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welcome to Viva El Birdos

you'd think I would have outgrown this by now.

and yet I find myself at middle age, with family house and career, still tangled up in a boy's game. i've come close to moving on a few times, leaving the cardinals behind w other childish things. stayed away for two full years after the strike in '94. but it's like michael corleone says in godfather III: "just when I thought that i was OUT . . . ."

they always pull you back in.

for those too young to remember, "el birdos" was cha-cha cepeda's nickname for the '67 cardinals, who won the world series in 7 games over the (cough) boston red sox. "el birdos" captured a certain spirit which that particular group of cardinals possessed, and which i hope Viva El Birdos will emulate. those guys -- gibson brock flood mccarver carlton shannon maris maxvill briles hoerner et alia -- took their baseball very seriously. during games they suffered no bullshit.

but before and after those 9 innings, man did they have fun.

and that's what i hope we're gonna do here -- take our baseball seriously and in proportion. by "in proportion" i mean discuss it debate it relive it dissect it obsess over it wallow in it rise above it . . . . but come what may enjoy it. we put in our 9 daily innings at the office, the job site, the classroom, wherever; with our families and our work. that's the suffer-no-bullshit part of our lives. and this is the suffer-it-gladly part, the stuff we all should've outgrown by now.

but damn, i'm glad i haven't.

those of you who used to visit me over at curveblog will find more of the same here. i'll still be deconstructing david eckstein, coveting other teams' relief pitchers, conjuring up busch stadium nostalgia, and keeping an eye on the cubs. but i'm not looking to end the conversation; i'm looking to start it. Viva El Birdos is built to broadcast your voices as well as mine. the comments and diaries (see rh sidebar) put your opinions questions ideas thoughts etc front and center. trade adam wainwright for billy wagner? hell yes. you're out of your mind. look at haren. look at barton. our bullpen is fine. it's getting raked. they'll come around. they need help. YOU need help. . . . .

hope Viva El Birdos pulls you back in -- or pulls you in deeper.