Cards sweep Brewers and into first
Cubs dump Bucos, Sox take two of three
By Jeff Mayfield
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[APRIL 18, 2005]
Just in the nick of time, baseball has
shifted into high gear. I was a little critical of the St. Louis
Cardinals in the spring and through the first week of the season.
However, they turned it around this weekend in Milwaukee and played
textbook baseball in sweeping the Brewers. With scores of 3-0, 5-3
and 3-2, St. Louis got spectacular pitching, got a little bit out of
the hitting funk they were in, played great defense and executed
some exciting fundamental baseball along the way. Stellar pitching
outings by Chris Carpenter, Jeff Suppan and Jason Marquis, along
with the outstanding cleanup work supplied by Jason Isringhausen and
his mates in the pen, vaulted the Cards to the top spot in the
Norris Division! It was good to see the bullpen get back into the
groove. It was also good to see Albert Pujols and especially Scott
Rolen putting the barrel of the bat on the ball.
I know that this was just a
series against Milwaukee, but you have to start somewhere. I also
think that it is more important than many people think to play well
early in the season. I know that baseball is a marathon with a
162-game schedule, and people always want to say that if you get off
to a slow start, it's OK… there's plenty of time… and you really
want to be playing great in October.
Well, dah! I just think that playing
well early can set the tone for the whole season. A loss in April or
May in a game that you just gave away… could eliminate you from the
playoffs in late September. History shows that managers who gave
great detail to winning games BEFORE June 1, are oftentimes rewarded
with a postseason visit!
The Chicago Cubs took a series win
over the Bucos in Pittsburgh behind a strong performance by Greg
Maddux. Dusty Baker also informs the fans that he expects the Cubs
to really "turn it on" in the days ahead.
The Chicago White Sox have won every
series they have played in 2005, for a sparkling 4-0 series record
and an 8-4 overall record. They are tied with the Minnesota Twins
atop the AL Central Division in front of a monster clash coming up
at US Cellular Field.
returns to Lincoln
Check out Tom Seggelke's
Some non-sports items for the week:
My neighbors hate me… and it's not
because I'm beautiful. They hate me because I refuse to mow my lawn
before May 1. If you do, you're making a commitment… It's like
shaving. Once you start, you're dead. There is no turning back…
unless you have a baler, and you don't see many of those around
anymore. So, if you see or talk to my neighbors, please just tell
them to relax, and it's only two more weeks anyway, for crying out
loud. And isn't it healthier for the grass to get two or three more
weeks of spring growth under their belts (er… blades)? If it isn't,
it should be!
[to top of second column in this article]
Every time I turn on the news
there's something about another kid disappearing, kidnapped or
harmed. If you have thoughts along those lines, please just turn
yourself in. Though sometimes kids can be a little exasperating, I
don't think any kid (well, my mom may have had one) deserves
anything approaching the crazy stuff that's going around. And yes, I
felt that way long before I had a kid of my own. This whole topic
just repulses me, and I think as a community we need to be up in
arms. John Walsh's show and website as well as the Cyber Sluething
site are great resources where many can go for information and to
enlist their own help to start wiping out this crazy epidemic. I
hope we will all do whatever we can to help these innocent kids.
My son was hoping that "Madagascar"
was the movie showing, but the feature this week was "Ice Princess"
instead. We have seen a few ice skating pictures before, and some of
the same themes were at hand. But also in evidence were some
variations on the themes. We really liked the emphasis on academics
and especially on science, physics and math. Maybe if they're
portrayed more positively like they are in this movie, more kids
will get excited about those subjects. I fear that we are falling
desperately behind kids from other countries who practice those
subjects in their sleep.
This movie also demonstrated how
sometimes we don't even know what our dreams are until we get out
there and experience some new things. Sometimes we discover that we
have talents that were previously hidden to us. This is a pretty
good family movie. I would guess that if you have a budding or
would-be figure skater in your household, they will really go for
this flick. I give it a thumbs up, and my boy gave it a sideways
thumb just for the popcorn and because he was mad that the movie
Greg Biffle won this week's NASCAR
event (I think in his backup car), and Peter Lonard came across the
pond to win his first PGA tournament after Darren Clarke did his
Mayfield impersonation and hit his ball into a bush on 18!
That's it for me… Have a great week,