Category: Baseball

Good Night . . . and Roll Tide

(Originally published August 4, 2011; edited and republished August 27, 2020)

It all started because the highfalutin Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton, Missouri, a well-heeled inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, didn’t have any Diet Coke in the house.

Hard to believe, I know, but true. All they had was Pepsi. I’m a Southern man, and I don’t cotton well to Yankee pop (HQ in NY), its North Carolina roots notwithstanding. I blame my mama. She filled my baby bottle with original Coke so she could get some precious sleep (pretty sure she didn’t read Dr. Spock).

It worked. She caught some Zs, and I caught an addiction and a mouthful of cavities.… Read the rest

The Cardinal Catechism

“It doesn’t matter what happens tonight, the Cardinals are the best team in baseball and Cardinal fans are the best in baseball. Period. End of story. That’s just the way I was raised.”

Eyegal went on: “I actually feel sorry for the Rangers because they’re not us.”

She said all that even as Chris Carpenter struggled to locate his fastball and breaking pitch, giving up two quick 1st-inning runs in the process. She would not be deterred.

It wasn’t because she was still high on the fumes of the previous night’s wild and zany late-inning heroics in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.… Read the rest

“I Really Don’t Know…

crashdavis.jpg_art_160_20080902174136It’s not exactly amoeba to man, but as you can see, there’s been a little evolution going on around here nonetheless. Behold, Ocular Fusion 3.0!

Thanks to Greg Kendall-Ball (known in Church of Christ blogging circles as the “Blogfather”) for lending me a hand and lifting me up from the primordial goo that was WordPress 2.0. The quantum leap forward to 2.8.4 feels downright bipedal. Now if I can just get my cranium to expand a few more centimeters, I should be good to go.

The new WordPress theme is “Deep Silent,” (very apropos considering how quiet I’ve been the last few months), and the “old timey” eye exam header is from The Ophthalmoscope And How To Use It (1st Ed.,… Read the rest

Monday Morning Meltdowns

It’s Monday, and hopefully yours is off to a good start. But if it’s not, perhaps I can lend you some much needed perspective with a few Monday morning meltdowns gleaned from fan boards and blogs over the past couple of days. First up, an Ole Miss fan accepts the inevitable:

“We are not today, tomorrow, next week, next century in a position to be competing for conference or national championships in any sport. Period. End of Story. Take it to the bank. Put it in your pipe and smoke it. We can be competitive, but not champions.”

Over in Hawgville, things aren’t any better:

“Yet here we are again, after yet another blowout, and the same old yada,yada,yada.

Read the rest

Stars Fell on Alabama

“Stars Fell on Alabama” late Saturday night under the Tuscaloosa lights. Just in case you missed it the first time, here it is again. If you’re a Razorback fan, that one may not be safe for work.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer! And here’s a sight for sore eyes if there ever was one. Meanwhile, back at The Barn, the smell of smoke lingered in the air.

In Montgomery, the Faulkner Eagles made their home debut, and JRB was there, passing on his love of Southern Game Day Tradition to his young daughter. And by the way, congrats to the Montgomery Biscuits who came through in dramatic fashion.Read the rest

There’s No Wicking in Baseball!

As a runner, I’ve become hooked on so-called “wicking” fabrics like Coolmax and Nike’s Dri-Fit. The stuff uses capillary action to draw moisture away from the skin and toward the outside of the garment where it can harmlessly evaporate, leaving one cooler, drier and less chafed. And if you’ve ever gone running in 90 degree weather while wearing 100% cotton, you know what a big, bloody problem chafing can be (I’ll spare you the gory details).

But et tu baseball?

As USA Today reports, Major League Baseball has announced that beginning opening day this year, players will be tossing aside their wool caps for a newer high-tech, moisture-wicking polyester blend lid that, in theory at least, will keep players drier and more comfortable on the field.… Read the rest

Wainwright Saves

jesus-saves.jpgInto the sea of Cardinal red which filled downtown St. Louis during yesterday’s victory parade and celebration waded Dave Finke of Maryland Heights, Missouri. For Finke, a sidewalk evangelist, the “fields were red unto salvation.”

Hopping aboard a pair of stilts for maximum visibility, Finke carried a “Jesus Saves” sign in one hand and a cross in the other. He ambled about among the revelers, a veritable John the Baptist crying out in a wilderness of concrete, glass and steel.

Several partygoers stopped to have their pictures taken with Finke and engage him in conversation. Others offered up their own commentary asides as they passed him by.… Read the rest

If I Were a Rich Man

When the final out was recorded in the 2006 World Series, I was nowhere near a television set. Instead, I was watching Tevye dance and prance across the stage in the Harding University production of Fiddler on the Roof. But I still knew within seconds that the Cardinals had won:


10:25pm 10/27/06

cardinals.gifThat’s the text message I received from Number Three Son back in Huntsville who was watching and recording the game for me. You’ll notice that there are a lot of exclamation points in that message. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Number Three dumped the Tigers somewhere along Game Three and came back to the fold.… Read the rest

Rain, Rain Go Away

Wednesday night’s Game Four of the World Series was a rainout. Play will hopefully resume today, which means we’ll be listening to the game on the radio, at night, as we travel to Arkansas to visit my alma mater Harding University (Hail!).

I’ve always enjoyed driving at night and having my pick from seemingly hundreds of radio stations whose signals skip across the lower atmosphere from sea to shining sea. Although my overly visually-stimulated sons would disagree, there’s something particularly dramatic and exciting about listening to a baseball game on the radio, especially at night. Without the visual cues, one is left to fill in the gaps, and radio announcers tend to be very expressive and excitable as they call the play-by-play and react histrionically to home runs and 6-4-3 double plays.… Read the rest

Sweet Lou and Mr. Tiger Too

The Cardinals gained a 2-1 game lead in the 2006 World Series last night behind a gem of a pitching performance by Chris Carpenter. The Cardinal ace lived up to his Cy Young Award credentials, tossing a 3-hit shutout for a 5-0 Redbird win. The victory was overdue relief for longsuffering Cardinal fans who had not witnessed a World Series game victory in the Gateway City since Ronald Reagan was president (1987).

Currently, one of the most popular Cardinals player is “Sir Albert” Pujols. Before that, the fan favorite was Ozzie “The Wizard” Smith. Are you picking up on a trend here?… Read the rest

A Mound of a Man

“I guess you could say I’m the redemption of the fat man. A guy will be watching me on TV and see that I don’t look in any better shape than he is. ‘Hey Maude,’ he’ll holler, ‘get a load of this guy and he’s a twenty game winner.'”

–Mickey Lolich

Since last January, I’ve lost almost 40 lbs. I had packed on some weight gain from a combination of middle age sloth and a nearly 3 month bout with bronchitis; when I tipped the scales at just over 200 lbs, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.

With some inspiration from my buddy Ed, I discovered ways to change the way I eat (along with how I think about food) plus I increased my weekly running mileage to 25-30 miles a week.… Read the rest

Meet Us In St. Louis

rogers.jpgWe’re heading back to “The Gateway City” for Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night. Not surprisingly, the Tigers bounced back last night with a 3-1 victory over the Cardinals behind the strong pitching of 40-something Kenny “The Gambler” Rogers. Normally I like seeing “old guys” performing well on the playing field because it gives me hope, but I don’t like it as much when they’re wearing the opposite team’s uniform.

One thing’s for sure: Rogers missed the lesson in kindergarten about washing one’s hands before a game. In the first inning, Fox Sports commentators spied a dark spot on the thumb and palm of Roger’s left throwing hand.… Read the rest