May 14 is the birthday of many notable personalities. Today, for instance, is the 64th birthday of legendary music weirdo David Byrne as well as "the Chicago Cubs will win the 2015 World Series" theorizer Robert Zemeckis. It is the 72nd birthday of George Lucas, director of American Graffiti and other films and according to a few bits of Wikipedia I don't feel like vetting any further, a friend of fellow birthday boy Zemeckis.
In the world of baseball, two semi-recent St. Louis Cardinals were born on May 14th. But rather than devoting much time to tributes to 46th birthday boy Larry Sutton or the 53rd birthday of Pat Borders (or even the 32nd birthday of Luke Gregerson, whom the Cardinals traded to the San Diego Padres for Khalil Greene), let's discuss the 39th birthday of a baseball player who never played for the St. Louis Cardinals: Roy Halladay.
Only Hall of Fame first baseman Tony Perez can compete with Roy Halladay for the title of most successful baseball player born on May 14th. In 16 seasons spent mostly with the Toronto Blue Jays but later with the Philadelphia Phillies, Halladay sported a 203-105 record with a 3.38 ERA. He was an eight-time All-Star and won two Cy Young Awards in 2003 and 2010. In 2010, he threw a perfect game in the regular season and in the postseason, joined Don Larsen as the only pitchers to throw no-hitters in the playoffs.
In 2011, the still-dominant Halladay took the mound for the 102-win Phillies in the fifth game of the NLDS. And he lived up to the expectations of the home crowd at Citizens Bank Park by any reasonable measure. In eight innings, Halladay allowed only one run, walking one and striking out seven against the most potent offense in the National League that season.
And it wasn't enough. Because Chris Carpenter happened.
The next season, Roy Halladay, who nearly won the Cy Young Award in 2011, was mediocre. In 2013, he was bad. And then, he was out of baseball. He never pitched in another postseason game. And so goes baseball.
Here was May 13th on VEB.
Departed free agents
I looked at players the Cardinals lost to free agency since 2011 and evaluated the Cardinals' restraint. I examined two free agent busts (Albert Pujols to the Angels and Carlos Beltran to the Yankees) and one case (Kyle Lohse to the Brewers) where the Cardinals' existing depth made the decision to not re-sign the veteran that much more logical.
An interview with Karl Ravech
Craig Edwards spoke with ESPN's Karl Ravech about the Cardinals relative to their competition, notably the Chicago Cubs, in the NL Central. Ravech was part of the soundtrack to my growing up as a baseball fan and it is an honor to see him interviewed on Viva El Birdos by the man who tolerates me writing weird diatribes about the Talking Heads guy and movie directors in Saturday morning links posts.
In the latest moment of St. Louis sports synergy, the Cardinals are pushing for fans to vote for St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, seen here being absolutely unfair to the New York Rangers, to be on the cover of NHL 17, which Lil Scooter anthologized. Although I'm a casual video gamer at this point in my life (I do own NHL 14, featuring a different St. Louis Blues legend on the cover in Martin Brodeur), it is cool to see the area unify behind a local sports team.
But it's not only the local teams. With the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks (as well as the NHL team owned by the team's owner, the Colorado Avalanche) no longer in contention for the Stanley Cup, the NFL team in Los Angeles has shown tremendous support for the Blues. Awesome!
Craig wrote about how the Cardinals should destroy the Los Angeles Dodgers (and hey, no Clayton Kershaw, this wasn't that crazy). Jon Snowzeliak wrote about how the Cardinals destroyed themselves in the first game of the series.
Tonight is El Gallo Night. Hopefully things go better than yesterday.