Braves Chopped

Mohawk Pipe Tomahawk, 1750, New York

The fallout continues from this week’s blowout 1st inning, in the Cardinals-Braves NLDS Game 5. Georgia Republicans are carping that the Braves organization’s decision to not distribute their trademark red foam tomahawks in that game, generated the “karma” that led to the Braves rout. Earlier in this series Saint Louis pitcher, Ryan Helsley, of Cherokee heritage, disparaged Atlanta’s Tomahawk Chop cheer, before Game 2 in Atlanta. “I think it’s a misrepresentation of the Cherokee people or Native Americans in general,” Helsley told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His complaint led the Braves to not hand out their foam tomahawks when play returned to Georgia, but it took ten unanswered Redbird runs to silence Atlanta fans and halt their performance of the Tomahawk Chop, at least for a while. Later, while railing against political correctness, Georgia conservatives cried a Trail-of-Tears, big crocodile ones, claiming that they were actually just honoring their state’s Cherokee heritage.

Yeah, right.

Well, at least Atlanta distinguished itself better this time around. Not the least, Atlanta fans did not cause a lengthy game delay by throwing trash onto the field, unlike the last time the Cardinals and Braves met in postseason play. Looking forward, Saint Louis hosts the Washington Nationals tonight. This series is for the National League pennant. I’m hoping for a good series. The Nationals should let Washington take its mind off of politics for a while and give it a chance to shine. Unlike that other crosstown franchise, who shall not be named.

Let’s go, Cardinals!

Go Cards!

Saint Louis Cardinals Pennant

Oh look, the Cardinals are trending on twitter. OMG, is that a typo? 10-0 in the top of the first! Ten runs on five hits, how do you even do that? The Cards went on to finish the game as newly crowned divisional champs, with a 13-1 final score against the Braves. That’s almost as many runs as they scored in all of the previous four games. I’ll be checking out the new Cardinal NLDS Champion T-shirts in the grocery store tomorrow. The Redbird’s prospects seemed especially dim on Monday night, when they were losing in late innings in a do-or-die game. Facing elimination, team hero Yadier Molina first tied the game and then went on to knock in the winning run in extra innings and keep Saint Louis alive.

Pundits, with 20-20 hindsight point to Molina’s performance as a turning point that precipitated this final game. I see it starting with Cardinals pitcher Ryan Helsley’s comments about the “disrespectful” Tomahawk Chop after game one of the series. The Tomahawk Chop cheer is an Atlanta Braves staple. Helsley’s mom is a full-blooded Cherokee. This complaint led the Braves to unilaterally disarm and halt distribution of their trademark foam tomahawks for game five, which again demonstrates that baseball is a more civilized game than football. Maybe disarming the fans did it or maybe it was the Braves post-season curse. I’d like to believe that the Cards are going all the way and the Braves just had the misfortune of getting in their way. Next up are the Washington Nationals.

If They Don’t Win, It’s a Shame

A Night at the Ballpark

We scored primo tickets, box seats behind home plate. Our broker of many years, sprang for them and decided to take us out to the old ball game. It was a beautiful night, Goldilocks weather, not too hot and not too cold and the rain held off. Unfortunately, the Redbirds did not perform very well, to say the least.

When we were in Nashville, I checked their standings and they had the best record in baseball and were leading the division. Since then, they’ve lost four games, after being swept by the Cubs and losing last night. Needless to say, they are no longer in first place. They gave up a grand slam, one of three that they’ve relinquished in their past four games. Normally, they only suffer three of these bases loaded homeruns in an entire season.

It’s hard to say what was the worse aspect of their play. The starter, Dakota Hudson, never really got started. After he was ejected, the bullpen wasn’t any better. The Cards’ fielding was sloppy, with two errors and their hitting was anemic at best, with four hits and one run. The final score was 11-1 Phillies.

Every cloud has a silver lining and last night was no exception. The seats were padded. Cardinal attendants checked tickets every time you entered the section. Sort of like a gated community that keeps the riff-raff out. The netting ensured that no foul balls could come screaming off the bat at us. Although, it did make photography more difficult. After the game, so many fans had already left that we were able to not only get on the first Metrolink train, but also scored seats.

The brightest spot in the Saint Louis sports scene occurred not at the ballpark, but a few blocks away at the arena. Later the Blues won their best of seven playoff round, defeating Dallas 2-1 after two overtimes. We were already home by then and when I recapped the Cardinal’s final score of eleven to one, Anne quipped, “Won? I’d hardly call that game a win.”

We also scored new 1st baseman Paul Goldschmidt t-shirts. Woo-Hoo!

The Red Sox are Coming

Old North Church and Paul Revere

A car honks in Boston. This happens because:

  1. Another car is in the driver’s way
  2. The driver is an ebullient Red Sox fan
  3. The driver is a disgruntled Yankee fan
  4. The driver just likes noise
  5. All of the above

We started the day walking to Harvard. It was not very far, plus we found a nice coffee shop in-between. There, we toured the Yard, Square and art museum. There were lots of other tourists around, many in groups. Except for in-between classes, when the grounds were flooded with students, we tourists ruled.

Hopped the T for a ride downtown. The T is short for M.T.A., which in turn is short for the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Immortalized by the Kingston Trio, their song of woe chronicles the trials and tribulations of Charlie, who because of an ill-timed fare increase is stuck forever beneath the streets of Boston and never returned. Except he did, we bought a rechargeable M.T.A. fare card and found that it is called a Charlie.

Exiting the T, we surfaced next to the Commons and into the throng of Red Sox fans that had gathered to celebrate the team’s World Series victory. Boston, Red Sox parade, Halloween, what could go wrong? Our going in plan was to walk the Freedom Trail, but first we had to detour. Yankees suck! Yankee suck! By the time that we hit Faneuil Hall the crowd began to disperse.

Switching from Red Sox to Redcoats, we toured Paul Revere’s house, the Old North Church and Copp’s Hill cemetery. On the Charlestown bridge, we crossed the river. The bridge’s steel grate pedestrian walkway has interspersed steel plates that are marked acrophobia friendly. I’m still uncertain as to whether or not this was a joke, but the signage looked official enough and I wasn’t about to hangout there any longer than I had, as rush hour traffic shook the bridge with an unholy roar. We arrived 15-minutes too late to tour the USS Constitution.

Doubling back over the bridge, we met Dave in the same Old North End that we had been touring all day and that doubles as Boston’s Italian neighborhood. Trick or treaters were coming out and all the shops had baskets of goodies laid out for them. Dave picked a very nice, white tablecloth restaurant for dinner. After, we hit Mike’s Pastries. We had been seeing Mike’s signature string tied white boxes all day and once got lost from the Freedom Trail, led astray by promises of cannoli. We snagged a few and then Ubered home to snarf them.  

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

I’m goin’ to Kansas City, Kansas City, here I come.

I’ll be standing on the corner of 12th Street and Vine.

So the lyrics go, except that we found ourselves on the corner of 18th and Vine. Anne stuck to the correct lyrics, even in the face of what presented us on 18th. That is where both the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum are co-located. Further research vindicated her, but begs the question, what did we miss on 12th? Probably, some crazy loving women. I got me one! 

Ronny, our greeter, graciously welcomed us into both museums, while wearing period dress. We arrived early and did the baseball museum first. It was nearly empty. By the time that we were finishing up with the Jazz Museum, the tour buses were beginning to stack up. In-between both museums, we stepped out for lunch. Ronny steered us to a local burger stand, Smaxx that performed yeoman service for lunch and with enough leftovers for dinner.

Both museums were great and deserve their own post that this one will not do them justice. I’ve reached the frenetic phase in this little trip. Afterwards, we cruised west on 18th to the Crossroads Art District. We wander around this area, most of the time kind of lost, but it was fun exploring. Eventually though, we ran out of gas and headed back to the hotel, which is really nice.

It’s a Hampton, but was once the 1904 Gumbel Building. Our huge 5th floor picture windows overlooks the Missouri River. The hotel sits on the edge of the river bluffs and we can see historic cuts through those bluffs that helped the town of Kansas to grow southward into itself, Kansas City. The hotel is totally modern, even if its modernity is only skin deep. Situated in the federal / banking district, our visit over a holiday weekend curried us free parking and great rates.