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.