My dad used to tell me about Tony Lazzeri who came up to the Yankees in 1927. The second baseman was such a dangerous hitter, opposing pitchers would issue walks to him with the bases loaded. In a lineup with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey and Joe DiMaggio, he was often overshadowed.
With Albert Pujols October predictable bash brothers routine, the Texas Rangers might not pitch to No. 5 tonight at all. In fact, they might bar his admission at the players gate in order to enter the stadium. This is the guy who blasted one off the glass windows in the playoffs in Houston. Think the guy likes to slug the ball in the Lone Star state? He looks like a matador with a red cape waving in his face.
Fox’ Joe Buck said the Cardinals could slug it out with bangers like the world-class Rangers. Trying to keep his neutrality as a St. Louisan in the broadcast booth, Buck got it 360 wrong. The Cardinals flat out can out-slug the best hitters in baseball. Josh Hamilton, get some quick swing lessons.
Case in point, Pujols’ three rocket launchers, matching the work of Ruth and Mr. October Reggie Jackson.
Bill DeWitt, Jr., you’d better open up your piggy bank and get Pujols’ name on a new contract, no questions asked.
Cardinal fans simply won’t stand for the notion of the first baseman playing in a Cub uniform. Think the Northsiders signed on The Red Sox GM Theo Epstein just to sip coffee with the owners?
If Pujols departs St. Louis, expect insurrection in the streets. Pujols is bigger than life in a Red Bird suit. People worship the alter at which he prays.
Advantage Albert. He can test the free agent market in order to up the ante. If it costs the team owners a couple hundred million for a new contract, so be it. This is a nice thing for the Pujols family.
Rumor has it, tonight’s game is going to be shifted to San Antonio. The Rangers might want to take cover at the Alamo.
Yesterday was a bizarre day in sports. I started by tuning in FX TV only to see the Okie State Pokes shred Mizzou like a pinnate. I thought they were playing the Affton Cougars.
My mid afternoon, the MICDS Rams were scoring by air and by land in a 50-18 beat down of a somewhat talented and surely swift University City Lions’ team. By 5 o’clock, the Rams were 9-0 and District 6 champions. Late in the evening, I watched Kirk Cousins of Michigan State launch one of those patterned Hail Mary's into the endzone on the last play of the game. It was batted from the endzone to a surprised Spartan receiver who bulled his way across the plain, barely, handing high-flying Wisconsin their first loss of the year. It took a controversial instant replay reversal to knock the Badgers from the unbeaten ranks.
By evening, the Cardinals were tearing the Rangers into tiny pieces. I heard all that false bravado about returning home to warm weather and heating up the bats. It was the Cardinals who drew lumber from the red-hot furnace.
I was half expecting to find one of those Texas-style “Mission Accomplished” banners hanging from the rafters during the pre-game show.
I’d like to be the PR guy for the Rangers. I can just see it now, a talking points memo for the players to hand out to the throng of media covering the series.
It goes something like this with baseball’s best cliches:
“It’s just one game. We will put this behind us. One run, 100 runs, what’s the difference? A loss is just a loss?
By late tonight, the tide could swing back to the locals. Bet the Rangers are glad Tony Lazzeri is not in the lineup. They’d have to issue walks with the sacks full. That’s all Albert is going to see. A steady diet of fast balls well outside the strike zone.