Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the almost shut-out

Joel Piñeiro was one-hittable last night. That was fun to watch (at least for Cardinal fans). 

And p.s., I'm calling Glaus' scoring on Dumm's error an inside-the-park home run. Reds fans may want to get on board with that.

Monday, April 28, 2008

my thought(s) on "jock itch Rocket" Clemens

I find all the controversy surrounding Roger "the Rocket" Clemens highly amusing. I watched bits and pieces of his testimony to Congress, and the fact that I didn't (and couldn't) believe a word he said does not mean I care one way or the other whether he's convicted of perjury or stupidity or whatever it is they want to convict him of.

I don't care if he used steroids or HGH.

I don't care if he ever admits it.

I don't care if he corners McNamee in a dark alley and violates him with a pool cue.

And I sure as hell don't care if he cheated on his plastic wife with a plastic country singer (ed. note: may she rest in peace). All I care about is the fact that he made a mockery of baseball, not by allegedly using performance-enhancing substances (or having his arm replaced with a bionic arm, or whatever), but by "retiring" from the game and then sitting around waiting for the highest bidder to lure him back to the mound.

I am well aware that baseball is a business for the owners and a job for the players, but it's much more than that for the fans.

For us, it's an art. It's an escape from the grind. It's an American tradition. And maybe most importantly, it's 25 guys getting the chance to do something the rest of us can only dream about. So forgive me if I'm offended that someone lucky enough to be a part of that could ever sell out so unashamedly. Roger Clemens may be a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me he'll never be anything but an arrogant pendejo who doesn't deserve a second thought.


Glaus is sporting some new, very cool shades for the game tonight. Let's see how they help. . .

►first AB--flied out to center (or was it right?) He saw the ball well enough to make contact (big smile). His problem with night games at Busch up to this point has been striking out because he can't see the ball.

►second AB
--hit a looong line drive that was just foul, then walked in an RBI. Not wearing the glasses (or, try this out, "glaus-es") for this AB.

►third AB
--flied out again, still no glaus-es. He likes to chase those high ones, eh?

►fourth AB
--line drive base hit to deep left (which could have been a double if Dumm hadn't been playing so deep). STILL no glaus-es.

Well, that's 1 for 3 (.333) if you're keeping score, but the 1 was without the glauses. So unfortunately, no real conclusions can be drawn. We'll have to wait and see if he uses them for the next night game. And yes, I'll stop calling them that.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

tensions running high

For those of you unaware, there was a confrontation last night when Wainwright took one a little bit inside on Ausmus and the Astros believed it was retaliation for LaRue getting HBP in the previous inning. Both benches cleared and the umpires issued warnings to both managers.

Apparently, however, those warnings didn't carry over to today's game. 

Backe, the pitcher for the 'Stros, upset after giving up 4 runs, was giving Yadi some lip after the HP umpire called time while Backe was in the middle of his wind-up. 

Then the very next pitch nearly took off Yadi's head. Yadi was understandably upset and charged the mound, both benches cleared again, and somehow Backe was allowed to stay in the game. 

I thought for a second Yadi was going to rip his head off--and he should have. How do the umpires leave Backe in after that? You're just asking for trouble, if you ask me. (Nobody ever asks me.) 

But it all turned out fine. The Cardinals won, the Astros are headed to the desert to get their traseros handed to them on a plate, Rick can move on to something else, and...

...Glaus can get some sleep tonight. That's right, after going almost all the way to the end of April homerun-less, he blasted one 417 feet to dead center this afternoon. It was so good to see him finally break that streak. It's been a long time for both him and the team (thank you for reminding us, Rick). The relief was absolutely palpable.

I heard that Rolen also hit his first of the season today. Maybe there's some weird psychic/long ball connection between the two. At any rate, the elephant is gone and we can all breathe a little bit easier. How long 'til we play Houston again?


If Rick Horton mentions the home run drought one more time, I'm going to reach into the television and strangle him.

it's just something in my eye

I have terrible seasonal allergies (and by seasonal, I mean spring, summer, fall, and winter), so I can totally sympathize with Glaus. I was reading Derrick Goold's latest blog, and I wanted to address a few things. 

Glaus said he has never had allergies before, and he’s wondering if there might be another cause. 

Welcome to MO, Troy. You could be the healthiest person in the known universe, and April in the show-me state would have you coughing and sneezing and cursing the lawnmowers.

La Russa said the watery eyes only bother Glaus at the plate, and that he hasn’t had the trouble anywhere but the plate. 

Not being a baseball player, I can only speculate, but I would say that batting requires a lot more visual concentration than anything else. So he's standing there staring at the pitcher, probably not blinking a lot, not moving his head a lot, and trying very hard to see the ball. Doesn't it make sense then, that a little irritation that didn't bother him any other time might cause him some serious distress at the plate. 

By Monday, he hopes to have a pair of clear glasses — like sunglasses with clear lenses — to wear at the plate. 

We'll see. Just an after-thought, but maybe the lights are only exacerbating the problem. I wonder if actual sunglasses wouldn't help, although they probably wouldn't help him see the ball any, huh?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

complete game, baby!

Complete game win for your hero and mine, Adam Wainwright. 127 pitches, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 6 strike-outs. He is just SICK. And kudos to Skip for coming through in the clutch with a base hit to score the winning run. 

You'd've thought they'd clinched the division or something they way they were celebrating at the plate. But I wouldn't take any of it away from them. It was a heck of a game and they played hard and fought hard for the win. Any time you beat a great pitcher like Oswalt you deserve some celebration.

Just a word about the "incident" in the third. . . 

First, Wainwright is NOT that pitcher. Maybe Ausmus is used to working with THAT pitcher, and maybe there's a guy or two wearing the same uniform as Adam that wouldn't have a problem with a little retaliation here and there, but there's no way you will ever convince me that throwing behind Ausmus was ANYTHING but a missed location. Hell, it didn't even hit him. . . 

Second, can you say o v e r r e a c t i o n

If Ausmus HAD been involved in a game where his pitcher hit the batter, and then he himself felt the breeze of a pitch as it passed behind him in the next inning, and this pitcher from some other team had possibly done it with the slightest of intention, well, then Ausmus should have been a man and taken the next pitch out of the park instead of acting like a baby and crying about it. 

Really? You want to throw down? Bring it, little girl

Troy Glaus has discovered what those of us from Missour-ah already knew, namely that spring in the midwest (particularly St. Louis), while beautiful, has two very ugly side-effects: road construction and nasal allergies. I don't know what to tell you about the driving delays, but a dose of Claritin in the morning does wonders for itchy eyes and a runny nose.

rain, rain, not so fast

Well, for a couple of innings I thought Chacón had taken a page out of the Gorzelanny play book. Too many walks to count (that's 8 if you're counting), and a defense that could NOT handle the ball. Yet we couldn't capitalize. 

You may not be surprised to hear this, but even though Izzy gave up 3 runs (including the winning run), gets the blown save and the loss, and just generally stunk up the place, I don't blame him--not for the loss anyway. Think about it, can you really expect to win a game if you strand ELEVEN runners? (Which comes to a grand total of 55 left on base in the last 5 games.) 

Troy Glaus came up with the bases loaded TWICE and struck out TWICE. Oh sure, he had something in his eye, but couldn't he have brought that to someone's attention before he picked up the bat? 

And I don't hold anything against Duncan, either. Sure, a base hit would have tied it, but even Albert came up short in this game. In fact, the only scoring the Redbirds did was on a should-have-been-called-an-error fielder's choice by Kennedy in the 1st after three walks loaded the bases. (I'm still working out how Kennedy got one RBI out of that. . . ) 

To look at this honestly, I'd have to say that the Cardinals lost this game without much help from the Astros. It just dead got away from them. And on the flip side, if they had won, it would have been because the Astros gave it away. In other words, neither team deserved a victory last night, but the Cards sure deserve this loss. Maybe a rain-out wouldn't have been such a bad thing.

Friday, April 25, 2008

that's why you're not supposed to lose to the Bucs

Joel Piñeiro, ladies and gentlemen! Just call him "The Amazing." 

For a second there I thought I was watching soccer, the way he bounced that ball off his leg! (And then he caught it and I remembered it was baseball, but that's beside the point.) 

7 innings and he only gave up 1 run while collecting 6Ks. 

Of course, I'm still waiting for him to hit his first home run, but I guess not all our pitchers can be Adam Wainwright. 

I guess if you're a Pirates fan it just wasn't your night. How do you pitch a no-hitter if you're a mediocre left-hander playing in front of a defense that can't handle the ground balls? Easy, just walk 'em all. Right, Gorzelanny?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

moving on

The Milwakee bullpen is . . . bad. 

As I was watching their "closer" throw batting practice to our hitters, I was trying to think of a word that would adequately describe how terribly they've performed. I couldn't. And yet they beat us today. 

Does that mean they aren't that bad after all? Probably not. 

Does that mean they aren't going to blow more games than they hold or save? Probably not. 

Does that mean they still have a chance to make to the post-season? Well, that's why they play the game, isn't it? 

I don't hold this loss against Izzy. (Not that I ever do.) The team played hard and Izzy gave up a bad-timing hit after a steal after a walk, and it just wasn't meant to be. 

Glaus had 3 hits and raised his season average a few points. Flores walked the number 3 batter to get to Prince Fielder. In other words, the game had its high points. But I'm ready for tomorrow so I can put this one behind me.

the must-win nevermind

Extra innings in Milwakee. Pujols is at second, LaRue at first, and no, they aren't the base-runners. They're playing those positions. I guess that's what happens when you have a short bench and a long game.

Monday, April 21, 2008

what is baseball?

It's bases loaded, two out, ninth inning, down by two... and being able to forget that it's bases loaded, two out, ninth inning, down by two.

It's knowing that the game is on the line and the hopes and dreams of a million fans rest on his shoulders... and being OKAY with that.

It's the years of hard work, dedication, and disappointment that have lead to this moment and the chance to be a hero for his teammates and the fans.

It's clearing his mind and blocking out everything but his opponent on the mound.

It's waiting for his pitch.

It's giving it everything he's got and not knowing if it's enough.

It's finding out.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

he took something off it

Well, Glaus finally got that hit he's been searching for, the one with runners in scoring position. Hopefully this will take some of the pressure off and he'll start swinging better.

The other really important thing that I think we can all take away from this game was that the Cardinals didn't let a hard loss yesterday put them into some kind of inescapable swirling vortex of bad games. They came out with a clean slate and played like it was the first game of the series instead of the game after they gave one away in extra innings. Good sign? You bet.

Wellemeyer went 7 for, I think, the first time ever? (Randy, check those stats for me, will ya?)

My favorite part of the game, though, had to be watching Threets TRY to intentionally walk LaRue. I was actually chuckling. But it wasn't because he was having such a hard time, it was Benji Molina's reaction to it. Damn but he was unhappy. And then the next inning the Giants had a new catcher... but I'm SURE it was only because Molina needed rest before the day game today, right?

(I'm still laughing thinking about how hard he threw that ball back to him. Oh, good stuff.)

And I gotta say, after watching Benji run the bases last night, I'm suddenly slightly more impressed with Yadi's base-running abilities. If you tivo-ed it, go back and watch and imagine he's underwater. It works, te aseguro.

On a side note: How great was it to hear Chris Carpenter talk to Jim Hayes about pitching?!?! I cannot WAIT to see him back on the mound for the Cards. Mulder either, but after what happened with him last season, I'm hesitant to get my hopes up. I'll just say this... the '09 All Star game is going to be played at Busch and it'd be nice to have those guys back and healthy for it. Anything sooner would just be sprinkles. (Or gravy. Whatever you like.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

no sweep for you

Put the brooms away, sports fans, unless you need them to clean up the broken shards of your hope for this game. 

For all his best efforts, Lohse gets a no-decision. Thompson gets the loss. LaRussa gets the heartburn. I get to watch the Office tonight and drink a beer. 

Once again, I did not actually see the game today, but I have it on tape. Will I watch? You get two guesses. Your choices are no and hell no. 

An extra-innings loss to Milwakee after a 3-0 lead and a(nother) tremendous start from Kyle Lohse makes me want to cry. (What a fabulous surprise HE's been.) And here's a carrot for those of you who listened to the game (and the pre-game) today on the radio: Osmosis, Mike? 

Well, at least the weather's nice.

woooo! Wainwright!

Lordy, lordy. A no-no (and no) into the fourth, a home run and a base hit, and the win. If we get a healthy Carpenter and Mulder back, watch OUT.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

okay, I'll tell you

THEY WIN!!! That's right, every year on Jackie Robinson Day the Cardinals WIN. And this year was no exception. Looper pitched a fine game, although he only went 5 innings, and A-Rey finished it off in the ninth--and only faced three batters (yes, one got on base due to a Kennedy error, but it was erased with a double play).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

celebrating #42

Well, it's Jackie Robinson Day again. I won't even mention what the Cards tend to do on Jackie Robinson Day every year. Kyle McClellan is riding a motorized cooler on wheels and both teams are batting the pitcher eighth. (And no, THAT is not what I meant . . .)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

try this on . . .

I'm going to be calling him "Rock Star." You know who I mean.

praise of Yadier Molina

La Russa, pitchers effusive in praise of Yadier Molina 
By Joe Strauss 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch ST. LOUIS -- 

On a good day, the process repeats 120 times, maybe less. A tough day might require it 150 times or more. Yadier Molina will mentally scan a checklist before each pitch, considering a hitter’s weaknesses as well as the strengths and weaknesses of that day’s pitcher. He notes if the batter has crept closer to the plate or deeper into the box.

He decides if his pitcher has begun to slow his rhythm, suggesting fatigue or uncertainty, or started to rush, which may signal panic. On rare occasion, Molina will steal a glance to his dugout for a suggestion from Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, but those instances are far less frequent now than during his first full season in 2005. If baseball can be called a game of nuance, few things incorporate more subtleties than a catcher’s handling of a game. Or more precisely, his handling of a pitcher. Molina has been known for The Arm ever since he reached St. Louis as Mike Matheny’s precocious backup in June 2004. However, as the Cardinals’ unveiling of a renovated starting rotation remains in its first month, Molina’s grasp of the less obvious has become equally apparent. 

“He had it when he was 20 years old,” manager Tony La Russa says. “His feel for what was going on in that day’s game really stood out. That’s why we didn’t hesitate to make him the backup behind Mike, and when we lost Mike, why we didn’t hesitate to make him the No. 1 guy. “He’s still demonstrating it. He’s getting to know hitters better the longer he’s in the league. But he’s really special that way, as special as he is with his other gifts.” 

Molina, who turns 25 in July, no longer catches for a veteran rotation. When Jeff Suppan and Jason Marquis vacated as free agents last winter, Adam Wainwright and Anthony Reyes became staples. A relative graybeard, Braden Looper, became a starting pitcher after spending eight major-league seasons exclusively in the bullpen. Kip Wells, another veteran, signed after making only nine starts for two teams last season and immediately set out to become a more efficient, more aggressive pitcher. 

“ ‘Soup’ and Marquis had more experience,” La Russa says. “With Adam and Braden, it’s a big asset to have a guy behind the plate who can help you through it. There aren’t too many pitchers who control their game and control it well.” 

“A lot of times, if a guy has pitched for a while he’s not going to stray from what he’s used to doing,” veteran backup catcher Gary Bennett says. “Guys who are new to start, or are younger, tend to shake (you off) less. That puts it more in your hands.” 

The Cardinals enter tonight’s series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers with a 3.04 ERA and seven quality starts from the rotation in nine games. The six pitchers who have started sport a combined 2.54 ERA. What some expected to be a traumatic transition has so far been seamless except for Chris Carpenter’s tumble to the disabled list. The turnover has thrust Molina into a position of even greater responsibility. Duncan, a catcher for 10 major-league seasons, is regarded as blunt and demanding. He sees strengths without weakness from Molina. Duncan notes Molina’s impressive recall of hitter’s tendencies as well as what he calls creativity with pitch calling. 

“He goes in with a lot of credibility,” Duncan says. “Yadi has the right approach with the pitcher. He understands strengths and weaknesses, what he can do and can’t do during the course of a game. He can apply it to what he knows about the opposition. He does it the right way.” 

“I always try to catch the same way no matter whose out there,” Molina says. “I just try to make them comfortable and just try to help them.” 

After two regular season starts, Wells also speaks of Molina’s credibility. “He does everything well as a catcher,” Wells says. “He receives well. He blocks balls. Everyone knows about his arm. He seems to have a good sense for calling a game. Some catchers can be a minus if they’re not into what they’re doing. It’s obvious that Yadi is into it.” 

“A guy out there shaking (off the catcher) a lot probably isn’t very confident in what he’s getting,” Bennett says. “You don’t want that. When that happens, something’s not right. You don’t see that very often with Yadi.” 

From the moment he uses his cleats to carve a cross behind the righthanded batters’ box, Molina’s priority is about the wellbeing of his pitcher. The trait was passed on by his catcher brothers, Jose and Bengie, and ingrained by Matheny. 

“I do it for them. I do it for everybody,” Molina says. “I’m just trying to get a win.” 

“You have some variations of aptitude, how much a priority it is and who pays attention,” La Russa says. “Yadier pays attention the whole time and evidently he’s been studying for years before he got with us. “He’s got this feel for what’s going on. It’s very natural for him to determine if a pitcher needs to be more aggressive or needs to slow down. He just pays attention. He’s really gifted. That’s why I think he’s the best catcher in baseball.” 

While with the Florida Marlins, Looper threw to future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez. He considers Molina the superior receiver and at least an equal arm. “He’s very smooth and very confident in what he’s doing,” Looper says. “And as a pitcher that gives you confidence.” 

New to navigating a lineup three or more times, Looper welcomes whatever assistance he gets. “I don’t think anybody can do it by themselves,” Looper says. You can’t go out there in an uncomfortable situation, where you’re shaking all the time. Put the sign down and let’s go. That means a lot.”

glaus needs a nickname

Here's the scoop on Troy Glaus (I'm working on a cute nickname, but nothing so far...) as of the end of play April 12: started all 12 games, played 107 innings 

Batting... has 45 AB with 10 hits (5 of them doubles), that's a .222 average has 6 BB / 10 K / 8 RBI slugging .333 on base .308 batting .194 against righties, .286 against lefties batting .190 at Busch, .250 on the road has not stolen a base, has not attempted to steal a base 

Fielding... has 7 putouts, 33 assists, and only 1 error has participated in 3 DP fielding .976 range factor 3.36 (that's PO + A / innings) zone rating .923

Saturday, April 12, 2008

the Cardinals, Jack, off to their best start since 1987

I love this. I love Mike Shannon. (And I love the way he says "streee-rike.")

if only I could see you

What a game to have to listen to on the radio. I was staring down the stereo (that rhymes! sorry), and trying so hard to picture the plays and the players in my head, but it's just not the same. And on the very last out of the game, Mike Shannon was KILLING me with the play-by-play.

and it's hard hit to third, and Glaus is there, and he picks up the ball, and he makes the transfer, and he throws over to Albert, and he's got a little dirt on the left leg of his uniform, and there's a bug flying around the broadcast booth, and.... OH MY GOD, MIKE!!! DID HE GET THE OUT OR NOT?!?!?...

Well, turns out he did. Whew. 10 innings of torture. Thanks a lot, Fox. And tomorrow, Rick Horton and Jay Randolph. 

Somebody shoot me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

ready? on nine. onetwothreefourfivesixseveneight...nine

Okay, I have to admit I haven't watched the end of last night's game against San Francisco yet. As one of my friends so eloquently put it, "I'm old and have trouble staying up past 10 pm." Anyway, I watched through the Cards half of the 6th, then taped the rest, and even though I know the outcome, I still plan on watching it. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. 

Wainwright looked good, but he was definitely on the receiving end of some hard-luck plays and other misfortunes. The bounce off second base, then Kennedy's throwing error... but the biggest hurdle of the game was Correia's pace. For a guy that supposedly had the flu, he sure looked to be on top of the world. 

Oh, and on a side note: WTF? The game on Saturday won't be televised? stupid Fox and the stupid Yankees.... But that's okay, cause John and Mike are just as good as Dan and Al, only without any visual accompaniment. I guess I'll have to download some photos of Glaus to stare at while John tells me about the "blue caps and road gray uniforms with 'Cardinals' across the chest and the birds on the bat," and Mike fills me in on how well Yadi blocks those balls in the dirt and how often Wellemeyer checks on the runner at first.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2 long balls = the difference in the game

Are you reading my blogs, Albert Pujols? If so, muchas felicidades en sus dos jonrones anoche! If not, then it was an amazing coincidence.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

two more comments on last night

I almost didn't believe my ears last night when Al mentioned that Pujols only has 1 RBI in the first 8 games of 2008, 'cause that can't be true, can it? 

Albert Pujols? 

Well, prepare yourselves, it's true. Game 2 against Colorado, the big guy drove in Schumaker with a single past third in the 8th inning. (cue the chirping crickets...) 

This does not mean that I have any doubt he'll get his usual 100 by the end of the season, I just thought it was surprising and worth mentioning. And possibly a sad commentary on how often the #1 and 2 batters are getting on base. 

Joel Piñeiro pitched well for AAA last night. He went for 6 innings and ended up with 78 pitches, 57 of them for strikes. That's encouraging. We'll find out on Sunday if Tony and Dave agree.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

john mozeliac is not allowed to call him "dunc"

It so figures that Skip Schumaker would go for extra bases with his first hit of the season. Good to see him "get that monkey off his back," though, to quote Al Hrabosky. 

Apparently Piñeiro is starting for Memphis tonight. I'm anxious to see him back on the mound for the Cards. Unfortunately, this is probably going to come at the cost of Brad Thompson's starter status, and will mean we're in for some serious bullpen shuffling. 

Dan and Al have decided, without consulting me, I might add, that John Mozeliak is good luck to the team when he visits the broadcast booth to remind us all just how little the front office guys actually know about baseball. I have nothing against the GM personally, I just miss Walt and have no one else to take it out on but the man who took his job. Can you blame me? 

Anyway, if he is good luck, then why did Ankiel slide face-first into an out at the plate instead of keeping his butt at third base? So I have my doubts as to John's luckiness, and I resent him referring to Dunc as "Dunc." Go back to your desk, Moze

They're getting another pitcher up in the 'pen, so I guess Reyes' night is over. 

Whew, what a spot! 3 innings of exceptional work. I love watching him pitch. 

If you think about it, he's always been the bad-luck pitcher for the Cards. 

Pitching a no-no through the 9th against the White Sox, just to have the ONLY hit of the entire game be a solo home run, and we couldn't score at all. 

And last year to have a game called for rain when we're down 2-0 to the Mets with no chance at a comeback, just a loss after 5. 

Not that every loss has been due to exigent circumstances, but you have to admit that if something like that is going to happen, it's probably going to happen to Anthony. 

Glaus is sowly gaining my favor. Another double tonight, this one driving in 2 runs to put us back in the lead, and I'm thinking of getting a #8 jersey. Seriously. Plus the fact that his defense is picking up. I think maybe the Toronto turf was his biggest problem. Somebody slap me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

at least it didn't last very long

Okay, first of all, call me the newest biggest Troy Glaus (pronounced «gloss») fan. Yeah, I never thought I'd say it, but good riddance to bad rubbish, and sign me up for an "I heart Glaus" tshirt. 

Second, I guess you can't win 'em all, right? It's alright, mostly because Rodriguez pitched like some kind of machine. Wellemeyer was good, but not as good as Wanda or Wendy or whatever the hell his name is. 

And sure, it's easy to criticize Tony after the fact for not putting Izzy out there for the 9th inning (even though it wasn't a save situation), but at the time it seemed like McClellan was as good a shot as anyone. So I'm not going to pout or hang my head, I'm going to applaud the Astros for winning (it was their home-opener after all), congratulate the Cardinals on a well-played game, collect my things, and move on.

good news

Sounds like Duncan will play tonight in Houston. Color me relieved. Say what you will about big "D", but he's destined to be one of the great offensive players of our generation, and I don't think we could've gotten to the World Series 2 years ago without him.

beginning of week 2

I'm more than a little concerned about Chris Duncan and the lack of playing time he's had. I know it's still early, and I know he had a sore hamstring for at least a couple of games, and I know Tony doesn't like to start him against left-handed pitchers, but really, it seems to me that the list of excuses could be endless. I'm not panicking yet, but if I don't see him in the line-up against Houston tonight, that may change. 

On a more positive note, Rick Ankiel looks extraordinary, both behind the plate (of course) and in what I can only assume is his permanent place in center field. 

And even though Skip Schumaker has yet to get his first hit for 2008, I have very high hopes that he could do so during the upcoming road trip (cause let's face it, the two road series ahead of us could provide a lot of opportunities for forward movement, assuming we're able to take advantage). Skip's going be a great lead-off man someday, but the important thing is that he not let this slow start get to him. 

King Albert, though a little dry on the HR front, is contributing plenty and drawing walks like you'd expect. What else can I say about the big guy but that he's so reliable it's scary. There's a reason Pujols is the face of the Cardinals. 

Glaus has been a little disappointing. I wasn't sure what to expect from him, to be honest, but maybe on some subconcious level I was hoping he'd come in and blow everybody's socks off and make us question why we kept Rolen around for so long when this guy was out there all along. I guess that isn't really fair to Troy, and so I'm trying to do better by him and give him the benefit of the doubt that he's just having a hard time adjusting to the NL and he'll eventually show us what he's made of. It's not like he's been going around piling up the errors and Ks, he's just playing very average-ly, and I'm used to third base being occupied by a Gold-Glover with unusually good reach who plays almost too shallow for comfort. 

Adam Kennedy has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. After last year I was ready to put him in stocks in front of the Stan Musial statue and leave him, but he seems to have found whatever he was missing. Believe it or not, I'm glad we've got him. I remember Dan and Al commenting last year that Kennedy's manager from the Angels was surprised that he was having such a bad year last year, but I figured it was just PR, kinda like when you buy a junk car from someone who tells you it's a real deal, and then after you find out what a lemon it is, they say something like, "well it drove great when I had it." I guess I was wrong. I have no problem admitting that. 

Of course, Molina is doing his thing, as always. He's such a phenomenal catcher, and he does so well with the pitchers, he never ceases to amaze me. You know what else never ceases to amaze me? That he could be overlooked for a Gold Glove again. Oh yeah. Well, we Cardinal fans know how much of a difference he makes and how valuable he is every time he takes the field. And his offense is nothing to take lightly, either. 

The starting pitching is amazing, I only wish Anthony Reyes could be part of the fun. I've been a huge fan of his since the first time I saw him pitch, but I have this awful suspicion that his and Dave Duncan's ideas of how he should be pitching are just too different to overcome. I'll always be a fan, no matter what team he's pitching for, I just hope that someday he finds his rhythm and confidence, cause he's got potential up to his eyeballs. The bullpen is also amazing, and considering how much work they've gotten (and will probably continue to get) it's great that we have such a talented bunch of guys back there. 

Isringhausen is back to being Isringhausen. I'm personally rooting for the Cards to retire #44 someday (just not too soon). He's such a big arm for us, and I never lost faith in Izzy, even when his hip wasn't letting him do his best. I was actually kind of disappointed in a lot of supposed Cardinals fans when he was having trouble. I was disgusted to hear half the stadium erupt in boos when Izzy would take the mound, and I'll never forget how ugly some people were about the situation. Fortunately, he got the surgery, got rehab, and is throwing better than ever. I just hope all those people who booed him now realize how wrong they were to lose faith. 

As for Ludwick, Barton, Izturis, Miles, and LaRue, well they're doing what I knew they would: they're playing their hearts out and giving us everything they've got. What more can you ask for? (A side note on Barton, though, would be something like, "can we get the man a chin strap for his helmet, please?" Seriously.) Overall, I'd say we have a good mix of experience levels among the players. The veterans are providing quality leadership and setting the pace, and the young guys are eager and hungry and giving the team a fresh perspective.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

lista de palabras

baseball = "béisbol"
a ball player = "un pelotero" or "un jugador"
a slugger = "un toletero"
the major leagues = "las ligas mayores" or "las mayores"
the big leagues = "las grandes ligas"

the pitching = "el pitcheo"
the batting = "el bateo"

the battery = "la batería"
the pitcher = "el lanzador" or "el pítcher" or "el serpentinero"
....left-handed = "zurdo"
....right-handed = "diestro" or "derecho"
the starter = "el iniciador"
the reliever = "el relevista"
the closer = "el cerrador" or "el taponero"
....the mound = "el montículo" or "la loma" or "la lomita"
....the rubber = "la goma"

the catcher = "el receptor" or "el cátcher"
....home plate = "el plato"

the infield = "el cuadro"
the base (bag) = "la base" or "la almohadilla"
....first base = "primera base" (pronounced bah-say)
........first baseman = "inicialista"
....second = "segunda"
........second baseman = "intermedista"
....third = "tercera"
........third baseman = "antesalista"
........shortstop = "campocorto"

the outfield = "el jardín" or "el bosque" or "el campo" or "el predio"
....left field = "___ izquierdo" field = "___ central"
....right field = "___ derecho"

the batter = "el bateador"
....switch-hitter = "ambidiestro"
the batter's box = "el cajón del bateador"
the runner = "el corredor"

the umpire = "el árbitro"

the base line = "la línea de base"

the bat = "el bate"
the ball = "la pelota" or "la bola"
the glove = "el guante"
the helmet = "el casco"
the hat = "la gorra"
the chest protector = "el protector del pecho"
the mitt = "el troche"

he reached base = "se embasó"
he stole (a base) = "robó (una base)"
he hit (a single) = "bateó (sencillo)
....a double = "un doble"
....a ground rule double = "un doble por regla"
....a triple = "un triple"
he scored (a run) = "anotó (una carrera)"
....a homerun = "un jonrón" or "un cuadrangular"

a walk (free pass) = "una base por bolas" or "un boleto gratis"
....(intentional) walk = "base por bolas (intencional)"

a sac fly = " un elevado de sacrificio"
he sacrificed = "sacrificó"
....sacrifice bunt = "toque de sacrificio"

he struck out = "se ponchó"
....he struck out swinging = "se ponchó tirándole"
....he struck out looking = "se ponchó mirándo"
he lined out = "falló con línea"
he grounded out = "falló con rodado"
....double play = "doble matanza" or "jugada de doble out"
he grounded into a double play = "falló con rodado para doble play"
he hit a fly ball (for an out) = "falló con elevado"
he hit a fly ball (for an out) in foul territory = "falló con elevado de foul"
he popped up = "falló por un globo"

he was out (at second) = "fue out (en segunda)"
he was safe (on an error) = "llegó a salvo (por error)"

bases loaded = "bases llenas"
bases empty = "bases limpias"

a play = "una jugada" (What a play! = "¡Qué jugada!")
an error = "un error"
throwing error = "error de tiro"
fielder's choice = "jugada de selección"
he threw (to second) = "tiró (a segunda)"
he was caught stealing = "fue atrapado robando"

fair ball = "bola en territorio bueno" or "bola fair"
foul ball = "bola en territorio malo" or "bola foul"

safe = "cierto" or "safe"
out = "fuera" or "out"

the count = "la cuenta"
....1 = "uno", 2 = "dos", 3 = "tres"
pitcher's count = "cuenta al favor del lanzador"
hitter's count = "cuenta al favor del bateador"
full count = "cuenta llena"

the pitch = "el lanzamiento"
....high = "alto"
....low = "bajo"
....inside = "adentro"
....outside = "afuera"

strike = "strike" or "estráik"
ball = "bola" or "pelota"
foul = "foul"
bunt = "toque de bola"

a strike-out = "una ponche"
a walk = "una base por bolas"

he retired the side = "retiró al lado"

a hit = "un hit" or "un imparable"
a run = "una carrera"
run scored = "anotada"
run batted in (RBI) = "empujada"
he drove in (a run) = "remolcó (una carrera)" or "empujó (una carrera)"
batting average = "promedio"
earned run average = "promedio de efectividad"

scoring position = "posición de anotar"

streak = "racha"

the game = "el partido" or "el juego"
a win = "una victoria"
a loss = "una perdida" or "una derrota"

the inning = "la entrada"
top = "alta"
bottom = "baja"
....(1st = primera
....2nd = segunda
....3rd = tercera
....4th = cuarta"
....5th = quinta
....6th = sexta
....7th = séptima
....8th = octava
....9th = novena)

Privacy policy

I'm a very private person. How's that?

About us... well, me.

Why I write this blog. Click here for my profile. I blog when there are other, more productive things I should be doing. I have gazillions of opinions about baseball and the Cardinals, and this is an easy way to get them out of my system without having to harass my friends and family. I watch every game (faithfully), even when things aren't going well. And if there happens to be something (like life) that gets in the way, I either tape the game and watch later (probably in the middle of the night) or watch the re-broadcast on FSN Midwest (thank you, Fox). My favorite players are Jason Isringhausen ("Izzy"), Chris Duncan ("Big-D"), and Yadier Molina ("Yadi" or "Mo-Mo"), but not necessarily in that order. If you read my blogs, you'd know that already. I am a Tony follower. I appreciate his forward-thinking and willingness to try new things (even if it might make waves in MLB). I also like the fact that he doesn't get too far ahead of himself. For example, there's no point in saving a reliever for the 10th inning if you can't get through the ninth still tied. (The late-inning antics of the 2007 All-Star game notwithstanding...) I think Cardinals' fans really are the best fans in baseball (this rational and convincing argument notwithstanding). We're not too finicky, we're not fair-weather, we're not mean-spirited, and we appreciate effort and heart above anything else. We'll gladly cheer for an opposing player who makes a spectacular play (unless it costs us the game, of course), and we'll always show love for players who have worn the birds on the bat, even if they come to Busch wearing the rival's uniform. Enough said.

la beisbolista

What does beisbolista mean? If you looked it up in a Spanish to English dictionary, you'd find this simple translation:

beisbolista mf baseball player

(Those of you who took Spanish 1 in high school are probably thinking, "whoa, I seem to remember something about an -a ending on a word indicating that it's a girl, or something like that...," but you're just going to have to trust me on this, it's beisbolista for a man or a woman.)

Now while this is the technical translation, in most Spanish-speaking countries, beisbolero is the more widely accepted term for a baseball player (or baseballer), and pelotero is used as a general term for a ball player (or baller, hee hee).

Here's where it gets interesting. Since beisbolista is so rarely used to describe a baseball player, I've decided to hijack it and give it my own meaning. (Please forgive me if your Spanish-speaking region is one of the places where it is used.) Following is the translation from the Sarah-bug to English dictionary (on bookshelves soon):

beisbolista mf 1 (aficionado) baseball lover, baseball fan
2 (articulista, escritor) one who blogs about baseball; ella es una ~ loca she is a crazy baseball blogger

Hope that clears things up for you. If you need further explanation (or disagree with anything I've said), please don't hesitate to comment.

why I write this blog

I went to my first Cardinals' game with my family when I was eight. My favorite player from that era was Vince Coleman for a couple of reasons. (1) I've always been especially partial to outfielders, and (2) he had very impressive baserunning skills. I remember watching Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee in their primes. I didn't really understand what "Whitey-ball" was, but I knew it was revolutionary and important, and I knew it made baseball fun to watch. My dad always brought the binoculars along when we went to games because he insisted that the bleachers were the best seats at Busch--as long as you didn't care if you could see anything. He also brought along the walk-man so he could listen to the play-by-play on the radio. I lost touch with my baseball roots for a while, but I have re-discovered them and now celebrate the game with as much enthusiasm as anyone. Even though I grew up with the Redbirds, I consider this to be my Cardinals generation and these to be my players. I have lots of opinions and ideas about the games, the plays, the players, the opposition, the coaches, the front office, the umpires, the league, the division, and the season, and I'll share as many of them here as I can, within reason. If you agree/ disagree/ don't understand, feel free to comment. Actually, I appreciate the input.
Go Cards!

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