I spent this past weekend In Iowa at a close friends wedding and thus was unable to catch much in the way of Cardinal baseball. My basic conclusion was another disappointing flat performance from the Redbirds. A couple things that really got to me about the weekend were Colby’s extremely late scratch from the lineup on Sunday, the Nyjer Morgan / Bryan Anderson incident on Saturday, and the fact the Nat’s reliever Drew Storen seems to lose his command against the Cardinals.
Before I get to my rant portion of the post I’d like to touch on the whole TLR vs. Colby stuff that’s floating around St. Louis. I have no real insight other than if Colby’s healthy I firmly believe he should be in the lineup everyday even against leftys. I understand he strikes out a lot but he needs to get his at bats. He’s definitely got some emotional needs or something that bothers TLR but whatever the case is he needs to be in there. We need his bat in this struggling lineup. Supposedly his very late scratch yesterday had to do with an umpire matchup I guess? Unreal. If Colby’s father needs to be his personal hitting coach and travel with the team to help him hit then so be it just get him in the lineup everyday please.
Addressing the Morgan situation I really believe the guy’s just a complete head case. He just recently was involved in a verbal altercation with a Phillies’ fan that led to Morgan throwing a ball in the stands at the fan. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure the fan was doing their best to provoke him but that’s part of being a professional. Supposedly what led to Morgan’s little cheap shot on Anderson was his displeasure with being moved down in the order to the 8 hole. Really? You get moved down in the order and decide that a shoulder check in the back of our unsuspecting catcher is how you’ll voice your opinion? I guess that’s what I’d expect from this douche.
Before Sunday’s game both Tony LaRussa and Nat’s manager Jim Riggleman met with umpire Joe West regarding the situation. Riggleman benched Morgan for the game and apologized to both LaRussa and Anderson for Morgan’s actions. Riggleman feared that the Cardinals would retaliate by drilling Morgan had he played in the game. No shit. I also love the fact Riggleman approached TLR and Anderson and apologized instead of Morgan doing it himself. Whatever.
As for Drew Storen taking aim at Holliday I’m kinda lost. I’m pretty sure the shot to the hand delivered Thursday night was not intentional because it brought home the tying run. The 94 mph heat behind his back on Sunday was either intentional or he shouldn’t be a major league pitcher.
After the game yesterday Riggleman voiced his displeasure with the amount of time Storen had to stand on the mound as LaRussa was out on the field asking the umpires how a pitcher can suck that bad?. Jim Riggleman had this: “I don’t know if it’s ‘rile up’, but I know it got to the point that I didn’t like him standing on the mound as long as he was and I felt like, pretty soon here we’ve got to invoke the rule where if it doesn’t get going pretty quick here you can just say, ‘OK, you’ve got 20 seconds and if he’s not in the box it’s a strike.’ Because you don’t want your guy standing out there that long, he had already pitched a third and come in and sat down and now gone back out.” And then the umpires decided to issue warnings to both teams! What did we do!? A 96 mph fastball on the hand Thursday, a cheap shot to the back on Saturday and then 94 behind the back on Sunday and we get a warning!?
We all know Tony LaRussa absolutely hates when his players are hit by pitches. For that matter when the ball even comes close to them. Between the Holliday stuff, the Morgan cheap shot and the lack of wins currently on the road trip I’m guessing TLR maybe got an hour of sleep this weekend.
With all the various ways for us all to voice our opinions via the social networking stream (Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc.) I’ve come across things I like and some things that have really bothered me. A couple negatives I want to address real quick:
- The altercation between the Cards and Reds that featured ‘Kicks Cueto’ has some viewing Cardinal fans in a negative light. I guess the fact we won’t let it go bothers people. I’ll give my opinion on the outcome and leave it at this. Everything that happened up until Cueto starting kicking was completely fine. You see base brawls are hardly ever brawls at all. They’re nothing more than shouting matches for the most part. I realize it’s Jason LaRue and not say Yadier Molina out for the remainder of the season but does that make the situation that much different? LaRue brings a solid mentality and work ethic to the club and I guess I didn’t see Cueto missing one start was a fair trade for LaRue being finished for the year.
- More than usual I’ve noticed a hate of the Cardinals, especially from Brewers, Astros and Reds fans on twitter. I expect that kinda hate from the Cubs side but I guess I was unaware it was as strong from the other parties. It’s fine I guess just some pretty strong words used to describe the Cardinals and their fans by some other central division faithful.
With all the BS that’s been going on I just wish the Redbirds could just turn it on this last month. It all starts with this Houston series which leads right into the Reds coming to St. Louis next weekend. I hate using the term “Do or Die” but I’m afraid if we don’t come out of this week with two series wins the team from The Lou may well be on life support.