I’m Your Huckleberry

Matt Holiday

Instant karma: you’ve got an All-Star left fielder who, since leaving Colorado, hasn’t lived up to the $15–$20mill/yr salary he’s hoping to sniff next year while he’s playing in the cushiest and easiest environment in baseball: St. Louis.  He then doinks the final out off his breadbasket after Adam Wainwright pitches a gem on the road.  And then the Cardinal unravel like the “Sweater Song” four consecutive batters in a row (walk, RBI single, wild pitch, walk, walk-off single).  Who knew Matt Holliday’s protective cup could have such damaging results when aggravated with a misplayed fly ball?  It was like Godzilla being reawakened from the ocean — mayhem and disaster and screaming minorites ravaged the  Cardinals in Chavez Revine. 

And let me go public with my thoughts on that final at-bat for the boys in blue:

-“Manny is getting no lift on the ball whatsoever.  Pitchers don’t fear him like they did last year.  Last year, he’d be getting intentionally walked in tight spots and now guys are going right at him.  Man, is he purposely letting the dreads grow to the levels of Proprietor of Jamacian Jerk Chicken Hut on South Street? ”

-“Everytime I curse James Loney for being the most vanilla 90 RBI first baseman in MLB history, he goes and redeems himself with ‘clutch’ playoff hits.”

– “Juan Pierre, you’ve validated your existence this year.  You really put the team first and all that jazz after being a fourth outfielder with a $9mill check coming.  You and O-Dawg  are big reasons why the D’s didn’t sink when Manny was suspended.  But seriously dude…the baseball hat under the batting helmet look makes you appear to be 16 years old.  It’s worse than Shane Victorino’s double-flapped batting helmet.”

-“I don’t believe in ‘grit’ and ‘scrappiness’ and guys who play like ‘grinders’….but Casey Blake’s gritty at-bat was the scrappiest stand-off that ultimately grinded into a dramatic walk which sealed the Cardinals fate.  I mean, that guy goes out there and plays the game the RIGHT way!”

-“I wonder if Ronnie Belliard should swing at the first pitch.  Ryan Franklin is clearly rattled, and the Dodgers preach taking pitches and wearing pitchers down.  They were the league leaders in pitches per at-bat and near the top in OBP and walks.  So if Belliard — damn, that was easy!  TIE GAME!

“Russel Martin was an All-Star catcher with a Silver Slugger award under his belt before he hit 26 years old.  Joe Torre, a hall of fame coach and borderline HOF catcher, joins the team last year.  The D’s trade away Dioneer Navarro and Carlos Santana, two starting catchers, because Russel is an emerging star.  He doesn’t get hurt and catches over 130 games in three consecutive years.  And somehow, with all of that in mind, he turned 39 years old this year.  He has regressed with Torre on board while Kemp and Ethier have blossomed and Loney has been frustratingly efficient.  With the game on the line, he should be in full-on Roger Dorn mode and step into any pitch inching anywhere near the inside of the plate.  I have zero point zero confidence in him to keep the inning alive.  He’s the first Dodger I’d pay to have put to sleep.

With all of this in mind, Ryan Franklin uncorks a wild pitch and then walks Russel Martin to load the bases.  “That wasn’t very smart”, said the shotgun to the head.” 

-“Mark Loretta?  Are you shitting me???  Mark Loretta is up to bat?  Can’t we page Jeff Kent from highway patrol duty and have him step into the box?  He sucked but I’d feel more comfortable with another 40 yeard old white guy with little to no skills at pinch hitting. 

And then my dad says on the phone, ‘You watch Mark Loretta.  He’s the perfect guy for this situation.  A steady veteran’  ‘But Dad–he’s hitting like .232 this year and his career average against Ryan Franklin is infinitesimal.’ ‘Trust me — Loretta’s gonna do something good.’ ”


I love you Mark Loretta!

I love you dad!


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