"Summer 2006: Power Outages and Bad Baseball" / RIP Bruno Kirby

My friends and I have a rather odd fascination about naming every remarkable moment in our lives. And it’s not just the really important times which gets named like “That time that Andy got hit by a Mack-truck and somehow lived” or “The night that Matt got blackout drunk and pooped on the kitchen floor, then molded his poop into the shape of a house (complete with a tiny chimney), and tried to blame it on the neighbor’s dog in the morning” or even “that time we popped all those Eddies and killed that homeless guy in Memphis.”

No, it’s not just the big moments. We tend to name everything. A glorious late-May day back in ’99 when eight of us ran through about ten 18-packs of Icehouse will forever be known as “Drunk Tuesday.” During the spring of 2001, my buddy Vince announced that he would be listening to nothing but Steely Dan during the summer, and “The Summer of the Dan” was born. A mischievous night on the Illinois-Iowa state line in August of 2001 is conveniently enough referred to as “Big Trouble in Little East Dubuque.” And a booze/Stevie Winwood filled weekend in the summer of ’04 is to this day called “The Feeling Alright Weekend.

There are many, many more examples of this, but I’m tired of typing them and you’re tired of reading ‘em, so let’s move on.

Anyhoo, I’ve told you all that to tell you this: 1) My friends and I are tremendous dorks, and 2) Summer Ought-Six finally has a name.

Matt, my former roommate (whom I now live across the street from… Yes, I’m apparently stalking him) helped coin it on Sunday after the power went out in his apartment for no apparent reason and the Cardinals had been swept by the freaking Pittsburgh Pirates, also for no apparent reason. He gave me a call to see if there was room in my fridge to store his perishables. I said sure, and then I hopped online to see some of Ameren’s (our monopolistic power provider) stats. I noticed that out of the 14,000 cats that live in our area code, he was one of eight people without power.

With this news, his Italian blood started boiling like hearty pot of ragu. He was obviously fed up with this strange summer in the StL and let out a “God damn it! No power and the Cardinals suck. That’s all this summer is!”

“Yeah,” I said, “that about sums it up: ‘Summer 2006: Power Outages and Bad Baseball.’”

That’s all it has really been: “Power Outages and Bad Baseball.”


Speaking of bad baseball, this year’s Cardinals squad has been one of the more frustrating teams which I have ever followed. They underachieve; they overachieve. They take six of six from the hottest second half team in the National League; they put together two separate eight game losing streaks.

On the field, they look like they’re just going through the motions. Yes, the Cards have played with a business-like work ethic for much of the Tony La Russa era. But that aura of confidence which pervaded from them for 205 wins over ’04-’05 was different from this. Those teams knew that they were going to win and they played like it. Now, they just seem to be… indifferent.

I don’t know what the indifference stems from, and I sure as hell don't know how to cure it (everybody running an obstacle course in the rain while "I Feel Good" plays in the background? A half naked cardboard cutout of Rachel Phelps in the locker room? Breaking the arm of that little shit from American Pie and putting him in the rotation?) But the indifference has been deafening (?) and it makes the team excruciating to watch some nights.

I still take in nearly every game, but if there’s a Tigers or White Sox game on, I’ll be doing some channel flipping, too. It would definitely help my blood pressure for me to give up on these Cardinals, but I can’t.

Are they going to make the playoffs? I’d say yeah, but probably only by default, since the rest of the NL is just flat out terrible.

Are they a World Series caliber team? Well, if the ‘04 squad wasn’t good enough to win it all, I don’t see how this team possibly could be.

But here’s the catch: Maybe, just maybe, come October, Cardinal Nation’s hopes will be rewarded. I’m not saying it will happen, but every year there is some stupid fucking storyline for a team in the World Series; be it the 2005 Astros who had been left for dead in the regular season or the 2004 Red Sox who had been left for dead in the ALCS; or the overachieving Marlins in ’03 and Angels in ’02.

That’s the rub: That if this struggling Cards squad could put it all together at the right time, get all of their pistons firing and get hot, they could very well make a run to the Series. And it would be right in FOX's wheelhouse.

It would be that stupid fucking storyline that the rest of the country gets sick of by the second day.

That could be us, Cards fans... Annoying the whole lot of America!

So, um… Go Cardinals!


Also, with a heavy heart The FYC says goodbye to screen legend Bruno Kirby. For some reason, whenever I hear him scream “I buried one fucking wife, I can bury another!” in Sleepers, I start to giggle. I don’t know why.

For over 30 years, from The Godfather II to Donnie Brasco, City Slickers to Entourage; if you were looking for a stocky Italian-American to be a character actor in your movie and/or television show, Bruno Kirby was the first guy you called.

You shall be missed, Bruno. You shall be missed.

Tommy Pischedda: Excuse me... are you reading "Yes I Can"?
Groupie: Yeah, have you read it?
Tommy Pischedda: Yeah, by Sammy Davis Jr.?
Groupie: Yeah.
Tommy Pischedda: You know what the title of that book should be? "Yes I Can, if Frank Sinatra Says it's Okay". Cause Frank calls the shots for all of those guys . Did you get to the part yet where uh...Sammy is coming out of the Copa... it's about 3:00 in the morning and uh...he sees Frank? Frank's walking down Broadway by himself....

(Limo window raised by Nigel)

Tommy Pischedda: Fuckin' limeys.


"The Feeling Alright Weekend" was fucking spectacular.

You need to plan on going to the "Hazard to ya Booty" show. With the correct amount of alcohol and debauchery, it could rival the "TFAW"

September 23rd biz-natch
I'll always remember Bruno Kirby's character's conversation with Billy Crystal's character in the stands at a New York Giants football game, getting really deep... yet still remembering to do The Wave when it came around.

Since when are you a Tigers fan? Don't be no bandwagoner, now.

...aw, hell, jump on the bandwagon. It's great to be a Tiger fan this year (for the first time since Reagan was president).
Not trying to jump on any badwagons, I just really enjoy watching the Tigers play ball. Zumaya is just freaking unreal. Their whole lineup is full of mashers. And they look like they're all having fun playing together.

Which is something I cant say for the Cardinals.

I will be rooting for the Tigers come October, as long as they're not playing the whites Sox or Cards (bloody unlikely.)
They wouldn't play the White Sox in the first round if the standings stay as they are, because the Wild Card doesn't play its own division-winner (or so I hear)... so a Tigers-White Sox matchup would have to be in the ALCS.

Honestly, the White Sox are the only team I fear in the AL... I'm confident the Tigers starters can shut down that Yankee lineup, we just took 2 of 3 at Fenway (if Verlander'd had his curveball it'd have been a sweep), and the AL West doesn't have anybody that I'd be too concerned about.

Y'know what I would hate, though? If the Tigers and Cards met in the World Series, someone would inevitably call it a "rematch of 1968." I hate shit like that! It is not a rematch! Nobody from either team still plays!

(Sorry, had to get that out.)
Yes, the White Sox-Tigers would have to be in the ALCS. It is the Cardinals making it to the world series which I dont see happening.

But if they did, and so did the Tigers, you are correct on the overplay of the '68 series reprise. Hell, we even got some of that in the Boston-StL '04 series, being a replay of the '67 Series. Not that I remember anything about the 2004 World Series.

You know... 'cause it never happened.
Cards won the world series, you called it, how about that shit!
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