Series 6-Pack: House of Cards


The St. Louis Cardinals are the team that Albert Pujols plays for, except right now he doesn’t because his wrist broke under the weight of being the icon of baseball for our generation.  Nick Zell of Redbird Rants, Nick from Pitchers Hit 8th, and I discuss this very subject below, along with several other bits of pointlessness adrift in the Cardinalverse, such as Charlie Rose and J.C. Romero.

1.  Did you read Steve Engbloom’s point-by-point analysis of the Cardinals’ attitude?  It seems they are making quite the name for themselves.  Unfortunately, that name is “…a bunch of babies” (Alex Gordon’s words, not mine).  How do you see this Phillies-Cardinals series devolving into a series of bench warnings and name-calling?

Nick (Redbird Rants):  I have, actually, as well as all of the other incessant white noise coming from the Reds camp. It is what it is. I just try to block it out, years of frustration and losing can do that to a club by the time they finally make it back to the pinnacle. Pitchers complain about the mound, players are upset with stadium accommodations, it’s nothing new with pampered million dollar athletes.

The Reds, I don’t have a problem with. It’s the “Reds Fans” that just found out Cincinnati still has a team that I meet at sports bars who all of a sudden begin to back the franchise and start shouting obscenities at me and steal my hat that I have a problem with.

Both of our teams have those fans that like to keep getting into it and going back and forth [EDITOR’S NOTE: I have no idea what you’re talking about] but it’s a game, and we need to move on. Everything involved with our Reds-Cards rivalry is trying to put a smear campaign on our franchise and it’s not really the truth. Two teams hatred just keeps getting away. More often than not I still get positive reactions from opposing fans regarding Cardinal Nation.

The Phils-Cardinals I wouldn’t worry about. Right now we are a little too dejected from losing streaks and now the Pujols deal we can’t even worry about losing more people to stupid fights over nothing.

Nick (Pitchers Hit 8th):  I don’t even have to click that link to know it’s a Reds site.  (Yep, I was right.)  Seems like the in-vogue thing to do, so why wouldn’t Alex Gordon get in on the fun?  Perhaps he should just be happy he got a free trip to first base.  That shuttle back to AAA is always right around the corner for Alex.  Nevermind that if he really thinks he was hit on purpose, he’s a fool.  Brian Tallet doesn’t have the control to hit him on purpose, as evidenced by the pitches he threw.

This may sound a bit arrogant, but to me all of this “calling out of the Cardinals” just smacks of jealousy to me.  Cardinals must be doing something right to have all of these other players worrying so much about what they’re doing rather than focusing on winning divisions themselves.

Regarding a fracas in the Cards-Phillies series?  I could see a melee erupting after Ryan Theriot grits out a single by diving headfirst into first base, then promptly jumps up and sack-taps Ryan Howard “just to say hello”.

2.  When Albert Pujols does on the disabled list, how many televisions are switched off in the St. Louis area?

RR:  It will have a negative reaction sure, but it is a reality we are going to have to live with now and maybe next season. Cardinal fans roll deep and we are adding more everyday.  Albert is just a MAJOR piece to this puzzle and will be missed greatly for the 4-6 weeks, but Berkman and Holliday still have provided fireworks of their own. Albert  has had a rough start and just when he gets in a groove he goes down on a tough plar. He misses the All Star Game now and we just HOPE he is back late July.

I got tickets against the Astros and my girlfriend will not let me hear the end of it otherwise.

PH8:  I don’t think many will be switched off because now there is the added intrigue of “getting a glimpse at the future” – this could be the 2012 product Cardinal fans are seeing, now.  Maybe they’ll switch off prior to Opening Day next season, but I think they’ll keep watching now.

3.  …and how many will switch back on when David “The Mother Fucking Ice Man” Freese is back in the lineup?

RR:  You know Dave was just sent back down to Memphis the other day too, could be worth looking into. Hell Skip Schumaker of all people had the walkoff HR yesterday in the most unlikely scenario ever so it really is up to anyone.

The infield is lacking in St. Louis now, and David we have had a lot of faith in along the way, but it just hasn’t been what we expected. I hope maybe this is his time to come back, along Mark Hamilton and Matt Carpenter who surely have some more big league games coming here in the near future.

PH8:  TONS.  It’s like a drinking game now.  If Freese screws up an ankle, two shots.  If he breaks any upper extremity, pound a beer.  Decapitated by a splintered maple bat?  Chug a bottle of Jack Daniels.  People are excited about this.

4.  Do you think we care that you’re sniffing around J.C. Romero?  Because we don’t.  Go ahead and get your sniffs.  Why do the Cardinals seem to gravitate toward any left-hander that hits the open market?

RR:  Leave it to the Cardinals to “sniff out” another pitching project for Dave Duncan. The Phillies just designated him for assignment the other day and we are looking to add him to the pen I guess. If anyone needs help from someone like the old J.C. Romero it could possibly be the Cards.

I think right now we have more than our share of guys with pitching control….Ryan Franklin…But the left hander pitcher is still a commodity that still just has baffled our organization for the most part for a good while now.

Are they sniffing? I assume they’re sniffing whatever they can dig up right now, bullpen is terrible.

PH8:  Brian Tallet and Trever Miller, that’s why.

The Cardinals run around the scrap heap trying to fill out their bullpen with left-handers, and consequently, they get scrap heap performance.  So when another hits the scrap heap, they’ve gotta kick the tires.

I believe it’s the theory of finding someone who can give you a few good outings and then when things go south with that pitcher, move on to the next one!

5.  Will you be watching the Charlie Rose roundtable discussion of Stan Musial?  Initially I would have assumed “ZOMG YES,” but the panel includes Bob Costas and Tim McCarver and quite frankly I’d rather listen to Chris Wheeler try to figure out his new cell phone than put up with those two trying to out-romanticize each other for 20 minutes.  (Not that Musial’s accomplishments aren’t worthy of compliments, but Costas thinks he’s baseball’s poet laureate and I’m almost positive Tim McCarver is brain dead).

RR:  You love bringing up Stan Musial in our conversations, huh?

He is a St. Louis institution and we will forever love him dearly alongside Jack Buck, Red, etc. I’m not one into those type of things, I would sooner saw my leg off with a rusted butter knife but to each his own. Tim McCarver provides like really random facts that noone gives two shits about and Bob Costas….just shut the hell up, I am right with you on that one.

And Charlie Rose, my God, why are these names still floating around in the media. There’s a guy duller than a sack of hammers, that’s a dude more than overdue for a brick to the skull.

PH8:  I didn’t see it, although the draw of Musial may outweigh the negatives of Costas and McCarver for me.  Stan is just, well, he’s the Man.  There’s a reason why Pujols shies away from the “El Hombre” moniker.

6.  So my grandmother had rickets.  How’s Tony LaRussa doing?

RR:  Apart from the occasional vision problems I assume fine. His face looked like some kind of oversized, photoshop STD outbreak but he still seems to find the time to go around the neighborhood to spay and neuter our pets so guess he is getting back around to his old self.

PH8:  He’d be doing a lot better if he’d just listen to me and keep hitting the pitcher in the eighth spot.  Cards are 3-1 this year with the pitcher batting eighth!