Ladies And Gentlemen! I Give You The MAN, The Myth, The Legend, MR. RICK ANKIEL!!!!

HEEEEEEEEEEE’SS BAAAAAAAACKKKK!!!!

To borrow a phrase from an old Cardinal broadcaster, HOLY COW! What a way to let the baseball world know you are back to reclaim what is rightfully yours. Pardon my French, but damn Rick! Welcome back bro. Dude, we’ve missed you. And from the looks of things, you’ve missed us too. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script for the dude. To totally fall off the baseball world, then claw your way back up, after your craft has turned it’s back on you. Is simply amazing. Hollywood wishes they could write stories like Rick’s. This is just so amazing. The guys first game in the bigs as an outfielder, and he hit a 3 run home run to seal a victory for the Cards. To quote Jack Buck, “UNBELIEVEALE!”

Can you say closure? How do you spell vindication? That’s right. R I C K  A N K I E L. It’s 5:30 am out here on the east coast, and my goose bumps still have goose bumps. I’m too excited to sleep. If I am, what do you think Rick’s doing right now? I bet he’s sleeping the sleep of a very continent and happy man. Finally his fight is over. His battles all fought. His personal war against the demons of baseball is over. No matter what, from here on out even if he never sees another pitch, or takes to the diamond again, he’s beaten them all. All of his demons are vanquished. Finally Rick Ankiel is back in the bigs. The 800 pound gorilla is off his back. Of course we all hope & pray his playing days are not over. But that does not matter. All that matters is for one game, Rick made it back. And he showed the world what he’s all about. And that’s winning folks. Rick Ankiel is a winner. GOD bless him he’s a winner baby!

I’m so freaking happy right now. I haven’t been this happy or excited since last October. I hope it lasts, but even if it does not, I don’t care. I’m so happy for Rick. I’m so happy for his coaches and teammates. I’m so happy for all us Cardinal fans.

Of course now that Rick’s back, and apparently playing at a high level, there are a lot of questions hovering over the Cardinals. Like are the really as close as it seams now that they are only 5 1/2 games back of the division lead? Have they finally turned the proverbial corner and are playing up to their potential? Has the starting rotation finally started to resemble a quality playoff caliber rotation? Or are they simply enjoying a run of good luck? KIPPY has quietly thrown together a string a pretty good starts. Joel Pineiro has looked more than solid in his first two starts. Anthony pitched brilliantly in his last start. And by his own admission he didn’t have any thing close to his good fastball. Wagonmaker has been pretty good as well. LOOP’s still up and down, but he looked very good this week. They have also started winning close games. For instance take yesterday’s 2-1 win over Mad Dog. That was a huge, HUGE victory. To be able to beat one of the best pitchers in the modern era, and do it the way they did speaks volumes about where the Cardinals are at as a team.

Does this mean that they are going to make the playoffs? I still don’t think so. BUT it does mean the Cards have some life left in them. They aren’t going down without a fight. At least for now they are going down swinging. They have a pulse, all be it a weak one. But it’s there. And if you would have asked me a week ago if I thought they had a snowballs chance in hell of making the playoffs, without hesitation I would have told you no. But now, well now I’m not so confident. They have a long, looooong way to go. I believe we should wait till the Cards get their record above .500 before we starting thinking about the playoffs. They now have a legitimate shot of reaching .500 before the end of the month. If they make it there,  and the flubs & Brew Crew keep falling back, then yes. Yes the Cardinals have a legit shot at the playoffs. Once again, that’s something just one short week ago I never thought I’d never write.

You know, I almost wish the Cards wouldn’t be giving us fans hope. After this disastrous monstrosity of a season they’ve put us through, just coming up short of making the playoffs would be a huge blow to them. And us fans. They’ve put us through hell with their up and down play. I forget who gave them the name “Bipolar Cardinals” on VEB, but it fits. They win some games over teams they should lose to. Then they go and get destroyed by teams like the Pirates and the Nats. They can’t be consistent. If they can ever put together a long winning streak, it will do wonders for the playoff hope. But if they fall back to earth, well the season is probably over any way, so it’s no big deal. Just don’t toy with us fans St. Louis. Eather start winning, or keep losing. Don’t play with our emotions. We fans can’t take it. We just can’t. Don’t screw with us guys. That’s just cruel.

Of course they wouldn’t be the 2007 Cardinals without some drama. And now that drama involves a fan favorites fight against drug addiction. The Imperial, Scott Spiezio has a cocaine problem, and that’s probably why he’s been sick all season long. Speezer told the Cards about it, and now he’ll go to rehab and hopefully be cured of his addiction. Let’s hope he doesn’t go to the same ones all the slutty stars of Hollywood have been going in and out of for the past few years. This is a serious, serious problem folks. Speezer has a big hill to climb, to not only get clean and get his personal life back in order. But make it back to the baseball diamond. Every one here at ATAW is praying for Speezer and his family that he can get the help he needs. I can’t speak for HUGE, but I personally don’t care if he ever gets back in a Cardinal uniform. All I care about is that he gets clean. As long as he’s clean, the baseball stuff will take care of itself.

Well the Dodger’s come into the STL for the weekend. Wagonmaker looks to avenge the beating he took by their hands earlier in the season tonight. It’s the only game of the weekend I’ll be able to watch, so I hope they win. The Dodger’s despite winning in extra innings yesterday have been falling out of the race in the NL West. And the Cards have beaten them pretty regularly the past few years, so with all the good vibes Rick has brought with him, and the starting rotations sudden trend upward, I would hope that the Cards can sweep the Dodger’s right out of town. But because these truly are the Bipolar Cardinals, I’m not a believer in them yet. Like I said, they need to get to .500. And once they get to, and then pass .500, I’ll believe. But I’m not there, yet.

That’s all the knowledge I’m going to drop on you for this week. Unless Ankiel does something even more spectacular during tonight’s game. Baring that, I’ll be back here Monday to talk about the weekend series. Make it a great weekend every one.

Till next time this is Jonny Bone reminding every one, yes even you. That the light at the end of the tunnel, may be you.

Keep making it bounce.

PEACE.

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