Baseball Euphemisms For Sex
by David Letterman ©
September 20, 2001
Working the rosin bag.
Charging the mound.
Riding the pine.
Jerking one into the seats.
Coming from behind.
Going deep in the hole.
The big unit.
Visiting Busch Stadium.
Go Go Cards!
December 9, 2012
It was 42 years ago today, Bruce Sutter brought his split-finger fastball to St. Louis to join Whitey Herzog and his quest to win a World Series Championship on the Astroturf at Busch Stadium.
On this day in 1980, the Cubs traded the future Hall of Famer to the Cardinals in return for Leon Durham and fan-favorite third baseman Ken Reitz. It was one of the greatest trades in St. Louis Cardinals history.
The Sutter trade was just one of many orchestrated by new manager Whitey Herzog, who took over the team midway thru the season in 1980. Herzog traded 14 players to remake the Cardinals for a remarkable championship run in the 1980s.
In the next year, the Cardinals ran thru the strike shortened season with the best record in the National League, but missed the playoffs by not being the top team on either side of the strike. Sutter led the league in saves with 25.
In 1982, Ozzie Smith, Keith Hernandez, Willie McGee, and Bob Forsch joined Sutter to capture a World Series title for St. Louis. It was the first of three World Series appearances for the Cardinals in the 1980s.
It all began 42 years ago today!
Go Go Cards!
September 23, 2012
With the Cards up three-games-to-one in a 7-game NLCS, the San Francisco Giants came back to win back-to-back-to-back elimination games and ended the St. Louis Wildcard season last night.
At the end of the night it poured at AT&T Park and washed way the Cardinal magic once and for all in the 2012 season.
No Game 7 winner, no happy flight to St. Louis for Game 1 of the World Series, no 12 in 12!
The season comes to an end with a 9-0 loss to the best of the National League in 2012.
Congrats to the Giants. The Giants win the Pennant!
Go Go Cards!
October 14, 2012
The best catchers in baseball lead their teams this week in a battle for the National League Championship beginning in San Francisco tonight. It’s the third time since the beginning of divisional play in 1969 that the two teams have met in the NLCS.
Twenty-five years ago, the Eastern Division Champion Cardinals (95-67) were down three-games-to-two before coming back to beat the San Francisco Giants (90-72) in Games 6 and 7 in St. Louis. It doesn’t seem that long ago that Jeffrey Leonard show-boated his way around the bases ”one flap down.” Leonard led the Humm Baby Giants in the series before Cards’ pitcher Bob Forsch knocked him on his ass in Game 5. Forsch took the loss in the game but the Cards came back to put the Giants in their place.
Speaking for all of Cardinal Nation at the time, Ozzie Smith summed it up during the clubhouse celebration.
“I felt that coming into this series, the Giants didn’t have respect for our ball club. Those guys need to know that any club can beat any team on any given day!”
After Game 5 the Giants never scored again in 1987. The Cardinals shut out San Francisco 1-0 in Game 5, and 6-0 in Game 7, jumping on Giants’ starter Atlee Hammaker early in the game. Jose Oquendo was the secret weapon, hitting a 3-run homer in the second inning and the Cards never looked back, reaching the World Series for the third time during the 1980s. Unfortunately for the Cards, the Minnesota Twins and the Metrodome had the upper hand in a 7 game series
Ten-years ago, the Cardinals rallied to post-season play for the second time in three years after the mid-season loss of Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jack Buck, and three-time All-Star pitcher Darryl Kyle.
The Cards were 97-65 and went on to win the Central Division title by 13 games over Houston before sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in the division series.
In the NLCS the Cardinals lost the first two games at home before heading out to San Francisco. Jim Edmonds and Mike Matheny each had home runs for the Redbirds to give the team a 5-4 win, but it wasn’t enough to boost the birds to another World Series appearance.
San Francisco won the next two games to win the series, 4 games to 1 before losing to the Anaheim Angels in a 7-game World Series.
Tonight the reigning World Champs from the past two seasons square off in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. It’s the Cardinals and Giants, so let the games begin!
Go Go Cards!
October 13, 2012
Behind 6-0 in the third inning and facing elimination last night, the defending champs clawed back to beat the Washington Nationals 9-7 in Game 5 of the NLDS. It was the biggest elimination-game come back in baseball history!
The Cards shocked the baseball world again, chipping away; one run in the 4th, two more in the 5th, grinding it out inning after inning. The bullpen shut down the Nats after Adam Wainwright’s early exit. The offense never gave up!
Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina… they kept their focus. Daniel Descalso stepped up big time with a double, a homerun, and a game tying hit in the 9th. Pete Kozma continued his postseason dream stroking a two-out two-strike hit into right field to drive in the final two runs in the 9th! Are you kidding me??
Early in the comeback Jeff Erdman texted, ”Never say die!”
Hey, I remembered scoring 12 runs in one inning this year so I wasn’t about to give up, even if it was against a 101-loss team called the Cubs!
MitchMan jumped in, ”we scored 12 runs in one game against these guys!”
It may not top Game 6 of the World Series last year but once again the Cardinals were down to their last strike, twice last night in the 9th inning.
Yadi walked, then Freese walked!
Bases loaded and Descalso got the two-run hit up the middle, just out of reach of the shortstop’s glove.
Another unlikely hero before the postseason, Pete Kozma stepped up big again on a two-strike pitch to knock in the winning runs!
The Cardinals knock out the Nationals, 9-7!
The party continues!
Go Go Cards!
October 6, 2012
October baseball is about getting hot at the right time and the Redbird rookies stepped up right on time to lead the team to the Wildcard playoff. Led by Matt Carpenter’s versatility, Pete Kozma’s arrival, and Lance Lynn’s stellar season as a starter, the Cards’ rookies have come thru down the stretch!
The Rookies provided the spark but the veterans stepped up in the first Wildcard one-game playoff last last night to give the Cardinals a 6-3 win over the Braves in Atlanta.
Allen Craig, Yadier Molina, and David Freese each got an RBI in the Cards’ three-run 4th inning. Matt Holliday hit a HR and Jason Mott earned a 4-out save to give the Cards a win and more playoff baseball in October. The Cards face the Washington Nationals in a best-of-five division series beginning on Sunday.
It may forever be known as the Infield Fly Rule game, but it doesn’t really matter much unless you’re a Braves fan. This new, one-game format was already stacked against Atlanta, who clinched the first Wildcard spot more than a week earlier than the Cardinals.
A botched suicide squeeze kept the Braves from tying the game in the 4th when Andrelton Simmons ran inside the baseline, interfering with the throw as it bounced off his helmet. Three throwing errors left the Braves looking like the Tigers in the 2006 World Series or the Brewers in last year’s NLCS! Bad luck continued for Atlanta when an 8th inning rally was sidetracked by a late infield fly call, a 20 minute delay to clear the field of debris, and eventually a Wildcard Winner for St. Louis.
It wasn’t pretty, the Braves just folded under the pressure of the one-game winner-take-all format. Somehow, it was still magical just the same!
Go Go Cards!
August 6, 2012
Our last game of the Roadtrip included a light rail pass and an all-inclusive ticket to Monday Night’s opening game of the Cards-Giants series in the Champions Club. Thanks to the BillO we were watching the game in style tonight! Our round-trip rail pass was $2.50, tickets to the Champions Club were $94. Meeting St. Louis Great, Bobby Plager was priceless!!
As the gates opened outside Stan Musial Way, we took the elevator up one flight, crossed the Musial Bridge and entered the Champions Club where our waitress, Peggy greeted us, shared some stories, and provided us with a bit of the club’s history. It was created in 2008, two years after Busch Stadium opened by combining five smaller private suites into one incredible all-inclusive area, stretching out all the way from the Musial Bridge above third base to the Fox Midwest TV set in left field! It’s huge.
We sat a table near the window as close to the infield as possible and each time our beverage cups got low Bill reached out with two fingers toward our waitress. ”Two more, Peg!”
Jake Westbrook took the mound for the Cardinals against All-Star starter Matt Cain, and the Giants got on the board quickly on a lead-off home run by Angel Pagan.
In the 2nd inning Bill ventured outside to check out the club seat view just in time to greet one of the all-time greatest defensemen ever to wear a Blue note. He walked right up to the door!
“Bob Plager?” Bill asked!
“Yeah, I’m Bob Plager”
“Oh, my God! You were The Man when I was growing up!” Bill told #5.
“Yeah,” Plager responded with a smile, “I was pretty good!”
Carlos Beltran slammed a solo home run as we talked but it wasn’t enough to end our conversation with Bobby Plager. We talked about the restaurant he owned with his brothers, Barclay and Billy, the Pheasant Run Apartments where a lot of the Blues players lived during the 1970s, and of course his trademark hip check!
Just for fun, I asked Plager if he had invented the hip check.
“No,” he smiled back at me, then replied, ” but, I did it pretty well!”
What an understatement! Plager was the best I’d ever seen! Number 5 in your program, but number one in your hearts, he used to say!
It was hard letting the conversation end, but there’s a reason why fans buy tickets to an all-inclusive club at Busch Stadium. Bob Plager wanted to eat so we had to back off, get a photo opportunity, and let him watch the game in peace. It was hard to do, but… wow!
What a night…. meeting the one-and-only Bob Plager, an original member of the St. Louis Blues!
Back out at the game, we sat in our seats directly behind Minnesota Matt and his buddies from the Twin Cities who were in St. Louis to see their “favorite National League team!” With the scored tied at 2-2 the Cardinals rallied in the 6th inning. Matt Holliday advanced on a Carlos Beltran fly ball, then came home with the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly from David Freese.
The Cards chased Cain later in the inning when Matt Carpenter hit a pinch-hit two-RBI single with the bases loaded.
What a Roadtrip!
Five wins in four states, travelling over 2,500 miles to cheer on the St. Louis Cardinals. What a team, what a town! What a Roadtrip!
Go Go Cards!
August 4-5, 2012
The 2012 Cards’ Roadtrip returned to St. Louis in time to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the 1982 Runnin’ Redbirds Championship Season on Saturday night.
Whitey, Ozzie, Willie, Bruce, Keith, Obbie, Tito… and the rest…. paraded into Busch Stadium in a tribute to the “Celebratation” team that wore the Victory Blue Uniforms to a World Championship in 1982.
Led by Hall of Fame Manager, Whitey Herzog, the ’82 team paraded one-by-one into Busch Stadium in front of a sold out crowd. Cards announcer Mike Claiborne interviewed a few of the players as they took their place on the foul line overlooking the St. Louis dugout. “It was the best defensive team in the history of baseball,” Herzog bragged.
Keith Hernandez, who won a World Series ring with both the Cardinals and the New York Mets told the crowd, ”I was raised a Cardinal; I will always be a Cardinal!”
Back now at the Home Office in St. Peters, BillO grilled pork steaks as Carla, Toni & Mike Durham, and I watched Adam Wainwright throw a gem of a shutout against Milwaukee. The Cardinals scored 4 runs in the third and Waino went the distance to beat the Brew Crew, 6-1.
Durham relived some of his stories from Game 7 of the ’82 Series when he joined other Cardinal fans jumping from the top of the outfield walls, falling from the bleachers to rush the field at the old Busch Stadium.
“It was probably the last time they let fans run out onto the field at the end of a World Series,” Durham commented. It happened right after Bruce Sutter struck out Gormann Thomas to end the game! Fans rushed onto the field to celebrate, grabbing bases and cutting off souvenier pieces of the turf field while police officers, mounted on horseback. mainly looked on.
“Except for one guy,” Mike recalled, ” I saw him running out near 2nd base and he was taken out by a St. Louis cop on horseback; he just mowed him down!”
On Sunday, we decided to add another game to our Roadtrip win streak. The Cards were on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast and we bought $15 upper level seats, listened to some ’80s music from the bandstand set up at Ballpark Village, and visited with two Brewers fans having a beverage at Shannon’s Outfield Patio, enjoying their own roadtrip adventure to St. Louis. A footnote to the Commissioner’s Office: Both Brewers fans admitted that Ryan Braun’s drug policy violation earlier this year was no error. He was guilty as charged!
Close to game time now, we entered the ballpark from Clark Street to find a spot in the bleachers so that Carla could get a good view of Matt Holliday’s assets in left field!
As the game moved on, we got seats in Section 166 and met superfan Tom “The Hat Man” Lange wearing a special brim recognizing the ’82 Champions! Tom even had a small photo albumn with him showing some of the other Cards hats that he’s worn. Here’s one from this year’s Opening Day, celebrating the 2011 World Series Championship.
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead on an RBI triple by Daniel Descalso in the 2nd. Kyle Lohse did the job again, striking out six Brewers in six inning to get the win.
Lohse is now 12-2 on the year and the Cardinals got the sweep over Milwaukee to go 10 games over .500 for the first time this year!
Go Go Cards!
August 3, 2012
On Friday morning, we hit the road south toward the Davelee ranch driving down Hwy 71 for breakfast at the 54 Cafe and a visit to Nevada, Missouri to visit the town square and see the old radio station that I worked at during most of 1981. Everything had changed!
The radio station had long since moved and the old building was now a U-Haul truck rental, the Gambles Hardware store on the square was closed too – it was a Mexican restaurant! Not far away, next to Rinehart Jewelers was a small store front with a door that was locked and a sign that read, James A. Novak, Sr. Baseball Museum.
We walked next door to Rinehart’s to find out more from Sonny Butler who told us the baseball museum had been closed for more than a year now since the death of James Novak, Sr. but we could find out more from his son, across the square at Novak’s CPA!
Before leaving Dave asked Sonny if he carried Longines’ watch bands; he needed a replacement for one that was damaged when he broke his wrist. ”No,” said Sonny.
“Can you fix his wrist?” I asked.
“No,” Sonny replied. ”But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night,” he said, quoting a direct line from the TV ad! Nice touch!
Across the square in the lobby of Jim Novak’s office, photos of old baseball parks fill the wall above a large fish tank near the front door. All of them are from Big League parks no longer standing, and directly above each of the photos are some of the original seats mounted on the wall for display. It’s easy to see, Jim Novak loves baseball. He loves baseball history!
Growing up in Oklahoma, Jim’s father listened to Cubs games on the local radio station and traveled with his son, Jim Novak, Jr. to see the Kansas City A’s games at Municipal Stadium. Not long after owner Charlie Finley moved the A’s west to Oakland, California, Municipal Stadium closed it’s gates for good. It was scheduled for demolition in 1972, and Novak remembers traveling to Kansas City with his father to save a row of seats and other items from the ballpark.
“Take whatever you want,” the contractor told the elder Novak. It was the beginning of what would later become the James Novak Baseball Musuem and since then the Novaks have collected ballpark seats and memorabilia from Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, Cincinnatti, and St. Louis along with signed photographs and baseballs and sports items across the country.
For now the museum is closed, but Jim Novak still has plans to reopen it sometime in the future. Hopefully, in time for next year’s Cardinal Roadtrip!
Thanks for taking the time to meet with us, Jim!
Go Go Cards!
August 2, 2012
We rolled out of Denver early for the long drive to Kansas City and a night game at recently renovated Kauffman Stadium. I knew driving east on I-70 would be nothing close to the scenery we enjoyed west of Denver where the interstate follows the Colorado river near Glenwood Springs! Even so, I was ready for the long drive thru Kansas, from border to border and without a doubt, it was the longest, straightest, least interesting interstate stretch that I had ever driven. Go ahead, check it off my bucket list now!
Inside, the renovations to the old Royals Stadium looked good up close walking past and underneath the waterfalls. As we made our way around the left field area we entered the Royals Hall of Fame. They had some cool exhibits and a lot of memorabilia including a tribute to the greatest Royal of them all, George Brett!
There was lots to see and read about the history and highlights of the KC franchise and their one World Series Championship in 1985. I was really surprised that they didn’t have a tribute to Game 6 umpire Don Denkinger to honor one of the true heros responsible for their trophy!
Anyway, enough of ’85 already. We had corporate seats from Davelee’s company Burns & McDonell…. in the 7th row behind the Royals dugout as KC scored 6 runs in the first against the Cleveland Indians and won it on a walkoff hit in the 11th inning, 7-6.
With a win in Kansas City, we were now 3-0 on the Roadtrip, on our way back to St. Louis!
Go Go Cards!