World Series

by

Cards 2. Tigers 1. Here’s your chance to discuss.

Some things that stand out in my mind:

  • The Tigers have a leadoff man who led the AL in strikeouts, and a shortstop who led in errors.
  • Is Jeff Suppan using Barry Bonds’ trainer or somethin’?
  • LaRussa’s Game 1 silence on Kenny Rodgers. What’s up with that?
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23 Responses to “World Series”

  1. Michael Lasley Says:

    Larussa is smarter than everyone else, so trying to make sense of his silence makes no sense. Just accept that it’s part of his master plan. Part of his strategy. He’s the great strategian.

    I was listening to ESPN radio before game 1. They kept talking about how GOOD the Tiger lineup was. How Carpenter was the only pitcher on the Cards staff who could pitch more than a month in the American League. How there was no way Reyes would make it through the lineup even once. Made me think of Joe’s wish last week for a 7 game series to shut everyone up about how superior the American League is.

    The Tiger lineup is suspect, I think. I’m not sure why a lineup with Polanco batting 2nd or 3rd (or wherever, really) is considered dangerous.

    And Neifi! made an appearance last night.

  2. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Good question/observation on numero uno: doesn’t make any sense to me.

    As to Suppan, I don’t know what his deal is, but I’m afraid to speculate before he pitches tonight!!!!!!!!

    And the “smudge-gate” incident is baffling, in large part because so many sports “experts” seem to be idiots. They say, “Well, after he washed his hand, he pitched great!” Exactly why it mattered! If he would’ve been tossed, the Cards could’ve been up 3-0 now and talking sweep. My only guess is that Larussa has a man-crush on Leyland.

    One from me: I love how McCarver determined that Carpenter was having cramps in his thumb last night (has anyone ever really had cramps in his thumb?). I’m admittedly not much of a physical specimen, but maybe Carpenter has bulging thumb muscles. Even I recognized that his hand was probably stinging from his swing that made contact with a Zumaya fastball – which is what Carpenter said after the game. Maybe McCarver will have a few cramps in his mouth tonight! 🙂

  3. juvenal_urbino Says:

    Exactly why it mattered!

    ‘zackly.

    You really shouldn’t second-guess McCarver’s medical diagnoses. He is a brain surgeon, after all. (Graduated with Jethro Bodine.)

    Neifi! is in the World Series. I guess you guys are feeling a bit sheepish right about now.

  4. Michael Lasley Says:

    Leyland was smart enough to take Neifi! out before he could bat, if I remember correctly.

    Good for Neifi!, I say. And Polanco. I actually really like Polanco.

  5. Terry Austin Says:

    Polanco is a far better player than Neifi! could ever hope to be. Namely, PP can both field AND hit.

    1) Strikeouts are overrated, though perhaps less so for leadoff guys. Granderson’s season OBP is 15 percentage points lower than Li’l Davy’s, which is a pretty signficant advantage for the Cards. Except that Li’l Davy has been far worse than Granderson this postseason.

    2) Suppan is making himself a boatload of money. In a free agent market thin on starting pitching (Zito, Schmidt, the Japanese gyroballer and then nobody else), Suppan is going to be highly coveted because of this postseason success.

    3) It seems evident that La Russa didn’t want to create a problem with Leyland. To me, this is little more than a convenient excuse for STL fans to explain away how their team got dominated by a pretty good pitcher. (The Cards don’t hit soft-tossing southpaws well as a rule.) Also, I’m not 100% sure the umpires would have tossed Rogers even if TLR had made a bigger stink about the pine tar.

  6. Al Sturgeon Says:

    (1) I don’t know that Eckstein has been far worse than Granderson. They’ve both sucked I’d say (at the plate that is). Actually, Eckstein hasn’t done THAT poorly from one standpoint: he’s been his normal self in terms of working the count, fouling off pitches, etc. Just when all is said and done, if you keep throwing him strikes, he’s going to hit the ball weakly somewhere. The Tigers pitchers have all kept throwing him strikes. He’s been kind of predictable.

    #2: As to Suppan, I just hope he doesn’t have any baserunning blunders tonight like he did against the Sawks!

    #3: As to Rogers, I’m not a big fan of the Billy Martin v. George Brett style of winning. In Rogers case, my only deal is that he should have been confronted on it because it seems he was consciously trying to cheat. He lied after the game about it, so obviously there’s something rotten in Detroit. Whether they tossed him or not wouldn’t be the point for me. If he was consciously trying to cheat, you go out and call him on it.

    So Larussa’s non-move was screwed up on two fronts to me I guess: (a) if he’s trying to cheat, you SHOULD call him on it no matter what, and (b) whatever followed, at least you had the chance of upsetting an unbelievably focused pitcher.

    By the way, I kind of like the way the rain last night might juggle the Cards pitching:
    * Suppan goes tonight, then is available for disaster-duty in a Game 7
    * Bump Weaver up to Game 5 (to get him away from the Rogers rematch) and get him back on his normal rest schedule.
    * Pitch Reyes in Game 6 – back in Detroit where he was awesome in Game 1.
    * Have you ace, Carpenter, on track for a Game 7 start.

    You guys know I’m a Cardinals fan, but I’ll openly admit that I’m incredulous that we’re actually in the World Series and that we’re actually sitting in the driver’s seat. Incredible.

  7. Terry Austin Says:

    The Cardinals are certainly a different team than they were at season’s end, and I attribute that to:

    1) Edmonds and Rolen being healthy enough to contribute;

    2) Unexpected and durn timely contributions from the Belliards and Molinas and Spiezios and Taguchis of the squad;

    3) The late-season decision(s) to stop relying on “veteran” guys like Isringhausen, Marquis and Encarnacion, going instead with Wainwright, Reyes and Duncan.

    It may be hard to tell, but I’m actually rooting for the Cardinals in this series.

  8. Al Sturgeon Says:

    I’ve always thought our position players (and bench) was good enough when healthy to win it all (even with a hole in right field imho) – both offensively and defensively…

    I’m shocked with the pitching, however. With the disappointing Mulder gone, I thought we had one strong pitcher, a couple of semi-good pitchers in Marquis & Suppan, a deadbeat in Weaver, and then nobody. Add a sucky bullpen to this picture…

    But we suddenly have 4 quality starters and a good closer and several young choices in middle relief and a decent setup man. Who would’ve thunk it?

  9. Terry Austin Says:

    Marquis may be the worst pitcher ever to almost lead his league in wins. Extreme. Head. Case.

    Should the Cards exercise Edmonds’ 2007 option (at a whopping $10M)? Or should they buy him out?

    I have to tell you, I’d buy him out. His best days are most certainly behind him; he seems due for a Steve Finley-esque career freefall any old time now.

    Baseball players get old fast, and I would be wary of spending $10M on a guy who may or may not fully recover from the concussion issues.

  10. juvenal_urbino Says:

    And he’s a prima donna. Marquis is entertaining on the base paths, at least.

    What is Weaver’s record in this year’s postseason? I know he pitched well against Rogers, but lost. My complaint with him when he was a Dodger was that he’d almost always turn in a “quality start” (aside from spotty control), but he had a knack for finding a way to lose, usually by one or two runs. Like Kevin Gross and Darren Dreifort before him, he always managed to give up the big hit, or give up runs in the half-inning immediately after we scored, etc.

  11. Al Sturgeon Says:

    I’m prepared to root for Edmonds ’til the World Series is over, then let him go – maybe to the Dodgers (smile). It’s my opinion that he was funny in the head before he banged it on the turf.

    And I’m not sure of Weaver’s postseason record, but he hasn’t had a “bad” outing yet this time around.

  12. juvenal_urbino Says:

    A note on Polanco. I can’t root for the guy. “Placido Polanco” sounds too much like “Una Paloma Blanca,” so every time I hear/see his name, I’ve got Slim Whitman yodeling “Un Placido Polanco-oh-OH…” in my ear for the next half-hour. Seriously.

    In fact, it’s happening now.

  13. Terry Austin Says:

    The Dodgers would be crazy not to replace Kenny Lofton with Jim Edmonds, if the price were right.

    I’ve been wondering what Slim Whitman was doing these days. He follows juvenal around, providing on-demand yodeling.

  14. juvenal_urbino Says:

    I see Jimmy E. (sometimes referred to by me as “Wayne Herren”), Mr. Veteran All-World Gold Glove Centerfield Rock Star, just slacked off and let a catcher take second on a routine fly ball. In the World Series.

    It’s okay, though. Somehow, Joe and Tim managed to make it the rightfielder’s fault. That would be the rookie. Playing outfield for only the 19th time in his career. In the World Series. Apparently, Mr. Veteran All-World Gold Glove Centerfield Rock Star(sometimes referred to by me as “Wayne Herren”) needs a rookie to tell him when he can’t slack off. In the World Series.

  15. DocWatson Says:

    Juvenal, you refer to Wayne Herren. I saw the real Wayne Herren the other day on TV talking about how good the Razorbacks are this year. I believe he was at a bar in Little Rock.

  16. Al Sturgeon Says:

    That’s too funny. I thought I was the only one that made the Edmonds/Herren connection!!!
    🙂

  17. Al Sturgeon Says:

    Waiting to see if Terry has any Li’l Davy comments today?!?!!!

    I hope the Series finishes tonight for a couple of reasons:

    #1: What a way to christen a new stadium

    #2: If it goes back to Detroit 3-2, then there’s Rogers vs. One-Game-Wonder Reyes in a Game 6. If the expected happens there, then although Carpenter would be pitching Game 7, anything can happen – PLUS – there’d be lots of talk about the ’68 Cards/Tigers series when Detroit came back from 3-1 and won…

  18. Terry Austin Says:

    I will always have Li’l Davy comments. Always and forever. (That’s also the title of my favorite song from Napoleon Dynamite.)

    Actually, I recognize that Li’l Davy epitomizes the “everyman” quality of baseball. Could a 5’5″ guy with hardly any athletic ability play any other sport (football’s placekicker notwithstanding)? And the fact that he has no power, no speed, no range, no arm, and wears a youth medium jersey from the Busch Stadium gift shop… that’s all just darn endearing, too.

    But the whole sprint-to-first-base-after-a-walk schtick is Grade A horse hockey. He’s taking the “everyman” angle and playing it way over the top. It goes over well in Busch Stadium, of course, where such things are appreciated by Baseball’s Most Loyal Fans. With many of those fans, Everyman Eckstein could only be improved if he grew a mullet and/or raced stock cars in the offseason.

    Still, I’ll grant that his .350 OBP and ability to make the routine play at short make him worth $3M a year. (Gack!) At the very least, he’s better than Aaron Miles.

    I’m going to go have some coffee now. When I return, I’ll be in a much better mood.

    Believe it or not: Go Cardinals!

  19. Al Sturgeon Says:

    David Eckstein: World Series Hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    🙂

    Hey, have any of you guys checked out the cluster map I added to the bottom of this blog (next to Site Meter). Pretty cool how many countries are represented now…

  20. juvenal_urbino Says:

    he has no power, no speed, no range, no arm

    I’d say his power is about on par with MLB shortstops before the current freakish generation of players at that position. Although not much of a steals man, his speed is above average. I can’t speak to his range, but his arm seems quite sufficient to the task. In the games I’ve seen him play over the years, I can’t remember a single time where he failed to record an out when most other shortstops would have. Maybe he has to gun it when others could toss it at 80%, but he still gets the out.

    He’s not going to make anybody in St. Louis forget Ozzie Smith, but he’s an utterly competent every day big-league shortstop. And that is remarkable for someone his size.

  21. Terry Austin Says:

    I’d say his power is about on par with MLB shortstops before the current freakish generation of players at that position.

    In other words, he’d have been great 15 years ago.

    Although not much of a steals man, his speed is above average.

    You just think it’s above average because when running, Li’l Davy’s arms and legs flail about as if independent from his body.

    I can’t speak to his range, but his arm seems quite sufficient to the task. In the games I’ve seen him play over the years, I can’t remember a single time where he failed to record an out when most other shortstops would have. Maybe he has to gun it when others could toss it at 80%, but he still gets the out.

    No range means that he’s not getting to balls that many other shortstops do, so you’re not seeing him attempt to make a play at 1B on them. Which is good, because he couldn’t throw out Barbara Bush if she hit a grounder in the hole.

    He’s not going to make anybody in St. Louis forget Ozzie Smith, but he’s an utterly competent every day big-league shortstop. And that is remarkable for someone his size.

    Yayyyy, Li’l Davy! Free ice cream sandwiches after the game!

    (Now I’m just being obtuse. You’d think I, of all people, would have more appreciation for the talentless short white guy in our athletic culture. Hmmm, maybe if Li’l Davy were bald…)

  22. juvenal_urbino Says:

    You don’t hear me saying it.

    I saw the real Wayne Herren the other day on TV

    Spooky.

    I thought I was the only one that made the Edmonds/Herren connection!!!

    Great minds, &c.

    It’s interesting that the Series is turning not on the AL pitchers’ having to hit, but on their having to field their position.

  23. juvenal_urbino Says:

    To wit: although all the Tigers’ pitchers have pitched well, the only game the Tigers have won is the one pitched by Rogers, one of the best fielding pitchers in the majors.

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