Quick Thoughts - Game Six, Baby, Game Six

About Monday night....

I'll be honest with you, I'm still riding a pretty decent wave right now.

A 26 hour freaking high...I love it.

One strike away from the season ending. One strike. And yet, we live again. Unbelievable.

Just like Jimmy's Game Six walk off last year, everyone is going to remember where they were for "The Pujols Home Run." My favorite reactions so far have been Julia's, Scott from Cardnilly (I can't say enough about the quality of work that Scott puts out on a daily basis), Josh Bacott's, and this guy from VEB.

Priceless, man. Priceless.

Again, I just need to get this off my chest: "WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Allright, press the reset button, Al...back to all systems normal.

By the way, check out how close The Pujols Home Run came to the DK Sign in left field at Minute maid.

It reminds me of last night's "My Name Is Earl" when Jason Lee called out for karma to come and help him. And Karma came through in the clutch, just like it should.

I just can't help but to think that one of these years... Jack, Darryl, Kelli, and everyone else out there that Redbird Nation has lost, maybe, just maybe, they're going to help us out.

Karma...It's a funny thing.

My buddy Dave (you've read about him before) dropped Derrick Goold a note, asking why the Cardinals have not retired Willie McGee's #51 yet. DG kind of skirts around the issue, but it's a decent read, regardless.

The great thing about Dave is, it seems like at least once a week he'll bring up retiring Willie's number while we're out drinking. I normally rebut that we should retire #22 with a banner that says "White People" underneath it (Jack Clark, Will Clark, Mike Matheney, David Eckstein...is that number inherently racist or what?) or retire Felix Jose's number...whatever that may have been.

Dave really wants that #51 banner up at the new Busch,though...And I think I'm going to have to agree with him on that one. Your thoughts?

Man alive, is this deja vu all over again or what. Cardinals down 3-2, leaving Houston and heading back to Busch. And, possibly, facing Roger Clemens in Game Seven. I seem to remember a remarkably similar scenario last year about this time. How did that one end up again?

What really seems strange is that last year the Cards, in theory, had much more life to them. They were still hitting the ball (the hitting wouldn't go out for a few more days. Damn that World Series!) and they had not already played in a high pressure elimination game.

This year, after that Pujols jack, we have more momentum than any team I can remember. I'd say that we have even more mo' than we did last year after the Edmonds walk off homer in Game 6. Now that's a lot of freaking mo'.

But there's a funny thing about momentum...I believe Earl Weaver put it best when he said, "Momentum is only as good as your starting pitcher."

That's where you come in, Mr. Mulder. The franchise gave up a quality reliever, a promising young starting pitcher, and a young hitting phenom to pick you up last December. And now it's time for you to earn your keep. Lock down that lineup.

Get us to game 7, Mark. That's all I ask of you.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "What can I, Joe Q. Twelvepack, do to help my team?" Well, that's easy. If you're lucky enough to be in attendance for the game, make as much noise as humanly possible (and if you have an extra ticket, I know a certain unemployed 25 year old that would love to accompany you...hint, hint.)

If you're like me and will be watching the game via TV or listening to Shannon on KMOX, do yourself a favor and grab some booze, and get ready for a ride.

This should be a good one.

So...does everyone else get as choked up as I do when the ESPN commercial comes on...and it's baby being wrapped up in a Cardinals blanket, followed by a young man sitting on the same Card's blanket, playing the drums, followed by him moving off to college, then meeting the girl of his dreams, having kids of his own, and them using his Card's blanket?

It gets more than a little dusty when I hear those piano chords strike. Great ad.

"Without Sports...What Else Would We Hold On To."

To get you even more pumped up than you are right now, going into Game Six...if that's humanly possible...I give you this.


I got a lot of reactions from yesterday's post. Nothing makes me happier than hearing back from you all about my posts. Truth be told, it just makes me feel warm. Like when I used to climb the ropes in Boot Camp. Really fuels the fire, you know?

Anyhoo, almost all of the feedback was extremely positive, but there were some negative e-mails (apparently Houston fans really do like that jungle gym of a ballpark and feel the need to defend it. I say, if you've got a flag pole on the field, let alone a flag pole on a hill on the field, you and your park deserve to be made fun of )

My overwhelming favorite reaction was from my buddy Jim, who sent me the following e-mail:

"Dear Al,

[You're right] Busch stadium is not our house.

Busch stadium is baseball.

Busch stadium is that anxious feeling when you first see the top of the arch coming down the I-55 hill at Collinsville on a clear day.

Busch stadium is the buzz outside the Marriot, the tickets being sold, and the scary looking bums who are just as much a Cardinal fan as you are.

Busch stadium is the smell in the corridors of hot dog smoke and spilled beer soaked into the concrete for the last 40 years. It's the way the sight of the field explodes into your vision as you walk from the concourse to the loge level.

It's the old black Jerry-curled beer vendor with the front gold tooth screams out "cooldbuschcoldbud", the story he told me last year about how he started as a kid at the old sportsman's park in 1960.

It's the one armed old timer that watches the field level exit in the Red Bird inn. It's the buzz in the streets after a Friday night win as you walk from the park to your hotel, bar, or parking deck.

It's going to St Louis every year in the middle of June for my birthday. It's the childhood memories of going to games with my parents and grandparents, swimming on the roof of the Holiday Inn all afternoon, then falling asleep in the stands at night only to wake up to a Tommy Herr double down the line.

It's that hollow sound of hearing Jack Buck's voice while you're in the bathroom. It's the memories of listening to Shannon do the post game as your staring out the rear window, watching the stadium shrink as you pull away.

It's watching Todd Worrel break the save record when I was six. It's driving from Peoria to St. Louis and back three nights in a row to see McGwire hit no 500 only to see Tony Gwynn drive in the winning run with hit no 2,999 and receive a standing ovation from the classiest fans in baseball.

It's going to 30 games in one year as a
broke college student.

It's even the ticket stub I still have from a game at Wrigley that was never played on an afternoon in June when DK never showed up to the park.

And most of all it's thinking that up until that Pujols AB last night that I had seen the last game ever in person and it was a loss. But now even though I wont be there, the place that is home to almost all of my childhood memories, will live another day."

I couldn't have put it better myself, Jimmy.

Have I mentioned how much I love October?

And how much I love the Saint Louis Cardinals?

Game Six, Baby. Game Six.


I dunno, man. Oswalt for 6, Clemens for 7? That's a pretty tall order, even if you have the ghosts of Jack Buck, Enos Slaughter, and Keith Hernandez's septum floating around Busch for those contests.

I've always admired the Cards, and they're a class organization. I gotta say, though, I'm pulling for the 'Stros in this one.
Just as a reminder:

Saint Louis Cardinals:
July 15, 2005 vs. Pettitte: W 4-3
July 16, 2005 vs. Oswalt: W 4-2
July 17, 2005 vs. Clemens: W 3-0

Cheers, again, bitches.
This was pointed out somewhere on ESPN today, too. Still, though, Oswalt and Clemens have ERAs befitting a late-1960s Bob Gibson.

I guess I sort of feel sympathy pains for Astros fans, after following the Tigers for all these years and never reaching the Big One. (Even though I was very much alive in '84, I was to only pick up baseball the following year.)

(A few months ago, I had a dream that I was watching a Tiger playoff game on TV. The announcer was saying what a beautiful October afternoon it was at Comerica Park, and that the Tigers came back with a blistering September to take the wild card. I've seldom woke up so happy in my bed.)

(Well, without someone else in it, I mean.)

Anyway, call it a silly hunch, but I think the 'Stros will put this one to bed tonight. Lidge will come in for a 1-2-3 inning, and that'll do it.
I hate Roger Clemens, that carpetbagging scum. I was glad last year when the 'Stros and their goddammed buzzing lost & I'll be even happier when they lose this year.
Don't forget one of the owners died this year. Richard S, I think.
And thus it happens, I hearby do bequeath the CURSE OF MARK GRUDZIELANEK upon the Cards, may the 100 years of torment begin...

Sic transit gloria Cardinals
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