Well, I think it's pretty clear at this point that Chris Duncan is feeling better. Not so much because he had a monster day yesterday; or at least not just because he had a monster day. I feel relatively safe in saying that at no point last year could Duncan have possibly hit a ball 475 feet. Just wasn't in the cards, to make a rather apropos pun.
Now, this comes with both an upside and a downside. The upside, of course, is that a healthy Chris Duncan is an impressive offensive weapon for the Cardinals, making their attack just that much more potent. (And I have to say, the more I look at this team, the more and more impressed I become with the run-scoring potential this lineup possesses.) With his combination of gigantic power and plus plate discipline, Duncan brings some pretty serious firepower to the table.
The downside is that it's becoming more and more apparent that I'm going to be cursed to spend yet another summer watching Chris Duncan flail about the outfield like a five year old in the mall after three grande extra caf mocha lattes. I know, his bat makes up for the glove, but it's just painful to watch. Whenever I watch Dunc field a fly ball, I always sort of picture it much in the way that you used to do the windmill whenever you were little. "Alright, ball, I'm just going to start swinging my arms like this, and if you get caught, it's your own fault." (I tried to find the Simpson's clip of Bart and Lisa fighting in such a manner, but was unable to do so.)
So for now, I'm just focusing on that whole, "whatever's best for the team is what I'll root for" method of looking at things. It doesn't entirely work, to be perfectly honest with you; I still remember Game 5 of the World Series, thank you very much.
At the other end of the spectrum, unfortunately, is the young poster child for hyperventilating prospect geeks everywhere (shoutout to Erik and da cru!!!), Mr. Colbert Rasmus.
While I'm thinking of, did you guys know that Colby has his own website? Kind of funny, really; you would think that of all the baseball players in the world, Cobly would be the last guy to be looking for more exposure on the internet.
Speaking of, the always-entertaining Rasmus the Elder has plenty more fun stuff to say; I could link right to the post in question, but a poster over at Gateway Redbirds was nice enough to collect the highlights for us already. Pretty nice thread, really, though it seems to highlight the amount of bad feeling there seems to be toward Razzmatazz. I suppose it comes with the hype and the stage dad, but it also seems rather extreme at times, to me at least.
Regardless, as far as his on the field performance goes, Colby looks to be pressing something fierce. Not only is his hitting just not there at the moment, he seems to have been playing almost completely out of control in the field at times. Yesterday, when he ranged over in front of Stavinoha and ended up costing the Cards the out, you could almost feel him trying to make the play, make the impression, make the team on that one play.
Hopefully, he can calm himself down and just let his talent take over; I think that the weight of his own expectations, fan scrutiny, the family nastiness, and all the talk from management about Ankiel and Colby and left field and the nine hole and on and on and on have all combined to give the kid a mild case of vapor lock. Temporary, I'm sure (or at least hoping), but tough to watch, at the very least.
On a tangentially related note, I was listening to KTRS in my automocar last evening, and John Marecek was interviewing Rick Ankiel. The weird thing is, Marecek kept calling him "Dick" Ankiel. Has anyone else heard this? Is Hammerin' Ank changing his name from Rick to Dick? Just sort of curious.
Anyhow, it's an offday, and a nice chance to take a breath, look around at what the team has done so far, and reset our heads and expectations.
So, in this extremely early going, how are you guys feeling so far? Anything that has stood out, positive or negative? Still holding your breath every morning when you head over here, waiting to hear bad news on Carpenter? (Honestly, I still am.)
Well, enjoy the off day, everybody. And please, just ignore any sentence that begins with the words Manny Ramirez. Trust me, you'll feel better about yourself, and the world in general.