-Busy, busy busy. Grizzlies, KMOX, free-lance voice work, regular agency business. Too busy to write. I know it's been a month. Sorry.
-I'm not a hitting coach...but it seems obvious from the centerfield camera shot on TV that all of the Cardinals left-handed hitting outfielders have a swing problem that needs a cure. Colby Rasmus has been OK. Chris Duncan a streaky unsatisfactory. But Rick Ankiel looks like he's totally out-to-sea without a life raft.
Rasmus has a dip in his swing...and if a pitcher can locate the ball up in the zone on the outside half of the plate he's going to pop it up every time. Duncan has that big, long swing where it frequently looks like he's trying to shovel the ball out of the park. He swings so hard it looks like he's expending a week's-worth of energy each time he takes a hack. The swing seems to start from the backstop.
And Ankiel...well he looks like he's lunging at the ball and hitting almost entirely off his front foot. Unless the pitcher really misses on location with a fastball down and in, Rick doesn't appear to be capable of hitting anything. He's not staying back on the ball...and therefore has no balance to his swing. He's not going to hit anything off-speed or anything hard and up in the zone..inside or outside. His bat is always under the ball....way under. If he hits it...it's most frequently a pop-up or lazy fly ball. It looks like most of the problems of these three guys could be cured by doing what Albert always does. Stay back, and trust your hands to get the bat head out. Snap the bat through the zone with your weight back as much as possible. That levels everything out and gives you a chance to hit line drives.
For that matter, it looks like Ryan Ludwick could use a dose of the same medicine. His swing got a lot longer since last year too. He was really snapping his hands through the zone last year. This year...not so much. Not good production from the current crop of outfielders. At least not at this point in the season. Some instant anlysis from a non-hitting coach. Don't you feel better?
-So glad that there will be another year of Keith Tkaaaaaaaachuuuuuuuuuuck wearing The Note.
-The Grizzlies are off to a poor start this season. Phil Warren's bunch is struggling to find consistency. One night the pitching isn't there. The next it's the hitting. The next it's the defense. Last year about this time they found their stride. I think the roster is good enough. Just a matter of pulling it together. Hopefully that'll happen before too long. Of course, GCS Ballpark is always fun no matter if the team is winning or not. See ya there!
-Another step forward in the career of actor-son Stewart. He spent Sunday, Monday and part of Tuesday this week in Charleston, West Virginia. It was a resprise of How Cissy Grew...the play he did with James Denton of Desperate Housewives, his wife Erin O'Brien, and budding young star Liz Vital last fall in Hollywood. Charleston native, and award-winning playwright Susan Johnston's play was the featured material at FestivALL Charleston. Apparently the locals loved the Monday evening performance and reception after where they were able to schmooze with the talent. Ms. Johnston is in the process of developing the material into a screenplay and chances appear to be good that WVa money and some from Tinseltown may turn the project into film. Of course, we're hoping young Stew might get a chance to ply himself if it happens. Other things in the works too...but too soon to spill.
-How cool is it to know that every goal that new Hall-of-Famer Brett Hull scored in a Blues uniform in St. Louis was announced by yours truly. Neat feeling.
-Number-one son Ian is making mom and dad proud by doing something with his life that we never saw coming...teaching. Not just teaching high school... but also acting as a supervisor/teacher for kids in the Battle Mountain HS (Vail, CO) district who have mental and physical challenges. Still playing and recording his music too. Teachers may be our country's most under-appreciated profession. But Ian is appreciated big-time by two people back home...that's for sure.
-President Obama throwing out the first pitch at the All-Star Game in St. Loo. He plays a lot of basketball...so I hope the Commander-in-Chief gets in a little pitching practice so as to not look foolish. Somehow I think he'll do allright.
-Once again we go straight from cool days into sweltering here in the Midwest. Why should I expect any different. Moderation is lost on Mother Nature around here.
-Oh the power of lust, testosterone, and fantasy to overpower common sense. I'm talking about SC governor Mark Sanford, of course.
-The biggest sports story of the month, heck maybe the year, should be the Team USA soccer win over Spain the the FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal. But unfortunately the sport is still way down the list of sports priorities in the good ol' USA.
-Enough with the Brett Favre stuff already. He enjoys playing the diva too much.
-Something is very unexciting to me about the second Transformers movie. Nothing wrong with Megan Fox...but neither Shia LeBeouf or the trailers get me wound up.
-At five minutes and six seconds after 4 on the 7th of July the time will be 04:05:06 07/08/09. Thought you'd like to be the first to know. That sequence of numbers will never occur again. The next such similar sequence will happen on August 9th of 2010 at 6 minutes and 7 seconds after 5.