Tag Archives: St Louis Cardinals

St Louis Cardinals “Flying Happy” Tonight!

St Louis Cardinals 2011 NLCS Champions!

Congratulations to the St Louis Cardinals, winners of the 2011 National League Pennant.  On August 25, the Cardinals were 10 1/2 games out in their Division and it was nothing but a comedy of twists, turns and magic that they were able to advance to the National League Pennant race, let alone win it!  The Cardinals won in fine fashion by a final score of 12-6.

It was the sixth game of the series and the Cards took 4 out of 2.   It’s a surprise to everyone, except maybe the players themselves, that the Cardinals were able to overcome a whole lot of things to advance to the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers.  One of the chants tonight was “11 in 11” which I was told means the Cards are going after their 11th world series win in 2011.   This is the Cards 18th National League Pennant and Manager Tony LaRussa’s 6th trip to the World Series. The World Series begins Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at Busch Stadium, St. Louis Missouri.

I was trying to think of a title for the blog tonight and these were some that came to mind:

  • Meet Me in St. Louis Baby!
  • This is One for the Birds!
  • Tony’s Birds sing “Happy Flight” as they advance to the World Series
  • Brew Crew Singing the Blues … St Louis Blues that is.
  • St Louis advances to World Series … It’s in the Cards!
  • Birds of a Feather Stick Together and Win!

David Freese 2011 NLCS MVP

MVP for the National League Series is St Louis native David Freese.  Fantastic statistics.  The 28-year-old third baseman has a 10-game postseason hitting streak as the wild-card Cardinals head home to open the World Series on Wednesday night against the AL Champion Texas Rangers.  Freese also scored three times Sunday night and batted .545 (12 for 22) in the NLCS with three homers, three doubles, nine RBIs and seven runs.

I have to admit after listening to most of the programming tonight, several different television stations and reading several media reports and blogs, that the Texas Rangers … once again … are the definite favorites to win the series this year.  It makes me chuckle because it drags up memories of postseason play last year like it was today.  Those poor downtrodden SF Giants were outmatched and over-classed and really had no business even showing up.  The Rangers had it all, and on and on.  Same thing is being said this year.

At one point tonight before the game even ended one of the commentators made a comment that the Texas Rangers are a better team.  Now this is before the game was even over, not certain who the winner was going to be.  Well, okay, it was a pretty sure thing, but still.  I don’t know, maybe they would have said the same thing if the score was 12-06 Milwaukee.  But then he added, and this is not verbatim, something like “the American League  has a way of making their clubs better”.   Better than what?  Good grief.  I was rather leaning toward the St. Louis Cardinals before and now really don’t have any choice.  I mean, aren’t we supposed to cheer for the “underdog”?

I guess maybe that’s why I have a feeling the St. Louis Cardinals are going to take it all in 2011.   I don’t know, I’m just saying …..(forgive me for this) …..

A bird in hand is worth two in the busch!

Advertisements

A British Take on NLDS Game 5.

British Fife and Drum

I know, you probably think I’m being a little giddy, perhaps dwelling too much on the last Cardinal/Phillies game.   But I just couldn’t resist the urge to share this post.  For one thing it references a previous post with an outlandish video spoof “Too Much Money Ball” .  It includes a 7th Inning stretch video “Take Me out to the Ballgame – Old Skool” as only a Brit could do.

Written by Steve Busfield for “The Guardian” in the U.K.,  this gives a good argument that the British are not totally limited to knowledge of soccer and cricket.  Here are some excerpts from the post: 

Money ball Yankees Style:

“My hilarious colleague David Lengel, who was on live blogging duty last night, is now live tweeting this game to me. This is his description of Molina’s appearance in the top of the 4th:

‘God strolls to the plate.   Oh, God gets a base hit.  Surprise.  God steals a base.  God is let down by his people.   This happens.’

Did you see the squirrel interrupt play in game four? (“like a tiny streaker in a fur coat,”

Seventh inning stretch: Take Me Out To The Ballgame: old skool:

Proper.

Related articles

“Those Classy Cardinals” …. On and Off the Field.

St. Louis Cardinals

I’m kinda sorta breaking with my tradition of not writing about post season play until we get to the pennant winners.  But not really, since this concerns a story written after last nights game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies. It was written by Les Carpenter for Yahoo Sports  (I’m assuming Les is in no way related to Cardinal pitcher, Chris Carpenter).  This is a human interest story about sportsmanship, team spirit and the camaraderie of the players.   Here’s an excerpt from the story:

“The National League Division Series had been decided, the mighty Philadelphia Phillies dispatched like a playoff pretender, and the St. Louis Cardinals raced into their clubhouse and tore into the three giant blue tubs of Champagne. Then they stood in a half circle near the door to the tiny room, late Friday night, shook the bottles, held the corks and …

They waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Five minutes passed, then seven, eight, then 10 and still they would not celebrate. Here was a baseball team, just after the most improbable of playoff victories, and its players were standing awkwardly as if this was a junior high mixer at the VFW Hall. But the national television people had grabbed their pitcher, Chris Carpenter, the one who stifled the Phillies on three hits in nine innings, the one who sent them to the Milwaukee Brewers with a 1-0 victory, and that meant he wasn’t in the room with them.

Carpenter was still on the field doing interviews. Given the way he pulled them through this night, making the postseason last another week longer, they couldn’t pop the cork on anything until he arrived. So with no Carpenter, there was no party. They would wait.

Finally someone spotted him. He was walking up the tunnel from the dugout. Someone waved to the others and they huddled in position near the clubhouse entrance. And as he turned the corner into the room they pounced. Bottles flashed. Liquid poured. And Chris Carpenter could do little else but hunch his shoulders as they doused him with Champagne, screaming for the joy of a playoff win they never could have imagined a month earlier.”

Last April I wrote about the San Francisco Giants Home Opener against the St Louis Cardinals.  The post wasn’t about the game so much as it was about the reputation and tradition of  “those classy” Cardinals.  They’d just been selected as having the best and most knowledgeable of all fans in Major League Baseball.  

After reading this article I think it’s safe to say “Those Classy Cardinals” doesn’t just relate to the St. Louis fans.   It’s pretty safe to say that scene in the locker room represents a pretty darn classy group of baseball players and teammates also.   Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals both on and off the field.

Update: 2011 MLB Payrolls & Individual Salaries.

Courtesy TTF Baseball

Here’s the 2011 update to our 2010 Major League Baseball listing published November 22, 2010.  This comes to us compliments of USA Today.  If you’ll click the individual teams, you can access the individual players salaries.  It will be interesting to note the annual salaries of the teams that make the playoffs;  in other words, did they get what they paid for?

 TEAM                          TOTAL P/R             AVG SALARY       MEDIAN

New York Yankees

$ 202,689,028

$ 6,756,300

$ 2,100,000

Philadelphia Phillies

$ 172,976,379

$ 5,765,879

$ 2,625,000

Boston Red Sox

$ 161,762,475

$ 5,991,202

$ 5,500,000

Los Angeles Angels

$ 138,543,166

$ 4,469,134

$ 2,000,000

Chicago White Sox

$ 127,789,000

$ 4,732,925

$ 2,750,000

Chicago Cubs

$ 125,047,329

$ 5,001,893

$ 1,600,000

New York Mets

$ 118,847,309

$ 4,401,752

$ 900,000

San Francisco Giants

$ 118,198,333

$ 4,377,716

$ 2,200,000

Minnesota Twins

$ 112,737,000

$ 4,509,480

$ 3,000,000

Detroit Tigers

$ 105,700,231

$ 3,914,823

$ 1,300,000

St. Louis Cardinals

$ 105,433,572

$ 3,904,947

$ 1,000,000

Los Angeles Dodgers

$ 104,188,999

$ 3,472,966

$ 2,142,838

Texas Rangers

$ 92,299,264

$ 3,182,733

$ 1,251,000

Colorado Rockies

$ 88,148,071

$ 3,390,310

$ 2,318,750

Atlanta Braves

$ 87,002,692

$ 3,346,257

$ 1,275,000

Seattle Mariners

$ 86,524,600

$ 2,884,153

$ 825,000

Milwaukee Brewers

$ 85,497,333

$ 2,849,911

$ 1,050,000

Baltimore Orioles

$ 85,304,038

$ 3,280,924

$ 1,425,000

Cincinnati Reds

$ 75,947,134

$ 2,531,571

$ 825,000

Houston Astros

$ 70,694,000

$ 2,437,724

$ 467,000

Oakland Athletics

$ 66,536,500

$ 2,376,303

$ 1,400,000

Washington Nationals

$ 63,856,928

$ 2,201,963

$ 1,050,000

Toronto Blue Jays

$ 62,567,800

$ 2,018,316

$ 1,200,000

Florida Marlins

$ 56,944,000

$ 2,190,153

$ 545,000

Arizona Diamondbacks

$ 53,639,833

$ 1,986,660

$ 1,000,000

Cleveland Indians

$ 49,190,566

$ 1,639,685

$ 484,200

San Diego Padres

$ 45,869,140

$ 1,479,649

$ 468,800

Pittsburgh Pirates

$ 45,047,000

$ 1,553,344

$ 450,000

Tampa Bay Rays

$ 41,053,571

$ 1,578,983

$ 907,750

Kansas City Royals

$ 36,126,000

$ 1,338,000

$ 850,000

Those Classy Cardinals!

 

Giants 2011 Home Opener vs Cardinals

A few weeks ago I saw an article in the Bleacher Report that listed all of the Major League Baseball Teams in order of Fan Loyalty and Support.   The fans were judged on the basis of commitment, knowledge, participation and attendance.  It didn’t surprise me to learn the winner was the St. Louis Cardinal fans.    For one thing, Tony La Russa’s been the Manager of the Cardinals for the past 16 years.  During an interview back in 2004 by MLB.com’s Mark Newman, La Russa made this statement;

….I think they say St. Louis is the best because fans are as enthusiastic as in other places but are probably more fair-minded.  You can get booed here some, but you’re not going to get embarrassed.  Here, you never see nastiness from our fans.  If you like knowledgeable people who are fair-minded to the other side, this has got a chance to be the best.

Cardinal fans have even been known to give a standing ovation for a strikeout, which occurred when Larry Walker, a newcomer, came to bat for the first time as a Cardinal, promptly struck out and received the standing ovation.  One fan explained they stood because they were saying, in effect, thanks for coming here kid.  We’re glad you’re a Cardinal.   They have the reputation of not only being some of baseball’s most knowledgeable fans, but also the most polite. 

So I’m reflecting on this as I’m watching the pre-game ceremonies yesterday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.   This was the first league home game for the Giants since they won the World Series back in November and, believe me, it was a big, big thing!  Huge!   I don’t know who plans these events, but for some reason, the first thing they did was introduce the visiting team, the St. Louis Cardinals, one at a time as they usually do.  They individually trotted to their place in line on the field to a smathering of applause, some boo’s, the usual stuff. 

Then they began the round of festivities.   And this is when I really first noticed those nice, polite St. Louis Cardinals.  Here they are, standing almost at attention, almost in a perfect line, hardly moving while the Giants organization did the following:

  1. Introduced “Train”, the band, live, who performed their local hit, “Save me San Francisco” in honor of the World Series Champions.
  2. At the end of the song, the Giants started streaming into the park  from Centerfield, walking at first, then breaking into a trot as they made their way to the 3rd base line, where they, too, would stand at attention, well, sort of.  This was to the roar of 42,000 crazy fans who were delighted at just the sight of them!
  3. The members of the Giants organization were then introduced, one at a time, beginning with the bat boys, and including the clubhouse assistants, the clubhouse managers, trainers, assistant trainers, massage therapists, the coaches, the bench and finally the starting players for this game.
  4. Then a memorial tribute was given to those from the organization who had passed away during the offseason.
  5. The Color Guard was then introduced.
  6. The singing of the National Anthem was then played which ended in the fly-over of the Navy jets.
  7. During the National Anthem the flag was beautifully rolled out onto the full scope of the field displaying its colors.

Now all of this really nice ceremony took place while the St. Louis Cardinals were standing on the 1st Base line, still as steel, and as patient and polite as you can possibly imagine.   After the National Anthem was played, the festivities continued, though the players did get to retreat to their dugouts.  We were then introduced to a gentleman who had been a season ticketholder since 1958, and Brian Wilson presented him with the World Series game ball.  During this time the big screen was showing the most memorable scenes from the playoffs to the wild applause of the fans, and this was followed by presentation of the MVP and Babe Ruth awards from the World Series.   Approximately 45 minutes later, Willie Mays presented Bruce Bochy with the World Series flag which was passed on down the SF Giants line to end up with Brian Wilson, who then trotted out across the field and up the stands and hoisted the World Series flag above the stadium.  It was emotional and very impressive;  at least to me and the other fans. 

The Polite Pujols & Posey

But I kept watching the St. Louis Cardinals and wondering what they must be thinking during all this.  Maybe they were really enjoying it and thinking about when it would be their turn again, and maybe they were happy for the Giants and their fans.  Maybe they admired the Giants ability to overcome huge obstacles that allowed them to come to this point.  But more than likely it’s possible they were just thinking, “For pete’s sake, would you hurry up and get this over with ?”  Which it finally did, 45 minutes later. 

I had noticed during the introduction of the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the fellows in front of me, probably in his mid 30’s, politely clapped and applauded as each Cardinal was introduced.  Remembering the best fans in baseball, I thought this is probably something the Cardinals did for us when we played on their home turf.   Later I approached this man and mentioned to him how impressive it was that he applauded the visiting team members.  He just smiled and said “It’s just a game.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do”?  I asked him where he was from and he said he lived in San Francisco, but his grandma lived in St. Louis.  Uh Huh!  And it passes down from generation to generation.  His dad’s probably the same way.  Anyhow, I had a good feeling throughout this game.  Not that we’d win or lose, but that we’d experienced probably the worst of baseball fandom the previous week, and we were experiencing  some of the best of baseball fandom today.  The spirit of St. Louis is alive and well and the spirit of baseball is too.