My Soapbox is Bigger Than Yours Is

by on May 2, 2011 · 6 comments

Yep, my soapbox is bigger than yours is, because it has to be sturdy.  I like to eat 8 lb burritos with a spork while I’m standing on my soapbox, so prepare yourselves.  It’s about to get ugly up in here.  WARNING: A rant is about to take place.

  1. I’m sick and tired of people laying down rules about booing the home team or players on the home team.  People have a right to do it.  You may not like it, and I may not like it, but they are well within their rights to do it.   It’s often done in poor taste.  If anything, the booing is usually misdirected or misguided.  I’d prefer that people direct the booing at TLR for continuing to bring in Ryan Franklin and Miguel Batista when I think he should be bringing in someone else.  BTW, I totally agreed with bringing in Franklin with a huge run cushion (low leverage situation) in Houston the other night.  That was a great opportunity to build his confidence in a situation where he was unlikely to get booed.  What happened?  Franklin still ended up throwing darts…..big fluffy, impossible to miss darts.
  2. Yes, I’m excited about Lance Berkman‘s start to the season (and not just because he’s on one of my fantasy teams), but I’m being realistic.  After facing the Padres, Pirates, and Giants (3 teams that pitched relatively well), he was batting .214/.290/.286/.576 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.  He then proceeded to chew up the Dodgers, Nationals, Reds, and Astros.  From my viewpoint, he’s exactly what the doctor ordered to help with the woes the Cardinals had last season against teams they were supposed to beat.  Also, he basically gnaws on pitchers who don’t have great fastballs which is basically most of the NL.
  3. Also, I’m thrilled about Holliday leading the league in hitting, but I’d like to point out that he did miss 2 games against Padres, 3 against the Pirates, and 1 against the Giants.  Needless to say, his timing was excellent for his surgery.
  4. I don’t want to waste too much time on the FSMW vs U-Verse thing.  If you didn’t like the original contract, then you shouldn’t have signed it (FSMW).  I say the same thing about rich, spoiled athletes who want to renegotiate.  Anything that denies Cardinals fans opportunities to see the team play on tv is simply a bad thing.  Fix it.  Fix it now.  People will simply resort to listening to radio broadcasts, believe it or not.  Drawing play-by-play on dry erase boards and listening to Mike Shannon beats the heck out of Al Hrabosky and Dan prattling on about Al’s career as a Chippendale’s dancer back in the 40′s anyway.
  5. I still maintain that the Cardinals are just hoping that Tyler Greene hits well enough to supplant Ryan Theriot at SS.  Greene is faster and more athletic, and he’s a less expensive long-term option.  Greene also has a bit more power, and he can play the outfield when needed.  Theriot is a singles hitter who is good at making errors.  Greene can make the same errors for less money.  Advantage Greene.
  6. Same goes for Descalso at 2B.  I’m sorry to say that I think Skip’s days are numbered.  When Descalso hit the hard double to the opposite field in Houston, I immediately thought about how that probably differentiated him from Skip Schumaker in some minds.  Of course, salary differential also has a way of doing that as well.
  7. I don’t give a crap about ERA to be quite honest, and I’m tired of the broadcast team touting ERA as the be-all-end-all.  Yes, Miguel Batista has an ERA of 0.82 which is the lowest on the pitching staff.  That hides the fact that he’s really generous about allowing inherited runners to score.  Yay, Miguel!  What about wins and losses?  McClellan and Lohse each have 4 wins.  Garcia has 3, and he should probably have 4.  Carpenter has 0 with a 3.90 ERA.  Should he really have 0 wins?  Has he pitched that badly?  He’s certainly pitched better than Westbrook (7.40 ERA), but Jake Westbrook has 2 victories to his credit.
  8. When the Cardinals blow a game, I’m not the least bit encouraged by the fact that the Reds (or any other team) also lost.  The fact that the game took place early in the season doesn’t soften the blow, either.  A win is a win is a win, whether it happens in April, May, or September.  The team that compiles the most at the end of the season wins the division.  It makes sense to start compiling them early and often.
  9. Don’t tell me not to blame Ryan Theriot or Ryan Franklin for yesterday’s loss.  Until someone names you the “Commander in Chief of Gr33nazn’s Baseball World”, I’ll keep making the decisions in my own little mind.  Besides, I’m laying blame at TLR’s feet for leaving Franklin in for a 2nd inning.  Sure, he couldn’t predict that Franklin wouldn’t be able to pitch around an error, but he should know that Franklin hasn’t had much luck going past 1 inning this season.  Franklin looked just fine pitching 1 inning, and TLR should have left it at that.  Why?  He pitched 2 innings against the Nationals and surrendered a HR when the Cardinals were only down by 2 runs.  Against the Reds, he entered the game and immediately allowed an inherited runner to score on one of the two hits he surrendered in the 1 1/3 inning he pitched.  TLR knew this, and he could have pulled Franklin with his confidence intact.
  10. Sunday was the 7th game of the season in which the Cardinals held a lead in the 7th inning or later and failed to win.  Don’t dare tell me that a record of something like 20-8 wouldn’t look pretty sweet right now.
  11. If Trever Miller is having trouble getting out left-handed hitters in high leverage situations, then freakin’ stop bringing him in to face left-handed batters in high leverage situations.  I’m sick and tired of hearing about that “one bullet” in the bullpen.  Lefties are only hitting .200 off of Fernando Salas, and righties are only hitting .167 off of him.  Heck, lefties are hitting .071 against Eduardo Sanchez, and righties are “blasting” him at a .222 pace.  Miller?  Lefties are hitting .231 against the “lefty specialist”.  Doesn’t anybody in that dugout read about the pitcher’s splits?  McFly?
  12. I said previously that without Wainwright the Cardinals pitching staff is a slightly better version of the Reds pitching staff.  I’m not far off.  I’d watch the Brewers, though.  They’ve only allowed 110 runs this season, and they have done this without Zach Greinke.  Also, Corey Hart is just now getting back to 100% as well.  I’m wary of the Brewers, because there is every reason to believe that they will get better as the season goes along.
  13. Just plain bad luck on the David Freese injury.  I’m hopeful that someone like Descalso can step in for a while and do a reasonably good impression of Freeze for several weeks, but it’s hard to replace a guy who was hitting .356 and playing stellar defense at the hot corner.
  14. Oh, don’t think I didn’t notice that little nonsensical mess in which Pujols pinch hit the other night with a man on 2B.  TLR just knew he would be walked, so the RBI opportunity went to Colby Rasmus.  What?  Pinch hitting for a guy hitting around .300 just so you can draw an automatic walk with your best pinch hitter available?  Super….genius.
  15. Albert Pujols at 3B?  Nice bench management, TLR.  Maybe you should have Oquendo do an infielder count before each inning to make sure you don’t end up in that situation again.  Something like “Raise your hand, if you are going to play your normal position in the infield!”  I don’t honestly care that Pujols has played 3B in the past and played it well.  He’s also played the outfield, but I don’t want to see him shagging popups in left field, either.  Just leave well enough alone.  It’s not like he hasn’t had his throwing arm/elbow repaired previously, so let’s not tempt fate, please.

TIDBIT: The Cardinals enter today 1st in the NL in runs scored, batting average, and on-base percentage.  They are also 3rd in slugging percentage.  Unfortunately, I expect that to decline a bit with the loss of David Freese.

MORE BITS OF TID: If there is a silver lining, it’s that the Freese injury makes the roster decisions a bit easier now that Skip Schumaker, Allen Craig, Brian Tallet, and Bryan Augenstein are getting healthier.

Like it?  Feel like ranting a bit as well?  Follow gr33nazn on Twitter and rant along with me!

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Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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{ 6 comments }

Jon Doble May 2, 2011

#8. Thank you. I’ve been saying this to people for a month now and have spent it being called stupid. You have context in September, but the wins count just as much in April. Every win in April is one less you have to try to get in September.

Dennis May 2, 2011

Those missed opportunities really add up after a while. It’s easy to forget that when the Cardinals won the WS in 1982, Sutter had 8 losses during the season, and they only won the division by 3 games. Your line about every win in April is exactly how I explained the scenario to my kid. Yeah, there’s always tomorrow, but we’re greedy about today.

Ann May 2, 2011

You are angry today. Also, I’m about as confident in Trever Miller as I was in Dennys Reyes. And with Reyes, it got to the point where I was yelling about it (loudly) at a Cards/Cubs game and had about six other people nodding and yelling “Damn straight!” after me.

Lefty specialists are bull[pucky] anyway.

[Ed. - Bulls make pucky, right?]

EM May 2, 2011

1. Agree.
2. Berkman will be better than expected, but can’t keep up with what he’s done so far (nobody could).
3. Hey, he has enough ABs to qualify anyways, right?
4. Catch almost all of my games on the radio. Personally, I like it better.
5. Greene is faster and better at D than Theriot. Ryan better watch his back.
6. Doubt Disco bumps Skip off should Schumaker hit .300 per usual.
7. Not perfect stats, but you can have the whole stats debate later (http://bit.ly/kChAdn)
8. Agree that you need wins at ANY point of the season (not just the end), but the Reds’ and Brewers’ records are the only comparisons that need to be made; so it’s okay if they all win/lose on the same day.
9. Agree. I don’t blame Theriot so much because Franklin would have found a way to lose anyways.
10. Heck with a *perfect ‘pen,* the Cards would only have like 5 losses despite bad hitting to start.
11. Agree.
12. Agree.
13. Disco can mimic him defensively, but that average isn’t going to come to him.
14. A walk they wouldn’t have got had Pujols not stepped up; but yes, a debatable call by the manager.
15. Theoretically, Pujols could fill in for Freese and put JayJay in RF… theoretically.

Dennis May 2, 2011

Ann, all I can say about Reyes is that at least there was some entertainment factor there. Just not sure how there can be a “lefty specialist” and not a “righty specialist”. Yes,
bulls do indeed make pucky.

Dennis May 2, 2011

I do enjoy listening to radio broadcasts, but we have a large tv that must be used. I’m not saying Descalso deserves to bump Skip. It’s just that Skip could become a payroll casualty to someone who has a lot of versatility and a bit more power.

I can’t agree about the record comparison, though. The Cardinals are technically in a race against every potential wild card team in the NL as well as the NL Central. If anything, that means more unknowns than there were years ago.

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