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HBT at the World Series: Greetings from workout day

Oct 25, 2013, 3:42 PM EST

ST. LOUIS — Check me out. A dateline. You know that means things are getting real.

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Greetings from St. Louis, where the World Series is pausing for one day before Games 3, 4 and 5 go down. Today is a workout day for the Cards and Sox. As I write this from the auxiliary press box down the right field line the Cardinals are taking infield, BP and long-tossing as the most eclectic mix of music blasts from the speakers. We’ve gone from Material Issue to Robin Thicke to the Rolling Stones. I don’t know about their fans, but I’ll say the Cardinals have an argument for The Best Music Guys in Baseball. They program workout music the right way.

In a little while the managers and Game 3 starters will be available for interviews. In the meantime I’m wandering, both the city and the ballpark. When I got to town I met up with HBT’s own Drew Silva. I’ve worked with the lad for four and a half years but this was the first time I met him in person. We met near where he lives, a neighborhood called The Hill. Which is far more famous for being the boyhood home of both Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. I’m not sure if Joe got a park named after him, but Yogi did:

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No one goes there anymore, though. It’s too popular.

Across the street from that park is a great sandwich place called Gioia’s Deli. It’s known as “the home of the hot salami,” so naturally Drew and I met there. We’re all about cured meats. Drew suggested the Hill Supreme, which is an off-menu thing. Lots of salami and peppers and stuff. How was it Drew?

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I’ll take that as a “good.”

On to the park, where I hung around the team store and walked around the grounds.  The Cardinals have lots of statues of former greats. No Mark McGwire on the grounds, of course, even though the statue has been made and is sitting in a warehouse someplace. They also don’t have an Andy Benes statue. It’s like they just hate their history or something. Of course there’s this guy:

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You know, if a pigeon pooped on that statue, it’d come to life, chase him around and tackle him. That’s the way they did it back in his day.

I ducked into the team store, where I saw the most terrifying thing ever. This is suspended from the ceiling:

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Where is your god now? It’s like a scene cut from the “Flash Gordon” movie except without any sweet jams from Queen in the background. Pure nightmare fuel.  After that I needed a palate cleanser:

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Ahhh. Much better. Thank you, Stan.

Into the park and watching some warmups where I was happy to run into Jonny Miller of WBZ radio in Boston, who will be in the next suite over from me here in St. Louis. Miller, longtime readers will recall, once thought I was pathetic because I messed up his scorecard down at a spring training game in Fort Myers. I reminded him of that. He didn’t remember. Then I told him it was the day Nomar Garciaparra announced his retirement. Then it clicked. “Ah, I didn’t care,” he told me today. “You should know how to keep score better, though.  You’re a baseball writer for crying out loud.”  Yes, sir.  I really love that guy.

Anyway, off to listen to managers spout cliches. Should be fun.  Be sure to keep checking back to HBT all weekend as I report from St. Louis and Games 3, 4 and 5!

 

  1. perryt200 - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I hope you have a good time in StL and 3 games there helps transform your position on Cards fans and the ‘way’.

    • moogro - Oct 25, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Show me The Way

  2. bfunk1978 - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I hope you survive your time in StL. That’s a going concern down there.

    • bfunk1978 - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      I didn’t mean that against Craig, just that STL is a dangerous place to be.

  3. twinsfanstl - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    CC- Must do’s in between working whilst in STL:

    Pappy’s Smokehouse in mid-town. Makes you think you are in Kansas City eating q only better
    Salume Beddu on Hampton. Best cured meat anywhere.
    Ted Drewes custard
    PI pizza- either downtown or in the loop
    O’fallons beer esp. the Hemp Hop Rye

    Stay away from Imo’s.
    That is all

    • cohnjusack - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      Other fun activies

      1. Visit East St. Louis (As Homer Simpsons once said “Is there any other St. Louis!”
      2. Smoke some meth. Failing that, snort some meth.
      3. Check out St. Louis’s newest attraction, roving packs of wild dogs (http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2011/10/17/are-wild-dog-packs-roaming-north-side/)

      Yes, whether your goal is to get murdered or just mugged and badly beaten, St. Louis has it all. Enjoy to modern ruins of a once great American city. St. Louis- the gem of the midwest. The dirty, shit-covered, cracked, broken gem of the midwest.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Other fun STL facts

        1. The city generally ranks anywhere from 1 to 5 in “Most Dangerous Cities” rankings

        2. St. Louis is NOT in St. Louis County. The city felt they were getting screwed on taxes back in the 1800s and voted to leave the county and become an independent city. Turns out that was a huge mistake.

        3. The population of St. Louis was 856,000. In 2010, it was 319,000, a 63% decrease. This means St. Louis has lost a higher percentage of it’s population since it’s peak than any other city in America.

        4. In the early 2000s, St. Louis bizarrely had one of the lowest rape rates for a city it’s size. Turns out, that was because the STL-PD didn’t count your rape as a crime, they counted it as an “incident”

        (I’m from here by the way. I have every right to hate it as much as I want).

      • thenameisbootsy - Oct 25, 2013 at 7:09 PM

        ↑↑↑↑↑ But on the positive side, at least the city is no longer home to THIS asshole. ↑↑↑↑↑

      • cohnjusack - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        ↑↑↑↑↑ But on the positive side, at least the city is no longer home to THIS asshole. ↑↑↑↑↑

        There are times when you’ve been thoroughly defeated and have no way of topping a response. I recognize this as one of those times. Well played, sir.

      • hustleandflomax - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Just curious, are you a person that’s scared of his own shadow? Do you cross the street when you see a black man walking on your side? Then I can understand why you would be afraid of the big bad city.

        The city of St. Louis is no more dangerous than a lot of cities if you know what areas to avoid. And the violence isn’t usually random. Sometimes it is, but that shit happens everywhere. I have lived in the City of St. Louis half of my 40 years and never been a victim of any violent crime. Had my car broken into a couple times, but that happened to me in the County, too. There were neighborhoods in Houston, San Francisco and Memphis that had me more fearful than anywhere I had been in St. Louis.

        And stop with the meth nonsense. There’s really not that big of a meth problem in the City outside of a few pockets on the South Side. That’s mostly in rural Jefferson and Franklin counties…heroin? Now that’s a problem.

      • hustleandflomax - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:46 AM

        My point is to please stop perpetuating the rhetoric already aimed at our hurting city. The city has many problems, yes and nobody denies that, but many of the problems are similar to what many inner cities across the country are experiencing…poverty, hopelessness, desperation and drug addiction; which are very real human conditions and are nothing to really be cracking jokes about.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 26, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Hey there Hustle,

        Let’s break this insanity down one by one:

        1. “Just curious, are you a person that’s scared of his own shadow? Do you cross the street when you see a black man walking on your side? Then I can understand why you would be afraid of the big bad city.”

        —Umm…what? Making fun of the insane crime rate of a incredibly badly managed city makes me racist now? For the record, I think on an individual level, people in society are far more afraid of being the victims of crime than they should be. Plus, I live in New York, which would be a very difficult city to live in if I were afraid of Black people/people from the middle east/etc.

        2. “he city of St. Louis is no more dangerous than a lot of cities if you know what areas to avoid. ”
        —Yeah, that’s not true. The “safe” areas of St. Louis have higher crime rates than the “dangerous” areas of New York. But again, I’ll repeat: if you’re going to be the victim of crime, it’s probably someone you know that is going to harm you. Doesn’t make any less of a shithole though.

        3. “There were neighborhoods in Houston, San Francisco and Memphis that had me more fearful than anywhere I had been in St. Louis.”
        –Stats be damned! I’m more afraid of places in San Francisco where I am statistically far less likely to be the victim of crime than St. Louis!

        4. “And stop with the meth nonsense. There’s really not that big of a meth problem in the City outside of a few pockets on the South Side”
        –True, I did just put all of Missouri’s incredibly meth problem on St. Louis. My bad.

        5. “My point is to please stop perpetuating the rhetoric already aimed at our hurting city. The city has many problems, yes and nobody denies that, but many of the problems are similar to what many inner cities across the country are experiencing…poverty, hopelessness, desperation and drug addiction; which are very real human conditions and are nothing to really be cracking jokes about.”
        –Again, you seem to say that St. Louis is like every other city. It’s not. What you are comparing St. Louis to is every other inner-city in the 1980s. They got over it, St. Louis has not. The “rhetoric” is also, apart from maybe the meth part, factual. Sorry you’re so butt-hurt about St. Louis sucking.

  4. sgtr0c - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Awesome article, well done!

  5. cur68 - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Careful with this “date line” thing. You might get mistaken for a journalist.

    I await your World Series Equipment Bag shot.

  6. okwhitefalcon - Oct 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Can’t wait for on site articles misusing the buzz terms “narrative” and “straw man”!

  7. thenameisbootsy - Oct 25, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Hate to break the news to you, Craig, but eating on The Hill is part of The Cardinal Way … and frankly it’s too good for the likes of you.

  8. rongantspants - Oct 25, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    You have to try Blues City Deli while you are in town as well. It is closed on Sundays. Bogarts is also a must, and S.O.S.(Sauce on the Side) downtown a few blocks from the ballyard has some damn fine calzones. Have fun in Nellyville.

  9. proudlycanadian - Oct 25, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Will you get any swag?

  10. stlouis1baseball - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    C.C.: While on the Hill…be sure to have Drew take u to an Italian joint. Good eats.

  11. jhaegs - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Take a swim in the Mississippi, too…

    I don’t care what people say about St. Louis. I live in a quiet suburb 20min from downtown. I only visit the city to go to sports games, and the areas around the stadiums are usually pretty safe (especially when you’re with MASS crowds). Packs of wild dogs??? Did they run out if food in Detroit, or did Vick leave his gate unlocked again? Drew, you’re uglier than sin. I can only imagine what Craig looks like. Probably similar to that cardinal/human hybrid… Stuff of nightmares

  12. jhaegs - Oct 26, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Annnnnnnd I rest my case…

    http://craigcalcaterra.tumblr.com/page/4

    1. There comes a time when you should give up on having a head of hair. (See George Costanza)

    2. Selfies…. No

    3. Get contacts or some glasses made for men…

    4. Captain America called, he said you can keep the gay shirt.

    5. I kinda had you pegged as a cat guy. Dead on

    6. You have the same shirt on June 30th and July 1st… Gross

    7. Stop squinting in every selfie. It doesn’t help. At all…

  13. jhaegs - Oct 27, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Big difference between downtown St. Louis, within the St. Louis City limits, and St. Louis County. Downtown is a shithole for the most part. The city limits had its ups and downs. St. Louis County is very diverse. North County sucks, while South and West Counties are pretty nice. O’Fallon, MO isn’t far from STL and it’s one of the safest cities in the US. I’ve done plenty of work downtown- the people that live there are NOT the ones that attend Cardinals games. Trust me…

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