Wainwright and Molina take the Field
Even though it was the most beautiful day in months, it wasn’t a pretty game. Even though Wainwright’s single RBI scored the first run and Molina’s two-run homer eventually tied the game and sent it in to extras, it still turned ugly. In-between there were four Cardinal errors. Wainwright had six good innings, but began to flag in the seventh and all those errors really began to bite. The Giants took the lead, but in the tenth Tyler O’Neill’s walk-off home run won the game. The bench cleared to meet him at the plate and in celebration ripped off his jersey, exposing his rather ripped body.
Rey and Becca took us to the game, our first of the season. Hey, better late than never. We had right field bleacher seats that would have been brutal on any day save this. Cardinal hoody sweatshirts made for pretty nice attendance prizes. It was cool enough that I wore mine for a while. If you read this Dave, one will be coming to you soon and Dan if you want one too, just ask me. They would be perfect for any possible post-season Redbird action that might come our way. I would not suggest wearing them if the Birds ever make it to Boston or NYC.
One of the most interesting aspects of the experience was ease dropping on the conversation from the row behind us. There was a British guy who was out of his league and an American girl who was trying to explain the game to him. He kept referring to Wainwright as the bowler, but was also fascinated by his very English name. He managed to grasp the rudiments of the game, but at the end, after the walk off homer, he had to be told that the game was over.
I cautioned Rey not to interact with this ease dropped conversation, but when the Brit started Googling MLB player’s salaries, he had to act. The first Google target was the right fielder. Martinez. The Brit pegged this player’s annual Salary at $12M. Rey interjected that that Martinez was a pitcher. The one in front of us was only earning the league minimum, half-a-million. “Minimum wage, blimey, what an insult!” As it turned out, the other Martinez, Carlos the pitcher and no relation, was the game’s winner.
When we left Saint Louis for the summer, at the end of May, the Saint Louis Cardinals were busy settling themselves in for a season of mediocrity. In all of our travels, I kind of lost the bead on Redbird baseball. Their firing of the manager was about all that penetrated my fog of travel and it only confirmed my belief that this was not going to be their year. How wrong I was.
The All Star break framed manager Mike Matheny’s release and also marked the start of the team’s turnaround. The second half Cards now sports a win-loss record of 23-11, giving them the best second half record in baseball. We’ve been back in town this month and the Redbirds winning percentage has accelerated with a 17-4 record for the month of August.
With 34 games played since the All-Stars and 34 for more yet to be played in the regular season, we are now entering the fourth quarter, so to speak. This week the Redbirds grasped, let slip and grabbed again a post-season wildcard slot. In addition to their slot, the Cardinals also took the series from the Brewers. Then the Redbirds went on to sweep the Dodgers at their home. Uneasy though sits this crown. The Brewers having just lost that slot still sit only half a game back from the Cards in the division. Tonight the Rockies host the Redbirds for an important series, while also sitting only a game back for a wildcard slot too.
I haven’t even mentioned the Cubs yet, who still lead the division and represent the Cardinals next big challenge. In the last 34 games the Redbirds have shaved their lead by five games, St. Louis has 34 more games to close the remaining three game gap. Most likely this horse race will come down to the final series, where as always the Cards face the Cubs to finish out the regular season. It looks to be a wild ride through this final quarter, where it ain’t over ’till its over.
We went to see the Cardinals play last night. The team hasn’t been doing that well this year, but as the old stock market adage goes, buy low, sell high. I got cheap seats ($18) on Stubhub, not bad for eighth row box seats. True to form though, the Redbirds lost (4-3). Losing a home stand to the even more pathetic San Diego Padres. Still, it was fun going to the game and the Cards were in it to the end. We took Metrolink down and back, which always adds a little bit more to our fan experience. I love how the curve of the stadium conflicted with my GoPro’s fisheye effect. It gave the far stands a whole new way to do the wave.
Dave is seen here modeling his new Cardinals cardigan that Anne knitted for him. It was presented to him last night as a belated birthday present, even though she had finished it before the Redbirds were themselves finished for the season. Its blue background is reminiscent of the Cards Sunday home uniform and the red and white striping and el Birdos logo is pure Saint Louis. Dave had come up with the idea for this sweater, from something similar that was done with the Orioles. Being both smart and sophisticated, it will make for the perfect attire for the well-dressed Cardinal fan, come opening day.
Victoria & Bridesman
After Dave arrived, we picked Dan and his friend Tessa up at the airport and then brought them home and we all had gourmet cupcakes to celebrate Dave’s birthday. Tessa works on a reality TV show that involves a talent competition that features backstage moms and their little princesses. Sounds like the good, the bad and the ugly. Dan is seen with Vicki in her wedding gown. She looks gorgeous and Dan cleans up pretty well too. For you art aficionados out there Vicki and Dan are co-creators of the famous exploding bungee couch. Dan offered her said couch as a wedding gift, but she declined.
Cloud Trails, John Roger Cox, 1944
Quote of the day: You can never make anything idiot proof, because they keep making smarter idiots.
It was a beautiful day today, but I missed it, because I had to work. Woe is me. Plus, the Cardinals lost last night and are now out of the playoffs, which is actually a bit of a relief, because even when they do win, they seldom do it the easy way. We don’t call them the Cardiac Cards for nothing. Maybe, I should adopt a more prosaic baseball team to root for? One that disappoints, but only in the most unsurprising, expected of ways. The trouble with this thought though, is that there are so many of them to choose from.
In Cloud Trails, the repetition of precisely painted wheat stalks suggests a limitless field under a brilliant sky. The brightly colored ads papering the barn testify to the activities and products available in the artist’s Midwestern hometown of Terra Haute, Indiana. However, these manmade elements in combination with the absence of human figures make this unassuming scene seem eerily abandoned. Cox’s unsettling American Scene landscapes from the 1940s like this one are his most powerful works.