maniacmarshall: (Default)
Remember a few weeks back when I posted about The Abby being across the street? I was right, it's WAY too damn convenient.

Today was a lot better day at work, and I finally get a few days off after tomorrow, yay. This 90 hours in 10 days stuff really wears me out, especially when I spend 8 hours driving on my one day off.

I need to catch up on some posts: The Rockies, College Football (especially Illinois and Missouri) and finally getting my Dragon Con report posted being a premium. I also have a half completed post on Kingmaker, which might interest [personal profile] acciochocolate and [personal profile] eve11

What little time I have had this last 10 days has largely been spent working with my Clue league. I'd forgotten what a really nice bunch of people these folks are. Big hug to Mel for working so hard on the league. I really need to get motivated to start working on other areas of Caelestia as well. I just wish I could do SOMETHING for other people. Sometimes I wonder if my entire life hasn't really gone to waste.

What little other time I've had this week has been spent on what seems like it's going to turn out to be a pointless endeavor. Have you ever had a friend that's been hurt really badly by someone else when they did NOTHING wrong to deserve it? Have you ever, in that situation, felt like you would have the means to bring both relief and justice to that person, only to find out that you completely struck out on both counts?

This has been my experience the last few days. I haven't given up, far from that, but I just hate it because I feel like I've, so far at least, let down someone who I've discovered that I care a great deal about. I'm not sure why I feel this strongly, I just know that I do. I've always been one who latches onto people for better or worse I suppose. This person deserves so much more than I've been able to deliver so far, and it irritates me no end. Yet another thread in the web of my life where I feel as though I should be able to do something for someone else, but I feel that I have failed her miserably.

I guess this is my mid life crisis =/ I just wish I could make really meaningful contributions, but everything I try to do seems destined to fail.

Maybe it's just my seasonal affective disorder talking... That usually doesn't hit till November, but then I usually have Archon to get me through early October, and I usually have my beloved Cardinals to see me through the first few weeks as well. I've latched onto the Rockies, but, somehow, it seems and act of desperation, and I know that it will only get worse come November... I hate November...

I miss my Cardinals more than usual this October... I'm reminded again of one of my favorite quotes, by the late A. Bartlett Giamatti

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

Meh, I should go to bed before I get more depressed.
maniacmarshall: (Default)
So, I've felt miserable all day... at least there was no lack of sports on to keep me occupied.

Missouri Football... Wow... just, wow.

OK, It's obvious that Nebraska was way over rated, but... wow... I think that has to be one of the 2 or 3 biggest wins for Missouri since the early 70's at least. I just hope they saved something for Oklahoma... dare I even allow myself to believe we could win AT Oklahoma? Still a long way to go, and I've had my heart broken so many times in the past.

That lone Illinois loss in a close game to Missouri suddenly looks like it's a pretty good loss... Could Illinois actually be one of the 2 best teams in the Big Ten? It sure looks like it at this point...

Memo to Cubs Fans: This year is NOT next year. Next year is not looking good for being next year either :)

Cubs lose, cubs lose. Maybe I should have a tall glass of goats milk to celebrate =D

OK, that was kinda mean... I'm usually not that mean. I dono what came over me =|

And, of course, my adopted baseball team finished the sweep tonite.

Rocktober rolls on. YAY!

Maybe I'll feel a little better tomorrow...
maniacmarshall: (Default)
For those of you wondering, no, I haven't failed to notice that the Cardinals fired Walt Jockety yesterday, I intended to comment on it today after I finished all the other things I had back logged. I finished those yesterday except for the Dragon Con Report, which I still have to get to

I just don't know what the hell to say at this point. The best GM in baseball is gone, and it hurts like hell that this had to happen. I have a bad feeling that this is terrible news for the short term future of the franchise, but I'm going to take a wait and see approach to it.

It is a definite fact that  while Jockety was the absolute master at making deadline, or post deadline deals, and that he excelled, hell, was probably the best in the history of baseball at finding useful spare parts that were rejected by other teams, the drafts the last several years have been among the poorest in the majors. Most of that happened while he and his team were in charge of that. It seems that the rift between Jockety and Ownership was largely over this issue.

Last year ownership deiced to remove this from Jockety and his cronies, and set up a seperate department to handle the draft and player development, and it seems that Jockety has been unhappy here every since.

Ownerships position was that the rift wasn't going to heal, and that they didn't want him back for the final season of his contract when they had no intention of extending it. I guess I can't find much fault in that.

At this point, the die has been cast. Ownership is banking on being able to develop players under the new player development model with a new GM handling player acquisitions being more effective in the long run than the traditionally poor player drafting and development with  the best trading and free agent acquiring GM of the last 10 years...

The model CAN be effective (see the Cleveland Indians), but will it work here? Only time will tell, but I will say this: It better not fall flat on its face. Cardinal Nation is watching.

On an unrelated note, thanks to [personal profile] auntiemeesh for being brave enough to take on the challenge of critiquing the chapter I posted. Hopefully she wont have to go through that all by herself. Any more brave souls out there?
maniacmarshall: (Default)
Yeah, so, it's October and my beloved Cardinals are sitting at home :(

Still, it's the greatest month of the year, even with the Cardinals home and with Archon not being in its customary first week in October slot.

It's tempting to make a long, somewhat whining post about that, but, I really have nothing to add to what I said about a month ago. For the curious/extremely bored it can be found here: http://maniacmarshall.livejournal.com/1091.html

I'm not without some rooting interests in the post season though.

Rachel can attest to the fact that I've formally adopted the Rockies as my team for the rest of the month.

"Oh my god, you are living and dying with every pitch" and similar comments were made during that 13 inning miracle the other night.

Well, why not? What's not to love. My football team is the Broncos, the Rockies are in the post season for the first time in 12 years, and how can you not love a team that is LEFT FOR DEAD with 2 weeks remaining, and promptly goes 14-1 to end the season and force a tie for the wild card. That team is SO fun to watch, though, I wish they stole more bases...

Oh, yeah, and have I mentioned that I'm related to the Rockie's hitting coach Alan Cockrell. I've actually never met him, but we're close relations.

OTOH, the Diamondbacks are not exactly on my list of favorites... since they fired my cousin, Kevin Seitzer from the same position earlier in the year. He's not exactly a close relation (unless you call second cousin once removed a close relation heh), but my son is named after him. They hired him last October, and, after praising him in spring training where the team lead the majors in hitting, they fired him at the all star break. Nothing like giving a guy a chance to show what he can do huh.

Still, they are playing the Cubs, so... they get a one round pass on that, but only one.

I suppose I'll have to root for the Indians in the AL, simply because they haven't won in so long

I'll miss not being able to go to any games in person for the first time in years. I've been to Atlanta, St. Louis, and the south side of Chicago to see games in recent years, but, no matter what, I love playoff baseball! Let the magic month begin!
maniacmarshall: (Default)
OK, I haven't posted much the last couple days. I've been trying to make an insightful/entertaining response to a friend of mine, but it somehow seems to have gone horribly wrong. She deserved a lot better, but  at least I tried where very few others seemed willing to make the effort, so meh.

Maybe it's a coincidence, but since I started that, the Cardinals have completely gone in the tank. No, they're not dead Jim, but they are on life support.

A seven game losing streak... an 0-7 road trip for the first time in decades... Team Timex is finally about to quit ticking. 

Now five games out, they SHOULD be toast. They WOULD be toast, but they still have a chance because of the 4 game series with the Cubs, and the 3 game series with the Brewers.

I'd hazard a guess that if the Cardinals don't sweep the Cubs, their chances of winning the division are virtually nil, and if they split the series or worse, its time to stick the fork in them.

You can say they never lived up to expectations, and that's fair, but considering all they have gone through this year, I can't complain. At least they provided us some meaningful games in September.
maniacmarshall: (Default)
  

I needed a bit of a break from the Con write-ups, so here you go:

Random Thoughts:

1) Wow, I got my first "who the heck are you" add today, which isn't bad for someone who has only been here a week. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

She probably found me because of things that I have posted over at the  [profile] dconbrittrack , which is one of the places I've demonstrated my inability to shut up so far. There will probably be more of those in the near future X_X. 

Looking over her journal (She seems like a very interesting person, and someone who I could read a lot of stuff besides just stuff that I would normally be interested in, so I added her back), I can see just how much I still have to learn about LJ.

Hopefully my girlfriend will teach me some of this when she gets back. I hope it isn't too much longer, I really miss her.

[personal profile] acciochocolate has offered to teach me what I want to know as well.
I wonder if she has any idea what she has gotten herself into *grin* 

 2) The CIA got together to go see Ghostbusters at the Tivoli last night at midnight. I vacillated over whether to go or not, and finally decided that three and a half hours was farther than I wanted to drive and return from on this occasion, though I am tinged with a bit of regret that I didn't make the trek now.

I comfort myself with the thought that soon I will be closer and more able to go to things.

3) On the baseball front, yesterday sucked. This season just keeps getting more and more surreal.

The beat down of "Team Timex" (they take a licking and keep on ticking) continued.

Maybe we should stop asking "what else can go wrong", because, that question keeps getting answered L

I'm not so much referring to what happened on the field, though it's always depressing when your favorite player makes a miscue that costs you the game. (Rachel say's I'm an Aaron Miles fan boy, and maybe I am… I'm not afraid to admit it.)

What am I referring to then?

Why don't I just link Jeff and Bernie's Columns, because they say it eloquently and, really, I have nothing to add.

http://www.stltoday.com/blogs/sports-bernies-extra-points/2007/09/rick-ankiel-still-the-natural/

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/columnists.nsf/jeffgordon/story/834A12D908780CC78625734F0056AC6E?OpenDocument

4) After reading this, I felt a need to read something to cheer me up, and, as usual, Jeff Gordon's (the St. Louis sportswriter, NOT the "other" Jeff Gordon) tipsheet helped. I especially liked this little nugget, and thought I would share, especially as so many of my current friends are from the Atlanta area:

PERFECT GIFT FOR ANY NFL FAN

Is it legit or not? Can’t say.

But Tipsheet is intrigued by the alleged Michael Vick apology notes up for bid on Ebay.

The outline, written on a Omni hotel notepad, featured handwriting that was eerily neat. This item, perfect for framing, is being sold to benefit “The Humane Society of the United States’ efforts to end dogfighting and other forms of animal cruelty by contributing to the Animal Cruelty Response and Reward Fund.”
Or says the entry. Bidding reached $1,550 Wednesday.

That’s enough for now…

maniacmarshall: (Default)
Almost done, so I can report on Gencon next. I expect that report to be a lot shorter. We'll just have to see...


I've decided NOT to cut this part, because the subject of it deserves to be read by everyone.

The night was not without sadness, however. You see, when I  was in College, I used to go to 50+ games a year. I went to every game that didn’t  interfere with work or a test. Hell, if there was a long enough rain delay during a game that took place while I was at work, I'd drive over to catch the last few innings. During that time, I got to know a lot of the other regulars in the left field bleachers. We all used to sit together in the corner of the bleachers near the bullpen. If any of you reading this are Cardinal fans, and ever used to hear Mike Shannon say "The 375 gang is here in force again tonight." That was us he was talking about.

Back then, bleachers didn't go on sale till 2 hours before the game every day, so somone, often me, had to go get in line early in the day to get our tickets. Nothing like getting out of class, going down to the stadium, and laying in line for 3 hours or so, though the beer made it a little more tolerable ;) (In St. Louis, it is not, or at least, was not at that time, against the law to drink open package liquor right out on the street, so I usually borught a cold 12 pack and some ice to share with my line buddies)

THE hardest thing about moving away from St. Louis and starting a "real job" in 1991 was that I had to leave my beloved baseball team, and my brothers and sisters in "The Pit" behind. (We called ourselves the pit because we sat in the hottest place in the entire park. Not only did the sun shine on us about as long as anywhere else in the park, but the exhaust from the Stadium Club's AC blew right down on us X_X)

Over the years, I've kinda lost touch with most of those people. Many of them still go to games and sit together just like in the old days, but, I've moved so many times and changed phone numbers so many times, I'd really just kinda lost touch with everyone. (Remember, 1991 was before the internet or cell phones were big, so we didn’t have a big email list then) Oh, sure, when I WAS able to make a game a couple times a year, I'd go hang out with them before or after a game, but, it wasn't like it used to be, and, honestly, it's my fault more than anything else for allowing myself to lose touch.

One of the Beer vendors, Russ, has been selling beer in the left field bleachers for like 30 years, so before I was even able to go to games. Every time I do get to go, he's the only one I buy beer off of, and, unlike the others, we HAVE kind of kept up with each other. For a while, we'd even go the annual Alton vs. East St. Louis football game (the poor guy used to teach school at east side for a day job…)

So before the game, I flag Russ down and have him set me up with a Bud Light, and while he's pouring it for me he hits me with: "You heard that Quinton died about a month ago right?"

I just couldn’t believe it. I made him repeat it, because I didn't want to believe it. Quinton Washington, the self proclaimed, but undeniable King of the Left Field Bleachers was gone.

"Yeah, he was here at the game one night, then didn't show up for the day game the next day. He had a seizure and died in the middle of the night." Russ informed me.

I wasn't as good of friends with Quinton as I was with some of the others, like Russ, Ted, Linda, "Crazy" Dave, and "Stat Man" Jeff, but it still hit me like a ton of bricks. You always think that people like that are going to be there forever, you know, and then, when they aren't, it leaves a big hole in your life. Not as big a hole as when a parent, sibling, or child passes away, but still, a hole, because when you get to know people as well as I knew the people in the pit, it's as close to losing a family member as it gets when one of them passes on.

It makes me sad that I couldn't go to the funeral, or, at least send flowers, because I didn't know he had died.

I guess it's yet another lesson to live life to the fullest, and never take things for granted. I wanted to go down and see the guys after the game, but everyone was feeling really crappy, especially Rachel, and I thought we'd best just go get back in the Air Conditioning.

You can bet though, that the next time I get a chance to go to a game, I WILL be getting cell phone numbers and emails from everyone. Life's just too damn short and unpredictable to do otherwise.

I'm also going to try to make sure that I don't let myself lose touch with my new friends that I'm meeting now that I'm hitting the convention circut again (It's all Rachel's fault for moving in with me and giving me somone to go to con's with again). As I get older, I discover more and more that it's friends and relationships that really mean the most in life, at least to me.

The next day, we considered going to the Arch, but, with everyone drained from the weekend, we decided to just go home, and hit the Arch another time.

It was a strange, fun at times, sad at times, and almost surreal at time two weeks. I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I enjoyed typing it up.

Next up: GenCon
maniacmarshall: (Default)
OK, I PROMISE I'll get to con stuff shortly, just, this stuff is really on my mind now, and I need to let it out I guess.

OK, so Mulder got shelled and we lost, while both the Cubs and Brewers won. It sucks, but as long as we stay close and win our head to head games with those teams, we still can win this thing.

TBH, it's really not that surprising that Mulder got hammered. The guy hasn't started a major league game while healthy in almost 2 full seasons. Besides, every start he and Maroth make is a start that we DON'T have to see 2-13 Anthony Reyes or 6-16 Kip Wells screw us over.

Hell, Wells has managed something that is HARD to do. He's managed to turn the St. Louis fan's against him. When you suck bad enough, or in some cases, are enough of an ass to turn baseball's most forgiving and loving fan base against you, you deserve some kind of award.

In retrospect, I'm just glad we managed to get close enough to even be in a race. How many teams could survive what this one has and even be 500? Few if any.

Every position starter, except Pujols, has been on the DL at least once this season. Heck, most of the reserves and starting rotation have been too.

We've had exactly ONE starter (Wainwright) stay healthy and pitch decently the entire season. We're without our Ace, our Second Baseman, our Right Handed Platoon Left Fielder, our primary set up guy, and our Third Baseman for the rest of the season. We're using cast off's by some of baseball's WORST teams, and our starting Rotation currently consists of 4 guys who were relief pitchers last year, or earlier this year, and one guy who has been on the DL for over a year.

Our super sub from last season is on the restricted list, apparently for alcohol or drug (or both related) issues, and is unlikely to return.

That's to say nothing of our poor Right Fielder, who may have permanently lost sight in one of his eyes after that freak accident last week.

In virtually any other year, that would be the season's great tragedy, but not this year, of course, it's not.

Some things happen in life, and you will always remember where you were and what you were doing when you found out about them. The death of Josh Hancock falls into that category.

Rachel and I were in Collinsville at the Drury Inn reserving a second room for Archon, since we (supposedly) had 7-9 people attending at that point, and that was too many for one room. We had been at my mom's the day before, and were on our way to see Kevin. Swinging by Collinsville was only like 15 minutes out of the way, so why not?

I remember getting in the car, hopping on the interstate, and turning the radio on to KMOX to hear Sports on a Sunday Morning. It was the top of the hour at just that moment, so what I heard was the CBS Radio news instead. The very first words, literally, the very first ones, were "Josh Hancock is dead." I remember the eerie pause, during which my mind frantically searched to find what "other" Josh Hancock he could be talking about. After all, it couldn't be the Cardinal Pitcher right? Only it was. For the second time in five years, a Cardinal player was dead.

I remember how dazed I felt over the news. I can only imagine how the players must have felt, especially as it became apparent in the coming days that alcohol played a role in his fatal crash.

I'm not going to go into great detail about my feelings over the coming days here. I've already dealt with those issues. Rather, I'm trying to illustrate a point.

The level of injury crap and tragedy that this team has gone through this year has been tremendous. Can anyone point out a case where any other team in recent history has had to deal with so much adversity and was STILL able to play through it at such a level?

This group of players will always have a special place in my heart, even if they don't make the post season. What a truly special group of players this is.

Also, big, BIG kudos go out to Jockety for continually finding those players off the scrap heap. His ability to find and plug in other teams discarded spare parts is really something special.

Finally, I have to admit, I've bashed La Russa (who had his own problem with the Spring Training DUI) in the past, and I'm still not going to admit the guy is a great tactical manager, but clearly this is a man who deserves to be recognized as a great leader. He clearly knows how to keep people focused, and how to get the most out of his players over the long haul.

Way to go everyone. For what it's worth, I'm proud of each and every one of you.
maniacmarshall: (Default)
OK, so it's 11am and I REALLY have to check out now and go home, but as I'm checking out the Cardinals site this morning I notice something that makes me so happy I actually cry.

Mark Mulder is starting for us tonite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ummm...

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was SO excited I had to call Rachel (We're driving back seperately)

OMG, how badly we have missed him and Carpenter this year!!!

We've been without him for over a year now, and, really, he wasn't "right" most of last year either. 

This SO kicks ass. No more fucking sitting through another Kip Wells start ever again (I hope).

Maybe there REALLY IS a God!

OK, gotta go!

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