Friday, December 9, 2011

My take on Albert Pujols

I wanted to wait a day before chiming in on the whole Albert Pujols situation, and his leaving for "greener" pastures in LA.  See I believe that had I wrote this yesterday, my emotions would have gotten the better of me and I don't want to be like that.  Am I still angry, disappointed, saddened that Albert Pujols chose the money over the loyalty, HECK YES! Am I going to burn his jersey and T-Shirt, HECK NO! First off we as Cardinals fans should be above that, but more importantly than that is the fact that Albert may still go into the HOF and that jersey will still have some value.  Tarnished, of course, but let's say for argument sake he is only an Angel a few years and his career is cut short by injury (he does get hurt a lot), he may still have more years as a Cardinal and would most likely go into Cooperstown a Cardinal.  Not for certain but it's possible.

So I wanted to just say my piece and be done with it.  To me, I bought into the whole "I love St. Louis, I love the fans, where else could I go and be in a winning organization and I have enough money", and frankly it was a big fat lie!  I hear all the experts, I'm talking to you Buster Olney, Ken Rosenthal, and the like who feels the organization disrespected Albert Pujols.  I get that he was not paid like the best player in the game, but I also get that the Cardinals stretched themselves to the limit to keep him here.  By the way kudos to the organization for not matching that rather assanine offer the Angels made.  They will regret that decision when Albert spends considerable time on the DL, or in decline.  They will realize that they acted, well rather rashly, and they will most definitely look back and go "what the hell did we do this for?"  I don't believe that they will to go to as many World Series in Albert's next 10 years, that Albert led the Cardinals too in his first 11.  There's too much strength and parody in the American League, heck they are going to still struggle in their own division.  As of this writing the Rangers are still the team to beat in the American League West.  I would absolutely love it if the Rangers ponied up the money and landed Prince Fielder, that way Albert may not even be the best First Baseman in his own division in time.  So enjoy the King while he's still the King, but remember the Cardinals got his best years.

As for the Cardinals, they will be just fine.  There's a great quote from the book "The Tale of Two Cities" that says "The Needs of the Many, outweigh the needs of the Few, or the One".  That statement can't have any more meaning than in this case as the Many (The St Louis Cardinals team) didn't bow down to the "needs" of the One (Pujols).  The Cardinals would have been handcuffed for years, and would not be able to financially compete down the road.  I, for one want to see that money spent to lock up guys like Wainwright, Freese, Molina, and other guys that were major contributors to the Cardinals success.  Hopefully Molina, will not follow his best buddy Pujols to LA, but if he does see ya!  I, trust in John Mozeliak to now concentrate his efforts in multiple players for the 2012 season.  I would have liked to seen the Cardinals go after Prince Fielder and just to rub salt in the wound give him number 5, but that was the emotions of yesterday talking. Today I'd like to see the Cardinals pursue the likes of Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Beltran or a Michael Cuddyer.  As for first base, the Cardinals have a proven All Star Calliber player there, his name is Lance Berkman.  I'd like to see them offer Berkman the opportunity to retire here as well to be honest.  The future is very bright, and yes, you can not replace an Albert Pujols.  But you certainly aren't left with a bare cupboard, after all this team is a World Series Champion, and depending on where Prince Fielder lands should be a favorite going into next season, if nothing else to win the National League Central.

Now I want to address, all the so called "experts" who said Albert was crazy to turn down a 50 million dollar jump in pay (Cardinals offered 210 million, and the Angels offer was for 254 million).  By my math that is a 44 million dollar difference or 4.4 million a year over the life of his new contract.  Wasn't it Albert Pujols himself who said that he'd be crazy to leave the St Louis Cardinals and their fans over 3-4 million dollars, he's got money he said.  Well to all the experts, before you go running your pie holes, read that quote from 2009.

"Do I want to be in St. Louis forever? Of course," Pujols said.  "People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they're jealous that we're in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable. So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to go somewhere else and make $3 or $4 more million a year? It's not about the money. I already got my money. It's about winning and that's it"

Followed by this little gem:


"It's not about the money all the time," the first baseman said. "It's about being in a place to win and being in a position to win.  If the Cardinals are willing to do that and put a team (on the field) every year like they have, I'm going to try to work everything out to stay in this town. But if they're not bringing championship caliber play every year, then it's time for me to go somewhere else that I can win... When I signed my contract I was really happy with what I got.  When that time comes (for another contract) then we're going to figure it out."



So that offer that he was foolish to turn down, in reality was a little bit more than what he said he'd not leave for, so shut up!  And even if the Cardinals offer was only 200 million, and the difference was 50 million, that's 5 million a year more than the Cardinals offer.  So it's 1 million more than what he was quoted about above.  I know we aren't supposed to compare athletes to every day folks, but I'm going to anyway.  I'll use this analogy, let's say you're at a job where you love the company.  You get along great with your co-workers, and your boss.  Heck, you're so established you can get away with anything.  You can be sick and no one will question it. Your production can go down before you retire, but you have it so made in the company that no one would give you a hard time.  Let's say that job paid 10.00 hourly, would you leave that job for a 12-13 dollar an hour job to move to a company, you've never worked for? In a community where you don't know how you will be received, where you don't know your bosses or co-workers?  Would you leave the company that stood by you, discovered your talents and paid you for them for a rival company just because they offered you 3 dollars an hour more? Think about that before you go saying that Albert did the right thing.  He absolutely did not, in my opinion.  

It was his right to see what was out there, and had the Cardinals not made him a fair competitive offer, I could see him going.  But to sit here and say that Albert is bitter and has a right to be because the organization didn't move heaven and earth to cater to his ego, well that's flat out incorrect.  Albert took the easy way, by taking the money and running but never hard as Albert only runs hard when he absolutely has to.

So LA Angels of Anaheim, you've got yourself one hell of a hitter and you should enjoy him while he is still one hell of a hitter.  But know this, it won't last, you made a big time roll of the dice and you may end up shooting craps by the end of this contract.  How many players will have to eventually leave because of the salary prison you have sentenced yourselves too? 

As for the St Louis Cardinals, well they'll be just fine Thank You.

Really

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2011 World Series 8 DVD set

This 8 DVD set can be yours! I have been authorized by the folks at A&E to give away one to one of my fellow Cardinals folks out there.  Unlike the World Series Film, I need you to reply in the blog and I will give you guys one week to reply and I will pick a response, at random so it's not first in first wins.  You can also purchase this awesome set for yourself at the link below:

http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12179276&cp=2366583.2498437

No here's your chance to win one for yourself! But this time again you will have to reply here.  Here's what I want you to do to win.

The whole Albert Pujols to the Marlins thing is the talk of baseball right now.  So I want to know your thoughts.  But first mine:

Let me first say that I absolutely do not want Albert Pujols to take his talents to "South Beach" ala Lebron James.  But if Albert leaves for a 10 year, with ridiculous dollars I say thanks for the memories.  I do believe it will tarnish his image and there's no way the Cardinals should ever even entertain the thought of retiring the number 5.  I do think that the "team" will do better in the long run than the "player", and I think back to the quote from Tales of Two Cities, " The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few, or the one".  So the St. Louis Cardinals will be just fine.  This also gives Allen Craig the opportunity to shine as a full time player on this team.  This is only can be a good thing, as the Cardinals have Lance Berkman for one more year to man first base until Matt Adams makes his way to the big club, and Craig can play the outfield on a regular basis.  The fact of the matter is this, the St. Louis Cardinals will have a better opportunity for another World Series title than Albert will have in Miami.  Throw in the fact that the Marlins have already signed one "me" guy in Jose Reyes, and have another who is unwilling to change positions in Hanley Ramirez and you add Albert (who if he does go the Marlins, will come across as a "me" guy too).  You have the makings for a train wreck, or hey a new Soap Opera (As the Marlins Turn).  Now again, this is all speculation as I still hold out hope that at the end of the day, Albert Pujols will be a St. Louis Cardinal.  However, if he's not the organization will be fine.  Oh and by the way, no way on Earth should the Cardinals give Albert a 10 year contract!  That is unless of course, it's front loaded with monies for his career after he retires. I have no problem with that, but if Albert Pujols truly wants 10 years, then the Cardinals and I say BYE BYE.

Really

Again guys that link if you want to purchase the 8 DVD set is:

http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12179276&cp=2366583.2498437

But one of you will be getting one for free!  So respond and you have a week from today.

Really (yes you get a double really).

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 World Series DVD

Sorry it has taken me so long to write a blog, I won't bore you with details.  Just to say that things are a little on the difficult side where I'm sitting and blogging has kind of taken a back seat.  Heck, I wasn't very good at it anyway, I'm more of a talk about it on the radio person than a type about it person.  But I gave this a shot, it was fun, but again I just was not very good at it.

But, with that being said I did want to give three of you out there an awesome opportunity to win a 2011 World Series DVD, this includes the complete Game 5 of the NLDS.  Let me refresh your memory, uhm that was when our own bulldog Chris Carpenter out dueled Roy Halladay.  I remember saying, no way a 1-0 lead holds up against this team in this park.  And gladly I was proved wrong, as Carpenter was outstanding and sent the Cardinals not only to the NLCS, but to the World Series where he showed why when he hangs it up I think he's a Hall Of Famer.  So you get to watch that game in it's entirety.

The first disc is awesome! First off, the fact that Jon Hamm (Mad Men) is narrating is a treat.  The guy's truly a fan, and his take on the whole thing is very good.  I like how it shows the Cardinals rough start (Pujols contract and Wainwright injuries as a start to what we all thought would be a long season.  But this production was totally awesome, and visually stunning.  This production has it all the ups and downs (Franklin/Colby), and the way this team started out, it is no wonder Cardinal Nation was worried.

But focusing on the positives, it shows the emergence of the NL Comeback Player of the Year in Lance Berkman and the emergence of the youth that picked up the load when the likes of Albert Pujols and Holliday were injured.  I'm speaking of course of David Freese, Jon Jay and of course Allen Craig.  The trade deadline deal that brought in the likes of Edwin Jackson and Rafael Furcal are nicely talked about.

But it has it's adversity too, showing the struggles against the Brewers and the eventual sweep at the hands of the Dodgers that put the Cardinals at a double digit deficit with not a lot of time in the season.  I like the narratives of the players, their telling the story from the team's perspective.  How a single team meeting after that sweep turned this team around.

The playoff footage is so professionally done, and I like how it includes the calls from Mike Shannon and John  Rooney over the video footage.  You know some or a lot of us had to endure the play by play and color analysis of those who in my opinion did not have the Cardinals best interest at heart.  But again this is not a negative post but a positive one.  Oh and how can we forget the "Rally Squirrel" footage, awesome that A&E put that in this disc.  By the way, major props to the staff at A&E, as this was so well orchestrated.  The slow motions of the rain drops, and towels in the stands is very nicely done.  I like how we all get to hear the words "Happy Flight" while watching this.  The close ups of Carpenter's sliding effort to tag the base in Game One, and just how close he came to being injured.  If you didn't know the results already, you'd be on the edge of your seat the whole time they covered the playoffs.  The way the Cardinals handled the "best team in baseball" in the Philadelphia Phillies, to how they handled the team that at one point tweeted the Cardinals would be "watching" them in the playoffs.  And of course the World Series footage, was very well done.  My hats off to Jon Hamm as his narration is very good from start to finish.  They even managed to get the interview with Tony that took place prior to Game 5 about the bull pen phones, in a word...classic.  The Albert Pujols 3 home run game is shown nicely, both live action and close ups.  Just everything about this DVD is worth watching.

I particularly loved how they treated Game 6, starting with the Freese at bat in the 11th and then going back in time with the whole "7 hours earlier", just like a thriller.  And again if you didn't know the Cardinals were going to win Game 6, the way it is portrayed you'd be nervous watching.  Heck, I knew the outcome but the way it's narrated is so awesome, you actually feel like the Rangers were going to win and take the trophy back to Texas.  Game 6 will be a classic forever, and the way it was shown gives it that Hollywood feel. I love how they were able to get Joe Buck's "See You Tomorrow" call in there.  It is only fitting that Joe Buck's emulation of the late great Jack Buck's call be put in this DVD.


And then the climactic Game 7, complete with the Craig home run, the final out, how Carpenter almost was pulled before going out for the 6th inning. It's all captured very nicely, and the final part showing the celebration on the field. The trophy presentation, and you may even see yourselves if you were one of the lucky ones to be at Busch Stadium that night or at the subsequent parade.

This DVD is a total thumbs up, and I highly recommend you get it, if you can....which you can now.  I have been given the pleasure of giving three of these away to three readers.  Sort of my last act as a blogger, and so I'm going to make this very simple.

If you follow me on twitter @hitman6498 I want you to send me you're Christmas wish and be creative.  I know what most if not all of you want.  I want Albert back too, I want the whole #12in12 to happen.  But come on put your creative hats on and wow me!  The three most creatives get the DVD mailed right to your doorstep.  So Cardinal Nation, its on you.

If you're not fortunate enough to win it but want to get information on how to get it here is an excellent link:
http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12328342&cp=2366583.2498437


Really

Friday, October 28, 2011

What a ride it was!!!!

Oh man! First I gotta say that this has been a heck of a ride! And our 2011 St Louis Cardinals are CHAMPIONS AGAIN (11 IN 11)! The win over a very good Texas Rangers team, and mad respect to them to get to back to back World Series is a huge accomplishment.  Having said that, how awesome was this, all the experts said the Cards would lose in every series (Philadelphia, Milwaukee and now Texas) and yet on the podium the Champions of the Baseball World....your St Louis Cardinals!


There were alot of factors that came into play tonight, and the stars were aligned.  I can't help but think about higher powers.  My late Mom who was born on August 25th, coincidentally when the Cardinals made that awesome run (10.5 back). And what a coincidence that FOX network kept running those Stand Up To Cancer commercials, and it was Cancer that took her.  I just can't help think that there was alot of things going on here tonight.  And the team played so inspired in the last two months that I can't help but sit here while I'm typing with a big old smile on my face! 

The future by the way is so bright folks, how can you not feel good with the likes of Allen Craig, David Freese, Chris Carpenter, Yadier Molina, Jason Motte, Fernando Salas, Jaime Garcia, Eduardo Sanchez, Lance Berkman, a healthy Adam Wainwright and yes Albert Pujols (I still say he's coming back folks, where else will he go and have the opportunities he has as a member of the St Louis Cardinals).  I also want to tip my cap to the coaching staff (Tony LaRussa, Dave Duncan and for all the grief he took early on Mark McGwire), for their effort.  And of course Cardinals GM John Mozeliak who when he traded Colby Rasmus for Edwin Jackson, Octaviel Dotel and Mark Rzepczynski, took alot of heat.  I admit I was skeptical, and I thought at the time it was a bad move, and I will sit here and say for the record I WAS WRONG!








So here's to a memorable 2011, and here's to 12 in 12!

REALLY!


Here we go gang Game 7

I can't begin to express the gambit of emotions I am going through.  Last night was the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, and in the end the St Louis Cardinals, as they've done all year battled back from the brink of elimination to win a "must win" game.  I can't tell you how much I probably woke my upstairs neighbors, but hey how often do we get to experience this right?  I can handle a WS every 5 years though, that would be okay with me I am not greedy.  Okay maybe I'm a little greedy, but tonight's game is for all the marbles...the whole shooting gallery...the whole kittenkabootle etc...

But let's talk about last night.  First off, hats off to the hometown hero a one Mr. David Freese.  Now I'm going to start by saying that in no way in a game of this magnitude is there any excuse to drop a pop fly on the infield (use two hands boys), but you know what he had alot of company last night as the errors made this game at times "unwatchable".  But it went from unwatchable to "instant classic", and for those of us that stayed up and watched the whole thing, or those of you that were fortunate enough to be there in person (I'm jealous of you all by the way), we were treated to the biggest roller coaster ride ever.  Six Flags had nothing on Game Six! And for the masses that left early, shame on you!  But this is not a negative post, so we won't dwell on that.  Hats off also go out to the skipper, who took alot of heat for the way Game 5 was handled.  He more than made up for it, and clearly out managed Ron Washington.  I remember thinking when the game went to the 11th, that this was clearly in the favor of the Cardinals.  The Rangers were trotting out and running out of bullpen pitchers, while the Cardinals had Jake Westbrook, who as a starter could have probably pitched into the wee hours.  And by the way, I have to give MAJOR kudos to Westbrook for keeping his sinker working and got out the 11th unscathed.  I just remember telling my wife, that this game was ours.  I, of course didn't expect it to end with one swing of the bat by David Freese but that's fine.  I loved the call by Joe Buck too, "we'll see you tomorrow night" in honor of his father the late, great Jack Buck! I know alot of people bash Joe Buck because he talked about the Rangers alot, but what's he supposed to do it's a National audience he has too.  But if you heard him on the local radio this morning, you could tell he loved the outcome and the fact that the Cardinals are now just one win away from their 11th title (11in11).  I am not going to pile on guys like Matt Holliday or Rafael Furcal or Jon Jay, again this is a positive blog, but I will say that I am glad the young Adron Chambers gets a chance to potentially do something on the grandest stage of all, and I hope for Matt Holliday's sake he can recover from the injury that clearly has him in tons of pain.  I like the chemistry this teams shows, and I just can't help but think that this one is "Written in the Stars" as TBS likes to sing it.  This team, without one of baseball's best pitchers in Adam Wainwright, fought back from 10.5 back on August 25th to where they are today.  By the way August 25th, happens to be my late mom's birthday, ironic that Fox also shows all those Stand Up To Cancer ads which is what took my mom.  So I can't help but think that this is destiny, and this time tomorrow the St Louis Cardinals will be your World Series Champions!

We can focus on all of the other stuff after wards, the whole "is this the last time Albert Pujols bats in a Cardinals uniform" crap can wait  I still think he's staying by the way.  And the future looks bright with the likes of Allen Craig, and David Freese along side the vets.  By the way I can't help but think of all the haters out there (Brewers, Reds and Cubs fans), who are now magically turned into Texas Rangers fans.  All I can say is "sorry for your luck".  Tonight Chris Carpenter will hopefully pitch the Cardinals to victory, Rally Squirrel and Torty Craig and the likes will flood the downtown streets of St. Louis and the party will continue until Spring Training.  So let's get 'em Redbirds, and Cardinals Nation I look forward to cheering and screaming right alongside you!

Really

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brewers here we come, be careful what you say in August T-Plush

First off mad mad mad props to the entire St Louis Cardinals but let's face it, last night's performance was all about this man!

That, folks is the look of a bulldog, an ace, a guy who was flat out dominating last night! In pitching the Cardinals to a 1-0 deciding Game 5 victory and putting the Cardinals into the NLCS vs our old buddies the Milwaukee Brewers. All I have to say is GET READY! Earlier in the season Nyjer "T-Plush" Morgan, opened his big fat mouth and stated the Cardinals would be watching the Brewers in the playoffs.  You should be careful what you say Plush, but here comes your worst nightmare! Make no mistake about it, and no matter what you hear, the Cardinals wanted the Brewers! And they wanted them bad! I have to give very mad respect to the Philadelphia Phillies.  They could have coasted after coasting to the NL East title, and laid down in that last series vs the Atlanta Braves.  But they didn't, they played the game like they did the other 159 prior to that series, and in doing so bounced the Braves from postseason consideration and getting the Cardinals in.  That turned out to be kind of the Phillies undoing because the Cardinals were coming in hot and the Braves weren't.  And that hot St Louis Cardinals team came to play and by taking the best of 5 (two of which were in Philadelphia) vs one of, if not the best rotation in the big leagues.  To beat this team, took a heckuva an effort from everyone.  The fact that Chris Carpenter went toe to toe with his good friend Roy Halladay was one for the ages.  The fact that he was able to make an early 1-0 lead hold up, the fact that the defense was nails last night (Yadi gunning Chase Utley out on a stolen base attempt and Rafael Furcal with probably the save of the game with a shot up the middle that he got spun and threw a runner out). Oh and my condolences to all of you so called "experts", I'm looking at you guys at ESPN and to an extent some of you at MLB Network who said it would be a Phillies-Giants NLCS. Who said it would be a Phillies-Red Sox World Series etc.... To all of you I say TAKE THAT! The hottest team in the Majors right now is our St Louis Cardinals and they are on a mission.  Next step is to eliminate the team they have had in their cross hairs for awhile now and that's the Milwaukee Brewers.  I know the Brewers have home field, but let's look at the facts shall we? The Cardinals and Brewers split the season series 9-9. The Brewers won the division by 6 games, how many games did the Cardinals bullpen (mainly Ryan Franklin) blow again? You do the math.  And momentum is a huge thing this time of year.  We got all of that going, and Busch Squirrel and Torty Craig to boot.  And the Cardinals realize that this is still not over yet and they handled it alot better than T-Plush with his tirade of F-BOMBS.  Can you tell I want to see the Cardinals run through this guy?  But it still speaks volumes that the two teams in the NLCS come from the Central division, not the vaunted NL East, but the "lowly" NL Central.  Oh and the Cardinals did it WITHOUT ADAM WAINWRIGHT, think about that experts when deciding who will win next year, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  So the Cardinals are 8 wins away from the vaunted 11 wins in 11 for the 11th title.  It's down to business Sunday at Miller Park, and I have my playoff beard going much to the dismay of the Mrs.  But hey this is important.  I have a former friend, who is a huge Milwaukee Brewers honk, and HATES THE CARDINALS! In fact the reason our friendship dissolved is because he made it personal, when talking baseball and nothing would give me pleasure than to picture his reaction when the Cardinals eliminate the Brewers.  Not that we talk but I'm just visualizing him now and it makes me smile.  It's just too bad that the series is relegated to TBS again, and not the FOX network (they get the ALCS because they expected it to be a Yankees-Red Sox finals probably).  Now I have mad respect for the teams on the American League side and expect that to be a good series and whoever comes out of the American League will be a true and deserving champion.  But for the next week or so it's all about Cardinals vs Brewers, the first time two teams that previously met in the World Series face off in a league championship series. And to me a repeat of the results from 1982 is all that matters.  So let's get these guys and shut up T-Plush and his beast mode permanently! And yes we still have at least two more games with Albert Pujols in the home white uniform for the St. Louis Cardinals!

REALLY!