So I'll go ahead and ask it. The question that has to be on the mind of every single Cardinal fan in the city this morning, after last night's loss to Arizona
Brendan Ryan? Over Ryan Ludwick? Really?
was watching the game last night, listening to Dan and Al try to
justify the move, saying that Tony was probably saving Ludwick for
later, for that one big swing situation, and I was just yelling at my
television. Now, I won't print most of the things that I was yelling;
while I don't consider this a family blog, by an means, I also don't
necessarily know that I should be putting that level of filth out into
the world. Just seems like bad karma, you know? But I will give you the
gist of what I was yelling, at Al, at Dan, and most of all, at Tony.
What could you possibly be saving Ryan Ludwick for?
a game that was tied up, with the bases loaded and one out, in the top
of the ninth inning, just isn't a big enough situation to use your
team's second best hitter? Is that what I was supposed to take away
from this? Instead, we got Brendan Ryan, who I'm sure is a wonderful
human being, but just flat-out isn't a very good ballplayer. At what
point does this guy become the best possible choice to pinch hit with
the game on the line? And I don't want to hear Tony's explanation that
he was somehow a better match-up. Bullshit.
You have a guy who received
MVP votes last season on the bench, who as far as we know, is
completely healthy, and instead you send up a guy who wouldn't be on
the roster if it weren't for the fact that the manager is obsessed with
having as many no-hit backup middle infielders on the roster as
possible? That's quality managing right there. It was the 2007 All-Star
game all over again, with Pujols sitting on the bench, apparently to
take that all-important hypothetical extra inning at-bat that never
You know what? I can handle losing. I
can handle it when players don't get the job done. For instance, even
though Swingin' Dick Ankiel
did his standard
routine and looked like the slow kid from elementary school striking
out in the ninth last night, I'm okay with that. Yes, it pissed me off
at the time, and honestly, it's still pissing me off a little bit right
now, that somehow this guy can't seem to tell the difference between a
strike and a change-up in the dirt after about the sixth inning, but I'm
still okay with it.
Ankiel is one of the team's big guns, and he just
didn't get the job done. Alright. Same way with Josh Kinney. Yeah, he
fucked up, with the walk and the hit batsman. And then he grooved a
meatball to a power hitter in Mark Reynolds, who did what power hitters do.
Nonetheless, Josh Kinney is a good pitcher who just couldn't get the
job done. Losing sucks, but when you go down with your best players,
hey, at least you took your shot.
I'm alright with the game not going your way when you put your players
in a position to succeed, and it just doesn't work. But when you put
the game in the hands of the two most marginal players on your entire
roster (and two of the more marginal players you're going to find
anywhere in baseball, to call a spade a spade), I have a problem with
So yeah, it sure does suck that
Carpenter went down. The Cardinals really could have used the win last
night, to try and get some of that lost momentum back. Instead, when
the game was on the line, two players who barely even belong on the
team were the guys taking their shots, with all the good arms burnt,
and the big bat just sitting there, waiting for a chance that never