Name Your Most-Hated Cardinals Enemy [ROUNDTABLE]

03
Sep
2010

The first week we asked our esteemed panel to pick one St. Louis athlete to start an adult men slow-pitch softball team.

Last week, we asked them to name their favorite childhood baseball card.

Frankly, there’s little in life that makes grown men more giddy than slow-pitch softball and baseball cards, so we decided to turn the heat up a little this week.

With Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds in town for the weekend, we asked our Week Three panel about classic St. Louis Cardinals villains.

The Question:

Name the opposing player you’ve despised the most in your tenure as a St. Louis Cardinals fan.

The Cast:

Martin Kilcoyne (FOX2 and KFNS “The Press Box”)
Tim McKernan (KFNS “The Morning After” and InsideSTL.com)
Todd Thomas (Busch Stadium’s “That One Guy”)
John Marecek (550 KTRS)
Joe Pelusi (KFNS “The One to Three Show“)
Josh Bacott (KFNS.com and JoeSportsFan.com)

The Answers:

Martin Kilcoyne: Wally Backman.  And it’s not even close.

Before we all found out he was a backwoods hoosier, I assumed he was a backwoods hoosier.  A slap hitter you wanted to slap.  On a Mets team we all despised he was tops for me.

Tim McKernan: Darren Daulton.

Back then, he killed the Cardinals, and I was envious of his hair, his tan, and his wife.

Now, I’m just envious of his ability to time travel.

That One Guy: My pick is not Jeffrey “One Flap Down” Leonard from the ’87 Giants, or hot-head Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs or even big-mouth Brandon Phillips from the Reds.

Actually, my pick is not even a player, but rather a moron who has managed all three of those teams. . . Dusty Baker.

Wristbands?  Check.  Toothpick?  Check.  Sunglasses? Check.  Freakishly skinny arms?  Check.  Ruining a pitcher’s arm?  Check.  I dislike Baker just about as much as he dislikes La Russa…and white people.

John Marecek: Jeffrey Leonard.  This one doesn’t take any thought.  I don’t think I’ve hated an athlete more than I hated Jeffrey Leonard in October of 1987.

The guy was having the best 2 weeks of his career, and he enjoyed every second of it, lightly trotting around the bases in each of the first four games with “one flap down” home runs.  He couldn’t help himself when the series went to SF, with microphones on and sitting 3 miles from the Cow Palace arena, he thought it would be a good time to call St. Louis “a cow town”.

But the worst part about Leonard, was how good the guy was.  In the 7 game series, 4 HR, 5 RBI, a .417 average, and was named the series MVP even though they lost.

Joe Pelusi: My tenure as a Cardinals fan probably has to go back to the 2004 season when I first arrived in St. Louis, so I am not working with the same time table as the majority of people in this city.

With that said, when I received this question the first name that popped in my head is Rickie Weeks.  It has nothing to do with being a part of the silly shirt untucking, nothing to do with being a part of Prince Fielder’s HR celebrations, and nothing to do with being a mole on CC’s back in 2008.  Nope it goes back to a warm July night in 2005.

It is probably something a lot of Cardinals fans forget, but I don’t believe I will ever get it out of mind for as long as I live.  It was the top of the 9th in a game the Cardinals had put away long before Cal Eldred took the mound.  I was sitting behind home plate after moving down from the press box, just waiting for 3 outs so that I could secure a guest for the next mornings radio show.  Cal retired the first batter, but then Rickie steps to the plate.

What happens next is the longest homerun I ever remember seeing in person.  Absolutely crushed.  Maybe it was because I was on ground level for it.  Maybe it was because I was able to watch it fly as though it was never coming down.  Hell, I don’t know.  But it was crushed.   It wasn’t the HR that did it though.  It was the way Rickie Weeks handled it all.  He knew he crushed it, but the Brewers were still down by 7 runs.  Something about the way he carried himself after that monster shot didn’t feel right.  Its simple, from that point forward I hated the bowling ball second baseman of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Oh, and after the game, Cal wanted nothing to do with talking about Rickie.  I think he saw the same thing I did that night.  A little bitch that Brandon Phillips would have no problems calling out.

Josh Bacott: Roger Clemens.

They only faced off against him 13 times in the regular and postseason from 04-06. That stretch happened to be when the rivalry between the Cards and Astros was in top form, and also when Clemens’ attention-whoring, annual pending-retirement act was at its peak. Plus you can throw in the steroid allegations, the man love with Andy Pettitte and the frosted hair that made me despise him even more.

The fact that he took the loss in Game 7 of the 2004 NLCS made it that much sweeter to watch.

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The Archives:

Week One: Pick one St. Louis athlete to start your adult men slow-pitch softball team. (link)
Week Two: Name Your Favorite Childhood Baseball Card (link)

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If you have a future question idea or an answer for this week’s Digital Roundtable, feel free to drop Matt Sebek a line at matt@joesportsfan.com, or on Twitter at @MattSebek.

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