Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I'm writing for these guys now. It's happy good fun times.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Don't Panic!!!!

Good grief, the past three days have been depressing. In addition to the stock market tanking and my liver fighting Vegas induced atrophy, the Cards lost three in a row to the Phillies. I'm pretty sure this combination makes me a poor and fragile loser, which I dislike intensely. I imagine this must be how Cubs fans feel. It's unsettling. After a series of texts with Dad last night, in which I whined about these recent failures, he finally talked me down from the ledge by reminding me that the big pictures is still rosy for the Redbirds and that the Cubs are absolutely terrible. It cheered me slightly, I admit. I was able to sleep last night knowing that the Pirates swept the Scrubbies and pummeled them 11-1 in the finale. However, this losing crap needs to come to a stop! I've become quite accustomed to and comfortable with the Cardinals winning lots of baseball games, and I'm actually a much nicer person when this happens with regularity. Remember the sociopath I became during the 2008 season? NOBODY WANTS THAT! I fear for my friends, family and co-workers if this shame spiral continues any longer. As in, I fear I will no longer have any.

Regardless, the season lumbers on tonight as the Birds fly west across Pennsylvania to visit the Pirates. One can only hope they have a little more success on this end of the state. After three consecutive days of bad news, I could use a little pick me up. It's either that or I start swearing at the TV again, which my mother assures me is done enough by my father for all of us. We have a very special family.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Don't Like to Vacuum, But I LOOOOVE To Sweep!

Whew, that was close! Things looked as though they were going to get a little hairy last weekend, what with the Cardinals losing two of three to the Giants (their first series loss of the season) and the Cubs sweeping their three game visit to Milwaukee. But don't worry, people, it was simply a FALSE ALARM! Sure, I did go to the Cubs game on Monday night and nearly acquired hypothermia while the Nats bullpen kindly walked in the game winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Sure, Adam Wainwright wasn't QUITE as sharp today as he's otherwise been this season. However, some balance has been restored in the world over the past couple of days, as the wily Redbirds pounded on the last place Atlanta Braves for four straight games (making this a five game winning streak), while the Cubs lost their next two to Washington and don't appear likely to close the 8 run hole they are currently in against Arizona. And remember how I used to pick on David Freese? Well, that's all water under the bridge now, after his heroic 6 RBI game today. Congratulations, Mr. Freese! You've been exonerated for all of the random stuff I've been stubbornly holding against you for the past several weeks, which I'm sure is a HUGE relief. Now, if all goes according to plan, this ought to prop the Cards 5.5 games in front of the now third place Baby Bears and 4.5 ahead of second place Cincinnati. Not a bad place to be, if I do say so myself. Not a bad place at ALL. What is most definitely a bad place? The bleachers at Wrigley Field. Just ask this girl, who had to learn the hard way that you can't punch strangers in the face at the ballpark. Now, I know what you're thinking. Exceptions should definitely be made to that rule which excuse the savage beating of white trash Cubs fans. I completely agree with you, although I'm unfortunately having a tough time getting that legislation through Congress.

Anyhow, I'm likely going to miss all baseball related activities this weekend, as I'm jetting off to another potentially "bad" place. I've never been to Las Vegas before, but based on everything I learned from the movie "The Hangover", I'm probably going to end up roofied, married and/or missing a limb. Much like the Wrigley Field bleachers, it seems the laws of nature prevent one from leaving that town with any semblance of sobriety or dignity. Although if you look at the bright side, it's nice to know that these years of suffering amongst the Cub fan bleacher monkeys are finally going to pay off. It's been like Las Vegas boot camp, which probably comes off as more of a compliment than I intended. Because I hate them, you see. I just want to make sure that's clear.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get Outta Town!

I must have done something really awesome in a previous life to deserve this lovely bouquet of karmic glory that I'm enjoying right now. My cell phone essentially had a seizure last night, as the texts and calls poured in to share the news that Carlos Zambrano's reign of terror has been temporarily suspended, as he has been removed from the Cubs starting rotation and relegated to the bullpen. He is now, in all liklihood, the highest paid human to ever babysit Jeff Samardzija. It's a fantastic turn of events, though. Just think of all the new stuff he can beat up out there! The dugout watercoolers had to be getting a little rote for the guy. This new gig presents him with a tremendous opportunity to display his creativity and take his temper tantrums to the next level. Carlos Marmol, you best take note! You don't know if he's going to use you as a punching bag or a WEAPON!

In other news, Carp fanned ten over 7 plus innings last night in the Cards 9-4 win over the D'backs. Colby Rasmus couldn't keep the ball in the yard if he tried, while Skip Schumaker busted his slump with a three run homer in the ninth. This capped off a 5 run 9th inning, which gave the Birds a lead that the bullpen was miraculously able to maintain. Woohoo!!! This series victory keeps the hot streak alive, as the Cards now sit 2.5 games in first place, maintain the best record in the national league and lay claim to all five of their series this season. I have to keep telling myself that it's only going to go downhill from here, otherwise I'd probably start being nice to Cubs fans or something equally reprehensible. And I just don't think I want to live in a world where that kind of thing happens.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Could Get Used To This Winning Stuff

After the first four series of this young season, I have to admit I'm pretty tickled about the state of affairs in Baseball Land. This weekend we got to see the Chicago Scrubbies lose two of three to the hapless Astros, which was especially satisfying after all of the crap my boss gave me on Friday afternoon. After what would end up being the Cubs lone win of the weekend, he proceeded to heckle me incessantly about the Cards losing to Houston the day before. His twisted logic was that because Houston earned their first win of the year against the Cards (9 games into the season, mind you,) that the Redbirds were destined for failure and early season obliteration. What that reasoning says about the Cubs losing the next two in a row to Houston? I don't like to speculate, but I'd guess a team wide outbreak of spinal meningitis. I like to be conservative with stuff like this.

In other happy news, the Cardinals took two of three from the Metropolitans of New York this weekend, improving their record to 8-4. They have now won two of three in all four of their first series, which is encouraging to be sure. Carpenter pitched a strong seven innings on Friday and allowed Felipe Lopez's seventh inning grand slam to seal the deal and send us to bed happy. Enter Saturday night's epic 20 inning showdown, where Johan Santana, Jaime Garcia and what seemed like every single member of every bullpen in the National League battled it out for 18 scoreless frames before St. Louis finally succumbed 2-1. Position players were pitching, pitchers were in the outfield, it was SHEER BEDLAM!!! I'm surprised Big Mac didn't play a couple of outs. Or one of the announcers. Or maybe even my great aunt Betsy. I actually thought my brain was going to catch on fire just trying to keep track of it all. "Joe Mather is doing WHAT? Kyle Lohse is WHERE?" Even more impressive is that Yadier Molina caught that entire damn game, which you'd think would require him to have immediate reconstructive knee surgery. Then again, he's probably made of tougher stuff than most of us. I would have passed out halfway through the second inning, although that probably doesn't say as much about his vim and vigor as it does about my athletic limitations. I'm quite the delicate creature, you know.

Finally, Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game last night and picked up the W on the heels of Colby Rasmus and Ryan Ludwick homeruns, himself scoring a run after an 8th inning double. He was positively terrifying as the night wore on. I swear, he could have pitched another five innings, he just was that in control those last few at bats. In any case, Brad Penny takes the mound tonight in Arizona, so hopefully these guys keep it up. The bullpen should be rested again, so hopefully Waino's performance will allow Penny a few innings of relief if he needs it. Although wishing for a Jason Motte appearance is sort of like hoping to get a canker sore. By which I mean, nobody actually does that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Patience: Tested, Failed

You know, I almost forgot how much I hated Cubs fans until yesterday. GOOD HOLY GOD!!!! My four mile, ten minute drive home from work last night was transformed by Wrigley's home opener into a 40 minute exercise in futility. By which I mean, I TRIED to remain calm. I TRIED to keep my blood pressure from rising and the anger from swelling deep in the pit of my stomach. BUT DAMMIT, I CAN'T HELP IT!!!! YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME INSANE!!!! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY, YOU DRUNKEN BUFFOONS!!!! It took everything I had to resist ramming cars and running over baby strollers. I had overworked and underpaid traffic guards blocking me from my normal route home, thus forcing me to head in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. I had a friendly fellow in an SUV call me a bitch because I wouldn't "honk for the W". I had morons meandering across the street ignoring all traffic signals or rational thought. PLUS, I really had to pee. It was maddening. I actually went and bought a new bike after work, with the idea that I can start riding it to work when the Cubs play a day game. That way, I'm not faced with the moral dilemma of commiting vehicular homicide on a regular basis. I may have been able to resist it last night, but it was only opening day. By the end of the summer, I believe the temptation will be too much to resist.

So, yes. Baseball is back. God help us all.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Wait, What? The Season Started?

I have been terribly neglectful over the past couple of weeks and it shames me to the core. I didn't get to my pre-season round up, wasn't able to compose a post exulting the arrival of Opening Day and most importantly, have yet to address the Cubs season opening failure. Therefore, this post has a lot to cover. Let's get to it, shall we?

First and foremost, BASEBALL IS BACK!!!! WOOOHOOOO!!! I feel like I've been more excited than usual for the season to start. I don't know if it's the weather or just my complete indifference to the NBA, but I couldn't WAIT for America's favorite past time to finally get underway. So far it's been gratifying, as the Cardinals have started the season in rather impressive fashion. Save a couple of late inning hiccups by the bullpen, it's been a delight to dig into the first couple of series against the Reds and Brewers. A 4-2 record is certainly nothing to complain about, particularly compared to how the Astros and Cubs have been faring. Yeesh. Coming into the opening game at Busch Stadium today, the Astros are winless, while the Cubs have floundered about through their first couple of series winning only one in each. And I'd be remiss not to mention their opening game against Atlanta. My old buddy Carlos Zambrano got lit up for six runs in the bottom of the first inning and another two in the second before promptly getting yanked. A Zambrano Explosion this early in the season? What is this, an early birthday present? My dad happened to be watching that hot mess and thankfully called to share the good news. He was so hysterical, I couldn't tell if he was laughing or crying. All I could make out was "Zambrano...rocked for six runs...first inning....MWAHAHAHAHA!!!" It's reasons like this that I'm glad he brainwashed me at a young age. How horrible my life would be if we couldn't share those beautiful moments!

In other Zambrano news, the man has been practically haunting me lately. In preparation for the opener at Wrigley today, they've been hanging banners and signs all over the outside of the stadium. As such, a giant photo of Big Ball Scratcher McGee is plastered right next to the main entrance. It's terrifying. In fact, it's actually been giving me nightmares. I had a dream last night that Carlos was my sister's ex-husband and tried to kidnap my nephew in a helicopter. It was so realistic, I actually woke up angry with my sister. That just isn't normal.

In any case, it's opening day at Busch today. I've got the game fired up on my computer and am hoping to see Waino pitch a merciless game. After watching Carpenter struggle through five innings last night, it would be nice to see a lights out performance that isn't peppered with 19 homeruns. That Sunday night soap opera was the first game I've been able to catch on TV this year and it was certainly a roller coaster ride. (Editors note: I HATE roller coasters.) Pujols and Holliday led a ninth inning rally, teeing off on Trevor Hoffman for back to back homeruns, before Kyle McClellan savagely crushed their efforts with a walk off homerun to Casey McGehee. Plus, David Freese acted like he'd never seen a baseball before, racking up two errors in the same inning. What was that kid's problem? Is he legally blind? GAH!!!! It was refreshing to remember how batshit insane I become while watching this team. All negativity aside, it was also a blast to be reminded of just how awesome it is to watch Albert Pujols play baseball. I think he's already hit 27 homeruns this season, which makes me want to weep in gratitude. It never gets old watching him destroy things. You know what DOES get old, though? Listening to the commentary by Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Orel Hershiser. I had to change the channel every fifteen minutes or so to alleviate my irritation with their inane ramblings. Do they honestly get PAID to do this? I've heard drunken homeless people make more sense. If ESPN and WGN broadcasts are they only ones I get to see this summer, I might as well go poke a stick through my eardrum.

Baseball is back, people. Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Like Big BATS and I Cannot Lie...

I've been putting this post off for a while now, (lest I jinx myself and force the Cardinals into a 10 game skid,) but the recent rash of awesomeness definitely warrants mentioning. As a seasoned skeptic, I'm not usually convinced that Redbird success is anything other than a total fluke. However, as the month of August wears on, I'm starting to subscribe to the theory that we might actually have a skilled, well balanced and fully synchronized group of ballplayers on our hands. The Birds have won 7 of their last 10 and now sit 4.5 games in first place ahead of the shame spiraling baby bears of Chi-town. It's an intoxicating feeling, to be sure. Hell, I hardly know what to do with myself! I think I could even hug a Cubs fan, although that might be taking it a little too far. Let's not get carried away here, people.

Speaking of the Scrubbies, those poor bastards have now lost five in a row, including a sweep by the Phillies at home. YIKES, that hurts! So much so that one drunken idiot in the center field bleachers decided to express his displeasure by dousing Shane Victorino with a plastic cup full of beer on Wednesday. Oh, those silly Cubs fans! Time and time again, they continue to prove themselves the poster children of class and dignity.

Anyway, I have to admit, I find this all rather uncomfortable. It's awkward to write about the Cardinals winning, as I can't muster up the sarcasm and indignant acidity that usually craft my commentary. I struggle with my analysis when it isn't spewed venomously, peppered with swear words or reduced to volatile and violent ranting. Thank goodness I'm a cynic or else this blog would be in some serious trouble! As great as things are going, I'm obviously completely convinced this will be the happiest I'm allowed to be all season. There's no way I get to coast through the rest of the year in a blissful state of euphoria, right? In fact, I'm going to go ahead and predict that things will go horribly wrong in September. By which I mean, cataclysmically, tortuously and mind meltingly WRONG. Chris Carpenter will fall down a flight of stairs, Albert Pujols will poke his eye out with a Sharpie, Matt Holliday will choke to death on a chicken wing and Tony LaRussa will be diagnosed with a rapidly progressing form of Alzheimer's that will prevent him from being able to tell the difference between a scorecard and a recipe for tater tot casserole. Despite this, the Cards will somehow take the wild card and then lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Dodgers.

Holy crap, I think I just gave myself a stroke.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Holy Crap.

As I write this, the Cardinals have just completed a trade for Matt Holliday. In return, the A's receive three prospects, including much ballyhooed third baseman, Brett Wallace, and right-hander Clayton Mortensen. I am literally speechless. When did the Redbird brass grow such gigantic balls? This is practically unheard of in St. Louis! As an organization that has historically overvalued its farm system, it is certainly a surprise for Cardinals management to give up top stud prospects for a big (read: EXPENSIVE) bat. That being said, it could be a savvy move that not only fortifies the lineup and increases this season's playoff chances, but also reassures Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols that this team is at least marginally interested in winning a couple of ball games. With pricey contract negotiations in the not-so-distant future, the front office is smart to take a proactive step in addressing Pujols and LaRussa's concerns, especially if the priority is to keep them around.

Anyway, I'm far too excited to try and be analytical right now. As a wise friend so eloquently said on his Facebook page this morning, "Suck it, Cubs fans!"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The All Star Break Breakdown

Hello long lost friends! I'm not sure where the summer days have gone, but it's been so long since I last posted, I damn near forgot my password to the account. For those of you that have been around the past two seasons, you know this isn't uncommon. I have a tendency to drop off over the June and July months only to miraculously reappear right around the All-Star Game. I just can't resist making fun of its uselessness, you see! Now, you might be thinking that because the game was in St. Louis this year that I might find it a little less annoying. You, my friend, would be wrong. Even the fact that three Redbirds were playing couldn't inspire me to give a crap. (Albert Pujols, Ryan Franklin and Yadier Molina all donned the fancy NL uniform this year.) The only parts I tuned in for were the last few minutes of the home run derby and the celebrity softball game. (Editors note: Nelly is a surprisingly adept outfielder!) Per usual, the National League crapped the bed again, thereby extending their All Star Game drought to 11 years. YAWWWWN.

Anyway, much has happened over the past six weeks. Because I'm incredibly lazy and only marginally competent, I will attempt to summarize these happenings below.

1. The Cardinals traded Chris Perez for Mark DeRosa. DeRosa promptly chopped his hand off at the wrist and spent 15 days on the DL. Since his return, he's been about as useful as a third nipple. This makes the Cubs fans in my life VERY happy, which I hate.

2. The Cardinals traded Chris Duncan for Julio Lugo. Mr. Lugo has been smacking the ball around a little bit, which is a trait I can appreciate. Mr. Duncan should take notes.

3. Some idiot finally bought the Cubs. Congratu-freakin'-lations. You're the proud patriarch of the most delusional fans in baseball!

4. Speaking of the Cubs, Zambrano threw a couple more hissy fits in my absence. Color me surprised! Honestly, it doesn't even phase me anymore. Zambrano losing his damn mind happens about as often as he scratches his balls. Which is approximately every three to four seconds.

5. The Cubs and Cardinals met again in Chicago for a four game series. This was split 2-2, giving the Cardinals a 8-5 record against them on the year. I'd be far more excited by this if more of these games ended in mass Cub fan executions.

6. Rumors swirled that the Cardinals were interested in Jay Halladay. I had a hearty laugh about this to myself, as this was clearly the largest falsehood ever perpetuated by Cardinals fans.

7. Albert hit a bunch of home runs and basically provided the entire Cardinals offense for the entire months of June and July. At some point, he has to start getting really annoyed with being the only person doing anything useful. I mean, I get annoyed at work if I have to change the water cooler bottle a couple of times in a row. His position is arguably more frustrating than mine.

8. Troy Glaus and Khalil Greene started making rehab starts in Memphis. Dare I say, the Cardinals may just have a fearsome team coming together if everyone can remain healthy.

9. A bunch of guys started growing Tom Selleck facial hair. Rick Ankiel, Brendan Ryan and Ryan Franklin all look like deranged lumberjacks, which sounds a lot cooler in theory than it is in practice.

10. Speaking of Rick Ankiel, I heard a rumor that he created his own wine label. This might explain why he has sucked so badly over the past couple of months. I know that my own productivity has an inverse relationship with how much wine I consume. Might I suggest Black Russians?

Anyway, I'm hoping this laziness of mine wears off and I get back to venting my Redbird frustrations here on this fair blog. I should quit taking it out on my roommate, as I'm afraid she'll take out a restraining order. She can be so sensitive sometimes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dirty Dugout: Update #2

It has been faaaar too long since my last fantasy baseball update, so allow me to recap all of the amazing action of the past month and a half in two words: we suck. I'm not kidding, this may be the most pathetic attempt at organized social activity that I've ever seen. It's not even that no one is trying, because that was completely expected. It's the complete and total indifference that has doomed this poor little exercise! Yet, despite our collective lack of competitive spirit and competence, the season continues to plod on and sputter forward. In fact, I'm pleased to announce that after weeks of toiling around the gutter, my plucky little squad has joined SMA (i.e. Jamee) at the top of the heap. Based on the daily email reports I get from ESPN, the two of us have been toggling back and forth for a couple of weeks now. Isn't that exciting? Let me give you a moment to catch your breath.

And now for the rest of the standings:

As of 6/18/09:

1. SMA (i.e. Jamee) - 76.5

2. PIMP (i.e. Lindsay) - 68.5

3. NICK (i.e. Laura) - 58

4. NATV (i.e. Ashley) - 56.5

5. YANK (i.e. Abbey) - 56

6. MSH (i.e. Rigi) - 55.5

7. GRAY (i.e. Molly) - 55

8. FUKU (i.e. Nicole) - 52

9. WMPA (i.e. Kelly) - 45

10. SK (i.e. Emily) - 27

Other than my ascension from the basement to the penthouse, the standings have remained remarkably unchanged. SK is still demonstrating her complete dedication to sucking terribly and WMPA is no slouch in that department either. The one glimmering highlight of the past month has been FUKU's slow descent into mediocrity, which I relish more than just about anything. This is because I hate her and all that she stands for.

Anyway, let's move on to the awards.

Best Use of Uninjured Players: SMA is starting seven players right now that have injuries of varying severity, yet she still sits atop the leaderboard. I don't know how that's possible, except that the rest of her players must be performing at superhuman levels. I mean, nearly 30% of her team is disabled, which now that I do the math, is roughly the same percentage of her brain that's been damaged from alcohol poisoning. It's an alarming coincidence, don't you think?

Best Inexplicable Use of the Bench: NICK has three open spots in her pitching lineup, yet for some reason has three of her pitchers sitting on the bench. I can't imagine this was on purpose, yet how does that happen by accident? Considering she's only got five healthy hurlers right now, I imagine this will eventually start to have an impact. That's insight you can't get anywhere else, people!

Best Collection of Douchebags: I hadn't noticed it until now, but holy crap, does NATV have a team full of tools! A-Rod, Manny, Johnny Damon, Aramis Ramirez, etc., etc. She's even got a Weaver brother in there! If she were to trade for Carlos Zambrano, it'd be like the Asshole Apocalypse. (Which I imagine looking at lot like the music video for "Thriller", if it were staged at Wrigley Field.)

Best Use of Team Branding: Another thing I hadn't noticed until now is that MSH actually owns her patron saint. Somehow she was able to draft Geovany Soto, which for those who don't know, is who she named her team after. I find this incredibly unfair, as I named my team after Albert Pujols, yet he is currently wasting his talents with SK's ragtag bunch of underperformers. (Which is, ironically, much like his existence on the current Cardinals squad. Siiiiiigh.)

Okay, kiddies, that will be all for now. I'm off to go rafting in Colorado this weekend, so if I don't drown or crush my skull on a rock, I'll be back to check in once I return. You won't want to miss the dazzling inside information I have on how badly these fantasy teams are mismanaged and underutilized! (YAWN.) Honestly, if you ladies know what's good for you, you'll start doing something interesting. Otherwise, I'll be forced to resort to personal insults and profanity, which my mother has repeatedly asked me not to do. Work with me, people!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Predictable Happenings Often Happen In Baseball

Just when I think he can't do anything more absurd, Big "Ball Scratcher" Zambrano does something like this and totally reaffirms my complete disdain and disgusted amusement. In the Cubs win against the Pirates today, my old buddy Carlos threw himself another one of his legendary hissy fits and found himself ejected and faced with a probable suspension. It all started with a wild pitch that found him attempting to make a play at home, which caused him to make contact with the umpire, which caused him to throw a ball into the outfield, toss his glove and proceed into the dugout where he promptly beat the water cooler with a bat. My sweet heavens. He makes my job of hating him with the red hot fire of a thousand suns INCREDIBLY easy.

In other predictable news, I was speaking with my sister's fiance tonight and he was regaling me with a tale of one, Mr. Jason Isringhausen. Evidently, he worked his magic against the Cleveland Indians on Monday and successfully helped the Tampa Bay Rays choke up a ten run lead and the all-but-sure win. In total, the bullpen gave up 7 runs in the bottom of the ninth, including a trademark game losing two run single from Izzy. Oh, how I miss those retina shattering, brain blasting, soul crushing moments! As a running joke in our family, this will no doubt provide endless hours of entertainment.

As for the Redbirds, well those plucky little fellows keep right on keeping on. After taking two of three from the Royals and two of three from our beer swilling rivals in Milwaukee, they have officially taken the first place spot in the NL Central. However temporary this may be, I am really quite pleased. After a tumultuous day at the office, I needed some good news to keep me from jamming a pen in my eye. As it stands, I'm still tempted to pull a Zambrano and club someone over the cranium with a bat. It's either that or have six or seven Black Russians. The jury is still out.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Holy freakin' hell. The Cardinals just completed a sweep of the Chicago Scrubbies. Did anyone else see this? I'm completely blinded by euphoria. My roommate was equally ecstatic, by which I mean, she posted her very first Facebook status update tonight about the Redbird's success. And I quote, "Sweeeep it up Redbirds! Show these baby bears who's boss." I have to say, she's a loyal Rick Ankiel fan. In so much, that her fantasy baseball name is "Sprained My Ankiel". Plus, she has a shirt with his name on it. Without giving too much away, she wants to have his babies. I commend her. Bravo, young lady! As soon as he recovers from mashing his face into the center field wall, we'll be in business. Anyway, I've gotten off course. The whole point of this post is to gloat over how the Cards won three games in a row against he Cubs. What. The. F!@#??? Although we have serious problems doing that thing where people smack baseballs, run around and score runs, our starting pitching has been nothing short of....awesome? It feels weird to say. Joel Piniero isn't supposed to be good, but has been. Todd Wellemeyer isn't supposed to be good, but he pitched a couple of the only wins we've had in May. Chris Carpenter came back last night and reminded everyone how much fun it is to watch him destroy human confidence. And Adam Wainwright? Oh my sweet lord, he came back from a few frosty games early in the month to pitch a game tonight where he spent 8 2/3 innings on the mound. My phone has been exploding with fun tonight. The only downer has been a Cubs friend of mine who has expressed a bit of intestinal discomfort. BUMMER.

In any case, I'm headed to another wedding tomorrow and this is a terrific way to start my long weekend. The fact that Adam Wainwright didn't win American Idol is downright criminal.

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Had To Know This Would Happen

You see, friends, THIS is exactly why I endorse unyielding pessimism, cynicism, skepticism and any other "ism" you can think of. If my research has taught me anything over the past few years, it's that being a bitter malcontent is the only thing that can save us Cardinal fans from the soul mutilating heartbreak that will tempt us to stick our heads in an oven half a dozen times a year. One might argue that I'm only kidding myself and that I'm actually just making myself miserable for no real purpose, to which I say, "kindly go swallow a straight razor." It's science, people. I don't make the rules. Anyhow, after a rain-out on Friday and back-to-back losses to the surging Milwaukee Brewers, the Cardinals are now two games out of first place and a half game (gulp) behind the Scrubbies. This was probably inevitable, as I suppose they call them "hot streaks" for a reason. The Redbirds maintaining that early season momentum was about as likely as me winning the Kentucky Derby. (Keep in mind, I've got the endurance of a panda bear.) With both Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick on the DL, it would seem that it is virtually impossible for anyone to hit balls and run around the bases like they're supposed to. (See Adam Wainwright's two hitter on Saturday that ended in a loss. Let me tell you, I got an expletive laced text from my pops after THAT little gem.) Despite Colby "much-hyped minor league ingenue" Rasmus stepping it up recently, the Cards have only scored 10 total runs over the past five games. Plus, our starting pitching has slumped to 2-9 in the month of May, which now that I really think about it, doesn't seem like a very effective combination if a team is trying to win baseball games. (Swallows bottle of Xanax.)

The good news is that Kyle Lohse is taking the mound tonight (against our old mongoloid friend, Braden Looper,) to make up the Friday rain-out and Chris Carpenter is making his return on Wednesday night when the Birds take on the Cubs for what feels like the 97th time already this season. Mr. Carpenter rejoining the rotation makes me happy for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that it keeps Todd Wellemeyer that much further away from both the mound AND my irrational subconscious. After the turd he tossed yesterday, (5 2/2 innings, four runs in the 1st, 7 walks,) I'm ready to tie him to the hood of my car and drive off a cliff. It'd be like Thelma and Louise, but with more conviction and arguably better hair.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dirty Dugout: Update #1

Well, things in the "all girls, special ed" fantasy baseball league are going just about as well as one might expect. I proposed a blockbuster trade with WMPA (i.e. Kelly) for Mark Teixeira a while back, yet considering it required a league-wide vote, the damn thing nearly took a decade to process. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how much impact it has had on my fledgling fantasy season, particularly since I wasn't starting any of the guys I traded for until NOW. As a result, I'm still lodged squarely in second-to-last place.

As unlikely as it may be, SMA (i.e. Jamee) is ruling the league and has been kicking our collective butts around the diamond for this first month of play. Considering the draft was wholly random and completely out of anyone's control, I don't actually give her any credit, yet the fact remains that she is the one to beat here in the early phase of the season. Her gloating is a bit premature, but as much as it PAINS me to admit it, warranted nonetheless. Now, onto the stats...

As of 5/7/09:

1. SMA (i.e. Jamee) - 73

2. NATV (i.e. Ashley) - 66

3. YANK (i.e. Abbey) - 62

4. FUKU (i.e. Nicole) - 58.5

4. NICK (i.e. Laura) - 58.8

6. GRAY (i.e. Molly) - 57.5

7. MSH (i.e. Rigi) - 55

8. WMPA (i.e. Kelly) - 48

9. PIMP (i.e. Lindsay) - 40

10. SK (i.e. Emily) - 31.5

I have to give myself some well earned grief for regularly starting a handful of injured players over the past month. Brian McCann (AtL), Vladimir Guerrero (LAA) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Bosox) were all placed on the DL, yet they continued to sit in my lineup FOR WEEKS. To that end, I realize it's hypocritical to complain about incompetency in my league if I'm a complete derelict myself, yet here I go anyway. My awards for the first few weeks of the season:

Best Use of a Cardinal Player: SK has Albert Pujols. Holy hell, I want to stab her in the face.

Best Use of Eye Candy: SMA owns both Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter. She is in first place. I firmly believe this is a causal relationship, as her success clearly has nothing to do with baseball knowledge or enthusiasm. It's got to be something, right? Synergistic team sexiness is as good an explanation as any.

Best Use of a Player No One Likes: Last time I checked, WMPA had gaping spots in her outfield and second base. By which I mean, she isn't starting any players at those positions. However, she DOES have Milton Bradley sitting on her bench. Interestingly enough, I was present for his first at-bat at Wrigley as a Cub, after which he nearly ate the umpire before getting kicked out of the game. (SK can attest, as she was there with me.) What a friendly fellow! It was very polished, as though he just might have done this before. On a scale of 1 to "Carlos Zambrano Crazy", Mr. Bradley is right up there.

Best Use of a Random Dude No One Has Heard Of: I've actually heard of Brad Ausmus, but I'm mentioning him here because I find it fascinating that NATV has him starting at catcher, despite the fact that only 7% of all ESPN fantasy baseball players own him. Clearly, she knows something we don't. Insider trading?

Best Use of the Bench: GRAY was unfortunate enought to end up with Chris Duncan (StL) on her team after the draft. Presumably because someone warned her about how he stumbles around the outfield like a drunk gorilla, she currently has him riding the pine. This is probably the best decision she'll make all year.

Best Non-Excuse to Start a Flame War: I had an almost unhealthy obsession with hating FUKU and her fantasy football team this past winter and I see no reason for this to change simply because we're playing a different sport. As such, I'm taking this rivalry to the next level. I haven't quite figured out how, but I'm pretty sure Prince "Fatty Fatty Bombalatty" Fielder will somehow be involved. How does it feel to know your first baseman would probably wrap you in bacon and swallow you whole if given the chance?

Okay, ladies of the Dirty D, that's going to do it for me this time around. I'll be back to check in with you over the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, tell your mothers you love them and get a damn haircut.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Where in the hell did the month of April go? I swear, it was just yesterday that I attended that delightful Thursday afternoon game at Wrigley, but I've been in a wedding, gone to Disney World and endured another Cubs vs. Cards series since then. Fortunately, that second series in St. Louis went substantially better than the first and we are now all tied up for the year at 3 wins a piece. Important to mention is that the Cardinals are on absolute TEAR at home with a 10-3 record on the year. After a five game streak last week against the Mets and Cubs respectively, it's almost hard to get all riled up with righteous indignation, which is just weird if I'm being completely honest. Wainwright, Lohse, Piniero and even Mitchell freakin' Boggs (who???) have all pitched well lately and it appears Ryan Franklin is settling into his role as closer. My only advice to him is, DO NOT SCREW THIS UP! Which I suppose isn't so much "advice", as it is a thinly veiled threat. Toss in Mr. Albert Pujols and his big ol' grand slam on Saturday and things are looking pretty good for us Redbird fans. The Cardinals sit three games in first place ahead of the tied Cubs, Brewers and Pirates. I would get excited, except it's not really in my nature to do that sort of thing.

Anyhow, as I write this now, the Cubs are behind 4-0 in Arizona and the Cards are gearing up for the rubber match of their three game series against the Braves. Adam Wainwright has a 6:00 appointment on the mound, which will hopefully go well enough that I won't have anything to complain about come tomorrow morning. I'm probably going to be hungover anyway, so I don't really need another reason to be grumpy. That's what my boss is for.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Well, I haven't choked to death on my own spit the past several days, so that can only mean good things for Cardinal baseball. I know, I'm just as surprised as you are! Heck, we're on a relative hot streak, if you can even call it that so early in the season. Easter Sunday was capped off by a gem of a performance by Kyle Lohse, who pitched a complete game. Plus, Albert Pujols has just been his normal awesome self, which just never gets any less fun to watch. I suppose I could talk about the bullpen some more, but I think everyone knows I feel about that collective group of run hemorrhaging time bombs. I suppose the most important thing on the horizon is the impending trip to Chicago this weekend. I originally wasn't supposed to attend any of these games (a decision I made on purpose), but now I'm being forced to go on Thursday with my big boss from Springfield. I don't really know how I feel about it, considering I'm under water at work and really don't think this will help my stress levels in any way, shape or form. Regardless, it is what it is and I shouldn't complain about going to see my favorite team play ball on a sunny afternoon. Right? I mean, what's the worst that could happen? (Cue awkward silence.) Guhhh, who am I kidding? Best case scenario, I'm marginally hung over for my trip to Galesburg on Friday morning. Worst case scenario, I'm dead or in jail. Either way, I think the bride and groom will understand, no?

Thursday, April 9, 2009


As the season gets up and running, I'm going to be performing a little experiment here at Chicago Redbird. After commissioning a wildly succesful, all-girls, total moron fantasy football league this past fall, I've decided that fantasy baseball presents another wonderful opportunity to exploit the collective incompetency of my friends. And thus, The Dirty Dugout was conceived. It is comprised of ten girls, including myself, most of whom do not have the foggiest notion of how or why the game of baseball is played. Much like the fantasy football league, no one really has a clue what's going on. Simply getting everyone registered for the league was about as challenging as solving the mortgage criss, not to mention the impossibilities of getting a draft set up. In other words, it is a complete comedy of errors.

In order to document the exploits of the league throughout the course of the football season, I would send out a weekly recap email with scores, standing updates and a healthy dose of insults to all the girls involved. After some prolonged (and largely unnoticed) technical difficulties, it became apparent that emails were not the most effective way to articulate just how ridiculously inept everyone was. Instead, for the fantasy baseball league, I've decided to periodically post updates and summaries on this blog. This not only ensures equal access for all parties involved, but gives the girls an open forum to react to my comments and defend their crippling stupidity to the public. If reading about a fantasy league that you are not participating in and that by most standards is a total failure does not appeal to you, please feel free to skip these posts. However, if you ever want to make yourself feel better about your own blinding imbecility, please do indulge. I promise you, these girls will make you feel like Albert freakin' Einstein.

Oh, For The Love Of God

Well, kiddies, we are off to a FANTASTIC start. After losing two of the first three games of the season to the Pirates, (who I should point out are so awful that they lost to their AA team in an exhibition game last week), the Cardinals have already got me prepared to throw myself down a flight of stairs and spend the rest of the season in a vegetative state. First and foremost, the bullpen is a complete and total clusterf#$k. I mean, what were DeWitt and company doing all winter? It was pretty obvious by the end of the 2008 season that we needed to fortify our relief corp with some guys that don't infest the late innings with endless variations of SUCK. Even more important was identifying a legitimate closer that could hold a lead and not make me want to pelt him with batteries. In their infinite wisdom, the Cardinals decided to do neither of these things. As a result, we have a former catcher playing the role of Jason Isringhausen and doing a mighty fine job of emulating him to perfection. With a two run lead going into the top of the ninth on opening day, Jason Motte gave up four runs and promptly caused an entire legion of Redbird fans to throw up all over themselves. Holy hell, we are in for a long few months.

Then, after a redemptive 9-3 shellacking on Tuesday, things returned to form on Wednesday when Todd Wellemeyer gave up five runs over five innings. All considered, the St. Louis arms allowed 17 hits, 12 of which were Wellemeyer's. The finale of this four game series is this afternoon and frankly, I feel bad for Chris Carpenter. No matter how well he does, his 2009 debut will likely be rendered meaningless if he can't pitch a complete game. Following a relatively competent outing yesterday, the bullpen is probably due for another colossal meltdown. After all, their only consistency is their complete and utter lack of consistency. Siiiigh

The good news in Chicago is that over the course of the past year, I've met some Missouri natives who are loyal and obsessive Cardinal fans. I can't tell you how nice it is to have a few sympathetic shoulders to cry on, particularly after this uninspiring start to the season. I have a sinking feeling we'll be relying on each other a lot over the next several weeks, as the Redbirds take on the Scrubbies nine freakin' times in the month of April. I've already been offered three different sets of tickets for the series in Chicago next weekend, but sadly will be out of town at a wedding. I'm honestly not terribly upset over missing it, as I don't relish the idea of being heckled incessantly for three days straight. At this point, I don't have enough confidence in this Cardinal team to even fight back with any sort of conviction. On the other hand, the groomsman I've been paired with at this wedding is one of the more vocal and obnoxious Cubs fans I know. Imagining the toxic tongue bath he's going to give me the second I arrive is already making the hair stand up on the back of my neck. There's a serious chance he'll have to escort me down the aisle in a wheelchair, which is encouraging if you really think about it. It means I haven't COMPLETELY lost my edge yet.