Monthly Archives: October 2011

Game 7. Those Wild ‘WILD CARD” Cards!

Best Fans and Best Team in Baseball

It’s true!  What better gift to the fans of the St. Louis Cardinals than the title “World Champions”!    This picture is my favorite of all the thousands because if shows the team and the fans in unison like they’re in it together and they did it together, which of course they did.   Last year the St. Louis Cardinal fans were selected number one best fans in baseball based on knowledge of the game, loyalty and sportsmanship.  San Francisco Giants fans were voted second. Continue reading

Game 6. Oh What A Night! Cardinals Force Game 7!

Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals took it to the Texas Rangers in good old-fashioned Missouri “show me” style as the Cardinals won in 11 innings by a score of 10-9.  And “show me” they did.

Here’s a sampling from last night’s game.  Click here to see the entire story by Jeff Sullivan, Editor,  SB Nation: 

David Freese on Defense Game 6

“Oct 28, 2011 - You have to understand my situation, here. I started writing this recap when the Cardinals were trailing the Rangers 7-4 in the seventh inning, and it looked like the Rangers were going to win their Continue reading

Raining in St. Louis? Fiddley Diddley Dee.

I thought you might enjoy this little filler video while the rains come down in St. Louis,  postponing tonight’s game.  This one’s courtesy of Sooze over at Babes Love Baseball.  I especially got a little chuckle out of her last comment.   Oh to be young again with so much energy …..

“In case you somehow missed this video of an absolutely adorable member of the Rangers Ballpark grounds crew randomly busting a move between the sixth and seventh innings of Game 4… please do enjoy.  Ian Kinsler was not impressed, but we totally are.  (Call me when you turn 18!)

Update: We were just informed that this guy is 28. He just became like a billion times more attractive.”

As only Sooze can say it!

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Game 5. Rangers Texas 2-Stepping all the way to Missouri!

The Texas Rangers are flying high all the way back to Missouri, and without an airplane, so I’m told.   They beat the Cardinals 4-2  and are one game away from winning it all!

Here are some excerpts from a  pretty good ditty on the game  in case you haven’t seen one of the hundreds out there.  This one’s from the Huffington Post ;

“ARLINGTON,Texas— Mike Napoli was dialed in, no matter who he was going to face.

A charmed season for Napoli and the Texas Rangers got even better Monday night, thanks to a most unlikely twist – a bullpen telephone mix-up.

After a dropped ball and a dropped call, of sorts, loaded the bases in the eighth inning, Napoli delivered a tie breaking two-run double that beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 and gave Texas a 3-2 edge in the World Series. Continue reading

Game 4. Mr. Holland’s Opus ….. Derek that is.

Texas Rangers Derek Holland

If revenge were anywhere in Derek Holland’s vocabulary I’d say he sure got his tonight!  I’m remembering Game 2 of the 2010 World Series.  Young Holland was brought in during the eighth inning where he proceeded to allow three walks and three runs before they took him out.  I felt bad for the kid and said so in my blog, ” Day 2. Texas Cain-Saw Massacre” .  Well there’s no feeling sorry for him tonight.  He’s quite the hero and rightly so!  Here’s Craig Calcaterra”s take on it from his Hardball blog:

“Craig Calcaterra  Oct 23, 2011, 11:25 PM EDT

We have a Classic on Our Hands!

2011 World Series Game 4 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

“When do you know that a classic World Series is afoot? We certainly know it when it’s over. But at what point as it’s happening can one safely say that, yes, we’re seeing something special? The kind of series that only comes along once or twice a decade? Something memorable? Continue reading

Game 3. Prince Albert at Home on the Range!

Albert Pujols "The Dude"!

Please bear with me as I’m in a major battle with the awful yucky flu and even though I’m able to watch the games,  surrounded by mounds of tissues and left-over tea bags, I don’t have my wits about me enough to write.  Also, I was so focused on Prince Albert I’m sure my blog would have been more about  gushing and oohhing over him and not really being very  objective.    Hardball Talk to the rescue!   Here’s a great little clip from “Drew Silva” that gives us another slant on the complicated Mr. Pujols and pretty much says it all:

“Drew Silva  Oct 23, 2011, 12:53 AM EDT   Reuters

Albert Pujols rounding bases during one of three home runs!

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols drew heavy amounts of criticism for leaving the Busch Stadium clubhouse before talking to the media following Thursday’s Game 2 loss. A few national baseball writers even questioned his leadership, given that younger players like Jason Motte, Jon Jay and Allen Craig were left to handle all of the heat.

Let’s go ahead and toss that narrative aside. It never really made much sense in the first place.

Pujols put together one of the greatest single-game performances in World Series history during Saturday night’s 16-7 Game 3 trouncing of the Rangers, finishing 5-for-6 with three home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. He tallied 14 total bases, breaking a longstanding Fall Classic record and vaulting himself into the elite rung of postseason performers.

Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols.

Those are the only three men in the history of baseball to launch three home runs in a World Series game.

Leadership — true leadership — is something that has to be built and then cultivated through consistent, physical examples. It’s never been established through words alone, nor has it ever been betrayed by a single, rare mistake. What Pujols did Thursday night in St.  Louis was wrong.  Answering questions is part of being a professional. But to suggest that the other players in the Cardinals’ dugout somehow lost faith or respect in baseball’s greatest right-handed slugger was a stretch from the start. A failed assumption.

Pujols left no doubt on Saturday night in Arlington,Texas, with those scribes who questioned him looking on in awe. He answered the call and then some. And now his Cardinals hold an improbable 2-1 lead in the seven-game Fall Classic. Have we mentioned, already, that this series has the feel of an instant classic?”

Game 2. Texas Rangers Pluck Some Feathers Tonight!

Texas Rangers celebrate Game 2 win over Cardinals

The Texas Rangers are leaving town with the Cardinals singing the blues …. St. Louis Blues that is after staging  a ninth inning rally that  won the game for them.  Final score:  Rangers 3 – Cardinals 2.   Well for sure I can’t use the 2010 Game 2 as a blog opener this year.  Last year the Giants shut out the Rangers 9-0 in Game 2.   Entirely different game this year.   For one thing I just couldn’t get enough of the Elvis & Ian dynamic. Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler may be the best all-around double-play combo in the game.   At least tonight they were.   Pretty impressive stuff coming from the Texas Rangers.  I have to admit we have ourselves a real World Series folks.

Elvin Andrus & Ian Kinsler Double Play Magic!

Highlight of this game?  In the 5th inning all eyes were on the Texas Rangers as Elvis Andrus  flipped the ball off the tip of his fingers to Ian Kinsler, forcing out Jaime Garcia on his way to 2nd, on a hit by the Card’s Rafael Furcal.  This is one of those plays that needs to be seen on a video and was the highlight of the game for me.   There were several antics like this during the game, but the Rangers waited until the ninth inning to score adding to the anticipation this world series is going to seven!   I love this stuff!

Since we’re leaving St. Louis and heading to Arlington, Texas for Saturday’s game, I wanted to share this picture with you.  For some reason I never really associated the Budweiser Clydesdales  with St. Louis.  But here they are in grand fashion posing for ooh’s and aah’s.

The Budweiser Clydesdales enjoying the game!

Game 1. Texas Can’t Hold ‘Em!

“Who would have thought it?  Cardinals 3, Rangers 2.   I had almost as much fun watching the sports pundits after the game as I did watching the game itself.  Well, almost.”

What better quote than using the exact opener I used on last year’s Game 1 blog replacing, of course, the Giants with Cardinals.    I watched the media before the game throughout the day and the odds were 80% in favor of Texas “going all the way”.  And, of course they may, but at least the odds are right now, today, just a little in favor of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Winners of Game one go on to win it all  in 60% of the World Series played to date.

One of the memorable quotes from the game, “It’s a five letter word S- T- R- I- K- E ” as only Tim McCarver could utter at the end of the 6th inning.

For those who like to know about the key moments, here are two, courtesy of NPR’s Tom Goldman’s report for Morning Edition:

Chris Carpenter on a "Defensive" slide into 1st Base.

“— The coolest play came in the first inning. Cards pitcher Chris Carpenter covered the bag at first base, and had to dive to the ground to get the ball tossed his way by first baseman Albert Pujols. “Carpenter dove for the ball and as his long frame hit the ground he tagged the base with his glove hand, at the same time pulling his pitching hand away to protect it from the batter’s oncoming cleats,” Tom says. “How cool to see a pitcher getting dirty.”

The play, Tom added, “served notice that the game, perhaps the Series, is going to be a diving for every out, clawing for every run affair.”

Allen Craig's "off the bench" hit to score the winning run.

— The biggest play came in the sixth inning when Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa sent pinch hitter Allen Craig to the plate in place of Carpenter. Craig’s hit to right field was dropped by Ranger outfielder Nelson Cruz. That drove in the winning run. LaRussa’s savvy use of his bench and bullpen came through again.”

Game 2 – Tonight at Busch Stadium, St. Louis at 5:05 pm televised on Fox.

St Louis Cardinals “Flying Happy” Tonight!

St Louis Cardinals 2011 NLCS Champions!

Congratulations to the St Louis Cardinals, winners of the 2011 National League Pennant.  On August 25, the Cardinals were 10 1/2 games out in their Division and it was nothing but a comedy of twists, turns and magic that they were able to advance to the National League Pennant race, let alone win it!  The Cardinals won in fine fashion by a final score of 12-6.

It was the sixth game of the series and the Cards took 4 out of 2.   It’s a surprise to everyone, except maybe the players themselves, that the Cardinals were able to overcome a whole lot of things to advance to the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers.  One of the chants tonight was “11 in 11″ which I was told means the Cards are going after their 11th world series win in 2011.   This is the Cards 18th National League Pennant and Manager Tony LaRussa’s 6th trip to the World Series. The World Series begins Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at Busch Stadium, St. Louis Missouri.

I was trying to think of a title for the blog tonight and these were some that came to mind:

  • Meet Me in St. Louis Baby!
  • This is One for the Birds!
  • Tony’s Birds sing “Happy Flight” as they advance to the World Series
  • Brew Crew Singing the Blues … St Louis Blues that is.
  • St Louis advances to World Series … It’s in the Cards!
  • Birds of a Feather Stick Together and Win!

David Freese 2011 NLCS MVP

MVP for the National League Series is St Louis native David Freese.  Fantastic statistics.  The 28-year-old third baseman has a 10-game postseason hitting streak as the wild-card Cardinals head home to open the World Series on Wednesday night against the AL Champion Texas Rangers.  Freese also scored three times Sunday night and batted .545 (12 for 22) in the NLCS with three homers, three doubles, nine RBIs and seven runs.

I have to admit after listening to most of the programming tonight, several different television stations and reading several media reports and blogs, that the Texas Rangers … once again … are the definite favorites to win the series this year.  It makes me chuckle because it drags up memories of postseason play last year like it was today.  Those poor downtrodden SF Giants were outmatched and over-classed and really had no business even showing up.  The Rangers had it all, and on and on.  Same thing is being said this year.

At one point tonight before the game even ended one of the commentators made a comment that the Texas Rangers are a better team.  Now this is before the game was even over, not certain who the winner was going to be.  Well, okay, it was a pretty sure thing, but still.  I don’t know, maybe they would have said the same thing if the score was 12-06 Milwaukee.  But then he added, and this is not verbatim, something like “the American League  has a way of making their clubs better”.   Better than what?  Good grief.  I was rather leaning toward the St. Louis Cardinals before and now really don’t have any choice.  I mean, aren’t we supposed to cheer for the “underdog”?

I guess maybe that’s why I have a feeling the St. Louis Cardinals are going to take it all in 2011.   I don’t know, I’m just saying …..(forgive me for this) …..

A bird in hand is worth two in the busch!

Texas Rangers Cruz to the Pennant Sans Lee!

Texas Rangers ~ 2011 ALCS Champions

Congratulations to the American League Pennant winner, the Texas Rangers and their MVP Nelson Cruz!

The Texas Rangers, 2010 American League Champions, have done it again, this time on Cruz control! The Detroit Tigers fell like dominoes tonight, one after another, until there was nothing left.   The Rangers scored twelve runs tonight showing no mercy, stealing a base with a 9 run lead, grabbing high fly balls off the back wall like fly swatters and bowling the Tigers over like Tony was standing around hovering over a bowl of frosted flakes.   Triumphant if you were a Rangers fan; not so much for the Tigers.   For the second year in a row the Texas Rangers plowed through the New York Yankees to get to this point and I think it’s about time to admit this team’s for real!

Nelson Cruz, 2011 ALCS MVP

MVP for the ALCS was Nelson Cruz who homered six times and had 13 RBIs, a Major League record for the series.   Cruz was an easy choice for series MVP.  He went 8 for 22 (.364), with every hit going for extra bases and his two non-homers were doubles. Consider these feats by the 2011 ALCS  MVP:

  • He hit the first game-ending grand slam in postseason history.
  • He became the first player with extra-inning homers in two games of one series.
  •  He became the franchise’s career postseason home run king.

Cliff Lee ~ 2010 World Series Press Conference

And one more thing……I just have to say this … they did it this time without Cliff Lee.   Remember Lee?  He’s the one who left the Texas Rangers after last year’s World Series play to find a team who could win the World Series.  He by-passed the Yankees and settled in with the Phillies for the 2011 season.   The Texas Rangers begged him to stay but to no avail and now the Texas Rangers are going to the World Series and Cliff Lee is not.  C’est La Vie.

Detroit Manager Jim Leyland & Miguel Cabrera

Note:  Did anyone else notice the little swat on the bum Detroit Manager Jim Leyland gave Miguel Cabrera as he dejectedly walked back from the strike-out pounding he’d just received from pitcher Olexi Ogando?  I’m pretty sure Leyland knew he was witnessing the demise of the Tigers in the series at that point.  It was an endearing moment, just a manager and one of his kids hanging on ’til that very last out in the game.

1969 Seattle Pilots ~ Remember When?

I love this stuff.  What a fun way to reminisce about  baseball.  I’d almost forgotten about the Pilots since in my mind I considered them more of a minor league team than the majors.   I can’t help but wonder what the Seattle old-timers feel about Bud Selig and the Milwaukee Brewers now.  I mean do you think they’re cheering for the Brewers this postseason?  It’d be interesting to talk today with the man on the street in downtown Seattle about the subject.

I found these two great back-to-back You Tube videos  from a fellow blogger at the “Pasttime Post“.   So Seattle Mariner fans and anyone else from the Pacific Northwest who remembers ….. get yourself a beer, pop, whatever, and grab some garlic fries. This one’s for you!  (Note: Contains “colorful language”!)

Pitcher Makes Unassisted Triple Play! ~ Whodathunkit?

Well, okay.  Maybe it’s  not your ordinary triple play in the true sense of the word but you gotta admit it’s pretty darn unusual!  “Triple ka-thud” as Krukow puts it.

Cody Ross of the San Francisco Giants gets hit with a pitch thrown by Clayton Mortensen of the Rockies, and the ball pinballs off Ross’s arm, catcher Jose Morales’ helmet, and umpire Tim Tschida’s face mask. From the Giants-Rockies game May 16th, 2011.  SF Giants announcers Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper on the broadcast.   YouTube Uploaded by “hat301″ on May 17, 2011.