Cardinal baseball, from the girls
Monthly Archives: September 2010
|Crappy Reds! (AP photo by Al Behrman)|
It’s over. Not quite turn out the lights time. But close. The Cards chances of playing in the post season are officially over. The Reds officially clenched the National League Central Division title. We’ve know for a long time this day was coming. And the Reds did it in style. ‘Reds Clinch Central Title with Walk-off Win’ read the headlines. I watched it on Sports Center late Tues. night. I felt strangely blahhhh…nothing. Not extremely sad, not angry, not glad the long nightmare was almost over. Just blahhhh…..nothing. That’s the new word of the day…kids. Blahhhh…nothing. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t felt every emotion know to womankind this season.
|This might have helped.|
- Denial – I know things look bleak. We just can’t seem to put a winning series together against sub .500 teams. And we can’t seem to hit, pitch and play defense all at the same time. Just little things like that. But we’ll still get it together. Victory will be ours. NL Central belongs to the Cards!
- Anger – What IS wrong with these guys? Why can’t you hit the damn ball? Is is too much to ask to score some runs? It’s the Pirates for God’s sake. Resentment and jealousy and a whole lot of anger are starting to build against the Reds. And the Cards.
- Bargaining – Oh…Gods of Baseball…Just let Albert and Holliday hit in the same game and mums the word on complaining about TLR’s lineup. Just let us actually run the bases better than Bantam League Little Leaguers and I won’t complain about Miles ever again.
- Depression – Oh…I guess I’ll watch the game. Who cares. I’m watching Monday Night football. Oh..yeah…the Hoff’s on Dancing With the Stars. And Bristol Palin. Just so ya know, I think I’m stuck in this stage. Not sure how close I am to moving to the next stage. Blahhh.
- Acceptance – Okay. This season is over. I’m gonna watch the post season and find a team to root for. ABBY-AnyBody But the Yankees. I trust our front office to go out there and re-sign TLR and Pujols. I know they’ll find us some power up the middle. I’ll forget about K. Green and Brad Penny and trading Luddy. We’ll be right back to winning the Central next year. Now where did I put the rest of that leftover champagne? ( my apologies to Erika who had a similar post yesterday up at BD. I just had a chance to read it, Erika! Very well put. I guess our minds are on the same wavelength.) ( no copying off others was intended)
|from-Diary of a Smart Chick|
|Maybe he hurt his elbow taking this picture?
Photo by @CardsInsider
Fine: I’ll admit it. When I got home from work yesterday and the first thing I heard was that Adam Wainwright – my boy, my favorite – might be shut down before his last start of the season after sleeping on his elbow wrong of all things, my only reaction was to say ‘Of course he did!’ out loud, alone, standing in the middle of my apartment. At this point, nothing will shock me.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? I think we need to look at when all of our busted up boys were shut down…
May: Brad Penny pulls his oblique while hitting a grand slam. He is never seen from again.
June: David Freese rolls an ankle while running the bases. While rehabbing he drops a weight on his toe and breaks it. When he is finally sent out for a rehab assignment in Springfield during the first days of August he injures the same ankle rounding third bases. He has since had surgeries/procedures performed on *both ankles. Sheesh kid. They’re called ankle braces. My volleyball girls wear them. You make more money than them. Invest.
|Good thing you’re cute… still, Erika’s calling you
‘Prince Boo-Boo Foot’… are you going to take that?
Photo from STL Post-Dispatch
August: Jason LaRue takes multiple shots to the face and head from the cleats of one Reds pitcher whose name is no longer mentioned within the confines of this blog. After suffering a severe concussion, the effects of which are still lingering over a month later, LaRue decides to retire from the game of baseball. His farewell posts have almost read like eulogies to me, so I don’t even want to link ‘em up for you (Sorry Erika…).
September: One year removed from Tommy John surgery, Jaime Garcia throws a career high innings total that eventually begins to catch up to him. Despite a very solid year in which he leads all rookie pitchers in pretty much every possible category, he was shut down by the team – not for physical issues, but as a preventative measure. I’m still on the fence about this one I guess, but I definitely will throw a ‘plays like a Cardinal’ tag on his locker for his plea to the powers that be to keep pitching after the premature announcement was made to the media for his abrupt end to the season before telling Jaime himself.
|Ooooh the aching knees…
Photo by Scott Rovak
Also in September: Yadier Molina is a workhorse of a catcher. In the past two years he has caught more innings than all but two catchers in all of baseball. Squatting for minutes a day is no fun, so turn those minutes into hours and it’s pretty clear that Yadi’s knees have taken a beating. After being sent back to St. Louis for an MRI the announcement was made that Yadi’s kaput for the year as well.
More in September: On Saturday in Chicago Blake Hawksworth was smashed in the face by a line drive off the bat of a Scrubbie (oops, forgot I’m not supposed to take shots at the Cubs on here. Hi Grandpa!) and was immediately taken to the hospital. I screeched when I saw it happen, and my first thought was ‘broken nose’ because those just suck (Personal experience? Yes). Somehow Blake escaped with no broken bones, but around 30 stitches to his upper lip and face. Yikes! Needless to say, I will not be seeing Blake over the last week of the season.
September isn’t over yet?: Yesterday, as stated above, the announcement was made that Waino might be done for the year as well.
Please make it stop. There are only five of us here at the CDD, and we can only bandage so many boo-boos at a time. We love you boys and we want to take care of you, but we would really prefer that you take care of yourselves as well!
Of course, the announcement of Waino’s possible end of the season came as I was writing a Baseball Digest piece about him. Do me a favor and head over to read it anyway, would you? It’s called “Twenty Wins Is A Serious Number”… apologies, it was just too good a title to pass up!
We’re trying something new here on CDD – a Monday morning roundtable, covering a different question to kick off the beginning of every week. You’ll see answers from us and maybe even some guests from time to time! We are hoping to spark some discussion, so feel free to jump in on the comments and add your two cents!
|Allen Craig can play baseball too!|
Angela: I’m not sure there is any one thing, but for me it had to be all the jettisoned players that found their way on to the roster. Randy Winn, Aaron Miles and Jeff Suppan have all been designated for assignment this year and got picked up by the team for ‘veteran presence.’ Now, I am not of the #hpgf (Hyperventilating Prospect Geek Fraternity… and seeing as how I’m not a guy I guess I never will be), and I’ve never been overly excited about any one particular player, however I do remember being so excited at the beginning of the season seeing all of the “Baby Birds” hanging out on the roster. Joe Mather, Allen Craig, Tyler Greene… they were all there!
Jacqueline: First of all I love this idea. Way to go Angela and Erika for coming up with another way for us me to get to give my opinion. I look at it as our own little Cawffee Tawlk. Ya know, that great Mike Myers skit on Saturday Night Live where he played Linda, based on his Jewish mother in law, who loved two things: tawlking-giving her opinion and Barbra Streisand. So from now on just think of me(although I’m a shiksa) as Linda’s sports loving sistah, Brenda. I have the big hair, shoulder padded sweaters, big glasses, the long nails, the jewelry and animal print clothing and accessories to fit right in. First let me say that Albert Pujols is my Barbra Streisand. He’s like buttah. The man can do no wrong. And does he look good in that uniform! His toucas/tuches (bumm for us Gentiles) is a sight to behold! I get verklempt.
Seriously, my biggest frustration is this: The sum is should be greater than it’s parts.That’s what is so frustrating about the 2010 Cardinals. The sum some how adds up to less than it’s parts. On paper we look like a contending post season team. We have the games best player in Albert Pujols. The man was born to play baseball and wear the Birds on the Bat. If you designed the perfect player it would be Albert. We have two Cy Young caliber shut em down pitchers in Chris Carpenter and my favorite Cardinal Adam Wainwright.Oy vey! The toucas on Waino es Bueno! Like buttah! We have All Star catcher Yadi (don’t even think of running on me) Molina. He’s the best defensive and game calling catcher in baseball. We’ve got Matt Holliday, one of the best hitters in the league. That is our core as Tony would say. We have a good 2nd year center fielder power or at least a doubles hitter in Colby Rasmus, an above average defensive short stop in Brendan Ryan and three very good rookies or newbies in Jaime Garcia, Jon Jay and David Freese. Add these up on paper and we looked like a great team. But…that’s why we play the games.
As Adam Wainwright said yesterday, we came out of spring training with every intention of playing in the post season and making it to the World Series. What the what happened? We had players who didn’t play up to expectations, others regressed to the mean, were slow to get up to par or were very erratic. We had injuries. Such is life in baseball.
But still something major was missing. Spark, leadership, enthusiasm, killer instinct, will to win, never give upness, chemistry. Our parts added up to a great big pile of bupkes disappointment. “Discuss amooangst yooaselves”
|Prince Boo Boo Feet|
Cadence: It is really hard for me to pinpoint an exact moment where the season went wrong. There are many things that have been frustrating, especially in the last 2 months, and trying to pick one might just be the reason that the season has turned so disappointing. We all know that the lack of wins by a team with a ton of potential and talent has to be the number one most frustrating thing; a team loaded with proven veterans like Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and Yadier Molina and a group of young guys full of potential including Brendan Ryan, Jon Jay, Colby Rasmus and David Freese, it is hard to grasp why a team that came into the 2010 season with high expectations might finish just above .500 and second in the NL Central standings behind the Reds. What is even more frustrating is that when the Cardinals swept the Reds in early August and the team was defending itself, it only lead to a downward spiral. Even more frustrating than that, Jason LaRue was put on the 15-day DL, then the 60-day DL, then announced his retirement after a kick in the head by Johnny Cueto ended his season and eventually his career. We lost a great back up catcher and a great asset to our team for no good reason. Disappointing.
|Brad Penny after his Grand Slam on May 21, 2010. The last time
we saw him this season. (I was at this game)
Photo Credit: St. Louis Post Dispatch
|Toledo Mud Hens ballpark in Downtown Toledo, Ohio (July 2007)|
I have never been to a Memphis Redbirds game. Nor have I ever been to a Springfield Cardinals game. Blasphemy, I know. In fact, the only minor league game I have ever been to (besides the River City Rascals or Gateway Grizzlies – both members of the Frontier League here in the STL area) was a Toledo Mud Hens game, AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, with some students from The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University when I was in Student Government in undergrad and we did a tour of several different colleges in Ohio. I loved it, as I didn’t expect any less being a huge baseball fan. There is just something about paying less that $15 for seats right down the third base line and getting to see up-and-coming talent and maybe some burn-outs and flops as well (Larry Bigbie was playing for the other team, the Richmond Braves, at the time – just one season after [not] playing for the Cardinals). The atmosphere is great, and I am sure that any of you who have been to a minor league game would be able to describe it a lot better than me!
|Allen Craig *|
|Mark Hamilton *|
|Joe Mather *|
Welcome Back, Kotter. Luddy was loudly welcomed back last weekend with a long standing ovation, including one from the dugout. I knew I missed him. But absence does make the heart grow fonder. I want him back. He wants to come back. He never wanted to leave. Why did he have to go? Sounds like a Diana Ross and The Supreme’s song, yes?
The Player Never to be Named. Shhhhh….This might still be classified info, be we have a pitcher on our team by the name of Brad Penny. He has not been seen or heard from since he hit a grand slam on May 22nd. He has a record of 3-4 with a 3.23 ERA. He stretched, strained, sprained, tore something, somewhere on his body. He is making $7.5 million per year. That’s $136,364 per inning, $625,000 per game and a nice round $2,500,000 per win to spend some time with his hot WAG, INSTEAD OF ACTUALLY PITCHING A BASEBALL FOR THE TEAM THAT’S PAYING HIM. But I’m not bitter.
I’m In Waste Management. Just like Tony Soprano, I can’t help but feel that’s my lot in life. Standing by and watching the Cards just throw a season away. A season in which Albert Pujols is once again in the race, not only for MVP of the National League, but for the elusive Triple Crown. Adam Wainwright has had a stellar season as usual and will be going for his 20th win. He’s in the hunt for the Cy Young Award he was robbed of last year. Jaime Garcia has had an outstanding rookie season and has a good chance at Rookie of the Year. All these great performances have gone to waste in the Cardinals year from hell.
As Crash Davis says “You just got lesson number one. Don’t think. It’ll only hurt the ballclub.” This seems to be a major problem of the Cards. They look tense. When they come up to bat, a lot of them do not look comfortable. Or at least as comfortable as anyone can look with a sphere hurling at them between 90 and 100mph. They look like they are concentrating on everything but keeping their head down, eye on the ball, hands inside the ball and swinging through. It’s like they are trying to over think instead of relaxing and concentrating.
So, Cards, why can’t I just quit you? The reason is simple. Once again, Annie, says it for me. “I believe in the Church of Baseball.I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball.……It’s a long season and you just gotta trust. I’ve tried ‘em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.”
Fact: There is something wrong with the 2010 Cardinals.
|This picture is merely saved on my computer
as ‘Bueno.’ (AP Photo)
That’s all we have left for this year, isn’t it? Small joys like Adam Wainwright winning his 19th and keeping his Cy hopes alive, watching the boys play a little small ball and score runs with smart baserunning and sacrifice flies, and just taking in the last few games of the season, knowing that the harsh winter lies ahead and there will be months on end where we wish we could turn on a game, any game, even if it is the Pirates and the Nats playing (okay… maybe that was too extreme).
Now, despite the fact that the Cards are still technically ‘in the hunt,’ and even though I am still rooting for a comeback, please do not mistake me for one of those delusional people who refuses to admit that the Cardinals will probably not make the playoffs this year. I’m still allowed to enjoy every last moment of this season, and enjoy it I will, thank you very much.
*ahem* Okay, I’m better now.
Something I think is interesting is the fact that the Cardinals are actually kind of playing the spoiler to a few other teams around the league right now. It makes perfect sense really. They can’t figure out how to beat bad teams, but they beat the good ones (this has been well chronicled… I even did so myself a few weeks ago). That’s bad news bears for the over .500 teams they’ve been playing. Taking 3 of 4 from the Padres have dropped them out of the lead in the West, and while they were already in a tailspin before getting to St. Louis, they’re definitely in trouble now. What will happen when the Rockies make it into town for the last series of the year? I’ve never really played the ‘It’s fun to crush other people’s dreams’ game before, but it is kind of fun now that I’m seeing it play out.
Cards are road tripping down to Florida for the make-up game that was rained out back in August today, then quickly hustling up to Pittsburgh to open up a three game set at PNC and rounding out the last road trip of the year with one last series in Chicago. With any luck at all the team will show some signs of life after recalling some fresh faces from down in Memphis. I’m hoping to see some Joe Mather and Daniel Descalso types running around on the field, and I know I am not the only one!
Speaking of our beloved Baby Birds, head on over to i70 to check out a comparison I did between our AAA kiddos and the big boys in St. Louis… ‘A Tale of Two Teams’
Until next Monday…