Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Worse Than Denkinger

This is saying a lot coming from the kind of Cards fan I am, but the call in the 9th inning of tonights Angels/White Sox game is the worst I have ever seen in a Major League Baseball game. It was as if the umps were bound and determined to see the White Sox win. It was completely baffling and totally inexcusable. I blame not only the Home Plate umpire for making the bonehead call in the first place, but I also blame every other ump on the field for being more interested in covering the ass of the Home Plate ump than they were in getting the call right.

The Angels mean nothing to me, I dislike American League baseball as a matter of course, but I can see when someone was robbed. The Angels were robbed.

It is enough to make one wonder if anyone is keeping track of the umpires bank accounts. Maybe they ought to be.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

First Step: Admitting It

Alright, alright....I have a problem. I'm suffering from something that might be called "Competition Stress Disorder." It is all the St. Louis Cardinals fault. The thing is, when they get themselves into the post-season I go nuts. On game days I get very extremely gut-wrenchingly nervous, which makes it difficult to read, write, talk, eat, sleep, breathe, etc. If they win that day's game I get a short respite, from the time the game ends until the time I wake up on the next game day. If they lose that day's game I simply remain in a state of high anxiety and misery until they win again.

When you think about it, it is all rather miserable. If you have ever seen the movie Fever Pitch you can get a good idea of what I'm talking about. (I'm talking about the proper English version here, and not the truly horrific and abysmal Americanized one.) There can be moments of unreserved joy, but the vast majority of the time you are faced with uncertainty, anxiety, anger, heartbreak and misery. Sounds like fun, right?

Part of me would really like to jump off of this rollercoaster, but I know I never will. It would be nice to avoid the depressions that descend upon me whenever the season ends in failure (as it has in every baseball season of my life except one.) But the truth is I'm hooked. The depressions are really of a minor variety, and they are easily dispelled after a few weeks by the knowledge that Spring Training is only a winter away, and the promise of victory is just too sweet to pass up.

Such are my thoughts at Noon on game day.

Maybe I should go out and get some Rolaids.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The No-Brainer Of All No-Brainers

You can consider this "home cooking" if you want, but I think Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the National League MVP "race" nailed. It's Albert Pujols in a land-slide.

Pujols was honored Saturday as the first baseman on the all-time Busch Stadium team. With this final-weekend blast of offense, Pujols seems determined to strike the first wrecking-ball blow to the old ballpark.

Perhaps this late explosion will be noticed by the MVP voters, who must submit their ballots by late Sunday. Remarkably, Pujols may be denied the MVP again if voters transfix on Atlanta's Andruw Jones and his 51 homers and league-leading RBI total while ignoring his mediocre overall batting average (.262) and his comically inferior .207 average with runners in scoring position.

If Jones receives the MVP, it'll be with the lowest batting average in the history of the award. And Jones' batting average with runners in scoring position ranks 64th in the National League.

"Albert is the MVP, and with no disrespect to Andruw Jones, it's by a healthy margin," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "Just put together everything he does: the hitting, the leadership, the defense, the way he runs the bases. The whole game."

Of course Pujols lacks that one thing needed for true baseball greatness: An East coast or West coast address.