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yearly farm visit

Folks, it’s time for the yearly vacation review. This year’s vacation was much shorter than last and involved real baseball instead of that old cousin, cricket. Long story short, the holiday weekend featured wineries and AAA Redbirds, a fantastic weekend for just about any Cardinals fan of legal drinking age.

Being an away game in Omaha, there were some interesting aspects to the game.

  • Driving past the stadium, everyone was wearing royal blue. WTF? No Sea of Red? Is this going to be like the Bloods going into Crips territory?
  • Omaha people were pretty nice, one fan even said “You Cardinals fans have a good night, ya hear?” on the way out from the game. We took some razzing from the beer vendor, but we dished it right back out. In retrospect, seven against one probably wasn’t too fair, but hey. He started it.
  • Speaking of beer, the only one on tap was Miller. Again, WTF? Coors and Bud Light were available in super cans, but only from the roaming beer vendor and one stand that I spotted.
  • Our party of six was the only group identifying themselves as Redbird-affiliated. Only one other Cardinals fan was spotted (and summarily joined our group, taking advantage of the open seats in front of us); any other people wearing red appeared to be moms who accidentally wore the opposition’s color.
  • Rooting against the Omaha Royals was natural, as they were wearing blue.
  • We sat six rows behind the Redbirds’ dugout. I can pretty much guarantee you I’ll never get to do that at Busch Stadium. And if I do, you’ll have to pry my cold, dead body out of the seat at the end of the game.
  • We estimated the attendance to be 4,000-4,500. Rosenblatt was like a library compared to Busch. I could have made phone calls and heard every word instead of using “HEY I’M AT THE GAME YOU KNOW I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I’LL TALK TO YOU LATER”. It also turns out that when you yell praise and insults, everybody hears every word that you say.
  • It also turns out that when a player argues with an umpire, you can also hear every word they say. Sadly, no magic words were uttered and someday I hope to witness them in action (for a very good reason, of course), but our party strained our ears and watched gleefully as a Royal argued in vain and tried again later on.
  • We stood up and cheered loudly for the baby birds-on-bat at the end of the bottom of each inning. Memphis players walked back to the dugout with their heads down, avoiding eye contact, as if to say “Dear God, I swear I don’t know these people.” It wasn’t even that bad of a game, at least not in the beginning. I think they aren’t used to having legitimate fans at away games.
  • Upon a Memphis pitcher issuing a walk: *haunting music* “Boo… Walks will haunt you” positioned next to a ghost on the jumbotron. Classic. Sad to say, I saw that one a few too many times.
  • Ok, who knows the book Pajama Time? Jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma jamma PJ!! P.J. Walters started the game and went six, allowing four runs (two earned) with four or five strikeouts, only to have a Flores blow the game. Truly, it was just like a major league game.
  • Some old guy in front of me tried to convince me that Yasuhiko Yabuta is Korean. I don’t think you need to look up his profile or a press release to know he’s Japanese. Obviously, he is not familiar with me or many other 24 year old girlies who know their baseball.
  • No appearances by Joe Mather, Colby Rasmus, Anthony Reyes, Matt Clement, or Brad Thompson. We did get to see plenty of Uncle Rico [Washington] and Nick Stavinoha. Is it bad that I kind of wish Mulder and Izzy were hanging out in AAA for another couple weeks?
  • Good times were had by all, minus the Redbirds loss, but the fireworks were really cool and the tickets were dirt cheap. I plan a return visit if possible.

It breaks my cold, black heart to see Jimmy E do the same things for the Cubs that made him hated by the same people while wearing the birds on bat. Two of three RBIs for the Cubbies today, on a sac fly and solo home run. Damn Cubs.

six hundred

I’m not sure what to say about this, but I feel like it’s appropriate to mark Grif’s 600th. He’s been one of the more respectable guys in baseball, even when he does fling jocks at fans. Congratulations, Ken, and wishes for many more homers against the Cubs and not the Cardinals.

awkward turtle time

Look, I don’t want to call an end to the season, but I have to point out that our pitching staff that looked so promising is turning into an awkward turtle. For the non-college aged out there, the awkward turtle is a hand motion that symbolizes a turtle lying on its back and wriggling its legs about in an effort to right itself. How often does the turtle succeed? Not often; assistance from a higher being is often required. [Potentially offensive blonde joke of the day: What's the similarity between a blonde and a turtle? Once they're on their back, they're screwed!]

So, what’s making our pitchers into an awkward turtle? Starting from the beginning…

Mark Mulder: What hasn’t been said already could maybe fill a thimble. The guy is trying to find an arm angle that works for him so that he can give pitching in the big leagues another try. This isn’t so much ‘awkward turtle’ as ‘bloated armadillo’, but tradition dictates that it goes on the list.

Chris Carpenter: I have a feeling we’ll see him before the season ends even if we aren’t depending on him for a playoff push. If nothing else, we’ll want to see how he pitches to big league hitters so that we know what he has to improve upon for the next spring training. However, having your team’s ace/Cy Young winner on the DL for a couple years is kind of a crippling blow to the team.

Matt Clement: Uh… yeah. “Diminished shoulder strength” isn’t exactly on the list of terms you’d like to hear used to describe your team’s projected number two starter who is recovering from throwing shoulder surgery.

Jason Isringhausen: The coaches seem to think he’s coming back whenever he feels like it. I’m not so sure how that’s going to work out. We all knew he was out for his head and not his hand, but I’d like to see him come back for seven saves. However, it’s hard for a closer to come back from a serious blow to confidence. It took Brad Lidge what, a year to allay concerns about his ability? I don’t think Izzy has the luxury of time.

Joel Piniero: Strained groin, heh heh. This athlete injury makes me chuckle just less than “anal fissure” and “twisted testicle”. Anyway, if he can stay away from Hrabosky’s he might heal up, but he’s got to start lasting more than five innings or we’ll be adding more bullpen arms to the list of casualties.

Todd Wellemeyer: The Colonel, NL Pitcher of the Month for May. Not bad for someone kicked off the Royals. Currently experiencing swelling in his right elbow. Choose your own obscenity. This vaguely reminds me of the beginning of the 2007 season when Chris Carpenter experienced swelling in his right elbow and might have his next start delayed or miss his next start.

Adam Wainwright: Respectable fill-in ace making a case for himself as legitimate ace. Felt a pop in his middle finger while throwing to Astro Darin Erstad and left the game with a 2-2 count. The official word is that he has a strain, but it sounds a little more like torn connective tissue to me. Ouch. Not good for a pitcher. Even worse for the pitching staff, eh?

So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my Effexor and try to get through this episode of As the Pitching Falls Apart with the rest of y’all.

still makes me sick

It still makes me sick to see Jimmy in a Cubs uniform. It just doesn’t look right. You know how your mom looks during your lifetime? That’s kind of like Jimmy in a Cardinals uniform. It’s what you know, and you’ve known it for so long that it’s normal. But then you discover pictures of her in high school/college and although you see the resemblance, it’s way different. Compare to JEd in Angels threads. But then yo’ momma goes and gets a hell of a lot of work done (cheaply, likely in Mexico) and you’re like WTF? This is not right.

That’s pretty much how I feel about seeing Edmonds in Cubbie pinstripes: WTF? This is not right.

Chicago seems dissatisfied with him thus far; he may have gotten applauded in his first PA, but apparently he was booed by the end of the game. As of now, he’s 2 for 15, which is worse than what the team was getting from Pie (Jesu); not only that, but development of Pie would be more beneficial to the team in the long-term than riding a declining veteran as he fades into the sunset. This would be similar to the conversations that our fans have held over the past season or two — go with the kids who will improve and be available long-term instead of relying on the vets who are falling apart and likely to be available only a short time more.

How long will Jimmy continue to be a baby bear? Who knows. Piniella urged him to start hitting, or else, (and wasn’t so optimistic about when the hits will come) so between that and the fact that he is but a shell of what he used to be, I doubt he would be with the team past June.

When he is done with the Cubs, then what? Again, who knows. Er, Bo Knows. Anyway, I wouldn’t mind if the Cardinals signed him. Not to actually pay him to play and send a kid to the bus leagues, mind you, but sign him for a day so he can sign his retirement papers with us. He may not think his time is done and I’m sure it’s hard for a player to accept that the time for doing what you love has passed, but frankly, his time is done. His health doesn’t allow for him to produce like he used to and production is far exceeded by the young’uns; it’s time for him to move on. He can go hang out with Matty Mo and swap DK stories over drinks. Take up knitting (just for the record, I teach, Jim, in case you’re interested comma comma comma). Play chess. Spend time with your kids. Whatever.

I wish he could have played his last game ever while wearing the birds on bat, but the probability of that seems just about next to the chances of a snowball in hell. The next best thing is to ceremonially sign him and retire. Besides, it would be a good move for business. Ain’t no way in hell St. Louis fans will go to the restaurant of a man who retired as a Cub.

The All-Star Break is coming! It will be here before Mulder and Clement… er… I mean.. before you know it. Yeah. As you may be aware, the rosters are mostly fan-selected and tend to be packed with players from densely populated, prominent areas [blatantly favored by ESPN/FOX] like New York and Boston. Seeing as the ASG will be played in Yankee Stadium, I’m certain this year will be no different; I propose that we counteract these fans and get some of our boys on the roster.

I’m not saying the Cardinals need to make up the starting nine; Cesar Izturis has no business being an All-Star selection unless all other shortstops in the league are mysteriously abducted by aliens. However, I think Yadi has always been overlooked for catcher voting not only for the All-Star team but also for Gold Gloves; as far as I’m concerned, this needs to be rectified. Then there’s this other kid on the team who kind of made a big splash on his first and second major league debuts… I think an All-Star selection would be fitting for him.

Rickrolling the Mets as retribution for ballot box stuffing (at least in my mind) went lovely except for the fact that they didn’t continue the song all year, so we’ll have to settle for stuffing the All-Star ballot box to show the northeasterners who’s boss. You can go down to the stadium to snatch all of their ballots and literally stuff the ballot box, but that 1) kills trees and 2) requires a lot of effort. If you’re a mouse-clicking voter, you can legally vote 25 times per email address. You can vote every day if you are so behooved. You can also check out this handy site if you need another email address.

You do whatever, but part of my Yadi-Ankiel voting campaign is also to vote for guys who are worthy but unlikely to make the team. So I wouldn’t vote for Jose Vidro or David Ortiz as AL DH, but Garret Anderson might get some of my 25 votes. Of course, I’ll still vote for Ickle Davey Eckstein for AL SS.

no title needed

What a rare treasure.

He may be sharp as usual, but I can tell from his voice his health is fading (he’s pushing 90, wtf do you expect?) and how sad the day will be when Stan is no longer with us. In the meantime, we’ll honor him and appreciate him for as long as he’s with us… and then some.

Happy Stan Musial Day, everybody.

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