Cardinals 2008

Just 17 months ago, the St. Louis Cardinals were the newly-minted World Champions of baseball. Now the odds of this season's record being above .500 are, I'd say, roughly .500. Obviously, a great deal of the success of the '08 version of the Cards depends on how effective the starting pitching is and, related to that, when (if at all) will the injured starters return and to what effect. Nothing new there. Almost every team, every year, has pitching questions.

The big league Birds are in Springfield tonight and tomorrow for contests with their AA brethren. The Cardinals of St. Louis squeaked by this evening, 3-2. I watched most of it, and, I like many of the young Birds, St. Louis' and Springfield's. I think it was good that St. Louis began turning the roster over and is beginning to develop more of it's own talent. They may fall off a bit in the division, but I think it's good in the long run providing the drafts are effective.

Long and short of it, I think the STL Cards will be in the upper half of the division, not the lower. I think they will be a bit better than the national perception. If the Central is underwhelming again, they may even be in the race, like last year, until mid-September. I am assuming we get at least half a season from each of the four injured starters and that will mean the difference between contending and disappearing.

Random thoughts -

There is no arguing the fact that Tony LaRussa is a terrific manager, terribly sucessful and bound for the Hall of Fame. Why do I still feel about him like I did about substitute teachers? He's OK, but he's not a Cardinal and I'll glad when we get a "Cardinal" manager again. I know, I can't stand prosperity.

I do need to get new glasses, it's been a while since the last prescription change and I can tell it in little ways, like preferring to remove them to read. But there's something I'm seeing that I'm pretty sure an optometrist can't fix. Every time I look at Troy Glaus I see Tom Brunansky. Mercy.


One Face, Two Face, Blue Face, Red Face

I cannot resist this observation from James Lileks, every man's friend. The quote is from a few days ago, but you'll get the drift:
This makes the second “let me explain my religion to you” speech (by Obama) in this election; I would be gratified if McCain came out with his face painted blue and said “Hell, I’m a Druid. Get used to it.”

Funny! I don't know if I should think so, but I laugh every time I read it!

Excuse me while I read it again.


Stuff I See

It is raining to beat the band here in the Ozarks. I sincerely hope there is a band that deserves a good beating. Rush comes to mind. Anyway, as for the rain, the weather guessers are suggesting we will get upwards of 7 to 9 inches over a couple of days. There is water standing, or spilling, everywhere.

I know that vengence is the Lord's. However, I cannot help but feel just a wee bit of glee reading this story. Some of those infamous Nigerian scammers are getting their comeuppance, and in kind, which is especially satisfying.

Will someone explain to me how a woman who was married to Paul McCartney for, what, about 17 minutes, deserves 49 million bucks? Please, I'm not mitigating the mess they've made, the broken marriage or the responsiblility of the father to support his child. But something seems way out of whack with this decision.

Everyone is all abuzz concerning Obama's speech today. From what I can tell, he is standing by his pastor and blaming racism for the problem and suggests the answer is more government. Hmm - this is the agent of change? His speech has been hailed in some quarters and panned in others. A portion:
For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s
generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. . . .And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews.

I am hopeful there are days when Rev. Wright preaches Bible and gives voice to the gospel in church. But this business of anger and bitterness being voiced in the pulpit is tragic. Anger and bitterness are not emotions which are exclusively the domain of any particular people group. We all are tempted to be angry and bitter at times and it is sin to be renounced. It is what the gospel would save us from. Any of us.


Wouldn't You Like to Be a Pepper, Too?

I couldn't resist running this bit from Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News:

Baylor's athletic director addressed one disturbing Big 12 trend after fans threw debris, including plastic soda pop bottles, at the Bears' last two games in Waco.
Maybe now you know why Baptists don't drink. They can't even hold their Dr Pepper.

I admit I'm a fan. Of Dr. Pepper, that is. I also admit it's an acquired taste.

We discovered when we lived in Texas that Dr. Pepper was treated with nearly as much affection as football in the Lone Star state. However, about the only place you could find it in northern New York was in bottles or cans at the store. No one had it at the fountain. McDonald's didn't have it.

Regarding Baptists and drinking, I . . . OH! Look at the time . . .