We are under a week away from the start of the season and plenty of questions still remain to be answered for your St. Louis Cardinals. You can check a number of publications - local and national - and they will give you some kind of "Top 10 Questions" list for each team, addressing numerous decisions that need to be made by the beginning of the baseball season. Our own Gabe Kiley did a great job prepping you for the season with the top six in his column Friday. But there are so many questions that do not make the cut and I feel they are just as important. Since I know the furious masses of InsideSTL fans demand answers and hardcore analysis, I will do the dirty work and cater to your needs.
Hopefully thinking about these issues will help the Cardinals get organized before April 6th. Here are questions #11-20 facing the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009:
11. What is the statistical probability that Mike Shannon will drink a beer on any individual occasion?
See the convenient graph below.
12. Who’s the top pick in this year’s Berman Pool?
Since the All Star Game will be held at Busch this year, my friends and I plan on having a Berman Pool to see what city/town/attraction Chris Berman calls out first during Home Run Derby. You know, like “Josh Hamilton hits one to Poughkeepsie!!” Since I like to rig all my drafts, I’m really indecisive on who’s the favorite when I pick #1.
I’m 100% sure The Hill will get a shout-out, but he may save that for later in the broadcast. St. Charles and St. Peters might, but that’ll be for the 500 footers. For some reason, I’m feeling Webster Groves is tops on Berman‘s list. I’ll probably change my mind tomorrow. Or hopefully put my mind to more useful things.
13. What will be the worst giveaway of the season?
I know how people get over giveaways in this town, so you’ve gotta scout these things early. July 19 vs. Arizona it’ll be Diet Coke and Dierbergs Exercise Mat Day. Woooo!! 25,000 fans get one, and I’m sure they’ll be eager to use it after six Bud Selects and a couple cups of nacho cheese (chips are optional, obviously).
14. What hot chick contest will Todd Wellemeyer and Mickey Carroll headline this year?
It won’t get better than the Girl Next Door of the Year contest, so let’s see…what else is out there? The Miss Festus Pageant is always looking for help, but I said hot chicks.
Searching online, how about the NOPI bikini contest? It has something to do with racing, but I have no idea when it is, or where (probably Gateway Raceway), or what NOPI stands for, but it’s right up Wellemeyer and The Mick’s alley. Race cars? Yes. Hot chicks? Yes. Awkwardness? Winner.
15. How many fights will break out at the Ballpark Village softball field?
The fine folks at JoeSportsFan have documented over the years (quite well actually) how intense Softball Guy is. I’m pretty sure MMA fighters and the guy in all the Crank movies are the only people on the planet who come close to matching the raw intensity - and even then, it's not close. But really, who could blame us Softball Guy for being so angry?
We He was cut from his high school team from the get-go, and our his coaches denied us him of making millions in the big leagues! If Ryan Howard had my Softball Guy's coach growing up, he'd be in the Florissant Softball League crankin' bombs too!
But alas, Softball Guy gets his shot this year at BPV, when they build a sweet ass softball field for him, instead of worthless lofts, bars, restaurants, and other silly "attractions" that may or may not appeal to a wide range of people.
Softball Guy will be able to stick it to the rich bastards of Major League Baseball whenever a non-profit group calls him up as a ringer...or he may just hang out on the field at all times of the day practicing home run derby, so Bill fucking DeWitt can look out his cozy office and watch some more demolition going on at BPV.
I’m sure Softball 360 will be there at some point to capture the action, then the world will realize that the 37 year old hammering 22 mph underhand pitches should replace Pujols in the lineup (or at least move him to second base or something). Wait, you don't know about Softball 360? It's a TV show about softball players. No, not the Jennie Finch softball players - fat guys, slow pitch, mullets, Busch Beer - those fucking guys. And I DVR'd every episode last summer. You should too.
16. Who gets the clappiest standing ovation this year from the Best Clappers in Baseball?
Braden Looper returns with the Brewers in mid-May. But if Looper starts, we should be able to beat him. Unfortunately that leads to…
17. What will be the most embarrassing loss of the season?
Somewhere in the June 12-14 range. Cardinals at Indians. Anthony Reyes gets his revenge. Well, then goes back to sucking.
18. Where do Opening Day tickets come from?
Okay, I know about the season ticket holders and La Russa Plan, but it’s a bitch to get Opening Day tickets otherwise. Unfortunately I don’t know “a guy” who randomly gives me tickets. But he’s out there giving them to masses of people who couldn‘t care less about baseball, except they are the ones at Opening Day (it’s St. Louis - gotta be seen by the other important people). I’m thinking there will be a year in the DeWitt era that Opening Day tickets will be sold exclusively on eBay. Maybe they could draw in some extra money to afford that big trade deadline acquisition.
19. Who’s the big trade deadline acquisition in 2009?
Catcher Sal Fasano - book it. It’llhappen in mid-August, after the deadline of course, and be necessary after the unfortunate incident where Jason LaRue gets injured by Chris Duncan after an intense clubhouse game of Beer Hunter.
20. Who does Kevin Slaten get into a fight with this year?
Slaten will lob softballs to players when he has them on the air, but can get after it with coaches and management. I’m going with a wildcard like Barry Weinberg if TLR doesn’t forbid him from appearing on the show.
Oh, and hopefully Slaten fights me too. He hangs at the St. Chuck Applebee’s a lot; I’ll get some ribs in me and it’ll be on!
There isn’t a more fitting final sentence than that one. That’s it for my stay at InsideSTL - thanks for reading. For more HMW, check out www.CardsDiaspora.com