Update-- I think America got it right. Bucky goes back to N.C. Be honest. He was a very likeable guy. But was he really a performer you'd pay to see, or more importantly listen to? Didn't think so.
-The Al MacInnis jersey-retirement ceremony Sunday night was tremendously well thought out, terifficly planned and executed, and a real tear jerker. I must admit to getting a bit misty just like Kelly Chase during Chopper's speech. My role was minimized, but that's OK. Those responsible, yes including Bill Laurie who paid for it, should be commended. Laurie, Mark Sauer, and Larry Pleau were booed mercilessly by the crowd when they were introduced. I'm sure they expected it for their role in this pitiful season. The only negative aspect to the ceremony that I could pick out? Brian Sutter's was the only previously retired jersey that was unrepresented. I heard no explanation of his absence. Somewhat disappointing.
-Opening day at the new Busch Stadium was also well done. I had no tickets (didn't really try) and watched on TV. Fox Midwest did a nice job with the broadcast. The crowd singing the anthem is always touching. It's still pretty amazing to me that they are already playing ball on that field. The speed of the construction project has been nothing short of miraculous. You can already feel a more "Wrigley-like" atmosphere in the area surrounding the ballpark. Business in downtown St. Louis is sure to grow exponentially in the next few years.
-Speaking of opening day, I was tuning around the dial on Monday morning and couldn't believe the audio quality (or lack thereof) coming from the radio when I turned to KTRS. Of course, about all of the local stations were doing some type of remote broadcast Monday as a part of the "Home Opener is a St. Louis Holiday" theme that everyone has adopted. But, there was something wrong with KTRS's technical set-up to the point where most of what they were doing was unlistenable. Every time one of the hosts said anything there was some type of accompanying buzz that made me instantly want to turn the dial. It wasn't overmodulating the mixer to the point of distortion which is easily adjusted and corrected...so I'm not sure what the problem was. But it is sad that the new "Voice of the Cardinals" couldn't get a simple technical set up right on their "debut day". The late Bob Hyland would have had a conniption fit if it were his station.
-I'm wondering how long we will continue to miss Reggie Sanders and Mark Grudzielanek from last year's team. The Cardinals are struggling to replace them, and nobody seems capable of doing so yet. Whoever plays in left field, usually So Taguchi or Skip Schumaker, aren't anywhere near the threat of Sanders. And why John Rodriguez isn't getting a shot, after his performance last year, is baffling. Aaron Miles has had a nice start at second. But it's no secret he was brought in more as an insurance policy than a regular. It seems the easy answer was to pay the guys we had a little bit more and keep them. But someone, or a group of someones, at the management level obviously decided to play the hand differently. I guess they decided to keep that money to throw at free-agent pitcher A. J. Burnett, who eventually signed with Toronto, and wound up with "none of the above". Too bad...Reggie and Grudz were excellent players and fan favorites.
-Hockey prevented me from watching the Idol performance show Tuesday night. I've got it recorded. But, from what I've read and discussed with friends, it looks like another toss-up as to who will go home. I'm told that Ace and Bucky were ordinary at best and may be the top candidates for elimination. Although, Paris was also out of her element and may be in some danger. Elliott was in the bottom three last week...but his performance this week is said to be good enough to avoid elimination. Kellie was hot (looking) as usual and her Bohemian Rhapsody was done well enough. Katharine, Chris and Taylor seem to be above concern.
-Are Chris and Kellie the 2006 version of these people? --->
-Interesting for me to note that there has been very little reported anywhere about the lack of official warning for the people in Fairview Heights of the tornado that ripped apart that community a week ago Sunday. There has been one "oh by the way" type story on Channel 5's website about it. But, unless I've missed it, there hasn't been much else. This story should be big news to the Post and the News-Democrat. Why it isn't, I dunno. The Channel 5 story...written by an AP reporter...basically says the National Weather Service was caught by surprise and didn't expect tornadic activity out of that portion of the storm. Why wouldn't the TV stations report this? Of course, they trumpet loud and long about how they are always on top of these situations with their teams of meteorologists. But, the bottom line is. If the Weather Service doesn't issue a warning, they won't either. The TV weather departments are not going to go out on a limb by themselves. One man died in the Fairview Heights storm when the roof of the K&G store caved in from the F-2 tornado.