And other burning questions are answered in Saulsbag 2021!
A new year and a new Saulsbag for your reading pleasure! I have received the normal high quality questions from my readers and have your answers at the ready. Thanks to all that took so much time and put even more thought into the subject, verb…and hell even the predicate before submitting to team Sauls.
Leading off is Saulsbag Hall-of-Famer Joshua Yakovitz
Can we successfully integrate the “Ka-Kaw!” into the Cardinals? It’s gotta be public domain by now, right?
The Short answer is yes. But, there was a delicate map I had to traverse to discover if the adoption of the most frightening battle cry the contiguous 48 states have ever heard would be allowed.
The Cardinal and the Battlehawk are both Majestic Birds unrivaled in the aviary kingdom. They sit atop the perch, side by side, doling out drippings to the poors as they see fit. Are they cousins, siblings, lovers…one can only speculate. But what we do know that they are, friends. And friends share.
My delay in writing this column was due to my extended correspondence with Fredbird. Upon finally receiving his reply I republish it here for you in full.
The nature of my relationship with the Battlehawk, and its intimacy, is no business of yours or this Mr. Yakovitz you mentioned. We are both private creatures who mind our business and stay out of others’. Concerning the use of KaKaw at Busch Stadium this coming season, this has been cleared by all at Big Battlehawk.
I look forward to no future correspondence.
So, there you have it, cleared for take off.
*to learn the true nature of the Battlehawk, click here.
Arnold, MO and American Legend, Tom M. M. Bartels
Why is it “super weird” for a grown man to yell, “Scott Rolen…I wanna have your babies!”?
So, though this is weird, it is not super weird. As I know your history of playing the left side of the infield since you emerged from Kathy, I understand your love. But, this doesn’t seem possible for you…being you’re a certified adult human male. Unless…this is an Alien Nation or Seahorse scenario. I await your reply.
P.S. Eat it Roger
From Mr. Team of Rivals… a man who is always N The Zone…Ron Nuttall
Can you write about Cardinals Legend, Fernando Valenzuela?
I have waited 24 years for this question…
The year was 1997…the Cardinals were a year removed from Donovan Osborne choking away the NLCS and a summer away from the great “Andro” fueled chase of 1998. We needed something to fill the vacuum on a team that did no better than flirt with .500. And what was big enough to fill that vacuum? How about the size 48 slacks of one Fernando Valenzuela! I can close my eyes now and see him flipping that curve ball in those robin’s egg color throwbacks now. Our Redbirds were the final stop on his long winding train ride of a career. The meteor hadn’t crashed yet…but it was burning up upon entry into the atmosphere of Busch Stadium.
He was in no way good for the Cardinals, but he wasn’t horrible. In his first three starts in the Birds on Bat he went 15 innings, posted a 4.80 ERA and fanned 8 hapless batsmen! The highlight occurred on June 23rd in a losing effort vs. the Cubs. Fernando went 6 strong giving up one earned and striking out 3. Hell, I’ll take that everyday!
Here’s to you El Toro!
From the Ringo to my Paul, the Garfunkel to my Simon…Gavin Ashton
When will they bring back the best shortstop ever Pete Kozma?
My hate of Peter is hotter than that of a 1000 suns. I will concede this…he is the greatest shortstop named Pete Kozma.
From the best jump shooter to ever grace the courts of Lonedell R-14, David Birk
Why does John Mozeliak still have a job?
To quote the great David “Swishman” Birk, “Being good for a really long time doesn’t make you great.” You said this about Carlton Fisk a couple of score ago, but I believe it properly describes Mo as well.
We cannot deny his goodness, but his greatness has been overstated by many. Since becoming the GM in 2007 the Birds made it to the postseason 8 of his 13 campaigns. Again, really good.
But, how many of those teams had a realistic chance of winning the World Series? ‘11, ‘12, 13, and maybe ‘15?
The best Free Agent Signing of his tenure? Lance Berkman? Carlos Beltran? Dexter Fowler?
The worst? Jordan Walden? Brad Penny?
He could have had Fernando Tatis Jr. for a million bucks!!!! They spend more than that on Clydesdale feed!
But, “at the end of the day” the Cardinals have been in a position to make it to the post season in September every single year he has been the GM or higher. And for that, he keeps his job. But, if he was a head football coach in the SEC he would have been fired in 2017.
The aforementioned Swishman, David Birk
You have to choose the greatest Ray of all time. It comes down to Ray Allen vs. Ray Lankford. Your head may explode.
Ok. Ok. Breathe Sauls…breathe. It would take my best friend of nearly 30 years to bring me to the brink of madness. Not Sugar Ray…Robinson, Leonard, or McGrath…not Mr. Charles…not Romano or Liotta.
It’s Ray Allen vs. Ray Lankford…it would always end this way. It is my destiny.
There are no two athletes whose stats and careers I have studied more often and with more abnormal attention than these two legends.
One, the greatest jump shooter to ever live.
The other, the greatest Cardinals CF to ever grace the grass at Busch.
One helped lead my Celts to a title and hit most important three of Lebron’s career.
The other, the only man to hit two upper deck home runs in one game at the old Red’s stadium.
One, a first ballot HOFer with 2 rings, a Big East Crown…and starred in a Spike Lee joint
The other, a Cardinals HOFer and owner of the prettiest swing ever swung, and the only Cardinal to go 20-20 more than once!
What’s the tiebreaker? Is it nuanced and in-depth? NO. Ray Lankford never disgraced himself by playing with Lebron James.
Lankford stands alone atop mount RAY!!!!!
Time for some Tennis talk!
From the only man i’ve ever seen rob a slow pitch softball HR over the RCF fence…Jonathan Potts
How much more does Fed have? Is Rafa considered the GOAT? Will Djoker set the all time slam record? Why is Djoker such a douche?
This is my kinda 4-parter! As far as what is left in the Federer tank…I really don’t know. Father time seems to be catching up with his knees. By the time he returns it will be over a year since his last ATP level match. Can he be himself by the time the grass court season gets here? As the owner of two nearly 40-year-old knees, I really don’t know…but man I hope so. By being strategic with his schedule he will stay as fresh as possible, but the stress of a 3 out of 5 tournament will be the tester. He will need to be extremely sharp on his service game. He needs to keep the points as short as possible, lots of aces and serve plus ones are his only chance. He’ll also have to take more chances on the return to close out points quick, and then know when to concede a point on the return. He can take the Sampras approach and just go for one break a set knowing he can hold serve for the remainder of a given set. This will work against 98% of the tour. But, when he gets to the quarters and later he will face the likes of Thiem, Zverev, Stephanos, DJoker, and Nadal. Then, he will need everything in his bag of tricks to win.
Rafa is the GOAT. I will state with zero hesitation that Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros is the greatest and most unstoppable athlete to ever live. He’s the only man in history to win 2 or more slams on 3 different surfaces. He is an Aussie Open title away from the double career grand slam and just won the French at 34 without dropping a set…and threw a bagel on DJoker. I understand the argument that 13 of his 20 slams are at the French, but that is in no way a negative. It’s the most dominant statistic in the history of men’s tennis. Plus, take away all of his French titles and he has the same number of slams as John McEnroe. He, Fed, and DJoker are in a three man race, but he will be the last man standing. He is the odds on favorite to win the French in a few months which would put him at 21. He has also won 2 of the last 3 US Open’s he has played in. The only man on tour right now that has the mental and physical game to beat him in a Slam final is DJoker.
As for Djokovic finishing with the most slams? I don’t see it happening. He has 17 to Fed and Rafa’s 20. Which means he would have to win 4 more without either man winning one. My gut tells me Rafa has at least 2 more French in him putting him at 22 minimum. That means Joker would need to win 6 more. That is a career for most men. He’s 33, has a temper, and a shoulder that seems to jump up and bite him at least once a year. Plus, guys like Thiem, Medvedev, Zverev and others are nipping at his hard court heels. My gut is telling me Medvedev wins the Aussie this year after his strong 2020 finish. So no, Djoker finishes in 2nd or 3rd.
As for your final question…I read his book “Serve to Win”. To be as good as he is…he has to act the way he acts.
From the cornfields of Iowa straight to your hearts…Jeff Kraus
Is Andre Agassi the GOAT?
He beat Jim Brown at tennis when he was 8, won tournaments wearing jean shorts…he married Suddenly Susan…divorced her…slammed meth…married Stefi Graf…won 8 slams, the career grand slam, has the same hairline as me, built a school in Vegas…in his career he beat Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras…and Andy Roddick, Leyton Hewitt, and Roger Federer. Now that’s some prolonged greatness.
So, in short, no he isn’t. But, he is squarely in the Top 6 of American Men with Sampras, McEnroe, Connors, Courier and Ashe. I personally would put him only behind Sampras.
So there you have it friends! Saulsbag 2021 has been a roaring success! Here’s to a great year and many more Saulsbags to come!
Until Next Time, long live the sweet swing of Ray Lankford