Friday, October 31, 2008

change the world

Happy Halloween!

Countdown to Election Day has begun... and don't forget to turn your clocks back an hour Saturday night/Sunday morning.
This is my favorite time of the year! Right after income tax season.

Absolutely zero (interesting) news from Cardinals-sphere, but fear not, I'm sure if anything important happens they'll let us know. Right?

Derrick Goold mentioned Brian Shouse recently as a new free agent.

LHP Brian Shouse, an Illinois native who for Milwaukee last year held lefties to a .180 average and struck out 28 in 100 at-bats against...

Albert is planning on playing for the Dominican Republic in the WBC. I'm sure this will make the Dominicans very happy.

Oh, and congratulations to the Phillies (belatedly) on their World Championship. It pleases me to see the NL take the trophy. Other than that I had really no preference for one team over the other. The Rays just don't have the experience yet. They are the baby of MLB, after all. They'll get there. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

dates to remember

I plagarized this list of important dates from Thank you, MLB.

Oct. 30 - Nov. 13: Free-agency filing period, which began with the last out of the World Series and lasts for 15 days.

Nov. 3-6: General Managers Meetings, Dana Point, Calif.

Nov. 5-18: Awards weeks. [American League Gold Glove Team (Nov. 5) through the AL Most Valuable Player (Nov. 18)]

Nov. 20: Deadline for clubs to file Minor League and Major League reserve lists -- players protected from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

Dec. 1: Deadline for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their ranked free agents -- who then will have six days to decided whether to accept or decline.

Dec. 5: The executive board of the players union holds its annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla.

Dec. 7: Deadline for free agents to accept their 2008 clubs' arbitration offer.

Dec. 8-11: Winter Meetings, Las Vegas, Nev.

Dec. 8: Announcement of the latest voting results by the Hall of Fame's Veterans Committee, on-site at the Winter Meetings.

Dec. 11: Rule 5 Draft.

Early December: Hall of Fame ballot blast.

Dec. 12: Deadline to offer contracts to rostered players

Jan. 5 (unconfirmed): Announcement of Hall of Fame election results, traditionally made at the beginning of the new year's first full week.

Jan. 5-15: Filing period for players eligible for salary arbitration.

Jan. 19: Players and management representatives formally exchange salary figures filed for arbitration.

Feb. 1-21: Salary arbitration hearings, Phoenix.

Feb. 14, 17: Spring Training reporting dates for position players, pitchers on World Baseball Classic rosters.

Feb. 22: Mandatory reporting date for non-World Baseball Classic players.

Tom Singer is a reporter for

Thursday, October 23, 2008

what a girl's gotta do

I needed a picture of Yadi. It's not a baseball thing, it's a girl thing. Here's the deal: I have often felt that my girl-ness was a hinderance to my baseball fan-ness, and occasionally even denied my "girly" feelings, afraid that the "boys" would dismiss my possibly emotional rants as "hormones" or something. But after a very illuminating lecture today on gender differences and how to best exploit them (seriously), I have come to the conclusion that I can be a girl and a baseball fan at the same time. What I mean to say is that I am a girl, I love baseball, and while my brain may not process information quite the same as a man's does, I can still think about baseball objectively and competetively (even if a certain small section of my mind divides players into categories like "cute" and "hot" and yes, there is a difference). So if I post on your blog, or write silly things that make no sense, or rant about players without the "proper" statistics to back it up, or have no earthly idea what you're talking about, I will make no apologies. I am what I am, and sometimes I may say things that don't need to be said (like now), but I love the Cardinals and I love all the Cardinals fans. Oh, and yes, this may be hormones right now. Please ignore me. 
ps--Yadi made both categories.

Es el mejor catcher en toda la liga.

Yadi merece un lifetime contract con los Cardenales.

Y juega en Puerto Rico, también.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Game ONE (

I finally tried a Frutista Freeze from Taco Bell, and I'd like to recommend everyone out there go and pick one up tomorrow with your free taco. Assuming there's a stolen base, that is.

I'm currently sipping my fruity, frozen, mango-licious (with just the perfect amount of strawberry-ness) treat while listening to the ever-supportive Rays fans boo and hiss the Phillies as they announce the lineup. I hate cowbells.

How is it that I never noticed the number 1 and 2 batters for the Rays wear numbers 1 and 2, respectively?

The Star Spangled Banner is being performed by The Backstreet Boys? What? But wait, there's someone missing...
Seriously though. If you'd told me they all had died or been abducted by aliens, I would have said, "Huh. Well, what do you know!" In other words, I would have believed you. And I wouldn't have given it another thought. This almost rivals the Rays electing the president of baseball operations (or whoever he was) to throw out their first pitch in the playoffs. Just a young organization with a desperate need for some history or fame or something interesting they can talk about. A World Series trophy might be a good start, no?

Rays: 150 to 1 odds in Vegas at the start of the season. Phillies: first World Series appearance since 1993 (which was 5 or so years before Tampa even had a baseball team).

Cole Hamels vs Scott Kazmir.

I think that's enough warm-up. Let's get on with the game, shall we, Joe?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

it's pitching Tuesday (did you miss it?)

The Cardinals have decided not to pay Mark Mulder $11 million in 2009 to watch Oprah and eat cheez doodles on his couch while occasionally lifting his left arm, rotating his shoulder in a half-shrug, grimacing painfully, and pronouncing himself "not quite ready." 

This ranks #4 on the list of "things I did not need ESPN bottom-line to tell me." 

#3: The Patriots are not quite the same without Tom Brady (or their video equipment). 

#2: Terrell Owens complains that the team isn't going to him enough after making 12 receptions for 327 yards and 7 touchdowns in the first quarter. (Obviously not last week.) 

And #1: Roger Goodell suspends someone for something illegal, but gives Pacman "one more chance." 

*Sorry about the football-heavy references, but 'tis the season, right?

Monday, October 20, 2008

just to be clear

I hold no misconceptions about the possibilities of the Cards acquiring Jake Peavy via trade or witchcraft or what have you. I realize that there is a better chance of yours truly pitching opening day at Busch stadium than Jake Peavy becoming a Redbird. That being said, I'm not saying I would balk at the idea of such a solid arm joining the rotation, but I would rather spend our payroll on our real weaknesses. The bullpen needs some left-handed help, we could use a middle infielder (or two), you all know what the weaknesses are so I won't belabor the point. All I'm saying is that this is not something anyone should get up in arms over, and I'd advise you not to be disappointed if the boundless rumors do indeed turn out to be just that.

define "putrid"

1. Decomposed and foul-smelling; rotten.
2. Proceeding from, relating to, or exhibiting putrefaction.
3. Morally rotten; corrupt.
4. Extremely objectionable; vile.

No, I don't think that's the word you were looking for, jerks on Sportscenter, not anymore. The Rams played around with the 'Boys yesterday and in more appropriate words from the football analysts (after the game, of course), "a team we were making fun of a few weeks ago, and they made [the Cowboys] look foolish."

That's right. The Rams. Foci of scorn and ridicule. How d'ya like them apples? (Have I mentioned that I'm not a Rams fan? Well, I'm not.)

Oh, and the Rays won the ALCS to claim a home-field shot at the World Series. Whatever. Poor BoSox. And poor broadcast stations who had been hoping for at least one big market team in the Fall Classic. Maybe next year.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

clues or distracters? you decide

The Cardinals prefer a short-term solution for their closer situation, and will likely give Chris Perez the ninth inning job, or seek a lower-budget option through the trade market. They may also trade a young outfielder for an established bat at a corner OF position.

Cardinals. Another of Peavy's preferred teams that is not a good fit. The Cardinals, facing multiple needs, do not want to invest in all of their available payroll and top prospects in one move.

On the Cardinals front, Joe Strauss says the team's scouts met this week and are enthusiastic about pursuing Peavy. Strauss's sources say Peavy's availability "loosened the organization's grip on younger talent." Viva El Birdos believes Peavy would cost top prospect Colby Rasmus and then some. Despite Towers' stated focus on starting pitching, an offer including Rasmus would have to give him pause.

So a note to all teams out there, here’s what it will take for you to get Jake Peavy from the Padres: your two top position player prospects and your best pitching prospect, and that’s at a minimum. You only qualify if all three of those players will be Major League-ready by Spring Training. Oh and all three must be on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list.

Without further ado, Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list (2008):
#5 Colby Rasmus-OF
#85 Bryan Anderson-C
#97 Chris Perez-RHP
Two of these guys have my deepest sympathies and best wishes for their careers. Chris Perez we might need. But I don't know who that leaves for a trade. Maybe we could trade for the players we need to trade.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

what a night for sports fans

Attn: John Mozeliak
Re: the bullpen
Please bring back Springer.

Attn: Voters
Re: Albert
Please don't forget who we're talking about here. This is Albert Freaking Pujols. He has more talent in his dirty sweat socks than you'll ever have in your whole closet. No offense.

Attn: Red Sox
Re: the World Series
Really? NOW you want it?

Attn: Mizzou fans
Re: the Texas (Chainsaw) Massacre
Just when you thought the disappointment was behind you us.

Attn: Blue Notes
Re: Oshie ka-Doshie
Wow. How do you like that? And he was thinking of playing on college ice this year.

Attn: Onion Staff
Re: not-quite-super-recent-but-still-super-pertinent article
Good job, once again, on putting my not-so-funny thoughts into very funny words.

CHICAGO—God, the divine creator and omnipotent deity, held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the infinite ways in which He could curse the postseason hopes of His least favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs. continue reading

Attn: Everyone who had given up on the Rams (inlcuding me)

Re: 2-0 under Jim's leadership
I keep trying to ignore the Rams, ignore the media, and focus my attention elsewhere, but I've been wholly unsuccessful as of yet. I was sucked in once again this afternoon, and to my utmost, um, pleasure(?), the Rams stomped all over the 'Boys to the tune of 34-14. Yikes. I might have to watch them take on New England next week.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

my thoughts on "Jake"

If we do go after Peavy (and for the record I'd be all for that), it won't be without competition from some other teams. The Braves in particular have expressed interest, and one journalist gives them a better chance based on the fact that Jake hails from the South.
Jake made $6 million this year and is owed $60 million over the next four years.
Considering the circumstances, the money, and the fact that Moze has all but said he won't go after any more starters, I'd say acquiring Peavy is a long shot at best. I'm sure he's ready to get out of San Diego, and I'm sure the Padres may be willing to eat some of his contract in order to clear up some cash and bring in some young talent, but overall, I wouldn't count on the price being tempting enough to get Moze to rethink the rotation.
That being said, IFFFFF Carp were to experience a serious setback or re-injury, things could change dramatically. Now forget you read that and let's get back to reality.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"feliz" día de la raza

How is it that I didn't know it's Hispanic Heritage Month? And how is it that hispanic heritage month includes Columbus Day, el día de la raza, the celebration of the slaughter, rape, and destruction of countless Mesoamericans, and the beginning of the inglorious cultural conflation that eventually begot what we now recognize as latinos?

First of all, the term "hispanic heritage" is slightly misleading. One source says this: "The term Hispanic, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Spanish-speaking people in the United States of any race." However, what they fail to consider is that this definition pertains specifically to citizens/residents of the United States. As far as global definitions go, Hispania refers to España, the Spanish empire of the Iberian peninsula, and hispanic denotes anyone of Spanish descent (and Latin American descent by default).

Hispanos, or españoles, love el día de la raza. It celebrates the beginning of the Spanish empire's reach to the new world, and the power that came with such conquests. But hispanic heritage month isn't about the heritage of Iberian peninsulars. It's about the heritage of the mestizos and mulatos, the half-breeds and the illegitimate sons and daughters. It's about the imposition of Iberian blood onto the face of the Maya, the Aztec, and the Inca, and the resulting bastard culture that suffered at the hands of its sire for centuries. It isn't the heritage of the Iberians. It's the heritage of la chingada.

So, everyone, feliz día de la chingada and happy chingada heritage month. Break out the party hats.

(Click on image for a larger view of the torture, rape, and murder of
innocent people under the guise of "religion" and "civilization".)
Diego Rivera's La Conquista

Monday, October 13, 2008

just what nobody needed

Albert had surgery. Let's just let that sink in. After being completely wishy-washy with the media on the subject, he snuck around behind our backs and got it done. Surprising? Completely not. Worrysome? Completely so. 

I guess we'll have to wait and see what this means for next season. It could be nothing and he'll be ready to go for ST. It could be a mess and cause him to lose significant time. Knowing Albert and his bionic man way of healing, it'll be the former. 

I can't say I'm not just a touch nervous, though. Is there anything else we need to know? 

Adam Wainwright's not thinking of taking an immersion course in Spanish in the jungles of the Amazon, is he? 

Does Troy Glaus want to be the first third-baseman to circle the globe in a hot-air balloon? 

Is Ryan Ludwick going to enter every pie-eating contest in Texas this winter? 

Is Rick Ankiel thinking of going back to pitching?

just what the rams needed

Did you see it? Did you see Jim Haslett take his team to Washington and cream the Redskins? Did you see him get into it with Torrence? Did you see his face when Brown made that field goal?

Yeah, me either.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

one more thing

I have a very long, very boring commute several days a week, and in my quest to find anything that will keep me awake (and alert) I am usually pleased to see strange and/or funny things on the road. One of these things hit me like a ton of bricks the other day, and I did not respond quickly enough to snap a picture. I actually had to slow down, let him pass me, and then pass him again to get this shot. I believe it was worth it. (The picture quality is not super, but I think you get the idea.)

This, dear friends, is not a living creature, at least not any longer. You may not be able to tell here, but it is indeed a taxidermied dog (German Shepherd mix if I'm not off my game), clinging to the tailgate of a pickup truck, hair blowing in the wind, looking for all the world like a real (alive) dog in a very precarious situation.

It beats the heck out of the ridiculous billboard that has kept me entertained for the last few weeks.

ps-I have no picture of the billboard, but here's the cheese:

If you wake up tired and hungry, you didn't stay with us.

Go ahead and sort it out on your own.

let's all get excited about hockey

I listened to John (Jon?) Davidson on the radio with Bernie this afternoon and am pleased to announce that I'm officially anticipating the Blues' season. What does this mean for my blog? Other than some nonsensical ramblings completely unrelated to baseball, not much. Just a warning, if you hate hockey, turn away. If you resent my lack of conviction when it comes to subject matter, you have my apologies. What with the winter break for America's pastime, I have to find something to occupy my brain, and football just ain't cutting it. (Although, did you see the Incredible Colts this last Sunday? 21 points in 3-1/2 minutes. Sheesh. Gotta love it.) 

I came up with a drinking game while listening to John/Jon (who is the president of hockey operations for the Blues, by the way) talk about the promising talent and abundance of young, eager players on the team this year. Unfortunately I was driving at the time and thought better about actually drinking. It would have been a good one, though, 'cause he mentioned the fact that Erik Johnson is injured and out for probably the entire season only about, oh, maybe four thousand times. In the first 20 minutes. Seriously. I think it's time to move on. 

In non-sports news, I heard an interesting report on the FM radio this morning (another reason I don't listen to FM too often). Basically, it was a description of an armed bank robbery (armed in the least meaningful sense of the word) somewhere in southeast Missouri. Apparently a masked man, brandishing a weapon (nonspecified) entered the bank, approached the teller, and handed her a note (and I'm totally quoting here) "requesting money." Let me just say that again, "requesting money." Still didn't get it? "REQUESTING money." Aaaah. So, "If it's not too much trouble, could I bother you for a few small, unmarked bills? Thanks in advance, and have a nice day." Oh, or maybe he filled out a withdrawal slip and handed that to the teller? You never can tell with those "bank robbers." What is this world coming to? And with the unfortunate loss of Erik Johnson....

Monday, October 6, 2008

no love for the ex-pats

Once again, things are looking down for some former Cardinals out there in the world.

Jimmy Baseball and the Cubbies were eliminated in a three-game sweep by the Dodgers. I gotta say, if the Dodgers can go into Wrigley and win two straight, the rest of the road is downhill for them. (Not that the Cubs brought their A game--more like AAA--but still, it's Wrigley, right?)

Jeff "word of the day" Suppan (and by the way, I still miss that) gave up the final nail in the Brewers' coffin in game four and halted the Brew Crew's attempt at defying history (by winning a division series after being down 0-2). He looked pretty dejected out there on the mound. I'm just grateful the untucking was stopped where it was. I'm not sure if I could have tolerated much more of that.

David Eckstein and his new club (old news alert) were shut down by ours truly and left the door wide open for Torre and Manny to claim the West. (I guess there's one former Redbird who's had some success after leaving the team, anyway.)

Anthony Reyes did his best to turn Cleveland's luck around, but the same sore shoulder that gave him some trouble in STL was acting up and ended his season with the Indians after only six starts. His record was pretty good for those six, but nothing doing for the team.

Scott Rolen... well, what more can I say about Scott. He faced injury after injury, couldn't get his bat going, and really just stunk up Canada. His defense was pretty spot-on, though. I guess that was to be expected. As I've said before, nobody misses him. (Nobody who matters, anyway.)

So we'll see The Phillies and Dodgers play best of seven for the League Championship, and I expect nothing short of fireworks. Here are two pretty solid teams, neither with big gaps in their lineup or rotation, and good management behind the scenes. They also have two of the biggest bats in the NL in Howard and Ramirez, so if nothing else, that should provide some entertainment.

You know what would really be interesting? A Boston-LA match-up in the World Series. How fun would it be to see Manny back at Fenway?

And it might just happen. I was sure at the beginning of the playoffs that the Angels were just going to cruise through the DS and LS, but that's not what has happened so far. The Red Sox have been about as tough as anybody, and the Angels have apparently fallen asleep. I guess the old adage is true: That's why they play the game.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

one more year with big-D, sr.

I was pleased to hear that Dave "the recycler" Duncan signed a one-year extension to stay on-board with the Cards for the 2009 season. I'm not really surpised. He and Tony have been together for most of their careers, and since Tony has one year left on his contract, it only follows that Dave would agree to stick around as well. After next year, well, that's anybody's guess. I think a big part of that will depend on the acquisitions made this off-season as well as how competetive the 'Birds are next year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

don't read this

This was a comment left in response to this article from Jeff Gordon. I laughed when I read it (the comment, not the article). I realize that makes me a dork.

Stavinoha couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat...

It is FUN watching the Cubs lose. It was SUPER-FUN watching them lose like they did last night. 4 errors. Wow. What else can I say? Oh yeah, HA HA.

You know what their problem is? Their problem is they're reading their own press. They have bought into this curse nonsense whole-hog, and have effectively psyched themselves out. If they want to win, they're going to have to find some serious psychotherapy along the lines of Sigmund Freud and lay those internal conflicts on the couch, and they're going to have to do it now.

It's also fun watching the Brewers lose, although they aren't doing it nearly as well as the Cubs are. The Brewers are actually putting up a fight. That said, the Phillies are eating the Brewers alive. Not even CC could save them from the carnage. It won't be too much longer before the entire Phillies staring rotation is on my off-season please-I-pray-to-all-that-is-holy-in-baseball-and-I'm-talking-to-you-John-Mozeliak-sign-some-talent wish list.

I kind of feel for Sabathia. You know he knows his role on this team and it has nothing to do with being a long-term investment or even a good teammate (although I'm sure he is). His role is very simply to win games, go deep, and do it every three days if needed. Maybe that's his problem. Last night was his fourth straight start on two or three days rest, and the weight of carrying a team on his back is finally starting to show. He'd better be careful because if he burns himself out, the Yankees might take their lovin' somewhere else.

Warning: Non-baseball-related content to follow.

I watched the VP debate the other night (well, most of it, there was a Cubs game on, too) and I must say I was fairly disappointed. Governor Palin actually fumbled through quite adequately, and Joe Biden was as gentle as a lamb. She didn't actually answer roughly half the questions that were asked, and she continually reverted back to her safety blanket--energy (no surprise), but the one thing that really stood out for me was the off-handed comment she made when Sen. Biden mentioned how his wife had taught school for 30 years (he is a widower and is re-married). She remarked, "well, her reward is in heaven!" I have no idea if his living wife was the teacher or if it was in fact his late wife, but you must admit, either way, it's just a tad insensitive to express interest in one wife or the other being dead.

On a side note, I hate the whole teen pregnancy nonsense. I hate that no one will address it and I hate that she won't pony up and address it herself. Mostly, though, I hate that her 17-year old daughter is getting married. Pregnant or not, no one should get married at 17 (or even 18). Either her parents are allowing her to get married (and they should be ashamed), or they are making her get married (and they should be imprisoned).

Anyway, no, it wasn't the laugh-fest nor the gutting I'd hoped for, but when push comes to shove Biden still won and that's all that really matters anyway. No, I'm not a McCain-Palin supporter. Would I like to see a woman as president? Sure. Would I like to see a box-headed ditz with about as much political sense (not to mention common sense) as my parakeet as president? No, thank you. And don't try to tell me that if he were elected she wouldn't end up as president, because he's 72 and no beacon of health. I don't like the odds.

Obama-Biden 2008. (Did you know he has his own channel on satellite? Wow.)

Just an aside on the box-headed thing, she has that ridiculously square head, a jaw that would make John Lynch jealous, a hair-do with bees circling it, and she throws SQUARE GLASSES on top of all that. Does she have a style advisor? And if so, what is this person smoking? Soften it up a little, sister!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Go Phillies!

Can we talk about Cole Hamels? Dang.