Results tagged ‘ Yadier Molina ’

Stirring Up Crap

pudding.jpgIn recent weeks, much ado has been made about the ongoing interweb scuffle between bloggers and “real” journalists.  From JRod’s mental wanderings on Raul Ibanez to Geoff Baker’s self-serving opus dei to Hugging Harold Reynoldspublic flaying of Jay Mariotti, everyone seems to be getting in on the controversy — creating it even.

I’m sure JRod is pretty pleased, if for nothing else than for being noticed (albeit harshly).  As sports bloggers, isn’t that all we really want?  To be noticed? 

Apparently, this is the best way to go.  Stir up some real crap.

So I’m gonna.

The following are very, very, very TRUE:

  • Vegetarian or not, Prince Fielder is fat
  • In my “fantasies”, Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols always fan me with palm tree leaves from the side while I… y’know, do my thing
  • The color orange is on steroids!!!!
  • Rush Limbaugh is also fat… and annoying
  • Babe Ruth was only awesome because he had to overcome and compensate for the fact that he had a girl’s last name (and breasts)
  • Barack Obama is a smoker. Deal with it, yo!
  • Bud Selig is as good at being commissioner of baseball as the Washington Nationals are at being champions of baseball
  • I spent a lot of money on Cardinals games during the summer of 1998, in awe of Mark McGwire, realizing that something fishy might be going on, but, like you, didn’t care that much about it ‘cuz it was friggin’ awesome. Like Selig, I too, looked the other way; but I would still make a much better commissioner of baseball than he because this All-Star Game’s “this time it counts” thing is absolutely ridiculous.
  • Our earth is flat; gravity is just some bulls*** made up by Communists
  • Manny Ramirez is Predator… and a cheater and annoying; but in a few days no one will remember that he got popped for taking a banned substance… and just in case you’re wondering, no, Manny is not fat — just big-haired.

Hate me ‘cuz I’m a fire-starter, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Et Tu, Molina?

yadier_molina.jpgIf you are a Cardinal fan and you read Will Leitch’s Deadspin column this week and you are like me then you, too, are probably well into your fourth fifth of Jack Daniels.  You’ve called your mother balling like a baby, the cops have been to your house twice and you have a large welt on the inside part of your leg, you don’t know how or when it got there.

No, sir.  The world just doesn’t seem the same anymore.

For those of you dear readers unaware, to summarize, Leitch made a strong point that the Cardinals’ franchise player — the face, the rock, the lone savior of St. Louis — Albert Pujols, may not be as married to the organization as we all think he is, that if the Cardinals aren’t committed to winning (as they appear now), that if Tony LaRussa isn’t around, that if GM John Mozeliak and his army of “stat zombies” (thanks, Prince) decide to continue on the Moneyball route and take for granted that Albert will sit around, silent, simply collecting a paycheck, then it is not fair to assume he will stay with the franchise once his contract ends in 2011. 

It’s not fair.

It’s terrifying.

I do not have to tell you how important Albert is to St. Louis Cardinals baseball because Albert is St. Louis Cardinals baseball.  The loss of Pujols would be akin to the loss of Franz Ferdinand… or worse!  It’d be John Lennon, Jack Kennedy and Aaliyah all dying on the same day!  Seriously. 

One of the joys from the past few seasons has been watching Yadier Molina develop into a feisty, competitive, smart and affective baseballer.  He hits for average, has power, steals bases, always has his head in the game and you can’t find a better defensive catcher.  You also cannot listen to a Cardinals broadcast these days without hearing how essential Albert Pujols has been in Yadi’s development.  You see them together in the dugout, talking hitting, talking defense, then Yadi goes out produces.  It’s a real thing of beauty.

Yet if you listen to Will Leitch’s warning shots and recognize the clear and present danger of losing Albert, then you really have to think about losing Yadi too.  His contract is also up in 2011 with a club option for 2012 and if Mozeliak & Co. don’t convince Albert to stick around, you can bet that Molina will be right behind him. 

Thinking about all of this makes me want to die.  If I feel that way, if Cardinal fans feel that way, if the blogosphere feels that way, then why does John Mozeliak — the pompous king of arrogance — continue to look down upon us — the common voice — like plebeian s***-eaters who know nothing about the game of baseball?

I guess now is the time to start praying to the baseball gods.  I just hope they know more about satisfying their fanbase than Mozeliak.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Motivational Speaking

Round two of the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry kicked off Friday night and once again the game wobbled in the unsteady hands of each club’s respective bullpens. 

Ryan Franklin was a success.

Carlos Marmol was not.

Here’s why:

albert pujols ryan franklin.jpg
lou piniella carlos marmol.jpgIf you don’t know by now, Albert Pujols is a baseball god.  He hits for average.  He hits for power.  He steals bases.  He motivates his teammates.  I would rather donate half my salary to the Republican Party, sit on Rush Limbaugh’s lap and make out with Ann Coulter while listening to the entire Barry Manilow catalogue than piss off Pujols.

No wonder Franklin got the job done.

As for Marmol, well, can anyone blame him for yet another failure?  His manager hates him.  He has no clearly defined role on the team.  And he just found out that General Motors is pulling the plug on the Pontiac line!

Life just ain’t fair; I couldn’t be happier.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

(*Base images courtesy of the Associated Press)

The Unforgotten

rod_blagjojevich.jpgWhen Chicagoans have lost interest in a political scandal, then it’s safe to say, so has the rest of the country.

Anything wrong with that?  Not in my opinion.  In a world full of greed, hate, debauchery and Cubs baseball, I find solace knowing that even the tireless spin-doctoring and smoke-screening of Rod Blagojevich eventually falls on the deaf ears of a nation distracted with the task of rebuilding itself.

Blago’s days as governor are as numbered as Joe Morgan is annoying; and soon, he will just be another political coelacanth — a footnote in the oppression and wasted tax-dollars of a people.

Good riddance.

In my fervent bidding adieu, I refuse to let Blago’s self-indulgent, gloomy demise get me down.  The older I get, the more I realize how little my brain can actually remember if not trained otherwise; thus, I find it best to replace negativity with post-partisan positivity.  So it is, on this four degree Sunday afternoon, with a broken heart and three cups of coffee too many, that I find grace in the baseball-politico memories dearest to me.

Of course, there are always the Joe Carters, the Kirk Gibsons, the Ozzie Smithsthe inauguration of a new hope for my country… those are all givens.  Today I focus on the obscure, the seemingly minute, the more poignant personal moments that help me to forget about what an awful place this earth can be sometimes.  And so I begin…

Ozzie Guillen Goes to Bobby Jenks
A move he’s made several times, but never as interesting as it was during the 2005 post-season when Ozzie motioned for Jenks by extending his arms out sideways as if to say: “Bring in the fat fella.”

Talking to Carlos Lee Outside Wrigley Field
Having gone hitless against Ted Lilly that night, I was stunned to see a smiling Carlos Lee on the corner of Sheffield and Addison waiting to get on the Astros player’s bus.  I approached him — all gargantuan 230 plus pounds of him — and flippantly asked: “Caballo, what happened?”

“Ball move too much, man.”

I’m still laughing at that one.

“Yes We Can” Viral Video

Sure, I admit I’m a sucker for inspirational acts of creativity… this one still gets me.

Brian Anderson’s Catch
Picture it, October 1, 2008… a one game playoff between the White Sox and Twins to crown the AL Central winner, and a Jim Thome homerun is all that separates the two when we reach the top of the ninth and two outs.  A sharp flare streamlines to right center field, in comes Brian Anderson… instant party on the Southside.

Bill Clinton on Carroll Quigley, DNC 1992

As a young, impressionable, questioning 12 year-old, this quote pushed me in to politics… to stay.

Adam Wainwright’s Curveball
Whether it was striking out Carlos Beltran looking or Brandon Inge swinging, I’ve never seen a more devastating hook — ever.

Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC Keynote Address
I thought a change was a comin’… didn’t know it was going to take so long, but it got me revved up nonetheless.

Yadier Molina Hitting .304 in 2008
After the rocket homerun he hit off Aaron Heilman to beat the Mets in the 2006 NLCS, Molina became my indisputable hero.  To see him blossom into a true hitter in conjunction with his unrivaled defensive skills just makes me want to hug the guy any chance I get.  Yadi, you out there, pal?  Let’s hook that up.

Grandma Lois Talking Baseball
May she rest in peace, my beloved grandmother was talking Cardinals baseball like no other 84 year-old I knew.  Before the 2004 season, she told me: “It’d be nice to see Edmonds and Rolen have really good years.”  She died on April 20, 2004; Jimmy and Scott both put up career numbers and vied for the MVP.  I know she’s still smiling about that one.

Post 9/11 Baseball in New York

I’d be hard pressed to find a more inspiring, more electric, more communal surge of patriotic energy and overall bipartisan goodwill towards all through the greatest game on earth than what took place in New York City that fall. 

I still get goosebumps just thinking of it.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

The Unsung Hero

john-mccain hero.jpgNothing says autumn like a good old heated political firestorm coupled with a stretch battle for a final spot in the MLB playoffs.  Right now, it’s all gettin’ really good.  So, dear readers, let us not forget to let it all sink in (the arguments, the media gaffes, the low blows) and really enjoy what we have going on here.

And more importantly, let us not forget to honor our heroes.

When I think of John McCain, the first thing that comes to mind is: HERO.  You can’t be a prisoner-of-war survivor and not be a hero.  Having spent the first 18 years of my life in a sequestered Illinois river-town also known as the armpit of the mighty Mississippi, I like to think that I understand what it means to be imprisoned by the enemy without any of the amenities I have come to enjoy in my adulthood.  Because of that, my hat will always go off to Senator McCain… for his loyalty, his passion and his love of country.

But I can’t help but think about how he came to be a POW in the first place: while flying his plane over Hanoi he was shot down by the Viet Cong.  In other words, he failed his mission.  Now, I’m not trying to belittle his accomplishments in uniform — not at all — but what I am trying to say is that this hero persona that the GOP is clinging to with all their might is really exposing the fact that Senator McCain has already proven his ability to ‘fail’.

It’s sort of like me saying: “Well, sir, at least I didn’t get your daughter pregnant.”  And he replies: “That’s because you’ve been doing it in the ^ss.”

Okay, well, maybe it’s not quite like that but I think you understand my point.

Yadier_Molina.jpgSo today I’d like us to shift focus from one hero — the one who’s heroics have been thoroughly documented and vetted and celebrated and characterized and relied upon and written about — to one who very few people recognize at all: Yadier Molina.

Quite possibly the most talented of all the Molina brother catchers, young St. Louis Cardinal Yadier gets very little credit for his mounting heroics.  My man-crush for Yadi began the very first time I saw him rifle a ball to second base.  Blessed with a pure cannon of an arm, I soon learned that potential base-stealers would be smart to shorten their leadoffs from first as well; because no one guns ‘em out at first better, with more accuracy or more surprise than good ‘ol Number 4.

As a matter of principle, I tend not to purchase MLB jerseys with a player’s name and number on the back for fear that his tenure may not outlast the jersey’s wearability; but when Yadi singlehandedly sent the Cardinals to the World Series in 2006 by jacking that 9th inning homer off Aaron Heilman, I couldn’t help myself.  I went out and bought his jersey the next day. 

Yadier became my hero.

He still is.  Not only has Molina’s defense gotten consistently better and devastatingly fearsome over his four and a half years in the big leagues, but he has suddenly found a live offensive stroke to go along with it.  He hits for average and almost never strikes out, making him one tough total package on both sides of the field.

molina.lilly.collision.jpgAnd that toughness has never been more apparent than it was last night when Molina was absolutely railroaded, steamrolled and body slammed by Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly in a collision at the plate.  Molina is a catcher.  Getting clocked is a part of his job.  But I’m pretty sure most of us average joes would’ve had a hard time getting up from that, or take getting plowed by a pitcher with such grace, let alone continue the game, taking at-bats, calling pitches.  I was amazed he made it through four innings.

I’d probably still be lying on the ground right now if that were me. 

Which is reason enough to prove that I, dear readers, am not a hero.  Sung or unsung, left or right, red or blue, I’m just that guy you love to hate…

…because you’re always allowed to hate me; but you can’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

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