Coming off this weekend’s series win against the Cincinnati Reds the Cardinals now find themselves in 1st place and currently a ½ game up on the Reds. After starting the season 2-6 the Cardinals have rallied to a record of 12-10 and appear to be hitting on all cylinders heading into a division matchup with the Astros.
A portion of the blame for the slow start has to rest on the shoulders of now demoted closer Ryan Franklin. Franky has entered the game in the 9th on 5 occasions with the lead and has only delivered 1 save. Out of the 4 blown saves 3 of them have resulted in walk off wins for the opposition. He also surrendered the lead in a tie game on Saturday by allowing a 2 run go ahead single in the 8th inning (2 outs and a 0-2 count by the way) off the bat of Miguel Cairo. Uh, that’s not good.
Flash back to this past Wednesday when Franklin was asked to hold the fort in the 7th and 8th innings against the Nats in which the Cardinals trailed 7-5. After pitching a scoreless 7th he surrendered a solo shot to Laynce Nix in the 8th. After the inning as Franklin exited the field he was greeted with some boos and allegedly had some offensive language directed at him. Mind you there were only about 500 people in attendance being this was a make-up from the postponed game the night before. After the game Franklin voiced his displeasure with the Busch crowd and ended with the comment: “Best fans in baseball, yeah right.” I’m pretty neutral on the whole booing your own team issue. I’m definitely against any offensive language but as a professional you just need to let it go.
He later apologized for his comments and explained he was just frustrated and…blah…… My question is where did all this “Best Fans in Baseball” stuff originate anyway? Who nominated us for this imaginary honor that gets us nothing? The organization? The media? Us as fans? And come on Franky you’re going to take a shot at the entire fan base because of a few tools? The next couple days after Franklin’s comments I ran into numerous articles and blogs that poked fun at Cardinals fans and the BFIB tag. Well you know what? I don’t want it. How about “Baseballs 5th Best Fans?” Who cares? And I definitely don’t want to hear guy from losing team say “Try being a fan of (insert losing franchise) we’re real fans because our team sucks.” Just not in the mood. Every team has good and bad fans. Cardinal Nation has a lot of great fans but we don’t need the tag. I love going to Busch Stadium. To me it’s my “Baseball Heaven” but maybe it’s Fenway for someone else or Petco Park and so on. Oh, and can we please stop booing Brandon Phillips? I think he gets it. Moving on.
Just some quick positives from the last 4 series (D’Backs, Dodgers, Nats and Reds): 1. Lance Berkman is raking at the plate. 2. Motte, Sanchez, and Boggs in innings 7-9 has been a breath of fresh air. 3. I love the approach of Theriot and Rasmus at the plate in front of Albert and Co. 4. Our starting pitching has been very good. Feel good stories with Lohse and McClellan continuing to excel. 5. We’re now in 1st place.
Overall I feel really good about this team’s chances. I can’t really put my finger on why but I like this team a lot more than last season’s edition. Actually read this. I think this pretty much sums it up.
Oh I almost forgot. The Cardinals will be hosting their 2nd Social Media Night on May 17th vs. the Phillies. They’ve asked us as bloggers to help spread the word. Here’s the details:
Details about the event:
- Tickets go on sale at noon, Friday, April 22
- Date of Event: Tuesday, May 17 vs. Phillies
$20 price includes the following:
- Field Box ticket to the game
- “Tweet Me In St. Louis” T-Shirt
- Access to a Pre-Game Social Hour
Pre-Game Social Hour:
- 6 PM – 7 PM in the Group Sales Corner (located across from the Champions Club entrance)
- Chance to “Tweet Up” with your Twitter Followers and get together with your Facebook Friends
- Drinks will be available for purchase at the event
I went to the 1st event last season and it was a lot of fun. Heck $20 for a field box ticket and a tee? Sign me up!
If you have any additional questions about what the event’s like or just want to give me a hard time you can hit me up at www.twitter.com/DJ_McClure