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Opening Day GDT starter -

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  • Opening Day GDT starter -

    Last year I was given the honor -

    I of course jinked us for the season with this.

    Who should get it this year?

    When we last left our heroes they were celebrating the 10th World Championship in St. Louis Cardinal history. It had been an improbable ride that began with them barely making the playoffs. With no one behind them but their most die-hard fans they were the road team and the underdog in every series they played. Mocked by members of the media from coast to coast they defeated the Padres in 4, after one ESPN analyst said they wouldn’t beat the Pirates in a series, the Mets in 7, after most predicted a Mets sweep, and the Tigers in 5, after one analyst predicted the Tigers in 3.

    As the team partied long into the night the vanquished and the media grasped at straws to figure out just how they had done it and what was the turning point. But those of us Cardinal fans – familiar with the never ending saga - knew the mightiest blow for the Cardinals in 2006 had been struck on an October night in 2005.

    When Albert Pujols faced Brad Lidge with 2 outs in the fifth game on the NLCS in the top of the ninth with 2 runners on – 2 strikes and the Houston fans cheering wildly it was a moment in baseball history. Not 2005 history – 2006 history. Albert’s gigantic home run won the game but Houston won the series. The only problem for Houston was one thing. It was possible Albert had broken Lidge. Not broken completely, just destroyed a little of that super man confidence that he had over the Cardinals and every other team he had faced for two years. In 2006 Lidge would pitch effective often but sometimes he would struggle. The Cardinals won the division over the Astros with 1 game left in the season. Lidge’s struggles were part of that cushion. Strangely, this was not the oldest series that affected 2006. The skipper picked up a few tricks from the World Series of 2004.

    At heartbreaks edge you can cry until you run out of tears. It won’t help you – the saga must continue – whether you want it to or not. A team so perfect you couldn’t ask for more got one hiccup in September. Their best pitcher – Chris Carpenter – would be out for the playoffs. The Cardinals had enough to make it to the World Series but not enough to win neither it nor even one game. Although he had a young phenom named Danny Haren available Tony went with Woody Williams on short rest in game 1. In a winnable game, it wasn’t enough. This time faced with the same choices a young phenom or a veteran on short rest. Tony went with the phenom who had been shakier than Jell-O on the hood of a running 73 Chevy impala in his last regular season appearance.

    While the world held their breath, Tony and the Cardinals relaxed as the third act of the saga played out. Act one had been Ankiel’s meltdown that die hard Cardinal fans will tell you kept the Cardinals out of at least one World Series and maybe from winning in 2004 without Carpenter. Act two had been the none use of Haren. Act three was Reyes – and a beautiful Act it was. It reinforced one of the ultimate truths in the saga – trust beats fear everytime.

    Nor was this the only lesson Tony had learned from 2004, it was but one of three. In 2004 and 2005 Tony went with veterans long after he could and should have went with someone else. He wouldn’t even entertain the questions from the media or fans. In the playoffs of 2006 Tony benched anyone he thought wasn’t producing – anyone.
    Finally, Tony had played American League ball in the World Series of 2004. He refused to bunt on even the gimpy Schilling. In 2006 the Tigers felt they were at bunt practice and it didn’t go well for them.

    Add it all and you have the hero’s driving down Market Street saluting grinning fans along with the local media…

    And what of the local media
    The media who had carried the banner of the team on sports shows across the country and all had been asked the same question during the championship drive. For a team that doesn’t have a chance how are they winning? Some here gave up and prattled out nonsense such, as they will soon lose. But others would say politely that they do have a chance. They would be ridiculed for being hicks and hopelessly uninformed as the discussion would quickly turn to the Yankees or Mets.

    Yet even the national media knows – no one knows baseball like people in St. Louis – so when Joe Buck and Tim McCarver finally called the last out.
    We felt you young Mr. Buck – we know it wasn’t easy – and we know what was on both your and McCarver’s mind – and despite talk of homerism – you did a great job. Now Mr. Buck the next one is all yours and the St. Louis fans can’t wait…

    And what of the St. Louis fans
    Branded too nice to have a team that could win it all what does the saga hold for them. Well the last positive note in the saga for them was in 1982. Since then its been baggies and Denkinger and up 3 – 1 on the Braves and Kline giving up a bloop hit to the D Backs, and losing Kile and Buck in the same year, and Ankiel, and Carp in 2004, Rolen in 2005 and you can see why the fans feel due for some more good times. One note of foreshadowing. The fans left the streets so clean after the parade they obviously felt they would be back very soon.

    And so they will – for although the saga continues – you can sometimes get a feel for certain outcomes…

    Just as Albert broke Lidge the one pitcher most responsible for Cardinal angst for 3 years – It is possible Wainwright may have broken Beltran the one player most responsible for Cardinal angst over 3 years. We hired the same off-season bogeyman. That’s right Carlos just keep believing it’s all in the past – it’s all in the past - THE CURVE IS BREAKING FROM MY HEAD TO ME TOES – I CAN’T SWING THE BAT – BASES ARE LOADED – HELP ME.

    Maybe – who knows – all I really know is this

    The Cardinals haven’t been picked to finish this low since 2004 when the Cubs and Astros were supposed to be head and shoulders better. This despite the Cardinal pitchers having the best spring of any team.

    Albert Pujols is the best player on the planet but doesn’t get MVP despite a clearly superior all around season. He will answer even though he doesn’t really care about anything but 11.

    Tony LaRussa came to St. Louis to give the city title number 10 – yet continues to manage – I think the city got to him and like most he likes it here now so he might as well keep winning.

    Chris Carpenter, Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean – nuff said.

    The Cardinals have the best defensive catcher, the best defensive first baseman, the best defensive third base man, and the best defensive center fielder. Oddly enough the one with the most gold gloves is the one you won’t be able to add the adjective ever too when their careers are over.

    If you thought 2006 was great – you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    The saga must continue.
    Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

    Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
    God is stronger and the problem knows it.

    2017 BOTB bracket

  • #2
    Lets see those stats from last year and see what we can do. Maybe a quality starter or a rookie for all we know?!?1
    Sponsor of:
    Brian Elliott
    Kolten Wong & the arch in the outfield grass at Busch Stadium
    5-29-14-House77 turns down offer of free beer from me


    • #3
      I'll do it.


      • #4
        I didn't start one last year.....could be a complete change, I would also bless it by the Lord Almighty


        • #5
          I'll do it. I didn't do one at all last year. I'm sponsoring Adam Kennedy this year. How ironic would that be if he turns out to be our MVPBP*?

          *MVP Besides Pujols
          RIP Stan the Man
          The StL Blues will NEVER win the Stanley Cup. I repeat, NEVER!
          I miss TLR!


          • #6
            Turning the other cheek is better than burying the other body.

            Official Sport Lounge Sponsor of Rhode Island - Quincy Jones - Yadier Molina who knows no fear.
            God is stronger and the problem knows it.

            2017 BOTB bracket


            • #7
              Hey...what's that over there?

              "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
              Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
              -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy


              • #8
                Who started it in '06?


                • #9
                  We should have anyone who wants to start one, start one. That's my plan anyway.
                  Sometimes elections have positive consequences!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by InSighT View Post
                    Who started it in '06?
                    Guppy took the opener of the '06 season (a 13-5 win over Philly).
                    This game's gotta be played with fear and arrogance - Crash Davis


                    • #11
                      My vote is for Guppy if he did it in 06....


                      • #12
                        Official Lounge Sponsor of:
                        MIGOTS!, TJ Oshie, David Freese, Sponsoring Softball Players, Trout, Bon Jovi, Cold, hard facts, rigidly defined with mathematical precision, The abortion boat, which traveled to Poland in 2003 and Ireland in 2001.

                        Former Lounge Sponsor of:
                        The Hebrew Hammer, BBZ, Foods that start with the letter 'Q', Paul 'Visor' Mitchell, FBBHOFer Brett "William" Wallace, BBFHOF, THE LALPHABET: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N I Z M N O P Q R S T U V Z T U V X Y X Z, The Return of MarkD.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BringBackZezel View Post
                          I'm his sponsor
                          Sponsor of Adam Wainwright
                          Sponsor of the $0.50 any-size frozen coke at Mobil on the Run when the Cards score six
                          There are 24 teams in baseball with a longer World Series drought than the St. Louis Cardinals.
                          "I told myself from the beginning, 'If he's going to throw a shutout, then he's going to tie,' ... he was not going to beat me today." ---Adam Wainwright, 8/11/10
                          "I was confused." ---Tim McCarver, 7/30/15


                          • #14
                            just a thought, but we could use Rdogg's name for the opening GDT.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by easy ed View Post
                              just a thought, but we could use Rdogg's name for the opening GDT.
                              I think we have our winner. Good call, ed.
                              --Official Lounge Sponsor of Coach Mike Anderson, Colby Rasmus, and Pearl Jam.
                              --Suck it cubbies.
                              --Thanks to RBB for my kick ace avatar!!** --RETIRE #51!!!