Thursday, February 16, 2006

Three Words: Pitchers & Catchers

Last baseball season was a very disappointing one for me.

First; my beloved Cardinals fell short of getting back to the World Series (and avenging their loss to the hated, despised and loathed, Boston Red Sox.) by losing in the National League Championship Series to the Houston Astros… (the Astros!? The Astros!? Come on now… how the f*** could you lose to the Astros!? I mean…, come on!! The Astros!!??…. breathe Kemp… one, two, three… calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean…)

Second, we said goodbye to Busch Memorial Stadium (a subject I have already waxed-poetic on, many, many times), the ‘cookie-cutter’ home of the Cardinals since before I was born. It was demolished to make way for Busch Stadium Part Two.

But now… my hopes are up. My joy is back.

Pitchers and catchers are reporting… say it loud and it sounds like heaven…. ‘pitchers and catchers are reporting’… gives me shivers. Pitchers and catchers don't actually begin working out until Friday, and it's another few days before the full squad is required to appear, but no three words in the English language can entice and captivate baseball fans as much as the words “pitchers and catchers” can…

I know that we are, once again, targeted by the rest of the NL Central, but the only team I am worried about is the Astros… (the Astros!? The Astros!? Come on now… how the f*** could you lose to the Ast—, sorry… my bad… I’m back on track now)

I am a little worried (very little, as little as the “President’s” approval ratings) about the Chicago Cubs. You know, the hated, loathed, despised and reviled Chicago Cubs. But then I think…it’s the Cubs, come on now…

Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati? Meh. They made changes, but nothing that I think can overtake my boys in red.

And the Cards made some… moves in the off season. Nothing earth-shattering. We let Morris go, but I think we could have someone better than Morris in the wings with Anthony Reyes… or even Sidney Ponson could turn his career around with pitching coach Dave Duncan’s magic.

So I am hopeful… and optimistic… and psyched about the team.

I’m also psyched about something else about the Cardinals upcoming season…

The new Busch Stadium. It looks great. In fact, here’s a picture from the last day of demolition of Old Busch taken at 8:50 am on 12/9/2005, the new Busch is on the right…

And here’s a picture of the New Busch as of 11:39 am today, 2/16/2006. Don’t it look grand? A little over 2 months and look how far they have progressed…

How about all of you? I know some of you are baseball freaks. (Though I also believe that some of you like the Red Sox and the Yankees…I won’t say anything negative about any of you liking those teams… except ‘sorry.’)

Are any of you looking forward to the new season?