Friday, October 20, 2006

yes! Yes!! YES!!!

(Note: This post was intended to be up last night, but crashed around 1100 PDT. So we're forced to post today. We apologize for any inconvenience .... to whoever is actually reading this.)

First, I am beside myself with satisfaction at the 3-1 Cardinals win. This SOOOOO makes up for last year's disappointment. And it had to be the Tigers. We've had a horrific World Series record since 1968 Game 5, and I for one would like to see that curse ended. Enough with the losing. Enough with the moral victories. I've waited 24 years for another WS win, and now is as good a time as any to get it.

My Mom's family is mostly full of Red Sox fans; on my Dad's side, they all root for the Cardinals. This made the 2004 WS a lot of fun. Initially. Not so much fun as it developed. And I've never heard the end of it from that side of the family. In fact, I enjoyed the endless teasing so much that when I met a Red Sox fan I found tolerable on a deep personal level I married her - and now never hear the end of it 24/7 vice 12/5. Nice. You want to know annoying? Try getting every available Red Sox-logoed infant clothing for the mini-Rant. From all corners of the family. As well as the Mrs's fanatical Boston transplants out here in God's Country. At least he has the Fredbird mobile over his crib, otherwise he'd be lost in a sea of Red Sox angst.

So it figures that, here in the magical year of 2006, the Cardinals play the Tigers. Did I mention my Mom's family is mostly Red Sox fans? Guess which team the rest of the family backs? So here we go again.

Couple of odds and ends from tonight's game:

First, Endy Chavez. Unbelieveable. Fantastic. Spectacular. Tremendous. Phenomenal. Great, great play. Easily the best catch in a big spot I've ever seen. This trumps the ball Jimmy E ran down off Ausmus' bat in Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS - because of the difficulty in making the catch. Wow. I still can't believe he caught it. The Associated Press description of the play, by the way, is much, much better than I can do.

- Preston Wilson: sleep well tonight, and forget about this game. Three horrible at bats. If LaRussa should pencil him into the #2 spot for Game 1 of the WS, he should pause, walk back into his private bathroom, slap himself for 5 minutes, then erase the name and stick someone - ANYONE - else in there. I prefer Taguchi, but I'm not the manager.

- Scott Rolen has hit 3 balls hard (with 2 hits) out of his last 5 at bats. That's very encouraging. We really need him to get hot for the World Series. Right now none of the options (Encarnacion, Edmonds, or Rolen) are particularly attractive in the 4-hole protecting Pujols. We need you, Scott. Keep swinging the bat. Oh, and it was nice to see him and LaRussa hug and share an encouraging word on the field after tonight's game. Thank God. Now we can stop hearing about the high-school girl tiff between the two of them in the press.

- Jeff Suppan with a yeoman-like effort. Who would have guessed he'd be the best pitcher on the staff in this series? But he was. A well-deserved NLCS MVP. The only downside of this is, he's probably pitched himself out of the Cardinals' tax bracket, which is too bad. He's had 3 good years for the Redbirds, and eats up a ton of innings (200+ this season). I've enjoyed rooting for the Crespi High School Alumnus, even though it is a rival high school. Never thought I'd pull for a 'Critter'. Nicely done, Jeff.

How will LaRussa stack his rotation? As I've stated previously, Marquis should not pick up a baseball the rest of this season. Of course, that means Reyes starts Game 1 on normal rest. LaRussa has thrown the book out the window during these playoffs (see: Duncan pinch-hitting against Feliciano in Game 5), but he hasn't had his mind wiped. So I don't think so with Reyes. I foresee Jeff Weaver starting Game 1 on short rest, Carpenter Game 2 on short rest, Suppan Game 3 on regular rest, then possibly Reyes Game 4. Lines the rotation up nicely for the rest of the series.

Final thought on this most gratifying day. 24 years ago my brother entered the world, making it a much more interesting and enjoyable place. That fall the Cardinals won the World Series. This year the mini-Rant entered the world, making it a much more interesting and enjoyable place. This fall the Cardinals are in the World Series. Do I believe in coincidence? You bet I do.

Cards in 6. Carpenter WS MVP.

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