Lucky Seven, maybe-the-world's-NOT-ending edition

Best road trip in two years. Wow. Anyway, here are this week’s Lucky Seven questions. I look forward to your answers.

1. Randy Keisler is the choice for Carp’s starts. What would you have done? Was Keisler the right call? Should they have thrown Hawksworth into the fire? Bumped Thompson or Franklin to the rotation and called up a reliever? Tell me why…

2. What Cardinal has surprised you the most, positively, thus far in 2007 Biggest negative surprise?

3. Who has the best front of a starting rotation in the NL? Top 2-3 starters.

4. Who has the deepest rotation in the NL? Top to bottom, all five guys and maybe a sixth.

5. Aside from Opening Day, what’s the best sporting event in April? Final Four, Masters, Champions League, NHL playoffs, so much to choose from…

6. What’s your favorite song(s) or album(s) for driving on an open highway?

7. Where — ie, city or neighborhood, not just one restaurant — do they have the best Italian food
in the US?

Currently playing on the computer speakers: Smackmelon, Blue Hour.



1. I think Keisler was the way to go. You don’t want to mess witht eh pen by adding someone from triple A if you insert Thompson or Franklin into the rotation. Plus, it gives him the experience and us a chance to see what he can do. It’s early enough that it shouldn’t matter. And hopefully, it’s only two starts.

2. Biggest positive surprise; no one stands out. Everyone has been avearage at best. Biggest disappointment has to be Albert. I was hoping he would jump out to an A Rod type start. But agin, it’s early.

3. I think the Dodgers have the potential of haveing the best front end as long as everyone stays healthy and produces.

4. The Braves are the deepest team in the NL right now.

5. This year’s Masters was a disaster. No one cares about hockey anymore. So it has to go to the Final Four by default, with the NFL draft a close second.

6. Born To Run. Supersexy Swining Sounds by White Zombie. Anything by RUSH.

7. You can’t swing a dead cat in New York City without hiting a great Italian place. Also, Hollywood has some really good places.

1. I don’t think it makes sense to bump anyone from the pen into the rotation. It’s too hard to stretch out those arms and with Kinney gone, they’re slightly shorthanded as it is. A bullpen game would have been ok though. They’ve done that before. Keisler, obviously, was the right choice. I would not have picked him, because I didn’t know who he was. Hawksworth is too young yet to be in the bigs. Not ready.

2. Bench players are doing better than the starters. (Bennett, Miles, Spezio, Taguchi) Pujols is stinking it up.

3. Obviously that Cardinals are looking pretty good if Carp is healthy (Carp, Wells, Looper/wainwright) But if we’re including injured pitchers I could throw Mulder in. But it’s hard to not go with Braves or Padres as well. Probably Braves.

4. Padres. When your 4-5 pitchers are Greg Maddux and David Wells… yeah. You’re ok.

5. Final Four for sure.

6. Get Back–Beatles

7. Best I’ve had has been in the nothern Valley of california.

currently playing on the iPod: The Tony Kornheiser Show

1. Keisler was a good choice because he’s seasoned. Our bullpen is already shaky without removing one of the better pitchers there.
2. disappointment – Pujols (something is just off); positive – kip wells

5. final four

6. Take Me Home – Phil Collins. I don’t like most of his stuff but I love that song.

7. Even though I lived in NYC for a while, nothing beats The Hill in STL in my opinion.


1.keisler was the right call. We don’t want to mess with the bully at this point…
2.+Eckstein, -Pujols.


4.San Diego.

5.NHL playoffs.

6.Song-Gimme Shelter (Stones)

Album-OK Computer (Radiohead)

7.There is great Italian food to be had EVERYWHERE. However, if I had to choose a locale, it would be NY. (this question should have been off limits to CHI, NY, and SF also, Matt.)

1. Keisler was the right choice. You can’t throw Hawksworth to the wolves before he gets a chance to pitch his first game at AAA. Thompson and Franklin are going to be in the bullpen for the forseeable future, so its best that they get accustomed to it. And Keisler brings a great clubhouse personality with him, his dog.

2. The biggest positive surprise is the rotation. I thought they were going to be better than people thought, but Looper’s seamless transition was better than I expected and Wells has shown much of the promise he had when he was with the Pirates. Negative would be the outfield reserves, namely Wilson and Taguchi. Taguchi has made some pretty bad plays in the field and hasn’t helped a whole lot at the plate. Wilson has more strikeouts than games played and there have been several situations in the field where he just seemed to lack urgency.

3. If the Brewers defense has improved, then Sheets, Suppan, and Capuano is pretty solid. If not, Suppan is going to have a really long summer. Then it would go to the Braves with Hudson/Smoltz. This is, of course, until Carpenter gets back, and then it will be hard to top Carpenter/Wainwright for a one-two punch.

4. The Padres have a solid rotation, as do the Braves, so until Carpenter is headlining the Cards rotation again, it would go to one of them.

6. ZZ Top, La Grange. Hands down the best traveling song. Runner-up Golden Earring, Radar Love.

1. Wells if I had to make the decision it would have come down to ether Keisler or Narveson but since Narveson may not be ready to pitch in the big leagues yet Keisler has some major league experience so Keisler was a good choice.
2.Bigest positive suprise: Franklin has been dominate

Biggest negative suprise: So many games have been canceled.

3. Both the Mets and D-backs got great rotations so its hard to pick one.

4. LAD has a very solid rotation with Schidt, Lowe, Penny, Wolf and Tomko its deep.

1. Keisler brings a lefty the rotation so its ok for me
2. positive-Braden Looper has done what we signed him to do, only for four or five more innings at a time

negative-way too cold

3.Braves or Diamondbacks. I’ll take ‘zona



Has anyone noticed Ronnie Belliard is batting .444 for the Nationals? It has never been explained to me why the Cardinals did not sign Belliard, especially after his play in the World Series.

1. I would have given Hawksworth a shot simply because it’s early in the season and it might be fun to see what he is capable of. Although I think my stategy could have backfired pretty severely if he got lit up in his first big league appearance. In hindsight, I think they made the right decision with Keisler. I was glad they left the bullpen alone.
2. Positive: Duncan – I was fearing a sophomore slump, and his defense has been at least average. Negative: Thompson – I was hoping this would be a break-out season for him, since the set-up man spot was up for grabs.

4. If Carpenter comes back healthy and Mulder returns mid-season, we will have a very deep rotation.

5. I like the NHL playoffs, but I rarely get a chance to watch (three young kids and no cable).

6. R.E.M. – Life’s Rich Pageant, U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind or The Unforgettable Fire, Radiohead – The Bends, or Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream

Best Italian: North Beach. I wish I could have taken young Matthew to the New Pisa. It’s closed now. It was owned by the former University of San Francisco baseball coach Dante Benedetti. The bar was unbelieveable. Memorabilia? No this was the real stuff from a neighborhood where Joe DiMaggio grew up and many other great Italian American athletes.

1. Well based on the result, how could you go wrong with Keisler. Lets wait and see what Hawksworth can do with some seasoning in the minors. The bullpen would have been way too shaky with either Thompson or Franklin starting.
2. After 2 starts, I’m really pleased with Looper. Heres to hoping he can throw 180-200 innings. I’ve been really unhappy with Kennedy. His approach at the plate seems to be completely wrong for his body type. I see him swing and wonder if Edmonds lost 40 pounds.

3. Not too sure who has the best front. Maybe Johan can learn to throw right handed.

4. I’d say the Marlins are young, but solid.

5. Champions league. Wow. Never thought I’d say that.

6. Devil Went Down to Georgia. Don’t know why but my dad always played it on roadtrips and now its necessary.

7. I don’t know if it’s the best, but I’m in Columbia, MO and missing the Hill.

1. Keisler was the right choice. I must admit, however, I got pretty giddy thinking about the possibility of the Hawk getting the start.
2. Good- Ryan Franklin. He seems like he may have adjusted to pitching in the bullpen style (ie, just letting it go, concentrate all your stuff). Bad- Well, obviously, Albert.

3. Probably the Red Sox, much as I hate to say it.

4. I like the Angels’ depth. Lackey, Santana, Weaver, Escobar, and possibly Colon? Honorable mention to the Dodgers.

5. I guess the Masters, though I don’t particularly care for any of them.

6. Leadbelly’s final recordings boxed set. Pulp’s Different Class is also good if I wanna feel bad about things.

7. New York and St. Louis. Volume for New York, but there isn’t anything better than the Hill.

1. I don’t really pay too much attention to the minor league prospects, but the bloggers seem to have a major jones for Hawksworth, but Keisler did good. I’m not sure if he’s good enough to stay up here, but he’s a good stop gap.

2. Biggest positive- Kip Wells and Looper. Both have exceeded my expectations. Biggest Negative- big bats silent and Kennedy’s lack of bat and glove.

3. I know they can’t score runs, but the Giants have some great young guys- Zito(yes they overpaid) has been decent, but Cain and Lowery have been dynamite.

4. Padres. Maddux as your number four that’s pretty good.

5. Final Four

6. Radar love- Golden Earring, Going Mobile- the Who.

7. I think living in St. Louis I take Italian food for granted, but there are places in this country where the best options are Olive Garden or Fazoli’s. I will take the Hill in the STL any day.

1. Keisler is the right call…for now. Not a long term solution though.

2. Braden Looper has to be a big surprise. I don’t think many people came into this year with big expectations for him. He’s big solid thus far.

3. The Dodgers have a really good front three. There talented and experienced.

4. If Carp gets healthy, it might be the Cards…or the Braves.

5. The best sporting event was the 7-1 thrashing Manchester United dished out on Roma. Games like that don’t happen very often.

6. Sunny day-any live Bruce Springstein album. Rainy day-Bob Dylan-Blood on the Tracks

7. Pompilios, Newport KY. Side note-its where they filmed the “toothpick scene” in Rain Man.

1. I would have given Franklin a try, even if he hasn’t started recently as Keisler. GIVE FRANKLIN THE **** BALL!

2. Kayip Wells

3. Dodgers. Unless Carpenter gets healthy and complements young Wain (does anyone else call Wainwright “Young Wain” to refer to the way British announcers talk about Wayne Rooney? If not, then neither do I)!

4. Dodgers again.

5. March Madness. Always.

6. Anything by the Allman Brothers. If it’s raining then some jazz- John Coltrane’s Giant Steps

7. North beach section of San Francisco.

5. The Masters, methinks. Although, I do love me some hoop, too.

6.I hardly ever to the driving when we go out on the open road, so I feel unqualified to answer this question. Though, if forced to answer it, I might say The Black Album by Jay-Z.

7. The Hill seems like an appropriate answer, but I don’t like provel “cheese.” I did enjoy the Italian restaurants in the North End of Boston.

Mrs. Dude

1. Swell choice because putting him out there against a bad team in the Buccos was a smart decision. That way you shake off his anxieties so you can throw him out there against a better offensive team, like the Brewers.

2. Positive: Wells. I wasn’t expecting a bust like most everyone else, but I wasn’t expecting him to be the best pitcher on our team after 2 weeks. Looper’s a close second. Seeing lots of groundballs from him, which I like. Negative: Pujols. So many chances with runners in scoring position and it’s always a lazy fly to left or a ground ball to short. He needs to get his timing back and get behind on the ball again.

3. The Astros in Oswalt/Jennings/Woody. Oswalt’s just scary. The Reds’ one-two punch of Arroyo and Harang is pretty stellar, too. You really can’t ignore us, either.

4. Hmm… The Dodgers, if they’re using Billingsley. I wouldn’t scoff if someone said the Cardinals at this point.

5. NHL Playoffs. Ahhh, overtime hockey.

6. At night on a quiet road? Way to Blue by Nick Drake. During the day? I’ve been known to crank some Ben Folds in traffic. Creedence works well when the roads are stressful, too.

7. The Hill, clearly. Rigazzi’s is fantastic. Highly recommended.

1.) Kiesler was a good choice, although I would have liked to have seen Hawkesworth… just for chuckles.

2.) Chris Duncan didn’t forget how to hit the ball really, really hard. Negative? Taguchi, Taguchi, Taguchi. I don’t know if he is scared of the wall, or the ball, or what, but he hasn’t been the same since ’05. Much as I like the guy, I think Gooch is just warming J-Rod’s spot on the bench.

3.) Hmmmm…I don’t know.

4.) St. Louis is really deep, especially considering that many people think that Narveson and Hawkesworth might both be serviceable on the big stage already.

5.) The NBA playoffs start! The best of the best playing like it really matters!

7.) Charlotte is like NYC II, so there are a lot of great places here, other than that, not sure.

1) Can’t argue with Kiesler right now.

2) + Braden Looper – Pujols so far…this will work itself out i am sure

3) Dodgers

4) Padres

5) March Madness followed closely by the Masters

6) Toughie….RHCP Blood Sugar Sex Magic (album) has to be near the top

7) Can’t argue with StL

People really think STL for the deepest rotation? REALLY? I like the cards too but REEEAAAAALLLLYYYY? NO one on the team is proven right now. NO ONE. The only person I am confident in is Young Wain since he has a good fastball and the best curve in the NL after Zito. The rest are so far so good, but its IMPOSSIBLE to call the Cards rotation deep.

1. Keisler was the right call. He has big league experience and was signed just for this purpose. Hawksworth, while healthy last year, wasn’t dominant and there’s no reason to think he’s ready for the majors right now.

2. I’ve been surprised, in a positive way, by Isringhausen. It’s been great to see him get back to what he used to be, even if he does make it interesting at times. As for negative surprise, have to go with Adam Kennedy. When it gets to the point where you’re playing Aaron Miles on consecutive days, there’s a problem.

3. Best top of the rotation in the NL is Philly’s 1-2 of Myers and Hamels.

4. Milwaukee’s 1-5 of Sheets, Capuano, Suppan, Bush, and Vargas is the deepest NL rotation.

5. Final Four is the only thing that can compare to Opening Day. It’s a distant second.

6. Exile on Main Street

7. The Hill does it for me.

1. I thought we needed a lefty, and Kiesler seems to be able to do the job. I wondered about Narveson, but…

2. Looper. He’s filthy. I thought Dunc would fail on this one. He still might, but it looks great so far.

3. Brewers. Sheets is one of the best in the league, and capauno isn’t that far behind.

4. So far, it looks like the Cardinals, which is great since we’re testing it.

5. The Masters.

6. Hands Off the Wheel, by Oleander. Try it.

7. San Francisco.

1. In hindsight, Keisler did ok.

2. Positive: Gary Bennett’s hitting. Negative: Take your pick of the high priced position playaers on the corners, in the outfield.

3. Best front 3. Right now, I wouldn’t rate anyone over the Cards.

4. Padres.

5. final 4.

6. Any CD w/Willie Nelson.

7. Good ole St Looie stands tall.

1. Keisler was the obvious choice. One, they needed to bring somebody up when Carp hit the DL, so why not a starter? Two, as TLR pointed out, Keisler was on his regular rotation schedule anyway, so that way they minimize risk associated with a starter on short rest, etc. Parenthetically, it’s been interesting to see how the Cardinals use risk minimization (which I deal with professionally) in making decisions.

2. Plus: Looper, whom I expected to crash and burn as a starter. Minus: Pujols. I really think he’ll rebound when it warms up, but this very slow start is worrisome and uncharacteristic.

3. Right now, San Diego, but watch out for Arizona when the Big Ugly comes back. Also watch out for Pittsburgh when Snell, Gorzielanny, etc., get some experience.

4. The Cardinals’ is as deep as any, when you consider that possibly their top two guys are on the DL and they still are getting quality starts.

5. An uncharacteristically blah April so far from a sporting perspective, possibly due to the vile weather. On a year-in-year-out basis, Final Four.

6. Classical-music snob that I am, I’d take “Carmina Burana” — if you can’t party in your car, take an auditory party with you. Allman Brothers or Springsteen in the popular genre.

7. NYC must be the answer for any regional/ethnic cuisine other than New Mexican (Santa Fe), Chinese (San Francisco) or German (Milwaukee or Rochester, NY). I despise the place, but it’s still second only to Paris as a world-class center for dining.

1. Yes, Keisler. I thought we had tapped out the Memphis pitchers, he’s just what we need to fill in. Leave the relievers alone and let them focus on the job we need them to do this season.
2. Biggest plus: the starting rotation. Negative: Pujols’ quiet bat and So’s fielding.

3. Braves, but I also like the Cardinals once Carp and Mulder are back.

4. Dodgers. But again, the Cardinals may surprise everybody.

5. Definitely the Final Four.

6. Radar Love.

7. The Hill (I haven’t been to NYC yet).

1. Hey, why not Keisler. Leave the bullpen in tact and see how liong you can ride the lefty for league average. Hawksworth can use the seasoning, and you can’t bring Narveson up until your pretty sure about him since he’s out of options, so yeay, Keisler.
2. Kip Wells is looking pretty good, Pujols is looking bad, bur I’m sure he’ll get his groove back, so I’ll go with So, whom I love, but who just looks done.

3-4. STL. Pass me another glass of that tasty Kool-Aid please.

5. UEFA! Go Liverpool!

6. Old 97’s, Too Far To Care

7. The Hill is great, but can’t compare to the variety in NYC. If you want one neighborhood, stick to the village…Lupa, Ino, Babbo, Valdino, Assenzio, Del Sole and on and on and on…

1. Don’t care

2. Don’t care

3. Brewers and Braves

4. Brewers

5. The end of the NBA regular season. They should just fold the league.

6. Johnny Cash or any of the Blue Collar Comedy guys

7. Italian food makes me sick

driving albums
john barleycorn must die – traffic. desparado – eagles(when in the desert). in the court of the crimson king – king crimson. court and spark – joni mitchell

1. Keisler. Hope to see Hawksworth start a game in Sept.
2.+Wells, Looper, Duncan.

-slow start for a few boys (#3,4,5), but Pujols will heat up soon and the others will follow.

Other negative – having to start the year without Carps, and losing Kinney for the year.

3. Padres

4. Dodgers

5. NHL playoffs, Masters is close

6. Depends on location (coastline, mountains…), time of day etc. Interpol (Antics), U2 (Joshua), Stones (40 licks, disk 1), Neil Young (Greatest Hits), Jack Johnson, fleetwood Mac, Neil Diamond (Blue Jeans).

7. Being a STL girl, this is hard to say…but the BEST Italian is in Littel Italy in Chicago at Ro’Sals on Taylor Street! Unbelievable!

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