This video has been online for about a year now, but I just saw it for the first time today. It's brutal, punishing and so uncalled for that it should come with a Tipper Gore warning. It's from 2001, when my immortal beloved Rick Ankiel was still struggling with his "control" and some minor league fans were letting him have it, and then some. It's like seeing other kids picking on your son; it's impossible to look at.
I thought I'd make my first Emeritus post — New York magazine is fun! I'm totally learning about Fashion Week and sushi restaurants! — about Rick, and the Cardinals, and those ridiculous Cubs-Brewers trades because, honestly, if I'd had my druthers, I'd have written every post about the Cardinals when I was editor of this here site. (It was difficult not to. Extremely so.) So while I have a few moments before I have to approve the new Vincent Gallo photo spread, I thought I'd scratch the itch.
I know, I know: Billy Beane's the genius, we all know it, we all love him, he loves the Ramones, whatta guy. But I cannot fathom what he's thinking with the Rich Harden trade. We understand that Harden is probably going to get hurt — it's nice to see the Cubs have Mark Prior back — and then everyone will give him backslaps and man hugs, no homo. But Jim Hendry can claim all he wants that the trade wasn't a reaction to the Sabathia trade — which seems much more fair, and didn't actually upset us nearly as much — and we're still not going to believe him. That's really all Beane could get for Harden? Sean Gallagher? I'd rather have Black Gallagher.
Sure, Harden is probably gonna break down. But that doesn't make Eric Patterson a better second baseman.
More to the point, both the Cubs and the Brewers have made moves that the Cardinals shouldn't — and probably can't — counter. In a way, the fact that the two teams had to make the trades at all is a victory; if the Cardinals aren't dramatically overachieving in the first place, maybe everybody feels a little more comfortable with where they stand and don't make the risk trades. This was never supposed to be a contending season for the Cardinals; it's a house money season. If they keep this going, wow, what a great story. If they don't, well, it has been more fun that anyone thought it would be, now trade Ludwick for a prospect or two. It's clear the Cardinals aren't as talented as the Cubs or Brewers, and that was true before those two trades. But hey, why not let it ride? It's bizarre that the Birds have even made it this far.
But yes: The MLB Extra Innings package continues to break my heart. Anytime they have the road announcers, they always bring up the Ankiel pitching thing. Al Hrabosky and Dan McLaughlin, the Cardinals announcers, never even refer to Ankiel as a pitcher; they know how much it hurts Cardinals fans to even think about it. But every time Ankiel bats and we have the road announcers ... "what a story, this kid, with the pitching and the ..." The mute button is smashed immediately. Honestly, that video above, that's Faces Of Death for Cardinals fans; it should be on rotten.com.