Baseball Diversity

While reading an article about the lack of black players in baseball I posed a question to my coworker. The exchange went as follows:

shep: do the cardinals have a single black player on their team?
Coworker: don’t think so
Coworker: well brendan ryan kinda
shep: lol

For those who might not understand why that is funny, pictured below is Brendan Ryan.

Mark McGwire

Obviously the media is abuzz with news that former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire has admitted to using steroids. For most people this comes as no surprise. After the investigation by Congress and numerous accusations of some of baseball’s top players, it would be hard to find anyone who didn’t think that he didn’t use steroids at some part of his career. I really don’t have much to say on the subject besides, who cares?

McGwire was from a different time in baseball. The ’80’s and ’90’s were full of ‘roided ballplayers and no one seemed to care. Major League Baseball looked the other way. Why should they care when players and owners were making money hand-over-fist? Baseball is a very different game now. If Albert Pujols was found to have used steroids it would be a huge blow to the game, especially in a time where they actually are looking for players who may use and it’s assumed that all players are not using. Baseball wasn’t always like that. Look at McGwire, Giambi, Conseco, Bonds. It’d be hard to look at those guys and not know. We did know, we just didn’t care.

That’s not to say that McGwire didn’t do anything wrong. Because other players were using doesn’t make it any less of an offense for McGwire to use. The past is the past though. I still contend that McGwire did more good for the game of baseball than he did harm. After the players strike baseball saw a huge drop in attendance. The home run race of 1998 got people interested in the game again. There was an excitement in the air that I never experienced prior or since. Everyone was excited to see McGwire and Sosa go at it. It brought people back to the game and made fans out of newcomers.

Some people are saying that McGwire is only coming because he thinks it will help his chances in the Hall of Fame. I disagree. He is now the Cardinals hitting coach and there is no way that he would be able to do his job without addressing the issue. He did it with class (a lot more class than how he handled his testimony before Congress). He has nothing to be ashamed of in that aspect. I respect him for finally owning up to his past. I think the matter is settled and all his focus should be on helping the Cardinals be the best they can be in the upcoming season.

Boycotting the Cardinals

To quote Network, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m boycotting the St. Louis Cardinals. Yesterday’s events were the final straw. In case you weren’t aware, the Cardinals acquired relief pitcher Blaine Boyer from Atlanta. What’s so bad about this? Well, let me give you some stats. The Cardinals relief pitchers have a combine ERA of 4.98. Atlanta, the team that Boyer came from, had a combined ERA of 7.36, and that was without Boyer. Boyer is so bad, that he could even make the pitching staff of a club that has an ERA of over 7! Yet the Cardinals want to add him to their relief staff. Oh yeah, and Boyer, on his own, has an ERA of 40 this season. Yes, 40. On top of that, he hasn’t actually had a decent pitching season in years. I guess he’s the perfect addition to a pitching staff full of injuries and weak arms.

The Cardinals’ front office has shown this past year that they don’t care to improve the team. They just want to take your hard earned money and pocket it instead of making a team that can win. What is even worse is now they are actively making trades that are bound to make the team worse. Why should I give over my hard-earned money to line the pockets of the front office instead of supporting a team that can win. If they were trying to improve the team and they were losing, that would be one thing, but they aren’t. John Mozeliak needs to be fired before he’s run out of town. I will not pay for a Cardinals ticket until the Cardinals organization get their acts together. They refuse to spend money, so I refuse to spend mine.

The Wave

I love going to baseball games, especially if my beloved Cardinals are playing. One of the things that always amazes me about baseball games is the wave. I know a lot of people hate doing the wave, but there’s something about it that I love. I love to watch it go around a stadium, the thousands of people joining together for a few seconds to continue the awesome spectacle. Even though I love doing the wave at the games, I could never start one. I do not have the type of leadership (or drunkenness) that is required to make a stadium of 40k+ fans climb to their feet, sections upon sections in unison.

I remember I was at a game last year. It was about the 7th inning, which most fans of baseball know that the wave usually begins in the later innings, and the wave had not been started at that point. I look over to a man that was about 2 sections to my left and a guy stands up, looks around him, and starts yelling at his section to stand up. They do. It hits the next section and only about half of the people stood up this time. Then it hit my section. I make it a rule not to stand in the wave too early. There has to be just the right amount of people. The wave ended. He starts it back up, this time it goes another section before it dies. Not to be deterred, he starts it again and it goes even further. Excitement starts to build. This is when I decide to join in. He starts it again and now people on the other side of the stadium start to take notice. His section stands and sits rapidly. Then the next. Then my section. And it continues on. Will it continue? It does. It makes it all the way to the other side of the stadium. It jumps the gap! It continues on and reaches the origination section. The guy has accomplished his feat but that doesn’t make him stop. He continues the wave and it grows and grows with each turn around the stadium. Then almost instantly, the wave ends. The inning is over. For a brief moment, that guy controlled an entire stadium. People rise to their feet, but not for the wave. As Mike Shannon says, it’s time for a nice frosty cold one.

The Super Bowl

I didn’t do anything exciting for this Super Bowl, and nothing exciting happened to me, unlike previous years. I’ve been sick for the last few days so I just wanted to chill at home and try to get better. The game was an exciting game. I wanted to see the Cardinals win because Warner is a former Ram and because the Steelers have seen their fair share of Super Bowl victories. Sadly, it didn’t happen. The Cardinals had plenty of chances to win, but they just couldn’t do it.

The commercials during the game were pretty boring. Nothing great. In fact, only two stick out in my head. The first Bud Light commercial in the office meeting was decent and so was the Hulu advertisement with Alec Baldwin. Other than that, the commercials sucked. AB went traditional with the clydesdales in an attempt to make people forget they are now owned by a foreign company. Too many horse commercials guys. One is enough. And did anyone actually see anything 3D in the 3D commercials? I know I didn’t. Maybe my eyes don’t work with the glasses. I’ll try them out again with tonight’s episode of Chuck. Also, did Hollywood forget that original ideas in movies are better than remakes? Transformers 2, The Land of the Lost, G.I. Joe… Yep, it seems so.

The halftime show I didn’t even watch. Why? I’ve never been a fan of Bruce Springsteen. I’m not Courtney Cox and this isn’t the 1980’s. I will admit, the short clips I did see were better than Paul McCartney’s half-time show, but that’s not saying much.

Overall it was a decent game, and while I didn’t have to hear Warner praise Jesus for his win (I guess he didn’t pray hard enough), I did have to hear Santonio Holmes explain how great he is and he wanted the ball for the last play because great players always want the ball so they can step up to make great plays. If his head was any bigger he might have floated out of Raymond James Stadium.