What You Have Come To Expect, And So Much More

This is entry is going to be completely different from any other blog post, or news paper article you will read about the Cardinals win last night over the KC Royals. I take great pride in my writings, even though so far they are not widely read. The fact that they could be keeps me focused on putting out the best possible work I can about the Cardinals, and anything else I choose to write about. I want to be different from any other writer out there. I strive to be different just not for the sake of being different. I strive to be different because I honestly believe my take on the Cardinals is unique, and I say things that no one else is saying. But things that need to be said.

OK, first off, congrats to AWesome for 1 hitting KC last night. But that’s as far as I am going to go in praising him, and the Cards for their win last night. WHAT?? Yep, you read that right. Congrats boys, you get a pat on the back from Jonny, but that’s it. Now I know what every one is thinking, *Jonny, AW almost threw a FREAKING NO HITTER!! HOW CAN YOU NOT TRIP ALL OVER YOURSELF AND USE BIG WORDS IN PRAISING ADAM AND THE CARDS??* Well, that’s simple. Because every other person who will put out a story today about the Cards will be tripping all over themselves to do that. And personally I don’t feel the Cards and Adam deserve more praise than that. Why? That’s simple too. Because I believe the Cardinals pitchers SHOULD hold the KC offense to 1 or 2 hits per game, and the Cards offense SHOULD score 8+ runs against the KC pitching staff per game. And just because they went out and did their job last night, does not mean I’m going to be running to my thesaurus to come up with big words to describe their performance. Adam is the type of pitcher that SHOULD hold keep the KC bats silent. The Cards always hit Perez(last nights starting pitcher for KC)likes he’s pitching BP. So they SHOULD have put up a lot of runs last night. So YEA! The Cards won last night. Good for them. They did their job. Let me ask you, when you do your job, do coworkers, family members and perfect strangers gush all over you and use big words to describe your greatness? Probably not. And am not I going to do that here to describe the win and the 1 hitter Adam tossed for 8 innings last night. Let me put it this way. I look at what Adam and the Cards accomplished last night like I look at what they did against the Pirates a couple weeks ago. If you remember the Cards swept a 3 game series on the 22nd,23rd & 24th of May against the Pirates. Which is exactly what a team with the caliber of talent the Cards possess should do to a team with the caliber of talent the Pirates have. The Cards are the type of team that should beat up on the lesser teams in both leagues. And play no worse than .500 ball against the cream of the crop, the top shelf teams in both leagues. So until Adam and the Cards play a game against say the Brewers, Mets, Phils, Red Sox, Angels, and Tigers, and do to them what they did to KC. I won’t be kissing the Cards butts like every other reporter and blogger is doing today, for basically playing up to their potential.

And I guarantee you, if you ask Tony and the boys what they’d rather read and hear today. They’d rather hear and read what I’m saying, than what the rest of the baseball world is saying. Because they know I speak the truth. Yes it’s good they won and played the way they played. But it’s not as big of a deal as every one is making it out to be.

As for the game review, Adam had pretty good stuff all night long. And that’s why he was able to keep KC hit less for most of the night. I admit, when Miles botched that line drive, and then the next batter got a hit. I was pretty mad because I felt Miles blew the no-no for Adam. Imagine my surprise when I read this quote from Adam in today’s edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It wasn’t in the cards. God didn’t want me to throw a no-hitter today, and that’s fine. He allowed me to throw eight (innings) and one (hit). And I’ll take that every time.” I tell you what folks, I’m more impressed with Adam’s take on that than I am on his pitching performance last night. That quote right there shows that Adam gets it. He understands what’s really important in life. And he knows that yes, it would have been great if he would have thrown a no hitter last night. But he’s not upset it didn’t. He see’s the bigger picture. The kids got a good head on his shoulders, and that’s going to help him be a star in this game for years to come.

Last nights 7 run outburst is no surprise to anyone who saw that Odalis Perez was pitching for KC. The Cards absolutely own poor Odalis. For example Albert has a .684 batting average against him. Yes, I said .684! Now that’s impressive. The team as a whole destroys the guy when he faces them. Normally when they face Perez they hit a lot of double and home runs. Last night was the exception to that rule. Yes they had some double, but mostly they small balled him to death. And that’s perfectly fine if you ask me. If a team becomes to dependant on the home run, they can easily become stale and can go into collective slumps. The Cards have had that type of offense in recent weeks. That’s dangerous. They need to hit singles and doubles more than they need to hit home runs. If you remember the Tigers were a team last year that hit a lot of home runs. And yes that type of play won them a lot of games. But look what happened to them in the World Series, the Cards pitching staff took the home run away from their bats, and the Cards won the series quite easily. For the Cardinals to be a successful team that goes deep into the playoffs, they need to be able to manufacture runs, and not depend solely on the home run to provide all of their scoring. So I for one am glad to see they played small ball last night against a guy they normally punish by hitting the ball over the fence. It shows to me this team does have some hope, not a lot mind you, but some hope that if they ever get some good pitching again, that they could make it to the playoffs. And maybe shock the world again and advance pretty far into them.

Now tonight’s game has all the makings of another disaster for the Cards. ATAW favorite whipping boy KIPPY and his 2-10 record and 6.33 ERA takes the hill tonight. KC has Scott Elarton and his 2-2 record and (gulp) 7.34 ERA pitching for them. So like I said Tuesday, expect A LOT of runs to be scored tonight. Yes, I am fully aware KIPPY held the very dangerous LA Angels to ONLY 3 runs last time out. But if you recall, he had a 4-0 lead, and almost gave it all up in the 5th inning, and he didn’t get one out in the 6th before Tony yanked him. And that’s one of KIPPY’s biggest problems. He can’t hold leads, and he can’t pitch past the 5th inning. And he better start doing both quickly, because against all odds, Welley is holding his own as a starter. And Anthony is impressing with what he’s done since going down to Memphis. If KIPPY keeps not holding leads, and not pitching past the 5th, the Cards will replace him with Anthony. But I guarantee you this. If KIPPY pitches like he did last time out tonight, he’ll also have a no hitter going into the 6th inning. And if you think every one is making a big deal out of Adam having a no-no into the 6th, just imagine what the pundits will be saying if KIPPY, the worst starting pitcher in both leagues does the same thing.

Going to hit on something I’ve never wrote about before, but something that until a few years ago was very near & dear to my heart. NASCAR. Actually Dale Earnhardt Jr, and his decision to leave DEI, and drive for Rick Hendrick Motor Sports. As a child I grew up idolising Dale Earnhardt. He was every thing I wanted to be, and more. He was the Intimidator. The Man In Black. He was the greatest driver to ever get behind the wheel of a race car. Women wanted to be with him, and men wanted to be him. He was a rebel. Anti establishment. But yet, when NASCAR had a problem, who was the first guy they went to? Yep. Dale Earnhardt. He was that important to the sport. Nothing happened without Dale giving his 2 cents. I am a racing fan because of Dale Earnhardt. When he died in 2001, a big part of my love for racing died with him. Ever since then I’ve followed the sport less and less. But if you were to ask me if I had a favorite driver, I’d say it was Dale Jr. Simply because he’s Dale Jr. And I thought he was as cool, and as big of an anti establishment rebel as his father was. But in the years since we lost Dale, it’s become increasing obvious that Dale Jr is not in fact a carbon copy of Dale Sr most of his fans and I so desperately want him to be. Our hero is gone. And we will never forget him, but we have to understand he is never coming back.

Yesterday Dale Jr announced he was joining Hendrick Motor Sports in 2008, and will be the evil Jeff Gordon’s teammate. Something each and every one of Dale Sr’s fans are sick about. It’s not that we are mad at Dale Jr for leaving DEI. Because we all know he and his step mom were never going to make it work. But it’s another reminder that our hero is dead. Our hero never, EVER would have joined the Yankee’s of NASCAR. He was a man of the people. Blue colar through and through. He loved that going into most races, he didn’t have the best handling, and faster car on the track. And we loved it too, because as the under dog, Dale Sr was at his best. And if he always had the best car, he wouldn’t be the hero to millions that he was. I don’t hold it against Dale Jr for driving for Hendrick. In fact, I thinks it’s a pretty smart move. From now on, the pressure is all on him. He no longer has the excuse that he does not have the equipment to win races and championships. He will now have the best of every thing, and like Gordon, Johnson, and Mears, he should be very successful. His daddy didn’t need the best of the best to win races. That’s the biggest difference between the two Dale’s. Sr could do things in a car no other mortal could even imagine doing. That’s what made Dale Sr, Dale Sr. Jr is a totally different cat. And that’s not a bad thing. I think the worse thing Jr could have done is go to RCR and drive the #3 car. Dale Jr is not his father. He is his own man, and he needs to make his own legacy. Now, he will have his chance. He will finally be free for the most part and be able to get out of his father’s almost never ending shadow and be able to make his own mark on NASCAR.

It is not now, and it never was fair of Dale Sr’s fans to expect Dale Jr to be a carbon copy of his father and be just like him. He is not his father. And the sooner every fan understands and accepts that fact, and let’s Dale Jr be his own man. The happier every one will be. Every one of his fans needs to have closure and let the idea of Dale still being on the race track every Sunday go. I feel we as Sr fans have never let him go, and are putting all our hopes and dreams for him unfairly on Jr. It’s high time we stop living in the past. And for every one, that time came the yesterday when Jr left DEI for Hendrick Motor Sports.

Until I heard just how close Rick Hendrick and Dale Jr have become, I was totally against Jr driving for Rick. I didn’t know Sr actually got Rick his first win as a NASCAR owner in the Busch series all the way back in the early 80’s. I had no idea how close Jr and Ricky Hendrick, Rick’s son who died in a plane crash a few years ago were. I had no idea Rick would not be where he is today if not for Dale Jr’s grandpa helping him get started by building his race cars and engines. And he kept his grandpa on the pay roll years after he was able to work in the shop. I had no idea how close Rick and Dale Jr have grown since Dale Sr and Ricky died. I had no idea how much Rick helped Dale Jr’s sister Kelly when she had a cancer scare early in the year. Or how that he didn’t openly recruit Jr when he became a free agent, instead offering him the services of lawyers and people Jr needed to make his choice of what team to drive for. I’ve never like Rick Hendrick because of Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson. And I never will like those two. But now, after hearing all the facts, I no longer feel the same about Rick Hendrick as a person like I did before Wednesday. Now I see Jr driving for him was a perfect match. I see he’s actually a good person. Even if Jeff and Jimmy are scum. I’m happy for Dale Jr now. He’s finally free to be his own man. And Rick Hendrick is just the man to help Jr be all he can be. I’m happy and at peace with Jr’s decision. Which is exactly how Dale Sr feels up in heaven watching his son and the rest of us.

Well that’s all the knowledge you can handle from me. I’ll be back Friday afternoon with a look ahead at the series in Oakland starting Friday night. And anything that tickles my fancy about tonight’s game in KC. So till next time, this is Jonny Bone reminding every one out there, that the light at the end of the tunnel, may be you.

Always make it bounce.



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