Tagged: Cardinals

HENDRY, PUJOLS AND MY CUB/CARDINAL RIVALRY

jim-hendry-hugs-albert-pujols 1.jpg

Okay, I know I haven’t said anything lately about Albert Pujols.  I’ve tried my best to abstain talking about him.  Yet, the events that have occurred this week have forced my hand.  Evidently, Jim Hendry and Albert Pujols are good friends.  Before the opening game of this week’s series between the Cubs and Cards the two men shared some pleasantries.  jim-hendry-hugs-albert-pujols 2.jpg
If Jim Hendry’s friendship with the Cardinal slugger enables the Cubs to sign him next off-season I would be surprised.  I am not buying into the hype that the relationship these two men have is going to cause Pujols to leave St. Louis and come play for the Cubs. 

jim-hendry-hugs-albert-pujols 3.jpg

However, I could be wrong.  It may be a hint of what is to come. I seriously doubt it, but I’ve been known to be wrong quite a bit in my life.  Just ask my wife, she will tell you! 
Believe it or not, I think Pujols should stay in St. Louis and finish his career as a Cardinal.  The truly greatest players for me are the ones that play their entire career for one organization.  Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Robin Yount and Mike Schmidt to name a few, are some of the guys that played for 1 team and are Hall of Famers.  I guess this soap opera will continue throughout the season and won’t be decided until November.  Until then, baseball fans will have something very interesting to talk about.
On another note, my personal Cub/Cardinal rivalry continues.  I took my 3 year old son to pre-k this morning.  Both of us had Cub jerseys on.  As my son entered his classroom the teacher said good morning.  My son was distracted by his friends already in the classroom and did not respond to his teacher.  Immediately, a father of one of the other children says, “That’s the manners of a Cub fan for you”…..I do not know this man who thought he was being funny. But it did aggravate me that a grown man would take a cheap shot at a 3 year old kid who was wearing a Cubs jersey.  For the record, this man had a Cardinal t-shirt on so I believe he is a Cardinals fan.  Anyway, I gave the man my Forrest Gump Alabama stare without saying anything to him.  I think he got the point.  That’s just another example of a Cub fan living in Cardinal territory.  I am certain that Cardinal fans living in Cub territory have experienced similar interactions.  Maybe I am too sensitive, but I cannot stand stupid comments like that.  

POWER OUTAGE!!!!

Okay, the Cubs faced Chris Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals last night.  We pounded out 13 hit against the Cardinal ace.  That sounds pretty good, right?  Well, all of those 13 hits were singles.  Not a single extra base hit.  That’s not a good thing. 

To date, our cleanup hitter, Aramis Ramirez, has 1 home run.  That’s in 126 at bats.  It’s my opinion, that teams are pitching around him a bit and he is pressing some.  But we need his bat to come to life real soon.  
Our leader in home runs, Alfonso Soriano, has 11 home runs, but only 21 RBIs.  Obviously, he’s hitting a lot of solo bombs.  We need to get guys on base in front of him.  
This power outage is frustrating!  Hopefully, our bats will come to life soon!

SPRING TRAINING STORY

I have to share a story with everyone that happened back in March.  A friend of mine, a Cubs fan, decided to take his son, a Cardinals fan, to Florida to watch the Redbirds play in spring training.  After arriving in Florida and taking in the first game of the week my friend and his son went out to eat dinner that night after the game.  It just so happens, that they were seated by one of the Cardinals players.  My friend thought it was Jason Motte, but wasn’t for certain so he asked his son who also thought that it was him.  My friend asked him, “Aren’t you one of the Cardinal ballplayers?” and Motte confirmed he was and from there a conversation began.  It was not your typical conversation with a fan pestering a player and asking for autographs and pictures.  Instead, it was something different.  The conversation included how good the food was, little league and high school baseball, family, what it’s like to face a 90+MPH fastball and more.  Before Motte left the restaurant, he asked my friend if they were coming to the game the next day.  He confirmed that he and his son would be there and Motte told him to find him once they got there.  So, the next day, they arrived early to the game.  As they were walking in, Motte saw my friend’s son and motioned for them to come his way.  He then proceeded to introduce them to other players and my friend’s son was able to get several autographs and pictures of the players.  Guys like Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook to name a couple.  These players went out of their way to do this.  My friend was able to shake some of the players hands and thank them for their generosity they displayed to his son.


Even though I am a Cubs fan I can appreciate when a player is a class act regardless of what team they play for.  These players from the Cardinals are definitely class acts!

CHANGE

All my life I have been pestered by Cardinal fans attempting to get me to switch my allegiance from the Cubs to the redbirds.  Well, I’ve finally seen the light!  I am going to root for the Cards all season long and hope and pray that Albert resigns with “us”.  

For those that know me, this is a huge change.  This is not an easy decision for me.  It will cost me a lot of money to get rid of all my old Cub gear and to start buying Cardinals paraphernalia.  
So, when the Cubs come on today at 1:00PM I will not tune into the game.  Instead, I will be going to the mall to get me a Cardinal jersey, shirt, hat and jacket. 
LET’S GO REDBIRDS!!!!!!!!!
APRIL FOOLS!!!!

RANDOM THOUGHTS

With the injury to Adam Wainwright, I truly think the Cards need to sign Jeremy Bonderman.  He’s the type of pitcher that Dave Duncan could turn around and get 12 wins from this season.  

The Cubs need to trade Carlos Silva to the Yankees so he and Bartolo Colon can battle to make their rotation.  I can also imagine each of them tearing up the buffet’s in Tampa this spring.  
The Cubs need to find a real leadoff hitter for the future.  I know that Fukudome may get the job this spring, but he’s not the real solution to this problem.  Neither is Starlin Castro.  I think Castro is better suited to hit second at this point in his career.  Maybe Brett Jackson will be the answer for 2012.  
The Cubs defense has been pitiful so far this spring.  I hope they are taking extra fielding practice.  I imagine that Q has them doing this and I am gaining more and more confidence in him as our manager.  
Marlon Byrd was a great free agent signing by Jim Hendry.  He played well last season, but will probably need a few extra days off as the season progresses this year.  A person’s body can take only so much punishment.  Byrd is a beast and seems to be a great teammate.  
I like Tyler Colvin getting some action at firstbase this spring.  I would prefer him in RF over Fukudome, but as long as he’s getting consistent playing time at 1B and RF I can live with that for now.  
Here’s to a healthy season!  GO CUBS GO!

READ ABOUT ME

I have changed the “Read About Me” section on this blog a few times.  However, I wanted to update it again and share the new update as a post as well. 

I guess you could say I am addicted to baseball.  To begin with, I was born the day Willie Mays retired from baseball.  I grew up playing some form of baseball almost everyday.  Wiffleball, little league, hot box and strat-o-matic were the most common ways I was able to get my baseball “fix”.  I was fortunate to have two uncle, Jonathan and David, to play with and to learn the game from.  They always made the game fun for me. 

I loved to watch the Cubs on WGN too.  Sometimes I would go to my great-grandparents house and watch the games with them.  My great-grandmother loved Ryne Sandberg while my great-grandfather was a big fan of Lee Smith, Jody Davis and later, Andre Dawson.  The game of baseball and the Cubs provided me with a special connection with my great-grandparents.  They also had a decent size back yard that we often turned into a wiffleball field.  They would sit in a swing and watch my uncles, cousins, friends and myself play until dark had to call the game.  Those were great times.

I consider myself a baseball purist to some extent.  I love day games, grass fields, and don’t care too much for the DH.  I’m happy watching a 1-0 shutout or an 8-7 slugfest.  I like players that stay on one team their entire career.  I believe it is okay to boo a player when you expect more out of them.   I wish MLB scheduled more double headers.  I’ve been to spring training in Florida multiple times but not Arizona…..yet.  All in all, baseball is my favorite game and the Cubs are my favorite team. 

I am Cub fan living in deep southern Illinois which is dominated by Cardinal fans.  Just to give you an idea of how far south I live I can be in Kentucky in less than an hour.  It would take me close to six hours to get to Wrigley Fields and two hours to get to Busch Stadium. 

In addition to baseball and the Cubs, I enjoy basketball and football too.  I root for the Chicago Bulls, North Carolina Tar Heels, Eastern Illinois Panters and Dallas Cowboys.  For the record, Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever play basketball in my opinion.  It doesn’t hurt that MJ and Ryno each wore 23.  What a great number if you are a Bulls and Cubs fan!

Today, I am married to a beautiful woman who happens to be a Yankees fan.  Since our marriage we both have grown fond of each other’s team.  I have two children with one more on the way and I love teaching my kids about baseball and watching Cub games with them.  My kids know how to sing the Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Go Cubs Go.  I am truly blessed and thank the Lord for all that I have. 

MY THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

This Albert Pujols deal is getting interesting.  I was listening to talk sports radio this morning and they were focusing on the idea that the Cards trade Pujols.  I don’t see that happening.  I believe the Cards will be able to sign him after the season if they are willing to meet most of his demands.  If for some reason he does not sign with the Cards then I see him signing with a National League.  I cannot imagine Albert going to the AL and having to be a DH even in the later stages of his career.  He’s too competitive and wants to be on the field at all times.

The Cubs’ Marlon Byrd is working with Victor Conte.  Remember him?  The guy from Balco labs that did jail time.  Byrd said he is not doing anything illegal and I believe him, but couldn’t he have found someone else?!?!  Sorry Marlon, but Conte isn’t someone I would want to be associated with. 

Jeff Samardzija is going to be a reliever this season.  No question about it.  The Cubs have enough guys competing for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation so Jeff will pitch out of the pen.  At least he knows what his role will be this season.  He’s out of options so if he doesn’t pitch well he may not stay with the Cubs. 

The Cubs traded minor league infielder, Tony Thomas, for 26 year old Robert Coello.  The former Red Sox minor league will probably start the year in Iowa and be called up in case of injury.  I believe he will be used as a starter in Iowa to start the season, but is also capable of coming out of the pen.  Personally, I didn’t care for this trade.

Josh Vitters needs to have a breakout season in 2011 or I fear he may become the next Ryan Harvey.  I will be keeping an eye on him and I really hope he stays healthy and hits like he’s capable of.

Finally, Keith Moreland will be taking the place of Ron Santo in the radio booth.  I am happy for Keith and believe he will do a great job.