The Cardinals were supposed to be contenders this season, and they still may be a serious factor in the NL Central, but injuries to Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday have certainly hurt their chances. Allow me to present a conspiracy theory. I propose that Holliday ate Wainwright’s ulnar collateral ligament, which then settled in Holliday’s appendix. Because appendices aren’t part of the digestive tract, Holliday’s appendix exploded, and now the Cardinals are keeping the whole thing quiet.
With that settled, let’s move on to preview the Cardinals. Wait, first, allow me to rant one more time about MLB Advanced Media. I’m a simple man. I like watching bearded shortstops exchange punches with brash rednecks. I will pay money to relive these moments if they are not available for free. This used to be a video of Will Clark fighting with Jose Oquendo and Ozzie Smith on second base. It was removed due to a copyright claim. Now no one can see it. You can’t buy it.
There are, like, two guys with a VHS copy of this fight. The first has it sandwiched between copies of "Short Circuit 2" and "Mannequin" that were taped when HBO had a free preview weekend. The tape is slowly eroding, and it isn’t doing anyone any good. The second guy had the sense to digitize it and share it with the world because he is a benevolent technowizard. His heroic efforts were denied, and he doesn’t feel like doing it again.
You know what you made me do, MLB? You made me watch this video of a stand-up comic who used Candy Maldonado’s name as a punch line. It came up in a video search, and those two minutes aren’t coming back. I understand that it will take a while to digitize, index, and upload 80,000 games, so I know it’s unrealistic to expect every game in the history of televised baseball on demand. But before you tattle to YouTube, at least make a distinction between the stuff that you already offer for sale and the esoterica that only nerds care about. A fight from the ‘80s isn’t going to be found on some Mel Allen-narrated DVD you’re peddling in the MLB Store.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, LOOK AT THE GRAINY PICTURE OF THE FIGHT! DOESN’T IT LOOK AWESOME? NOW PICTURE CANDY MALDONADO JUMPING INTO THE PILE ELBOW FIRST. IT WAS THE GREATEST THING THIS 10-YEAR-OLD BOY HAD EVER WATCHED. PLEASE LET ME RELIVE THIS FORMATIVE MOMENT IN MY LIFE. I WILL PAY MONEY.
I will pay money.
Oh, uh, the preview. The Cardinals have started the season 2-4, just like the Giants. They’ve been padred already this season, just like the Giants. Seems like we have a lot in common, and we’d probably get along great. The video of the fight wouldn’t be to rile us up -- I just want to see it again.
Hitter to watch:
Albert Pujols is hitting .182/.240/.318. This is the beginning of a swift decline. The beginning of the end. What, he’s going to go nuts against the Giants and raise his numbers up to his career averages in the span of, like, six at-bats? I’d like to see that. Dude’s a .182 hitter.
Pitcher to watch
Miguel Batista is still in organized baseball. In fact, he’s pitching high-leverage innings as a reliever for the Cardinals. I wonder if when the Cardinals faced the Padres, the San Diego bullpen circled Batista on motorcycles and taunted him for not being good enough to make the Padres’ low-A team.
No one goes one-flap down after a home run, even though they really should.