Another series, another series loss. The Tigers managed to win a game in which Kyle Lohse was very difficult to hit, and that’s simply not fair. Even less fair was the fact that the game was won on a walk-off single not by Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder, but by veteran minor league yuckpile Quintin Berry. To make matters worse (a practice we ever so enjoy), a caught stealing courtesy of Daniel Descalso and the play calling of Mike “Oh my God, I need to make something happen right now” Matheny actually cost the Redbirds the run that would’ve eventually won the game in regulation. Sigh. Rather than focus on all the doom and gloom surrounding the struggles in St. Louis right now, it seems more prudent to do something silly. That’s right, silly.
What I’m doing this evening is comparing a few Cardinal players with their pop culture counterparts, at least in terms of how I see them. I’ll make the comparison and then explain how I arrived at such a conclusion. I’m not guaranteeing any of this will make sense, just that it might be fun to read. Maybe. You know you want to. Why else would you be on this page, anyway? You’re adorable.
Allen Craig is Japandroids
Allen Poetry Craig is a little old to be finally getting his start given his ability to flat-out punish the baseball, but we can credit that to TLR and his cautious, veteran-spooning logistics. Craig has always had that exciting edge to him, and he seriously can rake among the best of ‘em, but there are also concerns. Craig is often hurt, can’t honestly play any position on the diamond all that well, and has two first names. (As Spencer has alluded to previously, I really don’t like it when parents give their children two first names. One of them has to go.) Japandroids are a super-energetic Canadian rock band who have managed to make two of my favorite albums of the past three years. They keep getting better, but their career took forever to truly get underway thanks to no one understanding awesome when they heard it. They had pretty much broken up before finally gaining internet support and finally the fan base they deserve. The band is already on record as saying they aren’t sure how much longer they’ll play; they enjoy what they do but refused to be bound to it. If the universe is kind, Craig will crush forever and Japandroids will rock into the sunset.
Matt Holliday is Gran Torino
I’m not entirely sure why it’s Gran Torino that immediately came to mind as the movie I wanted to compare Matt Holliday to, but I have a few reasons. Holliday is one of those baseball players who often goes under-appreciated because he’s simply very good. He does everything very well, he’s a star player, but he’s never going to get huge press or put up the kind of numbers that will jettison him into baseball’s current inner circle of baseball lore. To use a phrase coined by every else who has ever written about baseball, he’ll likely belong in the Hall of the Very Good category once it’s all said and done. Gran Torino is Clint Eastwood’s 2008 film (starring himself) about an aging racist from a different time who finds himself bonding with his Hmong neighbor. The movie has a lot of great scenes, is very enjoyable to watch, and is one I would recommend seeing. That said, it wasn’t one of the best releases of its year, and it’s not the go-to selection when you’re scouring Clint Eastwood’s IMDb page or anything. So there you have it; a very good baseball player and a very good movie are now analogous in my mind.
Adam Wainwright is “Dexter”
While I’m fairly certain Adam Wainwright hasn’t murdered anyone (in fact he seems like the nicest man ever to live), I can certainly find some parallels between the eight-foot starting pitcher and the Showtime drama about a blood spatter analyst with deadly extracurricular activities. Wainwright’s Major League career started out with a flash, as he became an excellent reliever, contributed to a World Series win, and showed the world that his curveball was as sexy as a curveball can be. Just ask current teammate Carlos Beltran. Then things got a whole lot better. Wainwright transitioned from the ‘pen to the rotation and became one of the truly elite starters in all of baseball. His incredible run in 2009 and 2010 (5.7 and 6.1 WAR respectively) earned him Cy Young votes and high fantasy baseball draft positions to be sure. But then came the Tommy John surgery and the subsequently rough start to 2012. Perhaps Waino will find his way back to stardom (he’s shown some signs), but who could forget that peak? “Dexter” enjoyed a similarly nice start by debuting a first season fraught with peril and interesting concepts, but then things went straight to fantastic. In particular, the second and fourth seasons of the show were of the white-knuckle variety, the kind of television where you just have to see the next episode as soon as possible. After seemingly peaking by fourth season’s end, the fifth and sixth seasons stalled and took confusing, hokey turns that left me cold and temporarily made me stop watching the show. The end of season six offers hope for a better future though, so perhaps a comeback is order. Now I just need to figure out who Wainwright’s Masuka is. Was Pujols Rita? Now I’m just losing it.
Tony La Russa is Tywin Lannister
Tywin Lannister is the patriarchal figure in the devilish Lannister family in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, also known as television’s “Game of Thrones” franchise. Lannister is something of a cold tactician, very good at war but questionable as a man you’d want to spend more than about 30 seconds with in a room alone. He’s responsible for plenty of atrocities, is generally very set in his ways, and has very little in the way of a soft spot for his youngest son Tyrion despite his obvious talents. I don’t think you need me to spell this one out for you at all.
We always threaten to return to similar topics in the future, and I reserve the right to do so on this one. Perhaps I will feel the need to compare more Cardinals to entries in other mediums before the summer’s out. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that. I just know I’m going to need to do something cross-promotional once I’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises. You can use baseball to do anything!