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The Invention of AA Carpenter

Posted by JE Powell

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog, already in progress…

…so, overall, I suppose that, given the circumstances, the best thing to do is buy a new pair of pants and pretend nothing happened.

For those of you just joining us, I am chatting with my special guest, Adam Albert Carpenter, one of the greatest fictitious baseball players to ever play the game. He’s even better than Steve Nebraska from the movie The Scout. AA Carpenter has won 2 Cy Young Awards, a batting title, and retired as the career leader in WAR (wins above replacement). He played his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

STL: Fear The Red: So, Adam Albert, how do you feel about the upcoming season?

Adam Albert Carpenter: I think the Cardinals have a good shot at winning the division, though, it will be much tougher than in years past. The Reds pitching is decent, not great, but they play a very good defense and can score runs. The Brewers are looking tough, too. The Zack Greinke injury hurts a little, but he should be back in a month or so.

STLFTR: What are your thoughts on Wainwright?

AAC:  I am disappointed at the loss of Wainwright for the season because he is a special pitcher and a perennial Cy Young candidate, though he has yet to win one. He had a chance to win it this year. With Roy Halladay being on a team with Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels, they may have taken some votes away from each other just as Chris and Wainwright did a few years ago, and allowed Waino to slip in there as a winner.

STLFTR: Any prospects you think may make a difference this year?

AAC: I am keeping an eye on Matt Carpenter (no relation to me or Chris), who has been very impressive thus far in Spring Training. Though he’s not technically a prospect, if David Freese can stay healthy, I expect good things from him. There are a couple of prospects out there that I think will have a shot in a year or two and could become Big Gamers, such as Shelby Miller or Zack Cox.

STLFTR: Speaking of Shelby Miller, what do you think is the best way to handle him?

AAC: I think it would be a very good idea to take a page out of the Wainwright book and bring Shelby up later this year (or early next year) for eighth inning relief or use him as a closer, especially if Ryan Franklin does retire after this season as he has suggested. History shows that bringing up a pitcher as a starter to early and using them to much could casue problems as was the case with Mark Prior and may have been the case with Stephen Strasburg. I’d rather see a young pitcher start off in the bullpen for a season and then become a starter after they have become accustomed to the long MLB season.

STLFTR: What do you think the key factor will be for the Cardinals to win the divsion?

AAC: Winning more games than the other teams in the division.

STLFTR: Fair enough. What do you think will be the outcome of the Albert Pujols contract negotiations?

AAC: He will either re-sign with the Cardinals or sign with another team. If he truly wants to spend his whole career with the Cardinals and wants to win, he will re-sign.

STLFTR: During your career, you suffered two concussions due mainly to your very aggressive base running style. During the second of those concussions, you were knocked unconscious for a few moments. How do you feel about in-game collisions and today’s style of play?

AAC: I don’t remember getting a second concussion. Are you sure you did any research? I would slide hard into bases to try to break up a play. That’s common throughout baseball history. In retrospect, I probably should have slid feet first more often, but what’s done is done. Today’s style of play is different because it’s a different time. The 1970’s style was different from the 1930’s just as today’s style is different from that of the 1970’s. It’s not better or worse, just different.

STLFTR: Last question. Do you feel it’s better to be talented or a hard worker?

AAC: Honestly, you almost have to be both. There is a place for hard workers who may lack talent, but make up for it by practicing all of the time and hitting the gym, but it seems to me that those types of players are usually role players. Athletes that have a copious amount of raw talent can only get so far on said talent without a good work ethic. The truly special players are the ones who hone their natural talent and with constant hard work.

I want to thank my guest, Adam Albert Carpenter, for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down and chat with me for awhile about life and baseball. For those of you who missed the first part of the blog, we may have a re-airing (printing?) at some point in the near future, but that depends on future programming. So, thank you for joining us today and as always, GO CARDINALS!!!!!

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Who Would Win In a Fight…

Just for the heck of it, I thought it might be fun (for me at least) to match up current St. Louis Cardinals players vs. fictional/historical figures to and have them duke it out. When the season gets under way, I hope to have more informative blog posts, but for now, I want to play around and have some fun. Some of the people I will use because they have played for the Cards in a few games or are non-roster invitees, but I think their names warrant use. So here goes:

Who Would Win?

Adam Ottavino vs. Otto Octavius (Doctor Octopus of the Spider-Man comics)

The Fight: At 6’5″ Adam Ottavino has a distinct height advantage over the 5’9″ Doc Ock and Doc Ock does have the extra tentacles, but Ottavino is built solidly and has good reflexes making him Spider-Man-ish.

Winner: Adam Ottavino narrowly escapes Ock’s death-blow and knocks Ock unconscious with a fastball between the eyes.

Jon Jay vs. John Jay (Founding Father and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)

The Fight: Jon Jay had a batting average of .300 last season with four homers, four more than John Jay ever had. John Jay, however, was very influential in founding the United States. Jon Jay had 27 RBI last season, but John Jay was a fierce opponent of slavery in New York state and was instrumental in emancipating slaves in New York.

Winner: With all due respect to Jon Jay, there was really no contest. John Jay beat him easily. Oh, and John Jay has a much cooler name.

Adam Wainwright vs. Orville and Wilbur Wright (Inventors of the Airplane)

The Fight: The Wright Brothers invented a way to (temporarily, at least) defy the laws of physics. Adam Wainwright has a wicked curveball that seems to defy the laws of physics. The Wright Brothers paved the way to make international travel much, much quicker. Adam Wainwright is out for the season, but Orville and Wilbur are both dead.

Winner: Wright Brothers. Really, what chance does a baseball pitcher have against two people who changed the world?

Matt Holliday vs. Doc Holliday (of Tombstone fame)

The Fight: Last season Matt Holliday hit .312 with 28 HR and 103 RBI with above average defense. Doc Holliday was a gunfighter and dentist who hung around with Wyatt Earp and was part of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. While both Hollidays are/were associated with individuals considerably more famous than them, neither are/were really sidekicks and have a place in history all their own.

Winner: Matt has a bat, Doc a gun. While Matt has a better career batting average, Doc has a gun. Matt has a considerably larger yearly income, but Doc has a gun. Catching my drift? In this case, Doc wins.

David Freese vs. Mr. Freeze (Nemesis of Batman)

The Fight: Mr. Freeze has a freeze gun and can turn almost anything to ice, or at least cover anything in ice. David Freese had 4 HR and 36 RBI in 70 games and if you extrapolate that out to a full 162 games, had he been healthy and played in all of those, he would have had roughly 9 HR and 83 RBI.

Winner: As I said, Mr. Freeze has his freeze gun, but David Freese is from Texas and you don’t mess with Texas. Therefore you don’t mess with David Freese. Had Mr. Freeze kept that in mind, he would not have received a beating that he has only seen from Batman.

Blake King vs. The Burger King (Stupid marketing mascot)

The Fight: Blake King is on the forty man roster and could end up back in the minors, but he has a track record of striking out more batters than innings pitched and could be useful for short relief or even just to face one batter. The Burger King is (in my opinion) as stupid character from those Burger King commercials and has a face literally made out of plastic.

Winner: Blake King because I don’t like The Burger King and I am sure that Blake could knock The Burger King into submission with fastballs.

Jaime Garcia vs. Jerry Garcia (Former guitarist for the Grateful Dead)

The Fight: Jaime Garcia had a great rookie season last year and was a very solid number 3 starter behind Wainwright and Carpenter. He had an impressive 2.70 ERA and went 13-8 with 132 Ks. Hopefully he can continue and build on last season because the Cards are going to need that kind of output this season with Wainwright out due to Tommy John surgery. Jerry Garcia was the front man for the Grateful Dead and co-wrote such songs as “Truckin'”,”Casey Jones”. and “Friend of the Devil.” Jerry Garcia is still, in many ways, a pop culture icon more than 15 years after his death.

Winner: Tie. The Grateful Dead have a huge following called Dead Heads, but Jaime has a bigger following called Cardinals Fans. Jerry’s career lasted 30 years, but Jaime has just gotten started.

AND NOW FOR THE MAIN EVENT!

This is the Match-Up that many of you have been waiting for (or not, how should I know?):

Albert Pujols vs. The Incredible Hulk (A superhero in Marvel Comics)

The Fight: This one is epic. The Hulk is a green, raging monster with nearly limitless strength. Albert Pujols is a fearless machine with nearly limitless talent. The Hulk rages through anything in his path leaving a wake of destruction. Pujols tears through opposing pitchers leaving a wake of destroyed baseballs in his path. The Hulk has two green hands. Pujols has two Gold Gloves.

Winner: Although this was a tough one, Albert Pujols manages to best the Hulk. How? Pujols outsmarts the Hulk by finding Betty Ross and getting her to calm the Hulk down and return him to his Bruce Banner form. Pujols doesn’t need violence to win, he just uses his keen mind and strategy to win. Which is how he has been doing it for ten years.

I hope this post has been, at the very least, entertaining if not informative. All the links to the Cardinals players lead to the St. Louis Cardinals official website and all the links for the historical/fictional characters lead to wikipedia. I certainly hope that you have had as much fun reading this blog entry has I have had writing it. GO CARDS!!!

One last note. I apologize, but I have not figured out how to get links to pop up on a separate screen, so all links will take you away from this post. Once I figure it out, I will fix it.