Tag Archives: Tony LaRussa

Baseball’s Top Ten News Items in 2011

2011 World Champions St Louis Cardinals

The media’s full of articles and videos of the most newsworthy items about baseball this past year.   You might think this would be those articles you and I found the most interesting and representative of baseball throughout the country, but not necessarily so.

I compiled a list from a survey today of the “top 10” from USA Today, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN.

Here’s the results and below that I’ve listed my own personal “Top Ten”.  How does your list compare?

TOP TEN FROM SURVEY

  1. St. Louis Cardinals, World Series Champions
  2. Justin Verlander,  AL Cy Young and MVP Winner
  3. Game 162 collapse of the Red Sox and Braves.
  4. Game 6 World Series between the Cardinals and Rangers
  5. Derek Jeter’s 3000th hit
  6. Ryan Braun’s Drug Test
  7. Jim Thome’s 600th Home Run
  8. Shannon Stone Fatal Fall at Rangers Stadium
  9. Mariano Rivera all time saves leader
  10. Bryan Stow beating at Dodger Stadium Continue reading

Mike Matheny ~ Leading by Example

Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the  only way to teach. ~ Albert Einstein.”

Last week the sports world was shaken by an announcement about illegal, immoral, unethical, sickening and a zillion other adjectives you could use to describe activities  that have been allowed to exist while the powers-that-be looked the other way.  And then yesterday another college has come forth with a similar situation.  We’ll just have to wait and see how many more are involved.

Mike Matheny as the Giants Catcher

So last night as I was getting ready to shut down for the evening I caught a headline that had crept into my blogosphere:  “Mike Matheny to Become New Cardinals Manager.”  Did I read this right?  How can this be?  I was thinking about the popular catcher the Giants signed to a three-year contract back in 2004.  In his first season with the Giants, Matheny won not only a Gold Glove Award but also the coveted Willie Mac Award given for spirit and leadership.   But the next year was not so kind to Mike as a series of foul balls pummeled his catcher’s mask resulting in a serious concussion that eventually ended his playing career.   I’d heard he went back to St. Louis where he’d played previously and was hired as a consultant or adviser or something. Continue reading

Ballpark Food ~ Best at Busch Stadium!

I’ve never been to Busch Stadium in St. Louis but since this blog’s supposed to be about ballparks AND ballpark food it just seemed  natural we’d want to highlight the fan favorite food of the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Tony LaRussa Vegetarian & Animal Lover

When I found out that Manager Tony LaRussa  is a vegetarian it brought back a memory from one of the baseball tours I took to Yankee Stadium.   After touring 42nd street, I ended up  with some marvelous leftover pastrami (that I hadn’t even began to touch) from an early dinner at  Roxy’s Deli.  There was probably a pound of pastrami left, wrapped neatly in aluminum foil, in a tidy little white bag that Jess our waiter so meticulously wrapped up for me.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I just couldn’t leave it on the plate.  I mean it was a complete meal, untouched. Continue reading

Game 7. Those Wild ‘WILD CARD” Cards!

Best Fans and Best Team in Baseball

It’s true!  What better gift to the fans of the St. Louis Cardinals than the title “World Champions”!    This picture is my favorite of all the thousands because if shows the team and the fans in unison like they’re in it together and they did it together, which of course they did.   Last year the St. Louis Cardinal fans were selected number one best fans in baseball based on knowledge of the game, loyalty and sportsmanship.  San Francisco Giants fans were voted second. Continue reading

Game 1. Texas Can’t Hold ‘Em!

“Who would have thought it?  Cardinals 3, Rangers 2.   I had almost as much fun watching the sports pundits after the game as I did watching the game itself.  Well, almost.”

What better quote than using the exact opener I used on last year’s Game 1 blog replacing, of course, the Giants with Cardinals.    I watched the media before the game throughout the day and the odds were 80% in favor of Texas “going all the way”.  And, of course they may, but at least the odds are right now, today, just a little in favor of the St. Louis Cardinals.  Winners of Game one go on to win it all  in 60% of the World Series played to date.

One of the memorable quotes from the game, “It’s a five letter word S- T- R- I- K- E ” as only Tim McCarver could utter at the end of the 6th inning.

For those who like to know about the key moments, here are two, courtesy of NPR’s Tom Goldman’s report for Morning Edition:

Chris Carpenter on a "Defensive" slide into 1st Base.

“— The coolest play came in the first inning. Cards pitcher Chris Carpenter covered the bag at first base, and had to dive to the ground to get the ball tossed his way by first baseman Albert Pujols. “Carpenter dove for the ball and as his long frame hit the ground he tagged the base with his glove hand, at the same time pulling his pitching hand away to protect it from the batter’s oncoming cleats,” Tom says. “How cool to see a pitcher getting dirty.”

The play, Tom added, “served notice that the game, perhaps the Series, is going to be a diving for every out, clawing for every run affair.”

Allen Craig's "off the bench" hit to score the winning run.

— The biggest play came in the sixth inning when Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa sent pinch hitter Allen Craig to the plate in place of Carpenter. Craig’s hit to right field was dropped by Ranger outfielder Nelson Cruz. That drove in the winning run. LaRussa’s savvy use of his bench and bullpen came through again.”

Game 2 – Tonight at Busch Stadium, St. Louis at 5:05 pm televised on Fox.

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!