Lucky Seven, the marathon begins edition

1. 35 games, 34 days. The Cards are 1-2 thus far. How many of the 35 do they win?

2. With Kennedy, Rolen and Spiezio all unavailable, the infield situation is pretty dicey. Given that there’s no way Pujols moves — his elbow won’t allow it — what do the Cardinals do? Play Miles at 2B and Ryan at 3B every day? Miguel Cairo at 3B? Brian Barden? Edgar Gonzalez? Rico Washington? Swing a deal for Mark Loretta (something I’ve thought they should find a way to do for a while now)? Taguchi at 2B regularly?

3. Mulder’s on the way back. What do you do with him? Bump Reyes? Bump Wells? Bump somebody else? Go to a six-man rotation? (ugh, not my preferred solution?) Get creative? What about something where Wainwright and Looper go every fifth day, and the other four guys get slotted into 3 spots based on matchups and whatnot? Or do you feel that they shouldn’t commit to Mulder yet?

4. The Brewers have Sheets back, but they still have bullpen issues. How legit a contender are they now with their ace back on the mound? Are you worried about them at all, or just the Cubs?

5. NFL season is coming soon. Give me one Rams prediction and one other NFL prediction. And also, whom should I take with the Nos. 9 and 12 picks in my fantasy draft? If you want to make suggestions for Mrs. Dude, who picks 10 and 11, please feel free. I hope she and I finish 1-2 in the league. Or 2-1.

6. My lovely bride has replaced her Song of Summer poll with a Movie of Summer poll. So consider yourself invited to follow that link and go vote, if you so desire. Now. What was your vote?

7. Mega Millions is 300-some million dollars, and Powerball just got up to some similarly ridiculous amount. If you won something like that, tell me one absolute extravagance you’d splurge on. Car, real estate, minor league baseball team, whatever. Remember, you’d have something like $150 million if you took the cash option, which would leave you about $70 or $80MM after tax. So, sadly, you couldn’t buy the Cardinals. But that’s still a lotta jack, so give me something fun, and give me details. I don’t just want to hear "car." I want to hear AMG CL65 Mercedes.

-M.

(now playing on the speakers: Maps, "We Can Create")

22 Comments

1. Of the 32 games they have left, 15 of those are against contenders (Phillies, Arizona, Cubs, Brewers, and 1 against the Mets). So, looking at the matchups, I split them and round down to give them 7 wins. Then, the rest are against losing clubs, but clubs that hit a lot of long balls (Reds and Pirates). Our pitching (with Reyes and Wells) will struggle. As banged up as we are, I give them a little better than half the remaining games – 10. That puts them at 17 wins and 15 losses – IF we’re lucky – and finishing with a .500 record – no playoffs.

2. Loretta would be sweet…not gonna’ happen this year. I worry about exposing Ryan too much. I say call up Cairo and split time at third with Ryan (if he can still hit).

3. FIRST – you tell Wells to speed up his pace or you will pull him. Then…you do this. You watch Mulder’s next rehab start like a hawk. If he does well, bring him up with the idea of slotting him in the rotation. None of this bullpen ****. He’s a big league, veteran pitcher. You put him in with one goal…pitch one good month – no playoff thoughts, none of this “do you think he can make it through the post season?” stuff – put him in! Watch his pitch count early on, but put him in. Then, here’s your rotation – 1. Wainwright 2. Looper 3. Piniero 4. Mulder 5. Switch Wells and Reyes back and forth. Whichever one doesn’t start that week, you hold him in reserve to bail out Mulder in long relief – and then you make a run for the post season.

4. With the Brewers bullpen issues and youth, I don’t see them as a contender – I see them as a Cardinals spoiler with Suppan and Sheets. They will play just well enough to damage us when we play them in their own park. The Cubs are the team to beat – Zambrano and Lilly…’nuff said.

5. Chiefs fan, not Rams. Chiefs will go 8-8 this year. (I’m assuming 12 team league) 9 and 12 picks – Peyton Manning then Rudi Johnson. 10 and 11 – Carson Palmer and Willis McGahee? I don’t know your point system…in mine, QB TDs are worth as much as RB TDs…if QBs are less in yours (some leagues do 4 pts each on passing TDs) then go 2 RBs. Lamont Jordan is a sleeper this year.

6. Transformers all the way, baby!!!! Support the cause!!! Big money for the sequel!!!

7. (Cardinals season tickets in the “too expensive for the average fan” section are a given) – um…I don’t get into ‘stuff’ so much…I would probably want to use it to travel…BUT…I would love a new Triumph Bonneville…mmmm…black and chrome…

1) I think we win at least 17-20 of those games, because by the time we face some of the contenders, they will hopefully be a bit more banged up.

2) Play Ryan until the callups at third, Miles 2B. Then after the callups, give Cairo the majority of time there, but platoon it a bit (giving some of the youngsters a shot there) until Rolen gets healthy again.

3) I will wait till Reyes next start against the Reds. IF he does well there, then he stays in the rotation. Pinero Looper and Wainwright are obv locks, leaving two open slots. I’m not really tempted to do spot starts, especially with Mulder trying to find a rhythm. I think we give Reyes the 4th start and Mulder a try in the 5th slot. If he pitches well there, give him another shot, and so on until he proves he can’t. Leave Wells in the bullpen for now because he showed promise there earlier in the year. With Mulder not yet having the stamina to go even 6 innings, we are going to need arms to save the bullpen and Kip or Reyes could fill that slot nicely.

4) As we have seen in the past few years, an ace makes a lot of difference. Look at we are without carp, and where we possibly could be. I put Sheets over Big Z, so I say that the Brewers are now the team to beat again in the NLC. I still think that we can win the division though.

5) I say the Rams win their conference, going 10-6. I think the Colts go 13-3 and win the superbowl again. Call me a front runner if you must, but Peyton Manning is the best QB out there.

6) Hard to say. Saw more movies this year than I’ve seen in my whole lifetime. I’d go with The Simpsons though. Transformers was awesome, but how can you get more American than Homer J. Simpson and a bio-dome?

7) I;d pay off my college expenses, including grad school (coming up in a couple of years) and all my loans. I figure that would leave me enough for the Wii and upcoming Brawl and a PS3 for the next MLB the Show game.

1)I think we have some momentum so will go with 20 wins.
2) Ryan is too ‘iffy’ at 3rd – first preference is to go for Loretta with Miles as 2B and So as a back up.

3) Don’t push Mulder – we need him healthy for the future. My patience with Wells is about gone – I’m going with Anthony.

4) I am mildly concerned about the Brewers and hope the Cubs continue the tradition of ‘completely useless by September’.

5) Not qualified to respond – more a college football fan (go OU!).

6) My vote is for Knocked Up – very funny.

7) I promised my son I’d buy him a plane when I won the lottery. And then season tickets for 6 in the Diamond Box seats. And travel . . . lots of travel. A second home in Aruba would be good, too.

With $80 million, the Elysian Fields Bar & Grill would be a reality.

The perfect sports bar.

With NTN trivia, pool tables, darts and a shuffle board.

Every baseball game, college football game and NFL game would be shown.

The bartenders and waitresses would NOT wear referee uniforms. No Karaoke

All bar stools would be imported from the Red Garter Saloon in Tucson.

1) Well the way they’ve been playing, despite their last series, I’m going to hope, not making any promises, but hope they go 28-7 or better, it’s not likely, but it’d be nice to see.

2) I’m going to say they’ll move one of their outfielders to the infield, not sure who, but it’ll probably happen.

3) A starting rotation of Wellemeyer, Mulder, Wainwright, Looper, and Pineiro. That’s the best solution, Reyes and Wells are up and down pitchers and we need consistency.

4) I’ve got a positive attitude, I’m not worried about either, the Brewers will continue to slump and the Cubs will blow it, the Cardinals will find a way to win it and the team I worry about next year is the Reds.

1.they probably win about 15-16.

2. I would love to see them go after a trade, but I think that it’s not likely to happen. I’m fine with Miles and Ryann for the moment.

3. Well, Mulder can’t pitch long because of his shoulder. So we could always do split starts. Where Mark pitches 5 innings and then someone like Thompson comes in for the rest. Anything we can do to save the bullpen.

4. I think it’s fair to assume that the brewers will win every fifth game now. They’re back in it.

5. I don’t really watch football…. I like the packers… So, how about I predict that Brett Favre will have more TDs than INTs.

6. ok…. I voted.

7. First I would get a new car. Nothing really nice. Probably just a Camry. Then I would buy season tickets for the cardinals. And 3rdly I would buy one of those condos that they’re building across from New Busch! :) ******* Sweeeeeet.

Matt,

In regards to the rotation question…I heard Walt was in attendance at the Springfield Cardinals game last night when Mitchell Boggs pitched 8 shutout innings. Is it possible HE tries to get creative and brings a young minor leaguer up for a spot start (taking one of Wells or Reyes’ starts)?

Thanks!

1. 20-15
2. Ryan, as long as he hits and fields decently. Cairo to spell him from time to time. If MC gets hot, give him more playing time–stay with who is hot.

3. I’d try a 6-man rotation at times. With no days off, all those who have never pitched a 200-inning season will need more rest. If Mulder produces, I’d keep him in the rotation, possibly at the expense of Reyes–or any other starter who struggles.

4. Brewers played the Cubs well–they are still in it, seem to have gotten a little fire back.

7. I’d buy one of those minor league teams with a stupid name (such as those ending in –Dogs or –Cats) and give it a decent name. Then I’d commission some custom made shoes. I refuse to believe they can’t make shoes for women that are attractive but comfortable enough to walk 2 miles in.

1. 19 out of 35, and it won’t be enough :-(, although it’ll be close.
2. Barden comes up as a stopgap; that’s what they got him for. Cairo also comes up, purely as a backup. I don’t see a move for Loretta, and certainly would not make such a move myself. I don’t like any of these moves, but the very thin talent in the upper minors leaves them very little choice.

3. Depends on whether they’re still in the race by the time Mulder pitches for the second time. If they are, go the 6-man-rotation route until and unless one of the other guys shows he can’t get people out. If not, shut down WW(!!!) because he has thrown a lot of innings, and you want to protect him for the ace role next year. That won’t be popular, to put it mildly, but sometimes you have to take the long view.

4. Getting Sheets back helps, but (1) he won’t be back for long before his next breakdown and (2) a lot of other Brewers have been playing over their heads. I stand by my earlier prediction: the order will be Cubs-Cards-Brewers, whether I like it or not.

5. Rams and one other team (no idea which) will crater badly after one of their big names is involved in an off-the-field shooting or comparable incident. The personal behavior of pro football players has become a serious disgrace, which is one reason (of many) why I don’t really care much about pro football.

6. No opinion.

7. Truthfully? I’d give much of it away (church, environmental and cultural causes) and put most of the rest in a trust for our kids. (And for that matter, would not take the lump-sum payment.) If forced to spend it on an extravagance — twist my arm till it hurts, Matt — it would be an array of vacation homes in Costa Rica, Scottish Highlands, Hawaii, plus a bizjet to get to them, reserving enough to pay for the people to staff all of the above.

1. With only three starting pitchers (Wells and Reyes don’t count at this point), a lot hinges on Mulder. If Mulder is decent, which I’m hopeful he will be, the Cardinals will go 22-13.
2. 2B – Miles, SS – Eckstein, 3B – Ryan everyday. Miles has earned it, he doesn’t need time off, and he switch hits. We might as well see what Ryan can do for us (especially if we’re not going to resign Eckstein in the offseason). Eckstein will need some days off. Put So Taguchi at 2B, move Miles to 3B, and put Ryan at SS when Eckstein is sore.

3. Release Wells – I don’t think he is compatible with LaRussa and Duncan. Reyes goes to the bullpen. Mulder starts, and Wellemeyer starts.

4. If the Brewers’ offense gets rolling again, they could still win the division. Remember the 2003 Cardinals, though, when they had a great offense and an awful bullpen. The Cubs should run away with this division, but they haven’t yet. My gut tells me the Cubs will blow it again.

5. Rams will be a playoff contender again. Bears will start slow, and finish strong enough to take the weak NFC North. Don’t know enough to make fantasy football suggestions.

6. —

7. I’d buy 100 acres of scenic property, mostly forested.

1) The whole division is still weak. VEB showed some of the pitchers they’ll have to face, and at the very end, the probables are pretty tough, so I’ll go conservative, but still over .500 at 19-16(probably won’t win the division sadly, but 19 more wins isn’t out of the question to do so).

2) Miles, Eckstein, Ryan as the regulars, bring up some of the kids and Cairo to add depth and give the kids a chance to see some big league pitching.

3) Wells to the pen(he posted an ERA barely over 1 out of the pen while he was there–see a blog post I wrote on this at: http://midwestsportsfan.blogspot.com/2007/08/kip-wells-inconsistency-and-pacman.html ). If Mulder somehow has troubles, you still have Wells on the roster to take over again.

4) If I had to bet, I’d bet the Cubs would win it with about 83-85 wins. The Brewers do concern me though. I’ve been wondering if there’s any recent precedent for a team getting that hot early, falling back under .500 and then getting hot again. There ARE recent precedents for the fall-off to continue though. I remember KC had a great first have with Tony Pena managing about 5-6 years ago and ended something around .500 and in 3rd place.

5) Rams will be in the thick of it for the last wild card spot in the NFC and will finish either 6th(getting the spot) or 7th. The Bears will win the incredibly weak NFC North by at least 3 games. I’m not into fantasy, but the ESPN guy said always go RB, RB with your first two picks. So do that!

6) My movie of the summer was the newest Harry Potter movie. Simpsons was just behind it.

7) I like the minor league ballclub idea. I’d get my wife whatever car she wanted, then would buy a house (or several, for speculation purposes) up around here where I’m living. It’s probably only about 2-3 years from becoming a Chicago suburb, so I figure even though most of the housing market is turning sour, this might still be a place it will get better. Last fun idea of an extravagance would probably be to either build a golf course or at the very least open my own golf shop, with driving range. I’d love to be able to just hit golf balls all day somedays.

1. 19 and 16

2. Cairo and Gonzalez and platoon.

3. Howzabout Mulder as long relief if starters get in trouble? We’re still in the process of seeing what our guys can do. Several pitchers are turning things around, so is it premature to pull one of them, maybe? I don’t know. It’s gonna be interesting.

4. Brewers finish fourth behind 3rd place Reds.

5. No NFL projections. Okay, Rams go 9-7.

6. Still no summertime song for me.

7. House in San Diego. Apt. in New York. Loft in STL. A 60’s lincoln convertible with the suicide doors. And buy the monster truck Grave Digger and do donuts in the ballpark village wasteland until something gets done!

MULDER: Okay…Usatoday.com is saying Mulder is penciled to start Wed. or Thurs. for us…after his rehab start today…

1) I say the Cardinals finish right at .500, so 2 games over 500 for the remaining making it 17-15.

2) Ryan at 3B, Eck at SS and Miles at 2B….all day everyday until one of them gets hurt, then bring in Taguchi or call up Cairo…don’t care

3)Ta **** with Reyes and Wells. Four man rotation: Wainwright, Looper, Joel, Mulder. Give Mulder every other start off and put in either Reyes or Wells. Or just forfeit that day. Whatever.

4) Not saying that the Cards are going to pass the Brewers, but the Brewers definitely won’t pass the Cubs.

5) Sorry, bud, can’t help on the picks and I don’t really watch all that much football. Like the guy above, I’ll say Rams go 9-7.

6) Sunshine go Away Today was the song of the summer (it was an oldie on the Jeep Commercial).

7) I would buy an old (1975 or prior) Gaff rigged topsail schooner and sail around the world. Roughly 130 feet long and 25 feet wide the boat would be and I would invite about 10 of my closest friends to do it with me. Of course, we’d have to take breaks and come home for a month or so at a time to be with family as the adventure would take roughly 5 years…but that is what i would do.

HEY! That’s a good idea! Let’s go with a six-man rotation and just forfeit all of Wells’ starts…that solves our “no days off” problem right there! Then, with the team fresh from their day off, we’ll have a better chance of beating the banged-up teams like the Cubs and Brewers.

1. 19

2. Loretta if possible. Otherwise platoon Cairo and Miles and second and play B. Ry. everyday at third.

3. If Mulder can be productive, if, then they should pitch Looper and Wainwright in their spots and matchup every other day. NO SIX MAN ROTATION!

4. Mostly the Cubbies. If the Crew can get hot they have a shot. But I don’t think they have it in them. They’re almost there, but not this season.

5. Rams win the NFC West. Lose in first round of playoffs. Other NFL prediction: Patriots win the Superbowl. Bold, I know.

Pick 9: Brian Westbrook

Pick 10: Lawrence Maroney

Pick 11: Travis Henry

Pick 12: Michael Vick

6. Transformers, without doubt.

7. I would build an incredible house and be on Cribs. Then I would sit back, relax, watch the Cards, swim in may Cardinal-shaped pool, have some kids and spend all day playing with them and doing nothing.

1.17-18 wins
2.Miles @ 2B, Cairo/Ryan @3B.

3.Ideally, I would have a rotation of Wainwright, Pinero, Loop, Mulder, and Maroth. However, Wells will have to do for now.

4.Brewers are better with Sheets, but the Cubs are still the frontrunners…

5.Rams 9-7, Lions 9-7.

6.

7.I would buy a “city on the seas” type of yacht like the one that Greg Norman owns, always thought that was one the coolest things on the planet.

1. 22-13
2. Miles, Ryan everyday platoon Cairo.

3.Wellemeyer, Mulder, Wainwright, Looper, and Pineiro

4.I think it’s the Cubs to lose, Sheets doesnt help the bullpen. Hope they both fall flat on their faces and the Redbirds make it in.

5.Ram’s 8-8, Redskins 10-6

6.Bourne Ultimatum kicked butt

7. hmmm Dodge Challenger, lots of land, and maybe part owner in a baseball team.

1. I’ll say 22. I’m feeling optimistic.

2. Miles and Ryan at second, Ryan and Cairo at third.

3. I’d take out Wells. He’s another Marquis, who I’m not fond of. At least Reyes can use the experience. Kip’s a lost cause.

4. Brewers have killed their chances themselves. I’m not worried about the Cubs, either, honestly. They ARE the Cubs, after all.

5. Rams will go 9-7. My Seahawks will go 10-6.

6. I’d go with the Bourne Ultimatum. Best summer flick, and the best of the three Bournes. (Tried to post a comment on Mrs. Dude’s blog, but it gave me an error)

7. I’d start up my own video game development company, which is the industry I work in (journalist).

1. I don’t know. I say that if they can play like they are right now, maybe 15-25. My guess,19.
2. Pull up Gonzalez when they can. He has more experience then Ryan. Until then, continue to play Ryan at third, (he can only get better at the postion right?) play Miles at SS and Cairo at 2B.

3. On Friday, I had the opportunity to go see Mulder pitch in Memphis. (but unfortunately I was unable to get his auto) and he did good but the problem is that he can’t pitch very many innings so why put him in the rotation at all? Let him pitch a couple times to see how he does and if he does good, pull whoever ain’t.

4. The Brewers are out (hopefully).

7. Boy! there is a lot of things a 13 year old boy could do with a 100-300 million dollars!!! I personally would buy the old Ray winder Field and fix it up and… do something with it. Maybe a baseball Musuem.

K.B.

I too have worn thin on Wells. I don’t know if this season is a fluke or if he has really lost it for good. Pinero was a great find, Cairo has the experience necessary in a pennant race and did well here before, (Almost the Jose Oquendo of the past 10 years) I am really concerned about Scotty Rolen, he’s not the player he was a couple of years ago and has been very injury prone. I understand that because he plays all out and is getting older. That’s all to be expected. Will he be the third baseman in 2008? who knows? I’m sure he is penciled in, but not written in ink much less engraved in stone.
The veterans (Edmonds, Pujols, Eckstine, and Molina, need to actively lead this team. Ankiel has been the feel good story of the decade for me and his attitude needs to be adopted by all the young players. Watch him guys, he’ll show you how to approach the game, and life in general.

Now the big question, what about the lotto. Well I’ve already got a great car (04 Honda Civic si) but a Chevy HHR would be cool to have, and an old Camaro ’67, 68 or 69. A Dodge Daytona (the big ones from ’70 or so with the big wing on the back and the pointy nose) And the final purchase, a tour bus for our group and put the rest in an account that paid a good return rate, and live off the interest!

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