Goodbye, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

Yes, we've moved on. R&C; was fun while it lasted but Brian and me (Brad) became increasingly dissatisfied with the blog. OK, it was mostly me. I wanted a new blog, a new forum, a new fix. Just something new. And so, Doolittle Brothers has come into being. Sports, especially the NBA & MLB, culture - whatever strikes our fancy. Update your bookmarks and give it a chance.


Wrapping up 2006

Well, 2006 certainly carved out a long-lasting Cardinals memory for all of us. Still can't believe it. Victory beer hair!

Getting MLB tickets can be very frustrating. All I really want to know is when single-game tickets will be going on sale. But despite the fact that there are numerous links, ads and top story blurbs regarding Cardinals 2007 tickets on their official site, this info is unavailable. Perhaps the exact date is not set, but that could at least be clearly conveyed. I also find the labeling of multi-game packages very goofy (ex. Pujols Packs, LaRussa Plan). It is nonsensical … I suppose Lee Smith should be in the Hall of Fame based on who is already there. I’m no fan of how closers are severely overrated, but what stands out about Smith is the fact he threw 83-plus inning for seven straight years. Those 1-plus innings saves are on an entirely different plane than the single-inning closes. Smith also amassed over 1,000 career innings as a reliever. His batting stats are funny: Smith struck out 42 times in 67 career plate appearances but did hit one HR in his three career hits.


Old school is usually good

I was extremely surpised to just hear that Jay Randolph, Sr. will take care of play-by-play duties on next season's KSDK/Channel 11 broadcasts. My first reaction was a vision of enjoyable Sunday afternoons listening to an old, but very familiar voice. I've actually came to tolerate Ricky Horton pretty well, and like the guy generally. He did not go well Bob Carpenter (cornry overdose) - but has improved since. But with Jay I do have concern. It is very awkward to like an announcer, but have to almost 'root' for him to not make mistakes. It was very difficult with Jack Buck, but he did really decline - VERY understably so - in his last few seasons. But, we'll see. I hope it works. It may just come down to Jay's voice and whether it can mesh well the production ...


Waiting for the next move

It looks like the Winter Meetings may yield at least one significant move for the Cardinals, so the rest of this week may be interesting. There is a lot of buzz about Miguel Batista, but it’s not that exciting of a situation. He’s a durable, league average pitcher, though at age 36 is not as attractive as steady Jeff Suppan (age 30). If the money to Batista does not float above current market value, there is little reason to complain no matter how you break it down. Unless he gets more than a one-year deal. With Jason Schmidt, the situation is more alluring. Schmidt could potentially be the team’s second-best SP. His 2006 walk and ground ball ratios, and every other key stat, were right at or above his career marks.

One note on Batista: he tried to bean Tino Martinez from like 10 feet away during a scrap a few years back. Not that Cardinals fans would hold that against him.

Pretty excited about Adam Kennedy, though there is not much substance to justify this. He is just the next in line in the revolving 2B door. But it seems to be a better option than Ron Belliard. He hits lots of line drives and is only 31, so a surprise season (775-plus OPS?) seems possible. He's better than Aaron Miles!


Yes, they got it wrong

The announcement that Ryan Howard won the NL MVP was no surprise. But it is not the correct choice. Still, it has been clear since mid-September that Howard's power numbers would overwhelm the voters. Howard had five more hits, 11 more homers and 20 more RBIs. Though it is close, Pujols' overall numbers are better and the one variable that tilts the offensive arugument to Pujols is Howard striking out 181 times compared to Phat's 50. Of course, Pujols won the Gold Glove at 1B, so that should have cemented the deal. Baseball writers sure screw up a lot. Except for Brad ... Very glad Scott Spiezio is back. His .860 OPS and positonal flexiiblity is extremely valuable and $4.5 million is very fair. Plus, we all love him.


Centerfield like it should be

Considering that my first full season as a Cardinals fan occurred in 1998, perhaps my most dominant, lingering Redbirds image to date is Jimmy Edmonds playing CF. So it was with great pleasure that I opened a 'breaking news' email early Sunday morning (late Sat. night for me) to see this contract announcement. No other Cardinals player in my nine years in STL has provided me with as many memorable moments as Jedmonds, though Albert is very close. I am pumped because at $8 million per year, this is not a really crazy deal, though still an arguable one. After winning it all, this is the kind of move you have to make -- and hope it works out. He did have 10 postseason RBIs.

I think losing Adam Kennedy and Kent Bottenfield has worked out just fine ... Hard to believe that Jedmonds' 229 homers is No. 4 on the Cardinals' all-time list.


A seemingly infinite 'whoo!'

Holy crap! Jeff Weaver! That prolonged hangover was well worth it. I do not claim to be among those who have genuinely waited 24 years for a World Series championship – but I’ve waited nearly 10 years. Since moving to St. Louis, I’ve watched nearly every single Cardinals game. The first couple of years I spent here coincided with the arrival of Mark McGwire and that hastened my rapidly-growing attraction to the team. I always liked the Cardinals and watched them as much as possible while growing up, but was a Royals fan into the late 1980s. The 90s – until 1996 – had me in Columbia, Mo. where I did not follow MLB that closely, especially after the strike. But as soon as I stepped foot into the offices of The Sporting News (where I worked for 4-plus years) I latched on for good.

So I’ve had plenty of painful Cardinals playoff moments the past decade. At least enough to make Adam Wainwright’s series-clinching strikeout one of the best moments of my sports life. A defining image and one that led to the best night I have ever spent in downtown St. Louis (with apologies to the great concerts I’ve seen at the Fabulous Fox Theatre). My journey began at Al Hrabosky’s Ballpark Saloon but once my friends arrived (all girls) it was clear we needed to move. Suffocating crowds will do that. So, it was onto Kilroy’s, where we had loud audio outside where we could also see the plasma TVs above the bar inside the joint. Great view of the game with clear sound for those tall enough. Frustrating at times for others. But we were right across the street from the stadium and could even hear the fans at certain times.

The final out led to a complete melee and it was glorious. Having beer dripping from your hair, beard and glasses is a pretty rare public experience. Really, anytime it becomes socially acceptable to pour beer on the head of a stranger is a good time. The high fives, yelling, hugging and partying went on deep into the night as the lovefest continued. I lost my voice, incurred mild injuries and drank until my balance was in question. I called about everyone I could think of, met up with Will (Deadspin.com) from New York, danced around the Stan Musial statue and drank beer inside the restrooms at pubs.

I woke up with beer hair. Surrounded my newspapers copies saying CHAMPIONS. Yes, I had a headache. But I was relieved from my baseball heartache.

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