Thursday, October 12, 2006

FIELDERS: CHOICE. Jeff Weaver and Tom Glavine were great tonight. So were both bullpens. But it was gloves what won it. Carlos Beltran doubling Pujols off first from the outfield took the juice out of St. Lou early, and Adny or Endy or Inky or whatever-it-is Chavez' sno-cone catch in the fifth kept the tarp nailed down tight. The infield was impermeable. Even Willie Randolph, who looks in all interviews now like he's being grilled by cops, spoke up for the defense in the post-game. Beltran's homer was a rare moment of batter confidence, and all we needed.

Fox 5 coverage from the Shea parking lot tonight made we wish badly I could be out there. Mets fans are spectacularly stoopid. They don't have the confidence of Yankees rooters, and their enthusiasm is more retarded and untelegenic. To paraphrase Robert Ryan in The Wild Bunch: They're mooks, and I wish to God I was with them. (Sign of the night: CARDINALS TASTE LIKE CHICKEN.)

I'm beginning to love Tom Glavine. I hated him, of course, when he was Brave and affectlessly whipping our asses year after year. But at the butt-end of his career, waiting on win number 300, Glavine was The Professional, blandly blotting out rallies and walking off the field like he had just cut a man's throat in an alley and didn't want anyone to look at him. He's a nice counterweight to drama queens like Wright and Reyes.

I'm still nervous. We really have only three starters, and sooner or later the middle relief is going to resemble a five-car pileup on the BQE. And if we get to the Series, I suspect the Tigers will be as strong and supple as their namesakes. But I'm happy to have the opportunity to fret.

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