- No David Ecktein...maybe for the rest of the regular season
- Less than average hitting by Pujols and Rolen
- Questionable availability of Jim Edmonds
- Mark Mulder might be a non-factor
- Weaver and Marquis are unpredictable
- Encarnacion can be good or really bad
Hopefully, we'll be surprised by a number of these elements correcting themselves somehow.
Best wishes to Tom Hoy as he moves to Florida. You may not know it, but Tom has been very important to putting on NHL games in St. Louis over the past number of years. He has been the crew chief of the NHL off-ice officials who handle all of the league's chores behind the scenes. Goal judges, penalty timekeepers, game timekeepers, penalty-box attendants, league statisticians, shots-on-goal judges and more. These jobs are all assigned and managed by the crew chief. Besides handling the job in a top-notch, professional manner, Tom is a teriffic guy with a wonderful sense of humor. I tend to hang out with these guys before, and during the games, and have enjoyed my association with them over the years. We will certainly miss Tom and his presence at Blues games, and wish him the best in his Florida future. (He says he might do some work with the Tampa Bay Lightning crew). There was a teriffic turnout at a going away party for Tom on Saturday at the Manchester home of crew member Ed Martz. A testament to how well-liked by everyone Tom is. Replacing him will fall into the hands of Kevin Truman...another good guy who is more than capable of filling these big shoes. Good luck fellas!
While at that party, I learned from Savvis building manager Fred Corsi that there's a good chance Barbra Streisand will make a stop in St. Loo on her upcoming...I Guess I'm Really Not Retired From Concerts After All tour. If "Babs" decides to sing here it will be in late October and the up-close tickets will go for a cool 700, or so, bucks. Can't wait!
I always have a difficult time watching the totally-boring exploits of pre-season NFL games. But, the Rams game last night seemed to be worse than ususal. The Rams seemed to be trying not to score early in the game. And the "expert commentary" of former Rams receiver Ricky Proehl...well, was embarassing. Martin Kilcoyne's play-by-play was OK...but Ricky spent most of his time either talking over Kilcoyne...or re-describing something we had just watched. I know he's new at it...but there wasn't much insight, which is why they have former players doing this kind of work.
Let's hope Ernesto peters out....or at least spares New Orleans.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is getting exactly what he deserves...a lesson in who not to hire to play football. The season hasn't even started and he's had to fine Terrell Owens around 10-thousand bucks because he's missed meetings and training sessions while claiming to have a strained hamstring. When will these people learn that bad people...are just bad people. And that bad people can play sports...but they better not be team sports. T.O. should be shown the door and left to deal with his demons in obscurity.
Sorry to hear about a plane crash in Kentucky that took 49 lives this morning. While there have been a few crashes in recent years that have claimed a handful of lives, today's crash ends one of the safest periods in US history for aviation. The last high-mortality crash was the 2001 crash in Queens that happened shortly after 9/11.
I see where the state has released figures that put Belleville in the top 5 in the state for murders in 2005. While that looks bad, I'm sure most everyone understands that it was a highly unusual year for Belleville. Most of the murders involved domestic violence. One incident took 4 lives. Another took 3. It was just very un-Belleville like. I don't want to jinx it, but I think you'll see that born out by the figures at the end of '06.
Speaking of Belleville, congrats to Executive Director Rick Ortiz and the folks with the Belleville Main Street orgnization...a group of downtown merchants trying to bring excitement and business back to the old business district. The state announced a 20-thousand dollar grant Friday that will allow for the installation of a wi-fi umbrella over the downtown business district and greatly enhance the experience of being in the area. Nice job guys!
I got a kick out of something I read in this morning's Belleville News-Democrat. One St. Clair county official said that folks who ride MetroLink will have to deal with increased ridership and less parking at the popular Metro-East park-and-ride stations due to the opening of the new Shrewsbury line in Missouri. The guy said that people should drive to the Washington Park or Fairview Heights stations to find parking spots. Helloooo! If MetroLink doesn't provide a convenient park-and-ride alternative to driving...then why not just drive where you're going? Plus, there's another reason people aren't parking at these stations in the first place...both are in higher-crime areas and people have to be concerned about safety. Wake up sport!