-Spent Friday evening and Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium. Outstanding Grizzlies broadcaster Joe Pott (right) and I were the guests in the press box of my friend Dan MacLaughlin and the Cardinals. Joe and I were treated to a radio booth of our own in which we recorded some play-by-play for our amusement and whatever other use we can make of it. Joe will undoubtedly be able to use it in his effort to move up the baseball broadcasting ladder. He's well suited and overdue for that next step. Someone will recognize Joe's professionalism, knowledge of the game, and first-class approach to his work very soon. He's great on Grizzlies games...but definitely deserves the chance to be great on Major League games.
Jack Buck once told me that if someone can do play-by-play well at the lower levels of the business, they can do it even better at the top. And the more I thought about it, the more I believed it. At the lower levels, the broadcaster usually does all his own homework, engineering, set-up, and about everything else necessary to do a good broadcast. Many times all of that distracts the broadcaster, and detracts from the on-air product. At the big-league level, usually all you have to do is a little prep work...and then sit down and put on your headset. Other people do everything else.
I'll say this, having done the two games this weekend at Busch, I see no reason why someone with the proper background and talent should ever have an excuse for a poor broadcast.
-The Cardinals, despite a Sunday loss, go on to the post-season again. The sentiment of most is that they will get knocked out of the playoffs early and aren't a very good team. But, many were saying the same thing about this time last year about the White Sox who also limped into the post-season. The Cardinals have their weaknesses, no doubt. But, this time of year anything can, and usually does, happen.
-The Rams are managing to play just well enough to win. 3-1 after four weeks looks pretty darn good for Linehan and the boys. You'd have to say there's a pretty good chance at being 4-1 before they play the Seahawks. They have a date with the not-so-hot Packers, who should be 1-3 after losing to the Eagles in the Monday night game, in Green Bay next week. It looks like Bulger and his receivers are finally getting it together. A little practice against the Lions secondary was just what the doctor ordered.
-I guess when you hear a story about a guy barging into a Colorado school, taking a group of girls hostage, sexually assaulting some of them, then killing one, and himself, all you can do is be thankful that your kid's school wasn't the target of some derranged maniac like that. Security generally isn't tight enough anywhere for someone hell-bent on a suicide mission like that.
-I see that an 18-year-old high-school student from the Czech Republic, Tatana Kucharova, is the new Miss World. The organizers call it, simply, a beauty pageant. And, I guess, it's OK that a high-school kid is deemed the most beautiful woman in the world. But, it seems a little strange to me that this young person, who will be the object of much lusting by the men of the world, isn't yet old enough to drink in the U.S., and many other countries. I might suggest that they have a minimum age of 20. But, I guess beauty is beauty at any age.
-The Blues played their last pre-season game Thursday night at Scottrade Center. They'll open up at San Jose on Thursday. Then the home opener will be Thursday the 12th. The people who run the building are holding their collective breath that the new overhead scoreboard and ribbon boards will be installed for the big night. Some $70,000 worth of lazer shows, fireworks and the like will be featured at the opener. But, the scoreboard hadn't even been shipped yet as of Thursday. Could be embarassing if it's not ready.