I’ll never forget where I was when Bruce Sutter recorded that final strike out in the 1982 World Series. You see I had signed up and joined the United States Marine Corps and during the 1982 World Series I was in basic training in San Diego California. Now I did not see the final out live mind you, but I got to see the final out. Back then you all heard of VCR’s, well I was about to watch a training film in basic training on, well to be honest I don’t remember what. But what I do remember is that the tape was at the end of the tape, so when the Drill Instructor put the tape on rewind the TV went to live TV where they showed that final out! So here I am thousands of miles away and getting what we called “thrashed”. Thrashed meant exercised until we passed out from pain. So here was my platoon sitting in the “classroom” waiting for the tape to rewind. Remember how long those darned tapes took to rewind, well I do now. Because when the tape was rewinding and I saw that final out I yelled something somewhere along of the lines of “OH YEAH!” Well my drill instructor was not too keen on that so I was “thrashed” the entire time the tape was rewinding. It felt like forever! But it was worth every single, push up, sit up and what we called bends and thrusts (trust me those hurt!) So the tape finished rewinding and I got to sit and be trained again on what I can’t even remember. But I’ll never forget that feeling of both pain (from the exercises), and joy! The 1982 World Series Champions St. Louis Cardinals!
“You can’t depend on who you don’t have, depend on who you do have. The only person not in a Cardinals uniform that is truly missed is Dave Duncan.” Those words were delivered by Tony LaRussa during the Cardinals 5-1 victory Saturday over the Cubs. The one player that Tony did go out of his way to praise was one Yadier Molina, who on cue smacked a single then proceeded to steal second base (who saw that coming? raise your hands and be honest). Then scored on Matt Carpenter’s triple. This “team” continues to impress and now that the jitters of the home opener are out of the way, and that’s what I attribute yesteday’s 9-5 loss was, jitters. And even in defeat the Birds still showed they can score runs. Today was another example of the bats showing up, and that is without both David Freese and Lance Berkman both nursing injuries yet the Birds did still play long ball with Jon Jay’s 2nd home run of the season. Lance Lynn (2-0) got another victory in his stint as Chris Carpenter’s stand in, and the bullpen did their job. The crowd got a nice day weather wise, once the rain let up and were treated to a beautiful ring ceremony and a nice team performance. So a 6-3 start and still in first place, and a Sunday game that will be seen by all (Thank You AT&T and U-verse for working things out with Fox Sports Midwest). I look forward to seeing the game tomorrow and look forward to the second outing by Jake Westbrook. Here’s to another Cardinals victory.
For those of you that got to watch last night’s game between our St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds, I of course was not one of them as I am held prisoner of the AT&T/U-verse squabble with Fox Sports Midwest. Well for those of you that got to watch, you got to see the Cardinals break out more big sticks. Home runs by Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina helped in the 7-1 thumping of the Reds. The lone run by the Reds was unearned for winning pitcher Jake Westbrook, who looks every bit as good as he did in Spring Training. The trimmer Westbrook went 7 strong innings and after a bit of a rocky start with 4 BB and an error to get the win. The Cardinals bats look really good this early on into the 2012 season. It would be crazy to expect the bats to keep up this pace, but for now I think this team looks every bit better than the team that won the World Series. So game two tonight pits Kyle Lohse (1-0 2.23 era) takes on Reds starter Mike Leake, and for those that get to watch tonight I commend you. As an AT&T/U-verse subscriber I will be forced to see highlights on MLBNetwork and listen to Mike Shannon, not that that part is a bad thing. But still I’d like to actually “see” the game, but as long as the greed that is AT&T and their refusal to pay what Fox Sports Midwest wants exists. I am stuck like a lot of other Cardinals fans out there who are frustrated just like me.
Well we all knew that Chris Carpenter’s injury meant we would be without his services for an unknown amount of time, and as a fan of the Cardinals that worries me. But today my worries, for now anyway, are at ease. Enter Lance Lynn, who filled in for the Bulldog quite nicely.
Lynn’s numbers 6.2 ip 1 er, 8k’s and only one BB was enough to get the Cardinals (3-1) off to a good start in the Mike Matheny era. Lynn may not be the Bulldog, but for today he was the other bulldog. I like the vibe of this team, a team that is still very overlooked by the experts. Heck even in the 4 games I’ve heard Albert Pujols name more than Carlos Beltran, even though Beltran has 2 more home runs than Pujols (2 to 0) and has looked every bit worthy of the money the Cardinals wouldn’t have spent had they been handcuffed with that large contract. I look forward to the day that the Cardinals can go a full nine innings without mentioning #5 every inning.
And let’s hear it for the young guys, Shane Robinson, Matt Carpenter getting starts and looking very good out there. Robinson’s home run in the 9th, a 3 run shot that was his first career home run to boot. Not to take away from Tony LaRussa, but I don’t think he would have seen the plate this early in the season. Hats off to Mike Matheny for having faith enough in his young guys to help give guys like Berkman and Yadi a nicely deserved day off. Even though Yadi did come in late, it was still a nice change.
So this team, that many say can’t repeat are off to a 3-1 start having taken two of three from the Brewers, and are now off to Cincinnati where we get to see Jake Westbrook. If his Spring Training numbers are any indication, tomorrow night could be good. I think Cardinals Nation is in for a heckuva ride.
I have to say I gotta love this start! This team, the team that was supposed to struggle without #5 at first base and in the lineup, well in a word “didn’t”. They looked like the World Champions that they are. Today was sweet in the sense that not only did the Cardinals look great, slugging out home runs from Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina and David Freese…but they did it to the Milwaukee Brewers on their home opener. Coupled with good pitching, minus Kyle McClellan in the ninth, Jaime and the rest of the pen looked sharp. The defense looked solid and the “team” looked better than anyone expected including all the experts. And the great one who took his talents to Los Angeles can rest easy knowing the “team” he left behind is doing just fine. So it’s onto Game Three with Adam Wainwright making his much anticipated start after missing last year due to Tommy John surgery, and I for one expect a strong outing from Wainwright. And the Mike Matheny era has gotten off to a very nice start. I said it before, Albert is a great player but this is a very good “team”.
I usually blog about the St Louis Cardinals, for today I’m going to stray away from my Cardinals fan-dom to address my other love, and that is Purdue Boilermakers Basketball. It’s very sad that the Boilers came up short last night vs the 2nd seeded Kansas Jayhawks in the “third” round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament’s Midwest Region in Omaha, Nebraska. Hats off to Coach Matt Painter and his scrappy bunch of Boilers, led by three seniors (Lewis Jackson, Ryne Smith and Robbie Hummel) played, actually outplayed the favored Jayhawks for 38 minutes of 40. But unfortunately it takes 40 minutes to play a College Basketball game and the Jayhawks mounted a slow and steady comeback last night in what I would say is safe to say was more of a home game for Kansas than Purdue. The crowd was very much pro Jayhawk, with the sparse chants of “Boiler Up” to be heard. The Boilermakers made me and all of Purdue Nation proud and I have a heavy heart especially for Robbie Hummel. Robbie took the team on his shoulder last night scoring 26 points and getting 9 rebounds and 3 assists, while matching up with Kansas standout Thomas Robinson who was frustrated by Robbie and the Boilermakers defense was held to only 11 points. I feel bad for Hummel, however because of all the kid has been through. He has had two knee surgeries, a broken back and now a broken heart. Left behind to red shirt and see former Purdue seniors JuJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore leave after last year in what should have been a swan song of three, not two only to see everything end with a failed 3 point effort by Ryne Smith was heart breaking to see. To see a player so composed, hold off tears at the end makes it hard to write this today. As a loyal Purdue fan, I want to encourage those that have a say to retire Robbie’s number at the start of next year. I really hope that some NBA team takes a shot on Robbie, if for nothing else the leadership he’ll bring as well as a sweet shot and the heart of a competitor. To you, Robbie Hummel I say farewell you were a helluva player….Boiler Up!
Guys I finally got to watch my first spring training game today as I watched our WORLD SERIES CHAMPION St Louis Cardinals take on the Tigers. A few thoughts came to mind, first off it was damn good to hear the Fox Sports Midwest guys, and I’m so happy for Dan McLaughlin’s recovery. I’m praying that he is successful and has learned from the adversities he’s been through. Secondly, how about MATT HOLIDAY! Two days, two bombs, and I mean bombs. I had to step back after the whole departure of he who shall be an Angel for the rest of his career, may it crash and burn so I can say the Cardinals got the best he had. But like the Ray Vinson commercial said it, “nothing lasts forever”, and it’s time to move on. With April 4th, just around the corner, I am more and more excited. Jaime Garcia still shows me that he needs to learn to overcome adversity, but I have faith in him. Thank God we have Yadi, because Bryan Anderson scares me when he’s behind the dish, two past balls today and when I saw the slow mo of both realize he should have gotten both of them. Again, Thank You Mo for locking up Yadi for the next five years. Today’s game was not a true indication, as we have yet to see the lineup we will see come the regular season, so I take solace in today’s 10-3 loss that it was “just an exhibition” nothing more, nothing less. I grow more encouraged at the progress of Chris Carpenter, and knowing what a bulldog that he is expect him to avoid the DL. I am worried about Skip, but I am actually liking what I see out of one Tyler Greene. Possibly with Mike Matheny at the helm, he will flourish and not have to look over his shoulder if he struggles. So Cardinals fans, here’s to it, 2012 time to defend the title….12 in 12