Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bridge to Nowhere?

I've been trying to keep up with the published reports about the urination contest being staged by political leaders from Missouri and Illinois over a new Mississippi River bridge. I don't claim to have all the facts. But, I don't quite understand why this has gotten to the point of exasperation. The basics seem to be pretty simple.

-Both states want a new bridge at St. Louis
-Both states want to use federal money to pay for most of the project.
-Both states understand that Illinois commuters will use the new bridge more than Missourians.
-Both states agree that Illinois should put more money into the project pot than Missouri.
-Both states originally were on board for a billion-dollar plus "super bridge" north of the MLK Bridge.

Then, when it was realized that neither state wanted to kick in the required bucks to build the super bridge, the "ca ca hit the oscillator". Now, leaders from both states still want to build some kind of bridge...but can't agree on a plan. Missouri wants a toll bridge. Illinois wants a companion bridge to the MLK that will cost about half of what the original bridge would have cost...but insists that it not be a toll bridge. Missouri leaders have now been linked to former Congressman Dick Gephardt, and his lobbying on behalf of the Goldman-Sachs investment firm which wants to be involved... if it's a toll bridge. Now Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has jumped into the squabble and said there will NEVER be a toll least not while he's governor. And, the federal bucks are going away at the end of this calendar year. So, somebody had better come up with a plan that Show-Me and Prairie-staters can agree on.

Well...let's step back and think for a second.

Currently, I-55, I-44, I-64, and I-70 traffic is all funneled across the Poplar Street Bridge. Add to that the daily commuters and every-day schmucks who have to do business on both sides of the river, and you've got much more traffic than the PSB was ever supposed to handle.

Why not institute a plan that diverts much of the interstate traffic away from the Poplar Street Bridge? Or would that make too much sense? And would it also deprive the local politcos of the opportunity to boast about the amount of fed dollars they brought home to the area for the new bridge? Oh...those federal bucks are allocated...we had better use them. Heaven forbid that we actually save the taxpayers some money by using the bucks in a more sensible, and less headline-grabbing, fashion.

I read a letter to the editor a while back from a guy who has a trucking company suggesting that I-55 traffic be diverted to the JB Bridge and I-70 traffic be directed to the Chain-of-Rocks Bridge. This idea makes overwhelming sense to me. I-255 and I-270 already carry some of the 55 and 70 traffic across those bridges...but you would think a traffic plan could be instituted to "enforce" such a system. Just changing the interstate signs would serve to do that to some degree. If improvements, or alterations, were needed to the existing road system, divert some of the "new bridge" money to do it. Oh sure, some interstate travelers will still want to see the Arch and ignore the signs. But, if many were convinced they would save time by avoiding the PSB, I would think they would.

You could also use some of the fed money to re-engineer the ridiculous exit ramp on the Missouri side of the PSB that currently handles I-55 and 44 traffic. That ramp can not, and does not, handle the tremendous volume of cars and trucks that attempt to use it. If I-55 traffic was diverted south to the JB, at least some of that volume would lessen. But, that ramp would still need to be re-worked. Traffic is always backed up most of the way across the bridge into Illinois trying to get down the hairpin exit ramp. Then all the other traffic has to deal with lane-changing and maneuvering through the backed-up lanes. I believe...and again I'm not an engineer...that re-directing the interstate "through traffic" (over-the-road trucks...and passers-through) to the JB and Chain-of-Rocks would at least give regular commuters a break...even if we can't agree on a new bridge.

When it comes to building a new bridge, it appears the differing agendas of the politicians are the real issue...and not what will properly serve Joe Taxpayer.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


-Can the Cardinals be as bad, or the American League as good, as what we've seen in the last week? If so, it's time to start getting worried, at least about what would happen in the World Series if the birds made it that far. I still think Walt Jocketty will pull a deal or two before the trade deadline to, hopefully, stabilize the ship.

-It's no secret that John Davidson will be running the show for the new Checketts regime at Savvis Center. I'm hearing that he and former Blues star Brendan Shanahan are friends, and that might bring Shanny back to StL for an encore. Do you think that would generate some much-needed ticket sales?

-Busting my buttons over son Stewart's scholarship award. He's entering his final year at DePaul U's Theatre School in Chicago and was awarded a handsome scholarship by the faculty. We're so proud.

-I enjoyed a nice chat with Congressman Jerry Costello Saturday night after the Grizzlies game. We both agreed that Rich Sauget, Tony Funderburg and the Grizzlies operation have become a major part of the summer entertainment scene in Southwestern Illinois. Costello expects much development in the area surrounding GCS Ballpark in the coming years as a result.

-The US soccer team went out with a whimper in the World Cup. But, as I wrote in a previous post, very few people seemed to really care, or be upset. Soccer still needs to take a more prominent place in our sports consciousness as a nation before our World Cup team's fortunes are considered a big deal.

-Superman is back in the theaters...and some are saying he seems too gay this time around. Boy, that would really put some people in a lather if the "man of steel" were to be more interested in Jimmy Olsen than Lois Lane. What do they expect from a guy who wears tights and a cape?

-Clinton, Missouri. It's the town 60 miles southeast of KC where the Elk's building collapsed, killing a man and injuring nine others. We were there for a wedding a few years ago. Nice little place that features a town square that looks like it's right out of the 19th century. You know, a courthouse in the middle...a little park around it...and a business district that surrounds the courthouse on all sides. It reminded me of the town square in the Back to the Future movies. Unfortunately, the buildings apparently need a little updating.

-While the Cardinals were getting their lunch handed to them again last night, I flipped it over to the College World Series championship game on ESPN. I wound up watching most of the game and it was an example of why college sports, in some cases, can be so much more entertaining and compelling than the pros. It was a close game. There were a lot of human interest angles behind the scenes. And an unprofessional play wound up being the difference in the game. An error by the North Carolina second-baseman on a routine play in the eighth inning wound up costing them the national title. Eventual champion Oregon State's coach has a developmentally disabled son who came charging out of the stands to hug his dad on the field after the final out. College sports, much more so than pro sports, tends to be about people...not the money. That's why often times it's the best there is.

Friday, June 23, 2006

"Bags" Wins!!!

The following is written in the form of a press release for my colleagues in the media. I have invited them to visit this blog for more information on my friend Tim Snider's outstanding achievement in film making. So, for the rest of you who visit here regularly, don't be alarmed by the formal nature of the following-

When Bags Attack-a film directed by Tim Snider, has been chosen Best Film in this year's St. Louis competition in the 48-Hour Film Project. The announcement was made at the Tivoli theater Thursday night after the screening of St. Louis's sixteen top films in the competition. 48 St. Louis-area teams entered films into the competition.

Snider, who lives in Ballwin, is originally from East Carondelet, and is Creative Director of Big World Media Group ( in Columbia. Big World, with offices and creative suites at The Falls Reception Center, produces television and radio commercials, and print ads for clients in the metro area. Snider, who also won the award for Best Director, enlisted the services of several personal and professional friends as writers, cast and crew for the film.

The 48-Hour Film Project is a national competition in which local filmmakers from across the country are challenged to write, shoot, and edit a five-to-eight minute film in the space of two days. At an initial meeting, directors are given a prop, a line of dialogue, and a character, that must appear in each film. They are also given a genre for the film in a random drawing. When Bags Attack was produced in the science-fiction genre. The best films from the various city competitions are then screened and judged at the national finals which should happen in early 2007 at an, as yet, unannounced location. More information on the competition can be found at

The Bags plot is a science-fiction spoof revolving around the main character, a bank manager played by Millstadt resident Tom Calhoun, who tells the story of aliens that are taking the form of plastic shopping bags in their effort to take over planet Earth. Many of the film's lines and visual effects evoked roars of laughter at the local screenings. Calhoun, known for his work as public address announcer for the St. Louis Blues and Gateway Grizzlies, made his film acting debut in the project. Calhoun owns and operates Calhoun Advertising (, a metro-east based advertising agency.

Plans are in the works for a local screening of When Bags Attack.

For more information contact:
Tim Snider (314)-324-5127
Tom Calhoun (888)-585-6510

Way to go Timmy!! I'm proud of you. Thanks for the invitation to be your "Linda Garren"-bank manager.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Sunday Insundries

-I can only imagine how nerve-wracking and knee buckling it must be to step up to the tee on the 18th at a major championship. So, I am hesitant to poke fun at Phil Mickelson for his spontaneous combustion at the US Open. But, even he called himself an idiot afterward. An idiot!

It certainly did seem idiotic the way he played that final hole. He could have done better from the tee if he had pulled a weed-eater out of his bag. Then, after he puts himself in deep trouble to the left, all he needed to do was get the ball back onto the fairway and go for a bogey to clinch a playoff. But nooooooooo! He has to go for the heroic, through-the-trees, whack-it-and-pray shot to hit the green. Plunk...the ball smacks a tree and rolls back to his feet all but assuring that he's screwed.

If I'm Phil's caddy I feel equally idiotic that I didn't insist that he play a 3-iron off the tee to put it in the middle...then get it somewhere close to the green with his second shot. From there, he would have, at the very least, assured himself of a playoff. When he pulled out the driver, it was the only way the old, wild-and-crazy Phil Mickelson could come back to life. And come to life he did.

I wonder how he slept last night.

--The Cardinals continue to be impressive despite their sputtering starting pitching and the absence of David (Eckstein) and Goliath(Pujols). It will be interesting to see how Anthony Reyes adapts to being inserted into the starting rotation. From all I'm hearing that's what's going to happen on Thursday with Sidney Ponson going to the bullpen. Ponson won't care much for that demotion because he's pitching this year to get back to the income level he once enjoyed with Baltimore. He'll be a free agent at the end of the season...and was hoping his new-found sobriety, and revisited ability, would mean big bucks. Ponson in the bullpen might be best for the team, but it's doubtful Sidney thinks so.

--If what I'm hearing is true, the Blues will formally introduce the new Dave Checketts ownership at a Thursday press conference. The league will approve the Checketts group at the NHL Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday. The question at this point is...Where will the news conference take place? Most of the Blues current brass..and current media relations and PR staff.. (notice I use the adjective current because nobody really knows if they have a job until after the ownership changes) will be in Vancouver Thursday getting ready for Saturday's player draft in which the Blues have the first pick. We'll keep our ear to the ground.

--I had the distinct pleasure of playing the lead character in a short film produced and directed by my friend Tim Snider of Big World Media Group that played at The Tivoli last week. It's part of the 48 Hour Film Project. The idea of the project is to get a group of people together and make a short film (5-8 minutes) that must be written, shot, edited and turned in at the end of 48 hours. There were 48 teams that decided to try it in St. Louis. The organizers stage these competitions in most of the major cities in the U.S.

What happens is the directors of each group show up at a meeting on Friday evening where the local organizers tell you what elements have to be included in each film. They require one particular line of dialogue, a character, a prop, and they draw a genre for each crew out of a hat. This year's line was "Is that all I am to you?"...the character-Leo or Linda Garren, bank manager...the prop-a shopping bag...and Tim's genre was science fiction. Other directors get drama, silent film, spy film, musical etc.

Tim's group of collaborators came up with a brilliant script that features bank manager Linda Garren (even though I'm a guy) warning the world about an alien invasion in which the aliens take the form of plastic shopping bags. It was a lot of fun to play the bank manager...who was a lot more whacky than he first appears. The film had the audience at the theater bellowing with laughter Wednesday night. In my opinion, it was the best of our group of films. But, I'm a little biased.

Tim received good news today that his film will appear again at The Tivoli this Thursday as a finalist in the St. Louis competition. That means he has won an award for at least one of the various categories on which the films are judged. If he wins best film in St. Louis, it will go on to regional...and possibly national...competitions. I think Tim's team was awesome...and overcame the handicap of a "non-actor" as the lead character very well. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 16, 2006

It Should Be Dads Day

-It doesn't take much in the way of brains or character to be a father. Being a dad means something. You probably know what I'm getting at...but allow me to explain anyway.

There are millions of fathers breathing the air on planet Earth. Many are also dads. Being a dad, at least to me, implies that a man has actually invested deep emotion in the lives of those he has fathered. A dad is a nuturer, protector, provider, and leader. Dad is a term of endearment, reverence, and respect.

While some, who are more formal with the language, also use father in such a way, I think most would agree that father is a more generic term describing one who has, through sexual intercourse, helped create a new life. In fact, one of the definitions of father in the dictionary is the male parent of an animal. Yes, another definition is one who begets, raises or nutures a child..but the common usage of father seems to be more parental than emotional. But, enough of the technical stuff.

Dads are the ones who should be honored and recognized. Dads take pride in everything about their children. They are the ones who unconditionally fall in love with their babies, and who enjoy watching, and helping, them grow into representatives of their families. Dads are the teachers, role models and, more often than not, loving husbands. They are the ones committed to family...and understand that families, and the loving relationships in them, are what produces our strongest, most productive, and most well-adjusted young people. Dads would run through brick walls for their kids. Or at least try. They would gladly die if it meant their children wouldn't have to. When their child calls him dad, dad always gets a charge.

Then there are the fathers who never understand what being a dad is all about. They relentlessly seek out the opportunity to engage in the "fatherly act", but never own up to the consequences of it. They may have many children, but never get to know them. They are more interested in themselves, and their next conquest, than the lives of those they have helped to create. They aren't there at the hospital to feel the joy of holding a newborn in the delivery room. They aren't there for the melancholy of the first day of school. They miss the first tee-ball game. The first communion. The confirmation. The graduation. The emotion of letting go at the wedding. What sad, and hollow individuals... these disconnected and confused fathers.

It has been my extreme pleasure and honor to be a dad and a husband. My life as a father has been so much more joyful, painful, emotional, rewarding and, in the end, valuable and enjoyable because I have attempted to be a dad for my sons. I am thankful that my dad, and his dad, taught me what it's all about. They set the right example. I always wanted to be a dad like they were. I hope I have come close. I can't imagine life any other way. I just wish more people in this world could understand the joy that is being a dad.

As long as there's going to be a somewhat manufactured holiday to honor fathers, let's remember to honor those who have at least tried their best to be dads.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Were You Embarassed?

-I've heard a lot of broadcasters and sports-talk callers crying in their ale about how embarassed they were at the 3-0 beat down taken by the US side at the hands of the Czech Republic in the World Cup Monday. Come on. To be embarassed as a nation, we actually have to really care. Does anyone other than the die-hards give a toot about the US soccer team?...Hell, how many casual sports fans could even identify any of our players prior to the Czech thumping? I'd venture that a good percentage of Americans are just getting up to speed that the World Cup tournament is being played. Sports talk show hosts tend to overdramatize these losses to "keep the pot stirred".

Sure, you'd like the guys wearing the red, white and blue to put in a good showing. But, the reality of the soccer world is still that Americans want a winner because the games are played on a world stage, but aren't really heavily invested in the sport itself. We might have higher expectations than we did twenty years ago. But we still don't have the religious fervor for the sport that other countries do. Until that comes along, any kind of national embarassment is just impossible. The U.S. basketball team losing in the that's national embarassment.

I remember when the American women turned on the soccer world a few years back. It was a great story in the 90's and early 00's. It was the feel-good feature of its time. But, has Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, and the rest of Team USA's story really had staying power? How many professional women's soccer games have you seen in the last year? Kinda hard to be a fan now isn't it? Soccer hasn't made the radar with most of us. We enjoyed their winning. We appreciated the glory. But not enough to change our deep-down indifference about the sport.

Participation in youth soccer is as strong as ever. But the good ol' USA still has a long way to go before it becomes the spectator sport it is everywhere else on the planet. Maybe the MLS (Major League Soocer) is making some inroads. But it's a long way from the NFL, MLB, NBA, or even the crippled NHL at this point.

Until we generate a true superstar in soccer...a la Pele, David Beckham, Ronaldo, or current Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho (pictured), we won't be able to put a face on our entrance onto the world stage. 15-year-old prodigy Freddy Adu who plays for DC United in the MLS is possibly on the verge of becoming that guy. But still being so tender, he didn't even make this World Cup team's roster. We need an ambassador of the sport to emerge from our own country...someone to be a point of pride. Then maybe soccer will be able to develop the momentum it needs in our own minds to compete with the other major sports. Until then, let's not get too worked up over the World Cup, because we haven't claimed any ownership in the sport yet. Right now, we're just playing the rest of the world's game.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Is Albert Clean?

-That's the question we've all had in the back of our minds, right? Well, now that this Jason Grimsley episode is about to explode like the A-bomb at Hiroshima, we will either get answers to all our questions, or everybody in baseball will be under greater suspicion and scrutiny.

There is already speculation about Albert's involvement with personal trainer Chris Milhlfield after Mihlfield's name was linked to the affadavit supposedly signed by Grimsley after he was nailed by the feds. So far, all of those named in Grimsley's affadavit have been protected by having their names redacted in the document. But, you can bet that just about anybody who could possibly be tainted, has already connected the dots and has figured out who is about to be "outed".

Baseball's reputation is going to be trashed in the next few months. I think we can count on that. There seems to be very little doubt that once the guilty parties are named, that all of the rats will do their best to leave the sinking ship. Or make an argument that they were never on it. If Commissioner Bud Selig has any brains and/or guts, he will step in and order the players to submit to random blood tests...and then stand back and let the players union try to say why they shouldn't. The game is being played by superstars who might have above average good players who might have average abilities...average players...etc. etc. ...and hangers-on who maybe shouldn't have been in the big leagues in the first place. How is the average guy supposed to know what he's seeing on the field?

I feel for the poor guys who decided early to stay clean...and as a result...maybe never made it to the show. Some guy selling insurance in Wichita may be every bit as talented as the guy with 20 homers on the roster of the Rangers. He just decided to live his life fairly and honestly. So, what's his reward? Getting to watch the guys who cheated.

It's quite possible, and, as a Cardinals fan, I hope it's true, that Albert Pujols is clean as a hound's tooth. But, until baseball--the institution--forces everybody that plays its game to prove their innocence, he will be a suspect just like Bonds, McGwire, Canseco and the bunch. That's why I was so flabbergasted when Albert chose to come to the comfort of Bonds recently. Why make it any worse for yourself than it is? Stand up for the game, stand up for the good guys, don't stand up for the likes of Bonds and those who have helped destroy it.

Whoever is to blame--management, the cheaters, those who helped the cheaters, or all of the above--a thorough house-cleaning seems to be getting closer every day. Thanks to a journeyman pitcher who got caught.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Justice System?? Fails Again

-Ladue residents Jim and Bren Souers are walking in shoes that no parent wants to wear. They sent their beautiful and talented daughter Tiffany, a graduate of esteemed Villa Duchesne high school, off to get a quality education at a great university in South Carolina, only to have her fall victim to a paroled sex-offender. They had to bury her a few days ago. By all accounts, Tiffany was a top-flight person who would have brought enormous joy to her parents, and quality to the life of anyone she encountered. Too bad our swiss-cheese, hit-and-miss justice system didn't allow that to happen.

Our way of handling these human-scum predators needs to be reviewed...and strengthened. If cockroaches like 35-year-old Jerry Buck Inman of Dandridge, Tennessee, who DNA evidence says killed Tiffany, can put in a few years behind bars for a terrible sexual crime, then be let go to force his fantasies on the innocent, someone is not getting it. Investigators say Inman was "in the neighborhood" and liked the way Tiffany looked. So, it sounds like he was going to force himself on someone and she was the unlucky one.

The people who sit on parole boards are surely pressured by the fact that there isn't enough space in our prisons to house everybody. So, the assessments of psychiatrists and doctors who sit with these guys in prison and try to evaluate their mental state carry all too much weight. For anyone to think that sitting in prison for a few years changes the usually hopelessly-twisted mind of a sexual predator into one who that will be harmless on the outside seems to be folly. There's too much evidence to the contrary. Do these parole boards ever consider letting someone serve out their FULL SENTENCE? If not, why not? Aren't people in prison for the protection of society? What is the overwhelming reason to let them out? What value will they bring to society? Will they find a cure for cancer? Will they win a Nobel prize? Do you think any of these guys would get out if those making the decision knew that they would move in next door to them?

Doesn't anybody ever take into account that these guys are probably going to be more dangerous after they get out of the slammer? They've been sitting for years with these pent-up fantasies and have had no way of acting on least not with "real people". Plus, they probably have the feeling, rightly or wrongly, that their lives are worthless when they are set free because of their record. So, why not just live it up until you die? "If they catch me, they catch me"...they probably think. Do the book-educated mind-doctors and dubiously-qualified parole board members of the world give that any thought? You tend to wonder if they do their job with any common sense when you read about all of the crimes perpetrated by parolees. So, an innocent, young woman succumbs to the sexual rage of a man who can't, or won't, stop himself from using her as an object of his bizarre thoughts.

It's terribly sad that good people aren't better protected from the bad in our free society. I'm sure the grief of the Souers family is shared by all of us who try to live life the right way and have worried about our kids when we took them off to college. I know that won't make them feel any better about what has happened. But, they can be sure that we understand their horrible situation, and will hug our own kids a little tighter next time we see them. As for fixing the justice system, mandatory full sentences might be a start.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Izzy...or Izzn't He?

-Even though the Cardinals are in first place, we have plenty to worry about these days. Albert Pujols' injury is not at the top of my list. Jason Isringhausen's total lack of any consistency is. In the days of Lee Smith, Dennis Eckersley and even Bruce Sutter, there were blown saves on occasion. But, so far, this year's version of Izzy has been way too unpredictable. He is not giving anybody confidence that the game is in good hands when he's holding the ball. Usually a closer is asked to protect a small lead. When Izzy starts an inning consistently giving up either a walk or a hit, he's always going to be in a position to blow that lead. He just doesn't have the stuff, or control, that he once did. Scary situation. Is it time to let Adam Wainwright...(who actually does have the electric stuff of a true closer)...take the ball in the ninth inning?

-Speaking of Albert, I'd be surprised if he plays before the All-Star break. The last thing they need him to do is go back out and re-injure that thing. Then they would be in trouble.

-Does anybody around here know that the Stanley Cup finals are going on? Because the Blues have been out of action for so long...and St. Louis is such a baseball-focused city...and because the NHL had to put its games on OLN...(Oddly Lacking Numbers)... I don't hear anybody talking about the Carolina-Edmonton battle for Lord Stanley's chalice. Too bad...because hockey now is much better than hockey was before the lockout. I'd like to think Gary Bettman and the NHL brass will negotiate a TV situation that offers more exposure for next season.

-I had my first Baseball's Best Burger at a Grizzlies game last week. That's the bacon-cheeseburger with a grilled Krispy Kreme doughnut for a bun. Don't expect health food when you get one. But do expect a very tasty treat. I enjoyed mine very much. You know...when you go to a ballgame, you're usually not interested in health food anyway. If you were going to a Cardinals game, you'd expect to eat a hot dog, cheeseburger, or some other fat-filled delicacy from one of the concession stands. If you had a pre-game meal, you might go to one of the nearby bars...or steak houses...and chow down on a 3,000 calorie meal anyway. So, all of the negative stuff you hear about the Grizzlies' burger is a little over-blown in my mind. All you're really doing is having a bacon-chesseburger with your dessert built in. Right? And, at $4.50 it's a darn good bargain compared to Busch food.

-Oh boy! Another summer of sitting on the Mississippi River bridges trying to get to...or back from...Missouri. When are we going to come up with a better way? Or, at least paving materials that don't need to be replaced every other year.

-I'm betting the new naming partner for the Savvis Center will be some company that sells beer. Just a guess. If I'm in marketing at A-B, I'd sure be pushing for the Michelob Center...or the Bud combine with Busch Stadium right down the street.

-I see where the latest on Chris choice to win American that he has turned down the offer to be lead singer for the band Fuel. He is also said to be leaning toward signing a deal with RCA Records. He said at a concert for people in his home town in North Carolina this weekend that he was going to "do his own thing". Whether that means a solo career...or teaming up with the guys in his own band...will probably be announced after the Idols Tour this summer. Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee will also have RCA deals.

-Other than The DaVinci Code, there hasn't been a movie in the last 3 months that I've actually wanted to go to a theater to see. Are we going through a movie drought? Or is it just me? X-Men 3 is supposed to be good. The Vince Vaughn-Jennifer Anniston flick did well at the box office. But, neither got me very excited about buying a ticket. I still haven't seen DaVinci either.

-This morning's Belleville News-Democrat featured a story on the front page about the recovery of Ashley Reeves. There were also pictures of the 17-year-old who was almost murdered in April. She is pictured strapped into a wheel chair and smiling at her rehabilitation center in St. Louis county. I hope the sight of her recovering doesn't lessen the public's outrage over what was done to her...allegedly... by one of her former teachers.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Catching Up

Writing for the blog has taken a back seat to other activities lately. For those who expect fresh material here...I apologize. The holiday weekend, getting my ad agency business re-invented, and then getting ready for the start of Grizzlies baseball season has dominated my time.

--Speaking of the Grizzlies...Another very well done opening night by GM Tony Funderburg's staff at GCS Ballpark last night. As you probably know if you've been there, they take minor league baseball and turn it into a gigantic, classy, and most importantly, fun night out. The park is always clean and well-maintained. The field is as close to major league quality as you'll find anywhere. The staff and workers are well-trained and friendly in all situations. The concessions don't cost an arm-and-a-leg. And Danny Cox's team usually puts on a very good show. I'm happy to be a small part of the experience as their p.a. announcer. The Grizzlies look to have a pretty good bunch of players this year. Hopefully, you will come out to one of the great minor league stadiums in America sometime this year and enjoy a Gateway Grizzlies game. Click on the link on this page for tickets.

--I'm predicting that the Cardinals, even though they are in pretty good shape in the standings right now, will be very active in the trade market before the deadline. It appears something will have to be done to bolster the outfield. And their pitching situation...with the impending free-agency of four starters...will have to be addressed too. Here's my thinking, based on no particular inside information. Look for lefty Mark Mulder to be traded for an outfielder. I just have the feeling that the Cardinals...even though lefties like Mulder are highly sought after...will not want to sign Mulder to the kind of deal that will keep him in St. Louis. Trading him before the deadline for an outfielder with more punch than the current Taguchi/Rodriguez/Bigbie/Spiezio/Luna committee seems to be logical. I think it's also possible that The Birds might also move Jason Marquis to help address the deteriorating outfield situation. Marquis has a lot of pitching talent...but seems to be unable, mentally, to consistently use it. Jim Edmonds isn't getting any younger...he's slowing down anyway...and has a 10 million dollar option for next season. So, getting somebody now to fill his spot if the injury persists...and then have them for next year...would make some sense. The Cards would then put a lot of trust in righthanders Anthony Reyes and Adam Wainwright, who will undoubtedly be in the rotation at some point anyway, to fill the holes in the rotation. It's risky...especially for a team counting on success in the post-season...but I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of blockbusters like that next month.

--Too bad the new Checketts ownership group couldn't get approval from the NHL to take over the Blues before the end of the playoffs. I'm sure they have a lot of their strategy...and personnel decisions...ready to be announced. But, it would be nice for them to be able to actually get things moving with the new people so that marketing and sales efforts for the coming season could be implemented now. These next few months will fly by no matter who's sitting in the offices at Savvis. But, particularly so with new people. Look for an ownership change/upper management introduction press conference as soon as the Board of Governors approves the transfer...probably last week of this month.

--As you undoubtedly know if you visit this blog somewhat regularly...I became a big fan of Chris Daughtry during the American Idol competition this year. The young guy from North Carolina not only struck me as the most talented singer of the bunch, but he also had much in common with oldest son Ian...including the shaved head look. So, it was heartening to hear that Chris is already making it big in the music business. His single, Wanted Dead or Alive, originally done by Bon Jovi, debuted at #37 on the pop charts. That's higher than any of the singles released by the other Idol finalists. More info here: