So the great fracas that was the Reds/Cardinals
series is over, with our boys in red roundly thumping their boys in red and taking over sole possession of first place in the National League Central.
The series was an outstanding one, full of drama and heartbreak and brilliance on both the offensive and defensive sides. The pitching came through as well, highlighted by seven innings of shutout ball by the Cards' ace Adam Wainwright
. Best of all, Brandon "Little Bitches" Phillips
was held largely in check in the series, despite the noticeable failure of the Cardinals to put a pitch in his ear.
However, the play on the field, while enjoyable in its own way, certainly, is not what we will all most remember about this series. No, the most memorable moment of all came before Jaime Garcia threw his first pitch of the night, when a confrontation between Yadier Molina and the aforementioned Mr. Phillips at home plate escalated into a full-blown brawl, complete with former teammates at each other's throats and Johnny Cueto doing his best Liu Kang impression. (Liu Kang? Mortal Kombat character? Had a bicycle kick special move? Anyone?)
Now, I've watched the tape of the fight several different times, as it's been replayed ad nauseam on every network constantly since Tuesday night, and it has really gotten me to thinking: Of this group of current Cardinals, who are the guys I would least like to tussle with? Which players should you never, ever want to be facing down in a dark alley some night after insulting their family lineage and genitalular fortitude?
Well, I'll tell you. Here are the five Cardinals you don't ever, ever want to piss off.
5. Felipe Lopez --
Starting off our countdown is the Cards' super utility man, Felipe "Floppy" Lopez. He's not the biggest guy, certainly, but I am absolutely, morally certain Felipe can rip it up with the best of them. Just look at him. Now tell me, honestly, does he look more like a second baseman or a light welterweight boxer? And not a fancy, footwork-y Sugar Ray Leonard
type fighter, but a brawling, wear-you-down-over-nine-rounds-hit-me-all-you-like-I'll-hit-you-twice-as-hard Manny Pacquiao
fighter. I fully expect one of these days for Lopez to take a pitch right in the mouth, step out of the box, spit out a tooth, smile a gappy smile, then step back in and motion at the pitcher to throw another.
4. Aaron Miles --
I know what you're thinking: Aaron Miles? Really? I know he's pocket-sized and all, but I'm sure everyone remembers when he fought his way out of a hostage situation
in the minors, right? Dude wrestled a guy with a gun
; I don't think you want to fight him barehanded. Aaron Miles is like Sylvester Stallone
: they're both like 5'6", look Italian, and are always fighting off criminals or terrorists.
3. Jason Motte -- I compared Felipe Lopez earlier to Manny Pacquiao as a boxer, but I don't have such a convenient comparison for Jason Motte. Style-wise, I think he's Rocky Marciano, just relentlessly attacking you the only way he knows how: hit you really, really hard. But so far as I know, Marciano didn't pace around like an asylum patient, screaming at his gloves when things weren't going right. (Or, hell, when they were going right; Motte doesn't seem any calmer when he's pitching well.) That's what you get with Jason Motte, though: a Viking berserker frenzy and a right arm that can hit you at 100 mph. And weird facial hair. Don't ever forget that.
2. Dennys Reyes -- He's lefthanded, soft enough to absorb pretty much any body blow you try to throw at him, and let's be honest here: If Reyes is losing the fight, or just happens to get hungry, I'll bet he wouldn't be above taking a bite out of you. Remember the old Warner Bros. cartoons, when a hungry character would look at the guy he was shipwrecked with, and he would morph into a big juicy ham? Well that's what the whole world looks like to Dennys Reyes, all the time. Just hams walking around everywhere, waiting to be eaten.
|A few seconds after this shot was taken Jamie Lee Curtis swung and missed on a curve in the dirt. |
1. Chris Carpenter -- Why is Chris Carpenter the most frightening Cardinal, you ask? Simple. Chris Carpenter is fucking crazy. I'm not joking. We've all seen it. Forget Julio Lugo and his crazy eyes, Carp can stop your heart just by staring at you. He's 6'6", used to play hockey, and completely, utterly insane. In short, Chris Carpenter is like Michael Myers. It's no coincidence his favorite pitch is the cutter. (Thank you! I'll be here all week!) We all saw what Carpenter did to Brendan Ryan the other day for delaying him by literally 30 seconds, and that's his teammate. Just imagine what he would do to someone he really doesn't like.
There are plenty of other guys on this Cardinal team I wouldn't want to fight. Jason LaRue just barely missed out because I'm not nearly as afraid of him now as I was when he still had the mullet and horseshoe 'stache. He did take a kick in the face with baseball cleats and it just made him mad, so he does get some serious bonus points for that. Albert Pujols could kill you with just one of his fingers, but he seems to be well in control of his powers. I'd be a little afraid of Jon Jay, only because I would bet every single punch he throws lands somehow, no matter how you try to block it.
(We'll call it batting average on punches in face, and his would have to be unsustainably high.) Mitchell Boggs might be a pretty tough guy, but he's got that bearded southern dandy thing going on at the moment, so I picture him fighting like John L. Sullivan, and I think I could handle that.
In the end, though, I think we can all agree it's probably a good thing Scott Rolen didn't really make Carpenter angry the other night, or the Reds would now be looking for a new third baseman and the Cards would be trying to figure out if Chris Carpenter can pitch with that Hannibal Lecter mask thing on.