Pujols is a team player

El Hombre

An altercation occurred in the first inning of Tuesday’s Cardinals-D’backs game when Arizona pitcher Edwin Jackson hit StL starter Chris Carpenter on the forearm on an 0-2 pitch. On a double play, Carpenter, um, elected not to slide, instead bearing down on D’backs second baseman Kelly Johnson, who took exception to such a play.

When Carpenter snapped back at Johnson, the Diamondbacks infield began to circle around him, prompting first baseman Albert Pujols to lead a charge from the first-base dugout.

Pujols first confronted catcher Chris Snyder as Jackson and Carpenter resumed their shouting match. At one point Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo restrained Jackson.

So the reigning NL MVP isn’t content to sit around and let his teammates get beat up on. Instead of watching from the bench with his millions of dollars in salary securely tucked under his cap, Albert had Carp’s back.

Pujols didn’t get a hit in last night’s 9-4 Cardinals victory, but in essence, he hit a grand slam.

via Cardinals take down Arizona – STLtoday.com.

Maybe Freese’s agent should attend Al-Anon

Cardinals thirdbaseman David Freese was recently arrested for DWI in a St. Louis suburb. The club is helping him through its Employee Assistance Program.

His agent is not helping him.

David is not an alcoholic by any stretch of the imagination. Thats probably the best answer I can give,” Tannenbaum said.

“David is cut from an excellent piece of cloth. David has never had a problem with alcohol. Its something thats very, very isolated.”

However, it is the second time Freese has been arrested on alcohol-related charges. He was arrested Sept. 12, 2007, for public intoxication and resisting or obstructing a police officer in California. The misdemeanor charges stemmed from an incident at the Lake Elsinore Hotel and Casino, situated blocks away from where the San Diego Padres Class A team played its home games.

via St. Louis Cardinals, David Freese take step to address arrest – STLtoday.com.

It really doesn’t help when your agent in in denial for you. Maybe the agent needs to attend Al-Anon.

Cards approach DeRosa about 2010 – STLtoday.com

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

(Cardinals GM John) Mozeliak minimized the potential impact of (thirdbaseman Mark) DeRosa’s left wrist injury, one that he conceded would probably require surgery after this season. The condition involves a torn tendon sheath near the wrist.

They must make GM candidates take a couple years of med school.

Voting no on All-Star balloting

I can remember my first baseball All-Star ballot. I came across it in a drug store in the early 1970s while visiting with my grandparents. I believe it was part of a Gillette or Mennen’s display.

I was in awe. I handled the punch-hole computer card with care: I was actually going to vote for the starting All-Star teams. After getting back to my grandparents, I carefully punched out the chads next to the names of the players whom I thought deserved to go to the All-Star game and then we mailed it.

It was as if I had cast the most important vote of my life.

Of course, that awe evaporated once I started attending games and saw the same ballots handed out by the handful. My earlier care to vote for the most deserving players was nowhere to be found; I voted for every Cardinals player I could, just like fans in Chicago were voting for every  Cubs or White Sox player they could, and fans in Boston were voting for every Red Sox player they could …

The charade of voting for the best players is over everywhere. Teams encourage fans to vote for their players. It’s easy enough to get online and vote as many times as you have e-mail addresses. And how is being able to vote every time you go to a game fair?

Yet, there must still be some fans out there truly voting for the best players, because for the most part it seems like the All-Star teams are fairly representative of the leagues’ respective talent.

Or maybe true fans just go to a lot of games.

With all that said, I think the All-Star voting needs to go back to the players and managers. I think they’re truly able to judge who the best are.

My kind of pitcher …

… is Todd Wellemeyer, starting pitcher for the Cardinals.

A political animal, Wellemeyer hits the Drudge Report several times a day, devours news on the web and is eager to debate the issue of global warming. He fancies physics, or at least books about physics, and is currently reading “The Lightness of Being,” which is subtitled, “Mass, Ether and Unification of Forces.”

Mom of Phillies manager Manuel dies before Game 2 – Yahoo! News

PHILADELPHIA – Charlie Manuel plans to manage the Philadelphia Phillies against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS despite the death of his mother. The Phillies said that June Manuel died Friday morning. No other information was immediately available.

via Mom of Phillies manager Manuel dies before Game 2 – Yahoo! News

Is this good or bad?

‘Another stinkin’ choke job’

Mike Nadel has another great column on the death of the Cubs’ 2008 season.

CHICAGO — It’s not a stinkin’ curse, folks. It’s just another stinkin’ choke job by a franchise that officially has entered its next 100 years of failing when games matter most.

In 2009, after the Chicago Cubs complete their 162-game schedule, can’t they simply save their beaten-down fans some grief – and themselves some embarrassment – by forfeiting their three playoff games?

It would be quicker, it would be neater and it would let them get a jump on their tee times.

The Scrubs are beginning to remind me of the Atlanta Braves of the recent past: great season, lousy post-season.

The best line so far

Zambrano was done in by his teammates – apparently, it’s difficult to field grounders with both hands around your throat – but did that mean the rich right-hander had to fall behind Martin in the count and then groove a pitch? He could have stopped the bleeding and earned his money, no?

Emphasis mine. Mike Nadel’s column is here.

Piniella’s excuses

“This isn’t life or death,” he said. “It’s a game. It’s entertainment. … But look … there are important issues in this country that people should be paying attention to, not only what the Cubs do or do not do. I want to win as much as anybody, but if you can’t be loose, and have some fun and you can’t enjoy the moment, then you don’t belong here.” — Lou Piniella

Usually, leaders don’t start talking this way unless they’re convinced they don’t have a chance. Why can’t the Cubs ever get a manager who doesn’t try to distract people from the fact that they aren’t as good as their fans think they are?