It's that time of the year again--spring training is upon us! I know everyone on staff here at bertflex.com is pumped about the 2006 season for the St. Louis Cardinals (with the exception of one unlucky Cubs fan). This is also the time of year that many sports publications like to preview the Majors with their "Top 10 Questions for the Upcoming Season." ESPN does it, Sports Illustrated too. The Post-Dispatch always has a complete baseball preview with many pages dedicated to the Cardinals.
And like clockwork, they print their "Top 10 Questions" list every year around this time. But the writers and sports editors have been neglecting tons of other questions throughout the years. That's why we are here--to address the second set of important issues facing the Cardinals.
I bring to you Questions #11-20 for the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals:
11. How many people will die over tickets this year?
You all know by now that this is the first season in the new Busch Stadium. Tickets to pretty much every game this year will be hard to come by unless you are lucky enough to buy them the first day they go on sale. Since demand will be so high, I predict that stabbings and ass-beatings will be at an all time high as well. If you have tickets, it is recommended that you don't tell anyone and carry mace with you at all times.
12. Will David Eckstein change his batting music?
Last season he used Ludacris' #1 Spot and one would assume he had no say in this. Will Little Davey keep it thuggin' for another year? I hope so. I'm guessing he'll go with something by Lil' Scrappy (because of Eckstein's style of play) or Mike Jones ("back then Jayson Stark didn't like me, now I'm hot, he all on me.") But if he really wanted impress, he'd go with Matisyahu (those Jewish guys gotta stick together).
13. When will Anthony Reyes fix the straight brim on his cap?
Why mess with perfection?
14. Why do we have Gary Bennett?
I know the backup catcher role isn't very important. But it's Gary Bennett. Sadly enough this is a tremendous upgrade from Cody McKay and Einar Diaz. For those with a bad memory, Gary Bennett is marginally famous for starting a brawl with Albert Pujols and the Cardinals a couple years ago. My suggestion to iron the situation out: Day 1 of spring training, Albert gives Bennett a list of high class restaurants. He is to take Albert and his family to dinner, wait in the car, and pay for it every night until all is forgiven. Probably somewhere around October, when Bennett's one year deal is up.
15. Will bertflex.com be a sponsor at the new Busch?
It appears that every company in St. Louis will be a sponsor in one way or another and we are no different. I'd like to announce that this site has bought the rights to be the official sponsor of the John Mabry standing ovation when he returns to St. Louis as a member of the Cubs. Our predictions show that "Mayberry" will pinch hit in the 8th inning on Saturday April 22nd. This was the cheapest form of advertising the Cardinals had to offer, but definitely worth the 100 grand that we paid for it!
16. Is Mark Mulder the Doug Weight of baseball?
Great in the regular season, but turns into Jose DeLeon in the postseason. I'd hate to rile up Cardinal Nation, but after pitching a couple lackluster games in the NLCS...I'm just saying...
17. What will be the best "old lady" complaint this year?
Last year there was a real pissed off old lady who had a complaint published in the Post-Dispatch's Sound Off, and was reported to have sent multiple emails to Tim McKernan on KFNS about one highly important problem: Albert Pujols' black undershirt. In case you've never noticed, the shirt he wears under his jersey is black, and not red like his teammates. Obviously this is a problem because of Pujols' mediocre career so far, as well as the distraction in the clubhouse that it brings. We might as well have Terrell Owens playing first base. I'm not sure what Pujols the troublemaker is thinking, but the old lady has a great point.
Cheer up Mrs. Cowher
18. What is served on tap inside the clubhouse?
Wait, only one person wants to know that...
19. How will WB 11 viewers respond to the new and improved Ricky Horton?
A 2005 survey showed that the former Cardinal reliever is the most informative, most entertaining, and overall best announcer in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately the survey was only given to 4th graders around the St. Louis area. But will their feelings change after Horton reveals his new attitude during the first week of the new season? Since November 6, 2005, Ricky Horton has been locked in his basement listening to tapes of Jim Rome. He has since turned into a smack talking, no-nonsense, get-to-the-point badass announcer. His new edgy material and perfectly trimmed goatee might be too much for his fans early on in the year, but I think they'll adapt and appreciate his "epic" takes that "won't suck."
PHENOMENAL goatee Horton!
20. How long will it take Tony Pellegrino to get pissed and predict a 4th place finish?
This happens every year, whether the team is playing well or not. It is like an annual ritual. I'm guessing this year it will happen somewhere around late April, again in June, and once more in late August when the Cardinals are 16 games ahead of the second place Astros.