Eating Crow. $100 Million Dollar Payrolls. And the return of the Imperial.

I am sure glad I am not a betting man. At least not on football games. And I hope no one took what I wrote yesterday as gospel. If I am going to keep making predictions, I am going to have to put a disclamer at the end of them so none of you sue me. You think by now I would stop making predictions. I was on a roll there for a while. It was easy since all I was picking was Cardinals losses. During the season that was not hard. Just pick an away game, game where Carp did not start, game where the opposing starter was a lefty, game at night. You get my point. It wasn’t rocket science. Then, come October, they started winning. And apparently I lost all my abilitly, or skill at predicting sporting events outcomes. THE GAME tonight is the perfect example. This was a crazy game. First off there seamed to be a lot less hatred on both sides. Odd, very odd. Even after the game when all the local TV channels talked to fans of both teams, both said there was no hatred, no fighting, nothing. Nothing but good sportsmanship. Maybe it was that every cop in Ohio was there watching for something to happen. Maybe it was Bo bitting the bullet on Friday morning. I don’t know. But unlike every other year I have lived here, both sides were very civil. It was odd. Surreal even. And I didn’t like it. Half the fun of having a rival in sports is that when they come to your house, you give them hell. Now I am not at all advocating violence. Just because someone is wearing the colors of the enemy does not give you the right to go all Jackie Chan on them. But verbal hazing like name calling, chants of how much they suck, etc, those are more than expected. All day around the area there was this crazy mutual respect thing. I didn’t like it. Maybe I am too old school. Maybe I am to confrontational. I don’t know. All I know is a part of me missed all the hatred generally directed towards the boys from that state up north. Woody instilled it in everyone down here. And even though I was not alive for his coaching of OSU, it was ingrained in the minds of everyone in this state. And they made sure it was carried on. But suddenly, today, it was all gone. Weird. Very very Weird.

Anyway, I am sorry to all the OSU fans. And I am very glad I was wrong. But even during the game I felt like OSU would loose. They have not been very strong aginst the running game all season long. And today they could not stop Hart. The dude ran them over. In fact, if Michigan had just ran the ball all game long, not only would the scores have been way lower, but Michigan would have won. Easily. And I think if there is a rematch in Tempe in 50 days, they will do just that. Because if they control the time of possession, not only does it wear out the OSU D-line, it keeps the high powered OSU offense off the field. And thats the only way to beat OSU. Run it down their throats. And keep Troy Smith off the field.

I am very glad OSU won. The mood of the area is SO much better when they win. I am sure St.Louis is the same when the Cardinals win. It’s almost unbearable to live around here when OSU looses to Michigan. Fights break out, fires get started. Thats why every cop in the state was in Columbus today. It’s very bad. Not tonight though, not tonight. Tonight for the most part it’s all good. Of course I could wake up tomorrow to find that they did in fact burn down the city while I was sleeping. But for now, all is quiet. Now as for this suspossed rematch in 50 days. Well that will only happen if USC, Flordia, or Arkansas, all loose one game each the rest of the season. That would mean OSU and Michigan will be the only 1 loss, and undefeated teams left. I am leaving out that school from New Jersey for obvious reason. I don’t know what I will think about that if a rematch does indeed happen. One of the best things about this rivalry is it’s a once a year thing. One game desides bragging rights for a full 365 days. And if they would play again, I think it would be bad for this rivalry, but in a way good for college football. Good because the best two teams would play for the title. But bad, because say Michigan wins, then who gets bragging rights? OSU beat Michigan on November 18. And that should be that. But what if it’s not? What if, those 3 remaining teams loose? I think if there was a rematch, it would not be as close as todays game. One side or the other would figure out how to stop the others offense. But for now I am done picking college football games winners. Especially one for the National Championship. So if you want a pick, call Vegas. Or go with OSU.

So here you go. I WAS WRONG. OSU beat Michigan. I WAS WRONG. I am now eating crow pie. It’s not bad actually. I didn’t say it was good. Just not bad.

I forgot two items in Fridays column about the Cardinals. How that happend I will never tell. Let’s just say that there were *forces beyond my control* at work. First off is the news according to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch that the Cardinals projected budget for 2007 is between $100-$105 Million. Thats right folks, The St.Louis Cardinals will officially join the ranks of the big boys come next year. Teams with more money than brains. Well, I HOPE thats not true. Can you imaging what kind of uber team Walt Jockety will put on the field with a $105 Million Dang Dollars? It would no longer be a question of can we afford a high priced free agent? It now will be, what free agent can’t we afford? Let’s just hope that Walt does not go all Brian Cashman on us and assemble a team of all-stars that do not form a cohesive unit. The Yankee’s may have, and spend all the money in the world, but it has not bought them a title since 2000. Year after year, big market teams are spending hundreds of millions of dollars, and getting nothing for thier return. Dodgers, cubs, BoSox,Yanks,Mets,houston,ATL. Where the Cardinals have been on the upper end of the middle class, and could have 3 World Series rings on their hands from this century, instead of just one. I hope they continue that trend. We don’t need to just throw money away. We need to get the best quality player for the money they are going to invest. I know a lot of fans want Jason Schmidt. But I am not among them. The guy is way to old to be considering giving him a long term, big dollar deal. Instead they need to go out and get Zito if they are going to get a big free agent pitcher. Resign Mulder to a multi year deal. With just a base salary for the first two years, plus performance incentives. Then go big money starting the third year. Give Carpenter the well over due raise as well. Resign Suppon. Then the rotation will be Carp, Zito, Sup,Mulder,Reyes. I like that. I like that a lot. Then sign Soriano. I don’t care if you have to re-due Alberts deal so he is not making less than Soriano, do it. DO IT. The guy can rake. A big bat in the middle of the order we could always use. ALWAYS.

And that brings me to my final point. Scott Speizeo just resigned for two years at $4.5 Million dollars. Great for him. He earned it. And great for us fans that the team is bringing back one of our favorites. The Imperial will be Cardinals Red for at least two more seasons. And thats good news all around. But, BUT, that is big time money for a bench guy. The first thing I thought when I read that was, *ok, who is getting traded?* The Cardinals simply do not spend that kind of cash for a bench guy. The great blog Viva El Birdos suggested on Friday that it could mean that Scott Rolen’s days in a Cardinal uniform are numbered. Simply because of how well Speizer did in Scotties absence. That brought out many many replies. Some in favor, some not. Some didn’t get it was a fantasy *what if* trade talk. Of course it’s a fantasy. It has to be. No way the Cardinals trade Scott Rolen. No way.

But, there could be something to it. I mean, if the Cardinals are now crossing the $100 Million Dollar mark, anything is possible. ANYTHING. Including trading the best to ever play third base for big time, can’t miss, CHEEP, stud pitching prospects.

Whatever happens. Keep basking in the glow of a World Series V I C T O R Y. Everytime I think about it, I still get goosebumps. It was a improbable Red October Miracle. It has filled my heart and soul with great pride and joy. One that I have never felt before for my Cardinals. It’s a good time to be a Cardinals fan. Scratch that. It’s a GREAT time to be a Cardinals fan. So enjoy it people. Enjoy it.


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