The New Ballpark Village is so exciting and new, no one will be able to compete. The dead downtown is getting a new shot in the arm. And that’s a good thing, right?
St. Louis is a great baseball town. We have the perfect weather for baseball: the summer is long, the nights are hot, and there is nothing else left to do for the middle class. To sit outside, on a summer night, drink a cold beer, have a hot dog, and watch the game…it’s a good life.
I was a baseball junkie back in the 1980’s, and as I drove my yellow Firebird into the city to watch Hertzog’s team, I felt excited by the life of the city: the malls, the shops, the bars. Sure, there were certain streets you didn’t go into, but the city was thriving.
Daddy Busch built my favorite stadium, that big beautiful Roman Coliseum., bought the team, rode his famous Clydesdale on opening day, waved his cowboy hat, and the city was his. If you got bored, you could walk around the whole stadium and just look down at the game from all over. It fit the Arch perfectly. Flying over the Arch into the city at night, the stadium was breathtaking.
And then, the old man died. His son could care less about owning a baseball team, so it was sold to some good friends of George W. Bush, who by the way, had ties to St. Louis. Prescott Busch, his grandfather, used to have his business not far from the old stadium
The new owner, William DeWitt Jr, who bought them in 1995 for $150 mil, decided just to tear a perfectly good stadium down….they wanted their own stadium, more fit for the NEW economy: Yes, the new stadium is filled with more boxes for the rich, and the poor, can only afford to sit way out in center filed.
To his credit, William Dewitt has made it into a huge money-making deal for…him. Owning a ball club can bring you riches you can’t imagine. Just ask George W. Bush, who made much of his wealth that way.
(but, back on subject)
The people who went to the ballgames could no longer afford to go. In other words, the rich investors who own the Cardinals, made a new stadium, where the rich have private parking, and will never run into the low life below them. Restaurants were all around the stadium, where the “middle” class could sit inside air conditioning and have any kind of food you can imagine, and watch the game on TV. In other words, many of these new stadiums have ways to “protect” the rich from the poor, and now, the ‘poor’ can’t even afford to go.
Anyone who grew up in St. Louis, has seen the slow death of downtown, and this is nothing new, but this Ballpark Village was suppose to have individual bars, privately owned, by many families, but now the news is out:
The construction of Ballpark Village represents the culmination the Cardinals vision for their investment in downtown St. Louis that began with the opening of the new, privately financed $411 Busch Stadium in 2006.
The Cardinals are developing Ballpark Village in partnership with The Cordish Companies.
Okay. The rich guys not only own the stadium, but they own the Ballpark village. It’s the New World Order, where thousands of small businesses will go under, and no one will be able to compete with the big boys who have the monopoly.
Because that’s what ballpark village is: A monopoly.
Nobody Wins with crony capitalism but the rich.
On the good side– If you can’t afford a ticket to the game, you can sit at the bar and watch the big giant screen. But you will still pay $10 for a beer.
On the bad side?
When the rich got together with their crony politicians, and decided to take manufacturing out of the country, and then decided America was going to be a service economy—Nobody ever dreamed who we’d all be serving. So…have a beer!
Or two…or three…or four….trickle up that ten dollars (500 percent markup) right to the top.
This is a great rant by Mark Levin, who comments here on the fact that Hank Aaron put all republicans into the KKK category. Mark tears into the racist comments by Hank, and I agree with him….when you think of all the WHITE republican fans that made his career……well, I would get rid of his card too.
Obama has used all the famous black (and stupid) people he can find, to attack white conservatives for him. In the name of, “See, they don’t like me because I’m black.”
It’s getting disgusting, and Mark goes after them.
So, Congratulations Mark! You win the Nobody’s Fool award for the week!.
In your own words: “You’re a GREAT American!”
Thanks for saying what so many of us feel, and you do it every night.
It’s opening day for baseball in America, and the last day to sign up for Obamacare before you ‘supposedly’ get fined. Which event got more boos? New York Mayor Bill de Blasio throwing out the first pitch? Or the Obamacare website which, once again, crashed twice. This pretty much sums up that reaction;
I was going to remember that the United Nations was started on this day, in 1945, and that today Brazil, France and Germany are appealing to the U.N. to stop Obama from spying on them.
So, I’m going to tell a short story about baseball.
First: I had great parents. My parents were so trusting that when I was 17, I drove to Snowmass, Colorado all by myself. In fact I went all over the country by myself. I’m not sure if it’s because they knew they couldn’t tame me, or if they were just hoping I’d met some rich guy, (Probably a little of both.) But, when it came to men, sometimes I was just dense. I just didn’t see them being attracted to me at all. And so I married the first guy who wanted to marry me, because I didn’t think I’d ever get another chance.
Yeah, low self-esteem comes in buckets.
So of course that marriage lasted all of one year and three months. This story comes, right after the painful divorce. I was pretty lonely so I got hooked on baseball. I always went to the game by myself, only because, I’ve never really had girlfriends. I would work at night as a drummer, (in all guy bands) and during the day, I would go to the games. And I got hooked.
On the game of baseball.
Anyway, to make a long story short, here in St. Louis, Busch stadium was downtown, and I do remember one night, in the middle of July, the game lasted until midnight, and when a game runs overtime, you have a lot of drunks walking to the parking lot. It was a hot summer night, and I was in my usual short-shorts, which would bring cat-calls, and frankly, I was scared to walk to my car. It was just a gut feeling. After all, East St. Louis, is just a kick away from downtown.
So, I went to the nearest hotel bar. I thought, if I sat there long enough, the drunks would leave, and I’d have a safer chance once the crowd had cleared out. I’d rather walk in an empty parking lot and take my chances with the shadows.
After about 15 minutes, the bar started filling up with players…from the Dodgers. I was pretty shy around ball players..and so I tried to keep to myself. As I sat at the bar, a very distinguish older gentlemen sat next to me and started to talk. After about five minutes I told him I was only hanging around because I was scared to walk to my car.
So, since he had told me he was actually the official Dodgers Team radio commentator, on the road for the Dodgers, ( and he was famous…he told me that.) I figured he had to be safe.
“Really, would you?: I said….”That would be great.”
So, we walked through the parking lot and got to the car, and I drove him back to the hotel, and then he said, “Hey, park here and come on in for another drink.”
Now, I’m not sure why I did, but looking back on it, I was flattered that someone famous had even been so nice to me, and I figured one drink was no big deal. It’s not like I thought he was expecting anything else but conversation. As I remember, he was pretty much the gentleman the whole time.
“So, why are all the guys laughing at you?” I asked.
“They wanted to know if I screwed you.” He said. “So I told them I did.”
To say I was embarrassed—– To say I was shocked, will let you know how much I trusted people to have decency, and what a dumb blond I really was. Boy, did I feel stupid.
The reality is, baseball players not only do steroids, but they spend many long nights on the road, and many of them have wives, and many of them screw around, and I knew that…but I really didn’t think that the radio star would want to tell an old high school lie. After all, Jack Buck would never do that now…would he?
Judge it or not, I thought the guy was a real creep for doing that…and I felt sorry that he had to lie to even make those young players actually think some young thing wanted to ‘do’ it with him for a walk to her car.
Now I look back on that and feel sorry for the man. Clearly, he was having a hard time competing with the young ball players and he made up a lie just to impress them.
And what is even funnier, is he TOLD me what he said to them.
I wish my father had told me the tricks that men pull. But then again, I don’t think any father will. I think they should teach their daughters how to shoot a gun, how to box, and all the tricks that men play.
But….they keep their mouths shut for all eternity. And that, in my Nobody Humble Opinion, is why the world is filled with dumb blonds.
(Okay, so this was not a baseball story. It’s just one I remember. Funny how you remember all the times you were stupid, isn’t it? )
This week is all about cheating…
First up, the very popular multi-millionaire baseball Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. It seems he had to admit, just like Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Roger Clemens before him, that he was pumping up the juice, sticking the old needle in all the right places, all these years, and has been lying about it:
Alex Rodriguez met head-on allegations that he tested positive for steroids six years ago, telling ESPN on Monday that he did take performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers during a three-year period beginning in 2001.
“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s Peter Gammons in an exclusive interview in Miami Beach, Fla.
“Back then, [baseball] was a different culture,” Rodriguez said. “It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid. I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time.
“I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”
I’m not sure what they are going to do to him: Make him bat-boy for a year? Make him run beer errands for the Yankee fans during the home games? Make him play baseball in Cuba for a year? Go to steroid rehab? Nobody Knows, but we are finding out now, that 103 more players tested positive for steroids in 2003…and that was…uh…TEN years ago? What were they waiting for? The Cubs to win the World Series?
No, they (Who are they?) weren’t going to tell us. Someone LEAKED this information! I bet, this person is, at this very moment, sitting with Snowden in a Russian Airport, because ‘President Obama is also VERY mad about this:
“And if you’re a fan of Major League Baseball, I think it tarnishes an entire era, to some degree,” Obama said. “And it’s unfortunate, because I think there were a lot of ballplayers who played it straight.”
This coming from a man who has never played anything straight in his life….he even cheated on his birth certificate…..but I digress.
And then, there’s the cheaters in China. It seems, the school exams in China are so HARD that the kids have been sneaking in electronic ‘cheating’ devices, so therefore, BRAS will be banned during the tests.
Education chiefs in northeast China have devised a new tactic to clamp down on cheating in the country’s annual university entrance exams: they have banned bras. About 9.12 million students will sit the notoriously difficult gaokao exam Friday and Saturday. Last year, according to the China Daily, more than 60,000 electronic devices were seized, including plastic earphones, wireless signal receivers, modified pens, watches, glasses and leather belts.
They should take a page from America: Our teachers let them bring anything at all with the answer to the test questions, because in America, the teachers don’t get their big bonuses unless the kids pass the tests. In fact, if a kid is caught NOT using a calculator in math class….and they start actually doing math in his or her own head,—they will flunk the class for not knowing how to use the all important calculator.
The Chinese have it backward!
So, who wins the Nobody’s Perfect award for the week?
Obama…Obama’s daily cheating has tarnished an entire era for the whole planet…He should be kicked out of baseball.
Last Friday night, I was cooking dinner and watching Sheppard Smith on FOX NEWS talking to a storm chaser in Oklahoma. The TV screen looked…green. The whole Oklahoma skyline looked… green. I was wondering if some technician somewhere added some “green” just to make it look even scarier.
I would have added the wicked Witch of the West zooming through the clouds on her broom for the kids, but that’s why I don’t work for a TV station.
No detail is too small when it comes to the entertainment of the masses. And THIS tornado had become the most exciting thing that had happened since the LAST tornado that ‘President’ Obama has already forgot. He no doubt thought this happened in Madison.
They had great camera shots of it. This was Hollywood stuff. This was Oscar worthy. This was news titillation in its finest hour.
The storm chaser talking to Sheppard Smith was screaming and talking so fast, Sheppard had to tell him to slow down…
“A FARM just went over my head!” the storm chaser yelled.
“What…are you okay..did you say you see some farm equipment?”
Money. What some people will do for it.
I was flipping over the bacon, when I turned on the local news: St. Louis was also on a tornado watch.
“Great” I thought. “not again.”
Sure enough…my husband and I went downstairs as the tornado sirens were going off and then the lights went out, almost at exactly the same time that the tornado that hit my street on April 10 this year had: 8.30pm.
Cell phones weren’t working, so I was stuck with my old trusted radio, and very anxious to hear where the tornados touched down. Were they near us? Were they coming this way?
Do I have time to flip the bacon?
Oklahoma is used to tornadoes, but here in St. Louis people were calling up to the radio station, asking about damages, etc…..and the reporters would always say, “We’ll see what happened tomorrow.” As I laid in the dark and listened to the frightened voices on my radio, I thought the commentator was purposely being very nebulous and leaving everyone literally…in the dark. He knew what happened. He was just not going to say. His reputation was on the line.
In the meantime, people were calling up saying they had been in a Casino where the roof was ripped off, tractor trailers flipped, there were houses hit, schools torn apart, etc, and the radio host acted as if it was just a little storm.
First report came in: (You KNOW how I am about first reports.) Many casualties when a hotel was hit. Drivers reported 20 ambulances arriving at the scene, but the cops said, nobody was hurt.
It’s okay folks, only 100 houses have been flattened and over 200 damaged but that’s really nothing.
The next day, I was stuck without a car, and so I had the Cardinal baseball game on. They were playing the Giants. KMOX is our main radio station here. It’s the only one that reports the news. Around 10 a.m. The man in charge of our local electric company came on to say that the whole city had wires down everywhere, they had 800 men out, 300 men coming in from other states, and it was reported that about 100,000 people were without electric. The numbers went all over the map in every different report.
The electric man said that Governor Nixon had declared a disaster, and he would tell everyone at 2.30 pm that day, what was going on. He had to take the whole day reviewing everything.
So…he SAID he’d be back at 2.30 pm, and tell us what he found out.
I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say.
Nobody knew just how long their electric would be out, so I’m sure I wasn’t the only fool who listened to the radio for hours in anticipation. I decided. I would listen to the game.
They had to cancel the game the night before due to weather, so they held a double- header downtown. They even added fireworks. No doubt, they were hoping all the people without electric would drive downtown for the game. What an opportunity! Get out of your miserable house and come on down!
Yes, whole neighborhoods left in the dark…good idea.
Not once, throughout that whole game was there any mention of what had happened in St. Louis. Jack Buck (RIP) would have said something. I would have devoted a whole ten minutes of gratitude to Tom Edison, and how really $%& up the world would be if he had not been born, but that’s why I’m not a sports broadcaster.
Sure, the 200,000 people who had electric saw the news on TV. but the other 100,000 were left out in the cold, and clueless.
At 2.30. nobody came on to tell the good people anything.
I HATE when that happens. I felt like I had been stood up. If you say you are going to do something, well then DO IT.
The game was a shutout: 8-0. Cardinals won with some rookie pitcher. I could have cared less. Couldn’t they have at least had a small news break about the electric situation…like around the seventh inning?
Sure they could have…I wondered: I know life goes on, but after all…come on.
It’s a little bit after 10pm on a Sunday night as I am writing this, and it’s being reported that three Storm Chasers lost their lives, killed by the tornado’s in Oklahoma trying to get a good shot for the big News channels.
How stupid is that? Are they that hard up for ratings? What do they tell these guys?
“If you can get IN the tornado and get a good shot, it’s an extra bonus for ya!”
And what about this business that they don’t really want to admit to a tornado until they have ‘professional’ come out and declare it such. Is that for insurance purposes?
Insurance agent: Uh…I know you lost the whole roof to your house sir, and your car is over two blocks in a tree, but nobody has really confirmed that there even WAS a tornado and so, I will have to list this as wind damage, and of course, we can’t be liable for any water damage caused by the storm, or your fence that is blown down. That’s was added to your policy last year.
I’m not sure what I got out of this: But it seems to me that there’s a real disconnect in the media, not only about the seriousness of our politician’s crimes, but the worsening natural disasters that are hitting the United States. Fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes…are good for business. Cars are destroyed, houses have to be rebuilt, food gets spoiled, this is all good for the bottom line.
In the meantime, we don’t have to be attacked by any country…the weather is doing a good job of destroying us.
And in two days…it happens all over again.
You know where I’ll be. I’m flipping my bacon at 5.
Nobody Gets Email
Ah….the joys of spring! We knew this was coming. The .globalization of baseball. Here we see that Mexico, who was leading by six runs in the 9th, did not think that this batter had any right to try to get on base. So the pitcher hit the batter— on purpose.
According to Tony La Russo, former coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, nothing makes a coach more furious than a pitcher aiming and hitting a player up by his head…for obvious reasons. A baseball to the head is very lethal. Sure, it hit his shoulder, but that’s close enough.
So, one cannot blame the batter…but why in the world do this when you have a good lead? We learn, that in Mexico the rules are different.
Some of those Mexicans look right out of drug gangs, but, I wouldn’t go up against any Canadian because they all play hockey, and while the Mexicans would have an advantage with guns, since no guns are allowed in Baseball, the Canadians would do the most damage.
That’s just my Nobody Opinion, which was not well thought out, but it sure makes sense to me. :)
How do we judge our idols? At the funeral of Stan Musial on Saturday, held in the lovely Catholic ‘New’ Cathedral in downtown St. Louis…Bob Costas pretty much hit a home run. While I was crying at his words…and breaking up along with Bob when he got to the part (see video) about how Stan Musial said “Deal me in.” to the blacks in the clubhouse…it wasn’t until later that I remember Bob’s recent remarks about gun control during a football game not too long ago. (He wants to ban them)
You have to remember…Bob is a liberal…and yet, here was a liberal crying over the very things that conservatives pretty much take for granted. Decency. Integrity. Honesty. Stan Musial had all those traits..not only throughout his career, which stopped 50 years ago, but throughout his life. Anyone here in St. Louis, who ran into Stan Musial..got a big smile, and at the least, an autograph.
Conservatives everywhere, take those tratis for granted. To us, those traits are as easy as breathing. We didn’t think nothing of Stan being the way he was…after all…he was conservative. Went to church, stayed married to his high school sweetheart. Never put anyone down for their politics. He was a great ballplayer, sure…but there are millions that live their lives the same way Stan did.
I’m not sure Bob knows that.
An hour before the funeral, I saw an interview with Robert Redford. Robert Redford was repeating the Obama’s mantra: People don’t want change, but it’s coming regardless of whether they like it or not. Period. He was talking about conservatives.
Here’s Obama’s words:
There are going to be some areas where that change is going to be very hard for Republicans. I suspect, for example, that already there are some Republicans who embrace the changing attitudes in the country as a whole around LGBT issues and same-sex marriage. But there’s a big chunk of their constituency that is going to be deeply opposed to that, and they’re going to have to figure out how they navigate what could end up being divisions in their own party. And that will play itself out over years.
Among the crowd at the funeral was all the town’s sports figures: Whitey Herzog, Tony La Russa, Commissioner Bud Selig, and Robert Pujols. It was a very long program because they showed the whole Catholic Mass on TV.
So— Here was two great ‘conservative’ American traditions: The Catholic Mass and American Baseball, and the theme of the day, was not only what a great ball player that Stan had been, but what a great human being. Bob spoke as if…nobody sees this kind of decency anymore.
Obviously not him.
To Bob…(by his speech) men like Stan are..rare. Morality, decency, living a humble life…that’s the past.
Our country was founded on morality. On decency. On each man making his own mark, and then giving back. And those very important rules are based on religion. (That Obama smirks that we “cling”to.) That shows how much we have changed…Lance Armstrong, the steriods…you don’t have to look too far to see corruption in sports, or politics, or anything anymore for that matter.
And while Bob Costas eulogy will go down in history as being one of the best ever given about any man, Stan’s brother-in-law made an even more important reminder than the fact that Stan wasn’t prejudice. (As so many conservatives ALSO…are not.) He reminded everyone, that Stan Musial worked with the Catholic Church AND the Pope, (Back when Reagan was President) to help funnel money over to Poland, which helped defeat the communists in Russia and Poland. When Obama presented him with the Congressional Metal of Freedom last year, he certainly didn’t mention what the man did.
I’m sure, Obama could have cared less.
The “change” that Robert Redford and Obama are talking about is why I found this funeral so sad. I think, the fact that Bob sees the abhorrent behavior that has become the norm in our sports was why he was crying, and maybe he was asking himself… Why can’t all men be as decent as Stan Musial?
The real fact is: there are still millions of Stan Musials in America, living lives of ‘quiet desperation” helping their neighbors, loving their families, trying to be good citizens(buyinig McDonalds for the grandkids on Saturday)—and they are being attacked, while the sport figures, rap singers, horror fiction writers, movie stars…etc…are getting pats on the back for being basically rich drug addicts, adulterers, cheaters, and liars. The boys of summer are found on the ski slopes of Aspen, waiting for the next cocaine fix to come in.
Like Stan Musial, the common conservative man will never get on the news. And it’s that common, decent man who they want to not only ‘change” but crush.
Nobody could stop thinking about that through the whole funeral.
When the coffin was carried into the church, it had only a white linen drape. No flowers were on it. No roses of any sort. It was simple. Plain…like the man.
His grandson said “Gee, I had to follow Bob Costas.” with a sigh, but then said probably the most important thing: He looked into the camera and said he wanted everyone watching to try to be just like Stan.
Stan the Man, is the quintessence of the America that most of us grew up with. They drapped him in the American flag as they carried him out, as if to say to all the liberals: Here lies an American dream…watch and weep, and honor “Stan the Man.” He was the best of us.
And should you ever get to St. Louis, go stand in front of Stan’s statue, and bring a harmonia, and play a tune. Stan would love it…he never went anywhere without his. And don’t forget to read what it says:
“Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”
Nobody Gets Email
I have to say…these guys ALMOST did as good a job as the girls dancing! It’s the Senior VS the Staff…dance off, and it’s pretty funny. So…what is it about men wanting to get dressed up in girl’s clothes?
It seems to be a long-standing tradition, especially in Baseball, for the “hazing” ritual of baseball players to dress up in drag. Tony La Russa has a fine picture of the Cardinals World Series Champs of 2011, dressed up like women in his new book “One Last Strike.”
As a woman, I just can’t see the fun in this…but there you go. It’s Saturday night…Game Three of the World Series will be underway soon, and I am going to try to picture every one of the men on those teams in a pink tutu. Some of them would look pretty funny…I hope…the tradition continues!
Enjoy the video…and be thankful that in some parts of the United States, principles and coaches still have a sense of humor! (Thanks to Mona)
“I quit!” I told my mother. I don’t WANT to learn how to cook!” I couldn’t think of anything more boring than pouring batter in a pan and then putting icing on a cake.
It was the first time I had stood up to my mother. She had enrolled me in the “Brownies” and to become a full-fledged Girl Scout, you had to get the “badge” of cooking. I wanted to rip that little badge off of every Girl Scout that went around proudly displaying it on their ne Girl Scout uniform. It was a shock to my poor mother, but to me, life was unfair. My father had started a little league baseball team in our small home town of Naples, Florida, and he had made my brother the star pitcher.
I resented him so much for being chosen for this incredible position in my parent’s eyes, that I would sit high up in a tree behind first base, and pout every game. And then it occurred to me, one night while I was sitting in that tree watching my brother perform brilliantly, making my father and mother so proud, that my older brother could get hit in the head with a pitch, and they would have to call an ambulance and all of us would wonder if my brother would live or die. I didn’t want him to DIE! A knock-down and a few coughs would have made me feel a lot better.
The fact is, I just wanted more of my parent’s attention. It didn’t matter how many straight A report cards I brought home, I could never be the star my brother was.
Did I resent him? YES! Was I a sinner for even having the thought? Was there something inside of me that wanted him..less popular?
Come on…be honest. Even dogs get jealous of each other.
Later on in college I was the same rebel: “I will NOT declare a major! Why do I have to? I want to take EVERYTHING! It’s MY money! I quit.”
As much as I wanted to perform some magic thing to make my position as the measly girl in the family who was only suppose to grow up and cook, life was almost becoming unbearable. And I was only six.
I was learning that life was not fair. There was so such thing as “Girl’s little league teams” in the fifties. My father, who quietly sympathized with my plight, felt my anguish and let me warm up the catcher, Rocky. Yes, I would pitch endlessly to the ten- year-old Rocky before the games, who was even at ten, perfect for the position. I LOVED pitching balls to Rocky. My dad would always pat me on the back and say “Good job.” I lived for that moment.
Rocky later on, grew up to take me to my first dance…and he had to fight the school board for the privilege because he was in Junior High and I was still in Sixth Grade.
Which brings me to my point: Girls…in their minds, from the earliest age know they cannot compete with the boys, and some of us want to. Before those hormones of puberty push you into reading Vogue magazine, and trying on lipstick, many girls WANT to run, catch, throw, tackle…and hit the home run. To the Tomboys, like me, it was the first hard lesson in life: You grow up. Face the facts. But that doesn’t mean after puberty, that we don’t compete.
Oh yes we do.
Last night, I attended a book signing held at the Public Country Library here in St. Louis, where Tony La Russa talked for quite awhile about his life as a World Series winning coach for the Cardinals.
After he talked they took questions from the audience. One young blond jumped up, and with tears in her voice, expressed her undying devotion to the coach who had ruled her whole life. In fact, she had bought him a letter that she wrote when she was ten. TEN! Wow.
I thought the courage of that young woman remarkable. To stand up in front of 800 people and declare how this one man had influenced her whole life—may not seem a hard thing to many, but that takes some guts.
His influence went way beyond baseball.
And then, another woman stood up, and expressed the thankfulness she had of all the family memories—and how she had stood up for the coach, in all the tough times. She was a fierce and loyal fan. I could just picture her verbally assaulting anyone who had dared attack Tony’s coaching moves.
Whoa. Do NOT give that woman a bat.
The emotion from both these women were written all over faces of the other Cardinal fans in the audience.
And that’s the beauty of baseball. It’s an amazing thing this game…how it units whole towns. Whole cities…and when the World Series comes about…a whole nation.
I was asking myself, while I was sitting there…seeing people being turned into emotional little kids—Were they remembering the days of Dad throwing them the ball, the trips to the ballpark with their parents? (The endearing father and son sitting next to me were.) What is it about the game that units people into actually becoming winners and losers right along with their home teams?
As people, we go around in tribes, that’s true…but in baseball, it’s more than that.
It gives everyone watching, that all important need to all humans: physiologically hope.
Back in the eighties I was coming out of an extremely painful divorce. I went on a “blind” date who took me to a Cardinal baseball game. It was that night, that I saw my first home run.
Most people see it when they are kids. I was fortunate enough to see my first major league home run when I was well into my twenties. Like a lot of things, you have to see a home run when your older to fuller appreciate the miracle of it. It’s like—if you took your one-year old to Disneyworld…he’s not going to get it. (Trust me, I did that.)
Jack Clark hit that home run out into center field…and that ball sailed into the air, beyond eyesight, for the longest time. Easily…almost in slow motion. Who could DO such a thing? That came out of THAT man? Isn’t that impossible?
As I walked out of that stadium I was so ecstatic that my “blind date” knew he had made a mistake bringing me there in the first place. He never asked me out again, and I got hooked on baseball.
Five years later had to unhook myself. The passion it takes to watch every single game, takes a lot out of your psych if you’re an emotional person. I remember one season, where the Cardinals had just missed going to the World Serious, and after my father had died a long a painful death from brain cancer, I was more than ready when spring came. Baseball gave me hope…to start living again. Brushing off the cobwebs of winter, the constant struggle of making a living, paying bills, putting up with emotional pain sometimes unavoidable—Baseball would come and wipe the plate clean.
After all those guys on the field start with a clean plates too, and then…grinding out..day by day..most of the time, striking out…but in the game of baseball…there were moments and IF you witnessed those moments then you felt that YES…in your life, you could have those moments too.
If you just keep plugging along, you too could win the World Series..just like the team…just like those guys…they never give up. YOU must not give up.
Baseball is almost a microcosm of the American Dream: Work hard, be honest. Play fair…you will be rewarded. Baseball could not have been invented in any other country. It is a moral game…and has the “rule of law” that everyone must play by…at least that’s how it was meant to be in its purest form.
I remember one particular moment in the Cardinal playoffs in, I think , 1985. (Some baseball historian might remember the game) It was an extremely cold night. I was in a short outfit, with no coat, had managed to get down on the lower deck…I was standing very close to the field, on the third base line, and some guy was standing next to me. We were watching a small man, pitch a no-hitter.
His name was John Tutor.
That whole stadium of 50,000 people were quiet. Mesmerized. As I watch pitch after pitch..those balls just floated to the plate.
Floated. Not fast…just floated. As if in slow motion or some kind of time warp. My eyes were surely deceiving me. Nobody could hit him. Nobody.
I was witnessing one of those rare moments that happen……….
Okay…You can see that that memory took me BACK to that moment—sorry. What I was trying to say is that after that long illness where I had to take care of my dying father, I needed a lift in life. And baseball gave it to me in spades.
Now, to Tony LaRussa:
Tony LaRussa, was amazing last night. I myself have gone cold turkey on baseball, because I know how easily I can use it as an addiction for ignoring responsibilities that I need to attend to— so I didn’t watch many games in 2011. But one thing I did realized as I was sitting there: There are genius’ in every field, and the moment Tony talked, it was clear to my mind that this man was clearly a one-of-a-kind baseball mind that was —genuis.
HIs memory alone…….good god…This man remembers every pitch, the day it was tossed, the scores…I can’t even remember what day it is sometime.
My husband calls me from work and I say “Uh..what day is this?”
But memory alone doesn’t put you at the top.
There are just a few men in history that stand out. As a musician I can only explain it thus: Take the hundreds of musicians that have played Moonlight Sonata.
I’ve heard most of the greats, but no one could even compare to Arthur Rubenstein’s rendition. And he explained it this way: When he played anything, he put all his experiences into it: everything he had every felt, every thought he had ever had–into that moment when he played
And that’s what I believe made Tony La Russa’s coaching life above most others in history.
I think, he put everything he felt— every emotion, every thought about life—into those moments where he had to control the game.
I could be wrong, I haven’t read the book yet.
It’s just My Nobody Opinion, and from a “girl” no doubt. By the end of the night, Tony looked tired. He had done a book signing early in the day…signing over thousands of books could not be easy. All I could tell him when I finally got to my turn was, “You don’t have too much longer to go.”
I was trying to tell him in my own way, that I admired his stamina. But, I’m sure coming from a older women who still wore lipstick, it sounded stupid.
“Really?” he said. I don’t think he believed me.
I am sorry I missed my hometown Cardinal 2011 Championship season– but I could tell by the faces on the people in the audience last night, that the Cardinals had lifted many a heart from the insanity going on in the country at this moment.
If we had Tony La Russa’s as Presidents, our country would come back from this seemingly hopeless state that we are in. Yes, Tony’s impeccable leadership shows us one thing: If you can come back in baseball…you can come back in anything.
And guess what? –Since I have learned that lesson well…I have decided to learn how to cook….after all these years.
In baseball, and life, anything is possible.
My father…would be proud.
I can almost hear him saying as I write these words, “Good job, honey, good job. Keep at it—someday you just might hit your first home run.”
First: When you get a great job, in the greatest country on the planet, the last thing you should do is insult the fans that help pay you your big paycheck. REALLY stupid.
The new Miami Marlins’ stadium was built downtown Miami, right in the middle of Little Havana. The stadium was built on many of the Hispanic taxpayer’s backs, and Ozzie Moreno was hired for the obvious purpose of giving all those Cubans-Americans coming to the baseball games, a Spanish speaking manager to call their own: except–they have found out this week he is NOT one of their own.
It seems Ozzie is a big supporter of communism.
” The manager twice appeared on a radio show hosted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in October 2005, when Guillen led the Chicago White Sox to the World Series title. At the time, Guillen said: “Not too many people like the president. I do.”In the Time magazine online story that ran Friday, Ozzie was quoted as saying, “I love Fidel Castro.” Later in the story he added, “I respect Fidel Castro. You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that (expletive) is still here.”
As you can imagine, that didn’t go over too well with the Hispanics in Miami, who hate Castro. To keep his job, Ozzie had to come out and apologized and say how “embarrassed” he was because he lives in Miami. He threw in an apology to the American people too, but like a true Obama supporter, he came out and said that he was “misinterpreted.”
As you can see, it might be some time before the Hispanic people forgive him. What he forgot to say was, “America has been very good to me, and I think Castro is a tyrant.” Now, he has to go out into the community and try to convert the Cubans into either liking him again, or make them all communists.
Good luck with that Ozzie.
Second: On the other hand, we have a soccer player named Luis Moreno, who booted a live owl in front of the whole world. The poor helpless thing wasn’t even in his way. It was a purposeful kick, and it died from that injury.
The bird — which had been stunned after being hit by the soccer ball moments before — was a mascot for the Atletico Junior squad. Fans of Atletico Junior have been calling Moreno a “murderer,” and the Panamanian player may face legal ramifications for kicking the bird.
But hey—Luis is at least more honest than Ozzie in his response to the public outrage.
“My family is very worried about what happened, and even more because there is an entire country against me — and I think that’s not fair,” said Moreno. “I believe that what happened is regrettable. I apologize to the entire country and I believe it is time to let the issue go.”
Nobody Thinks next time Luis is lying on the field injured, one of the opposing team should just go over and give him another good kick. If he happened to die from that kick…then the player that delivered that kick could rightfully say:
“I apologize to the entire country, and I believe it is time to let the issue go.”
Is killing an owl worst than saying you like Castro? Nobody Thinks you can’t compare— they’re both ….imperfect.
So, this week Nobody Wins the Nobody’s Perfect award of the week. Better luck next week.
A Day of Baseball and other Thoughts.
Once upon a time, in a new land called New York…cricket was played in all the schoolyards. The game of cricket was THE game of the new country until 1855. And then, it happened—in 1845 a group of upper class men would get together and play the new game of “baseball.” They called themselves the New York Knickerbockers. And they stood remembered proudly, until that fatal day that the New York Nines beat them 23-1.
And what a beating! The fans were hooked. Here was a game where competition was the name…winner and loser. Battles on the diamond. Mano e Mano.. New York went wild, and the new country of America was hooked.
When the Civil War came the game of baseball spread all over the country. (They had to do something in-between battles.) Soon, there were hundreds of clubs, and so the love of baseball began, but didn’t really become obsessive until one very drunk man stepped up to the plate, and set the record of home runs for one season. Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs in 1927, a record he held until 1974 when Hank Aaron broke it.
The new game of baseball reflected the new great nation. A nation who thought it could do anything, win any war, defeat any enemy.(and they DID!) ..and the men on the old teams represented the best of us. The men of baseball were heroes. REAL heroes. And no boy was a boy without a baseball card collection.
And so, the great stadiums went up, and the black leagues were formed and then the women leagues. And then, the night games. We were on a roll.
During the WWII, right here in St. Louis…we had Dizzy Dean and Stan Musical. My grandmother named her last son after Dizzy Dean, (that’s my best friend, Pattie, standing next to Dizzy’s statue) so crazy was she about baseball, and he went on to play in the Cardinals minors. This sort of stuff happened all over the country.
Men and women lived their lives around the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Socks, and the oldest organized club, the Chicago Cubs. All the cities had a team to compete, and on late summer nights, after work..there was always the game, and the beer. It was a great way to unite a country.
Now— we have Facebook.
So what happened to it? Like the country, baseball has changed.
The last time I had attended a game, was at the old Roman Coliseum looking Stadium, Busch Stadium, since tore down– in downtown St. Louis. It was a couple of years after Mark McGuire (a Cardinal) had slugged out a home run race against Sammy Sousa. (A Cub) He finally broke the home run record of Roger Maris, by hitting 62 home runs in a season…it was in a game against the Cubs in 1998.
Nobody would say, that was the day, the baseball music died.
It was the McGuire-Sosa homerun race that got the fans back into the stands after the baseball strike. But, when the nation found out that the record was broken with the help of steroids, (and smaller infields) the magic went out of the game. Baseball players, we found out, were just like our politicians….They lie, and they cheat. They were no longer our heroes.
The Mark McGuire highway has been changed back to the Mark Twain highway. The only thing interesting about the game, after the great strike of 1994, was the home run. No more double-steals. No more pitching matches. It was a suffering 4 hours and I couldn’t wait to get home that day.
There I was sitting in an air-conditioned mall of restaurants and bars at a Cardinal afternoon game. As I admired the fact that while my friend Pattie and I could have any cuisine in the world: Chinese buffets to gourmet submarines sandwiches,— with any cocktail we could imagine, while sitting in an air conditioned comfortable 77 degrees, while watching the hundreds of HD screen TVs.. I realized that
…the game was STILL an utter bore.
The time it took to get from the first inning to the second, you could have taken an elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, got out, walked around, came back down, and it would still have been the bottom of the first, no runs, no hits, no men even chewing gum.
Here were men, being paid millions to entertain, and about all they did was walk out to their positions, and walk back. They were lame. The crowd was lame, and it seemed this brand new ballpark was all about the concessions and the liquor, where you can practically spent your next month’s car payment on a few drinks and a meal.
A bottle of ice tea was over five dollars. A bottle of beer…eight. The price of a decent ticket? Enough to feed a family for a week.
Of course, there were still baseball fans, I saw them sitting out in the heat, with looks of hope in their eyes, but who were these people I thought? We lost 9 to 3. I had more fun watching my dog sleep this morning.
Every time our big slugger Pujols came up to the plate, he caused about as much excitement as a water beetle having sex. He struck out twice, and not even with any effort on his part.
I would have given anything to go back to the days where the men hustled off the plates, and each moment was exciting.
But now, they pose for commercials. You don’t have to move too fast to pose.
Watching our team on the field, It was as if the teams reflected our politicians in Washington. Overpaid…and spoiled, and just plain, incompetent.
As we were leaving early we saw some guy with a McGuire tee shire on his back, walking behind us.
“So, you’re a Mark McGuire fan?” I asked.
“I used to be.” he said.
Yeah, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I used to be a baseball fan. Now the game is a place to eat and drink, and talk to your friends. I wonder if anyone else feels the same way?
Baseball is not what it used to be, but then again, neither is our country.