Sunday, October 11, 2009

Whoops! Forget what I said.

I still think there are more fair-weather fans in St. Louis than not, but I will no longer blame you for protesting the Rams the rest of the season. They are absolutely unwatchable.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Keep Blaming Holliday

Whatever you do, blame Matt Holliday for last night's Cardinals heart-breaking loss to the Dodgers. It was all his fault.

DO NOT BLAME TONY LARUSSA for taking out Adam Wainwright. Of course you take out your 19 win, Cy Young candidate stud pitcher who was stifling the Dodgers for 8 straight innings. I mean, he had thrown 109 pitches. You have to take him out of that game. I mean, it's waaaaaaaay more important to save him for the rest of the playoffs. You know, assuming you are even part of the rest of the playoffs. It's only a pivotal game 2 where you can even the series up rather than go down 0-2, which is a very hard hole to get out of (that's what she said). Why would you leave him in? You've got Ryan Franklin. He's an All-Star. Sure he's been so bad lately that they gave him a week off at the end of the season to collect himself. But it's the playoffs. No way he could continue to be mediocre. And again, it was Adam Wainwright. He'd only gone 8 innings and allowed 4 baserunners. Why would you roll him out there for the 9th? Clearly he'd lost his stuff. They call him Tony LaGenius for a reason. For making brilliant decisions like "take out arguably the best pitcher on your team when he has his most dominating stuff and turn it over to your bullpen which has been very, very shaky for the last month". That's what great managers do. So please, don't blame Tony LaRussa.

Blame Matt Holliday. He lost that game for you.

DO NOT BLAME RYAN FRANKLIN. He did his job. He got the potential last out of the game to hit an easily catchable ball to his All-Star left fielder. That's all you can ask. You can't blame him for the fact that he then walked the next guy. Then gave up a game-tying hit. Then threw a pitch past Molina, allowing the runners to move up to 2nd and 3rd. Then walked another guy. Then gave up another hit to lose the game. You can't blame him for that. Did anyone score on Holliday's error? No. But Franklin would never have had to walk a guy, give up a hit, throw a passed ball, walk another guy, and give up another hit had Holliday made that catch. Again, do not, whatever you do, hold Ryan Franklin responsible for this loss. All you can ask for out of your All-Star closer is for him to strike no one out and allow the other team to put every ball in the air rather than on the ground. That's what great closers do. They get rattled, don't strike people out, and give up line drives rather than ground balls. Ryan Franklin is a great closer. This loss isn't his fault.

Blame Matt Holliday. He lost that game for you.

DO NOT BLAME YADIER MOLINA. He's an All-Star catcher. He's one of the best in the game. So what if he gave up a terrible passed ball that allowed runners to move up to 2nd and 3rd, meaning that any blooper, Texas Leaguer, or seeing-eye single would score the winning run rather than give the outfielders a chance to make a throw to the plate. He does cool snap throws down to first that look awesome, so you can't blame him for that passed ball.

Blame Matt Holliday. He lost that game for you.

I'm a Cubs fan. In 2003 something similar happened to me. His name was Steve Bartman. He lost us the game and series against the Marlins, and a shot at going to our first World Series in a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very long time ('45). Could I have blamed Moises Alou for not screaming at the top of his lungs, "I GOT IT!" in a effort to back the fans off? Nope, not his fault. Could I have blamed Alex Gonzalez for screwing up a routine ground ball and potential double play to end the inning? Nope, not his fault. Could I have blamed Mark Prior for his ensuing walk, and giving up a double to Derek Lee after the Gonzalez error? Nope, not his fault. Could I have blamed Kyle Farnsworth for relieving Prior and then crapping his pants on national television? Nope, not his fault. Could I have blamed Kerry Wood and the rest of the roster for not coming back strong in game 7 to win the series? Nope, not their fault.

Clearly it was Steve Bartman's fault.

Just like last night was Matt Holliday's fault.

And I'm obviously right, since the "best fans in baseball" keep telling me that it was Holliday's fault and no one else's.

St. Louis (Cardinal Fans), you are a joke.

The Greatest (Fair Weather) Fans in the World

St. Louis, filled with a million or so great sports fans. Well, great fans as long as their team is doing well. Just ask the Rams. Greatest Show of Turf? Sellouts every week. Going through a couple rough years? Forget it. No way we're supporting the team. And I get it, in theory. You don't like what the organization is doing, you stop buying tickets, because they then have to put a better product on the field to win the fans back. It does make sense. But here in St. Louis, that's not why fans do it. They aren't making a statement. They aren't trying to change things. They are simply fair weather fans. They "Bleed Blue". As long as the team is doing well. They wear "Bruce" and "Holt" jerseys. As long as the team is doing well. Even the Cardinals, the signature franchise of the city, suffers from fair weather fans, only coming out to the ballpark when the team is in the thick of the race. Because the couple years that they haven't been, attendance takes a bath the second half of the season. Seats go empty.

Being a fan is more than just cheering for the team when they are winning. It's about supporting that franchise even when times are tough.

Believe me, I know. I had Bulls season tickets AFTER Jordan retired (for the second time). I used to go to Cubs games even when the team wasn't doing well (which just happens to be for the entire time I've been alive).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What high school did you go to?

I went to Go Fuck Yourself High.

That's the response I want to give to every single native St. Louisan who asks me this question.

Should I be that annoyed by the question? Probably not. But I am. And I think it's for two reasons:

1) St. Louisans take a ton of pride in asking and answering the question, like it's what makes St. Louis "unique". Like asking and answering the question is some secret handshake. Guess what? I don't want to learn the handshake. Nobody does. Except for you douche bags, of course.

2) Basically when you're asking the question all you're really asking is, "How rich are you and your family?"

See, in most cities when you meet someone new the conversation goes something like this:

A: Hey, I'm A. Nice to meet you.
B: I'm B. Nice to meet you.
A: You from around here?
B: Yeah, I grew up in Suburb X/Part of City Y.
A: No kidding? I grew up in Suburb Z/Part of City W.
B: That's cool.

And that's pretty much it. But here the conversation goes something like this:

A: Hey, I'm A. Nice to meet you.
B: I'm B. Nice to meet you.
A: Where did you go to high school?
B: I went to High School X.
A: I went to High School Y.

Then they stand there judging each other.

Why do they ask the question? No one really seems to have much of an answer for that, so this is my best guess:

A lot of people here seem to go to private school. So the question is really, "Could your family afford to send you to private school? And if so, how much of a private school were they able to afford?" Really the question is a status thing. You're trying to find out either a) you could afford a private school, and thus your family probably has money, or b) you went to public school (poor) but now I'll know what part of the city you grew up in so I'll know just how poor you are (in theory).

That's my best guess. Every time I ask someone here why they ask the question they just kind of hem and haw and say "It's a St. Louis thing." I think they do this because they are embarrassed of the real answer, which is, "We're a very segregated city, both by race and class. We know what race you are by looking at you (unless you're Asian, in which case we just assume you're Chinese), so the high school question helps us figure out what social class you are."

And yes, I understand to some extent that in other cities when you ask a question like "what part of the city are you from" you use that information to start filling in some holes and making judgements about people, but the "high school" question seems more blatant, and thus, more annoying. I think with the "part of town" question you tend to make less assumptions, and less judgements, because the answer doesn't really tell you much other than what part of town you grew up in.

Maybe I'm wrong about the whole "high school" thing. I'd love someone to give me a halfway decent explanation.

But until I get one,

St. Louis, You Are a Joke

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Choo Choo

You know, a lot of cities have tons of stuff to distract your kid so you can check your text messages and emails on your phone. Zoos, children museums, aquariums, parks and playgrounds, you get the idea. But today I took my son to a whole new level of distraction and amazement: The Transportation Museum.

To call it The Transportation Museum is a bit misleading, as it only has a couple cars, no real trucks, and only two planes and boat that I could find. So it's not so much a Transportation Museum as it is a Train Museum.

And you know what? I'm OK with that. Because there are a lot of them. Enough that my zero-attention span son and I walked around for over an hour and were entertained the entire time. Nothing entertains a two-year-old boy like huge train engines.

So thank you, Transportation Museum, for making my day a little easier.

St. Louis, You Are A Joke (except when it comes to The Transportation Museum)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lookin' Good, St. Louis

I was driving around this past week, and I noticed something. I really like the architecture of St. Louis. And I'm not talking about all the amazing, jaw-dropping skyscrapers downtown (obviously), I'm talking about the houses. The residential living. The places where the people of St. Louis hang up their coats after a long day.

There are so many different styles of architecture throughout the city that it's almost like a mini-timeline of St. Louis. You've got Soulard with it's French Quarter style (if that's even a style), South City with it's little bungalows, Webster with it's turn-of-the-century prairie and victorian homes, U City with it's classic brick structures, the CWE with it's mansions, plus areas like Benton Park and Tower Grove that have a unique style of their own.

Again, I realize this probably sounds extremely gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), but there's something about all the different styles around the city that I really do appreciate.

St. Louis, you are a joke (except when it comes to the different styles of architecture for homes throughout the city).

(NOTE: I know nothing about architecture, so take everything I say here with a grain of salt, as I probably sound like an idiot, but so be it).