Friday, August 12, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Carpenter: An expert pain
NEW YORK — Not sure how I missed it.
But sometime in the last year, there was a baseball-related Maury Povich Show. Remember, it was the one where a DNA test confirmed that Abner Doubleday is the father of Chris Carpenter.
How else to explain Carpenter's vast knowledge of the game. He's not only the smartest player ever, but I am pretty sure you have to know a secret handshake just to say hello to him.
Let's get this straight: Carpenter is a brilliant pitcher. He could have won the Cy Young Award last season. Probably would have, had teammate Adam Wainwright not split the vote. Carpenter, at 13-4 with a 2.95 ERA, could just as easily win this year, though Wainwright is the current favorite. His intensity ranks somewhere between the Ravens' Ray Lewis and the CIA's Jason Bourne.
That is admirable. Who wouldn't want a teammate that takes his craft that seriously? The problem isn't the ERA, it's the IQ.
He knows everything about everything. Dare I say it — he's become the next Curt Schilling.
Last September, he accused the Rockies of having a different slope on the visitor's bullpen mound, creating an issue when the pitcher entered the game. The Rockies measured it the next day with the umpires watching, and that still didn't satisfy Carpenter and the Cardinals. As if Rockies groundskeeper Mark Razum threw on a miner's hat and broke out the shovel and the laser level the night before.
Then, Carpenter went nuts at Houston's Carlos Lee this season. Not because Lee hit a home run. That would be logical. No, he got hot with Lee because the Astros' slugger had the audacity to scream in disgust when he popped up. Carpenter was insulted that Lee reacted in anger. He barked at Lee. Lee stared back incredulously. This is quite possibly the lamest incident of the season — telling a hitter how to act when he makes an out. Not when he gets a hit. When he gets an out.
Which brings us to last week. The Cardinals make a big deal about never showing opponents up. Apparently that doesn't apply to teammates. Carpenter lectured shortstop Brendan Ryan for showing up late on the field and with the wrong glove. He provided a lecture in the dugout that was more fitting for a police officer than a pitcher. With a six-run lead, Carpenter then glared a hole through Ryan when a single slipped through into left field as the shortstop was shaded up the middle.
Carpenter called it a misunderstanding. Labeling it inappropriate would have been more accurate. Then, he finished by weighing in on basebrawl etiquette. You know the back story by now. The Reds' Brandon Phillips popped off, calling the Cardinals "little (bleeps)." He tried to make nice, by tapping catcher Yadier Molina's shin guard in his first at-bat the next day. Molina, not surprisingly, called Phillips out, making it clear that they weren't friends and everything wasn't cool. A fight ensued.
During the melee, as tempers began to cool, Carpenter screamed at Reds manager Dusty Baker. Former Cardinal Scott Rolen pushed Carpenter toward the fence to defuse the situation. As the moshpit moved that way, Johnny Cueto was pinned. He began kicking, striking catcher Jason LaRue on the head. Was it cowardly or self defense? He didn't have to kick, but he had the right to save himself from broken ribs.
He was suspended for seven games. Probably should have been 10. Carpenter — who else? — weighed in afterward, explaining that Cueto was never told how to fight correctly. Thank you, Dana White. Appreciate it. Can you get me a sparring match with Brock Lesnar?
It just never ends with Carpenter. I am rooting for him to make next year's All-Star Game so he can explain the immigration law and its psychoanalytic impact on the minds of future generations.
Chris, if it's all the same to you, could you just pitch and button your lip? Thanks in advance.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Having said that, the Cardinals handled it very poorly. The way it should have played out was for Garcia to fire a fastball into Brandon's back to start Tuesday's game. Message sent: Message received. Move on. Apparently, that isn't the Cardinal way. They would rather start a fight.
Brandon tapped the shin guard of Molina and the umpire just like he did the night before and every other game this year. It is his way of saying have a good game. It isn't a buddy-buddy thing because he tapped the guard Monday, an hour after he made the comments. Molina didn't like it. He should have given the sign to hit Brandon in the back but he didn't want that. He wanted a fight so he got in Brandon's face. Let's fight. There was pushing and the benches cleared but nothing serious. Dusty and Tony argued to protect their teams and increase a crazy feud they have between them. Everything was calming down until Asshat Carpenter got involved. According to John Fay, he dropped the big two words which set off Rolen and the rest of the Reds. The fight moved to the wall and netting behind home. Cueto, who had just finished pitching the top of the first got caught up against it. His body went parallel. He didn't have time to think and went into survival mode. He couldn't punch back because he was horizontal so he did the only thing he could do and kicked like hell. He caught Jason LaRue and Jonny Gomes. Maybe a few others. Then it stopped and the game continued after both managers were ejected. Fine. No big deal.
Then the Cardinals started bitching again because when you are called complainers, the best way to shed that label is pick a fight, escalate the fight, then whine when the other team fights back. Mr. Sportsmanship, Tony DUI La Russa, complained about the way Cueto fought back. I guess he was supposed to stay there and risk serious injury. That is what a Cardinal would have done. The Reds fought back and someone got hurt. Guess what? It was a fight Molina started. Don't whine when we fight back. God I hate the Cardinals.
So to sum up, Brandon shouldn't have opened his mouth, Molina shouldn't have gotten in his face, and the Cardinals need to quit whining.
Now on to the Marlins. Need to win 2 of 3 and get some momentum before the west coast road trip that will define the season. Josh Johnson goes tonight. I recommend everyone watch because he is amazing. Probably the best in the NL right now.
Monday, August 09, 2010
-After an amazing weekend in Chicago, I will refrain from Dusty bashing. He did pull Cordero Saturday instead of letting him blow it. I nearly ran on the field to take out Cordero myself after he hit Castro. Thank you Nick Masset. I will post some pictures tomorrow but suffice it to say it was very satisfying to go up there and be obnoxious after all the times I have had to put up with those assholes at GAB. Winning all 3 certainly helped. Now to whip up on the other obnoxious fans of the NL Central.
-The Reds traded Chris Dickerson for Jim Edmonds. Not too upset with this move. Dickerson could never stay healthy and had no place in the Reds future. Edmonds is a rental who will be gone next year so as to not block any of the young hitters in the minors. He also brings leadership and playoff experience and if he gets hurt, so what. We got him for practically nothing. At the very least he can give us some tips and steal some signs from his former club the next few days. He crushes RH pitchers and could be a great platoon with Stubbs and/or Gomes.
More tomorrow after the game. Go Reds!