Cardinals NLCS Run, #STLCards and Kid Problem?

4 NLCS Trips in 4 Years

I promise the Cardinals won’t be the only thing I talk about on this blog — but for now it’s what is heavily on my mind! Last night the Cardinals clinched a spot in the NLCS for the 4th time in 4 years. That’s right. 2011, 2012, 2013 and now 2014. Talk about spoiled huh Cardinal fans?  Here is the full history of Cardinal postseason baseball and below is the last 3 years.

  • 2013 — Beat Pirates for NLDS, Beat Dodgers for NLCS and Lost to Red Sox in WS
  • 2012 — Beat Nationals for NLDS, Lost to Giants for NLCS
  • 2011 — Beat Phillies for NLDS, Beat Brewers for NLCS, Beat Rangers for World Series

#STLCards Twitter Explosion

So as some of you know I’ve long been a hater of Twitter. I’ve tried giving it a chance time and time again but just can’t keep up with it or get into it. October Cardinal baseball is one time I really enjoy being on Twitter (Follow me @RyanKnuppel).

Talk about a massive explosion of TWEETS. I follow the hashtag #STLCards and it just blows up during October baseball games. When Wong hit that HR in Game 3. WHOA! Then when Adams hit the game winner in Game 4 — TWITTER Exploded! So fun and nearly impossible to keep up with. But definitely some creative Tweets.

Young talent for the Cardinals

PI-MLB-Cardinals-Matt-Adams-Kolten-Wong-Oscar-Taveras-071014So I want to talk real quickly about the “young talent” on this Cardinals team. Being in Central Illinois there are many Cub fans around. And all we have been hearing in 2014 is, “look at our young talent, Cubs are going to be good soon.” Baez, Bryant, Castro, Soler and more. Maybe some good players.

But let’s talk about these Cardinal players. These young Redbird players who are getting valuable POSTSEASON experience while the Cubbie guys are workin on their golf game. Wong is a legit 5 tool player. I’m real excited for his future with the Cardinals. Matt Adams shows he has some power and some “clutchness” to him. Matt Carpenter is a youngster who is now a legit All-Star. Add in our pitching staff with Wacha, Miller, Martinez… And some raw players such as Taveras.

I’ll take this group of Cardinal youngsters up against the Cubs youngsters anyday!

Cardinal Baseball Fills My Calendar

So it’s no secret I love October baseball. But good lord. It FILLS MY SCHEDULE. I’m a planner. And I can’t miss a Cardinals playoff game. So the minute the times come out for the next series — they are on the family calendar.

For instance, last night I booked Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday for Cardinal baseball. Sorry honey — won’t be seeing much of me this week! Then, if they win the NLCS it’s World Series time. Another week or 2 of Cardinal baseball filling up the schedule!

Cardinal Baseball Empties My Bank Account

While it fills UP my calendar it puts a major DENT in my bank account! If they make the World Series — I’m going and I’m likely taking (one or two) of my boys. We’re talking $150 a ticket most likely plus the travel to STL and the hotel room.

I also bought NLCS Game 6 and Game 7 tickets. I can’t help myself. I’ll definitely be able to sell these if I don’t want to use them. But who are we kidding. If Game 6 and/or Game 7 happen they are IN St. Louis on a WEEKEND! Consider me THERE!

So there is another trip to STL. Another hotel room. More tickets. Food, drinks and of course the Cardinals postseason gear.

Whew, I’m going to need another job if the Cardinals keep winning in October. That’s ok, YOLO right! It’s what I enjoy so I’m going to enjoy it!

Kid Problem?

ws-drew-ryanSo I mentioned above that I may take one or two of my boys to the NLCS game. I’ve always made it a point to take my first born boy, Drew, to about everything Cardinals. He enjoyed his first playoff/World Series experience when he was 3 during the 2006 run. He then got to really experience and remembers the 2011 World Series Game 1 game we went to. He’s very much in love with the Cardinals and know about everything about them. This is NOT by chance 🙂

Now I have Bryce. Who is now 6. I have kind of been leaving him out for some reason or another. Mainly because it’s inconvenient bringing a 6 year old and my oldest and I have a blast “without Bryce”. But is this fair to the little guy? Why doesn’t he deserve the same CARDINAL TREATMENT to learn the “Cardinal Way”?

I’m feeling a little guilty about this as I didn’t bring him at all through the 2011 run (he was 4). But I think being 6 now he deserves it. It’s going to cost some more money but once he gets a chance to see the “Sea of Red” and how Cardinal Nation reacts to playoff baseball — he’ll be hooked!

Wish me luck with an 11 and 6 year old at the NLCS this year (pending we need to go to a Game 6).

Cardinals Win Game 1 of 2014 NLDS

Wow, what a game. The Cardinals just knocked of the Dodgers as big underdogs in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS. Unreal. As a small bonus I bet on the Cardinals as well 🙂

So most of you know I’m a Cardinals fan! A huge Cardinals fan. It’s amazing how “amazing” these last 10 years have been as a fan of the #STLCARDS… I’ve grown to absolutely love October because of Playoff baseball. It’s unreal how fun it is.

But somehow it’s minimized my love for the regular season. Yada yada, another 162 games leading into another AWESOME MONTH OF BASEBALL. I’ve been spoiled. The Cardinals are there each and every single year. I barely follow the regular season but once October hits, I bleed Red!

1028_series-624x384My Twitter is blowing up. My Facebook feed is blowing up. My heart is racing to get the final 3 outs. I can’t sleep. I love Cardinal playoff baseball. Drew, my oldest son who is 11, loves them as well. Imagine his life?

  • 2014 they are up 1-0 in the NLDS
  • 2013 they made Game 6 of the NLCS
  • 2012 they made Game 5 of the NLDS
  • 2011 they win the World Series

Oh and they won the World Series in 2006.

I mean these are all very impressionable years of this boys life. All he knows is CARDINALS WIN! So glad I’m not raising a Cub fan! lol sorry for the jab Cub fans.

My last thought of the night before I try to go to bed is in regards to Yadi Molina. In one of the middle innings tonight Adam Wainwright hit Yasiel Puig with a high pitch. Was it intentional? Who knows! But the next batter Adrian Gonzalez thought so and had some words. Yadi was having NONE OF IT. He stepped right in and got it Adrian’s face. I GOT YOUR BACK WAINO!

Yadi is the ultimate team player and competitor. He has his teammates back and they know it. After the game Adam Wainwright said he was never prouder to be a Cardinal! That’s awesome to hear. I guess I’m pretty proud to be a Cardinal fan as well.

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Needless to say, it’s going to be another October of late nights and Cardinal baseball! Can’t wait to get to Ballpark Village to watch a game — or better yet — get to another World Series game!

GO CARDINALS!

Saint Louis Sports is My New Project

So everyone knows that I used to run Albert Pujols websites. Jim Mattson made that very clear by embarrassing, errr featuring, me on the news a couple times to talk about my sites. Well, I’ve officially sold those and am no longer tied to Pujols. Goodbye Albert. Hello Saint Louis Sports!

I’ve teamed up with my brother Rodney (and several others) to form SaintLouisSports.com! I was shocked to see this .com domain name available and knew from the beginning it would be a solid site to grow out. It should get natural traffic and be “legit” enough to get link backs from some notable sites as well. Very exciting.

So the basic design is done and we’ve been working to get some content out there. Now it’s time to spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Guest Posts, links, emails and more. If you have a site – would love a shout out to SaintLouisSports.com! The site will feature the Cardinals, Rams and Blues. Basically it will be a blog, directory and more. Really excited about this project and hopefully it keeps me connected within the STL Sports cirlces as well!

Visit Saint Louis Sports today and see our progress.  Or follow us @SaintLouisSport on twitter.

Did I Just Have a Pleasant Experience at Wrigley Field?

WARNING: This post may surprise many of you as it has some POSITIVE things to say about the Stadium that we like to call, “The Dump”. The title of this post says it all. Did I really just have a pleasant experience watching a Cub game at Wrigley Field? Nearly every single time I’ve been to Wrigley Field I come away just disgusted. Obnoxious fans, terrible seats, traffic all over the place, drunks wandering around everywhere, and on and on and on. I often times schedule a couple trips to Wrigley Field just for the entertainment value – NOT for the baseball experience. Every year I say I will never do it again – but I always do.

I went to last nights Cub / Cardinal Sunday Night Baseball game and had an absolute blast. To my amazement, it was one of the most pleasant games I’ve been to in a while. I was bringing my 8 year old son (diehard Cardinal fan) to the game. This was to be his first game at Wrigley Field. It was his birthday and what better to do than take in a Cardinals game with him and some of his buddies. I had prepared him all week long for “THE DUMP”. Told him he has to see Wrigley Field once in his life before they tear that crap down. Warned him about the horse trough urinals. Warned him about the poles. Warned him about the STUPID “Go Cubs Go” song. Warned him about the Cub fans who really don’t care about baseball. Warned him about the bumper to bumper traffic we’d likely experience. And so on……. He was definitely prepared for the worst. But to our surprise – we got very little negative out of this game.

He and his friends had a blast. At one point during the game I asked my son, so what do you think of Wrigley Field? He said, “I’m having a blast.” I immediately questioned him and said – well – is it better than Busch Stadium? He was quick to say, “well, ummm, I guess what I mean is this place is a dump – but i’m still having a lot of fun.” There we go. Now my 8 year old son has taken on the attitude you Cub fans have. Accept the fact that the place sucks just because it’s a fun atmosphere. Haha! Back to the story. The kids had a blast. I didn’t have any obnoxious fans in my ear. Our traffic out wasn’t bad. All in all, it was a great game and experience. Helped that the Cardinals put up some runs and tons of hits and got the win. The kids even got to head down to the Cardinals bullpen area before the game and snag some autographs. Corey Patters, Skip Schumaker, Octavio Dotel and Mitchell Boggs were the brave few to sign autographs. Classy!

Reasons Why This Cubs Game May Not Have Sucked?

Kids

When you have kids with you at a Cubs game – does it shelter you from the obnoxiousness? People half heartedly joked around with the 3 little 8 year old Cardinal fans in my group. But all in fun. Nothing obnoxious. I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of cursing and loud mouthing going on. I think having kids with me helped avoid those situations.

Sunday Night vs. Friday or Saturday Night

This played a big part as well. It was a Sunday Night Baseball game. People had to work in the morning. Maybe Cubs fans were smart enough not to get absolutely plastered at this game. Made for a much more “fan friendly” environment to say the least.

Cubs Fans are Just Simply – Done

Another big part of my pleasant Wrigley Field experience simply lies with the fact that Cubs fans are done. They have moved on. This team sucks and they know it. It is football season to 95% of them. To prove this, two guys walked up our section with Packers jerseys on. The whole section started booing them and chanting, “Lets go Bears, Lets go Bears.” They are done with the Cubs and ready for the Bears. Being done with the Cubs means I don’t have to hear all the “we are awesome – you suck” comments.  Point to take away is – Cubs Suck!

Now for the Sucky Dumpness

Just because I had a positive Wrigley Field experience didn’t mean some things didn’t suck. It is still a dump. Don’t get me wrong.

Travel Into the Game

Our travel into the game was horrendous. This is more due to the massiveness of Chicago and the fact that the Air and Water show was going on. But still – just getting in and out of Cubs games is NO FUN. Period.

Kid Friendly Pre-Game Environment

We made several comments before the game about the entertainment around the stadium. Wrigley Field has a lot. They had bands, beer tents, booths and more. All in all a great time – FOR ADULTS. They had very little kid entertainment. It’s more of an adult playground if you would. Our kids were bored out of their mind up until the game starts. That is one flaw of Wrigleyville in my opinion.

Still Got the Pole

Yep. Never seems to fail me. Every time I go to Wrigley I have the darn poles somewhere in between me and the field. Oh well. That’s Wrigley.

All in all this was probably the best experience I’ve ever had at Wrigley Field. Let’s hope it happens again in 2012.

Drew starts Kindergarten at Grundy

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged on here.  Months and months.  Sorry for the lack of updates.  In this day and age of Twitter and Facebook, sometimes personal blogs take a beating.  Oh well, I’ll post here or there.
So Drew started Kindergarden a few weeks back and he loves it.  He is at Grundy school here in Morton which is less than a mile down the road.  His class has many familiar faces and friends in it – Jacob, Rylee, Jenna and London from our neighborhood.  He comes home everyday with something fun and something he learned from that day.  I try to make it a point to ask him these two questions for a couple reasons: 1) So I make sure I stay engaged in his school life.  2) To really make him think about what he learned at school.
Check out the picture below of Drew and his best buddy Jacob holding their Cardinals and Cubs backpacks.  Showing off their team allegiance at a young age.  Love it!  I do feel a little sorry for Jacob though as he is subjected to carrying a “losing” backpack at such a young age.  Hehe  🙂
Anyways, I’ll try to have some more family updates soon.

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve blogged on here.  Months and months.  Sorry for the lack of updates.  In this day and age of Twitter and Facebook, sometimes personal blogs take a beating.  Oh well, I’ll post here or there.

So Drew started Kindergarten a few weeks back and he loves it.  He is at Grundy school here in Morton which is less than a mile down the road.  His class has many familiar faces and friends in it – Jacob, Rylee, Jenna and London from our neighborhood.  He comes home everyday with something fun and something he learned from that day.  I try to make it a point to ask him these two questions for a couple reasons: 1) So I make sure I stay engaged in his school life.  2) To really make him think about what he learned at school.

Check out the picture below of Drew and his best buddy Jacob holding their Cardinals and Cubs backpacks.  Showing off their team allegiance at a young age.  Love it!  I do feel a little sorry for Jacob though as he is subjected to carrying a “losing” backpack at such a young age.  Hehe  🙂

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Anyways, I’ll try to have some more family updates soon.