posted on February 19, 2010 00:00
It's just men playing catch.
But it's baseball.
And it's back.
February has been one of the most fucktarded weather months in St. Louis history according to the Weather Bird. But pitchers and catchers reporting for duty is a signal that spring is close and soon real live baseball will replace Johnny Weir talk on Sports Center.
The Internet loves lists- so here's one: The five things that can absolutely not happen for the Cardinals in Spring Training this year.
1) David Freese / Craig Allen / Tyler Greene can't all suck balls. 2 of these players are going to be counted on for decent production in 2010. This is their moment.
2) Mark McGwire can't say anything stupid. He's had his 17 minutes of press time for the trip to Florida. He doesn't need to say much more. Another boneheaded statement and we're in for another round of Big Mac/Steroid crap. We don't want it. We don't need it.
3) Tony LaRussa can't get drunk on wine. Or any other Cardinal for that matter. Let's hope Freese's DUI this past winter was the Cards quota of alcohol related trouble for the season. This team has been quite unlucky this past decade with the booze.
4) Chris Carpenter can't get too cocky. Keep him on the routine that got him through 2009 with minimal downtime. He's not as durable as everybody else, but isn't going to back down either. He needs to be on a tight, tight leash.
5) Colby Rasmus can't start off slow. Like it or not, he's going to be the difference between a really good team in 2010 for the Cardinals and a stacked, World Series caliber team in 2010.
We've missed you baseball. Good to have you back
OLD SPRING TRAINING CLIPS
I dug up some old Spring Training clips from YouTube and posted them here. If you like seeing Whitey Herzog push three bills after winning the '82 World Series. You'll like this link.
MARK McGWIRE TALK FATIGUE is the NEW MARK McGWIRE
For sports talk the new 'Mark McGwire' is 'I'm so tired with Mark McGwire talk'.
So what does sports talk radio host talk about when he's tired of Mark McGwire talk? He talks about how he's tired of Mark McGwire talk. It's like a cottage subject in and of itself. Plus you don't have to do any research or anything... you just can go right on air or online and mail it in.
Within two weeks, Its reasonable to expect the new 'I'm so tired with Mark McGwire talk' to be 'I'm tired of talking about how tired I am of Mark McGwire talk'. It'd be a good 5 Minutes blog for Bernie.
Everyone is sick about everything to do with Mark McGwire. But talking about how sick you are of it is just as bad as talking about it. Just stop. Cold turkey. Forget about the guy. Go back to whatever it was you talked about before Mark McGwire. We can make it.
Unless you're Kevin Slaten.
NICK & THE BADGER
The best part of every Friday's paper is the Media Views column by the least photogenic man on earth- Dan Caesar.
It's like the US Weekly for sports media junkies in STL and since he's given very little run to Nick and the Badger in his columns - let's throw some bouquets.
I am surprised with the performance of Charlie Marlow. He has been in the past an adequate replacement for Doug Vaughn or Jim Hayes on the Morning After- but on NATB, he's been pretty fucking brilliant.
He's taken complete ownership of the show the past couple of weeks. And without a doubt is now the star of NATB. His stock is rising in a field in STL that sans McKernan, doesn't really have anyone under 50 that has serious potential to move into a top 10 radio market and succeed.
It's been 6 weeks with this spin-off of The Morning Grind. How do you feel about the program?
Some suggestions: Too many station ID's as segues. No more live interviews with sponsors. Pimp the products, but not every meal is the best in St. Louis. Not every bed deserves an oral handy. More interaction with the audience- you're aiming at the mid 20's set, you need to be involved with FB, Twitter all the time.
Let's check back in 6 weeks from now and see where we're at.
A CLASSIC CARDS TALE
Mike Anderson from STLMedia.net checks in and spins a PG story you can tell the kids. It involves eating a woman out in the Cardinals broadcast booth in front of Jack Buck.
I know it happened. I have heard the tape.
To fully appreciate the event, you need a long, detailed setup.
The play-by-play booth at the old Busch stadium was just to the right of home plate. There were two levels in the booth, with a narrow stairway leading to the lower lever where the announcers sat.
On that level, you would find (left to right) the broadcast engineer, Mike Shannon, Jack Buck and Bob Starr.
Bob was the funniest man I have ever known. He’d come into the newsroom and have us all howling. His work on Jack Carney’s show was among the finest comedy I ever heard on KMOX. His timing, nuances and inflection were perfect.
But on this particular day, he didn’t set out to be funny.
Buck and Starr would take turns doing play-by-play with Shannon adding color. When not doing play-by-play, the announcers would wander up the steps and out into the main area of the press box to grab a bite to eat, get a drink or kibbutz with other members of the media. This would leave one of the four seats open for the numerous guests who would appear on the air.
The announcing area was nothing fancy. It was nothing more than a counter with microphones and earphones – the single cup kind one could hold up to the ear. These were necessary because, with the announcers facing forward toward the field, it was difficult to hear what the others were saying. That’s what proved to be Starr’s undoing.
Bob Starr, a rather portly sort of person, had taken leave of his seat in the booth. He was replaced by an attractive young lady who was a representative of the Master Bakers’ Association. Her mission was to tell Jack Buck and the massive Cardinals’ radio audience about the group’s coming promotions, and she brought a gift. Since she had been named “Miss Cheescake” by the association, she left a large cheesecake right there next to Bob Starr’s microphone.
Her interview went smoothly and she was making her way up the narrow stairs just as Starr was returning. Ever the gentleman, he turned to give her plenty of room, and then walked down the stairs to slide into his chair.
Perhaps there was crowd noise. Maybe it was simply the sound of the sliding chair.
We’ll never know for sure.
But something kept Bob Starr from hearing the question posed by Jack Buck.
Thousands of radio listeners heard it, and they heard Starr’s answer too.
Buck: “Did you see Miss Cheesecake there?”
Starr: “Yep. Looks good enough to eat.”
There was a pause…a very slight, almost imperceptible pause. Then Buck slipped right back into the play-by-play mode. I can’t say the same for Shannon.
As I said, I know this happened. I’ve heard the tape several times, but inexplicably, the master tape disappeared from KMOX before I got the chance to dub it.
Its fate, as they say, remains a mystery.
PIC of the WEEK
The one where Charlie doesn't get his ass kicked by the Phanatic
, but gets a boner @ Mardi Gras.
Fans of IASIP will be happy to see the Green Man came down to enjoy last Saturday's Mardi Gras festivities in Soulard.
They also may be not so happy that the Green Man chubbed up around a group of dudes.
Aaron Hooks is managing editor of CardsDiaspora.com and a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He writes every Friday for Inside STL. Follow him on Twitter.