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Love is blind, and that's why skipper will go with Matty Mo

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  • Love is blind, and that's why skipper will go with Matty Mo

    From Burwell. The first 4 paragraphs could be said in 1 sentence, but I digress.

    Love is blind, and that's why skipper will go with Matty Mo
    By Bryan Burwell
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    09/23/2005

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell

    In the waning days of September, just when the temperatures begin to fall, like autumn clockwork, baseball's pennant races begin to heat up. The choke-inducing tension of tight division races and wild-card chases have caused the hearts and stomachs of nearly a dozen baseball municipalities to agitate nightly.

    From Boston to New York, Houston to Philadelphia, Chicago to Cleveland, Los Angeles to Oakland, and Washington and Miami, hope and desperation spring eternal as the division and wild-card standings change frantically every night.

    So how is it that in a city like St. Louis, where its Cardinals are cruising to the finish line with a division title long since clinched, and Cardinal Nation's only worry should be about snagging playoff tickets, so many people are still on pins and needles?

    Here are the Cardinals, moving toward 100 victories with a little more than a week to play. Yet there is a realistic bit of last-minute intrigue surrounding the Cardinals, as pitchers Matt Morris and Jason Marquis have spent the past month in late-season auditions for the final spot in the postseason starting rotation.

    This is the best sort of intrigue for a baseball team on a World Series mission. Better to be fretting over too many riches than a bare cupboard. The top of the playoff rotation already is set with Mr. Cy Young (Chris Carpenter), steady lefty Mark Mulder and old reliable Jeff Suppan.

    But whatever intrigue we thought might exist about that No. 4 slot was removed following Morris' six-inning, one-run, one-hit no-decision in last night's 6-2 loss in Cincinnati. Perhaps you didn't know that manager Tony La Russa had a long-standing devotion to Matty Mo.

    Well, this is surely indisputable proof of that special man-crush by the Cards skipper.

    For most of the regular season, Morris deservedly was the clear-cut choice. He was everything La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan want in their starters: older; more impressive resume; experienced postseason veteran. But his late-summer fade (0-4 with a 6.65 ERA over his last four starts before last night) and Marquis' perfectly timed last-minute renaissance presented what should have been a less-than-absorbing decision for the manager.

    But who didn't know that La Russa was looking for an excuse - any excuse - to do it? This is his guy, after all. Morris earned that deep emotional attachment because it wasn't so long ago that the veteran was the ace of the Cardinals' staff.

    How could La Russa ignore all the new evidence that is in front of him now? How could he not acknowledge that impressive 4-1 record and 1.38 ERA that Marquis put together down the stretch? How did he ignore the sudden signs that the kid may have finally settled down and decided to embrace all his pitching strengths and discard the stubborn tendencies that used to get him into so much trouble?

    And how did he ignore the fact that since Aug. 27, Marquis has pitched two complete games, gone into the eighth inning in another and given up a total of just eight runs in those five games?

    You know La Russa dug deeper. In Marquis' two starts against the likely first-round opponent San Diego, the Cards won the first game 15-5, as Marquis went six innings and gave up six hits and four earned runs; in the second game, he was impressive in a complete-game, six-hit, 2-1 loss to Padre ace Jake Peavy. In five starts against likely wild card Houston, Marquis is 4-0 with a 3.70 ERA.

    No doubt, this was just one of those times where the old-school manager didn't want to give in to the lies, damned lies and statistics of numbers-obsessed moneyball geeks and sportswriters. But sometimes, even the most stubborn old-schooler has to acknowledge that those numbers don't always lie.

    I know that sometimes love is blind, but I wish La Russa's Morris fetish would have surrendered to the undeniable evidence that Marquis ought to be the man this postseason.
    Dude. Can. Fly.

  • #2
    I agree in going with Morris.

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    • #3
      Burwell had a "reputation" before he came here, right?

      Anyone know what that might have been for?

      Comment


      • #4
        QUOTE(Reggie Cleveland @ Sep 23 2005, 09:32 AM) Quoted post

        Burwell had a "reputation" before he came here, right?

        Anyone know what that might have been for?
        [/b][/quote]

        Being a windbag? That column is tough to read.
        Dude. Can. Fly.

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        • #5
          At least Gordon is occasionally funny. Burwell's about as informative as the 14-year-old girl next door.

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          • #6
            IMHO the rotation for the 'loffs should be:
            Carp
            Mulder
            Marquis
            and Matty Mo.
            and put Suppan in the bullpen as he chokes a bit in the postseason.
            The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.---Socrates
            A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.---Plato


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            • #7
              The Suppan Incident aside, Suppan pitched pretty well in the postseason last year. But it's hard to forgive him for

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              • #8
                Great, now Reggie is going to lose it.
                Dude. Can. Fly.

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                • #9
                  'Quis in the Pen isn't a bad idea. He could hit for himself in middle relief when Morris blows up early and often.

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                  • #10
                    QUOTE(dvyyyyyy @ Sep 23 2005, 09:15 AM) Quoted post

                    Great, now Reggie is going to lose it.
                    [/b][/quote]

                    Hey, we can laugh about it now, right? [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ph34r.gif[/img]

                    I can say that nothing I've ever seen as a fan watching sporting events has made me angrier. My Mom could have made it home on that play.
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                    • #11
                      QUOTE(space invader @ Sep 23 2005, 10:56 AM) Quoted post

                      IMHO the rotation for the 'loffs should be:
                      Carp
                      Mulder
                      Marquis
                      and Matty Mo.
                      and put Suppan in the bullpen as he chokes a bit in the postseason.
                      [/b][/quote]

                      Are you high?

                      Did you even watch last year's playoffs?
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                      • #12
                        QUOTE(space invader @ Sep 23 2005, 10:56 AM) Quoted post

                        IMHO the rotation for the 'loffs should be:
                        Carp
                        Mulder
                        Marquis
                        and Matty Mo.
                        and put Suppan in the bullpen as he chokes a bit in the postseason.
                        [/b][/quote]


                        Uh, Suppan was probably our best pitcher in the postseason last year.

                        He chokes?

                        One baserunning play and he is out of the rotation?


                        You're fired.
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                        • #13
                          QUOTE(space invader @ Sep 23 2005, 10:56 AM) Quoted post

                          and put Suppan in the bullpen as he chokes a bit in the postseason.
                          [/b][/quote]

                          other than his baserunning gaffe, he was actually pretty good last year.

                          here's his LCS game 7 line: J Suppan (W, 2-1) 6.0 3 2 1 2 6 1 98-58
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                          • #14
                            QUOTE(space invader @ Sep 23 2005, 10:56 AM) Quoted post

                            IMHO the rotation for the 'loffs should be:
                            Carp
                            Mulder
                            Marquis
                            and Matty Mo.
                            and put Suppan in the bullpen as he chokes a bit in the postseason.
                            [/b][/quote]

                            Give me a break. The guy was our best pitcher in the postseason last year and you want to hang him up because of a baserunning brain cramp? Admittedly, it was quite the brain cramp but he is a "pitcher"!!!!!!
                            [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/mad.gif[/img]
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                            • #15
                              I've seen it all...that's right up there w/ CG and I's joking post aboot putting Mulder in the bullpen....[img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif[/img]

                              Burwell has trouble reaching his column word-target.....

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