Cardinal baseball, from the girls
Tag Archives: stlcards
The boys of summer are warming things up in Jupiter, Florida with Spring Training now underway, and all eyes are on the ball.
Well…. maybe not all eyes… ;)
|The Cardinal Crew|
We Diamond Diaries gals can get away with some things that the guys of the United Cardinal Bloggers cannot. And yet, who comes up with ideas such as a poll about the Ultimate Cardinal Crush? Yep, a guy! (calling you out, Bill Ivie!)
|The New Boys on the Block|
So, in honor of heating things up for the 2011 Cardinals baseball season….
We present your opportunity to have a little fun with us as we crown the Cardinal Diamond Diaries’ 2011 Ultimate Cardinal Crush.
All votes will be anonymous. So guys, feel free to cast your vote without fear. We are well aware that man-crushes count too. ;)
Thanks for playing!
(If you can’t view our poll gadget on your mobile device and feel the intense need to vote before you can log onto a computer at home, feel free to leave your vote in the comments below. We’ll make sure it counts!)
|photo from Jeff Pearlman.com|
Joey Bombs is going to Atlanta.
The sad news hit my Twitter feed around 1:30 pm.
Last night when I turned off the television and my computer for the evening, the Cardinals had just won their 6th straight game. And what a game it was! FOUR homeruns! Albert Pujols kicked off the long ball party in the bottom of the 5th inning. Then Allen Craig followed suit with his first Major League homerun. The very next batter, Skip Schumaker, stepped to the plate and hit his 3rd blast of the season. Then in the 6th inning Randy Winn added his own dinger over the right field wall to make the score 8-4. Throw in some spectacular defense from Brendan Ryan and I was a very happy baseball fan!
Want to watch the highlights again? Click Here
Winning – I could get used to that!
Even more amazing is that the Cardinals are winning with our substitute starting pitchers Jeff Suppan and Blake Hawksworth. Plus manager Tony La Russa has rested several key players in the past two games, getting creative with starting lineups that have scared many fans. But those beloved Baby Birds up from AAA are filling in quite nicely. Jon Jay continues to tear it up with a .372 batting average.
The Cardinals have stepped up their game since the All Star break and are playing some amazing baseball. Whatever is in the water, I hope they keep drinking it, because THIS is the team I was expecting to show up in April.
More Good News! Ryan Ludwick is returning from the DL, heading to Memphis for a quick rehab stint before rejoining the Cardinals possibly this weekend (at least that is what Luddy thinks.)
Bad News of the Morning: David Freese has apparently broken his left big toe by dropping a weight plate on it during a workout. Are you kidding me??? I am very thankful the Cardinals have figured out how to win without their complete starting roster, because Freese seems to be accident-prone. If we were losing games, that news would have hit me a lot harder, but with the way things have been going lately it is hard to complain. Hurry back David, before we forget why we loved you so much!
Maybe somebody should wrap him in bubble wrap for a few weeks to keep him safe!
Have you read the rumblings about the lack of clubhouse chemistry? Apparently GM John Mozeliak even commented that a midseason trade might add more personality to bring a positive vibe to the clubhouse.
You probably can imagine how I feel about it, but just in case you want to read more of my rant, check out my post today at Baseball Digest.com. Just click here.
And over at i70baseball.com Angela has a great look at the resurgence of our Cardinals. Here’s a shortcut for you!
Have a great day, Cards Fans! Tonight our boys are working on their SEVENTH STRAIGHT WIN! Maybe they can crush those nasty Phillies again with another Cardinal HomeRun Derby?!
GO CARDS! =)
Brendan Ryan is a fan favorite. A spectacular shortstop, he also has a fun-loving personality. He’s goofy, chatty, seems to genuinely enjoy interacting with fans and loves to entertain. Brendan doesn’t mind his life being an open book as was evident during Spring Training this year when he shared his home movieswith the FSMW audience – everything from his toe surgery to what he cooked for dinner. He’s not stingy with his interviews either, and seems to enjoy chatting with the reporters, joking around and giving them plenty to write about. It is no wonder we feel like we ‘know’ Brendan – and maybe that is why we are so troubled by his current ‘issue.’
We’ve been politely avoiding the elephant in the room for almost a month now. Our favorite shoulder-licker, Brendan Ryan, is really struggling at the plate. I’ve heard it described as his “Sophomore Slump.” Whatever it is, it isn’t pretty. His batting average was slowly recovering from an unspeakable low of 0.067 on April 9th to a meager 0.167 on Apr 27th, then falling again to 0.159 after striking out twice and flying out once on Apr 28th. But his presence in the box speaks volumes. Brendan is uncomfortable at the plate. His swing is awkward. He’s frustrated. Not a frustration that involves throwing bats or smashing Gatorade dispensers in the dugout, but more of a disappointment, the stuff that just eats at you on the inside. And that kind of internal dialogue is probably making it more difficult to overcome the mechanical issues. Lately every time Brendan steps up to the plate, Cardinals fans everywhere hold their breath…. will he finally break out of the slump?
What happened to the ‘new and improved’ batting stance that Mark McGwire helped him retool? Brendan was so proud of showing it off in Spring Training. Why now? Brendan had unexpected but successful wrist surgery in February (Derrick Goold wrote about it here). With the chronic pain cured, Brendan should be improving at the plate. However, as of today, we are 22 games into the season (about 14%) and our beloved shortstop is a virtual black hole of offensive production. So…when should we really start to worry?
I completely understand that 1) “It is still early” 2) “Everyone has slumps” and 3) “He will figure it out.” But, watching him battle through it is HARD. Luckily we are winning games and Brendan’s defense has been solid. So everyone is just waiting this out… and confidently repeating the mantra “Brendan will be ok.”
On Tuesday, for the first time this season, Tony LaRussa put Brendan at the 9th spot in the lineup (pitcher hitting eighth) in an effort to spark some team offense. While he was only 1 for 3 that night, Brendan did start off the 6th inning rally with a lead-off hit, and scored on Ryan Ludwick’s double. Looking back at how Brendan did in various lineup positions for 2009, there’s a slight advantage for him in the 9th spot. Could this be what spurs him out of his rut?
BJ Rains of Globe-Democrat.com has audio from his interview with Brendan about moving to the 9th spot in the order. Brendan is excited by the opportunity and the challenge of it, saying he “loves hitting in the 9 hole,” adding that “from the team standpoint it might be another opportunity to get some ducks on the pond in front of the big guys.”
Brendan needs his confidence back. It’s obviously eating at him, and it’s giving me an ulcer. Knowing Brendan’s tendency toward quirkiness, he’s probably trying just about everything he can to find his swing again. This gal’s just hoping the ‘fix’ doesn’t involve a comeback of last season’s crazy mustache.
It is no secret that Brendan is one of my favorites and I really dig watching his amazing talent for defensive acrobatics. But I am hoping soon we can all relax and celebrate his offense too. I’ve got no magic solutions to offer. I’m sure he’s heard it all: “Don’t worry. Don’t get frustrated. Be patient. Clear your head. Focus on the fundamentals….”
So, what do we do as fans while anxiously awaiting the recovery of Brendan’s bat?…… Blame? Pray? Drink?
If you need a further break from the worrying, check out these links from some of Ryan’s lighter moments:
Hopefully this write-up will be obsolete very soon. Until then, I’ll be nervously cheering on Brendan from my couch. GO CARDS!