For the next four days, starting tonight, the Cardinals will play the Pittsburgh Pirates. This site has been around a little over a month and this is the third Cardinals/Pirates series preview I’ve written. I’m getting so sick of these teams playing each other, man.
Look, I like baseball: I promise. I even, in and of itself, like Cardinals/Pirates games, and will watch these games. But, like, nothing has really changed. If you want the preview of the series from late April or of the series from last weekend, click the links preceding this run-on part of a sentence which is being written to flush out the word count of a post which is ultimately irrelevant because, what am I gonna do, fire myself as site manager? I guess I could but I don’t think I’m going to do that. Though this contemplation is padding the word count some more. Okay, whatever, I’m bored of this already.
Instead of discussing the Pirates at length, as if you’re a Cardinals fan you probably know a fair amount about their current construction, I’m going to encourage you to play a game I rather enjoy playing. Follow the link below to Baseball-Reference.com and guess the names of the pictures of players listed in the team’s top 24 all-time in WAR. Just so you don’t do the thing I did and continuously guess Ralph Kiner for black-and-white photos for six different players until you’re eventually right, let’s limit this to color photos. If you’re on a computer, you can scroll over the pictures. If you’re on a mobile device or tablet, you’ll have to click on the page. By my count there’s eight fully color photos–three on the top row, five on the bottom row. I’m not counting the sepia-toned Bill Mazeroski photo that looks, like, kinda color-y.
Okay, gang, here’s the link: RIGHT HERE RIGHT HERE CLICK ON ME.
I play this game a lot, so I got all eight this time around. A few observations.
- Fred Clarke played his entire MLB career, excluding the American Association’s Louisville Colonels, in Pittsburgh. Ralph Kiner played almost all of it in Pittsburgh, including his prime years. Both are in the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds, the player ranked just ahead of them, played his final game for the Pirates at age 28. Barry Bonds was ludicrously good. Also, he’s not in the Hall of Fame.
- If I were a Pirates fan, I’d be writing Baseball Reference every day lobbying to at the very least give Andrew McCutchen a Pirates hat in this photo.
- Before I started doing this kind of thing (the “scrolling over Baseball Reference photos” thing), I’d heard of John Candelaria, but if you’d told me he was worth 9 WAR for his career with one 4 WAR season early on that got him famous at the time, I’d have believed you. I literally cannot believe John Candelaria was worth 34.1 WAR as a Pirates pitcher and 42.1 WAR for his career. Side note: his “one 4 WAR season” was actually a 7.4 WAR season, and it was in 1977.
- Why is it that in every photo I’ve ever seen of Andy Van Slyke, he looks like he desperately needs sunglasses? Was this a discussed thing when Van Slyke was on the Cardinals? Was he, like, the Ryan Doumit of the 1980s?
Games for this series are as follows. Times are central, the home (Cardinals) pitcher is listed first.
- Tonight, 6:15 p.m.: Jack Flaherty (2-1, 2.15 ERA) vs. Trevor Williams (5-3, 3.43 ERA)
- Friday, 7:15 p.m.: Miles Mikolas (6-0, 2.58 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (2-4, 4.53 ERA)
- Saturday, 1:15 p.m.: Luke Weaver (3-5, 4.63 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (4-3, 3.94 ERA)
- Sunday, 1:15 p.m.: Michael Wacha (6-1, 2.71 ERA) vs. Nick Kingham (2-1, 3.75 ERA)