Clearing out my figurative notebook

Your faithful correspondent is not going to Houston, which is frustrating (well, professionally frustrating; personally, it’ll be wonderful to have a weekend with Mrs. Dude!) but necessary for a variety of reasons. Back on it in Pittsburgh for the opener there.

Anyway, with that, I wanted to clear out a bunch of stuff that I’ve had in my head in recent days. Some ball, some not.

* Please welcome Daniel Berk, who will be the associate reporter on this year. I’m excited to have him on board. He’s had some good experience already, and I think he did a very nice job over this opening series. Conor Nicholl, who did a more-than-solid job in the same role last year, is now the associate at, and I wish him well. I’ll be reading him.

* I’ll go into more detail about these teams later, but my I Have A Feeling teams this year are all in two divisions: Diamonbacks (I’m with Joe Sheehan, these guys might be really, really good), Rockies (above .500, worth watching), Rangers and Mariners.

* Picks for 07: Mets, Cards, Dodgers, D’backs in NL; Yanks, Sawx, Indians, Rangers in AL. MVPs Pujols and V.Wells, CYs Oswalt and Santana. Other teams I expect to be very much in the mix are MIL, ATL, the entire AL West, the entire AL Central except KC.

* For those of you in St. Louis, if you can grab a ticket, go check out the Frozen Four this weekend. College hockey is the best game nobody knows about. It’s extremely fast, a skating-based game. Yet it’s also physical, but without being dominated by goons. In-person college hockey is wonderfully entertaining stuff.

* Regarding the Jimmie Johnson-Jeff Gordon finish: anybody who expects ANY driver to give room when they’re battling for first place with 50 laps to go at a short track hasn’t watched much racing. It’s one thing to expect your teammate, or anybody, to give way when it’s for 10th place midway through the race. When you’re racing for first, late in the race, there’s no such thing as "blocking." It’s all racing for the win.

* Regarding the Car of Tomorrow: if it’s harder for the drivers to drive, that’s good. Cars that are hard to drive equal more entertaining racing. Go back and check out the races from as recently as the 80s, when the cars were big boxes and everybody was sliding around on bias-ply tires. Good stuff.

* Been on a run of good music acquisitions lately. Alternating constantly between the new Modest Mouse, the new Kings of Leon (huge step forward, and I’m loving it) and the new LCD Soundsystem (thanks for the recommendation, Jacob, really good stuff, and it’s what I’m listening to right now).

Anyway. I’ll have a Lucky Seven this weekend, and maybe some other stuff too, so don’t just bail on me over the weekend. And for Pete’s sake, all of you please be good to each other. Please?



I’m glad someone else thinks the D’Back can take the NLW.

Can someone please justify Preston Wilson’s presence in our lineup or even his presence on our team? He has a bad OBP, strikes out all the time, apparently is a less than solid fielder…what am I missing? Related question: who is going to produce runs this year besides Pujols and Rolen? If the answer is Chris Duncan and Jim Edmonds we are in serious trouble. Our pitching is fine, they allowed the best offense in the nl to score 4 or 5 runs, so what? We couldnt score off of el duque or john maine! Argh!

I’m more concerned with LaRussa and Duncan. A few years back, OK it was quite a few years back, my wife and I were in St. Pete and a promising young pitcher was left in a Spring Training game — to save the rest of the bullpen? — despite getting bashed repeatedly, inning after inning. He never recovered and his career was destroyed. Similar events, tho not as extreme, have occured semi-regularly and many young pitchers have had real problems w/ and in StL. Last night, Duncan and LaRussa did not anticipate — as both my wife and I did — that Braden Looper, who had never started a regular season game before could tire in the sixth, had nobody ready for that eventuality and the result was predictable. Looper threw more pitches than he should have — particularly on a tired arm not used to starting — and the game got away, fast. Anyone else notice this tendency to be underprepared for things to go wrong?

Since no other right fielder seems to be able to field or hit(so far this year) why don’t they call up Rick Ankiel who fields well and hits well. I know they have to keep him on the roster if they bring him up, but what is the down side?

The downside is that Ankiel will not develop if he doesn’t get at-bats. He needs to play if he’s going to turn into the player he needs to be. So leave him at Triple-A.

Meanwhile, folks, there are seven different topics in the post I put up — and yet most of the comments have to do with none of them. Please don’t hijack threads. Thank you.


Sorry M. But the season has started, and not well. And I think most people want to talk about that. Not college hockey or music or racing. I, and I think MOST, of us who read your blog enjoy the change-up from basbeall to other interests…most of the time. But we just got swept in the opening series of the seaon, and we looked absolutely HORRIBLE while doing it. We committed 4 errors, while scoring just 2 runs all series. We all know it’s a long season, and this series is not going to determine who gets into the playoffs. But it was the ugliest opening season series I have seen in my 29 years as a Cards fan, and I hope TLR’s judgement is not clouded…by anything, as it seems to be. I agree with the statement about TLR & Dunc not having anyone ready to spell Looper in the 6th. Everyone in the ballpark knew his arm would most likely be tired by then. Sure he got out of it, but not until we were down 3 runs. UGH!!! OK. I know the Frozen Four is way under-rated in college sports. It is very fun and exciting for hockey fans, which I am. I wish I could make it to St.Louis for it. And welcome Daniel Berk to Looking forward to reading your pieces. M, you said he’s experienced. Where has he written before? Does he have anything I could check out? As far as the teams who look promising this year, I hope the D’Backs do well, and I hope Randy Johnson’s old arm gets to 300 wins. He deserves it. If not this year, then next. Watching cars drive in a circle 500 times bores me, so I don’t watch racing at all. But I do like the new Modest Mouse CD. When they released their first one, I worked at a radio station and got a free copy. This time I had to pay and was pleased to find out it was only $13.29 and not $17. It’s hard for me to justify paying that much for a CD when I know what it costs to make them. And there’s no guarentee that you’ll like even half of the songs on a CD. Way to go on pricing Sony.

Ok Mr. Leach, I’m sorry for “hijacking” the thread, I thought this was a cardinals blog, not a music blog.

I don’t care about Nascar or college hockey and I think the new Kings of Leon is a giant mistake and that they will never realize the promise of their earlier albums until Caleb learns how to sing melodies and write about subjects other than women who’ve screwed him.

But this is all superfluous. I am a cardinals fan. Lets talk about the cardinals. Lets talk about how we are going to score runs this year! Lets talk about our bullpen or lack thereof!

I respect your opinion greatly as a Cardinals expert which is why I originally asked the question about Preston Wilson and run production. If you want to talk about music and Nascar then I guess I should go somewhere else for my cardinals commentary.

Actually, bnb218, it’s not specifically a Cardinals blog. I’ve made that clear many times. We’ll talk about the Cardinals here, and about baseball in general. AND about music, travel, college football and all sorts of other things. That’s been the point since day 1.

My job, full-time, is covering the Cardinals. My read on the team is all over I appreciate everyone who reads the site, just as I appreciate everyone who reads the blog. But the fact is, they’re not the same thing. One is all Cardinals, all the time. One is broader. That’s the way it’s been and that’s the way it will continue to be.


This is Matt’s blog, therefore he can talk about whatever he wants. I have a blog at my workplace (, but I can talk about whatever I want there, and do.

Matt, is this blog directly linked to from any site (other than another person’s blog) besides the St. Louis Cardinals official website? If this is primarily your blog rather than a Cardinal’s-driven blog, you gotta admit that the official link could confuse people who don’t follow the semi-daily contents of the blog. I never assumed it was only for the Cards, what blog is ever monofocal after all, but I never imagined that Cardinal-focused material would be perceived as hijacking. It seems to me, who lives in the town where one of the NCAA Hockey Finalists calls home, that I’d never hesitate to ignore previous posts and respond directly to what you’d written if what you’d written had stimulated a response… are most of the folks who post here really so shy that a Cardinals comment would discourage them from responding to non-Cardinals content in your posting? Me, I doubt it.

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