Now that the smoke has cleared from the first day of work for the week, allow me to add a few things to last night’s epic run. Consider this the epilogue to the initial madness.
More Brian Wilson
It’s hard to stop talking about one of the most chrismatic pitchers in the game. If you missed last night’s section about the reason behind the post save celebration, here it is.
“While he is a crackerjack comedian in the clubhouse and a man who fully indulges in his cult legend status, a personal story drew me in last week. After every save, Wilson turns away from home plate and crosses his arms in the air and looks to the sky. At first glance, it looks like a religious ploy or a wrestling dedication. In reality, Wilson is saluting his dad every time he does it. As a youngster, Wilson lived in a military family and learned the game of baseball from his dad. It was a rough upbringing with strict guidelines, but through his dad, Wilson crafted his future and became the man he is today. At the age of 12, his dad took him for a drive and mixing humor with a tragic situation, told his son he had kidney cancer. From 12 to 17 years of age, Brian Wilson didn’t see his dad much because he was driving around the country for cures and test trials. At the age of 17, his dad beat kidney cancer and things looked up. However, his dad developed brain cancer from the treatment that cured his kidney cancer, and he died soon after. Wilson dedicates every save to his dad by making that gesture. Watching Wilson tell it with such conviction and stone cold sadness, you see a side of the guy that you previously only guessed at. It’s a revealatory episode and worth checking out. The best moment is hearing Wilson tell the story as you see Wilson close out Game 5 of the World Series last winter against the Rangers. He said he could only imagine what his dad would think, seeing all that hard work at a young age pay off. With Wilson on the DL with a sore pitching elbow(he had Tommy John surgery in 2003), I’ll be rooting for his recovery and hoping to see the arms crossed again soon. Wilson owns the most saves of any closer in MLB over the past 4 seasons to go with the colorful attitude.”
Here is a look at Wilson losing his cool and talking about what closers go through after blown saves. Interesting because he doesn’t hold a thing back and unloads here. Video joy, so suck it up full.
“As a closer, it’s embarassing to be taken out of the ninth inning. It’s your job. Win, lose or draw. Go out there and get the win. You’re the last man standing. Well, I wasn’t the last man standing, so I was a little pissed off about it.”-Brian Wilson
“It’s a cooler. It’s made of plastic. It’s fine. We get a double play. Giants win. I’m over it.”-Brian Wilson beating up a cooler post blown save
A Reason The Cards Falling out of the Race Works for Me
In less than a month, I will be a dad. There it is in a nutshell. There’s one good reason the Cards are falling out of it. Call it sappy or sentimental but understand it’s a real fucking statement. What kind of dad would I be to give a halfass effort to my son the moment he is born during a playoff race? Vincent doesn’t need a dad confounded and perplexed by a sport. He needs a dad. 100 percent. Full time. The Cards will miss the playoffs for the 4th time in 5 years, the only year they won a playoff game being their Game 5 triumpg over the Detroit Tigers for their 10th World Series. Since then, one playoff berth, zero wins and a load of disappointment. It is what it is but the facts are hard to avoid. The Cards will miss the playoffs but my son gets my full attention. As Albert swings towards a contract, I learn to take care of a human being. Believe me I won’t repeat a yearly Cubs fan sentiment, but this team lives to play another season with a different makeup. Interesting future lies ahead, for me and the Cardinals. That went well, right?
Blues Sale Pending
If David Checketts is smart, when Tom Stillman presents his offer, he will consider it heavily. If Stillman’s offer is anywhere near the required amount Checketts needs to give his investors the right parachute to jump out of this Blues hockey plane, he needs to take the deal, move on and get on with his life in another sport. He needs to finish the deal here and give this team a fresh start. Do what’s right for the city and your investors. If they want out of hockey, tell them this is the last possible deal and the best it gets. Plead to them to accept Stillman’s offer. Tom Stillman is a good local personality who will take care of this team. He is getting assistance from Cards President Bill DeWitt III and has friends in the right places and will push this team forward. Business logistics are involved here for sure, but we can all hope Stillman’s offer today fits the mold crafted by Checketts and his handlers. Walk the ransom money back to the big fish and get out while the plane is still hanging low. Checketts brought the Blues back from the bottom of the barrel, reenergized the fan base and set the future up to be bright. Now it’s time for the final piece to drop.
Chris Carpenter pitches for #9 tonight
For the first time this season, Chris Carpenter can go over the .500 mark in his record. Carpenter has been one of the bright spots in a second half swoon for the team. He is 7-1 in 11 starts since June 23rd, turning his season completely around after a 1-6 start. If Jason Motte is the bright light in the bullpen, Carp is the ace once again of the rotation. A dominating presence the past 2 months while sucking up innings in every start, Carp has made another comeback. His ERA has shrunk from 5.00+ to 3.68 entering tonight’s game against the Dodgers. He has accumulated 178.1 innings pitched in 26 starts, going 8 innings or more in 5 of his last 10 starts. Carpenter’s best season was 2005, where he went 21-5 with a 2.83 ERA, 7 CG, 4 shutouts, 213 strikeouts and 51 walks. He is quietly racking up numbers this season with 2 complete games, 142 strikeouts to 44 walks. Tonight, with win #9, Carpenter inches closer to another season of double digit wins.
Cards Mission for the Last 5 weeks
Figure out question marks for the offseason. See what you have, see what is expendable and what needs to stay next year. Here is a quick checklist.
-Keep Albert. Once again, you don’t let a piece of gold walk away. His 2011 down year is still impressive for any other major league player. He put on a hitting show last night, going 4-5 with a home run to close out a disappointing series in Wrigley. He isn’t slowing down, but only pressing in a contract season.
-Examine Edwin Jackson this next month. Is he worth a long term deal and do you want to keep him along with Carp and move Westbrook or Lohse? Jackson is full of talent, only 28 years old, has a live arm and could fit comfortably into Busch Stadium pitching zones. Will this kid put it all together?
-See how Rafael Furcal’s health holds up the rest of the season? He is a vital defensive arm and quality leadoff guy, but be sure he is healthy for next season.
-Who stays and who goes at second base/utility position? Can Daniel Descalso replace Skip Schumacher? Ryan Theriot isn’t coming back. Is Tony Cruz your new backup catcher in 2012? Where does Allen Craig fit into the fold or is he trade bait? Figure it out.
-What is Jason Motte’s role? If a deal for Heath Bell falls through, do you give Motte another shot at the closer role? Sure, he got a shot before Ryan Franklin took over in 2009 but he only got a brief look. He blew 2 of 3 saves in the first part of April of 2009 and was hooked quickly. Since then, he has refined a second pitch, is able to locate his 98 mph fastball and carries the look and mentality of a closer. Motte can locate his propane heater and that is devastating for hitters to deal with in the 9th innings. Consider it a laser with a target. Motte is a strikeout pitcher who puts fires out right now, but can he be more? I think so.
-See how greedy Lance Berkman gets. Hopefully, Berk takes a 2 year deal here, gets a little security and allows Allen Craig to platoon with Jon Jay in center field. Before this year, no team wanted any part of Berkman after he looked spent and finished in a horrible 2010 campaign that ended in pinstripe misery. After the Astros rejected him, the Cards welcomed him and watched him put his career back together. These two sides need to reward each other and get something done. If not, don’t forget about Ryan Ludwick.
-Stop griping about Chris Perez’s amazing season in Cleveland. There was no telling Perez would rise so quick as a shutdown closer in Cleveland and no telling he would of been great here. Perez came up with plenty of pressure and faltered early in his Cardinals debut. Going to Cleveland allowed the pressure to fall off and he excelled. The Mark DeRosa trade bit the Cards hard but it’s time to move on. Stop living in the past Cardinals fans. The Cards will get a shutdown closer this offseason and put Fernando Salas back in a more versatile bullpen role.
That’s it on the Cards.
What’s on tap tonight? Dinner with the wife, Cardinals baseball and a little Showtime series entertainment later on tonight. Add in a shocktop or two and the night is set. Today was a busy yet highly fulfilling day of work. Worked out in the morning, worked a hard 8 at the warehouse today, ran at lunch and came right home after work. Productivity deserves a rest at the end. The curtain is falling on this message.
Thanks for reading and goodnight,
Dan L. Buffa