July 2007

It's Oh So Quiet

With a nod to Bjork, here’s what I know. Per Cards PR, Pineiro is the extent of it. I am honestly very surprised; I really figured they would ship somebody out once they added Pineiro. Don’t know yet whether he’s going to Memphis or straight to STL or what, but I have been told that it’s likely that he’ll start, rather than relieve.

-M.

Pineiro — updated

Hola from Pittsburgh. I’m not sure I understand the Pineiro pickup, if it’s all they do. My guess, though, is that it enables them to make another move, either to deal a starter or a reliever. Keep your eyes and ears open; we’ll see where it goes.

5 PM CT update — Pineiro is penciled in as the starter for Saturday. It’ll be Reyes Thursday, Wells Friday and Pineiro on Saturday. Maroth and Thompson to the pen for now, though one of them could get the call Saturday if for whatever reason Pineiro is not ready.

-M.

Here's to you, Commish

Big, big congratulations to Rick Hummel, one of the classiest, most gracious and most knowledgable people I’ve come across in baseball. What an amazing honor. And for anyone who doesn’t know the Commish, his speech showed you pretty much everything — a humble, funny, decent person.

-M.

Odd and random stat of the night

Don’t ask why, but I looked this up tonight. Albert Pujols destroys Dominican pitchers.

There are nine Dominican pitchers against whom Pujols has at least 10 career at-bats. They are Ramon Ortiz, Jose Lima, Jose Mesa, Salomon Torres, Pedro Astacio, Victor Santos, Octavio Dotel, Odalis Perez and Claudio Vargas.

Against those nine pitchers, Pujols is 59-for-134 — that’s a .440 batting average. He’s hit 17 home runs in those 134 at-bats.

It doesn’t mean a thing. But it’s a cool number. This is the way my brain works.

-M.

Lucky Seven, pre-deadline edition

With barely five hours until the Simpsons movie premieres on the East Coast, let’s get on with Lucky Seven. I almost wrote Lucky Sven, which I suppose might count as a Questionable Content reference. Anyway.

1. David Eckstein: sign him to a new deal, trade him before the deadline, or let him walk for draft picks after the year? If he’s gone, who is the 2008 shortstop?

2. Izzy: trade him? If you keep him, presumably you pick up the option for 2008. If you trade him, who closes next year?

3. As the team is currently made up, what should they do with the 2 spot in the order? Is there one guy you want there, or do you like the job-sharing arrangement?

4. Who will win the National League Central?

5. Let’s tip a cap to one of the great Internet phenomena of years past — the Road to Springfield, which was actually started by an old friend of mine. Who is the best Simpsons supporting character? That is, aside from the five main family members.

6. Who is the best character on TV today?

7. What’s the most beautiful natural site in America?

-M, completely addicted to the new White Stripes album.

Opinions are like… oh, never mind

Just two unrelated opinions from somebody who has far too many of them…

1. Walt Jocketty must have gotten a little extra spring in his step when he heard about the Scott Linebrink trade. As Nate Silver broke down at Baseball Prospectus, Linebrink’s not really having that great a year, though he’s been very good in the recent past. But mostly, the Brewers gave up a ton to get him — one legitimate, very good prospects and two other interesting arms. I’m baffled by this deal.
And if you’re a Cards fan, you’ve got to love it. Because if that’s the going price for setup men, the Cardinals could really strike gold in the next few days.

2. The 6:40 p.m. fireworks blast before home games is just ridiculous. What’s the point? Absurdly loud fireworks in daylight when no one is in the park yet. Um. Huh? Please, Cards marketing or promotions or whoever does this, please kill it off. Thanks.

-M.

(now playing on the iPod: MXPX, 10 Years and Running)

Sunday updates

First of all, don’t forget to scroll down to this week’s Lucky Seven and answer the questions.

Anyway, here are today’s pregame news tidbits.

* Troy Cate has been optioned to Memphis, and Kelvin Jimenez called up. Cate wasn’t available today after his stint yesterday, so they brought in Jimenez for depth. Mike Maroth is available in the bullpen, since he won’t start till the end of the week or the weekend.

* Rolen is back in the lineup, batting sixth and playing third base. It’s an all right-handed lineup, with Ludwick in LF for Duncan, Taguchi in CF for Edmonds, and Ryan at 2B for Kennedy.

-M.

Lucky Seven lives

It’s not the right day, but it’s been too long, so here is Lucky Seven, back in all its glory. Greetings from Atlanta, where it’s the last day of the road trip — so I get to see my beloved bride, as well as our two animals, tomorrow. Outstanding news indeed.

One reminder for those of you who are new or who may have forgotten. If you don’t have an answer to a question, that’s fine, just leave it blank. But please don’t give me sarcastic/snotty/whatever answers about how "there are no other sports but baseball" or "movies are useless to me" or whatever. If you don’t want to answer one of the questions, just don’t answer it. Also, don’t take shots at other people’s answers. Again, just answer the questions you want to answer, ignore the ones you don’t. Thanks.

With Heart by Stars playing on the iPod, here are the questions:

1. Are the Cardinals contenders for the 2007 postseason?

2. With that in mind, how should they approach the deadline? Blow the whole thing up? Be buyers, but only buyers to strengthen the 2008 team? Buyers in the short term, say with a boost to this year’s rotation or offense? Stand pat?

3. Do you have any concerns about how the Carpenter situation was handled? If so, what?

4. Aside from big league ballparks, what’s your favorite venue in sports? Anything goes, from the place where you played your high school football to the Edward Jones Dome to Augusta National to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Can be a place you’ve visited, or a place you’ve just seen on TV.

5. What’s your favorite movie of the summer thus far? What movie still to come are you most looking forward to? (this is a VERY easy one for me, but y’all have at it…)

6. Mrs. Dude touched on this topic the other day. What’s your song of the summer so far this year?

7. What’s the perfect summer food?

-M.

Carp — fears confirmed

Will have TJ surgery next week. More to come.
-M.

Sweet tea and shoulder shots

Greetings from Atlanta, which is as close to my beloved hometown as the Major Leagues get during the regular season. It feels a lot like home — even had some sweet tea with lunch today. Good times.

* Rolen is already back from StL. Probably won’t play till Sunday, and possibly not till Tuesday, but we’ll see. He had a shot. He said the shoulder capsule has tightened, but that his labrum looked good on an MRI. Still a fairly open-ended issue, truth be told.

* Edmonds is activated, starting in center field and batting fifth. Andy Cavazos optioned, so for a day or two or four they’re down to 11 pitchers.

* Still, still, still waiting on Carp announcement.

-M, digging FM 92.9 here in Atlanta.

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