Monday, October 02, 2006

Weekend Observatories

- It continues to be unusually and inexplicably warm. For winter.

- The Cardinals FINALLY are in. Whew. Doesn't matter how they got there, they are there. Now anything can happen, although I'm realistic enough to know anything probably won't. On the other hand, the Cardinals ARE overdue for a hot streak. Now's as good o' time as any, fellas.

- Watching the clubhouse celebration yesterday I felt a twinge of pity for Ronnie Belliard. There was the usual chaos, laughing, and spraying of beverages among comrades. Then, out of the corner of one camera's vantage point, I caught a glimpse of Belliard. He was just kind of standing there, no one around him but Juan Encarnacion. Kind of like he felt out of place or like he didn't really fit in. Like that awkward kid on a playground, or the new kid on the block. Or, maybe the celebration was winding down anyway and he just was finished.

- What is the deal with the little black bugs that get on your skin this time of year and pinch you hard? What are they? They're less than 1/2 mm in size, but man those little suckers can cause PAIN! It was such a nice weekend weatherwise (for winter, especially), and those little critters spoiled it somewhat.

- Man, Da Bears look good. Too bad it's not January.

- Nice tackling, vaunted San Diego Chargers defense. There's nothing like aggressive defensive players bringing guys down inside the 5 yard line when protecting a lead in the final minute. They should try it some time.

- The Jets-Colts game was the most exciting game of many this weekend. That last play, inspired by Cal-Stanford, is something I expect more often but rarely see.

- The AFC is hard to get a handle on this year. Just when you think the Pats might be done, and the Bengals are the heir apparent, New England puts a beat down on them. Go figure. Maybe this is the Colts year?

- Congratulations go out to the Cleveland Browns for their victory! And they scored 24 points, Quipper!

- I'm going to give out an idiot of the week award, in honor of the Quipper. This is a no brainer. It's Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth. Who was ejected from Sunday's game with Dallas. First he stomped, without provocation, on Dallas C Andre Gurode's helmetless melon. And then proceded to argue with the official and throw his helmet. And the runnerup idiot award goes to the officials in that game, who apparently didn't eject Haynesworth until after he threw his helmet following the incident. I mean, kicking a guy's bulb so if filets open might get you a flag, but if you throw the helmet, you're in real trouble, man.

- The Cardinals last week staggering towards an epic meltdown reminds me of the climactic scene from For A Few Dollars More, one of my favorites. Here's a clip. The part of the Cardinals, who seem to be dead-men walking, is played by Lee Van Cleef (Col. Mortimer). The part of the Astros, who seem to have the Cardinals by the bag, is being played by Gian Maria Volante (El Indio). And Clint...well he's Pujols, Spiezio, and the Atlanta Braves, who all acted together to rescue the Cardinals.

And in the words of the great Clint..."NOW we start!" The playoffs, that is. And going in to battle with Pujols and Carpenter is not a bad position to be in. "BRAVO!" indeed.


  1. Scottius!

    - Has Belliard been the everyday 2nd baseman? He's usually an affable, high-energy guy. Something must really be zany in that Cards clubhouse if he's out of place.

    - Tackling? In the red zone? You're kidding? They all tried to tackle him high, instead of taking out his legs. Duh!

    - Yeah Browns. Woo hoo. They get Carolina next.

    - Good Idiot of the Week winners. Or is that "bad" winners?

    - Good luck, Cards, but not too much. Read my latest post. (Sorry Scottius.)

  2. Quipper!

    - Belliard is the everyday 2nd baser. He seems kind of carefree. I've seen him hanging out with Albert in the dugout, but I think he is just trying to fit in right now. If he comes back, it will probably help to be with the team from Spring Training.

    - Who gets who? Carolina thinks they "get" the Browns.


  3. Scottius!

    Belliard became a fan fave. My bet is he will be the same with St. Louis next year, if they sign him. I think he is a free agent.

    I'd venture to guess that Carolina will whoop Cleveland this week.

    Yeah, I know, I'm weird. I guess this confessional Lutheran has a sentimental bone somewhere in his body.

  4. Quipper!

    I know it's a business, but I think trading a fan fave could backfire.

    Maybe the Browns' offensive coordinator has a "super-secret" plan in store for the Carolina D that will win the game for them. Ahem.

    Confession is good, Quipper!

  5. My understanding was that we would be able to negotiate with Belliard for a new contract (since he'll be a free agent) earlier if he wasn't playing for the Indians anymore. So trading him was maybe supposedly a secret move to get him back, if we still need a good second baseman. I think we will, but I've heard trades will be "creative" this year, so who knows? Maybe Belliard felt sad that his old buddies from the Tribe couldn't be celebrating like that.

    I wish our offensive coordinator had a plan, period. Or a brain.

    No team from New York can win! Cardinals all the way!

  6. Scottius!

    Yeah, Cleveland fans definitely know how trading (or waiving) a fan favorite can backfire. How? Let me count the ways...Colavito, Kosar, Vizquel, Thome, Manny, Ron Harper, etc., etc., etc.

    Maybe if the Browns play possum, and act as though they're not playing, the Carolina D will fall asleep. Oops, they've used that one each first half so far; I guess it's not a secret any more. :-)

  7. Barb!

    Thanks! Seeing another Yankees-Mets WS would make listening to Tim McCarver that much more painful. May it never happen, whether the Cardinals make it or not.

  8. Quipper!

    Perhaps the Indians can trade some of their young talent to bring back Manny!

    Was he REALLY a fan favorite?

  9. I think Manny was a fan favorite because he got it done, and he doesn't seem to have *really* started acting up until he got to Boston. Just "Manny being Manny," y'know? We poor beleagured Indians fans cheered for Albert Belle when he played for us too, although he hadn't committed any felonies yet.

    I don't see what we could have done to keep Thome. He followed the money, plain and simple. And I don't know that losing his home runs was that bad compared to keeping his strike outs. He hasn't helped the Phillies or Chicago. Maybe he really is "cursed" (Cleveland radio reference here.)