It’s time to let the hands go and unleash the greatest blog in the history of cyber net writers. Well, not really. Just a collection of words from a guy whose only tool is blunt truth. Here we go with no Pitbull included. I have been dealing single subject blogs for a few weeks but this one is all over the place. Special and intact. Starting with my Redbird Stress Burners….
Being a Cardinals fan is like being a fan of Evel Knievel. Every time they go to work, something bad could happen. A chaotic horse race. A traffic jam on a broken highway. Loud noises in a grocery store. Baseball will snap your heart 10 ways from Sunday and there’s no stopping it. The season is so damn long you wonder how your body and mind adapt and survive every year. This is why I admire and respect the casual fans. They watch, put one foot into the door and escape before devotion and addiction settle in. Believe me, if you can do it, I am all for it. The problem is when I was 5 years old I was hooked and haven’t let go since. Baseball owns me. I own myself partially. Life goes on.
- Carlos Martinez. Fire ball tossing mini Pedro Martinez has been with team for 3 weeks and would need to be sent back to Memphis to retool as a starter again. I like him as the fireman in this bullpen, the strikeout artist who can pitch a full inning. Leave him be for now unless setbacks occur.
- Seth Maness. He is a strike throwing machine and gets more double plays than Cardinals Care can keep up with but would also need to be sent back to Memphis to retool to be a 5-6 inning arm again. He is so effective in his role, like Martinez, that I don’t want to move him right now. Future wise he is a starting prospect. Right now he is a plumber who fixed a leak in the bullpen first, taking over Edward Mujica’s role when he left for the closer spot.
- Joe Kelly. Once again, he was used in relief yesterday and has been playing more catch with the right fielder between innings than pitching in games. I am not sure if he bought Mike Matheny a knife for a gift this year or was he simply forgotten. He needs a Memphis trip to be retooled as a starter so he can help this team in June and onward.
- Michael Wacha. The most intriguing choice was passed over for Lyons even though his next start would fall in turn with Garcia’s missing appearance. The Cards may not want to start Wacha’s clock too early but I say if the kid has the goods to pitch here, then start the ticker and get him here. Why waste a start with Lyons when you have Wacha dominating Memphis bats? He stays in AAA for now. Excuses to follow in the papers.
- Chris Carpenter. A month away at least but the big guy is progressing with a starter workload in his rehab. He is throwing close to 100 pitches and getting closer to a rehab assignment in Memphis. If all goes well there, he will step into either Garcia or Westbrook’s role, especially with the rotation on fire. John Cast and Tyler Lyons are intriguing young arms but if you have a guy named Carpenter lurking in your corner, you put the gloves on him and send him into combat. Chris Carpenter at 75% is better than most pitchers at full blast because of his tenacity, intensity and pure volatility on a pitching mound. Hanley Rameriz still can’t get the shit stain out of his pants from the time Carpenter screamed at him up the first base line at Busch in 2011. Chris Carpenter is brass balls fury and will make it to Busch sometime in June.
- Tyler Lyons. I don’t know a thing about this kid and neither does any scribe on twitter yet so we will have to wait and see when he takes the mound in Ron Burgundy Country this week.
- John Gast. If he pitches well over 2-4 starts and Westbrook comes back and Carpenter isn’t ready, you move the young crafty lefthander into Garcia’s spot. For now, he faces a big task today in taking the rubber game against the Brewers.
- Anybody else hear the boulder fall off David Freese’s shoulders on Friday when he launched that grand slam to center field in a home run reminiscent of his 2011 World Series bomb from Game 6? It was one hit but a meaningful one for the native. He is a good hitter and will bust out of the funk. Friday’s bomb helped.
- I like resting Carlos Beltran 2 times a week. It will keep him fresh and ready to roll in the late season high stakes action.
- Edward Mujica’s work is truly remarkable and isn’t getting enough attention, which could be a good thing. He is 12-12 in save opportunities in the month since taking over in mid April. He has retired 40 of the 46 hitters he has faced since that time. He is making it look easy. He is also a cool dude and a father of a young girl. Just icing on the cake. Chief is getting the job done in a big way. If it continues, this will be the most shocking and smooth recovery in the Cards bullpen in years.
- No one hits a ball harder than Matt Holliday and sports science backs it up. According to studies, the ball comes off Holliday’s bat at near 100 mph. The only player who stings the ball harder is Giancarlo Stanton in Miami. Holliday hits into so many double plays because he hits a missile to the middle infielder on a hop and its an easy turn. Holliday sprints down the base line every time. Something to think about to go with Holliday’s effectiveness in 2 out/RISP situations in 2013.
- The Cards only like to score a lot of runs with 2 outs. Kind of their thing so far. I expect this to change.
- CORRECTION-Joe Kelly has pitched 4 times in the past 6 days. This guy was wrong. He still doesn’t have a role and deserves better. With Gast, Lyons, Maness and Martinez up here, it would be good to send Kelly back down to retool as a starter. I think he helps the team the most in that role.
Sports teams are made to break our hearts. Athletic players coming together with one common goal of winning a championship that temporarily puts their hardcore fans on a pedestal. It’s a freaky concoction of competition, addiction and inner strength. You could go to any main street and toss a rock at a crowd and hit a person who could deliver a 10 minute uncut rant about sports easily. It’s a common element of life and one that hits people who don’t even like sports. The Blues break out hearts so often that we are used to it. That doesn’t mean the pain goes away or the incoming crash is any weaker. Every year, playoff built or not, we think to ourselves what it would be like to celebrate up and down 14th and Clark and around the city for the Blues and not the Cardinals. A myth, pipe dream, and goal shared by old men, ambitious young men and women and kids alike. What if the Blues won the Stanley Cup? Typing the sentence involves a necessary pause because in their time here since the late 1960’s, the Blues haven’t won a single Cup. We are without a championship banner and it sucks. On Friday, our hopes for one in this lockout shortened season were destroyed. The Los Angeles Kings came back from a 2-0 series deficit and beat the Blues four straight games to capture the first round and send every Blues fan to the cold hard concrete ground with a thud. Too bad we all knew it would come, now or later. The Blues have given us this sickness in our systems. A feeling of inevitable failure. What a terrible thing. Not as horrible as a rash in a sensitive area but one that itches at us in other ways. Here are my thoughts on the Blues.
Before the puck drops on Scottrade’s freshly paved ice tonight at 8pm, let me toss out a few thoughts. Warnings, ideas and basic sports prose sprinkled with analysis and attitude. A pregame warmup session if you will allow the description to take flight. The Cardinals avenged last night’s pathetic loss to the Cubs today with a nailbiting 5-4 win, so all the focus is on the BLUES. Here we go.
- Chris Stewart. The enigmatic winger has gone missing for 2 weeks now except for one great pass to Barrett Jackman in Game 2. Seriously, this is the main problem with Stewie. He is passionately streaky. He doesn’t play it low key and take a game off. He takes a group of games off. There are times where his energy level is also suspect. He skates around, gets into a few scrums but doesn’t crash the net enough. His job is to score goals and he isn’t doing that. If Hitch wants to bench a guy, pick Stewart or demote him. Time is running out, and this guy isn’t doing anything.
- Andy Mcdonald. The little guy hasn’t scored a goal since Mitchell Boggs’ last save and can’t hit the net with a shot. Like Stewart, his job is to make plays, score goals and avoid concussions that make him miss 45 games. McDonald is MISSING. He isn’t leaving a dent on the ice, and looks slower every game. He shows up tonight or he needs to be demoted. He also happens to make 4 million dollars. When was the last time he had a big game? Don’t hurt yourself thinking.
- David Perron. The Frenchman has done little outside of hump Jonathan Quick’s leg before every whistle. He hasn’t scored in a long time and looks flaky out there. Perron is a playmaker and not paid to be a pest. He makes nearly 2 million dollars to put pucks in the net, and that is as simple as it gets. Let Chris Porter get into Quick’s head. Perron needs to light up the damn lamp.
My take on the Blues before Game 4-
My Take on the Cardinals before their series in Chicago-
Here comes the latest Dose of Buffa.