A Season On The Brink

Well that was a fun 4th of July weekend wasn’t it? Every one enjoy the fireworks, BBQ’s & picnics? Wasn’t watching the Cardinals take care of those north side losers just awesome? I mean the way the O ate “Big Z” alive Friday night, and then beat those two soft tossing lefty’s into the ground Saturday & Sunday afternoons was a thing of beauty. Wasn’t it?

Wait, that didn’t happen. That didn’t happen at all. The Cards were one Kerry Wood blow up away from being swept at home by the freaking flubs! What the hell? Instead of taking care of business & at least winning the series, the Cards looked pathetic all weekend. Except for two 9th innings, Friday night & Saturday afternoon, they looked like the last place they wanted to be was on a diamond playing baseball. That shouldn’t be the case of a team 2 1/2 games back of the division leader, playing the division leader at home. It was embarrassing & quite frankly I’m ashamed of the effort the Cardinals put forth this past weekend. It’s not usually how a Tony La Russa team plays. Especially when his teams play the flubs.

I’ll give the Cards this, they were totally bent over & screwed in the 9th inning Friday night. Ted Barrett, the home plate ump, must have had early dinner reservations, because his strike zone that inning was some one of the worst examples of bad umpiring I’ve seen all season long. And believe me, we’ve all seen a lot of bad umpiring. It’s ruining this great game we love. I have no idea why, but umps these days have become so lazy & inconsistent with their calls. It’s no wonder good old Bud wants to bring in instant replay. I know it would in theory only be for home runs, but it’s a good first step in jerking these umps off their high horses. Their inability to call a consistent strike zone has players, coaches & fans at our whits ends. Some thing needs to be done ASAP before it gets any worse. They are killing baseball. And if Ted Barrett isn’t suspended or fined or punished in some way for what he did Friday night, Dewitt should call up his good friend Bud & give him an ear full. Because Ted may have not only cost the Cards that game, he may have cost them a chance of making the playoffs.

And don’t even get me starting on the whole Jim Edmond’s coming back home BS. Instead of sitting on their hands like real fans should, the “best fans in baseball” gave Jimmy Hollywood a standing O, not once, but twice. Once when he took his spot in center & the other when he made his first plate appearance. I get fans wanting to show Hollywood some love. The entire time he wore the Birds on the Bat he was my favorite Cardinal. But you can’t give a standing O to a player wearing a C on the front of his jersey. You just can’t. They are supposed to be our most bitter & hated rival. Well if that were true, the fans would have only given Hollywood a polite golf style clap when he took his first at bat, and that’s it. No standing O’s, no loud cheers. Nothing more, nothing less. Yes he was a great Cardinal, but he plays for the enemy now. And enemy’s don’t give their enemy’s standing O’s. Period.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, Good teams have a winning record at home & at least play .500 on the road. So far this year the Cards have had no problems with the above .500 record on the road, they are 24-19 to be exact. And thanks to early season success they are 26-21 at home. But if they keep playing they way they have the last couple months, they won’t have a winning record at home for very long. For whatever reason, especially the last couple months, they can’t muster a winning series at home to save their life.

And in a way, that’s what the Cards are playing for now. Their playoffs lives that is. With their pathetic display this weekend, they let the Brew Crew jump in from of them in the Wild Card race & into second place in the division. OH and by the by, the Brew Crew just added Cy Young award winner CC Sabathia to their starting rotation. Fandamntastic. Now I’m not advocating that the Cards blow up their weak, but getting stronger farm system for a three month rental like CC. It’s just aggravating to see a division rival get stronger, while we all know the Cards are going to do absolutely nothing to improve themselves this season. MO & Dewitt have said as much all along. They’ll make a trade or pick up a DFA’d vet, if it makes the Cards stronger this year & beyond. But they are no longer in the business of mortgaging the future to pay for the present. If you have any doubts about their new found business plan, read this article from this past weekend.

Let’s be honest folks, no one, not me, not you, not any one besides Tony La Russa himself thought the Birds had a snow balls chance in hell of being 50-40 the week before the All Star break. It really doesn’t make much sence for them to go for broke & try to win it all this season like the Brew Crew is doing. The plan all along was to take your lumps in 08, and then bring the pain in 09 & beyond. What sucks is I’m so torn right now. I really want them to go get more pitching help & get another more consistent bat to hit behind Albert. But I totally understand & support the plan to stay the course.

But there is a way for the Cards to stay the course AND keep winning and hopefully over take the flubs, Brew Crew or both, and make the playoffs. Here’s what they should do. Call up the kids down in Memphis, and by kids I mean Colby, Garcia, Anderson & Anthony. Trade Lohse, La Rue and IZ2 for some one that can help this year & next. Like I don’t know, maybe a REAL SS or 2nd baseman and DEFINITELY a LOOGY for the pen. Not all in the same deal, but if it worked out that way it’d be fine. DFA Mildew & AK, and possibly FLO. Sending him to Memphis to work on his pitches is probably the move, but I don’t think his deal allows for him to be sent down. Ship DUNK’s butt back down to Memphis till he remember how to hit. And this time don’t bring him back up till he’s really ready. And if he’s never ready, so be it. His father’s feelings be damned.

Go with an every day outfield of Colby in right, Ankiel in center & LUD in left. (Side note, trading LUD right now to oh I don’t know, Tampa for one of their bright young stars isn’t a bad idea either MO. Just sayin) Then you’d have Joey Bombs & Skippy on the bench. (In this fantasy world, Barton goes on the 60 day DL for the rest of the year) The starting five would be LOOP, Pineiro, Welley, Anthony & Anderson. Not great, but not as bad as it is now with Mildew starting Wednesday night. The only down side to this plan is “uber” sub Mini Me is your every day 2nd baseman, IF they didn’t put the one they traded Lohse for in right away, which I think they should. If they did, Mini Me stays as the back up 2nd baseman. Hey, I didn’t say it was perfect plan did I?

Now, Wagonmaker was just cleared today to start throwing, and he’ll do that for one week & then be reevaluated to see if he can step it up or shut it back down. If he can come back by mid August & be the Wagonmaker we all know & love, that starting five looks a whole lot better. Carp keeps getting rave reviews as well, but I still stand by my statement that he won’t provide any thing positive for the Birds this season.

Now, if every thing worked perfectly, IZZY would be moved back to his closers role & be the IZZY of 07 & not the hurt IZZY of 06 & 08. FRANK, Perez, Springer & KMac would split the 6th, 7th & 8th inning set up rolls. With Villone & new LOOGY on the left side of the pen, that leaves Puppy Kicker or Pineiro if Wagonmaker is healthy, as the long inning guy. Yadda, Glaus, Boog, new guy, & Albert in the infield, LUD (or kid from Tampa), Ankiel & Colby in the OF, Joey Bombs, Skippy, Mini Me, Anderson on the bench. LOOP, Wagonmaker, Welley, Anthony & Garcia in the rotation, that team has a damn good chance to make some serious noise & scare the hell out of the high priced flubs & win the it all now, the future be damned Brew Crew.

But alas, this is not a perfect world. The odds of all of that happening are about as good as me marrying Adrian Lima & winning $500 Million in the Power Ball lottery. Sure it could happen, but it won’t. I like MO, he’s not afraid to take chances & shake things up. He’s got cojones. But he doesn’t have this big of a pair. It’d be awesome if he did though uh? We fans can dream though can’t we?

I don’t have much to say about the up coming series vs the Phills. Except it’s going to be U G L Y. The Cards face two tough lefty’s in Hamels & Moyer. And yet another lefty named J.A. Happ who took Brett *cough* wife beater *cough* Myers spot in their rotation. He didn’t last 5 innings in his first & only start last Friday. But that doesn’t mean much because guys like him are the Cards kryptonite. Pineiro, Mildew & LOOP are the starters for the Cards. Sigh. Mildew? Seriously? No, seriously? The guy who couldn’t get 3 outs last week in only his second appearance out of the bull pen is going to start Wednesday night? WHY???? It makes absolutely no sence what so ever to have him make a start. When the Cards are literally on the brink of fading into black or staying in the race to the bitter end, they can’t afford to give away any more games like they’ve been doing almost the entire first half. And I know this hurts for Tony, Dave & MO to hear, and they don’t want to listen, but Mildew is done. Toast. Burt toast actually. It’s long past time for them to cut their loses & move on. They will never get their money back, they will never get the players back they traded for him. Enough is enough, stop putting us fans & the team through this drama. LET IT GO.

Seriously

After the Cards leave Philly, they finish the first half of the season at their second home, PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Where they’ll face even more tough lefty’s. I can easily see this road trip going one of three ways. They will either go 0-6, 3-3 or 4-2. There’s no in between with this team. They are either great, bad, or really bad. They are the precise definition of the word oxymoron. You just can’t figure this team out. One week they play like crap, the next week they can’t lose. You never know which team is going to show up. I guess that’s what makes watching them so fun, and so very aggravating at the same time. It sucks for them that they don’t get four days off for the All Star break. They could really use the extra day off next Thursday after the first half of the season they’ve had. I know I could as well. This team is wearing me out.

Well that’s all the knowledge I have in me that needed to be dropped. Here’s hoping the Cards have a six game winning streak in them to close out the first half. It’s been a hell of a ride so far, & I hope they aren’t ready for it to stop just yet. I know I’m not.

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.

Always keep makin it bounce.

PEACE.

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1 Comment

  1. Well, I think this is about the best Ive seen you write, other than the blogs about your dad. Great job! Just watch for your typos and misspellings. Can you say Roget’s Thesaurus? Spellcheck? ๐Ÿ™‚
    You love this team so much..yet you dont hesitate to comment when they screw up. Thats true loyalty, and unbiased journalism as it should be. You deserve more readership and I hope you get it. But your uncle A’s loyalty to his Yanks has always rubbed off on me a little. He grew up when they were havin their greatest heyday and everyone in the world was a fan. Im sure hes disgruntled about whats going on with them this year and their players..not namin’ no names, though, their names …and the alleged gfriends…are everywhere these days. And since we were in your region back then, he sorta kept up with the Reds too….but that was sooooo long ago! But down here in A-saw the Cards do have a loyal following too..they dominate most of what we hear in ballpark sports on news & in the papers. Check out our Dickey-
    Stephens field too. Its nice. Our Travs here are better than your old Clippers and Mud Hens any day ๐Ÿ™‚
    BTW, How’s things going with repairs at HUGE’s? D emailed me pics of the storm damage..not that bad, but enough to cause probs. Glad to hear that Mrs. Huge and Nate werent hurt.
    Have you ever thought about the possibility of writing a column for your local paper there? If you can do this, you could do a sports column…but it would have to be about other sports, not just your beloved Cards…just some more food for your thought.
    Keep in touch with me, Mr. Bone, and as always,
    Keep makin’ it bounce…and, bounce it down this way sometime
    ps Im surprised you know who Adriana Lima is….she is kinda hot


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