Tagged: Misc

Underdogs Again

Well, Game 6 didn’t go the way we Cardinal fans hoped.  I can’t fault Carp – he pitched great. Giving up 2 runs shouldn’t be a gamebreaker.  Maine just seemed to have our number tonight.  We’d get runners on base, but we couldn’t bring them home.  The team seemed flat to me, until that 9th inning rally.  Maybe it was that red-eye flight.

Even with Suppan on the mound, we’re underdogs in Game 7.  The Mets will be fired up, and their fans will rock Shea harder than the passing 7 trains do.   We’ve just got to stay focused and keep the spirit, heart, and determination that got us to Game 7, and we’ll have a good chance to win. 

No matter what happens tomorrow night, I’m proud of this Cardinal team, and I want to give a shout out to both the Cards and the Mets for playing so hard and putting on a great series, full of surprises (homers by Suppan and Taguchi?). We certainly proved we belong in the playoffs and can contend with the best of the NL (even if some would say "best of the NL" is an oxymoron).

I can’t fault Tony’s managing at all in this series but I do have one suggestion for tomorrow night – how about starting Taguchi in left field, Wilson in right, and Spiezio at 3rd.  I know Rolen got a double at the end of the game tonight, but I just think he’s too wounded to contribute what we desperately need tomorrow – RBIs.   

I’m going out of town tomorrow through Monday to be in a friend’s wedding this weekend, so I may not be able to blog, but I’ll definitely be watching tomorrow (and hopefully this weekend if we can take care of business!). 


Rain Out, Recap, and Live Blog on Tuesday

No game tonight due to rain.  I think this is good.  First of all, I have to go out tonight so I was going to have to avoid the score all night and then stay up late watching it on tivo.  Secondly, I think we need a day off to recuperate from last night’s drubbing. 

My main problem with last night’s game was the early removal of Reyes.  He wasn’t a world-beater, by any means, but he was doing okay and had only given up 2 runs, a mere 1/6th of the runs scored last night against us.  The bullpen looked scarily like it looked during most of the season – weak.  It made me wonder if some magic spell had worn off. 

On the plus side, I liked that Edmonds and Molina came back and hit home runs right after the Mets blew up the score to the point where the 10-run-rule would have been called in little league.  It shows that the team is still fighting.  I really do like our chances from here on out if we can get good performances from Weaver, Carp, and Supp (or at least 2 out of 3). 

I plan to live blog during Tuesday’s game, once again probably won’t be starting til the 3rd inning or so due to work. 

The Gout

GoutWhat do Jared Leto and David Wells have in common? The Gout.  This is one of those diseases that sounds like scurvy to me, like something sailors might get on a long voyage, or something that might be cured in medieval times with a good bleeding. So I decided to look it up and see what it really is.  Turns out it’s a rare form of arthritis that usually only effects one joint, most often the big toe. It is intensely painful, as this drawing shows.  Gout sufferers should avoid eating foods high in purines, such as anchovies, sardines, liver, sweetbreads, and alcohol (geez, it sounded do-able until that fifth one).  Poor David.  I’m sorry he has to suffer with this disease, but I won’t be sorry if the Cards put more hurt on him today. 

Controlling our Destiny

Well, it sure would have been nice if the Braves could have beaten the Astros tonight, but the Astros keep hanging around, like a bad summer cold.  I hate that we have to send Carpenter to the mound tomorrow but I know he gives us our best chance to win, and there’s no sense worrying about the playoffs until you actually get to the playoffs.  These past two games have given me some hope that we might actually do something in the playoffs if we do make it.  The starting pitching from Weaver and Suppan was solid and there’s been some clutch relieving particularly from young Mr. Wainwright.  And Preston Wilson sure seems determined to keep the team that cast him aside out of the post-season!

Hey, Umps…We Can Beat Ourselves, We Don’t Need Your  Help

Well, I’m in LA and was camping on the beach this weekend instead of watching this miserable Astros series.  The boys formerly in rainbows just manage to be the bane of our existence every year.  I still think we’ll pull off the division win, but we’re sure doing our best to make it tense.  And how far can we expect to go in the playoffs with this pitching? Izzy haters, don’t you want him back just a little bit after watching this bullpen blow these games? 

I did watch tonight’s game and I was incensed by the blown call.  Biggio clearly darted outside the baseline to avoid Belliard’s tag.  A double play would have ended the innning but with the blown call, the inning was extended long enough for Huff to hit the 3-run-homer.  I really wish baseball would start using instant replay. 

The good news is the Astros now have to go on the road and play the hot Phillies, so hopefully we can get back on track and close this division out. 

5 Years Later

It was 9am, and I was 30 minutes late for work. I was stressed out about it.  I should have only been about 10 minutes late, but something was making the subway from Queens Plaza slower than usual. I breathlessly entered my cubicle area and began apologizing to the other 3 assistants I sat with.  You see, when one of us was late, it was a burden for the rest, because we all had to answer each others’ phones and our boss’s phones. This was a large management consulting firm, and the phones were priority #1. 

One cubemate told me not to worry.  "Didn’t you hear?" she said, "A plane crashed into the World Trade Center. We dont know if it’s an accident or what."  No, I hadn’t heard.  I was in the subway. And then a few minutes later the second plane hit.  And we knew it wasn’t an accident. 

The next hour or two passed quickly.  We were trying to reach all the consultants we thought might be in the area.  We had a terrible time getting through on our phones.  A friend called me from Queens in tears.  I called my dad to let him know I was ok. I was working in midtown and safe.  I heard about a colleague upstairs who was in tears. Her fiance worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on one of the top floors, and she had not heard from him.  She was in her early 40s, had never been married, and had finally found her soulmate. She was sure he was OK. He had to be.  They were getting married in a few weeks. 

Around 10:30am, our supervisors told us we could go home, if we could get home.  I wondered how I would get back to Woodside, Queens. A friend of mine offered me a ride with her sister who had driven into work.  Several of us walked with her about 10 blocks to where the car was parked.  Her husband was a fire chief.  You can see him in the documentaries, walking near Guiliani. She had heard from him when it first happened, but nothing since.  In the meantime, we knew the towers had collapsed, although we could hardly believe it. Yet, she was more calm than I was. 

We drove toward the Queensboro bridge, and it was eerie how quiet Manhattan was.  There was no traffic.  As we approached the bridge, I saw people walking toward it, covered in soot and debris. I saw a pickup truck loaded with people.  Then from the bridge, I got my first glimpse of the smoke from the towers.  It was all unreal. 

They dropped me off near my apartment.  I went to Genovese, bought junk food and went home and watched TV for about 10 hours straight, punctuated by crying and phone calls from friends when we could get through.  The junk food didn’t help.  I felt isolated and helpless, yet somehow safe in Queens. 

I checked my voicemail that night and found out the next day would be business as usual at work. We were expected to come in. I didn’t look forward to getting on a subway, but at the same time I was longing to be around people.  So I went to work and my boss asked me why I was there.  I told him our administrative supervisor had ordered us to report.  He told me I should go home.  I think I stayed for half a day, but the office was pretty empty, so there wasn’t much community. 

Images from that time are frozen in my mind, and it doesnt seem like 5 years ago.  The gut-wrenching missing person fliers in the subway stations and all over town.  People selling patriotic souvenirs.  A candlelight vigil in Woodside. Bits of paper strewn all over Brooklyn.  My first glimpse of the downtown skyline without those buildings from the BQE. 

I had just been to the WTC subway stop that previous Friday, with a group of friends to see "Rock Star" at the new movie theater down there that was now destroyed. The previous weekend I had celebrated my birthday on a carefree weekend with friends at the beach town of Cape May.  That seemed like an all-together different life.  We still remark on that weekend as the "end of innocence".

I was lucky that nobody who was close to me nor any of my coworkers perished. Several friends escaped.  My friend’s fire chief husband survived, although she did not hear from him for almost 12 hours.  My colleague’s fiancee did not.  She became the face of the tragedy for me. I couldn’t fathom her pain or imagine what it must be like to make all the calls to cancel the wedding that was just weeks away. 

My 9/11 story is nothing exceptional. It is what many of us New Yorkers experienced that day. But it feels important to write it down, although I am sure the images in my head will never fade.

If I Eject Myself From This Blog, Will That Make Us Win?

Today’s game was just beyond frustrating.  It’s a good thing I was already in a good mood from Notre Dame’s (my alma mater) big win over Penn State yesterday and from going to my first ever Rams game today and seeing them win (albeit ugly). So I won’t let the Cardinals’ shoddy work spoil my weekend, but, man! 7 runs ought to be enough.  Anytime we score enough runs to get free coffee from Mobil On The Run, that should be enough.  But most of the time this year, it ain’t. 

I look at Pujols in the dugout and think, "God, he must be frustrated."  He hits another homer and goes 3 for 5 but it doesn’t matter when the defense gives up 4 unearned runs early in the game and then the bullpen gives up 5 more. 

The prospect of 7 upcoming games against the Astros is really frightening – almost as scary as their old rainbow uniforms