It's a rather small "stack" of news today, but there is a lot of good stuff so let's see what made "the stack":
1. Cardinals blunders help Rangers take 3-2 series lead.
Dare I say that one of the "cardinal" rules in the playoffs in baseball, especially the World Series is that everyone should be on the same page. Clearly last night, the Cardinals were not. Whether it was the failed hit and run between Albert Pujols and Allen Craig or the miscommunication in the bullpen, the Cardinals were clearly not all thinking alike.
First to the hit and run. Craig must have seen a sign from Pujols to take off. Only problem though, his manager didn't know about it. Pujols is good enough where he should be allowed to make certain decisions, but this one came back to bite him and the Cardinals. Pujols not only struck out, but Craig was thrown out by a mile by Mike Napoli. It wasn't even close. There went the Cardinals threat in the seventh.
Now to the bullpen issues. It was the loud in the stadium, no doubt about it. Rangers fans were going crazy and I'm sure it made things very difficult to hear and to communicate with one another. The guys on ESPN after the game say that the bullpen is out of view of the third base line which explains why Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa was surprised when Lance Lynn came in to pitch. LaRussa had asked for Marc Rzepczynski and closer Jason Motte. It took two calls to relay the message, because no one heard the bullpen phone ring the first time. The second time, they finally heard it, but the message wasn't clear enough. The bullpen coach heaer Lynn instead of Motte, even though Lynn was not expected to pitch in the game. Enter Lynn...intentional walk. Bring in the lefty Rzepczynski, facing the right-handed batter Napoli. A recipe for disaster. Napoli hit the go-ahead two run double to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead and that was the final score as well. You don't expect these types of blunders by a team led by a manager who's been in situations like this for years, especially not at the World Series level. You don't expect it from the St. Louis Cardinals and this could ultimately come back to bite them in the butt at the end of the series.
One final note here, what about that monster shot by Adrian Beltre? He powered that homerun to left essentially on one knee. He swung and immediately fell to a knee and that ball was gone. Wow! Great hit. Don't know how many times he could do that though. Oh well, no one is asking how. This just may be the Rangers year.
2. Monday night dud caps off weak week 7.
Those of you who watched Monday night football, I'm sorry. Those are three and half hours of our lives we'll never get back. For those of you who missed it, you didn't miss much. Yes, the Jacksonville Jaguars did upset the Baltimore Ravens 12-7 and yes kicker Josh Scobee was very impressive with all of the Jaguars points including three field goals of more than fifty yards tying an NFL record with Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski. But this game was awful. For one the Ravens only had 146 yards of total offense for the game. They had 16 yards in the first half. Joe Flacco was off. Ray Rice had a fumble. Maurice Jones-Drew had three fumbles in the first half, fortunately losing only one. The Ravens flat out stunk. No other way around it. It's not like the Jaguars were much better, but they made enough plays to get the win. Watching paint dry would have been better than watching this crap. Watching an old show on PBS or the Hallmark Channel would have been far more fun and would have left you with a better feeling than wanting to gauge your eyes out. No, Monday night's game was not pretty, and that is putting it very very nice.
But, we should have seen this coming. After all, the rest of the week in the NFL wasn't much fun either. I mean, when Broncos-Dolphins, two teams with a combined record of 2-10 is your best game of the week, you know it wasn't a good week. Sure there were some close games. Cleveland beat Seattle 6-3. Whoo! Thanks for that. They were sleeping in Seattle and Cleveland because the game was so boring. And yes the Packers-Vikings game ended up being pretty good. Falcons-Lions too. But they weren't spectacular. No game really put you on the edge of your seats in week 7 and that is saying something, because there is normally one game that will.
Look at some of the blowouts: Texans 41 Titans 7. Chiefs 28 Raiders 0. Cowboys 34 Rams 7. And then there is the Saints 62 Colts 7. Ugh. Ugly. Attrocious. And it was all capped off by a Ravens-Jaguars game that even the most diehard football fan had to find unappealing and switched over to the World Series. Hopefully, this is just a once a year type of deal. It better be. Because this last week was not fun to watch at all.
On a slightly different note, there was one big story coming out about the trash talking after Falcons QB Matt Ryan looked like he had snapped his ankle in half against the Lions. In a he-said, he-said type deal, Falcons WR Roddy White says Lions DT Ndamukong Suh and DE Cliff Avril were kicking at Ryan's feet after the play and saying stuff like cart him off and mocking him to a degree. Both Suh and Avril deny it and are asking for proof. Suh thinks it's karma for the Falcons. Whatever it is, trash talking is all fine and good, but there is a line that you can cross and the Lions may have just done that. And in doing so, Suh is making himself become a household name not only for his play, but also how dirty he can be from time to time. He is a beast, not doubt about it. But sometimes, his emotions appear to get the best of him and if he doesn't tame that down a little bit, the label will stick with him and it will not help him in the long run with dealing with other players in the league.
3. NBA cancels more games.
In a move that I don't find the least bit shocking, according to the New York Daily News, the NBA will cancel at least two more weeks of games today in a press conference. Yes it's great that the two sides met with a federal mediator for three straight days last week, but it still sounds like there is a wide gap between the sides and with no plans of talks in the future, more games were cancelled. More games will continue to be canceled too. They won't just miss November, but probably December and maybe January. It won't be shocking if they miss the whole season. That is what both sides have prepared for for the last two years. It's what guys like Charles Barkley have been saying for the last how many months. It's not good for the NBA because they will lose all of the good will and momentum they built with last year's very successful season. But perhaps for the health of the game long term, maybe this is the best thing. It's going to continue to be a long lockout. Good thing college basketball is right around the corner.
Check back tomorrow to see if there is another edition of "The Stack". Might just take tomorrow off and wait for the World Series to resume on Wednesday. If you have something you think I should talk about, pass it along either in a comment below or on Facebook. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.