How did you guess the Cards would get past the Nats?
The Tigers and Cardinals have a history and that history refuses to be delayed by something as simple as the Washington Nationals. Now, a Nationals team with Stephen Strasburg taking the ball in games 1 and 5, that could have been a different story. But as we all know, Strasburg wasn’t there and the Nats couldn’t make a 6-0 lead hold up in game 5. On top of that, the Cards got a huge boost with the successful return of Chris Carpenter.
So, let’s do the math. The Cards add Carpenter while the Nats subtract Strasburg. If the old adage that “Pitching wins championships” is true, then the Nats never had a chance. And the facts bear this out.
Now, to be fair, none of this entered my thought processes while making my predictions. I didn’t sit down and draw out the strengths and weaknesses of the teams or look at the probable pitching match-ups. That wasn’t necessary.
Here’s the thing: The Nats are a young team with a bunch of stars and they’ll be back. They have a great bullpen (despite Storen’s meltdown in Game 5) and with pitchers like Zimmerman and Strasburg along with stars like Harper, they have a bright future. The Cards, though, they’ve been here before and they know how to deal with the pressure. On top of that, they barely even made it in and without a lucky in-field fly-rule call during the play-in, they probably wouldn’t even be here. Since no one expects them to do much, despite being the defending champions, there’s very little pressure. They have nothing to lose.
But let me get back to my original point. This wasn’t some sort of lucky guess. This is destiny. The Tigers and Cards have a date in the World Series and it’s an encounter that promises to divide the RSBS team. We’ll see you there.
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My dubious and oft out of touch with the public colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, shocked the baseball-politico world on Monday when he compared his beloved Detroit Tigers to the stiff stylings of Mitt Romney. Now, lining one’s self up with the far right fed Tea Party and Christian Coalition is one thing, but talking out of one’s posterior in a public forum is another.
Mr. Krause said:
The Cardinals are playing with a ragtag team and no longer have master strategist La Russa at the reigns.
Ragtag? RAG? TAG?
What’s so ragtag about being World Champions? What’s ragtag about Holliday? Freese? Molina?
Carlos Beltran? Allen Craig? Chris Carpenter?
WHAT IS THIS RAGTAG YOU SPEAK OF, MR. KRAUSE?!?
The only thing “ragtag” about your REIGNING… WORLD… CHAMPIONS… is that they might play this before each game:
Oh, wait. That’s ragTIME.
Like it’s time to grab a rag and wipe up the locquacious mess left by my colleague.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Superstition is not something I find myself drawn to ordinarily; however, certain recent circumstances have led me to question even my own staunch stance in reality. On Saturday, while witnessing Anibal Sanchez’s no-hit bid against the lowly Indians, I thought to myself, surely my obstinate and beleaguered colleague, Mr. Krause, is enjoying this little bit of history-in-the-making.
To be sure, I sent him a simple (non-superstitious text) that read: You know what’s happening right now, don’t you?
Unfortunately, as the baseball gods shook their invisible heads in shame, Mr. Krause responded with a phone call, to ask me what I was talking about, and as soon as I answered the phone, Carlos Santana drove a deep drive over Austin Jackson’s head and the drama was dead.
Good job, Mr. Krause. Seems to be quite the formula for the Tigers this season: flashes of brilliance followed by complete disappointment. How long will the White Sox stay ahead of the Tigers? Until the end of the season. That’s how I see it.
As for me and my Cardinal fanatic family, sure we’ve been victimized by the same sort of blasé play lately; but never fear… our SAVIOR will be HERE… FRIDAY.
Hate me ‘cuz it’s Monday, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Hard for me to find any words to say this morning; but I will say that last night’s NLDS Game 5 between the Cardinals and Phillies was… well… one of the best games I’ve ever seen. I tip my cap to the Phils, but today is a good day to be a Redbird.
How has your relationship with Nyjer Morgan suffered after his attack on Albert’s manhood?
Well it’s about time! Seriously, I was wondering when someone was going to call me out on the conflicting interests of my Nyjer Morgan man-crush. As if publicly rooting for a Brewer wasn’t enough, I had to go and pick the looniest one of the lot, the one who called my team’s future Hall of Fame first baseman “Alberta” Pujols.
My initial reaction to Nyjer jawing at Chris Carpenter in the game that led to the maniacal tweet in question was: Okay, that’s enough, Nyjer. Yapping at your opponent is one thing — one thing Nyjer does quite well and usually within the boundaries of what is considered acceptable in baseball — but he was strutting and yelling “F*** you, p****!” to Carp, a man who could crush Nyjer with his stare if he wanted to. Watching that strange exchange was akin to the feeling one gets when his dog starts sniffing the butts of other dogs at the park: somewhat embarrassing, but also totally natural.
Nyjer is crazy. And that’s why I like him.
He’s… different. He’s a showman. A wild gunslinger. A loose cannon.
He’s also quite talented and completely entrenched in winning. The man wants to win (are you getting this, K-Rod???). Nyjer has more energy in his pinky finger than most Major League squads put together. But along with that fiery and insatiable appetite for winning comes a handful of bad decisions. We saw it last year as he beat his chest while being physically removed from Sun Life Stadium. We saw it when he slammed his mitt into the ground after missing a ball over his head, a ball that stayed in play and rolled around while he pouted. And we saw it on September 7th when he almost got his @$$ handed to him by an angry Cardinals mob.
Do I like that he does that sort of thing? No. But that’s who he is, and let’s be honest, he makes the game interesting. He makes it spark. He is the Dennis Rodman of Major League Baseball; and as long as his numbers back up his jawing, as long as he puts winning above all else, I think he makes baseball better and immensely more entertaining.
Calling Albert names? Our rivals have been calling Albert names for over ten years now. So what?
Words, words, words.
When Nyjer takes a swing at him, that’s when I will have had enough. But not even Nyjer is stupid enough to do that. Albert would DESTROY him like he’s been destroying Brewer pitching (.329 lifetime against the Crew).
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right. And you know it.
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Ask anyone from my parents’ generation where they were and what they were doing when President Kennedy was assassinated, when the Beatles invaded America or when they first saw Jacqueline Bisset in a wet t-shirt, and chances are he or she will be able to recall every, single, little detail.
Unfortunately, February 23, 2011 will be that day for me: the day Waino went down for the season — a seemingly unerasable stain on the psyche of a bonafide baseball beserker (me, duh).
Booze was consumed, things were broken, neighbors were frightened.
But that’s over now. I got it all out of my system. And just as in dealing with any other tragic situation, I allowed myself to grieve. But now it’s time to man-up and put things in perspective.
We are still talking about the St. Louis friggin’ Cardinals here. And while we may not have him locked up long-term, we do have the greatest single baseball player of the last quarter century headlining our team, every single day in Albert Pujols.
We still have an ace in Chris Carpenter. We still have AP protection in Matt Holliday. We still have running-game assassin extraordinaire Yadi Molina behind the plate.
And we have the winningest active manager in the game leading them all in Tony LaRussa.
Ain’t no reason to cry, fellow Redbirds fans. The NL Central climate may have changed; we probably don’t line up to run away with the division now, but we have every reason to watch every game and feel really damn good about it.
Rally the troops.
This is war.
Haters g’on hate.
Hate me. Fine. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(Image courtesy of Eff Yeah Baseball Gifs)
Um… okay. So this is what happens when Brendan Ryan becomes better known for a poorly marketed pornstache than his actual comeuppance as an everyday St. Louis Cardinals shortstop. Oh, wait. No comeuppance? He sucks? My bad.
Which is sorta why I haven’t really said much this offseason about my dearly beloved Redbirds. What’ s there to say? Jake Westbrook signed? Okay. Cool. We traded Blake Hawksworth for Ryan Theriot? M’kay… nice. I guess. Can we guarantee that Skip Schumaker won’t take another step backwards? How about facing the fact that closer Ryan Franklin really ain’t cut out to be a closer? And then…???
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I still haven’t really gotten over the crapfest that was the second half of the 2010 season. No one likes a sore loser, but goddamn it if I ain’t still sore as hell! Matt Holliday, Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter… YADIER MOLINA.
Friends, Romans, Cubs fans… those names command a division title.
And that’s what I want. At the very least, we ought to be slaying the Reds, the Cubs and whatever other foe floats carelessly towards the top.
Does Ryan Theriot magically make that happen? Uh… no. In fact, as a hitter, Baseball Reference has Theriot matched up with the likes of Aaron Miles, Jason Bartlett and former St. Louis Brown, Ernie Johnson. And while Bartlett had one good year, let’s not get too excited over these comparisons; ‘cuz frankly, there’s little that breeds excitement.
Yes, maybe Theriot will solve the leadoff problem that has crippled the Cardinals in recent years. Then again, he probably won’t. He’s gotta beat out Brendo and Skippy for a job first, which for us anticipating fans, is sorta like having to vote from a pool of John Kerry, George W. Bush and a bowl of potato salad.
Which one is the bowl of potato salad? I’ll leave that up to you.
Hate me ‘cuz I’m still bitter, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Tony LaRussa will be back at the Cardinals’ helm in 2011.
I’m happy about that. I’m just as happy about that as I am happy that I still have all my teeth. And believe me, I like having all my teeth.
But I think I’m in the majority of Cardinals fans who really is over the glamour (if you can call it that) associated with Tony LaRussa. Is he a fantastic manager? Indeed. Is he one of the best ever in the history of the game? You bet. But… Mr. LaRussa, what on earth have you done for me lately?
Not that much. Unless, of course, you consider alienating our number one prospect doing something productive.
Look, y’all, it is not my intent to get all privileged and Yankeefied here, to whine about continued success and be an annoying voice of nag; because I know what it feels like to lose. I’m not seeing this for something it’s not. But let’s face it: a team that features both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the lineup and Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in the starting rotation, must be in the playoffs.
2011 is an all-in year for the Cards. They better throw every dollar, every asset, every rosin bag in to winning the whole damn thing.
Anything less will be a complete failure — and probably the last of TLR’s tenure with St. Louis.
Go ahead. Hate me. I don’t care. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
So, it looks like we’ll watch the playoffs from the sidelines this year
since both of our teams decided to nosedive in the second half. Which
teams’ failure is the most discouraging, though, the Tigers or the
A clever move from my sinister and oft pejorative colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, inserting himself into the Filibuster box by stuffing it with this one question, over and over and over again. I guess some part of Mr. Krause is looking for sympathy in the wake of yet another disappointing season in Detroit; because anyone with any sort of baseball awareness knows that the greater discouragement between these two teams most assuredly belongs to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hell, up to a few weeks ago we were all buzzing about how the Cards could just mail it in for the NL Central title. How could they not?!? A team anchored by two of the best pitchers in the game (Wainwright, Carpenter), flanked by serious ROY candidate Jaime Garcia, a solid Jake Westbrook… and I haven’t even gotten to the offense centered around Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday… a team like this… it screams playoffs.
So how is it that they are dead?
Lack of motivation. Sense of entitlement. Clubhouse squabbling. Streakiness. The absence of a clear, dominating, team leader.
Really, that’s what it comes down to.
Meanwhile, the 2010 edition of the Tigers never had a chance to begin with. Outside of Justin Verlander (who struggled early on), their pitching was a complete mess (Dontrelle Willis anyone?). They started two rookies in Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore… and at the very last minute they signed a less-than-stellar Johnny Damon to… well, to do what, I don’t really know. His non-impact did the talking. Or not. Depending on how you look at it.
So, Mr. Krause, of course the Cardinals’ 2010 fail remains more epic (as the kids iz sayin’) than your disastrous Detroit Tigers, who are apt to see Jimmy Leyland walk away after the season, so that he can spend more quality time smoking… and… smoking.
But not all hope is lost for the RSBS universe. The Rays and Rangers look like fun teams to root for in the postseason, and let us not forget… Mr. Krause still has a horse in this race:
Hate me ‘cuz I got people who can extract sensitive information, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****
Something on your mind? Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not together, eww)? Think you got a real stumper? Send us your Filibuster question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Pics of Mr. Krause declaring his love for Albert Pujols & Co. also welcome. I have a hunch…
What are your thoughts on Chris Carpenter? Do you take it all as “intensely passionate” or just a good ol’ jerk?
Underneath the Halo
I don’t care much for St. Louis. You could put me pretty firmly in the Brandon Phillips camp on this one and my feelings toward the Cardinals’ organization. I didn’t like Tony LaRussa when he managed the A’s and I don’t like him now. I could care less about Albert Pujols and Alfred Molina. I mean Bengie Molina. Damn. Yadier. I don’t like the Cardinals.
But I do enjoy seeing guys get fired up and making themselves heard. I grew up watching Bob Probert enforce for the Red Wings (I’m guessing he’s also not a big fan of St. Louis based on his interactions with Tie Domi) and the day that Bill Laimbeer and his elbows gave way to Michael and the beautiful game was a sad day for all Michiganders.
So I respect Carpenter going into the fracas and deciding to own it. Sure, he may have been overshadowed by Cueto’s karate kicks and the managers’ ejections. But only one man truly owned this rumble and that man is Chris Carpenter. Without him, it’s just a bunch of guys jawing at each other. He took it to that next level, the level where bad blood becomes real blood and a true rivalry comes into existence.
And, quite honestly, baseball is better for it. Rivalries create storylines and storylines sell tickets. Add a little fisticuffs into the mix and you’ve got magic.
Let’s not get too excited here, though. My respect for Carpenter is finite and in no way extends to the rest of his team. After all, like Phillips already pointed out, they are “little b!tches, all of ’em.”
Photo courtesy of Yahoo!Sports