breaking down into an erratic fit of sobbing. “Actually this is worse. This is like saying that, and then making your kid watch you buy all the shit you don’t need while they just keep saying ‘But Daddy, what about my bike? Are you forgetting about my bike?’ Well I’m not gonna be part of John Mozeliak’s twisted Christmas anymore! I’m not going to lie to the kids and I’m not gonna lie to the people of St. Louis!”

Cardinal’s General Manager John Mozeliak had a positive view on the Non-Matt-Holliday signing. “We think that he’s going to be a real positive member of the 2010 organization. Signing Matt Holliday is still our #1 priority and we look to get that taken care of right away, but we think that this other guy who happens to not be Matt Holliday will really do some great things as well.” When asked why he didn’t take care of the club’s #1 priority before signing away almost 1/3 of the club’s available payroll this off-season, Mozeliak was quick to correct himself, “I mean that signing Matt Holliday is our top priority now. Like, now that we have this guy and Jason LaRue and a minor leaguer squared away, Matt is our priority #1 and I’m pretty sure that I made it clear at the beginning of the off-season that our priorities were: #1 Backup catcher, #2 Minor leaguer, #3 This dude and #4 Matt Holliday. I’m almost positive I laid that out from day one.”

The new player (who please keep in mind is not Matt Holliday) will be introduced at a press conference later this week, pending a physical. Busch Stadium grounds crew were already busy hanging a banner for his arrival which read: “Welcome Back Matt Holliday Brad Penny!”

Area Children Tire of Albert Jr.’s “My Dad Is Cooler Than Your Dad” Comeback

December 7, 2009

In a playground report issued last week, area children unanimously agreed that they were quickly tiring of Albert Pujols Jr. always responding to taunts and boasting with his signature “My dad is cooler than your dad” comment.

“It’s dumb,” said area 4th grader Josh Glueck, “You can’t get into an argument with him because you know eventually it’s going to come back to the fact that his dad plays major league baseball and is a three time MVP and my dad is a real-estate agent,” said Glueck.

Teachers and school administrators seem to also express concern over dealing with the son of a future Hall-of-Famer. “I called him into my office about a year ago for pushing another child on the playground,” recalled Elementary School Principal Earl Parker, “He just looked up at me and asked me who I thought I was telling him what to do. Then, he looked me straight in the face and told me that his dad was the best baseball player of our generation and asked me what i’ve ever done with my life,” tears crept into the corners of Parker’s eyes, “I spent years trying to positively affect the lives of the youth of St. Louis, but when you see a guy who has been in the running for MVP every year since hitting the majors, well you start wondering if you made the right choices in your life.” Allegedly Parker sent Pujols Jr. back to class at that point and spent the remainder of the school day openly weeping in his office.

“I told the kids that we were adopting a needy family during the holidays this year,” said 2nd grade teacher Whitney Paul, “then little Albert raised his hand and informed the class that his dad donates millions of dollars to the needy in the Dominican Republic and holds dozens of charity events for children with Down Syndrome,” said Paul, “After that, I mean, it didn’t really seem that special that we were gonna get some kid a bike this year. Why should we even try when this kid’s dad is out there saving the world and hitting home runs every freakin’ day?”

“He just keeps saying that his dad is the best Cardinal since Stan Musial,” said area child Sherman Fairwood,”He doesn’t care that I have no idea who that is. I don’t even watch baseball. The only reason I know his dad is because every year for Albert Jr’s birthday his dad takes us all to a baseball game and gives us gift bags with Nintendo Wiis and remote control helicopters. I’ll let him win an argument just so I keep getting invited back to his house for sleepovers,” said Fairwood.

Due to the incredible unfairness it presented to the other children, career day at Pujols Jr’s school has been canceled indefinitely.

In all seriousness, the Pujols family does a great deal to benefit those in need. Please visit their site pujolsfamilyfoundation.com and help the man who has given so much to St. Louis give a little more to those who can’t afford a bed to sleep in, let alone attend a baseball game. This holiday season, I urge you to take a closer look at just how amazing #5 and his family are off the field as well.

Classmates of Albert Pujols Jr. are increasingly upset at losing arguements about whose dad is cooler. "You can't really be mad," said one child, "Albert Pujols is really cool."