Major League suits are set to invade US America‘s baseball-less Indianapolis this week… and they all have one singular goal: move that paper.
For those of you dear readers who respond better to visual metaphors, here’s one for ya: John Mozeliak (Ernie), Kermit (Peter Gammons), Cashman and Epstein (the Yip-Yips), and many more are all gittin’ down to ante up:
*Strong language may not be suitable for children unless your kids are related to Busta Rhymes in which case this type of language is as common around the house as naked women and blunts for breakfast*
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Wow. And somehow I thought I was the only one who spoke in cryptic non sequiturs. Since that is obviously not the case, let me go ahead and assume that the “it” in this curious question must be that big Prince Fielder-like elephant in the room — that thing that I have avoided all season long, that embarrassing premonition that makes me, well, makes me look like a fool…
Because it is no lie that before the 2009 season even started, I had written off the Cardinals’ chances of competing all together. Due to the stagnant off season — an off season where General Manager John Mozeliak did very little except to add a few journeymen relievers and a .220 hitting Jeff Spicoli lookalike shortstop — I was sure that the Redbirds were destined for the bottom of the NL Central.
Oh how I overlooked the perennial abomination that is the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Still, after watching the St. Louis bullpen blow nearly 30 late inning leads in 2008, how was I to expect that they would somehow find a way to be this good this quickly? I am simply a man of reason and reason said to make other plans for October. And now, as we sit atop the NL Central at 61-51, clearly the front-runners in the division despite the Cubs’ second half surge, I think it is time for me to do something that is rarely ever necessary:
I must admit that maybe… just maybe… I was wrong.
Indeed, Mike in Montgomery, TX, “it” is my disdainful pessimism for my favorite baseball team and it can only be cured by them performing well — from here til the end.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
(*Man in pain image courtesy of All About Alcoholism — don’t ask)
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Julio Lugo scares me. He’s the guy who walks up to you in a crowded room and sticks a knife between your ribs not because you did anything or because you deserved it but just because it seemed like the right thing to do. You can see it in his eyes.
But there is one thing I love about Julio Lugo. And that one thing is the fact that he now plays for the Cardinals and I know that this is having the same effect on Jeff as some Tijuana tap water. His intestines are forming such interesting knots at this point that he probably qualifies for some sort of merit badge.
The only other way I think you can understand how Jeff feels right now would be to imagine that you’re Jack Nicholson in the early 90’s and, as you come out of your drug and alcohol addled haze one morning, you read that the Lakers have decided to bring Bill Laimbeer on board. Jeff inhabits the same land right now.
Now, I’m not going to judge this move one way or the other. The Cardinals got a deal in that they needed a backup at shortstop and the Red Sox are picking up most of Lugo’s salary. And even though there’s no denying that he was a liability in the field and an ever increasing liability at the plate as well, everyone says that Duncan was loved in the clubhouse. So, maybe it is a fair trade. However, the upside on the “pissing Jeff off quotient” is out of this world so I am fully in favor and hope that John Mozeliak will stay the Cardinals GM forever.
So, happy Thursday to everyone out there and let me remind you one more time, just in case you forgot, that Jesus Hates the Cubs.
If you are a Cardinal fan and you read Will Leitch’s Deadspin column this week and you are like me then you, too, are probably well into your fourth fifth of Jack Daniels. You’ve called your mother balling like a baby, the cops have been to your house twice and you have a large welt on the inside part of your leg, you don’t know how or when it got there.
No, sir. The world just doesn’t seem the same anymore.
For those of you dear readers unaware, to summarize, Leitch made a strong point that the Cardinals’ franchise player — the face, the rock, the lone savior of St. Louis — Albert Pujols, may not be as married to the organization as we all think he is, that if the Cardinals aren’t committed to winning (as they appear now), that if Tony LaRussa isn’t around, that if GM John Mozeliak and his army of “stat zombies” (thanks, Prince) decide to continue on the Moneyball route and take for granted that Albert will sit around, silent, simply collecting a paycheck, then it is not fair to assume he will stay with the franchise once his contract ends in 2011.
It’s not fair.
I do not have to tell you how important Albert is to St. Louis Cardinals baseball because Albert is St. Louis Cardinals baseball. The loss of Pujols would be akin to the loss of Franz Ferdinand… or worse! It’d be John Lennon, Jack Kennedy and Aaliyah all dying on the same day! Seriously.
One of the joys from the past few seasons has been watching Yadier Molina develop into a feisty, competitive, smart and affective baseballer. He hits for average, has power, steals bases, always has his head in the game and you can’t find a better defensive catcher. You also cannot listen to a Cardinals broadcast these days without hearing how essential Albert Pujols has been in Yadi’s development. You see them together in the dugout, talking hitting, talking defense, then Yadi goes out produces. It’s a real thing of beauty.
Yet if you listen to Will Leitch’s warning shots and recognize the clear and present danger of losing Albert, then you really have to think about losing Yadi too. His contract is also up in 2011 with a club option for 2012 and if Mozeliak & Co. don’t convince Albert to stick around, you can bet that Molina will be right behind him.
Thinking about all of this makes me want to die. If I feel that way, if Cardinal fans feel that way, if the blogosphere feels that way, then why does John Mozeliak — the pompous king of arrogance — continue to look down upon us — the common voice — like plebeian s***-eaters who know nothing about the game of baseball?
I guess now is the time to start praying to the baseball gods. I just hope they know more about satisfying their fanbase than Mozeliak.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
I am looking for a reason not to hate John Mozeliak; the Cardinals hodge-podge yet surprisingly effective pitching staff has given me hope (so far).
Milton Bradley is looking for someone to actually listen to his crybaby tantrums, but we are grown-ups; and we do not care.
North Korea is looking for a good old-fashioned ^ss-whoopin’; sources say firing nukes at your neighbors is an excellent way to accomplish that.
Still, others must turn to the long, twisted and always trustworthy inner-wirings of the world wide interwebs. And sometimes, dear readers, they end up here.
As they have in the past, the RSBS interns did their homework and now we present to you some of the most intriguing keyword searches responsible for bringing people right here to the land of the
free slightly tied down and the home of the brave pretentious and pompous, Red State Blue State:
“Red State / Blue State Means???”
It means Jeff and Allen are awesome. Look, I know you queried this from an IP address in Spain, but still… come on, hombre… we’re kind of a known thing.
“Carlos Quentin’s Descents”
There have been many… playing like crap for the Diamondbacks, breaking his wrist in a fit of rage, having a sore left foot… take your pick. I’d say the most influential one is the fact that he looks like a full-sized version of Herve Villechaize.
Now, now… let’s be nice and cordial here, Mr. Internet Searcher. I wouldn’t call my Tiger-lovin’ colleague, Mr. Krause, overweight. I would call him ridiculous (because he is) and anti-establishment (because he is) but not overweight (okay, maybe just a little). If it is indeed larger men you’re looking for, then I direct you *here*.
“What is the Lump in Nyjer Morgan’s Mouth?”
Uh, I dunno. Chewing tobacco? Tongue? Someone else’s tongue? Or maybe playing for the Pirates has given him the mumps. Whatever it is, we humbly admit that we have no friggin’ clue.
And finally, the most intriguing query of them all…
“What is Jeff Lung’s Problem?”
Well, if you don’t know by now, I guess you’re just gonna have to keep on reading.
But whatever you do, don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And let me tell ya, folks, they’re well on their way.
For if Opening Day is any indication as to what we Cardinal fans can expect this season, we are in for a long, painful, vomit-inducing ride.
In fact, I’m still cleaning up the mess I made yesterday.
Thank you, Jason Motte.
But more thanks to you, John Mozeliak, our miserly GM who spent the entire off-season ignoring the Cardinals’ biggest problem: the gaudy, bloody mess of a metastasizing bullpen.
Sure, having a healthy, strong, productive Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter in the rotation is great and all. And yes, we will take a lot of leads into the sixth inning; but unless we find a way to get Albert Pujols on the bump for the 7th, 8th and 9th, we are in line to fall apart every single night like Amy Winehouse at an open bar mixer.
And though I am impressed with Jason Motte’s blazing fastball, it’s not really all that impressive when that’s all he throws (that slider that doesn’t slide doesn’t count). I’m sure Jack Wilson was thinking the same thing when he sat back and ripped that game-winner.
Dear readers, if running a baseball organization was a democracy, the revolution would have long been over by now; and the ominous, towering, domineering statue of John Mozeliak would be lying in ruins.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
On Thursday, the initial sale of the San Diego Padres to new owner Jeff
Moorad was completed. Knowing that it only took Sandy Alderson and his
equally ignorant chum, Kevin Towers, a few years to extensively
decimate the Padres franchise like Chris Brown did Rihanna’s face, how
long will it take Moorad to get the Padres competitive again?
Have you already forgotten about that epic tie-breaker two short seasons ago when the Rockies edged the Padres on their way to a World Series appearance? The fact that San Diego was so close to the playoffs kind of puts the lie to your question and its entire premise. Yes, the Padres should have been more competitive recently and poor decisions were made (which are explained much more eloquently by the Prince of New York over at PaulLebowitz.com) but we’re not talking about the Knicks under Isiah Thomas here. This is not a team that’s lost for a generation.
It does kind of make you wonder what baseball executives get paid to do, though. Prince’s hatred of Alderson and Towers and your open contempt for Mozeliak in St. Louis remind me of some of Bill Simmons’ old columns where he rants about the management of the Celtics. However, once they won a championship the volume became a little muted. So, are sports executives really that incompetent or are other forces at work here?
I suppose that like any story, there are two sides to this one. I’m sure most GMs would argue that it’s tough to judge their success on winning alone since a large part of that depends on the human element, the players. And meanwhile the fans wonder why their team is going out and signing a guy like Dontrelle Willis to an extension while letting Cameron Maybin get away. And both sides are probably right. For all the statistics and sabrmetrics that exist today, this, like economics, is not an exact science:
But, to get back to your question, I don’t know when the Padres will be competitive again. It depends on a lot of factors in addition to just the current management team. It depends on resolving the Peavy situation and like a lot of things nowadays, it probably depends in part on the economy. What I do know, though, is that at least the Padres haven’t yet p!ssed off god. Seriously, what is the deal in Detroit?