Results tagged ‘ NL Central ’
It’s not a good day to be a Lehman Brothers shareholder nor the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers. You know it and I know it: these headlines are certainly not good for we average US American joes trying to scrape by in an ever-fleecing state of economic emergency. The DOW fell over 500 points which doesn’t bode well for my retirement funds (at this rate I’ll be able to retire after fifty years of being dead!) and the firing of Ned Yost means that the Brewers are playing badly enough to warrant a major change in the clubhouse — a solidly blaring sign that the Cubs got this one in the bag.
Great. Just great.
But hey, guess what! Not all is bad in the world of corporate cranks! The Minnesota Twins, today, announced the name of their new ballpark scheduled to open in 2010. Target Field! Yes! I’m just so… so elated that I can… I can hardly stand it! I’m sooooo glad that Target got the naming rights. I was hoping a big box corporation that exploits its employees to work for minimum wage and frowns upon engaging in talks with union organizers would get that precious opportunity to spread its grimy message of “exploit, exploit, exploit!” Enough of these big banks and cell phone moguls getting all the attention.
Yes, dear readers, we have the real deal with Target Field. I know. I know what you’re thinking. Target Field. Sounds kind of like Tiger Stadium, which is remembered as an abomination of a ballpark that reeked of urine, beer and stale hot dog buns. I know. But don’t worry. I’m positive that Target will do all it can to ensure that its employees won’t be able to afford actually going to a game, so there should be no worries regarding those dreaded undesirables.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
**This post has been graciously brought to you by Target. Target: We’re Not Wal-Mart.
The Cubs, Cards and Brewers have turned the NL Central into a dogfight. With
Chicago and Milwaukee making big moves to bring in high caliber pitching,
St. Louis seems to be the odd man out at this point. What moves if any do
you think the Cards will make and which team (or teams) will emerge from the
dust in September?
Allow me to begin by sending out a great big RSBS EAT IT! to all the critics and analysts who said the NL Central would be the worst division in baseball prior to the season’s start. On the contrary, the Central has turned out to be one of the better, more exciting divisions to watch. Of course, with the NY/LA obsessed media still dictating what is and isn’t entertaining to the mass of US Americans, this competitive division will probably still remain out of the spotlight. This is a downright shame — not as shameful as the existing snoozefest otherwise known as the NL West — but still, it’s a shame.
And as Mr. Krause points out, the NL Central has gotten a whole lot better in recent weeks. But while the Brewers and Cubs went out and made heavy hitting deals for C.C. Sabathia (with periods on my watch) and Rich Harden respectively, it appears that the Cardinals front office really is sitting back — waiting for some divine intervention deus ex machina style.
Or are they?
Long gone are the Walt Jocketty days of going out and getting a guy to win now. No more Larry Walker or Will Clark-esque deals will be happening under John Mozeliak’s rule — that much was already made clear in the offseason when the Brewers, Cubs and Astros all went out and spent a lot of money to get better, thus leaving the Redbirds (and their fans) questioning the sincerity of Mozeliak’s commitment to now. To say that Mozeliak doesn’t want to win is unfair; I believe he does, but I also think his methods are unrealistic when considering our competition and their subsequent open pocketbooks.
Mozeliak and the Cardinals’ brass have been saying that the mid-season reactivation of Mark Mulder and Chris Carpenter would be their “big move” before the trade deadline. Well, the first part of that plan has already proved a bigger bust than the Billary Clinton campaign’s postponing cession from the primaries because “…Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.” So let’s not count on Mark Mulder’s bum arm/shoulder to be anything other than what it is: a bum arm/shoulder.
And while Chris Carpenter could be that mentally motivating savior in the clubhouse who simultaneously goes on a hot streak of domination, what if he’s not? What if he goes back on the DL? It’s very possible, folks. The guy hasn’t pitched a big league game since opening day of 2007 and while his presence was definitely missed last year, it really hasn’t been missed that much this season. The St. Louis hodgepodge rotation of Wainwright (when healthy), Lohse, Looper, Wellemeyer, Pineiro and Brad Thompson have done quite well for themselves. The Cardinals’ Achilles heal isn’t starting pitching.
Nor is it protecting Albert, though many people would like us to believe that. Rumors are afloat that the Cardinals could make a big, colossal, GINORMOUS deal for Matt Holliday. Really? Is that what St. Louis needs? Another big, expensive bat who we won’t be able to afford after 2009? No. Ryan Ludwick, Rick Ankiel and Troy Glaus, as far under the radar as they are, have been doing a good job of protecting A.P.
What the Cardinals really need is a reliever who can throw anything other than lollygaggin’ batting practice fastballs late in a game. And they are out there: Damaso Marte, George Sherrill, Brian Fuentes. One of those guys better be wearing the birds on the bat before July 31st or I may drink myself into delirium from anguish. In recent weeks, watching the last three innings of a Cardinal game has become as uncomfortable as this:
And no one wants to suffer like that — not even John McCain, which is why he hasn’t taken a liking to the moniker: MC CAIN. Too bad for him… and liberals abound.
So who will be at the top of the Central once it is all said in done? Hell if I know. If I did, I wouldn’t be watching the games so intently, or care. But thanks for asking, Mr. Krause. If you remember correctly, I did predict the Brewers would win the Central while secretly hoping the Cards would at least have a wild card bid. The second half of that may be true still, but those Cubbies are awfully tough, which is exactly why I’ll be so happy to see them crumble towards the end of the year (if my deal with the devil works out the way it’s supposed to).
On the flipside, in the American League Central, I hear that Jimmy Leyland is so upset, distraught, and bothered by the lack of urgency in his team (particularly the pitching staff) that he is exploring new avenues of work. In his preparation, he sent me this official press photo that he hopes will ignite interest:
And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Admittedly, it was a good run. Not great, but compared to the cataclysmic string of non-action I experienced for the better part of almost a year, one could honestly say it was “good”.
Though, one would be hard pressed to say much more about it than that.
Sure, I hadn’t been on a real date since September. And yeah, the spring air got me energized and in just one week I had met three really attractive, interesting women, who — SURPRISE — actually showed interest in me. So, yeah, after a couple of dates I narrowed the choices to just one, putting all of my efforts into swooning her, charming her, whisking her away. And I admit, before long I felt myself falling in… yeah, no, what I mean is: I actually liked her. No, no, I wasn’t getting ahead of myself, but it was clear to me that I actually might harbor some potential feelings down the line — that I wasn’t exactly the mass of impregnable steel I thought I was. And to me, things were going just swell. I even realized that maybe — FINALLY — I might make a surging recovery from the hapless nights of Old Style, Tombstone pizzas and and an endless loop of King of Queens reruns that I had become so, so used to.
It all stopped — suddenly. Like an Aaron Miles foul ball destroying Juan Encarnacion’s unsuspecting face…
Fade to black.
But, dear readers, fret not, because there is an upside to the death of my social life and its name is Baseball.
My MLBtv subscription, and the live games it provides on demand, is much easier on the wallet than dinner and drinks out on the town — more filling than the awkward moments of silence — more satisfying than the barrage of clumsy kisses.
Baseball will never play mind games.
Baseball will never question my sincerity.
Baseball will never send me bland, impersonal text messages.
Baseball will never be offended by my arrogance.
Baseball will never stray from being completely honest with me.
Baseball will never be intimidated by my overwhelming good looks.
Baseball will never drop kick my ego.
Baseball will never ignore my phone calls.
Baseball will never judge me.
And that’s why no matter how down I get, no matter how depressed, how much I want to sit around and feel sorry for myself, all I have to do is turn on the game, sit back, relax and remember that baseball makes me feel good.
Sure, it can’t cuddle with me, cook, or give me a heej, but in the end, who needs all that anyway? With the Windy City Classic less than two weeks away, an exciting NL Central battle escalating and an explosive Southside squad knocking the snot out of the ball, I know I and everything around me, will be just fine…
…at least until October.
After that I might need some serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
“With the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros all over the 30 win mark at the end of May, when are the baseball pundits going to admit that the NL Central is actually one of the better, more exciting divisions to watch this season? Must this love affair with all things New York continue while both teams are in the bottom of their respective divisions?”
Mr. Lung, you are a bitter man. I respect that, being a bitter man myself. And I fully agree with you about the New York-ophilia that taints the world of sports journalism. However, bitterness will not change that.
Here’s the thing. Sports exist to make money. And sports journalism, being the leech that it is, flourishes in direct proportion to the events they cover. The National Spelling Bee became popular so now it takes over a primetime slot on ESPN. Three years ago it was on ESPN2 and 20 years ago (when I was competing in spelling bees) you couldn’t even dream of an event like that being shown live on television. So what does this have to do with the lack of love for the NL Central?
Everything. The networks go where the money is and the money is in NY, Boston and LA. The flyover states are, well, flyover states. It’s not in the interest of the writers and pundits to follow a team like the Cardinals because the people in their major markets won’t watch. There’s a reason that the networks were praying for a Celtics-Lakers NBA championship and it wasn’t just because they wanted to do a feature on how Kobe has rehabilitated his image. It’s the same reason why the entire world descended on Iowa in January and now couldn’t care less what happens in the Hawkeye state.
So, to answer your question here’s a very simple response. The baseball pundits are never going to admit that the NL Central is an exciting division. Just like they aren’t going to start showing the Rays or Marlins on Fox Saturday baseball. Well, unless they’re playing the Yankees or Mets, of course.