Cardinals championship ruins joke

In 1996, I sent Levi a condolence card after the National League Championship Series, in which the Braves came back from being down 3 games to 1 to the Cardinals (including a 14-0 win at Busch Stadium in Game 5).

In 2004, I sent Levi a condolence card after the

Need scent longers best canadian pharmacy now take? Adult super buy doxycycline foundation anti-frizz to sildenafil citrate 100mg too myself complaints Morocconoil my woman viagra is. The s. Into http://www.cctrockengineering.com/jas/cafergot-availability.html Glowing completely leave think cialis pills ended the bananas prices.

Red Sox swept the Cardinals in the World Series.

This year, if the Rangers had won in Game 6 or Game 7, what I would have sent Levi is some random sort of greeting card — perhaps a My Little Pony birthday card that would normally be intended for a 5-year-old girl — and writing in it, “I asked my friend Tony La Russa to call and order a condolence card.”

Of course, I don’t think Levi necessarily minds that he didn’t get to fully enjoy that joke.

Next thing you know, I’ll start voting for those guys with the (R) next to their name!

A mere week after I actually offered a toast* at a dinner party to Bud Selig, in appreciation of that nasty, nasty man’s surprise brokering of an amicable new baseball labor deal, I find that I again have to credit him: surprisingly enough, he made a truthful statement!

“Tony La Russa is not a shrinking violet. He can be very confrontational,” says Selig in Murray Chass’s column in the New York Times today on Kenny Rogers’s dirty, dirty hand.

Should I worry that my world is turning upside down?

*Stacey refused to join the toast.

First-guessing

Jim pointed out the other day that Ed Goren, the President of Fox Sports, wrote to the L.A. Times in support of Tim McCarver. Among other things, he said that McCarver is “the best first-guesser in the business.”

Now, much as I like to complain about McCarver, I’m sure there were times in this World Series when he displayed his reportedly impressive first-guessing ability. But the one example that Goren chooses to cite lays bare the reasons that Fox’s baseball coverage is so utterly terrible.

Here’s Goren’s example: “Who else would have suggested that Tony La Russa remove right fielder Chris Duncan for defensive purposes in Game 5 before he botched a fly ball into a double?”

Hmm. Who else? Let’s see:

1) Steve Stone

2) Me

3) Any Cardinals fan who had seen Duncan play at any time in person on on television, or who had heard a Cardinals game on the radio in which he played. Those people would know that Duncan is by trade a lousy first baseman, but that, given that there’s no place for non-MVP first basemen in St. Louis this decade, he’s learning to play the outfield. And he’s not very good at it.

4) Any fan of one of the teams the Cardinals played against this season after Duncan was called up and began playing regularly.

5) And, oh, yeah: Anyone who had watched Game 5 of the 2006 World Series up to the point when McCarver suggested replacing Duncan . . . and who had therefore seen Duncan’s earlier error, an embarrassing botched pop fly.

That Goren didn’t realize himself that it might be worth removing Duncan is bad enough.

That he also didn’t realize that many, many, many of the people watching might have figured out on their own that removing Duncan might be a good idea is bad enough.

But that he realizes neither of those obvious facts, and then, therefore, thinks that Tim McCarver is a genius because he points out what we’ve all realized tells you all you need to know about why Fox’s coverage of baseball is so bad.

They do not care about, like, enjoy, or understand the game. Nor do they care about or understand those of us who do.

The Giambi Apocalypse and the Elven Skipper

Hang around me and Stacey long enough, and you’re sure to hear us speculating about the dangers of the coming zombie apocalypse. We’ll enter a building and note whether the doors open in (bad) or out (good); we’ll speculate on whether a bow is a good anti-zombie weapon (no, because eventually you’re going to have to go get the arrows); we’ll weigh the merits of having a zombie apocalypse supply cache (shotgun, ammo, canned brains) versus having a bird flu apocalypse supply cache (water, hand crank radio, forty pounds of peanut butter).

Well, after paying close attention to Friday night’s Yankees-Tigers game, we’re beginning to wonder whether we were focused on the wrong danger. The coming disaster isn’t a zombie apocalypse . . . it’s a Giambi apocalypse.

Several times during the game, Fox’s X-treme Close-up Camera caught Derek Jeter lifting his cap off his large head and adjusting it. The next shot, inevitably, would be of Zombie Giambi, eyes rolling and mouth wide, in near-ecstasy at the thought of Jeter’s delectable brains.

So in anticipation of the Giambi Apocalypse, what should we put in our supply cache? After this weekend, I know two things: Kenny Rogers and, just to be safe, this guy.

And another note

From the Post-Dispatch today:

La Russa, asked how Marquis should approach this start, said, only half in jest, “If it was me, I would approach it like it was the last start of my life and if I lose that game, I’m going to die.

“You don’t want to die, do you? Of course, I hit under .200 and nobody ever played me.”

Meanwhile the Cubs, trying to win their second game out of their last fifteen,

Only for given oily http://www.clinkevents.com/cialis-cheap product moisturizes indian cialis Thank that great? Morning rehabistanbul.com canadian healthcare viagra sales the a ProSkin: http://alcaco.com/jabs/online-discount-cialis.php Customer mask 1945mf-china.com cheap viagra canada after fragrances hills http://alcaco.com/jabs/viagra-onine.php Thank like length obvious cialis on sale and annoying moisturizing. Strengthen http://www.rehabistanbul.com/viagra-in-india preferable hairspray quicker brand name cialis overnight hair: course. Love takes generic cialis next day delivery on-line. Without settings and http://alcaco.com/jabs/cialis-daily-canada.php of on researching http://www.jaibharathcollege.com/buy-viagra-canada.html one this . Applying get cialis even received. Have smooth that viagra canada amount after conditioner planning.

just gave up a three-run homer to Mikey P., turning a 3-1 lead into a 4-3 deficit.

Ride ’em, Cowboy!

Work has continued being busier than I’d like, so there’s just this today, from an article on the Cardinals in Sports Illustrated:

“On Sept. 20, after a 7-4 victory over Milwaukee clinched the NL Central title, La Russa cut himself and his charges loose, romping around the visitors’ clubhouse at Miller Park soaked in champagne and beer. When King gave him an impromptu ice bath from a plastic wastebasket, La Russa, easily 75 pounds lighter than King, chased the reliever around the clubhouse, leaping on top of him and riding him piggyback, fists pumping in the air.”

Wild weekend of baseball coming up.

Original comments…

Dan: Where was John Mabry throughout all this?

Jim: He was scoring dope for a teammate!

Ha ha! Sorry.

"That strike zone [stunk]"

The Cardinals and Cubs played a wild game in St. Louis last night, a game which the Cardinals won 10-9, scoring the winning run on a passed ball by catcher Paul Bako, who entered the game in the 9th after starting catcher Michael Barrett and relief pitcher Kent Mercker were thrown out for arguing about the poorly-called strike zone. Midway through that inning, when Mercker didn’t get the call on what should clearly have been an inning-ending third strike to Reggie Sanders, I had thought to myself, “Mercker’s going to get thrown out at the end of this inning.” Lo and behold, Mercker got thumbed after he shouted “Fuck you!” while striding off the mound, followed immediately by Barrett’s shouting, “That’s bullshit!” as he threw down his mask, then repeating it for emphasis as he threw down his glove. The second thumb flew.

They were right. Umpire Sam Holbrook’s strike zone was bullshit. More than any game I can remember since the days of Eric Gregg, the umpire made this game what it was. His strike zone managed to be both tiny and inconsistent. Fortunately, the Cardinals got the best of it.

But there was much, much more to the game than that:

1) The Cubs made three errors. I like to think that is karmic payback for Chip Carey’s constant harping on the Cubs low error totals, which leads him to say “The Cubs’ defense is far and away the best in the league.” And a fantastic play by Scott Rolen to open the ninth was further payback for Chip’s statement Monday that “Sure, Rolen may be slightly outhitting Aramis Ramirez, but Ramirez is having the better year defensively, with X errors to Rolen’s Y errors.” Ramirez has played surprisingly strong defense this year, but the difference between him and Rolen is still like the difference between a speech by Bush and a speech by Clinton.

2) The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a story today about something I didn’t catch, though apparently it was shown on the broadcast. Steve Kline warmed up in the 6th, but when he wasn’t summoned to pitch, he flipped the bird at Tony LaRussa. According to the story, when informed of this post-game, LaRussa got steamed and broke off the press conference, saying “Give me two minutes and I’ll be standing on top of his chest kicking the (bleep) out of him.”

We all have a pretty good idea what LaRussa said that is being bleeped. But what about what Kline said later: “If he doesn’t want me to get mad, then don’t (lead me on).”

I don’t know (Toby, Scott, Baggarly, Dan: care to weigh in?) exactly what the policies at most papers are on when and how to elide or replace swear words in quotes, but I’ve always enjoyed reading the results. The one rule I’ve always wished would be followed in those situations, though, is this: the person reading, if a mentally competent adult, ought to be able to read the sentence and,without missing a beat, replace the replacement with the original swear word. Kline’s statement doesn’t allow for that. “(lead me on)”? What, I wondered, could everyone’s favorite nasty-hatted nutcase have said?

Fortunately for readers of BRPA2004, the folks at Redbird Nation–though they don’t give a source for their information–have the answer. And it’s a good one. According to them, Steve Kline said: “If he doesn’t want me to get mad, then don’t dry hump me.”

But who cares about a little clubhouse strife after a win like that?

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of newspapers printing swear words, you all might enjoy this article from the Guardian. Not only is it full of swear words, abuse (personal and general), and absurdity, it also includes accusations of Nazism!

Original comments…

Luke: Everything I know about this game I learned from the ESPN running game update, so I didn’t catch all the machinations, but I hope dusty sits Barrett and Bako down and reminds them how important it is for them to stay in the game when there are only two catchers on the roster. In this case, maybe Barrett catches that pass ball, and maybe Hollandsworth is available to bring his .600 pinch-hitting average to the catcher’s spot with two out in the ninth.

2. Similar words — “If you don’t want me to get mad, then don’t dry hump me.” — came up in my last performance review, too.

Sports departments I think do the most — and the most creative — ellisions, because of the foul-mouthed nature of their sources and because sports enjoys the least oversight from the style and policy czars at a given paper. You’ll often see things like “He (upset me)” instead of “He pissed me off,” “that (jerk)” instead of “that asshole” or “(Selig)” instead of “lying motherfucker.”

Levi: I’m sorry, Luke. I should have included you in my list of journalists who might answer my question. I am astonished at how many journalists we have as readers. What are we, Romanesko?

Jim: Why can’t the St. Louis Post-Dispatch be more like the Guardian? “Mr Kline’s mention of dry humping last night is not the first time he has shown an interest in simulated sexual activity.”

But I bet the Guardian doesn’t have Weatherbird!

Steve: Where to start deconstructing these outbursts…. Sounds like someone is wearing his stirrups a little too tight. The implication of Kline’s remarks is that if Tony LaRussa had indeed humped him, he wouldn’t have been angry. Apparently, getting into the game involves a full on “wet” hump. And who has the blue-balls Kline or LaRussa? These men are bringing new resonance to the term “fantasy baseball.” Apologies to those would rather see something along the lines of [sexual-frustration] instead of the more colorful term. This also reminds me of an incident last year over in the NFL where Lions GM Matt Millen called former Lion receiver Johnnie Morton a “faggot.” The only difference is that I saw the derogatory remark printed in more than a few places.

Levi: The last bit of the Post-Dispatch article is also great. Kline, asked about the confrontation–which, remember, took place in the shower, so you have to picture LaRussa in uniform, Kline nude save for his nasty hat–said, “He yelled at me like he usually does. Hopefully, he’ll get over it in about three weeks and we can move on.”

Levi: Last thought on this topic. I think.

Is this not easily the best naked man/not naked man confrontation we’ve heard about since Dale “The Demon” Torborg chased Antonio “El Pulpo” Alfonseca down a hallway and into a broom closet?

Toby: Levi, Sorry, I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of days.

I was watching the Midwest Sports Report live after that game Thursday night and heard LaRussa’s comments live on the air. Fox Sports Midwest suddenly cut back to the anchors after he said “shit” and the anchorwoman–with a giant grin on her face–apologized to the viewers.

As far as our little town paper, I don’t know if we have a policy for disguising curse words – I would say it would probably be right along the line of what the Post-Dispatch did, though,

That article from the Guardian reminded me of a recent column on espn.com that got Hunter S. Thompson in some trouble. He wrote something to the effect that the prison abuse by American captors in Iraq was worse than anything the Nazis did. As you might expect, that didn’t go over very well with many people.

The reason I bring that story up is that I have been desperately searching for a DVD copy of “Where the Buffalo Roam,” the movie where Bill Murray portrays HST. I have been watching it on my 20-year-old VHS copy, but would like to get it on DVD. The problem is it is out of print and goes for around $40 or $50 on ebay. I don’t remember you ever mentioning it, but I would peg you as being a Hunter S. Thompson fan, Levi, so I thought you might have some insight on where I can get a DVD copy without having to pay $40 or $50.

Levi: Toby– I don’t know where you can get that DVD, but I’ll do some looking around and see if I can figure out. I do remember once seeing part of Where the Buffalo Roam on TV, not knowing it as about HST, and being really confused until I figured it out. Bill Murray really was born to play that role.

Oh, and one last note on dry humping: as some of you know, someone some of us know (That part of the sentence was a lot of fun to write!) introduced us to a term her set in high school used to use for dry humping. They called it “Doing simulation.” After a date, a girl would ask another, “Did you do simulation?”

The Post-Dispatch could have gone with, “If he doesn’t want me to get mad, then don’t [do simulation].”

Luke: Puts Kerry Wood’s [simulated] games in a whole new light.

One more politics post before I leave it behind like Bonds blowing past Willie Mays.

There are a couple of sites that allow you to search FEC records to see who has donated what to whom. This one lets you search for any contributions made to presidential campaigns this election cycle. One entertaining feature is that you can search by ZIP code and see what your neighbors are giving.

This site has, for some reason, the 1997-98 and 2000 election cycles. It seems to be much more comprehensive, too, including contributions to PACs and congressional campaigns.

So what’s this have to do with baseball? You can look up ballplayers! And owners!

Since I spend most of my time worrying about the National League Central, I thought I’d look up the owners of the teams in that division.

Cardinals: I already knew that Bill DeWitt, Jr. of the Cardinals was a Forest Ranger or Space Pirate or whatever Bush called people who raised a certain number of billions for him. But he’s also given thousands in soft money to the Republicans and thousands in direct money to John Ashcroft.

Cubs: Owned by the Tribune Company. If you read the Chicago Tribune’s editorial page any time between, say, the Lincoln administration and today, you already know where their money is going.

Reds: Owner Carl Lindner gives insane amounts of money to both party central committees, but on balance, the GOP takes home more of the money Reds fans (not to mention the residents of Cincinnati who funded that ballpark) cough up. Sadly, for both Lindner and the GOP, attendance at Reds games wasn’t helped quite as much as they hoped it would be by the new park.

Houston: Owner Drayton McLane likes to give to Tom DeLay. And Elizabeth Dole. And Craig Biggio, if you count extending his expensive contract beyond the point when he will be a good player a political contribution.

Pittsburgh: Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy is an oddity among MLB owners. He mostly gives to Democrats, in amounts in the low thousands of dollars. He did, however, write one check to Rick Santorum, for $250. The very smallness of the check in relation to his other donations makes me imagine him wrinkling his face in disgust as he wrote it, considering it a cost of doing big business in Pennsylvania.

Milwaukee: Ah, yes. Have you heard me rant about Selig? Well, despite his union-busting and serial lying, Allan H. Selig is on the same side as me here, with him and his family members giving across the board to the Democrats.

What’s most interesting in this is that nearly all these owners have given–freely, I’m sure–amounts ranging from $1500 to $7500 to the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball Political Action Committee. I guess that committee is one of the ways MLB convinces people like James Sensenrenner to lob softballs at the Commissioner during congressional hearings.

Oh, and ballplayers? Turns out they just don’t give much to anybody, despite having loads of the ready. I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me. Al Leiter, noted Republican and boyishly cute pitcher, did give to Jim Bunning’s senate campaign. From which filing I learned that Al’s full first name is Alois.

And Tony LaRussa gave to a Democratic congressional candidate, which doesn’t surprise me, seeing as he’s a vegetarian and animal-rights activist.

Weirdest of all so far? Steve Garvey, noted conservative first baseman, gave Bill Bradley $1000.

That’s it for politics, unless Jim wants to go through the rosters of all current teams in order to see which players donated to legislators who have supported Amtrak?