Cardinals Off-Field Problem Pool -- Hardcore Analysis With an Extra Dose of Asskickery

Flexers and Flexettes --

Mel Kiper couldn’t make it tonight, so it falls on my shoulders to break down the 2008 Cardinals Off-Field Problem Pool. Without further ado ...

Round One

1. D.I. - RYAN FRANKLIN -- Two words: Sam Bowie. He who holds the No. 1 pick has great power, and if you’ve studied your Spider-Man, you know that with great power comes great responsibility. Unfortunately, D.I. saw fit to blow his wad while leaving the real talent on the board.

2. hazelwood's most wanted - CHRIS DUNCAN -- Franklin:Bowie::Duncan:Michael Jordan. Put simply, Crush Duncan loves to hump things, and it’s only a matter of time before he runs afoul of a nun or a respected figure in the African-American community. At which point, HMW gets the $.

3. robdogg - MIKE SHANNON -- A solid choice, Mike Shannon is renowned for his love of tall, frosty beverages and occasional butchering of the English language. It’s easy to imagine a combination of those two resulting in an offensive on-the-air remark, possibly at the expense of Jews or gays, or perhaps more likely, gay Jews.

4. Hack - DAVE DUNCAN -- As I type, Duncan has a feud a-brewing with Kevin Slaten. If he does in fact kick Slaten’s ass, Duncan will be disqualified from this pool, as that would be the polar opposite of “bringing shame upon the House of Cards.”

5. Big Head - BRIAN BARTON -- Just because a guy has dreads doesn’t make him a shoo-in.

6. Sir - TYLER JOHNSON -- Lefty relievers are notoriously batshit insane, but there was a better one available. See below.

7. Big Sandwich - SKIP SCHUMAKER -- How badly could a guy named “Skip” screw up? There’s never been a serial killer named “Skip.” It’s science.

8. maltliquorman - MARK MULDER -- Since Mulder hasn’t done anything of note since 2005, this feels like a reach. There is an outside chance that Mulder will hunt down the guy who dissed him on his own bb-ref page.

9. O'Doyle Rules - TONY LARUSSA -- Value pick! How T-La made it down to No. 9 is beyond me. Drunk driving, a confrontation with a Post-Dispatch d-bag, fisticuffs with various animal-haters or lawyerphobes. The possibilities are endless. Some would say his vegetarianism alone is shameful enough to qualify.

10. The Good Face - ALBERT PUJOLS -- To clarify: I feel that Albert is the most likely to be (falsely) accused. But once the accusation is made, the stench of taint is hard to remove. Ha. Taint.

11. The Mad Librarian - AL HRABOSKY -- The Mad Librarian takes the Mad Hungarian. And word is that someone within her extended family once got into a barroom brouhaha with the Psychopathic Schnauzer himself.

Round Two

11. The Mad Librarian - RICK ANKIEL -- “Ooooh, Rick Ankiel is soooo cute. I think he’s just dreeeaaamy.” Sorry, ML, but the most shameful thing about Ankiel this season will be his OBP.

10. The Good Face - CESAR IZTURIS -- A guy with a lackluster grasp of the English language struggling to cling to a major-league roster spot? That has PED potential.

9. O'Doyle Rules - TROY GLAUS -- He looks like Bruce Campbell. Next.

8. maltliquorman - HAL MCRAE -- Solid. I just want him to throw a phone again.

7. Big Sandwich - RYAN LUDWICK -- Apparently, Big Sandwich thought the Cards’ Quadruple-A outfielders represented a market inefficiency.

6. Sir - JUAN GONZALEZ -- A risky pick, and it looks like it already has backfired. Don’t call it a comeback, because Juan Gone never came back.

5. Big Head - BRADEN LOOPER -- Pass.

4. Hack - DR. GEORGE PALETTA -- Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe Paletta is an evil doctor. I don’t think he even applied to any evil med schools.

3. robdogg - ADAM KENNEDY -- I think we all know that any Kennedy is a safe bet to be a disgrace.

2. hazelwood's most wanted - JAY RANDOLPH -- I can’t say anything bad about a guy who called Mizzou games during the heyday of Derrick F’ing Chievous. (Note: I panicked for a moment when it appeared as if Chievous didn’t have a Wikipedia page. He does. Phew.)

1. D.I. - RUSS SPRINGER -- Springer’s value in this league is equivalent to his value in a fantasy league. Which is to say, it’s nonexistent.

Round Three

1. D.I. - KYLE LOHSE -- Lohse is one of only three non-Hispanic Native American players in Major League Baseball. This makes D.I. a racist.

2. hazelwood's most wanted - ANTHONY REYES -- Did I ever tell you that I saw Anthony Reyes at Chipotle once?

3. robdogg - JASON ISRINGHAUSEN -- Sometimes, I like to call him “Ason Jisringhausen.” Gross, huh? In case you hadn’t guessed, I don’t have a strong opinion on this pick.

4. Hack - JASON LARUE -- His first name is Michael. Jason’s his middle name. Hack might be on to something; you can’t trust someone who plays around with our emotions like that.

5. Big Head - JOEL PINEIRO -- Wow, we have a lot of crappy players.

6. Sir - DAVE MCKAY -- I will not sit idly by while one of my fellow Canadians is slandered in this fashion!!111!

7. Big Sandwich - TODD WELLEMEYER -- Pass.

8. maltliquorman - BRAD THOMPSON -- I don’t think eating glue or talking during naptime is enough to win this pool. Get it? Because he looks young. Get it?

9. O'Doyle Rules - RICK HORTON -- Apparently, John Rooney and Dan McLaughlin are altar boys. Speaking of Dan "Walters" McLaughlin, he'd like to talk to you about your mortgage payment.

10. The Good Face - BRENDAN RYAN -- Between T-La and Al Hrabosky, Ryan has already made considerable enemies in his short time with the Cardinals by “smiling too much” and popping up 3-0 pitches. Again, he would be doing a good deed by decking either of those two and thus would be disqualified. A mistake on my part.

11. The Mad Librarian - YADIER MOLINA -- A reliable source to whom I am related by marriage assures me that Yadi would never do anything to sully the uniform he wears so proudly. Looks like ML f’ed up. Again.

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