Bob Gibson and toughness

A quick gander at Bob Gibson's Baseball Reference page will tell you that the most similar pitchers to him were Jim Palmer, Jack Morris, and Amos Rusie. Comparing Gibson to these three is no insult--the trio are each Hall of Famers, with the most similar to Gibson, Palmer, also being a first-ballot Hall of Famer…

The St. Louis Cardinals Have a Culture Problem

Eight years after his free agent departure for Anaheim, Albert Pujols made his much-anticipated return to Busch Stadium this past month, and the homecoming was everything all of us could’ve hoped for.  Every time Pujols stepped into the batter’s box, he was greeted with a long and loud standing ovation. When he dug in with…

On grief

This afternoon, the baseball world was stunned by the announcement that Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, had died suddenly while the team was in Texas to play against the Rangers. Tonight’s game was cancelled, and while articulating the pain of the death of a 27 year-old man seemingly in peak physical condition was…

What Pujols did

It is hard to overstate how lucky the St. Louis Cardinals were to draft Albert Pujols. Famously, Albert Pujols was not a coveted amateur prospect, and in 1999, the Cardinals drafted the pudgy amateur third baseman out of Kansas City's Maple Woods Community College with the 402nd overall pick. Every team in baseball passed on…

A hell of a sports city

For years, "St. Louis is a baseball town" was used in a largely complimentary way. It was a thing that those involved in baseball said to speak highly of the passion for and knowledge of the sport in the St. Louis area. It didn't really have any tangible benefits--mostly, it meant ESPN announcers would compliment…

The first championship

One strange element of St. Louis Cardinals fandom, to me, is pointing out how the team has won 11 World Series championships. There is, of course, the "we won 11 rings!" obnoxiousness, which implies that I, a fan, had anything to do with such jewelry acquisitions, but additionally silly is that I, and most Cardinals…

It’s time we talk about Jim Lindeman

On April 11, 2019, attempting to complete a four-game sweep, the Cardinals took the field for an afternoon game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scheduled to head to Monterrey, Mexico, that evening, the Cardinals trotted out their getaway lineup, with José Martínez, Tyler O'Neill, Jedd Gyorko, and Matt Wieters filling in for their regular counterparts.…

The Willians Astudillo All-Stars

For several years, now-unemployed pitcher Bartolo Colon became a beloved figure in Baseball Twitter because, well, because he was fat. It seems pointless to argue that he was beloved for any other reason. Once a somewhat chubby but still relatively athletic looking Cy Young-level pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and then-Anaheim Angels, among others, Colon's…

Is Dexter Fowler back?

The St. Louis Cardinals didn't sign Dexter Fowler to be a superstar. While a visceral reaction to a $16.5 million annual salary for half a decade sounds like a lot of money, this bill is commensurate with an average to slightly above average player. And in 2017, his first season with the Cardinals, Fowler fit…

Why we do this

There are 81 of these things. The first home game of the regular season for the St. Louis Cardinals doesn't count for any extra in the standings than the 22nd home game, nor the 54th home game, nor the 78th home game. Its impact is not what it is, but what it represents. 22% of…

The Marcell Ozuna trade worked

On Sunday afternoon, with the St. Louis Cardinals clinging to a one-run lead in a game which would help equalize the season-opening four-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, defending National League MVP Christian Yelich drove yet another in a long series of rockets into the outfield. The tying run easily scored, and while there was…

Matt Wieters, Francisco Pena, and the confouding reasons they are locked in a battle for backup catcher

As the number-five overall pick in the 2007 Major League Baseball draft, Matt Wieters was burdened with extraordinary expectations from the moment he joined the Baltimore Orioles organization. According to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus (and later of the Houston Astros), Wieters was baseball's best prospect entering 2009, ahead of future MLB aces David Price and Madison…