St. Louis Front and Center


What a week for St. Louis. The Cardinals continue to play quality ball. The Blues have a shot to win the Stanley Cup. The Rams made some major moves in the NFL Draft. While other cities are experiencing some of the same things this week, St. Louis is the only one who is the defending World Series Champion.

There has only been one city to win the World Series and the Stanley Cup in the same year (kind of). The 1935 Detroit Tigers won the World Series and the Detroit Red Wings won Lord Stanley’s Cup in 1936. I consider that the same year as the hockey season was underway during the baseball playoffs. This would be an amazing feat. It will be even more impressive if the Redbirds go back to back. The Rams however have a long road to hoe to show improvement. While they made some savvy trades this year and garnered a ton of picks we will have to see how things pan out and how long it takes them to become competitive under new Head Coach Jeff Fisher.

The Cardinals are back home. They dropped their first series of the young season. Unfortunately it was against the Chicago Cubs. I was on the road the past two weeks for work. One of the things that sucks about being a “mid-market team” is that there is not a whole lot of coverage of my beloved Birds anywhere I typically am. Thank goodness for the Internet. The one item that I did get a chance to hear about without looking it up was Mike Matheny’s first ejection. I was following along with ESPN’s Gamecast and catching highlights from any place I could find them. The calls were questionable to say the least.

Matheny stood up for his guys. I am really growing to understand why John Mozeliak tapped him to lead our Cardinals.What was lost in this was Adam Wainwright‘s performance in the game.  Look out National League hitters, Waino may be back. As I am typing this I am listening to the most recent Real Sports on HBO that I missed while I was gone. I will admit that once Tony LaRussa announced his retirement I had a short list of managers that I wanted the Cards to pursue. The top of that list was Joe Maddon. He is being profiled on this episode. He is a phenomenal manager and I would have loved to see him in Cardinal red. I highly recommend catching the show if you get the chance. His quirky personality and style is noteworthy.

Mike Matheny never even was a thought on my short list. It just goes to show you how much I know. Matheny has taken over a team that is a contender. However, he has faced some serious setbacks that could have easily derailed the season. Matheny has been brilliant. He has held the team together and without his staff ace Chris Carpenter they have been impressive. Lance Lynn has filled in admirably for Carp. He is the only Major League pitcher with four wins. Oh, and his ERA is 1.33. Mr. Mozeliak, I believe you may be able to take Roy Oswalt’s number off your speed dial list.

While there is no chance Lynn continues at this torrid pace, he just has to continue to be solid. The Birds need him to eat up innings and keep them in a position to win ball games. He seems capable of doing just that. While other teams build their video library on Lynn he has to evolve. He is predominately a fastball pitcher. He does mix in a curve and slider every now and then. He will need to continue to work on utilizing them differently in the count. This is the only way he will remain competitive. It looks like they club is going to need him to do this since Carpenter is still a long way from returning to the mound.

St. Louis is also playing host this weekend to two Hall of Fame announcers who happened to play for the Redbirds in the past. When the Milwaukee Brewers roll into town they usually have “Mr. Baseball” Bob Uecker in tow. Uecker is a former Cardinal who has gone on to become a brilliant sportscaster, actor (maybe not brilliant, but always funny), and comedian. When Jack Buck left the booth I longed for them to bring Uecker back to St. Louis to be our announcer. The second is our own Tim McCarver who is covering the game with St. Louisan Joe Buck for Fox. I think it is crazy that two guys who played the same position, on the same team are both Hall of Fame broadcasters.

Also, our own Yadier Molina received his Gold Glove Award on Saturday before the game.  This is just one more reminder of what we all know.  Yadi is one of the best.  Congratulations Yadi!!

Our fair city is on display. Hopefully the Cardinals will continue to charge on and win each series. The city is rallying behind the Blues as they continue their playoff run. The city waits to see if the Rams screwed up the draft or found some players to help end the suffering. St. Louis is an amazing place for sports. We have all known that forever, the rest of the country is just now being let in on the secret.

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