Even with a healthy Jason Isringhausen, the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen is like a game of Russian Roulette -- you just never know how lethal a Kiko Calero or Dustin Hermanson is going to be -- or how anticlimactic. And while skipper Tony LaRussa has done a deft job juggling his motley crew of setup men, his love affair with 40-year-old lefty Jeff Fassero has been as hard to fathom as the late Ted Danson-Whoopi Goldberg dalliance.
Sure, LaRussa is doggedly loyal when it comes to throwing old warhorses (see: Tino Martinez) into battle. But when Fassero -- an 85-mph meatballer with an ERA around five whose best stuff often resembles batting-practice fodder -- has made more appearances than any other arm in your stable, it's time to reassess.
Yet we can surely expect Fassero to see his fair share of action against the sputtering Kansas City Royals this weekend (Busch Stadium, Broadway at Walnut Street, Friday, June 20, through Sunday, June 22, $9-$55, 314-421-2400). -- Mike Seely
Sunday is the longest day of the year (as far as daylight hours are concerned), so if you want to enjoy every bit of it, wake up before dawn and head over to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (30 Ramey Street at Collinsville Road in Cahokia, 618-346-5160). At 5:20 a.m. you can watch the sun come up from the center of Woodhenge (just west of Monk's Mound), while a park guide explains the history and purpose of this reconstructed ancient calendar for free. No ceremony will be performed, but that doesn't mean you won't feel a little mystical surge when you see the sun balance on top of one of the wooden monuments and realize that 800 years ago, someone else was standing in the exact same spot feeling the same wonder. When it's all over, you'll have a brand new, extra-long summer day to fill -- don't waste it. -- Paul Friswold
The Joy of TP-ing
It's not just for kids anymore
We would never suggest that you put on black pants and a black turtleneck and camouflage yourself with black face paint and drive slowly up to your boss's house at 3 a.m., killing the headlights a block before you stop. We would never suggest that you quietly remove the 64-pack of Charmin 3-ply you bought earlier that day at Sam's Warehouse Club from the back seat and creep across the lawn of that loathsome bag of offal that you call "boss," stopping to toilet-paper his house, garage, car, wife's car, doghouse, fence and lawn jockey. We would never suggest that you drive off into the night happy. -- Byron Kerman