Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: hot stove

Making Peace with the Hot Stove

When my own mother called last week, legitimately worried that I might be burning all my Cardinal gear in a big bonfire out back, I realized that my previous blog post may have been a tad…. ummm, overly dramatic.
I do continue to randomly spout off (to anyone within earshot) that Mr. Mozeliak and the Cardinal ownership are dumber than a box of rocks if they dump ol’ Brendan and his magic glove, but I have adopted a few mental strategies that (so far) are helping me survive each day with that big stupid boulder hanging over my head.
Happy Thought #1: 
Maybe this is all just a clever Cardinal experiment created to motivate Brendan to step up his effort. You know, push him harder to fix whatever is broken and get him to apply himself. Let the Boog think he has to fight for his job and watch the magic return.  After all, a little friendly competition (disguised as brutal rejection) is good for everyone, right?
Happy Thought #2:
As hard as it is for me to spit this out, maybe it is best for Brendan if he gets the heck out of TLR territory. Perhaps the pressure of the Albert thunder grumbles, the Carp death-stare and the LaRussa doghouse are the reason for Ryan’s performance issues at the plate.  That’s a lot of pressure for a quirky young ballplayer from California, regardless of his defensive wizardry.
Aside:  Blame this thought process on a sappy little poster from my childhood bedroom wall. It was of a stunning black horse running majestically through a field of yellow wildflowers. “If you love something set it free” was printed in the corner.  (Looking back on it now, the horse was a poor choice.  Who is going to set a horse free? It should have been a chipmunk or a squirrel or something…)
Anyway, if we truly love our Brendan – and hope to continue to enjoy his acrobatic athleticism on the field – we may indeed need to set him free. Let him go play with a team who will appreciate him in all his mustached goofiness.
A California team would be best. With an outfield full of yellow wildflowers.
Happy Thought #3:
That Ryan Theriot guy is kinda cute. 😉
More Happy Thoughts…
And of course there are amazingly awesome Hot Stove contributions from wonderful Cardinal bloggers that make me smile and forget my Brendan worries.
Today Daniel over at Cardinal70.com composed “A Cardinal Christmas Carol”.  It is *amazing* incredibly funny stuff… and yes, Brendan’s got a part in it.  So, if you suffered through this dribbly post here, consider yourself rewarded – here’s the link to a future Cardinal Holliday classic (yeah… I meant to spell it like that.)  😉
psssst… Mom (if you are reading this): See? I am doing just fine.
I am making peace with the Hot Stove, and Hubby has hidden the matches.

End of an Era

It has been a while since I’ve felt like putting together a post on baseball.  Life’s been crazy and there has not been a whole lot to talk about.  Yesterday however, the Cardinals made some moves.  Blake Hawksworth was sent to the Dodgers for Ryan Theriot (be expecting a Hawk-dedicated post from Ang any second now…) and in another move the Cardinals picked up a left-handed reliever, Brian Tallet.

Where does this lead me… to my Hot Stove hot button, Brendan Ryan.  If this is the first time you’re reading Cardinal Diamond Diaries, you should know…. Brendo’s a favorite.  If you don’t like BRyan, don’t bother reading the rest.  Fair warning?
Ok…. here goes… Girl rant ahead:
If you missed this article in stloday.com, let me hit the highlights – or rather, the absolute lowest of low points.  The scribes see the writing on the wall and are reporting that Brendan Ryan’s era with the Cardinals is nearing an end. Mr. Mozeliak and the front office are making it clear that Brendan is on his way out.
Ahem…. Excuse me while I find the words to express my frustration with Mr. Mozeliak and the Cardinals organization…
Okay, first let me get this out….
WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU MEAN: BRENDAN’S PERSONALITY ISN’T A FIT???!!!”
If Brendan’s loveable, quirky, heart-on-his-sleeve, boy-you-grew-up-with, hilarious, camera-hound, fun-loving and friendly personality is not a fit for the Cardinals then I am seriously wondering how I fell in love with this team.  Maybe I’m not a good match as a Cardinal fan?  Maybe I’m a bad judge of character.  But I loved the team with the goofy shortstop who made us laugh and cry and cheer through the season’s struggles.
Is the true nature of the organization starting to show up – like after dating someone long enough to finally see the true person behind the charade and you discover Mr.(or Mrs.) Right is really a jerk who is actually a slob when you aren’t around? Well, I fell in love with the Cardinals, and my heart is breaking to think it was all a figment of my imagination.  Give me heart and fire and honesty.  If that doesn’t “fit”the team, well….
Brendan has always been one of the main reasons I am glued to the television for every single Cardinal game. I know I’m not alone in that as I meet more and more Brendan Ryan fans.
Brendan isn’t a “fit” for the team??
Brendan’s Gold-Glove caliber defense, his amazing range, his spinning, jumping, and diving plays that put him at the top of all MLB shortstops defensively are something that the Cardinals don’t value?
One last time…The Cardinals are a ground ball pitching staff.  I know this because everyone says so.  Defense behind that type of hurler? It absolutely matters. Remember what it was like in those games when Brendan’s glove wasn’t in the game? It was ugly.
Why does it seem obvious to me that the hole in the middle infield defense was at second base?  Was Mo watching a different team than I was?    The Cardinals decide to fix the middle infield problem by replacing the best defensive shortstop?  Does that make sense?  Really??
I have no problem with this Ryan Theriot guy. In fact I am quite sure that I would love him – at second base.  I’ve read the various opinions, and yesterday Bernie Miklasz had some great info on the comparison of Brendan Ryan and Ryan Theriot.  Link here.
I wish Mo would let me in on the grand scheme.  Beginning with the Ryan Ludwick trade and continuing to this shortstop dump idea, I have absolutely NO CLUE what the Cardinal brass are thinking. In this Brendan situation – IF there had been an available player whose defense was great and whose bat was strong, then I may have understood and accepted the decision to upgrade. Instead I’m left wondering how this Theriot fella fixes the problem.
I am new at this baseball circus and I do know a lot more than I did just two years ago.  However I catch myself wondering how a gal who has followed baseball for only 4 or 5 years can feel so betrayed and frustrated by a series of moves made by baseball professionals and executives who are in this to make money and win?  Have I missed the big picture?  We are trying to win, right? If the Cardinal blueprint continues with this type of shuffling without major improvement, getting ‘veteran’ players past their prime and neglecting the potential of young, talented players in the process then I worry this team has bigger issues than just locking up the historical golden contract of Mr. Pujols.
Maybe I have blinders and cannot see the wisdom behind the madness.  Oh, I certainly hope that’s it.
But for now…
I am a Brendan Ryan fan.  I look forward to seeing him on the highlight reels in 2011 and winning his many future Gold Gloves.  The Cardinals would be crazy to give up on him now.  And I may be crazy for being a Cardinal fan.  Time will tell. 😉
Now, excuse me while I go kick the crud out of the Hot Stove…..

My Hot Stove Wishlist

Last season I was introduced to the concept of baseball’s Hot Stove. Baseball talk all winter?  Yes, please!  😉
So, I spent my first winter cozied up to that stove longing for any and every bit of news about Matt Holliday. Would he return?  Would Mr. Boras, his evil agent, force him to wear pinstripes instead?  Well, I got my Holliday wish last year and decided that offseason baseball dealings were not only very entertaining, but could make me very happy.
Happy is good.
This offseason has not started off with such warm fuzzies.  Joe Mather, gone.  Matt Pagnozzi, gone.  Personally, I’ll take a nice campfire and a warm Cardinals snuggie instead, thank you.
Maybe that’s what I get for not respecting the Stove?  Maybe I took it for granted that the Cardinals would always make decisions in my best interest?  I guess I still have a lot to learn about baseball.  (thankfully)
So, just in case, the Hot Stove is like Santa and needs a little help in knowing just the right gifts this winter…
My Hot Stove WishList
1.      Save our Shortstop. Yep, I know there is a different player’s contract topping everyone else’s wishlist. But since you all have that one covered, I am going to make sure ol’ Boog doesn’t get forgotten.
Brendan Ryan is irreplaceable.  The fans love him. Brendan’s attitude and personality bring the Cardinals to life and brighten team energy.  Brendan’s got the D.  Plus I have a serious need to be able to watch him leap and jump and dive and be the ballhog that he is in order to fully appreciate Cardinals baseball.  Brendan will be a better hitter than he was last year.  I promise.  Surgery and fiddling with his batting stance messed him up.  With another year of experience, maturity combined with the right ADD meds, we are bound to see a better batter.
Trust me on this.  Brendan stays.  Got it?  Good.
2.      Now, I am no expert on salary figures and balancing budgets, so I am going to head over to my happy place and pretend that I can wish for absolutely anything here.
Two free agents the Cardinals must snag?  Cliff Lee and Mariano Rivera.
Don’t burst my bubble here… I’m dreaming of a 2011 rotation with Wainwright, Lee, Garcia and Carpenter for a moment.  It’s glorious.
      You can see it too, right?  Yeah, I thought so.  😉
3.      As long as I am not being restrained by common sense, I’ll take Ryan Ludwick back too please.  Power outfield bat?  Restored.  Luddy back in the Birds on the Bat?  Priceless.
4.      Now this is where I need a little help because I’ve read all sorts of chatter about Orlando Hudson, Dan Uggla, Edgar Renteria and other guys who might be able to step in and give us some relief in the middle infield (hands off the shortstop position though, remember?!)
This is where I sit back, let the ol’ stove heat up and listen and learn as all you smart baseball folk tell me why one ballplayer is better than the other. Just keep in mind that I’m one of those fans who gets attached to the players we already have – and I LOVE to see the Memphis boys finally get their shot.  Sentimental?  Yes.  Loyal?  Absolutely.
I am ok with bringing in someone new IF that means we keep Skippy (probably platooning) and Daniel Descalso gets a good shot at proving himself in the big club.  Can we keep Jon Jay and Allen Craig too while we’re at it?
I haven’t done the math, but I’ve probably got about 12 players on the field already.  So, I’ll stop here.

Similar to writing a letter to Santa, it is best to keep it short.  I wouldn’t want to be too greedy.  The Hot Stove may not like that.  😉
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