Gotta love this start

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”.

Really.

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A sad farewell to a helluva baller

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!

Really.

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I am sooooo ready for opening day

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

 

Really

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My take on Albert Pujols

I wanted to wait a day before chiming in on the whole Albert Pujols situation, and his leaving for “greener” pastures in LA.  See I believe that had I wrote this yesterday, my emotions would have gotten the better of me and I don’t want to be like that.  Am I still angry, disappointed, saddened that Albert Pujols chose the money over the loyalty, HECK YES! Am I going to burn his jersey and T-Shirt, HECK NO! First off we as Cardinals fans should be above that, but more importantly than that is the fact that Albert may still go into the HOF and that jersey will still have some value.  Tarnished, of course, but let’s say for argument sake he is only an Angel a few years and his career is cut short by injury (he does get hurt a lot), he may still have more years as a Cardinal and would most likely go into Cooperstown a Cardinal.  Not for certain but it’s possible.

So I wanted to just say my piece and be done with it.  To me, I bought into the whole “I love St. Louis, I love the fans, where else could I go and be in a winning organization and I have enough money”, and frankly it was a big fat lie!  I hear all the experts, I’m talking to you Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal, and the like who feels the organization disrespected Albert Pujols.  I get that he was not paid like the best player in the game, but I also get that the Cardinals stretched themselves to the limit to keep him here.  By the way kudos to the organization for not matching that rather assanine offer the Angels made.  They will regret that decision when Albert spends considerable time on the DL, or in decline.  They will realize that they acted, well rather rashly, and they will most definitely look back and go “what the hell did we do this for?”  I don’t believe that they will to go to as many World Series in Albert’s next 10 years, that Albert led the Cardinals too in his first 11.  There’s too much strength and parody in the American League, heck they are going to still struggle in their own division.  As of this writing the Rangers are still the team to beat in the American League West.  I would absolutely love it if the Rangers ponied up the money and landed Prince Fielder, that way Albert may not even be the best First Baseman in his own division in time.  So enjoy the King while he’s still the King, but remember the Cardinals got his best years.
As for the Cardinals, they will be just fine.  There’s a great quote from the book “The Tale of Two Cities” that says “The Needs of the Many, outweigh the needs of the Few, or the One”.  That statement can’t have any more meaning than in this case as the Many (The St Louis Cardinals team) didn’t bow down to the “needs” of the One (Pujols).  The Cardinals would have been handcuffed for years, and would not be able to financially compete down the road.  I, for one want to see that money spent to lock up guys like Wainwright, Freese, Molina, and other guys that were major contributors to the Cardinals success.  Hopefully Molina, will not follow his best buddy Pujols to LA, but if he does see ya!  I, trust in John Mozeliak to now concentrate his efforts in multiple players for the 2012 season.  I would have liked to seen the Cardinals go after Prince Fielder and just to rub salt in the wound give him number 5, but that was the emotions of yesterday talking. Today I’d like to see the Cardinals pursue the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Beltran or a Michael Cuddyer.  As for first base, the Cardinals have a proven All Star Calliber player there, his name is Lance Berkman.  I’d like to see them offer Berkman the opportunity to retire here as well to be honest.  The future is very bright, and yes, you can not replace an Albert Pujols.  But you certainly aren’t left with a bare cupboard, after all this team is a World Series Champion, and depending on where Prince Fielder lands should be a favorite going into next season, if nothing else to win the National League Central.
Now I want to address, all the so called “experts” who said Albert was crazy to turn down a 50 million dollar jump in pay (Cardinals offered 210 million, and the Angels offer was for 254 million).  By my math that is a 44 million dollar difference or 4.4 million a year over the life of his new contract.  Wasn’t it Albert Pujols himself who said that he’d be crazy to leave the St Louis Cardinals and their fans over 3-4 million dollars, he’s got money he said.  Well to all the experts, before you go running your pie holes, read that quote from 2009.
Do I want to be in St. Louis forever? Of course,” Pujols said.  “People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they’re jealous that we’re in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 or $4 more million a year? It’s not about the money. I already got my money. It’s about winning and that’s it”

Followed by this little gem:


It’s not about the money all the time,” the first baseman said. “It’s about being in a place to win and being in a position to win.  If the Cardinals are willing to do that and put a team (on the field) every year like they have, I’m going to try to work everything out to stay in this town. But if they’re not bringing championship caliber play every year, then it’s time for me to go somewhere else that I can win… When I signed my contract I was really happy with what I got.  When that time comes (for another contract) then we’re going to figure it out.



So that offer that he was foolish to turn down, in reality was a little bit more than what he said he’d not leave for, so shut up!  And even if the Cardinals offer was only 200 million, and the difference was 50 million, that’s 5 million a year more than the Cardinals offer.  So it’s 1 million more than what he was quoted about above.  I know we aren’t supposed to compare athletes to every day folks, but I’m going to anyway.  I’ll use this analogy, let’s say you’re at a job where you love the company.  You get along great with your co-workers, and your boss.  Heck, you’re so established you can get away with anything.  You can be sick and no one will question it. Your production can go down before you retire, but you have it so made in the company that no one would give you a hard time.  Let’s say that job paid 10.00 hourly, would you leave that job for a 12-13 dollar an hour job to move to a company, you’ve never worked for? In a community where you don’t know how you will be received, where you don’t know your bosses or co-workers?  Would you leave the company that stood by you, discovered your talents and paid you for them for a rival company just because they offered you 3 dollars an hour more? Think about that before you go saying that Albert did the right thing.  He absolutely did not, in my opinion.  

It was his right to see what was out there, and had the Cardinals not made him a fair competitive offer, I could see him going.  But to sit here and say that Albert is bitter and has a right to be because the organization didn’t move heaven and earth to cater to his ego, well that’s flat out incorrect.  Albert took the easy way, by taking the money and running but never hard as Albert only runs hard when he absolutely has to.

So LA Angels of Anaheim, you’ve got yourself one hell of a hitter and you should enjoy him while he is still one hell of a hitter.  But know this, it won’t last, you made a big time roll of the dice and you may end up shooting craps by the end of this contract.  How many players will have to eventually leave because of the salary prison you have sentenced yourselves too? 

As for the St Louis Cardinals, well they’ll be just fine Thank You.

Really
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2011 World Series 8 DVD set

This 8 DVD set can be yours! I have been authorized by the folks at A&E to give away one to one of my fellow Cardinals folks out there.  Unlike the World Series Film, I need you to reply in the blog and I will give you guys one week to reply and I will pick a response, at random so it’s not first in first wins.  You can also purchase this awesome set for yourself at the link below:

http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12179276&cp=2366583.2498437

No here’s your chance to win one for yourself! But this time again you will have to reply here.  Here’s what I want you to do to win.

The whole Albert Pujols to the Marlins thing is the talk of baseball right now.  So I want to know your thoughts.  But first mine:

Let me first say that I absolutely do not want Albert Pujols to take his talents to “South Beach” ala Lebron James.  But if Albert leaves for a 10 year, with ridiculous dollars I say thanks for the memories.  I do believe it will tarnish his image and there’s no way the Cardinals should ever even entertain the thought of retiring the number 5.  I do think that the “team” will do better in the long run than the “player”, and I think back to the quote from Tales of Two Cities, ” The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few, or the one”.  So the St. Louis Cardinals will be just fine.  This also gives Allen Craig the opportunity to shine as a full time player on this team.  This is only can be a good thing, as the Cardinals have Lance Berkman for one more year to man first base until Matt Adams makes his way to the big club, and Craig can play the outfield on a regular basis.  The fact of the matter is this, the St. Louis Cardinals will have a better opportunity for another World Series title than Albert will have in Miami.  Throw in the fact that the Marlins have already signed one “me” guy in Jose Reyes, and have another who is unwilling to change positions in Hanley Ramirez and you add Albert (who if he does go the Marlins, will come across as a “me” guy too).  You have the makings for a train wreck, or hey a new Soap Opera (As the Marlins Turn).  Now again, this is all speculation as I still hold out hope that at the end of the day, Albert Pujols will be a St. Louis Cardinal.  However, if he’s not the organization will be fine.  Oh and by the way, no way on Earth should the Cardinals give Albert a 10 year contract!  That is unless of course, it’s front loaded with monies for his career after he retires. I have no problem with that, but if Albert Pujols truly wants 10 years, then the Cardinals and I say BYE BYE.

Really

Again guys that link if you want to purchase the 8 DVD set is:

http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12179276&cp=2366583.2498437

But one of you will be getting one for free!  So respond and you have a week from today.

Really (yes you get a double really).

Posted in Albert Pujols, St Louis Cardinals, world series dvd | 2 Comments

2011 World Series DVD

Sorry it has taken me so long to write a blog, I won’t bore you with details.  Just to say that things are a little on the difficult side where I’m sitting and blogging has kind of taken a back seat.  Heck, I wasn’t very good at it anyway, I’m more of a talk about it on the radio person than a type about it person.  But I gave this a shot, it was fun, but again I just was not very good at it.

But, with that being said I did want to give three of you out there an awesome opportunity to win a 2011 World Series DVD, this includes the complete Game 5 of the NLDS.  Let me refresh your memory, uhm that was when our own bulldog Chris Carpenter out dueled Roy Halladay.  I remember saying, no way a 1-0 lead holds up against this team in this park.  And gladly I was proved wrong, as Carpenter was outstanding and sent the Cardinals not only to the NLCS, but to the World Series where he showed why when he hangs it up I think he’s a Hall Of Famer.  So you get to watch that game in it’s entirety.

The first disc is awesome! First off, the fact that Jon Hamm (Mad Men) is narrating is a treat.  The guy’s truly a fan, and his take on the whole thing is very good.  I like how it shows the Cardinals rough start (Pujols contract and Wainwright injuries as a start to what we all thought would be a long season.  But this production was totally awesome, and visually stunning.  This production has it all the ups and downs (Franklin/Colby), and the way this team started out, it is no wonder Cardinal Nation was worried.

But focusing on the positives, it shows the emergence of the NL Comeback Player of the Year in Lance Berkman and the emergence of the youth that picked up the load when the likes of Albert Pujols and Holliday were injured.  I’m speaking of course of David Freese, Jon Jay and of course Allen Craig.  The trade deadline deal that brought in the likes of Edwin Jackson and Rafael Furcal are nicely talked about.

But it has it’s adversity too, showing the struggles against the Brewers and the eventual sweep at the hands of the Dodgers that put the Cardinals at a double digit deficit with not a lot of time in the season.  I like the narratives of the players, their telling the story from the team’s perspective.  How a single team meeting after that sweep turned this team around.

The playoff footage is so professionally done, and I like how it includes the calls from Mike Shannon and John  Rooney over the video footage.  You know some or a lot of us had to endure the play by play and color analysis of those who in my opinion did not have the Cardinals best interest at heart.  But again this is not a negative post but a positive one.  Oh and how can we forget the “Rally Squirrel” footage, awesome that A&E put that in this disc.  By the way, major props to the staff at A&E, as this was so well orchestrated.  The slow motions of the rain drops, and towels in the stands is very nicely done.  I like how we all get to hear the words “Happy Flight” while watching this.  The close ups of Carpenter’s sliding effort to tag the base in Game One, and just how close he came to being injured.  If you didn’t know the results already, you’d be on the edge of your seat the whole time they covered the playoffs.  The way the Cardinals handled the “best team in baseball” in the Philadelphia Phillies, to how they handled the team that at one point tweeted the Cardinals would be “watching” them in the playoffs.  And of course the World Series footage, was very well done.  My hats off to Jon Hamm as his narration is very good from start to finish.  They even managed to get the interview with Tony that took place prior to Game 5 about the bull pen phones, in a word…classic.  The Albert Pujols 3 home run game is shown nicely, both live action and close ups.  Just everything about this DVD is worth watching.

I particularly loved how they treated Game 6, starting with the Freese at bat in the 11th and then going back in time with the whole “7 hours earlier”, just like a thriller.  And again if you didn’t know the Cardinals were going to win Game 6, the way it is portrayed you’d be nervous watching.  Heck, I knew the outcome but the way it’s narrated is so awesome, you actually feel like the Rangers were going to win and take the trophy back to Texas.  Game 6 will be a classic forever, and the way it was shown gives it that Hollywood feel. I love how they were able to get Joe Buck’s “See You Tomorrow” call in there.  It is only fitting that Joe Buck’s emulation of the late great Jack Buck’s call be put in this DVD.

And then the climactic Game 7, complete with the Craig home run, the final out, how Carpenter almost was pulled before going out for the 6th inning. It’s all captured very nicely, and the final part showing the celebration on the field. The trophy presentation, and you may even see yourselves if you were one of the lucky ones to be at Busch Stadium that night or at the subsequent parade.

This DVD is a total thumbs up, and I highly recommend you get it, if you can….which you can now.  I have been given the pleasure of giving three of these away to three readers.  Sort of my last act as a blogger, and so I’m going to make this very simple.

If you follow me on twitter @hitman6498 I want you to send me you’re Christmas wish and be creative.  I know what most if not all of you want.  I want Albert back too, I want the whole #12in12 to happen.  But come on put your creative hats on and wow me!  The three most creatives get the DVD mailed right to your doorstep.  So Cardinal Nation, its on you.

If you’re not fortunate enough to win it but want to get information on how to get it here is an excellent link:
http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12328342&cp=2366583.2498437

Really

Posted in 11in11, 12in12, St Louis Cardinals, world series, world series dvd | 1 Comment

What a ride it was!!!!

Oh man! First I gotta say that this has been a heck of a ride! And our 2011 St Louis Cardinals are CHAMPIONS AGAIN (11 IN 11)! The win over a very good Texas Rangers team, and mad respect to them to get to back to back World Series is a huge accomplishment.  Having said that, how awesome was this, all the experts said the Cards would lose in every series (Philadelphia, Milwaukee and now Texas) and yet on the podium the Champions of the Baseball World….your St Louis Cardinals!

There were alot of factors that came into play tonight, and the stars were aligned.  I can’t help but think about higher powers.  My late Mom who was born on August 25th, coincidentally when the Cardinals made that awesome run (10.5 back). And what a coincidence that FOX network kept running those Stand Up To Cancer commercials, and it was Cancer that took her.  I just can’t help think that there was alot of things going on here tonight.  And the team played so inspired in the last two months that I can’t help but sit here while I’m typing with a big old smile on my face! 

The future by the way is so bright folks, how can you not feel good with the likes of Allen Craig, David Freese, Chris Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Jason Motte, Fernando Salas, Jaime Garcia, Eduardo Sanchez, Lance Berkman, a healthy Adam Wainwright and yes Albert Pujols (I still say he’s coming back folks, where else will he go and have the opportunities he has as a member of the St Louis Cardinals).  I also want to tip my cap to the coaching staff (Tony LaRussa, Dave Duncan and for all the grief he took early on Mark McGwire), for their effort.  And of course Cardinals GM John Mozeliak who when he traded Colby Rasmus for Edwin Jackson, Octaviel Dotel and Mark Rzepczynski, took alot of heat.  I admit I was skeptical, and I thought at the time it was a bad move, and I will sit here and say for the record I WAS WRONG!

So here’s to a memorable 2011, and here’s to 12 in 12!
REALLY!
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