Category Archives: Baseball

Lackey’s Polite Silence

Tragedy befell St. Louis, two-fold tonight. The first, the Cardinals lost a long extra inning game to the villainous New York Metroplitans 2-1, on a close play at the plate on a ground ball in the infield, in the bottom of the 14th inning. The starting pitcher, the 14 year veteran John Lackey, pitched a fine baseball game against the dominant Matt Harvey, with 5 wins in 1 loss, this was his first no decision. So, tip your cap to the wiley veteran for hanging in with the young and up and coming. It should be noted that Lackey has more innings under his belt this season than Harvey. It was a tough loss and all that trite, nauseating bullshit. 

The second couch-fainting moment came after the game when Derrick Goold, the best write in baseball, tweeted this out:

@dgoold: “Not tonight,” Lackey says when approached by the media postgame. He was polite in his decline. “Sorry, guys. Not tonight.”  

It immediately threw the fan base into a tizzy. People demanding he say something. “He can’t give 5 minutes?”, one man wrote. He gave a comment. The comment was, he didn’t want to talk tonight. The team arrived at their hotel at 4 am and then played a long, hard game. “His teammates are answering hard questions.”, one estute observer pointed out. Well — they should, they didn’t hit and struck out a lot.
Sports does this in media, especially the fans, perhaps that’s what drives the media. To his credit, Goold seemed pacified by Lackey’s polite refusal to engage the media. As was I, but others felt entitled. To an intrusive extent. I’m always pondering larger issues and it made me think of the media as a whole, which I actually exclude Goold from, because he sticks to his beat, so to speak. It just made me think of misplaced priorities. What we rabble-rabble about and what we don’t. 
We allow the most powerful people in our country, to not answer our simple questions. Yet, protest too much on non sequitur events, like baseball. One very brilliant woman pointed out she could mange both, which I found impressive, and also rare in the our modern social media paradigm. You see, it is vertically intergrated into our media. Literally, that’s the term for this new way of sharing information. It’s people and publications who drive the narrative, that’s what I realized and was able to articulate tonight. 
At the end of the day, it’s just a game — to the fans. However, it’s a major industry to many others, most of whom we don’t see. That’s true of all types of media. So, I’ll cut them both, players and media some slack and say, all jobs have their pressure. I only wish we put this kind of pressure on differnt jobs. 
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Game 3 and Game 4

It was a good one. No—it was great. Texan John Lackey for the Cardinals against the South Korean Huyn-Jin Ryu, on the mound for the Dodgers. Both pitched well, both pitched really well. Lackey was acquired by the Cardinals specifically for his post-season experience. He gave up one run, after a lead off triple to Yaseal Puig. Who broke his streak of 7 consecutive strike outs.
The hero was Colton Wong, who went yard in the eighth inning, to break up 1-1 the tie, off the LA bullpen. Rosenthal held on for the save and we moved on to game 4.

Where Clayton Kershaw took the mound on short rest against Shelby Miller. Kershaw actually dominated most of the game, but again could not make it out of the seventh. Where his ERA was 135.00—staggering—to say the least. Tonight’s hero was Matt Adams who hit the go ahead home run off of Kershaw in the seventh.

It was a fantastic series, with a worthy, storied foe.

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(photo via twitter)

It’s true, the image is true. The point it tries to convey, that is. The Dodgers out spent the a Cardinals by quite a lot. No matter though…

“Done, done and I’m on to the next one.”
Dave Grohl

We await to see how the Nationals and Giants turn out. Such is the nature of October baseball.. Excitement with long lulls of waiting and seeing.

Our Greatest Export: NLDS

Game two of the 2014 National League Division Series between the LA Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals was a fantastic match up. It had everything. It lived up to its hype, it was the portrait of what we love about the game, the sport—the institute of baseball. A great post-season series.

The star far and away was LA’s Zach Grenkie, he faced off against the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn. Lynn pitched well, giving up only two runs both to Grenkie, which is why I’d call him the star. Grenkie had a shut out as he finished up the seventh inning. The Cardnials scrambled against LA’s bullpen and tied it in the eight with a Matt Carpenter two-run bomb. Then we saw a hero Matt Kemp step in and hit a towering shot over left field wall in the bottom of the inning, to put the Dodgers up. LA managed to hold the Cardinals off. The series—a great series heads back here to St. Louis tied 1-1.

Meanwhile, the Nationals went down 2-0 in their best of five against the San Francisco giants. Jordan Zimmerman absolutely dominated, retiring 20 before he gave up a walk with one out left to go. Before, Nationals managers Matt Williams pulled him. The reliever wasn’t successful and gave up the lead. The game went 18 innings. When Brandon Belt hit a soaring drive into the right field seats. The Giants held on and head black home with Madesen Bumgarner, their left handed ace on the mound. So, the the Nationals have their work cut out for them. Much to the displeasure of their emotional fan base. Which was on full display last night on social media.

@EmGusk: This guy has been reading a book about Hugo Chavez at every game break. @dcsportsbog

Even their baseball snark is academic and elitist in DC.

But St. Louis also has it’s share of academics with in its fan base and their snark is better.

@MZHemingway: If you were wondering who’s killing Nat’s
mojo MT @EmGusk: This guy reading book about Hugo Chavez every game break

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photo via Mollie Hemingway, via @EmBusk

Our Greatest Export

It is just a game, played mostly by kids. But it can build cultural bridges and breaks through language barriers. It’s played everywhere in the western hemisphere and has thriving, competitive, and profitable leagues in places like Japan and Korea. In this scribes, humble opinion—it’s Americas greatest export. I “watched” the game from the fourth inning until the top of the ninth on twitter. Until I could pick it up on our car radio. We were traveling for a birthday party to Sikeston, Missouri.

It’s been a fantastic start to the 2014 playoffs. It was nice to see the Pittsburg Pirates back in the post-season, although they were eliminated early by the San Francisco Giants. The Lefty Madesen Bumgardner pitched a fantastic play-in-game, a recent development in Major League Baseball’s playoff structure.

The other play-in-game the Small market Royals of Kansas Citizens as labeled by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. A joke I got, but one that wasn’t great. What was great was seeing a guy from New York so excited about the game, our game. It was a fantastic game. The Kansas City Royals came from behind to win in extra innings against the Oakland Athletics and last night did it again against the Las Angeles Angels. They now lead the series heading back to Kansas City, Missouri. We’re a proud state for a brief moment. We’re hoping for an I-70 Series 2.0 here in Missouri.

Only 3 states have ever held 2 team in a World Series:
New York (multiple subway series always involving the Yankees)
California (Oakland twice)
Missouri (St. Louis twice)

In terms of baseball, we Missourians, have progressed.

If I-70 2.0 occurs, the Cards would have three and the Royals two. Like in regards to the Yankees and the number of World Series titles; the Cardinals would be alone in Yankee country.

Game one in LA was intense, immediately. Nah… Wainwright didn’t intentionally hit Yasiel Puig to start the inning. As pointed out by the always level beat writer Bernie Miklazs:

@miklasz: This is just stupid. Yeah, Wainwright wanted to hit Puig to lead off inning, and work into another jam, and further jack up pitch count.

It really is ridiculous. A theory by underground upstart Dan Buffa is the Dodgers are hot about last years series between the two teams. However, this series became epic, when the very next batter Adrian Gonzalez had words with St. Louis catcher Yadeir Molina. A ruckus ensued. Best described by Derrick Goold:

@goold: OK, I’m going to say it, because someone has to … That was Mickey Mouse. #dodgers #cardinals #stlcards #nlds

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Photo via Matt Sebek

It lit the fuse, for both teams.

Initially, the Dodgers jumped out to a 6-1 lead, with Clayton Kershaw throwing for the Dodgers. Suffice to say, many St. Louis fans stopped watching, but quickly return by the 7th inning. Where the cardinals regained a 7-6 lead off a series of hits and bases clearing double by Chris Carpenter.

Later, Matt Holiday hit a 3 run Home run—but then the man pictured arguing with Yadier Molina, the Dodgers first basemen Adrian Gonzlez hit a two run blast. Making it 10-8.

In the ninth, the Dodgers had the winning run at the plate, Yasiel Puig, who ultimately struck out.

It was a great game. Baseball, Americas finest export and the baseball specifically coming out of Missouri, is certainly top shelf.

Should be another terrible year for Cardinal post season haters, who were addressed by St. Louis’s Mayor Francis Slay in the Wall Street Journal. Which found criticism of its own for Chad Garrison, an editor from the River Front Times:

@chadgarrison: Sorry #fgs, but really? “8 Things #STL is Sorry for Per @MayorSlay Weird Defense of @Cardinals” http://t.co/Ifgz77FzAy

Why in the holy hell would he have a problem with the mayors defense of the city? Well that’s beyond me and not about baseball.

Today’s should be another good game.