...is like a day without music. All's quiet in Cardinal Nation tonight, with the boys taking a well-deserved night off after a three-game sweep of the young and talented but overmatched Pittsburgh Pirates. The Washington Nationals (nee Montreal Expos) come to town for the first time this weekend, but tonight, all is quiet, and I'm wandering around the house wondering what to do with myself.
I can't remember a time that I didn't listen to Cardinals baseball on the radio. I grew up with Jack Buck and Mike Shannon in the air from April through September, and a few lucky times on into October. Whenever they have a day off, it's like something big is missing in the day, like I forget to eat lunch or pick up one of my kids from school. For those who don't know, that's what Cardinal Nation is like—it's part of the air, part of our DNA, almost.
The season is looking very good early on. The team is handling Scott Rolen's extended absence without a hitch (thank you John Mabry and Abraham Nunez), the starting pitching has been 80% good, and Izzy's still perfect. Suppan is struggling lately though, and that middle relief core raises my blood pressure more than a Tom DeLay/George W. Bush joint news (read: propaganda) conference. Still, there's not much room for complaints with a team 14 games over .500 in May.
What else is going on? I guess since Curt Schilling can't pitch any more, he needs to run his big mouth at the Cardinals future Hall of Fame manager for telling the truth about poor little Edgar Renteria. I was happy to see Renteria go; he didn't have a meaningful at-bat for the Cards since before last year's All-Star break, and I'm not surprised to see him struggle in Boston. I'd really like to see a bench-clearing brawl next month when the Red Sox come to Busch, and I'd like to see LaRussa sock Schilling right in the mouth. Tony's got too much class for that, for sure, but Schilling's a world-class jerk. Nothing's worse than a sore winner.
My man Kurt Warner was just named the starting QB for the Arizona Cardinals. No surprise there, but he still has plenty of doubters if the folks who get paid to write and speak what I do here for free are to be believed. Copy this down, folks, 'cause I'm gonna make a bold prediction: if the Gridbird's offensive line keeps Warner from getting hurt, he's going to fly that speedy receiver unit straight into the playoffs, and possibly as the NFC West champs, depending on how the Rams do with the rest of their schedule. Warner will revive his career this year, along with the fortunes of the Arizona franchise.
(And so what if I'm wrong? Like I said, I'm not getting paid to write this stuff, and it doesn't cost you anything other than time, and I'm probably helping you to procrastinate from doing something you really don't want to do anyway, so everyone's a winner, right? Okay, let's move on...)
Happy to see Miami even up their series with Detroit last night. I'd much rather see Shaq going up against Tim Duncan in the finals. See, this is what I'm reduced to without the NHL playoffs and a night off from baseball. (heavy sigh...)