LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED

I know I’ve neglected this blog for the past few weeks. Reason is, I’ve been uninspired to write about spring training. Why? I don’t know. But I just have not been in the blogging mood. But with the season starting tomorrow night, I thought I should say something. So, here is my something.

First off big props and mad love to the founder of this blog, Huge Cards Fan, and his wife Mrs. Huge Cards Fan. He and his lovely wife are expecting their first child sometime in late fall. Novemberish is what he told me early last week. I know I speak for everyone when I say I’ll be praying for the health and well being of both Mrs and the baby. And we all are hoping it’s a boy, and he is a lefty, flame throwing, power hitting super star for the St. Louis Cardinals in about 18-20 years. (I have my own purely selfish reasons in hoping Mrs Huge has a boy. I already went over with Huge, and I won’t get into it here. I simply don’t have the time.) So congrats to Huge&Mrs Huge.

Also Friday on the VEB blog, Lboros had a cubs fan write a post about how great he thinks the cubs will do. And Lboros did the same about the Cardinals for the other guys blog. On the intro, Lboros, as I read it, said we could lay into the guy for being who he is, just do not go over board. So I did. I thought. Of course it was full of misspelled words, uneven sentences because I never use spell check unless I use it here, and I wrote it out real fast, and did not proof read it. So a lot of people didn’t like it, and didn’t take it as the joke it was meant to be. While I will never have a cubs fan write for my blog, to each their own. I am not going to knock VEB for having a cubs fan write for his blog. It’s the best baseball blog on the net, and they guy has earned everyone’s respect and he can pretty much do whatever he wants without having guys like me knock him for having the enemy write on his blog. I really like what he has going on over there, and I hope to continue to express my opinions over there in the future. I was not trying to start a fight, I honestly thought I was being funny. But I sounded like a drunken idiot, which those who know me, know I am not. I do think I did very well holding back just how little I respect anyone who chooses of their own free will to root for the cubs. I simply cannot respect anyone who pulls for a franchise that only cares about drinking, and parting in the stands and having a good time. Instead of putting a winning ball team on the field for their fans to pull for. And that’s exactly what the cubs stand for. They know that they do not have to win to make money. And that’s all that matters to cubs ownership, and that’s all it will matter to the future owners, whoever they may be. So before I get to my regular scheduled blog entry, I wanted to say to the owner of VEB that I am sorry if he took my comments on Friday as being over the line. They were not meant to be, and I am sorry if he took them that way. His opinion is the only one I care about since it’s his house over there, and as a poster to his blog, I have to follow his rules. I think I did. Others do not. So that’s why I sent him an email explaining my thinking, and why now I am taking the time to tell him I am sorry.

OK, now what are my thoughts about the Cardinals heading into the 2007 season? First off, I am shocked, SHOCKED they could not find a willing trade partner for Ricky Rincon. I don’t see how it possible that there are no teams out there willing to part with a AA or AAA player for Ricky. I am thinking there are two explanations. 1. The Cardinals asking price was too high, so the teams interested in Ricky simply told them thanks, but no thanks. And were waiting for them to just cut him loose so they could sign Ricky for cheep since the Cardinals are stuck paying him almost $1.5 Million for this season. Which the Cardinals cut him loose, so expect him to sign real quick with anther team. Or 2. And this is an even scarier proposition. Maybe Walt was right when he said over the winter that no other GM’s will do deals with him anymore. I can’t remember if I saw it on FSN Midwest, or read it on the Cardinals website. But he did say it. If that is true, can’t the Cardinals  tell MLB that no team is willing to be fair with them? Case in point, last summer, the Cardinals wanted to acquire Craig Wilson from the Pirates, but the Pirates GM wanted Anthony Reyes plus another of the Cardinals top prospects in exchange for him. So of course Walt hung up on the guy. Then the Pirates turn around and trade him to the Yankees for Shawn Chacon. Now I ask you, is Shawn freaking Chacon the same type of talent as Anthony? Hardly. So I fear Walt as a point. No GM out there may be willing to deal with the Cardinals. So if they are, what can be done about it?

And since I didn’t say anything about this last week, I’ll hit on it now. Tony got pulled over for suspicion of a DUI. Not cool skip, not cool. It is never cool to drink and drive. Never ever ever. But now that the facts have come out, it appears, at least according to Tony’s friend Bobby Knight that Tony was not too drunk to drive, even though he blew a 0.093. But Tony had only 4 hours sleep the past few days. So if everyon takes that into account, and the fact that Tony is 62 now, no longer the spry young chap he used to be. It’s no wonder he fell asleep at a red light. Bernie Miklasz over at STLToday.com said last week that when he has had dinner with Tony, Tony and his dinner guests usually go threw only one bottle of whine. And that during season, and especially during the spring these nights out to dinner with Tony go late into the night because everyone gets so wrapped up talking about baseball that they loose track of time. So, with that being said, after most of the facts are in, and most importantly taking into account this is Tony’s first ever offence of any kind, I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as some hope it would be. Sure there were the haters at rival cities newspapers who jumped on us Cardinals fans for showing Tony our support. Well to those idiots I say they can suck it. They are simply jealous of Tony and the Cardinals success since he has been here. And their opinions mean nothing. All that matters is that Tony knows better than anyone just how bad this could have been. And he showed it by not reading from a prepared statement the next day after a game, but by speaking from his heart. I had hoped he would have said more how sorry he was that this happened, and it would never, ever happen again. But that’s only so the haters out there would have no more ammo to shoot at him. I never in any way condone driving while even the slightest bit drunk. But thankful no one was hurt, and for the most part everyone has already forgotten about it.

Which brings me to my next point. The St. Louis Cardinals are the most disrespected World Series winner, OF ALL TIME. Think about it for one second, how much national coverage as this team gotten? Almost zero. I am depressed to admit this, but before Tony’s arrest, I know for a fact that ESPN, the self proclaimed World Wide Leader in Sports, spent exactly 2 minutes and 30 seconds on the Cardinals this year. They spent 2 minutes on them during a 90 minutes Baseball Tonight preview show at the beginning of March. And 30 seconds on them when IZZY made his first appearance of the spring. And that’s it. Now, don’t you think that if you are the defending World Series Champion, that the WWL would spend more than 2:30 on your team before the next season starts? My friends what this is, is yet another case of blatant east, and west coast bias. It it does not happen in boston, New York, LA,Houston,chicago, to the WWL, it never happened in the first place. All they care about are the big market clubs of any sport. Now, before you start to think this is just another rant about how much the WWL sucks, they are not alone. FOX, SI, USA Today, MSN, Yahoo, every other major sporting channel, paper or website has had virtually no coverage whatsoever about our beloved Cardinals. Why? Why are we constantly disrespected? Even after one of the greatest October runs to a World Series title EVER? Why? Sadly, I have no idea. For the past decade, only the Braves in the NL can claim to have been even half as good as our Cardinals. In the AL, only the Yankees too can make such a claim. In all of the history of baseball, what team is second to the Yankees in World Series rings? That’s right, the Cardinals. So why do perennial losers like the cubs and red sox get far more love and coverage than our Cardinals? Those teams combined don’t have the rings we do. Yet all you hear about on the WWL and others is how great those teams are. When year after year after year all they do is lose. I will never in my life time understand it. I can see giving the Dodgers and Angels some love in recent years. Both have been to the playoffs recently. And the Angels did win a ring in 2002. But houston always plays second fiddle to our Cardinals. Why give them love simply because the rocket keeps jerking their chain, and robbing them blind year after year? I don’t buy the argument that those teams get more coverage because they are from bigger cities. Just because you come from a big city, does not mean you are better. Bigger isn’t always better. If the size of a city was the only factor in choosing a World Series winner every year, then the Yankees and mets would win each and ever year. But the size of your city does not choose a winner now does it? No. So why cover teams that have far lesser talented player, worst over all records, and fewer rings than our Cardinals? W H Y?

OK, so what did I think of the spring, and what do I think the Cardinals chances are this season? Well for starters it was a good spring. No seriously, for our starters it was a darn good spring. As a staff they had a 1.89 ERA. That’s crazy low. Even for a spring. Do I think they will be that good during the regular season? No. But I do think they will contend for the NL and major league lead in ERA. They all did very well in keeping the ball low, and getting ground ball outs. And if they continue down that path during the season, they will be a great staff. The biggest surprise of the spring in my opinion are how well LOOP and Kippy have done. Never in my wildest dreams did I think LOOP would be this good as a starter. Like everyone, I thought it was a bad joke when I heard Duncan say he wanted LOOP in the rotation. But all LOOP has done is go out and prove everyone wrong. And for that I give him a standing O. Just keep it going LOOP. The real games start tomorrow night. It’s time to make them count. Same goes for Kippy. I have seen him pitch many times before in pittsburgh. And frankly I was never impressed. But so far Dave as proven me and everyone else wrong. Kippy has done very, very well. But so far, none of the games have mattered. Same goes for the kids. A&A have done pretty good. Adam’s spring ERA isn’t even 1.00. We all knew he was a stud, but I doubt anyone knew he was that good. Anthony worked very hard over the winter to prefect his 2 seam fastball. And so far it’s showed. Now all the boys got to do is stay healthy and not break down late in the year. And I have not even talked about Cy Young himself yet. Carp was his typical Carp self. Nothing short of greatness. So, if everything that’s happened in the spring, happens during the season for our rotation, the Cardinals will win 120 games. Now of course there will be bumps in the road. But so far, so good. Keep it up men.

How about our hitters? They didn’t hit crap this spring. Yes, but, the wind was blowing in at nothing less that 50 miles per hour during each and every game. So you tell me, can you hit a home run, double or even a line drive single into a 50 mph wind? No, no you cannot. So our hitters will be fine. I don’t like it that So is still on the team. Yes, he did help us win a ring, but come on, how can you keep JRod off the team win So played like crap? JRod deserves better. Tony says JRod didn’t make the team because they need someone to back up Jimmy. Well, isn’t that Skip’s job? And won’t Wilson play some center too? Why do you need 3 backup center fielders? And only two back up corner outfielders? I understand if you can play center, you can play a corner as well. But still, both JRod and Skip deserve to be on the big league roster. As much as I love So, and I do. I fear he is too old, and can not longer hit major league pitching. 

With IZZY back to being his good old self, the bullpen is fine as well. Yes we lost Kenny to Tommy John. But everyone but TJ can be that bridge from the starter to IZZY on any given night. And some nights if there are enough lefty’s, TJ can as well if Randy has already pitched or needs a night off. Lets face it, if everything goes according to plan, we won’t ask a whole lot from the bullpen anyway. So I am not worried. 

Alrighty dude, get to it,are the Cardinals going to make the playoffs or not? Dang, you all are an impatience bunch. I finally made it here, so here you go. Not only will the Cardinals make the playoffs, they will win the division by double digits. The brewers are the only team that can challenge us. But they are not ready yet to take the division from us. No other central opponent can run with us. Not the natti, houston, the liberal windy city, or pittsburgh. And as far as potential playoff foes, out west is a crap shoot. Any one of those 4 teams can win it. I pick the Giants to ride the Barry & Barry show to a division title. With the Dodgers winning the wild card. And the Braves winning the east. I’m not drinking the kool-aid with the mets pitching staff. They have an old guy in Glavin, and that’s it. And philly does not want to win, nor do they know HOW to win. It’s going to get ugly there, and fast. So the Cardinals beat the Dodgers again in the first round. Then the Cardinals beat the Giants in the LCS. And finally, the Cardinals beat the Yankees in 7 to win back to back World Series Championships. And they do it in dramatic fashion. With the Cardinals down by 2 in the bottom of the 9th. Albert’s on 3rd, and Scotty’s on first. Jimmy Ballgame steps to the plate in Busch III against Mo Rivera. Mo has pitched in every game of the series, saving 3 games, and blowing 3 saves. And he’s running on fumes. Jimmy works the count to 2-2, when he takes a cutter that does not cut, and plants it in the right field upper deck seats. Ballgame. Pandemonium. The crowd GOES CRAZY!! There is dancing in the streets. The players mob Jimmy at the plate. Tony&Dave hug each other, and then their wives. John and Shannon are screaming on the radio. Joe Buck is crying on FOX. It’s madness. Pure. Holy. Madness. Sadly, that’s Mo’s final pitch of his career, when a week later and MRI shows a complete torn ligament in his right elbow. He has Tommy John, but decides to hang it up, rather than making a come back.

So there you have it. The Cardinals will be back to back World Series Champions. Hear me now, believe me later. I wonder if they’ll get some love from the WWL and every other sports information outlet? Probably not. But just like now, it won’t matter. Because we are  THE WORLD CHAMPOINS BABY!! Man, that never gets old.

Well, looks like that’s the final post till the season starts. Don’t know yet how I’ll handle the season. I doubt I’ll get to review every game. But I’ll do my best to give you the best Cardinals coverage you don’t have to pay for. Till next time, you stay classy, Cardinal Nation.

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