Monday, April 30, 2007

Wow. Like. Long Time

I'm far, FAR too busy for my own good.

But you don't care. That's irrelevant. That's not why you stopped by.

So, as I watch the Cardinals trail Jeff (Crespi Hi) Suppan 3-1 in the third, some thoughts:

(1) I hope to God they don't find alcohol or drugs in Josh Hancock's system. That would make a sad event much worse. What happened Sunday morning was horrific. Deadspin wrote a nice article, I thought, of a fan's perspective on the tragedy. This, coupled with LaRussa's DUI and Carpenter's elbow, make me very glad to see the end of April 2007.

In other news, I'm in an AL-only fantasy league for this year. This is my first experience with the Rotisserie Fantasy League dementia. So far, it's been somewhat all-consuming; my wife would call it 'Obsessive'. Had I been keeping up with my mandate to post twice a week, you'd know many if not all of my trials and tribulations in April; allow me to summarize some of the humorous ones (at least, in my mind):

1. My best three starting pitchers are Matsuzaka, Bonderman, and Garland. They've had 15 starts. Going into tonight, how many wins? 3. All Dice-K.
2. Garland lost a win when Bobby Jenks couldn't protect a 1-0 lead in Oakland. 2 weeks later, Garland lost a win when Aardsma lost a 5-3 lead at home against Detroit. Bonderman lost a win when Jones blew a 3-1 lead against KANSAS Freakin' CITY. Suffice it to say I'm dead last in my league in wins.
3. If it wasn't for Mike Maroth, I'd have 4 wins. Maroth, who I picked up as a free agend following the draft (because I was stupid and didn't draft enough pitchers), has 2 wins - and should have 3, but he couldn't get out of the 5th against Anaheim with a 5 run lead. Nice.
4. My best hitters so far: Victor Martinez (who got hurt because Cleveland was dumb enough to play their opener in a snowstorm), who has subsequently cooled off while trying to work through a quad injury; Posada (who I've traded away for pitching - C. C. Sabathia, to be exact); and Howie Kendrick (who's on the DL after being hit in the hand by a pitch).
5. Despite that, and the fact that Michael Young can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag right now, I'm 4th in the league in hitting. Thank you, Aaron Hill and Adam Lind. Also I'd like to congratulate Kenny Lofton for playing like a 26-year old (even though he's 39).
6. Johnathan Papel-boner is my closer. I laugh in the face of adversity.

I will keep updating this site with tidbits from my fantasy league, because I've found this (so far) much more compelling than the Cardinals.

Redbirds lost 8-1 in the end to Suppan, who went the route. Beaten Saturday by Marquis. Beaten today by Suppan. Why do I get the feeling that Jeff Weaver could string together 6 quality innings against this lineup?

Anyone else see the graphic where the OPS for Cardinal RF and CF is last and 27th in MLB, respectively? Kinda sums up their futility at the plate, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Different day, same result.

Mets 4, Cards 1.

Good news: Rolen Homered. Duncan threw out Valentin at the play (great play by Molina to get back and tag Valentin after Eckstein's relay tailed up the first base line).

Er, that's about it.

More errors. More non-clutch hitting with RISP. More outfield gaffes (this time Shumaker). And to add insult to injury, Chris Carpenter complained of elbow pain yesterday and will miss his next start. It's a good thing the team has a number of off-days this week; I'm not sure who would be tapped as the emergency starter by LaRussa.

Our hopes ride with Braden Looper to avoid the sweep tomorrow.

I know they're not going to go 0-162, but I'd like to get a win sooner rather than later.

Oh, and a note to the Cardinal management: concur with raising the world champs banner on opening day. I think, in hindsight, the ring ceremony could have waited until after the Mets left town. They really felt they were the better team last season; I'm SURE they were even more motivated to play well in this series after watching the Redbirds celebrate their championship on successive nights. Just an opinion.

Monday, April 02, 2007


U-gly. U-gly. Nah-nah-nah-NAH, nah U-gly.

What a way to start the year on national TV.

Observations from the 6-1 loss to New York:

- I like So Taguchi, but he didn't have a clue out there last night. Let 140-year old Moises Alou go first to third on a SINGLE to left-center. Did the best Reggie Sanders impression I've seen on Delgado's double off the wall. Gave up on a short fly ball to left that Eckstein had to flag down. Chris Duncan could not possibly have done any worse.

- Did anyone else get the sudden sick feeling Carp might be tipping his pitches - especially in the 2-5th innings?

- why, why, WHY did they decide to throw NOTORIOUS first-ball fastball hitter Alou a fastball on the first pitch in all 3 at bats Carp faced him? Results: single, screaming line drive that Edmonds flagged down, foul ball off the foot (at least that pitch rode in on him).

- They didn't hit this spring, and they aren't hitting (yet) now. 1-7 with RISP shouldn't surprise anyone.

- Can we just concede games that Glavine pitches to our opponent and move on?

On the bright side, Johnson and Flores pitched well, and Eckstein continues to chug along.

Thank God today's a day off.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Cardinals Preview

I have been remiss in my blogging duties. A lot has happened in the sportsworld over the past 2 weeks, and I won't bore you with trying to recap it here. However, a few points of order:

- Never bet on Kansas to win the NCAA tourney as long as Bill Self is the coach.

- The only thing better than Villanova making the tournament was watching North Carolina collapse at the end against Georgetown. I've not enjoyed a college basketball game as thoroughly as I enjoyed that one in a loong time. Although you can safely put me in the 'not a fan of Georgetown' camp, there are few teams in college basketball I despise as much as Duke and North Carolina (or the entire ACC for that matter).

- Yesterday's final 4 was singularly disappointing. The Final Four team I like least will play Ohio State for the national championship. As far as Florida's last opponent, UCLA: Howland is a pretty good coach, but how he could get schooled two years in a row is beyond me. In both games Afflalo was taken out of the game by Brewer (in yesterday's contest, the officiating didn't help much either). By midway through the second half, it appeared no one on UCLA wanted to take a shot.

- Joakim Noah wears his hair like Aurora at Pure Platinum. Also, he pushes off under the rim (and gets away with it) more than any big man in recent memory. If the refs from the OSU/G'Town game work FLA/UCLA instead, it may have been a very different outcome.

- I've entered a fantasy baseball league this season. I hope to do well, but since I (a) passed up Manny Ramirez to draft Ichiro, and (b) drafted Kiko Calero, I may end up in the cellar. This is why I picked the Browns as my team name: "First in booze, first in shoes, and LAST in the American League." Seemed appropriate.

2007 Cardinals predictions:
I feel like Bill Simmons - making predictions without doing any research. Will Leitch published a cute preview last week, but it was too much 'I'm so happy we won last year, this year doesn't matter' that it left me wanting. I am second to none in my glee at last season's result. But I think everyone is missing something about this season's team:

83 wins.

I really, really, REALLY believe that deep down in the psyche of this club, they will/are carrying this gigantic chip on their shoulder; all because the smart boys said they didn't deserve to be the champs because of their regular season record.

For crying out loud, Pujols still holds a grudge against the SCOUT that SIGNED HIM because his report allegedly said AP couldn't hit at the major league level.

Add to that, the consumate competitor in Chris Carpenter, a Scott Rolen eager to prove LaRussa wrong for benching him twice in September/October (and to regain his 2004 form), what I expect to be a monster year from Adam Wainwright, the resurrection of Ken Bottenfield (as Kip Wells this time).....the list goes on and on.

Competition in the division will be tougher this year, and the race will be much tighter. StL can't afford three 8 game losing streaks this year, or they'll finish out of the money. But this team will win more than 83 games. Write it down. Anything less than 90 would be a surprise to me.

Yes, this is a Cardinals website, first and foremost. Yes, I'm an unabashed fan for the birds on the bat. But these guys are competitors, and competitors don't just reach the Promised Land once and call it good.

Can't wait. Carp against Glavine in just under 3 hours. The first title defense in 24 years.

Go Cardinals.