Ryan Ludwick back in the lineup tonight so the La Russa bashers can take a night off. I'm always amused at how angry Cards fans get at Tony even though they know his history. Tony is always going to play percentages and left handed hitters are hitting 75 points higher than righties versus Astros right hander Shawn Chacon. Plus, La Russa plays his entire roster and history suggests it pays off when role players are ready to contribute in September and October. I'm a bottom line guy and La Russa's track record is enough to keep me from losing my mind when he does something unconventional(which admittedly is almosty daily).
The Astros' Lance Berkman could be the nicest guy in baseball. He's as accomodating to out of town media as he is to the guys in Houston. But, he had great role models in Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio who were always classy and accessible. I still say Berkman is the most underrated superstar in the game.
I'm walking back to the station from Busch tonight and just cringing as I walk pass that massive sinkhole that is supposed to house Ballpark Village. It's an absolute eyesore. I was on record being excited but VERY skeptical when the Cardinals announced the plans a few years ago. Let's cut our losses and go ahead with Plan C and convert the area to a park, similar to Kiener Plaza. They can keep the parking spots that are there but fill in the hole with something pleasing to the eye. If that mess isn't improved by the time the All Star Game is played here in about 13 months, it will be an embarrassment for the city.
It's great that this city has relatively new sports venues but I think we could have done better. I'm on record as being a little underwhelmed by the new Busch. It has nice "curb appeal" from the outside looking in but I think the club could have and should have done better. I think too many corners were cut in building it. In fact, I miss the old Busch. The owners gave that a real "retro" feel in the stadium's final years. I think that's what's missing at the new park Just one man's opinion.
I'm not a huge fan of the Edward Jones Dome either but that stadium had to be built as a multi-purpose facility so it never had a chance to be as good as the new stadiums that are football-only facilities. I don't dislike the Dome as much as some fans I talk to but it certainly pales in comparison to most of the stadiums built in the last 10 to 15 years. The Scottrade Center is, in my opinion, the best of the major sports venues in town. I am looking forward to seeing what kind of home court advantage Chaifetz Arena can give the Billikens.