Thursday, March 5, 2009

aclarando las cosas

Thanks to ML for today's lineup against la República Dominicana:

1. Schumaker 2B
2. Mather 3B
3. Ankiel DH
4. Ludwick RF
5. Duncan 1B
6. K.Greene SS
7. Jay LF
8. LaRue C
9. Rasmus CF
Pujols doesn't want to play against su patria, maybe out of respect, maybe not. At any rate, it means some 1B love for the Dunc-inator, and truth be told, if it's not Albert standing on the bag, I want it to be Chris.

Now on to more important matters, namely, determination of novios and novios del día. Sorry to keep you waiting. (You were waiting, right?)

What is a novio? As is the tradition, a novio is the player for whom you stand and clap when he steps up to bat (even when you're in your own living room). He's the player whose jersey you wear faithfully and whose autograph you covet. He's the player for whom you argue when the umpires are being stupid, and who can do no wrong. Maybe you highlight his name on the scorecard. Maybe you whisper a little prayer when he's on deck. Maybe you know his stats by heart (going back to his high school ball days). Maybe you celebrate his birthday or the anniversary of his first big league home run. You cry when he gets hurt. You cheer when he gets a hit. You know in your heart of hearts that if he were to get traded or somehow end up on another team, you might just have to become a fan of that team. When he's struggling, you defend him. When he's hot, you beam with pride. In some ways, on some level, he is the team in your eyes.

Who can have a novio? Anyone can have a novio, and most of you probably do if you think real hard. Women, men, and everyone in-between can have a Cardinals novio. Whether you prefer to call him that, well, that's another story.

What must a novio be? A player on the current Cardinals roster. You might love Keith Hernandez above all others and snuggle with your Keith Hernandez-shaped body pillow (appropriately dressed in a Keith Hernandez jersey) while you watch highlights of old games in which Keith Hernandez played, but for the purposes of this experiment, Keith Hernandez cannot be your novio. Maybe you and "Keith" can root for Khalil Greene together.

As should surprise no one, Yadier Molina is mi novio cardenalero--my Cardinals novio. (My Cardinal novio? Well, whatever.) He is my favorite player, partly because of his incredible defense, partly because of his skill guiding the pitching staff, partly because of his remarkable (and ever-improving) offense, and partly because he is just so darn adorable I could eat him up. Truth be told, one of those factors is way more important than the others, and I'll let you use your imagination to figure out which one.

Now to the daily competition...

Who can be a novio del día (N.D.D.)? Any Cardinals player can be novio del día. For each game, the player who contributed the most--offensively or defensively--will be named novio del día and get N.D.D. points. The team does not have to win the game for a novio del día to be named, but it helps. However, it's understandable that sometimes a player may perform at the N.D.D. level, but can't quite carry the whole game by himself. Under those circumstances, he would still receive the N.D.D. honors, but probably fewer (if any) points.

Points? Points will be awarded to the N.D.D. based on
[1] the importance of the game (ie, is it ST? division rival? post-season?),
[2] the value of the contribution (ie, a game-winning run? a game-saving play? just dumb luck?),
and [3] my current mood.

Basically, it's all arbitrary.

I'll keep track of points over the course of the season, and will award special "prizes" to the winner.

What if none of the players distinguishes himself in such a fashion on a particular day? If no other obvious choice is apparent, the points go to Yadi. Obviously, Yadi can be the N.D.D. just like anyone else (and if he's playing, he's got a pretty good shot), but if for whatever reason no one, including him, is the stand-out novio del día, he gets the points by default. It is my game, after all.

Got it?

And now some random things...

7. Baseball makes sense. It is logical and reasonable and understandable. Life should be more like baseball.

8. I used to insist on sitting in the left field bleachers when we would go to games because I had a crush on Ray Lankford. I've never told anyone that before.

9. The only time I ever watched American Idol was the season Nikko Smith was a contestant. No, I don't suppose that one is really about baseball, but it's related. (Ha! Get it? Related? *wink*) He was the only reason I watched and I quit after he got the boot.

More later.