Lucky Seven

Sorry for the absence. OK, really, I’m not sorry. I’m glad to have had the All-Star break. Wish it had been about a day longer. But anyway, let’s get going with the second half. Here are seven more questions for y’all to give me your thoughts on. As before, I’ll give my opinions in a few days after we’ve gotten plenty of responses.

1. The Cardinals begin the second half at 48-39. How many wins will they end the season with? Just for reference, if they win the same percentage after the break they’ll finish up 89-73.

2. As I write this, the Reds are four games back, the Brewers trail by 5 1/2 and the Astros by six. Who scares you the most?

3. If there’s one player not on the Major League roster that you would absolutely not trade in any deal, who is it? Why?

4. What should they do with the No. 2 spot in the order? Is there one person you’d put there every day? Mix and match based on the pitcher? Make it whoever is in left field? Make it whoever is at second base? Put Encarnacion back there? Edmonds? The possibilities are limitless — what’s your call?

5. Thanks to Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch and Bird Land for this one… What’s your favorite baseball book?

6. What’s the song of the summer thus far for you?

7. Who’s your favorite national sportscasting voice? Current or retired, even deceased is OK. Who’s the one person you most love to hear calling a game on TV or the radio? I’m not talking about individual team people, like Vin Scully or Chick Hearn. We’ll ask that question next week. This week I’m talking about national voices, and people who call (or called) games — not studio hosts.

Have fun.

-M.

22 Comments

1. The Cardinals will win 98 games this year.
2. For me, The Astros, they have the pitching to potentially gone on a long winning streak.

3. This may be a copout but there is nobody in the minor leagues I would not trade as long as we get good stuff back.

4. At this point I would put Edmonds there, but if not what they are doing now is fine.

5. Three Nights in August

6.Blood Brothers, Iron Maiden

7.Jon Miller

One clarification on No. 6 for everyone who chooses to post…

Not your all-time favorite summer song, but the one that’s sort of defined this summer thus far.

Anyway. Have at it..

-M.

1. 99 games
2. Astros

3. As long as it’s a good deal send anyone out

4. Jim Edmonds

5. Three Nights in August

6. I’m not really sure which song describes my summer

7. Joe Buck, he’s better than the guys ESPN has

1.at least 94 wins

2.Reds…they took advantage of us losing..what makes us think they can’t do it if we have a little slip-up

3.Well Thompson who is in AAA now, why,he is usually a very reliable arm

4.Personally I like J-rod batting 2nd

5.haven’t really read any

6.Girls Just wanna have fun

7.Not sure

Wow… you guys are impressively optimistic!

To win 98 games, the Cardinals would have go to 50-25 in the second half. That’s .667 ball — or the equivalent of going 108-54 over a full season.

This is not a criticism, but an honest question — for those of you who think this team is going to go 50-25 or 51-24 in the second half, what makes you think they are that good?

I’m not saying they aren’t… I’m just wondering what you see in them that gives you that kind of optimism.

-M.

1. I have high hopes that we get our stuff together and have another 100+ season. 102 wins.
2. Def the Astros.

3. I’m in SPFD, so all I really know are my boys here. I don’t know if there is one do-or-die keeper, but we’re making a bobblehead out of Chris Lambert, so it’d be silly to get rid of him too soon. Among others, Nick Stavinoha has looked really good at times, but he will still need a few seasons before they let him take off the striped socks. Rich Rundles is the only guy I’ve ever talked to, and he’s pretty nice, so I’d keep him. I wish Haerther would get out his funk.

4. Juan has been doing pretty well. I’d give him an extended chance there.

5. Haven’t read Three Nights yet, but I’m sure that would be my favorite. Instead of reading a book, I might just as well watch the Ken Burns docu again.

6. “Conventional Wisdom” by Built to Spill.

7. Hmm…not sure, though what comes to mind is the guy who called the high school football games in my hometown. Left out an entire syllable in the town’s name. We were the Cam’ton Lakers by his account.

And seriously — NObody has a summer song for this year? I may have to weigh in early on this particular one…

“Crazy,” by Gnarls Barkley. I’ll definitely think of this summer when I hear it 5-10 years from now…

Anyway.

-M.

M: Blind optomism. Next question.

!. 89 or 90 wins, hopefully enough to win the division.
2. Brewers…Sheets will be back, and their youth and enthusiasm are great.

3. Brad Thompson…once a pretty reliable guy, just going through a rough patch (like the rest of our staff). He’ll be back soon.

4. I’ve always been a big So Taguchi fan. I think we need to go out and get a good LF though, someone who can hit here, like we did with Larry Walker a few years back.

5. I like Major League (the movie, I don’t read books)

6. Ridin’ Dirty

7. Anybody but the boring monotonousness of John Miller & Joe Morgan…I like Joe Buck too (anyone related to ole Jack is good in my book).

I’d like to rescind my answer to number 5 and replace it with “Golem’s Might Swing” by James Sturm. It’s a comic about a Jewish barnstomring team in the golden days of the minor leagues. Sturm also has an interesting take on the F4 in “Unstable Molecules,” one of my favorites.

1.Cards win 93 games this year,with current roster. Another big stick, we win 100 again.
2.Brewers

3.Maybe Thompson…….maybe.

4.Hector Luna should bat #2, until his performance drops.

5.”Albert the Great”(at the moment anyway)

6.uhhhhh???

7.Far and away, Joe Buck. Course, he always reminds me of Jack.

1. 92
2. the cards are terrifying enough by themselves.

3. rasmus. tulane alum mark hamilton is a keeper too.

4. TLR platoon special.

5. moneyball. michael lewis spoke at my graduation.

6. i have the paris hilton song stuck in my head.

7. costas.

1. 94
2. Brewers

3. I’ll go with Rasmus too.

4. Whatever ‘danger’ LF the team picks up

5. ‘Stranger to the Game’ by Bob Gibson

6. Boat Drinks by Jimmy Buffett. Doesn’t have to be a recent song, does it?

7. Coin flip between Joe Buck and Thom Brenneman.

1.)Realistically I can see 88 wins and still take the division
2.)The Astros cause they’ve had 2 or 3 consecutive HOT second halves.

3.)I’d say anybody is trade bait, but ONLY for a top notch big leaguer.Otherwise, Rasmus is untouchable.

4.)I like Luna, Taguchi, or Rodriguez in the two hole. I still believe you need someone who can bunt and run in that spot.

5.)”I Had a Hammer”: The Hank Aaron Story

6.)I can’t think of anything recent that I like all that much.Today’s top music is terrible. I must be getting old. I’m 28.

7.) Marv Albert, “Yesss.” Even though he’s a perv behind closed doors.

I didn’t weigh in the first time, but I definitely will this time!
1) I’m feeling optimistic to say 94-95 wins, but in reality, besides that awful stretch near the end of the first half, the Cardinals, as confusing and random as they have appeared at times with the starting pitchers, left field, 2nd base and the bullpen going hot and cold, have won enough games to still keep them in first right now. I only see things going up while going into the second half.

2)After the trade yesterday I have no doubt that the Reds will be the most competition, however the Astros always seem to be right there at the end as well. We’ll see…

3)As much as I want Thompson to regain his good long relief form, I still wouldn’t have a problem packaging him or any other minor league player in the right deal. As long as the deal is pulling in something we really need, and isn’t just for a “rent a player,” I’m okay with it.

4)In reality Edmonds would make a lot of sense in the two hole just because he would see decent pitches before Albert. However, history tells me that he does better elsewhere in the line-up. I really hated Encarnacion there, so I think I’ll go with the left fielder, whoever that might be on a given night.

5)I really enjoyed “Veeck as in Wreck,” which explained the insanity that was Bill Veeck’s baseball life. (As a side note – his son now owns the baseball team in my city and I’m hoping for some good promotions!) However, I also enjoyed the autobiography of Branch Rickey, although I am unsure of the name right now. Both were definite pioneers in the baseball world.

6)Lately I haven’t been able to get “Move” by Thousand Foot Krutch out of my head.

7)This one is tough for me because I’m a bigger fan of the team guys overall. I suppose I’ll choose Joe Buck, although if I’m watching the game intently and not expecting good play by play I’d take Tim McCarver with hime… purely for entertainment value of course!

6. Either Crazy by Gnarls Barkley, Where’d you go? by Fort Minor, or Ms. New Booty by Bubba Sparxx (probably because you always say “booty, booty, booty” to me..).

As answer to your question M, The reason I am so optimistic is because we have won four in a row, and Jason Marquis has had 3 straight quality starts. I also think that Mulder will come back healthy and I really like the rotation if it is 1.Carpenter,
2. Mulder, 3. Reyes, 4. Marquis (who is pitching well right now)and 5. Weaver/Suppan. Also, with Edmonds heating up, I do not think we will need another bat.

It is highly unlikely that the Cards will win 98, 99 or 100+ games. YOU GUYS ARE CRAZY. I will bet anyone $1 million dollars that the Cards do NOT win 100 games.

Maybe you think Jeff Weaver will be a 20 game winner also.

Listen, I’m a Cards fan but I’m also a realist.

1. 92 games

2. Brewstros. The Brewers will get Sheets and perhaps Ohka back. The Astros just got Huff. He will hit a ton of homers in the band-box called Minute Maid Park.

3. Rasmus. BTW, I think most people did not read the question. It was the player NOT on the Major League roster.

4. If they make a trade, hopefully it will be for someone like Delucci who would be great as a #2. Otherwise, Luna.

5. You actually read a Baseball book?

6. Whatever song is played when Pujols comes to bat.

7. Jon Miller

1. 91 wins. They will play a little better in the second half. J Marquis will throw well and Weaver is going to surprise a lot of people.

2. ‘Stros. They have starting pitching. The Reds have two starters and -after the Nats trade-don’t have much offense. I would say that it’s the ‘Stros, Brewers, Reds. The Brewers could really do some damage, but Chris Capuano has pitched out of his mind, Ben Sheets still isn’t back and they need some more offense. MIL has 2007 potential.

3. Colby Rasmus. He is the future at a key position. Plus, he gets on base and has power, something that Schumaker doesn’t have. I am not sold on Gorecki. He really slumped after the terrific April. While he’s a serviceable player, he would make for great trade bait. For pitchers, I would go with Mark Worrell. Sure, he’s ERA is still relatively high, but it ballooned because of one early season outing where he allowed 5 ER in 1/3 inning against Arkansas. He averages a K per inning, throws hard, has a funky motion and has shown the ability to close for Palm Beach and Springfield. Could be an eighth inning guy/closer in a few years. Makes batters miss more than any else in the high minors for the Cardinals.

4. Same modus operandi as LF. Give Dunc a lot of starts there. The Cards rank near the bottom in power production from the No. 2 hole. See what he can do. Luna could also see some time there.

5. Wow. Close between Boys of Summer and Men at Work. Both are terrific- but are very different books.

6. Tough call on that one.

7. I’ve always liked Joe Buck. With all sports, I am a huge Verne Lundquist fan. And Bob Costas is great.

1.) 95
2.) After this terrific trade by the Reds… the Astros(if I had to choose someone). Honestly the only team that beat the will Cardinals is the Cardinals.

3.) a. Brad Thompson- He’ll be back on track before the playoffs.

b. Rick Ankiel- I’d hate to see him on someone else’s DL.

c. Wilfrido Pujols- Could you imagine two of them?

4.) I would put John Rodriguez in there for two weeks and see how he does. I wouldn’t take him out for a LHP and I wouldn’t give him a day off. Whoever is in there needs to be able to get comfortable before we can really see how successful that person is. I’m tired of seeing Duncan, Edmonds, Taguchi, Luna, and Rodriguez rotating.

5.) Heart of a Champion

6.) Goo Goo Dolls – Stay With You

7.) Joe Buck mixes quick wit and a terrific knowledge of whatever game he’s commentating and he does it all with class.

Mentioned by name? Alright, I’ll bite on a second seven. Should have some time as the game is just headed into the bottom of the fourth inning.

1. Say 91. No eight-game losing streak to sidetrack them and better pitching from the rotation. A real division race could spur them to 94.

2. Reds. GM with a willingness to roll dice to make team better and who has had a Midas touch this season. Recent trade either bolsters bullpen problem or looks real bad.

3. Rasmus. Club needs bona fide position player prospect. He appears to be the best right now.

4. Trade with the intent to fill that spot in the order over a position in the field. Otherwise, let Duncan take some whacks at the pre-Pujols pitches.

5. Fiction: Great American Novel by Philip Roth. Even as it skewers sportswriters its high comedy, high-wire plotting and high-brow writing. … Non-fiction: Eight Men Out. (Though I have a couple new Black Sox books to pick through and “Feeding the Monster” could be interested.)

6. “Galvanize” by The Chemical Brothers — from Bud commercial to anthem in just a few months!

7. Al Michaels. Bar none.

Back to the game. Rolen at first. Encarnacion up. One out. 2-2 count. Still, the bottom of the fourth inning. No runs in.

dg

-30-

Or, as Matthew just reminded me (and I am perplexed how I could forget), there is one of the greatest baseball books written — one I have occasionally read to the young one: The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, by W.P. Kinsella.

Asked Joe Strauss, too. He said his favorite baseball book is probably the same as his favorite baseball movie, “The Natural.” Though there is an essential difference between the two.

dg

-30-

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