Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Chronicles Of Jupiter: Plan B And The Voyage Of The Misfits

Hat tip to Cards' Clubhouse and STL Today for the following pictures of spring training. Thanks, people.

Unfortunately, the details of these pics on those sites were pretty sketchy.

Therefore, you know what I had to do, don't you?

That's right. Although I missed out last year, this February I once again dispatched my team of crack reporters to Jupiter, FL, to find out the stories
behind the photos.

I'm glad I did.

I am very happy to report the trip was a success. Let's learn what mayhem is occurring this spring.

I don't use that word 'mayhem' lightly either. Check this out:

Albert Pujols is about to deck Minnesota's Alexi Casilla. A-Rod looks worried, because he knows he's next.

But why, you ask? It took some deep digging, but we've uncovered the story.

It's really quite simple.

Tony La Russa's frustration at the lack of off-season activity from the front office has lead him to take matters into his own hands. We kept noticing him muttering something about "Plan B" under his breath. And what is Plan B?

La Russa's plan is for the Cardinals to take over Major League Baseball through the use of muscle and intimidation. He figures if he can't win squarely through on-the-field merits, then maybe he can win by making other teams fear for their lives when playing the Cardinals.

"They send one of our pitchers to the showers, we send one of theirs to the hospital. They put one of our players on the DL, we send one of theirs to the morgue. THAT'S the St. Louis way!" La Russa was overheard saying.

He's even considering massive "shock and awe" excursions into other teams camps.

Sitting in his "war room", here Tony goes over last minute preparations for the invasion of Port St. Lucie, spring training home of the Mets. Such weighty decisions as sending his 'boys' into harms way have proved difficult for our manager.

La Russa has even gone so far as to disguise his bullpen in order to infiltrate other teams camps. Here are two of his "Spies/Relievers" dressed up like Bruce Sutter, shortly before departing for some espionage at the Cubs' camp in Arizona.

Believe it or not, not every Cardinals player was on board with La Russa's plan.

Fortunately for Cardinals fans, the resistance was no match for Tony's taser, which he used liberally to bring everyone in line.

Tony is not without help in the personnel department, either. His good bud, Bill Parcells is back in camp and has been given the rank of General. No, he's not there to put together a chorus line like in 2007, but to organize for the Cardinals' eventual occupation of the state of Florida. Here are La Russa and Parcells strategizing a potential amphibious landing at St. Pete.

Due to the newfound aggressiveness of the team, the Cardinals have a new slogan this year. "Red Means Go" has been replaced by "Cracking Heads And Taking Names."

Our man Albert Pujols is definitely on board with the team's new philosophy. He and his bat may single-handedly take out the Yankees and Red Sox facilities this weekend.

A new slogan is not the only thing new for 2009. Here, Brian Barton and Skip Schumaker show off the new caps to be worn for Sunday afternoon home games.

They'll wear these when the weather warms up, but the new "Snuggie" uniforms for those cold night games have yet to be unveiled.

"I kinda like 'em", quipped Schumaker about the new hats. "They keep the sun out of your eyes, and they're a real good place to hide your wallet during games. The pockets on these pants are too small.

There are some other new looks to anticipate this season. For instance, Catcher Yadier Molina has gone "toothless".

Said Molina- "I got the idea from people who shave their heads when they lose a few hairs up top. It's the same principle at work. I had to get a couple of teeth pulled this winter, so I just figured 'why not go ahead and yank them all?' Looks more natural."

To which he then added
-" And I feel so much younger, too. My gums are as smooth as a 4 month old's."

Well, our next players aren't quite that young, but there is some youth in camp this year. Check out these two:

Standing next to 12 year old 3B candidate Brett Wallace (seated) is the Cardinals top prospect, 8 year old CF Colby Rasmus. Rasmus' main complaint in camp this year? There were no cap sizes smaller than 6 1/2. Hopefully as the season progresses and he continues maturing, his young melon will fit better into that over-sized lid.

Now, I don't want to leave you with the impression St. Louis has a youth movement going. They have their share of old-timers, too.

No, this isn't Colby Rasmus again in the photo above on the left. But it is his uncle, Leif Garrett, who is also trying to catch on in the Redbirds' congested outfield.

And there's non-roster invitee Whip Willis, who turns 67 next month. He may be the Cardinals next closer if no one steps up during spring training.

Here he is knocking some rust out of his fossilized right shoulder. "It don't worry me to throw this hard at this age," said Willis. "Besides, my pacemaker's up by my LEFT shoulder."

Not everyone on the Cards' has such a positive outlook. That's Cards' pitching coach Dave Duncan in the background of our next picture. He's so depressed over the lack of upgrades in the rotation and the bullpen that he hasn't changed out of this black shirt and jeans ensemble since he left St. Louis last October.

"Why bother getting dressed?" a despondent Duncan chirped. "We're all going to die, anyway."

His mood spiraled even more into the tank when this next guy showed up trying to win the closer's spot:


Yes, that's Jason Motte, who ironically has a twin brother named "Butt-head."

Former catcher Mike Matheny attempted a comeback with the team this year.

However, due to an abject failure at laying off high hard ones, LaRussa has moved him to what was called "the front lines". He hasn't been seen for a couple of days.

At long last, the Cardinals are set to unveil their secret weapon this year. The invisible bat. This thing is reportedly 9 feet long and 8 feet wide at the end, making it virtually impossible not to smash the ball over the Arch whenever a home run is needed. Yet no one can complain about the bat's legality because no one has seen it. Here is Bryan Anderson giving it a try.

The Cardinals think this secret weapon may ultimately be what gets them back to the World Series this year.

Yeah. Like any team that goes around doing stuff like this is going to win the Pennant:

As usual, it looks like it is going to turn out to be a wacky year in Cardinals' baseball. At least from my vantage point. Thanks guys, for this incredible report.

(Disclaimer- this post was for entertainment purposes only. If you're too dumb to know this isn't exactly real, please exit this site immediately).

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