Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bad News For Bill Simmons

So Simmons had that little response to Cardinals' fans aggravated with the disrespect Simmons heaped on the team in his diary of Game 7 of the NLCS. Honestly, the response isn't much nicer than what prompted the angry e-mails, but here are a few thoughts:

- Why is any Cardinals fan surprised by this? Bill Simmons is the absolute worst type of Red Sox fan. He doesn't know (or care) about anything that's not Boston-related. Besides, he's been ragging on the National League all year, every chance he gets. Running diary of the All-Star Game, chats, mailbags, doesn't matter, he's been taking potshots all year. This was not a new development.

- Secondly, why would any Cardinals' fan care what Bill Simmons thinks about the team from the StL? The Cardinals didn't play all that well this year, at least not consistently. Now they are. I don't know about you, but I'm just enjoying the ride. Everything since their Game 1 victory over San Diego has been a bonus for me. Jeff Weaver pitching well? Jeff Suppan pitching even better? The bullpen (Game 4 of the NLCS notwithstanding)? So Taguchi versus Billy Wagner? Yadier Freaking Molina? Adam Wainwright ending it against alleged "Cardinal Killer" Carlos Beltran? If a guy who writes entire columns over the Karate Kid can't appreciate the fun of all this, well, screw him.

- I think the funniest thing I've seen was the folks at Deadspin discussing that Simmons article, and someone putting that entire excerpt as a comment, then attributing it to Skip Bayless. I laughed at that, and then I realized that the angry, sarcastic, defensive tone is classic Skip Bayless writing. Most writers might give a mea culpa, admit they were over-the-top in their ridicule. Skip would just call the e-mailers fools and raise his criticism to the next level. And lo and behold, just as Wainwright has apparently learned the Art of Closing from Izzy, Simmons has learned the Art of Responding to Criticism from Skippy.

So that made me laugh even harder. Simmons is Skip Bayless the 2nd, except instead of getting pissed that people keep enabling Terrell Owens, he gets mad Fox didn't show enough Prison Break promos.

Bravo Sports Guy, bravo. I do want to say that I'm glad The Sports Gal gets a couple of paragraphs before she makes her football picks for the week. She consistently makes me laugh. And ESPN is full of people who are proof you don't need to know much about sports to work there, so she fits in well.

Heck, given the track record of their "experts" this postseason, she'd probably be an improvement. I'm certain I'd rather listen to her than John Kruk or Jeff Brantley.

God, I hate Jeff Brantley. I'll never forget that shit job he did closing in '98. Made Bad Hip Izzy look like Eck in his prime. At least he lost his job to Juan Acevedo by August.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

It Has To Be Said

I was not confident about the Cardinals' chances going into Game 2. They had Jeff Weaver on the mound, and lefthanders have hit him like they were all Miguel Cabrera (.340 AVG, .395 OBP, .609 SLG - that's an OPS of 1.005), against the Padres, who had a lineup consisting of SEVEN lefty position players.

On the other side, you've got David Wells (he's been a great pitcher, so I'll refrain from weight and/or gout jokes), and the Cardinals have hit lefties like they were a lineup full of So Taguchis. Which would seem to suggest trouble. Of course, I'd decided to just enjoy the fact the Cardinals were even in the postseason, as it sure beats the hell out of hearing about Roger Clemens and how this might be his farewell (I believe the Astros coming up just shy of making the postseason was the Baseball Gods' way of telling him to get lost). And the Cards had taken Game 1, so they were already ahead in the series, having taken home field advantage.

But you know what? Weaver came through. 5IP, 2 hits, 3Ks, 3BB, no runs. And Albert Pujols did what Albert does the best, driving in Preston Wilson for the first run. Heck, Jim Edmonds even defied his year-long slump against lefties (OPS of .479 this year) and drove in Albert later for another run.

But Weaver's solid, if unspectacular start is what impressed me the most. For a guy who looks like he's always frustrated, or doesn't really want to be out there, he did good.

However, this doesn't mean I'm happy about the idea of you pitching a Game 5 on short rest. Soup, Carp, you guys better wrap this thing up in the next two games. Don't worry though, you've got Albert Pujols, and really, do you need much more than that?