Monday, October 31, 2011

Owen Good joins The Sully Baseball Show

Sports writer and comedian Owen Good stopped by The Sully Baseball Show tonight.
We talked Cooperstown, Pete Rose and why we both like Mike Greenwell.

It is the second hour of the Seamheads block on Monday night after What's On Second, the flagship show of the Seamheads National Podcasting Network.

Listen to internet radio with Seamheads on Blog Talk Radio

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The World Champion St. Louis Cardinals have a job opening!
Their Hall of Fame manager is leaving on top.
They have the foundation of a great team being left behind.

They can hand the reigns of the team over to a coach like Jose Oquendo or Dave McKay or Joe Pettini.

Maybe long time pitching coach guru Dave Duncan can manage the team.

Or 800 pound gorilla Mark McGwire.

OR they can insert a respected manager who happened to have a bad month.
Someone with two World Series titles of his own... including one at the expense of the Cardinals.

Terry Francona... Cardinals manager.
St. Louis is just as great a baseball city as Boston without the grief or inferiority complex.

The inferiority complex is in Chicago... and who is running the Cubs now? THEO!

Oh this could be a NEW wrinkle in the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry!!!

Become the Cardinals manager, win a World Series title in St. Louis... be beloved forever and rehearse your Cooperstown speech.

Give them a call.

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Hats off to Tony LaRussa

I've never been a Tony LaRussa fan... but man you have to respect him.
He is probably the greatest manager of our time. If he's not, he's in the conversation.

And he retired as a World Series champ.
No backstabbing, book writing, passive aggressive swiping at management here.

This isn't Torre or Francona's ending where you need to remind people of the good times.

He's out on top after winning the best World Series in a decade.

He has three World Series titles. No need to apologize for not winning more. He has as many World Series titles as Leo Durocher, Earl Weaver and Whitey Herzog combined.

I was never a fan.
But man I am an admirer.

Ozzie Guillen, Bruce Bochy, Charlie Manuel, Joe Girardi, Davey Johnson, Mike Scioscia and Jim Leyland are the only current managers who have won a World Series title now.

None more than one.

Who will take the title of "Best Current Manager?"

We'll see.
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Sunday, October 30, 2011

New Sully Baseball Video - "The John Lackey Horror Show."

In the latest Sully Baseball video, I reacted to the news that the Padres were supposedly interested in picking up John Lackey.

They didn't make a deal before Lackey had season ended surgery.

Awful news. But I don't get mad. I make videos.

As always, all the Sully Baseball videos can be found on my ShortForm TV channel.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Big Bad Cardinals

Let’s take four big league franchises and look at what they’ve done in the past 10 seasons.

Franchise 1 from 2002 to now.
Won 2 World Series Titles.
Won 3 Pennants.
Appeared in the LCS 5 times

Franchise 2 from 2002 to now.
Won 2 World Series Titles
Won 2 Pennants.
Appeared in the LCS 4 times.

Franchise 3 from 2002 to now.
Won 1 World Series Title.
Won 2 Pennants.
Appeared in the LCS 4 times.

Franchise 4 from 2002 to now.
Won 1 World Series Title.
Won 2 Pennants.
Appeared in the LCS 2 times.

Franchise 1 clearly has been the most dominant team of the past 10 seasons.
Franchise 2 had a great stretch but hasn’t been in the World Series nor LCS as much as Franchise 1.
Franchises 3, and 4 each won a title and a few pennants but were hardly dominant.

Which franchise do you think is which?

Franchise 4 is the Giants.
Franchise 3 is the Yankees.
Franchise 2 is the Red Sox.
Franchise 1 is the newly crowned World Champion Cardinals.

Next time in this off season you hear someone crow about how the Yankees win it every year and how they and the Red Sox just buy pennants, remember than in the past 10 years the team that dominated was actually in St. Louis.

The three other teams I mentioned had a monumental face plant in that span of time. The Giants blew the 5-0 lead in a potential World Series clincher in 2002. The Yankees had the 2004 ALCS. The Red Sox had the 2003 ALCS and the great collapse of 2011.

What was the faceplant for the Cardinals?
Where was their classic choke job?
Who was their Aaron Boone? Dave Roberts? Scott Spiezio?

The Cardinals have had the Jim Edmonds homer, Pujols against Lidge (yeah Houston won that Series… nobody remembers Game 6.)… Wainwright striking out Beltran… Carpenter shutting down the Phillies… and Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

They broke the Padres hearts… the Astros hearts… the Mets hearts… the Tigers hearts… the Phillies and Brewers and Rangers hearts.

Remember that… the big bad Cardinals have won it again.

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Another season is over

Only 3 and a half months before pitchers and catchers report...

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Sharing an all time classic with my dad

The Game 6 classic was truly one of the greatest baseball games I ever saw in my life. It was insane. It was bonkers.

By the 6th inning with all the errors I thought "This is one nutty game."
Then the home runs...
Then the Cardinals came back down to their last strike...
Then Hamilton homered...
Then the Cardinals came back down to their last strike AGAIN...
Then they won.

It was so obviously a classic. I was kind of shaking when the game was over. And I desperately wanted to talk to someone.

I called my dad. Now I had no idea if my dad was watching the game recorded.
"Dad, how much time did you leave at the end?"
"Normal length. Why did it go long?"

I paused. I knew there was NO WAY he was going to record the whole thing. He would be watching it and somewhere it would run out.

"Yeah dad. It went long."

So I proceeded to tell my dad all about the game.

I could build the suspense and hear my dad saying "No!" or "Oh my god!" as I told him how the Cardinals kept creeping closer and coming back.

And then I described the finale.
Long pause.

My dad said "Wow."

And then we started talking about the greatest World Series games we ever saw.

Clearly this was a top 5 game for me.
And my dad experienced it with me telling him the highlights by cell phone.

And in a wonderful way, I got to experience it again... but this time it was a gift to my dad.

And THAT is a Fall Classic.

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Hey Colby Rasmus! Where did you watch the game?

Hey! If you could have not pulled a Diva act and whined your way out of St. Louis, you might be a World Series champ!

But I'm sure you made the right decision.

These Cardinals seemed like a really tough group to play with.

And yeah, the Cardinals made such a bad move dealing a pain in the ass player with one pretty good season under his belt for pitching depth.

Rasmus is going to get a World Series ring.
I hope LaRussa presents it to him on his middle finger.

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If this WAS Pujols' last game... you can not blame him

Pujols is probably going to return...
The Cardinals could finally become a National Brand.

But it also makes sense if he says "I've done EVERYTHING I can possibly do in St. Louis. Maybe I need a new challenge."

The new owner of the Dodgers would want to show the fan base that they spend money on the team instead of on their homes. (And I assume they won't blame victims when they get beaten in their poorly lit and lightly secured parking lots.)

Bringing in Albert Pujols makes all the short term sense in the world for the Dodgers.

If he goes to Chavez Ravine, then I not only don't want to hear CARDINALS fans boo him but I also want to hear nobody in all of baseball boo him.

If he wants to get top dollar, he has done everything he could have possibly done in St. Louis.

But I said all of that before.

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Was this Gerald Laird's last ever game as a member of the Cardinals?

Salute him.
It could be the end of an era.

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I think Arthur Rhodes prefers THIS World Series ring

No matter what, Arthur Rhodes was going to get his first World Series ring.
He played for the Rangers AND the Cardinals.
If the Rangers got that last strike last night, it would be a Rangers ring.

Call me crazy, I think this will be sweeter for him.

He has pitched over 20 years in the bigs with 9 different teams.
Now he has a World Series ring.

I feel good for Arthur Rhodes.
How could you not?

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This could be the best video ever on the internet

I love this video.
I have never seen a "Fan shot video at the ballgame" that has included all the emotions of an amazing dramatic moment more than this.

It's shot from left field with the Cardinals down to their last strike in the 9th inning and David Freese facing Neftali Feliz.

The crowd is nervous.
Then the fly ball to right field and there is a combination of tension, hope and possible sadness as it looked like the Rangers were going to win the World Series.

Then the delirium that not only was the game NOT over... not only were the Cardinals still alive... but somehow the game was tied.

The fans going insane... then the camera zoomed into the Rangers fans.
That slumped look of disgust...
I know it well. The feeling of "I thought I was about to jump up in the air with all of my baseball wishes fulfilled... and instead I am pissed.

So much in this one video.
So much of it perfectly captured.

Please don't take it down, YouTube.

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Nelson Cruz's play was worse than Bill Buckner's error

David Freese hit a walk off, game winning World Series tying home run last night... and it wasn't even his most dramatic hit of the night. Not by a LONG shot.

He got his homer off of Mark Lowe... a guy who wasn't even on the playoff roster for the Division Series and ALCS. And the game was tied.

In the 9th he faced an All Star closer in Neftali Feliz and was down to the last strike before elimination.

And his drive to right field looked like it was well hit but not good enough.

Admit it, you thought the World Series was over. Nelson Cruz looked like he was slowing up with a beat on the ball. And up he leaped.

And he didn't have it.

He jumped up too soon, like he didn't know where the wall was.
The ball sailed over his head and off the wall. The two runs scored.

So why is that worse than the Buckner play?
Unlike Bill Buckner's error, this play COULD have won the World Series!
Buckner's error ended Game 6 of the 1986 World Series... but the game was tied on the Wild Pitch.

If Cruz caught the ball (and we ALL thought he was about to) then that would have been it.
The Texas Rangers would have been the World Champs.

Who knows how this series will unfold tonight?
Who knows if there will be another highlight that will overshadow last night's game. (Think that's not possible? Remember how 1991 and 2001 had Game 7 finales that become the main highlight?)

A Rangers win tonight would make his play a forgotten footnote (like the wild pitch that tied Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.)

If they don't, then you can RIGHTLY say they would have won the World Series if he made that catch.

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Today should be a holiday

Seriously... after a great playoff game like that, people shouldn't have to work.
How am I supposed to get anything done?

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

This was NOT a great game

Calling this game great is a damn insult.
This was an all time "where were you when it happened" classic.

I am exhausted.
I have no clue what can be said.

But folks, if you aren't watching this World Series I truly pity you.

Bed time.
Posts tomorrow.
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For one day I am a Cardinals fan

I have a history of rooting AGAINST the St. Louis Cardinals.
I wanted the Giants to win the 1987 NLCS and the Twins to win the World Series.

I rooted for the Padres to beat St. Louis in 1996.
I rooted for the Mets to beat St. Louis in 2000.
I rooted for the Diamondbacks to beat St. Louis in 2001.
I rooted for the Giants to beat St. Louis in 2002.
I rooted for the Red Sox, obviously, in the 2004 World Series against St. Louis.
I rooted for the Padres in the 2005 Division Series against the Cardinal.
I rooted for the Padres, Mets AND Tigers to beat the Cardinals in 2006.
I rooted for the Dodgers against the Cardinals in 2009.
I rooted for the Phillies, Brewers and Rangers against St. Louis this year.

I SWEAR I don't hate you Cardinals fans. It just happens I like to see the Cardinals lose in the post season.

That being said, I am rooting card for the Cardinals for tonight.

It's been 9 years since baseball has seen a seventh game of the World Series.

There are teenagers with no memory of a Game 7 of the World Series.
It's been an amazing September and October. Now it needs a grand finale.

In order for THAT to happen, the Cardinals need to win.

So... for tonight only...


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The Douchebaggery of Frank McCourt is staggering

It takes a special kind of a--hole to make the headline "Frank McCourt Looted The Dodgers" the SECOND most damning story of the day.

I understand that the Bryan Stowe case is sensitive and he needs an attorney to defend him and the Dodgers and he is already the bad guy in many people's eyes.

But does he REALLY not have the PR savvy to know that sending a lawyer out to put blame on STOWE for his own beating is kind of sort of STAGGERINGLY AWFUL?

I guess it was the last stone unturned.
He made a mockery of the franchise, bankrupted one of the great teams in baseball history, took a major market club and turned them into the A's...

And along the way the team handled the Stowe beating about as badly as possible.

I guess he thought "Oh what do we have to lose? Blame the victim!"

Some slippery lawyer came on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles to speak with Mason and Ireland and proceeded to talk about Stowe's blood alcohol (because being drunk is grounds for being beaten into a coma). And at the same time kept saying "I don't know if that's true, but I heard it."

Ah classy. Blame the victim with something LESS than facts.

And he claimed that security was already outstanding (then why did they bring in tons of police officers AFTER the beating.) And the idea that extra lights in the parking lots would have helped security was laughable. (Then why did they set up more lights.)

When you consider that Stowe was wearing a Giants jersey, I am stunned that he DIDN'T say "Look at what he was wearing!"

McCourt and his lawyer did all but bring John Steigerwald in as a character witness.

What the hell are they thinking?

Did McCourt think "Hey, there's someone out there who still likes me... why don't I piss them off too"?

Even if his lawyer thought they needed to have a strategy for the case, why make this public?
The lawyer on Mason and Ireland poo pooed any PR hit the Dodgers might get for blaming Stowe for his own beating.

"I'm not a PR man. I'm a lawyer."

Then why the hell are you going to the airwaves? Why are you basically doing public relations for the Dodgers?

Short of McCourt beating up Bryan Stowe's son with his bare hands, I can't imagine any other way he could make his public image worse.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nobody could text message in Arlington last night?

In this day and age when everyone in the ballpark has a cell phone and sending texts and videos, you are honestly telling me that the Cardinals couldn't communicate with their bullpen last night?

They don't have ONE person with a cell phone? If they can't hear, send a damn text message.

No need to type out all of Rzepczynski. Rzep will do fine.

LaRussa's explanation for why Lance Lynn was in there and not Jason Motte was bizarre.
Why Rzepczynski was pitching to Mike Napoli may never be solved.

All I know is a few cell phones placed here or there could go a long way.
And short of that, do what Susan Sarandon did in Bull Durham and send a kid with a note.

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For those of you wondering how to pronounce Marc Rzepczynski...

It's pronounced the same as "Mark."

Hope this cleared things up.

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Hopefully this series is heading back to AWESOME - VILLE

OK... 5 games into the series and it's a damn good one.
We've had a tight opener...
A come from behind 9th inning rally in game 2...
A historic home run performance in game 3...
A kick ass pitching performance in game 4...
And tonight's game that Rod Serling would call strange.

So here we are. The Rangers have done something that no MLB team based in Texas has every done: Get to the brink of a World Series title.

And they are going back to St. Louis where a home town win can cause a winner take all finale.

Now some World Series have been classics without going 7 games.
1992, 1993 and 1996 all had amazing endings and they all fell just short of the limit.

But in order for this season to have the amazing finale that we've been missing in baseball for nearly a decade, either the Cardinals have to win on Wednesday and force a game 7... or game 6 has to go 18 or 19 innings.

It's been a terrific World Series so far.
We're not at "Classic" level yet.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Mr. Holland's Opus

Derek Holland pitched into the 9th inning tonight.
For most teams that would be unthinkable. After 7, you automatically take the pitcher out.

But these are the Rangers and they actually look at what is happening on the FIELD to make decisions. He was cruising and there was no reason to wake up the Cardinals offense. Remember St. Louis scored 16 runs the night before... a good deal of that against the Texas bullpen.

So why take out the pitcher?

So Holland made sure the bullpen pitched less than an inning tonight.
And for the first time since 2003, a World Series is tied at 2 games a piece.

It's been 9 years since the World Series has gone 7 games.

A thrilling 7 game series with a tremendous finale could go a long way to help baseball nationally.

(So would playing the post season in SEPTEMBER but that's another post.)

For the good of baseball, hope St. Louis and Texas split the next two games. There are kids getting their driver's license who don't remember watching a seventh game of the World Series.

Time for that to change.
And time to thank Derek Holland.
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Well Albert Pujols shut ME up!

What can I say?
If you thought Albert post Game 2 acting bush league, then he showed today that he belongs in a HIGHER league.

Seriously... I am totally speechless on his performance.
He basically said "You want a comment from my previous game? How about THIS as a comment?"

5 for 6?
6 RBI?
Putting his name along side Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson with single game World Series dominance?

Doing this on the biggest stage may have put a year or two on his contract too.

Folks, I wasn't crazy about his style after Game 2.
But holy CRAP did he deliver substance.

Lest we forget, the Rangers scored 7 runs and Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse only retired 9 batters... and it was a Cardinals blow out.

I think Cardinal fans would take that rather than a quote.
That WAS his quote.

Save for that extra inning meltdown by the Cardinals, we'd be looking at a St. Louis sweep tomorrow.

And yeah, Allen Craig was terrific the first three games... but after tonight, if the Cardinals win is there ANY doubt who the MVP should be?

I for one was hoping Albert would avoid the press tonight too... just to let his bat do the talking.

It was loud and clear tonight.
And all I could do is shut up!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hey Dumb Ass Rangers Fan...

Did you REALLY think that nobody would catch you throwing that Wiffle Ball onto the field?
You DO know the game is televised with a crap load of cameras, right?

Oh Texans you ARE new to baseball, aren't you?

I hope we never find out this chumps name.
His 15 minutes of fame are up.
But his night in jail isn't.

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Can you imagine if A-Rod ducked the press like Pujols did?

Pujols made a critical error in the 9th inning of a World Series game that his team lost.
I wouldn't say it cost the Cardinals the game but it didn't help.

And the memory of it would have faded with a quick "I screwed up, let's go get them on Saturday" comment from Albert Pujols after the game.

Yet he wasn't there. Neither were veterans like Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina. But none of them are the face of the franchise. None of them are carrying the torch lit by Rogers Hornsby and been carried by Dizzy Dean, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith.

This is a historic Cardinals run and Pujols is the identity of this team. And he's been there front and center during their mind boggling charge to the playoffs.

Thursday was one of the few stumbles since the beginning of September. Pujols needed to be there. Instead it was Jason Motte and the younger players covering his butt.

According to Yahoo Sports, his response to people objecting to being a no show for the press was he didn't realize that he should have been talking to reporters. And that his "responsibility is to God and my family. I don't have any responsibility to anybody else."

Um... horse crap.

Pujols isn't a rookie. This is his 11th big league season and third trip to the World Series. Maybe he noticed that a few reporters asked questions after the game. And they tend to ask questions to the BIG STARS. This isn't a new development.

And the media savvy MVP face of the franchise should deflect attention away from some of the younger players.

And Pujols DOES have responsibility beyond the invisible creator of the universe and his wife and kids. It is to the franchise that he will be asking to pay him hundreds of millions of dollars in a few weeks.

He will be asked to be paid not just as someone to put up numbers but be the face of the team... including in front of the media when they make an error in the 9th inning of a critical World Series game.

Which brings me somehow to A-Rod.
A-Rod is someone who can do no right in New York. He's won 2 MVPs as a Yankee and led them to the 2009 World Series title. Which makes him a bum in Yankee fan's eyes.

Take a look at this headline from the New York Post after the death of Muammar Qaddafi.

(Did we EVER figure out how to spell his name?)

Look at the bottom of the headline.


The New York press can't even report the death of a crazy despot without taking a dig at A-Rod.

(Thanks to friend of Sully Baseball, Lisa Swan of Subway Squawkers, for pointing out the headline.)

A-Rod gets crap for stuff that happens 9,000 miles away from him.

Can you imagine if he ducked the press after a World Series game?
What kind of storm would he endure if he screwed up a relay and it set up the game winning rally? And compound that with being in the steam room afterwards!

And saying "What? I didn't know that the reporters liked to talk to the big stars after a World Series game!"

Or saying "I didn't think it was important that I talk to reporters after a critical World Series loss. Besides, they could ask those questions to Greg Golson or Jesus Montero."

Or saying "All that matters is Zeus and my daughter. My responsibility isn't to my teammates nor to the team that is putting a quarter of a billion dollars into my checking account."

He might actually be MORE hated than Qaddafi (or Khadafy for that matter) in New York.

(Then again if JETER ducked the press, he would be praised for being above the fray and bringing the dignity of DiMaggio and Gehrig back to the clubhouse, but that's another post.)

I'm not a Pujols hater. I made a video which was basically a love letter to him. I think he is one of the most exciting and best players I have EVER seen (please don't test positive.)

But this whole "What? I'm supposed to meet the media? WHY?" stance is bush league. And something for him to keep in mind as he approaches free agency.

He has 11 years of eternal love in the back in St. Louis where he could get away with this.
Everywhere else he has exactly zero.

Be accountable and don't throw your teammates under the proverbial bus. That's as much a part of being the team leader as pounding out homers.

And I don't know if there is a supreme creator of the universe or not, but if there is I'm guessing God would say "Albert, what in the name of me are you doing avoiding the press after a World Series game?"

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