So You Want a Stan Musial Harmonica…

It’s always encouraging when pro sports teams get a little creative with their stadium giveaways. Face it, bobbleheads became stale the minute someone decided to give one to this guy.

So kudos to the Cardinals for the Stan Musial harmonica giveaway scheduled for this weekend.

But when Mike Shannon is overheard telling the KMOX audience during a broadcast this past weekend that Friday at Busch Stadium is the only place and only day that anyone can EVER get their hands on one, well, we might coach him to ease off on the sales pitch a smidge.  These puppies aren’t destined to become the wind instrument version of the Honus Wagner card anytime soon.

In fact, we’ve scouted out a little place where these collectibles are already piling up

eBayMusial

Oh, eBay, you sure know how to take the sheen off a cool stadium giveaway, don’t you.  If nothing else, if you run into a scalper trying to pump up their asking price because of a harmonica, you can feel confident telling them to pound sand.  Your internet friends will make sure you get your paws on one sooner or later.

Chivalry Is Not Dead After All, It Just Has Better Reaction Time

The women’s movement took a big step forward as a result of this Pete Kozma home run during the seventh inning of Tuesday’s 6-1 Cardinals win over the D’backs (or D’bags, if you prefer).

Yes, women have come a long way since the dark days of depending on men to hunt for their food, open their doors, or get in the way of their screaming line drives.

The boyfriend in this case does show concern once the whole ordeal was all over and he was no longer in any way threatened, which serves the new, more enlightened standard for chivalrous behavior.

Even still, it can’t be good when Al Hrabosky calls out your manhood on regional cable television.

And since Seinfeld gets more than it’s fair share of play on this blog, it’s seems appropriate that we’re reminded of when George Costanza showed similarly chivalrous behavior.

Truly a man before his time.

One amazing piece of Cardinals memorabilia

Sports blogging comes with a unique set of perks: an open platform for expression, interacting with other fans and an expanding knowledge of the industry’s best sweatpants.  But also, people send you things.  Mostly books or old baseball cards.  Nothing too elaborate or expensive.

But every now and then, you get a real diamond in the rough.  Such as, the gem below from a local beer distributor who shall remain nameless.

texas-champsions-budweiser

Now that’s just awesome.

When a team is one game away from clinching the World Series, Anheuser-Busch prints a few cases of team-branded beer so that they show up in post-game celebration photos.  The following day, they’re mass-produced and distributed to grocery stores across the team’s respective state.

Since the 2011 World Series went to a Game 7, Anheuser-Busch printed celebratory bottles for both the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cardinals won and the rest is history.  But what about those few hundred Rangers-branded beers?

Well, now we have one.

We’re guessing Josh Hamilton has the rest.

 

Matheny Memes: Classic Rock Edition

When thinking about some of the storylines surrounding Mike Matheny as he transitions into his second full season as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, we couldn’t help but notice that more than a few of them synced with lyrics from classic rock songs.

And what better way to communicate something old, like classic rock lyrics, than by juxtaposing it with something new? And with that, we give you the horrific bastard child result: Mike Matheny Classic Rock Internet Memes.

I’ve got a question for you: About how many times last season would you say you heard Matheny described as a “rookie that had never before managed any team at any level” – be it pro, college, even little league? Maybe thirteen, fourteen thousand times? Fifteen thousand?

No matter what happens in 2013, at least we’ll never hear that again. Sure, he’s not exactly the managerial equivalent of a 42 year-old junk-tossing left-handed specialist that would make Tony La Russa drool worse than his bulldog, but at least now no one can say Matheny doesn’t have any experience. And we think he should be proud of that.

matheny-experienced-hendrix

Moreover, this offseason proved a rather quiet one in St. Louis. The most significant departures from a roster standpoint were Lance Berkman, Chris Carpenter, and Kyle Lohse. The first two guys barely played last year. And technically, Lohse could still end up wearing the (now slightly larger) birds on the bat.

The Cardinals are basically the same team that came within one win of a second consecutive World Series trip. Barring massive injuries, there won’t be many changes to the lineup, rotation or the bullpen. Thus, at least for Matheny:

matheny-firsttime-foreigner

Speaking of injuries, the Cardinals skipper himself has already landed on the DL, undergoing surgery March 11 to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back.

But being the hard-nosed, tough guy he is, Matheny returned to the dugout just days later, and apparently, his normal routine.

matheny-backsaddle-aerosmith

Yes, life’s been good to you so far, Mike. I’ve got more than a feeling 2013 will be pretty good, too.

Remembering When: Anheuser Busch Taught Cardinals Fans to be More Annoying

As annoying as it tends to be these days, there once was a time when thousands of fans in a stadium standing in metachronal rhythm was really hip.  It became known as simply The Wave, and it promised to be the climax of any trip to an otherwise mundane live sporting event.

Since then many fans have moved on to more modern yet equally maddening group activities such as vigorously slapping air-filled tubes together or moaning the chorus to White Stripes songs. 

But as it can often do, leave it up to eBay to spark memories of the old days, when local brewing titans produced sophisticated cardboard plaquards to be held up when this new waving phenomenon hit a St. Louis Cardinals game…

WaveSigneBay

Ah, those were simpler times.  A time when Whitey slugging beers in his office during postgame interviews wasn’t taboo, when we relied on Jack Buck to tell us what was happening in the baseball game because it wasn’t on the five channels our TV’s got and apparently when grown men and women needed written instructions on how to perform the Wave…

WaveSign2

If we ever see instructions written on a pair of Thunder Sticks, then it’s proof that we, as a country, have gotten dumber.

(h/t @dangrote)

Where Have All the Flowers Gone, Keith Hernandez?

Last fall, Keith Hernandez shaved his mustache for charity, an act that prompted the Joe’s resident doctor, Aaron Perlut, to claim that the Cardinals’ 1979 Co-MVP had become some sort of living zombie, or android.

At the time, Hernandez pledged to stay follicle-free through the duration of the baseball season, saying he would use the long, cold winter to decide whether or not the mustache – famed star of sitcoms, commercials, and children’s shows – would rise again like a spring flower.

keith-burkhardt

Well, spring is finally here, and as you can see from the above photo, taken from a recent Cardinals-Mets spring training game, Hernandez’s nose garden is empty, so it appears as though he decided to stay with the Chihuahua look (Hernandez is the one on the right, the other hairless guy is SNY play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt – without the mustache it’s kind of difficult to tell, especially if you’re not wearing your bifocals, grandpa).

keith-closeup

But wait, look a bit closer. Could it be that the bloom on this hibiscus is a dud? Could it be like the Seinfeld episode not starring Keith Hernandez, where Elaine’s swimmer boyfriend decides to stop shaving his head, only to discover that he’s going bald?

keith-side-view

Until and unless we see his mustache restored to its once proud and glorious state, we’ll all just have to wonder, why the white-speckled stubble? In the meantime, count on Joe Sports Fan – your source for all things Keith Hernandez (at least of late anyway) – to be on top of this rapidly growing story.

There are St. Louis Cardinals fans (correction: murderers) in Chicago!

Arguably, crime in our metro area can’t get any worse.

So St. Louis Cardinals fans have resorted knocking off people in other cities.  Well, kinda.

This from today’s Chicago Tribune:

Police said they were looking into whether the shooting was gang-related.  Police believe Colon belonged to a gang that apparently posted a video on YouTube two days ago, with one member flashing a gun and others yelling threats at a rival gang.

One of the men in the video had tattoos on his face and wore a black hoodie with a large yellow St. Louis Cardinals logo on the front.  Another wore a red skull cap with the St. Louis Cardinals logo, similar to a hat worn by Colon in his Facebook photo. The gang wears clothes with the Cardinals logo because it is based along St. Louis Avenue, according to sources.

Yikes.

Face tats and Cardinals gear??  Yadier Molina is still at Spring Training, right?

We suppose the tie to St. Louis Avenue makes sense, although we don’t have any gangs off of Illinois Ave. in South City strutting around in Bulls and Cubs gear.  Our thugs tote the “STL” proud in this neck of the woods.  A more probable estimation is that these Chicagoan hooligans are the smartest criminals the Land of Lincoln has ever seen.

“Oh, a witness saw the shooter wearing a Cardinals hat?  Eh, must be another St. Louisan visiting.  Why can’t they just kill their own people?  Detective Johnson, send another letter to that Mayor Slay nincompoop.”

Look for a budding Chicago alderman to get behind the aforementioned clothing details and act swiftly; propose a ban of all Cardinals clothing in that ward.   The Cardinals don’t visit Wrigley until May 7th this season, so he has a little time.

Then, if the gangbangers start wearing Jeff Fisher mustaches instead, we’ll know they’re DEFINITELY tied to St. Louis Avenue.  It’s all conjecture at this point.

“Zero Dark Fifty” is fast approaching

Nearly two years ago, the world embraced the blockbuster of “Albertageddon“.  The tale of young Dominican boy between the ages of 31 and 48 swept through mid-America on a journey westward while tormenting the inhabitants of the Gateway City.  And who could forget that irreplaceable soundtrack featuring Aerosmith’s, “I Don’t Want To Miss a Mang”?  Mmm.

The epic story resulted in an equally-chilling movie poster and the city of St. Louis mournfully transitioned to post-apocalyptic  baseball in the hopes that they would never experience such fear and betrayal on the big screen again.  They saw glimpses in 2012′s indie film “Molinatastrophe”, but with the recent departure of Chris Carpenter and another unsigned fan favorite, St. Louis is primed for colossal box office panicking in the coming months.

zero-dark-fifty-small

Click the poster above for the enlarged version.

We hear that the owner of Pappy’s Smokehouse turns in an Oscar-worthy performance.

Side note: tip of the cap to @shaw0n for the “Zero Dark Fifty” suggestion.

This is your Colby Rasmus. This is your Colby Rasmus on drugs.

MLB Photo Day.

It’s one of our favorites.  Consistently, it produces quality material.  In short, because baseball players are indifferent of the media no matter the day, time or month.  But in Spring Training, their apathy is exponential.  Thus, the artifacts from MLB photo day is typically an entertaining spectacle.  Very few smiles, terrible haircuts, unkempt facial hair, etc.

The 2013 version of Colby Rasmus is the paramount example of the annual photo day apathy.

colby-rasmus-2013

Yikes.

The only thing worse than the actual photo of Colby Rasmus is a “facial beauty analysis” of Colby Rasmus.

Now this is just kinda mean.

rasmus-beauty-analysis

We didn’t want to say it, but…

JSF35: The One with Mike Laga (and Pete Prinzi, Cardinals strength & conditioning coach)

Have you ever wondered which Cardinals player benches the most weight?  Who can jump the highest?  What about which member of the Cardinals bullpen can plow down the most chicken wings in one sitting?

We have – which is why we were tickled to have Pete Prinzi, the Cardinals strength and conditioning coach, join us to crack wise and chat about Spring Training in Episode 35 of the JoeSportsFan Show.

episode-35-guide

Total Running Time: 00:41:10

Atomic number: 35 (bromine)

JoeSportsFan Original: When interviewers demand answers (00:23:45)

Random yet contextual references: Matt Morris’ hemp necklaces, The Micromachine man, Steve Tuttle, Clint Malarchuk, Lance Lynn’s jelly donuts, Bo Hart, Sidney Ponson, Ray King, Steve Kline

Links and things mentioned this episode:

VIDEO: Pete Prinzi gets hit in the head by a hotdog gun (link)
A terrible pencil drawing of Matt Morris (link)
The Episode 12 interview with Mike Laga (link)
Synopsis of Lance Lynn’s weight loss (link)
VIDEO: Fans sneak into David Freese’s World Series Game 7 press conference (link)
VIDEO: training with Skip Schumaker (link)

How get the Show:
Subscribe via iTunes
Download the mp3
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Contact
Twitter: @JoeSportsFan
E-mail: theshow@joesportsfan.com