Category Archives: Baseball

Pujols

The following statement was true in 2003

“Albert Pujols is the only player in Major League history to bat .300 or better with at least 30 home runs, 100 runs scored and 100 RBI in his first three Major League seasons”

After 2006, all you had to do was change the ‘three Major League seasons’ to six.

8 games out, I don’t have much hope in the Cards staging another comeback. They had a chance for a moment there, but lost it. Right now, I’m rooting for the Cubs to beat the Brewers in our division (still don’t feel the Brewers belong in the National League, and Cubs fans deserve something to cheer about occasionally.) I would like the Cardinals to finish over 500, but that will be a challenge too. Mostly, I want Albert to continue his streak, and he’s cutting it close. He has the homeruns and without doing any math, I’m pretty sure the batting average will stay over 300. But he only has 93 runs, and 95 rbis, and the season ends as September ends. He can do it, he’s just cutting it closer than he usually does.

Go Cardinals!

Remember how I was saying back in July that the Cardinals don’t suck?. I should have added that anything can happen in the National League Central division. As we enter Chicago for a four game series, we’re now 2.5 games behind first place, and both the Brewers and Cubs are collapsing.

We could easily end up in the playoffs, even with the season we’ve had. Which is a testament to how bad our division really is. Not that I mind.

Cardinals suck?

I’ve heard the complaints from local fans about how the Cardinals are sucking this year.

No, I’m not arguing that they are playing at their top form.

I certainly like the recent winning streak, but there’s no arguing that they still have a won-loss percentage under .500. How horrible.

We’re so used to the Cardinals doing well that we forget something. There are 6 teams in the National League right now doing worse than them.

Sure, you say, but there are 9 doing better!

OK. As I said. I’m not arguing that the Cardinals are at the top form.

There are lots of places online you can find a list of the team that won the World Series each year, or the pennant. But not a lot of places you can find a list of who finished dead last. I went to Baseball-Almanac.com and looked at the annual standings. Just for the National League.

I only went back to 1982. Three reasons.
1) 1981 is tricky because it was split by the strike.
2) I know what I need to know prior to 1982 from elsewhere
3) The Reds finished last place in 1982 completing the list I hoped to complete. (To be honest, I was surprised I finished it by 1982. I thought I would have to go back further.)

Between 1982 and 2006 here are the current teams in the National League and the number of times they have finised dead last (as measured by won-loss percentage. There were a few ties.)

Mets 2
Phillies 3
Braves 3
Marlins 2
Nationals 1
Astros 1
Reds 1
Brewers 1
Pirates 5
Cubs 3
Padres 3
Dodgers 1
Giants 1
Diamondbacks 1
Rockies 0
Cardinals 0

The Rockies are still a new team. (1993). Give them time.

To find a year where the Cardinals finished dead last? 1918.

That’s right. 1918.

(I don’t have to go back through the standings at Baseball Almanac.com I read this statistic in a St. Louis Cardinals statistical compendium published in 1983 after the 1982 World Series, so since I have gone back to 1982 in my own research, I know it still stands.)

The list above might also give Chicago Cubs fans something to cheer about. The Pirates have been the annual vacuum cleaner more times than them — in the past 25 years at least.

2-1 (Suppan was Super)

Suppan did something last night that hasn’t been done by a Cardinals pitcher in the postseason since Bob Gibson in 1968. He hit a homerun. It’s not what the Cardinals pay him for. He also pitched 8 innings of shut-out ball. That’s what he gets paid for. But no one was upset that he helped his cause. (Except for the Mets fans.)

13 run pool ends early in opening week.

One common office betting pool during the baseball season is the 13-run pool.  The idea is each bettor draws the name of a team randomly.  The cost is usually $1 per team.  If your team is first in the week to score 13 runs in a single game, without going over, you get the pot.  If no team does this, no one wins, and the money is rolled over and added to the next week’s draws (but everyone draws new teams.)  Most people think  the pot will grow to huge proportions.  Most people think 13-run games are rare.  However, the last time I participated in one it only rolled over once the entire season.

Today was opening day for most teams, and if you’re in a 13 run pool, there’s already a winning team for this week.
The Cardinals  (Pujols had 2 homeruns)

Opening Game

Today marks the opening game of the 2006 Baseball Season. The game starts at 7:05 pm in Chicago between the White Sox and the Cleveland Indians.

The Cardinals opening game is tomorrow, in Philadelphia.

To honor the season, and National Poetry Month, I offer you the oldest surviving poem from Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899. This was written on April 12, 1912, 3 months shy of his 13th birthday.

The Opening Game

1st Inning

With Chance on first, and Evers on third,
Great things from the Cubs will soon be heard.
Then up comes Schulte to the bat,
On the plate his bat does rap;
Takes a slug at that old ball,
Makes it clear the right field wall.
Then in comes Chance and in comes Evers,
Such hits are seldom seen–‘most never.
Then to the bat comes Zim in haste,
He sure knows how the ball to paste.
He slams the ball upon the Bean,
Almost seems to make it scream.
The center fielder nabs the ball;
It seems as if ‘t’would make him fall.
But stop of this rank stuff,
Just one inning is enough.

From the same time period, two years earlier, comes this classic by Franklin Pierce Adams – July 10, 1910 (he was a New York Giants fan)

Baseball’s Sad Lexicon

These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double-
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

The Best Fans in Baseball

More evidence to support St. Louis has the best fans in baseball.

Saturday night’s game – that started at 10 pm St. Louis time…
Despite the late start time:
26% of all tvs were tuned to the game. And it had only dropped to 20% by the time the game ended at 1:30 am.
1 out of every 5 television sets in St. Louis was tuned into the game at 1:30 am Sunday morning.
(Admittedly, it’s possible, some people had fallen asleep in front of the TV)