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The Land of the Little Bears and All-Star Game Pagentry

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A lot has happened in St. Louis since I've last posted. Firstly, I apologize for the absence. The Cards have gone 6-4 in the last ten games, keeping them at the top of the NL Central. St. Louis hosted the All-Star Game for the first time in 40 years and, most importantly, I got a new banner. Look at that thing. It looks nice, doesn't it?

A couple weeks ago, the Cardinals were in Chicago for another fun Cards-Cubs series. I was fortunate enough to be there on Sunday for the first game of the doubleheader. I had never been to Wrigley, so the entire experience was new. My girlfriend and I took "The El" to the Addison stop. As we left the station, we and a wave of Cubbie blue poured past more ticket slappers than the Strip in Las Vegas. 

Harry Caray, Nome KingBefore we entered the gates, we passed the Harry Caray statue that looks like Harry is being grown from the essence of young baseball fans. If it was just Caray, then it would be a touching tribute. But the eerie faces below Harry are a bit disturbing. Then I remembered of what it reminded me. Harry Caray is the Nome King.

In our seats, I was greeted and partially block with one of the charming pillars that are older than my grandfather. It wasn't enough to ruin the game for me because the pole just blocked the front of the pitching mound and the third base bag. Nothing really happens there, so we're good. The field was just as beautiful as any ballpark will be. Having seen A Sunday on La Grande Jatte earlier, I felt like Ferris Bueller. I lead a parade in the streets later. This may have been a result of one too many Old Styles (Yes, I had the local brew because when in Rome, drink the leftover bread wine or something).

I was a little worried about being "behind enemy lines," but everyone was friendly enough at first. A Carlos Zambrano home run made me a down right folk hero. The game was close for a bit, but the Zambrano blast and a close play at the plate (and a bullpen pitching appearance by Todd Well-I-Might-As-Well) put this game out of reach. Overall, I enjoyed my visit to the Friendly Confines, but I'll be glad to return to Busch Stadium.

After that series, St. Louis hosted MLB's All-Star Festivities. Albert Pujols won the Home Run Derby, not because he hit the most home runs, but because his elbow tendon was left intact after the exhibition. Other festivities included embarrassing mascot competitions and a b-list celebrity softball game.

The pre-game ceremony featured the most powerful man in the country and President Obama. It was supposed to be Stan Musial's night, but it turned out to just be Joe Buck reading off his career statistics and him rolling out in a golf cart. It would have been nice if the players could have greeted him like they did when Ted Williams was honored at Fenway. Of all the players alive today, Musial is one of the legends that you can't do enough recognize. I feel the All Star Game itself was entertaining because it was actually close and didn't go 45 innings.

Since the All-Star Game, the team got DeRosa back from the DL. It may be too early because he didn't get a hit the entire series against Arizona. He finally got a couple hits on Monday against Houston, which automatically makes him more valuable than Chris Perez, who is sporting a tidy 10.12 ERA in Cleveland.

The Cardinals have a relatively easy schedule after the All Star break so it looks like a easy road until the playoffs. No problems on the horizon. What? No, I didn't just see a Cloverfield monster fall from the sky. Why do you ask?

Image courtesy of Flickr user wallyg.

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About Brian Kist