The Day After…From The Morning After
After staying up late to spew my baseball views from late September through Monday night, I’ll be able to get to bed at a normal time and not be on four or five hours of sleep everyday.
I’m sure many of you feel the same in the sense that while you’re sad/angry/depressed over the Cardinals’ demise in the NLCS, the positives are that you’ll get some sleep…and save some money.
But, my guess is you’d be more than happy to trade in another week’s worth of sleep and some cash for another Cardinal appearance in the World Series.
There’s some good stuff from yesterday that I wanted to share with everybody here. Some new angles…and a few thoughts from some guys who would know on just what the hell happened…and just what the hell will happen.
You, The People, Have Spoken
Our insideSTL Poll yesterday asked the following question: Who do you blame the Cardinal collapse most on?
-The starting pitching
With 58% of the vote, the offense won…comfortably. Starting pitching received just 15% of the vote…and that was the next closest.
So, what the hell happened to the offense?
What happened to guys like Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, and David Freese?
Well, according to the guys who have played the game, credit needs to be given to the Giants’ scouts. They found the weakness, and the pitchers executed.
Jim Edmonds joined us on TheITDRoll.com Morning After yesterday, and Jack Clark co-hosted Hardball with Jay Randolph Sr. last night, and both said the same thing: you’ve got to credit the Giants for working the Cardinals inside.
A lineup doesn’t just all the sudden go cold.
A guy may go cold.
But, not the entire damn lineup.
And with the exception of Yadier Molina’s more or less cosmetic hits at the end of the series, the lineup went cold…but that’s because of the Giants working the Cardinals inside.
If you look at the series as a whole---not just the mess that was the final three games---the Cardinals didn’t do much offensively outside of one inning in Game 1…and when Tim Lincecum was out there just hoping to throw it past people without any clue where it was going.
This plan was executed perfectly by the Giants when you look at Vogelsong’s two starts, Cain’s two starts, and Zito’s one start.
The Cardinals had had a couple of streaks of going cold this season (the weekend of Johan Santana’s no-hitter and a stretch in late August against the Pirates and Nationals), so we’d seen this famine before. But, with the exception of the first few innings against Cain in Game 7, the Cardinals weren’t even making loud outs…much less hitting the ball well with runners in scoring position.
I asked Edmonds why teams didn’t do it all year long…if that is indeed the key, and he said for the most part guys either are scared to go inside…or they just can’t do it.
But, the Cardinals ran into three pitchers who were able to do it…and that, unfortunately, was that.
Speaking of Pitching Inside…Cain Hitting Holliday
I love the WWE theatrics.
For example, while I find Nyjer Morgan to be more of a punchline than a threat, his presence made the NLCS more entertaining last year.
I wanted to see the Cardinals and Reds…because I like the bullshit that goes on between the two of them.
But, I didn’t particularly care for the Giants deciding to execute their revenge on Matt Holliday in Game 7.
Maybe I’m being a complete pussy, but considering what Holliday is going through with his mom and considering how he went out of his way numerous times to call the Giants’ clubhouse and express his regret for the play…and considering the Giants were already beating the hell out of the Cardinals…I thought they could’ve waited until next season to throw at the guy.
Had the shoe been on the other foot, and the Cardinals would’ve done something similar to Pablo Sandoval, for example, I would’ve thought that was shitty.
Edmonds agreed…and took it a step further. He would’ve thrown back at the Giants.
Here’s our exchange on the topic:
Tim: Do you think the Giants were throwing at Holliday on the 0-2 pitch in the 6th inning?
Edmonds: I didn’t see it, but I wouldn’t doubt it. It’s a cheap shot to hit somebody down by 7 or 8. But, if I believe that, I would’ve taken my shot (and thrown back at the Giants). Not saying Mike did anything wrong. It is a very, very touchy situation. And we all know it has been around and around with La Russa and everybody else. I wouldn’t doubt it. That’s the only chance they had and it’s unfortunate. And I still believe that Scutaro could’ve jumped or tried to get out of the way. I think he just got lazy and figured he was behind the bag, and Matt was being super aggressive. I would’ve done the same thing if I was Holliday, I would’ve slid over the top of the bag to try and break up a double play too.
Tim: What you’re saying, if you thought they were and you think they were, even though you didn’t see it, throwing at Holliday, if you’re Matheny you would’ve fired back?
Edmonds: What I’m saying is I don’t know. That’s a tough, tough call, a really tough call. Mike did nothing wrong, obviously. He’s been through the war, I wasn’t there. It’s tough when you’re a player, and Mike’s been there. He’s probably the best person for that because he was a catcher and he knows the game a lot better than anyone else. That’s a tough thing, when you’re the player or the hitter and that happens to you, you definitely want some retribution. But, you also have to be a classy team when you’re losing and take your lumps and move on.
Hosting The King’s Court…And The Kyle Lohse Interview
After going to bed at around 1 a.m. and getting up at 5 a.m., I needed to get home after TheITDRoll.com Morning After and take a nap. Most of the time, I just battle through it, but yesterday, my brain was not firing, and I needed to sleep.
So, I get up after a couple of hours, and I see that the station has called and wanted to see if I could fill-in for Kevin Slaten on The King’s Court.
Once I woke up, I felt like I would enjoy talking more about the game, so I thought, “What the hell…I’ll do a show by myself just to see how it goes.”
What I know that the listener doesn’t know is that without the gentlemen on TheITDRoll.com Morning After, I’m a rather serious/introverted/boring letdown of a human being.
So, I knew the show with me by myself would be a different tone than what people who listen to TheITDRoll.com Morning After would expect…but I wanted to do it, so we did it.
Iggy was kind enough to come in and produce the show, and we lined up Joe Strauss from Busch Stadium as the Cardinals cleaned out their lockers, Joe Buck from San Francisco, and Kyle Lohse.
If there’s one thing that I wish we did better on TheITDRoll.com Morning After, it’s interviews. It’s no one’s fault. It’s the nature of the show. If you have three people asking one interview subject questions, it becomes more like a press conference as opposed to an interview…or, more importantly, a conversation.
The best interviews are byproducts of a) (most importantly) a cooperative interviewee and b) an interviewer getting that person comfortable, and c) coming up with questions from the interviewee’s previous answer. Therefore, there’s a flow.
So, if there’s one thing that I really enjoyed in doing the afternoon show yesterday, it’s that it gave me a chance to do the only thing I miss from TV…and that is interviews that are more conversations than press conferences.
I didn’t know what kind of mood Lohse would be in after the bad performance in Game 7, so I made it clear out of the gate that he was welcome to slap me around for asking questions he didn’t like.
But, as the interview proceeded, he was quite open and expressed his frustration for Game 7, told of the behind-the-scenes in the clubhouse throughout the series, and a relative acceptance of knowing that a) his time in St. Louis is likely over and b) he’s about to get paid quite nicely.
If you have time, here’s the link to the interview with Kyle Lohse.
Emotional Risk Management
I tweeted about this and put in my Facebook, and now that I’ve actually done it, I would like to recommend it to you.
I call it Emotional Risk Management.
When it became clear that my Monday night…and likely the remainder of my week…would be determined by the outcome of Game 7, I thought a) how pathetic and b) I need to hedge.
So, I thought, here’s the move: I’m going to think of a number I’m comfortable wagering---but enough that I would enjoy it if I had it coming to me---and bet that amount on the Giants.
That way…if the Cardinals lost, I still have something coming to me.
If the Cardinals win, it’s the tits. I’ve got my favorite team in the World Series.
If someone told me I could pay x for the Cardinals to get to the World Series, I would do that, so I looked at this the same way.
And, as strange---and perhaps stupid as this may sound---once I placed the wager, I felt a relief in the anxiety I had about the game.
It was odd to place a bet on something I wanted to lose. I’ve never done that before. But, it reduced my overall risk.
Once the game started, I was still acting like a complete juvenile in pulling for the Cardinals…so that didn’t change.
But, when it was all over, and it was clear it wasn’t going to happen for the Cardinals this year, I at least had something coming my way.
So, next time the Cardinals---or whoever your team is that will emotionally ravage you---should have a big game, consider the Emotional Risk Management wager…and see if it works for you.
My guess is that it will.
And, had the Cardinals won, I would be telling you the exact same thing.
The anxiety went down…and the depression is a little less awful.
The only thing left to do now is take that money and wager it on The Five Star Lock of The Year: the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series…assuming this group of Tigers remembers how to field bunts better than the last group that was in the World Series.
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