Tag Archives: World Series

Pudge Rodriguez, Florida Marlins Catcher in 2003 World Series, to Retire.

Ivan Rodriguez, Sports Illustrated Magazine

A few weeks ago I posted a blog about the pending retirement of  Dontrelle Willis, former pitcher with the 2003 World Series Champions Florida Marlins.  And now again today I read that Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is set to announce his retirement.

I’m not sure why those 2003 Florida Marlins have a soft spot in my heart, but for sure I’ll always remember that World Series.  Maybe it was because they were playing the New York Yankees and I didn’t give them a prayer for winning.  Maybe it was because the combination of Dontrelle and Pudge was something truly awesome to watch.  Or maybe it was because I watched the entire series from a condo in Puerto Vallarta; the first two games in Spanish before I figured out how to change the receiver to English.  It was memorable because the Spanish speaking announcers were unashamedly cheering for the Yankees and their obvious disappointment was hilarious to listen to.  And  even though I couldn’t understand a word they were saying, there was no doubt in my mind what they were thinking!

Pudge Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers

Ivan Rodriguez will be eligible for nomination to the Hall of Fame in five years and undoubtedly will be inducted at some point. His list of credentials and honors is impressive indeed and  he has chosen to retire as a Texas Ranger.  But even though he only spent one year with the Florida Marlins, that’s what I’ll always remember him as.  The Florida Marlins catcher in the 2003 World Series.  Thanks for the memories Pudge Rodriguez.  You deserve all the accolades you’re about to receive!

Dodgers Maintain MLB Lead (with a little help from their friends) ~

"The bunt that started it all"

Last night the Dodgers beat the Padres 5-4 with an incredulous triple play that ended the game.  The particulars of that triple play are what’s in question here.  I watched the video over and over again and there’s no doubt in my mind the plate umpire ruled a bunt ball as “out-of-bounds” wherein the Padres ceased play, went back to their bases, and play should have resumed with another pitch.  But that’s not what happened.  Instead, the Dodgers kept playing as though nothing had happened, as though no call had been made, as the Padres went back to their business in disbelief because, according to their version, and what I saw on the video, it should have been a dead ball, and the batter should have returned to the plate to take another pitch.

Now, I’m as happy as the next guy to see something good finally happen to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  This team’s been run through the mill these past few years and now it looks like they’re finally getting their act together.  I mean the last time the Dodgers got off to a start like this they ended up winning the World Series.  Here’s the article, video included, that has everyone (well, almost everyone) in a stew.  See what you think!

San Diego Padres Cry foul over Triple Play Call.

Pat Burrell ….. Always a Giant in My Mind!

Pat Burrell, SF Giants Parade, November, 2010

Funny how things happen.  Last night around midnight I was writing this blog about Pat Burrell retiring as a Phillie.  Good grief, what could possibly be worse?  It was a rather edgy piece, me having such great affinity and affection for Burrell.  I really believe we wouldn’t have won the 2010 World Series without him, not because he played so great in the  Series, but because he helped get us there in the first place and his very presence was inspiring to all of us.  And besides, he deserves better than those pesky Philadelphia fans.  He’s a San Francisco Giants hero and we love him here, we appreciate him.  But I digress.  Suddenly a severe thunderstorm began pounding down, so much so that I immediately grabbed a flashlight, powered down my pc,  and went to bed.

Leading the Phillies 2008 Parade with the Budweiser Clydesdales

So, this morning I’m back at my computer to begin where I left off, still stewing over the fact that Burrell was “forced” out of the Giants organization, forced to return to those Phillie Phanatics, when I  notice an article by Paul Hagen, MLB.com.  It changed everything so much that I had to completely rewrite my post.  It’s a long article but here’s an excerpt that gave me a different attitude about “Pat the Bat” retiring as a Phillie.

“The final indelible image of Burrell at the end of his Phillies career was riding the Budweiser wagon at the head of the championship parade with his dog, Elvis, sitting next to him.

“That was the top,” Burrell said. “[Club president David Montgomery] asked me to ride with the Clydesdales, and of course I said yes. But I didn’t understand that I was going to be the first guy to turn onto Broad Street. And that was incredible — to look up and see all the people hanging out of the buildings. I just couldn’t imagine.

“It’s funny, because Mike Schmidt and some of those guys from the 1980 [World Series championship] team always said the best part of it was the parade. And I was thinking, ‘How could that be better than the actual moment of winning the whole thing?’ But it is.’ “

Here’s the entire article, a great read for a lazy Sunday afternoon while you’re waiting for that first pitch from your favorite team!

“Burrell Grateful for Chance to Retire with Phillies”

Well, okay then.  I’ll keep both pictures of Pat Burrell’s parade days in my memory;  one with the Clydesdales and one with the Trolley.  Thanks for the memories Pat and I, for one,  hope the Giants keep you on board for a long, long time.  Once a Giant, always a Giant.

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

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 6. Oh What A Night! Cardinals Force Game 7!

Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals took it to the Texas Rangers in good old-fashioned Missouri “show me” style as the Cardinals won in 11 innings by a score of 10-9.  And “show me” they did.

Here’s a sampling from last night’s game.  Click here to see the entire story by Jeff Sullivan, Editor,  SB Nation: 

David Freese on Defense Game 6

“Oct 28, 2011 – You have to understand my situation, here. I started writing this recap when the Cardinals were trailing the Rangers 7-4 in the seventh inning, and it looked like the Rangers were going to win their Continue reading

Raining in St. Louis? Fiddley Diddley Dee.

I thought you might enjoy this little filler video while the rains come down in St. Louis,  postponing tonight’s game.  This one’s courtesy of Sooze over at Babes Love Baseball.  I especially got a little chuckle out of her last comment.   Oh to be young again with so much energy …..

“In case you somehow missed this video of an absolutely adorable member of the Rangers Ballpark grounds crew randomly busting a move between the sixth and seventh innings of Game 4… please do enjoy.  Ian Kinsler was not impressed, but we totally are.  (Call me when you turn 18!)

Update: We were just informed that this guy is 28. He just became like a billion times more attractive.”

As only Sooze can say it!

Related articles

Game 4. Mr. Holland’s Opus ….. Derek that is.

Texas Rangers Derek Holland

If revenge were anywhere in Derek Holland’s vocabulary I’d say he sure got his tonight!  I’m remembering Game 2 of the 2010 World Series.  Young Holland was brought in during the eighth inning where he proceeded to allow three walks and three runs before they took him out.  I felt bad for the kid and said so in my blog, ” Day 2. Texas Cain-Saw Massacre” .  Well there’s no feeling sorry for him tonight.  He’s quite the hero and rightly so!  Here’s Craig Calcaterra”s take on it from his Hardball blog:

“Craig Calcaterra  Oct 23, 2011, 11:25 PM EDT

We have a Classic on Our Hands!

2011 World Series Game 4 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

“When do you know that a classic World Series is afoot? We certainly know it when it’s over. But at what point as it’s happening can one safely say that, yes, we’re seeing something special? The kind of series that only comes along once or twice a decade? Something memorable? Continue reading

Game 3. Prince Albert at Home on the Range!

Albert Pujols "The Dude"!

Please bear with me as I’m in a major battle with the awful yucky flu and even though I’m able to watch the games,  surrounded by mounds of tissues and left-over tea bags, I don’t have my wits about me enough to write.  Also, I was so focused on Prince Albert I’m sure my blog would have been more about  gushing and oohhing over him and not really being very  objective.    Hardball Talk to the rescue!   Here’s a great little clip from “Drew Silva” that gives us another slant on the complicated Mr. Pujols and pretty much says it all:

“Drew Silva  Oct 23, 2011, 12:53 AM EDT   Reuters

Albert Pujols rounding bases during one of three home runs!

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols drew heavy amounts of criticism for leaving the Busch Stadium clubhouse before talking to the media following Thursday’s Game 2 loss. A few national baseball writers even questioned his leadership, given that younger players like Jason Motte, Jon Jay and Allen Craig were left to handle all of the heat.

Let’s go ahead and toss that narrative aside. It never really made much sense in the first place.

Pujols put together one of the greatest single-game performances in World Series history during Saturday night’s 16-7 Game 3 trouncing of the Rangers, finishing 5-for-6 with three home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. He tallied 14 total bases, breaking a longstanding Fall Classic record and vaulting himself into the elite rung of postseason performers.

Babe Ruth. Reggie Jackson. Albert Pujols.

Those are the only three men in the history of baseball to launch three home runs in a World Series game.

Leadership — true leadership — is something that has to be built and then cultivated through consistent, physical examples. It’s never been established through words alone, nor has it ever been betrayed by a single, rare mistake. What Pujols did Thursday night in St.  Louis was wrong.  Answering questions is part of being a professional. But to suggest that the other players in the Cardinals’ dugout somehow lost faith or respect in baseball’s greatest right-handed slugger was a stretch from the start. A failed assumption.

Pujols left no doubt on Saturday night in Arlington,Texas, with those scribes who questioned him looking on in awe. He answered the call and then some. And now his Cardinals hold an improbable 2-1 lead in the seven-game Fall Classic. Have we mentioned, already, that this series has the feel of an instant classic?”

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!