The Art Of Losing

After Saturday afternoons “pitching performance”, KIPPY Wells now has a record of 2 wins, 10 losses, and a earned run average of 6.40.

Before I go any farther I want to say I get no joy out of writing an entry like this. I want to say I hate pointing out the guys record, and his piss poor pitching performances so far this season. I have nothing against him personally. But his performance as a pitcher for mine, and your beloved St. Louis Cardinals has been, what the word? Awful? Dreadful? Horrible? Repugnant? How about all of the above? When KIPPY signed with the Cards Dave Duncan went on record saying that for years he had told Walt to acquire KIPPY if he could because he was excited about his potential and thought he could turn him into a successful pitcher. I wonder if Dave still feels the same way? I wonder if you were out to dinner with him at a steakhouse in H-Town Saturday night, and you asked him if he still felt the same way about KIPPY as he did back in the winter, I wonder what he would say? Away from the cameras, away from the prying eyes and ears of the guys from the Post-Dispatch. I wonder if he’d give you an honest answer and say no?

You see the problem with KIPPY is not something Dave has the skill and tools to fix. He is not the typical reclamation project that has lost his way and no longer knows how to be a successful pitcher in the major leagues. KIPPY does not have a problem with his mechanics, the way he grips the ball, or any other facet of his game. No KIPPY’s problem if a far deeper monster that can’t be seen with the naked eye. His problem is all mental. Specifically, he was never taught HOW TO WIN. Coming up with the Pirates, a club that has not won anything since they cut ties with Barry Bonds, Bobby Bo, Doug Drabek, and Jim Leyland. That was 1992 people. Scouts have told the Cards so far this season that  every time something goes wrong for KIPPY, he resorts back to bad habits he had while pitching for the Pirates. Instead of digging down and fighting through it like say, Carp always seems do to, he folds under the pressure faster than Joe Hachem does with a bad hand. KIPPY simply does not know how to put away batters in tight spots, and how to be a successful pitcher, I. E. a WINNING PITCHER on a consistent basis.

And since he does not know how to do that, he, the Cards, and us fans are stuck with his 2-10 record, and his insanely high ERA. What Dave has to do is teach KIPPY how to win. Something I don’t think he can do. I believe in Dave’s ability as the best pitching coach the baseball world has ever seen. But there is only so much even he can be expected to do. Winning is more than throwing strikes. Anyone can be taught how to throw a strike. But winning is something you need to learn early on in your baseball career. Sure most MLB players were on championship high school teams, maybe some college teams, and sure some minor league teams that won a bunch of games. But the second KIPPY entered the Pirates origination he was never again exposed to winning. So what the Cards need to do, and should have done in April, was expose KIPPY to the Cardinal way of winning. But since the entire team forgot how to hit, field and pitch till May, he was right back where he always was during his days with the Pirates. If the Cards can’t teach KIPPY how to win, and that’s something at this point I just don’t think he’ll ever be able to do. They need to cut their ties with him as soon as possible.

And I hate to bring that up because we as fans tend to forget we are talking about someones way of earning a living. KIPPY’s job has always been pitching. And just because he’s been bad at it for us, does not mean he shouldn’t ever take the mound again. I just don’t want him to take the mound wearing a Cards jersey if he keeps losing games. Yes KIPPY will make $4 million dollars this year. Probably more than I’ll make for my entire life. But I don’t want to come off as a callus, mean guy that wants him to be unemployed for the rest of his life. We fans keep forgetting that professional athletes are people to. They need to eat, live in a house, and provide for their families just like you or I do. So when we call for a guy to lose his job, I don’t think we take into account all that entails. Yes the Cards will still be on the hook for the remainder of his contract this season. But that could be the last MLB deal he ever gets if he does not turn his season around. And I want you to remember that. I’m not calling for KIPPY to be fired, I’m calling for the Cards to teach him how to win, and teach him quickly. Because it’s not only in the Cards best interest that he start winning games. It’s also what’s best for KIPPY and his new baby girl. 

I don’t have a lot to say about Sunday’s game. I missed it because I was (and I’m still recovering from) a stomach bug. Shocking I know. But yes, even the GrandDaddy of them all, Jonny Bone gets sick every once in a while. It was nice to read about LOOP getting back to his winning ways. I would be more worried about the pen blowing his lead if it didn’t happen in the Juice Box. We all know no lead is safe there. So I can’t say I’m too bothered by it. But it could be something to keep your eyes on. Also great that Albert (at least for one game) got his power back. According to most, he should have gotten credit for 4 home runs because he hit two onto that stupid hill they put out in center field. Only in H-Town would the team be stupid enough to put a freakin hill in their outfield. ECK showed no signs of being hit on his elbow Friday night, by what I still believe was on purpose from Roy. All in all, a very encouraging win. Now if we can just get some guys healthy and productive, and keep them that way for the remainder of the season, the Cards might be on to something.

I hope every one enjoyed the much needed day off. The Reds come into Busch III for a 3 game set starting tonight. They always play the Cards tough at home, so don’t be fooled by their record, this series won’t be cake walk for the Cards. Jr is among a number of Reds players who love playing in the LOU. They won’t go down without a fight. They always seam to rack up a number a runs in the few games they have played in the new Busch. So this will be another hard series to win. But it’s defiantly one the Cards should win. It’d be great if they got greedy and swept the thing wouldn’t it? No matter what happens, (stomach bugs included) I’ll be here to give you my unique perspective on our beloved Cardinals.

Till next time this is Jonny Bone reminding you to always, keep makin it bounce.

PEACE.

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