Thursday, May 15, 2008

Please Tell Me This Is Just A Bad Dream

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but the Chicago Cubs have picked up Jim Edmonds. He is at Wrigley Field right now. Playing baseball. FOR THE CUBS. I know this has been rumored for a few days and I'm certainly not the first to say it, but DAMMIT, this just isn't right! Under no circumstances is it okay for Jim Edmonds to wear a Cubs jersey. This just upsets the natural order of things and I'll be honest...I'm not happy about it. (I know, isn't it shocking?) Ironically, I'm not sure who this bothers most: Cardinal fans or Cubs fans. From what I understand, Jimmy E isn't particularly popular in Wrigleyville. Upon mentioning his name, most of the Cubs fans I know usually spout off some variation of "Edmonds is a showboating, injury prone, excessively cocky jerkface that wears guyliner." My favorite anecdote comes from one such Cubs fan who watched Edmonds play in an afternoon game at Wrigley. In response to incessant taunting from the bleacher monkeys, Edmonds flipped up his middle finger and held it behind his back. And then at his next at-bat, he hit a homerun. I LOVE that story. I just cannot believe he's now going to be playing for these idiots. And instead of hating him, they're going to be cheering for him. I've already gotten an email from one friend today saying, "Edmonds is in center field right now. He got a hit too and is 1 for 3. I really don’t mind him and kind of like the way he goes about playing the game." Huh??? No you don't, you big liar! A week ago you called to goad me about the Padres releasing him! Until this moment, you hated him more than any other human that's ever played in the NL Central! Jim Edmonds is 100% vintage Cardinal. Like Carlos Zambrano for the Cubs, he epitomizes everything that Chicago fans hate about their St. Louis rivals and represents a quintessential part of that rivalry's history. It's agonizing that he is now going to be used against us by our most loathsome enemy. Next to the Cardinals signing Big Z Ball Scratcher himself, it's simply the most backwards acquisition I could conceivably imagine. Next thing you know, he and Zambrano are going to put aside their long and documented history of mutual detestation and become car pool buddies. (Assuming Zambrano doesn't actually EAT him before then.) Then I really won't know what to do with myself. It's physically painful to think about.

I guess the only good news is that Jimmy has not been playing well AT ALL this year. Plus, he's getting up there in the age department and has had approximately 93 concussions over the course of his career. He's not quite as sharp as he once was, let's just put it that way. He'll be injured or slumping before we know it and then Cubs fans can go back to hating him like they're supposed to.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's About Damn Time

As a result of his complete inability to stop colossally screwing everything up, Jason Isringhausen has finally and MERCIFULLY been yanked as the Cardinal's closer. This man has been giving me stress induced asthma attacks for years now and it would be difficult for me to pinpoint a time that I didn't believe that even the games he DOES save aren't total freak accidents. I have not once felt comfortable with him coming onto the mound, particularly in a close game. My mom will actually leave the room when he comes in, as the tension emanating from my dad and me is absolutely palpable. No lead is big enough going into the ninth inning when you know Izzy is going to be responsible for maintaining it. Which is too bad, really. He does, after all, lead the National League with 11 saves this year. However, he's also tied for the most BLOWN saves in the NL with 5. Brand new and shocking information this is NOT. The poor guy just cannot help himself from giving up game winning runs of any and every variety. Maybe I just don't appreciate the subtle nuances of his pitching style. Maybe in some alternate "Isringhausen Universe" it is somehow strategically favorable to avoid a one-two-three inning. But I doubt it.

Tony LaRussa is calling this a "mental break." Whatever, you say, dude. I mean, no one within the Cardinals organization can really just come out and say that Isringhausen sucks at his job, but that doesn't mean I don't fervently believe this to be true. There is not one single player on the entire Cardinals roster that has caused me to clutch my head in my hands and make the guttural sound of a moose suffering from severe food poisoning more frequently than him. He has forced me to say a LOT of swear words over the last several seasons. A LOT of swear words. Perhaps this little respite of his will allow me to expand my vocabulary to include rhetoric that WON'T get me kicked out of public places or threatened with jail time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We're Winners!!!

Over the last several weeks it has become glaringly obvious that the quality of my posts are inversely related to how well the Cardinals are playing. Without the proper inspiration to formulate new and creative ways to kill myself, this blog lacks the pizazz and sassiness I'm just SURE it's known for. Some of that "je ne sais quoi", if you will. This is to say that when the Cardinals are winning, it puts me in such a good mood that I don't even feel the need to make fun of Carlos Zambrano. (And let's get serious. I mine a LOT of content out of that shitbag.) What am I supposed to write about all summer if things keep going like this? I'm starting to get nervous that my stylized homerism is being rendered obsolete, as my creative brain matter only functions when I'm pissed off and borderline psychopathic. What on earth can I talk about with any kind of conviction when it's all unicorns and rainbows in Cardinal Land? At 21-12 the Birds are in first place with a 2.5 game lead over the Scrubbies, who they took 2 of 3 from over the weekend. After Albert Pujols blazed around the base paths last night to score the winning run in the ninth against the Rockies, I'm really getting concerned. It's almost like these guys actually ENJOY winning baseball contests. Where in god's name did this come from?

Anyway, while this has obviously been a fun and fantastic start to the season for Cardinal fans, the natural pessimist in me can't help but brace myself for a mid/late summer implosion. Winning sure is fun, but when the season lasts for what feels like 19 centuries, one can never get too comfortable. It's a little something I like to call "Defensive Fandom". Plan for the worst, hope for the best and prepare to become a raging alcoholic in the process. So while I obviously cheer for the Cardinals to continue their success, I think I'd better go stab myself in the leg with a letter opener just to remember what it feels like. You just never know when we might offer a contract to someone like Kip Wells or Mike Maroth. It's best to already be appropriately disgruntled.