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Ramblin’ Friday

I’m sick. Not in the way most of you already know; I mean I’ve got some form of bad cold/flu/plague that has kept me down since Tuesday morning. The good thing about working from home is not having to worry about going into the office when I don’t feel good. The bad thing about working from home is I still have to work even when I don’t feel good. I’ve already been up for three and a half hours because my nose was so stuffy I spent most of the night breathing through my mouth while I slept…which, along with all the medicine I’ve been taking all week, dried my mouth out terribly. So I woke up at 4:15 with a scratchy throat and haven’t been back to sleep since.

But enough complaining. This blog represents me using my time more constructively.

–The Cardinals and Albert Pujols opened “positive” dialogue this week in an attempt to extend his contract before Spring Training 2011. I still expect this deal to get done. I think the guaranteed years will end with six, maybe seven…but I also think at least one or two option years will be tacked on. And I hope the Cards are able to structure the money so the contract is front-loaded…I can much more easily accept Pujols making $28-30 million now rather than at the end of this next deal when he’s approaching 40 years old.

–Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame this week. Though he’s never been implicated by failed test, accusation, or any other means, Alomar played the bulk of his MLB career during the “steroid era” and many of his teammates have been linked to PEDs over the years. Unfortunately, it automatically made me wonder…and that led to a realization: this marks the beginning of what will likely be a number of candidates who, no matter what they say or do, will be hounded by the cloud of suspicion when they are elected to the Hall. The scab will continue to be ripped off for the next 5-10 years at least, and that’s sad.

–I try to leave politics out of my writing as much as I can, but if I see new Speaker of the House John Boehner cry one more time I’m going to vomit.

–When I look outside, I see snow flurries. I love snow. Then I realize I leave for Cancun in three weeks and two days. I love the beach more.

–Pitchers and Catchers report in less than six weeks.

–You may or may not know this already, but I’m going to “break” the news here anyway: I have a new writing gig! Last month I joined the fine staff at I-70 Baseball as one of their Cardinals writers. The site features some great Kansas City Royals articles as well. I look forward to contributing there and hope I can live up to their lofty established standards. My column will post every Saturday morning. I will also continue to write for InsideSTL Mondays and here, of course, whenever I feel like it.

–In the past couple weeks I’ve attended both a St. Louis Rams game and a St. Louis Blues game. I like football, and I love hockey. But even though both put on a great show in their own right, the overall experience still doesn’t compare to going to a baseball game. There’s just something about walking up to Busch Stadium on a warm St. Louis evening…the sights, sounds, and smells of the ballpark…ahh, just a couple more months.

–Speaking of hockey, I’m not sure what it takes to get on the list of potential host sites for the NHL’s Winter Classic, but I really hope St. Louis is on the list and moving up quickly. I was always concerned that the outdoor New Year’s Day game would never be held at Busch because we have the tendancy for odd warm days in December and January. This year we had mid-60s and tornadoes on New Year’s Eve! But Jan 1 was a cold, clear day in St. Louis. Pittsburgh, this year’s host, got some rain and warm temps too. The game was pushed back to later in the evening but still got played, even with a little drizzle falling. This tells me “ideal conditions” aren’t necessary, even though the odds of good New Year’s Day weather here are far greater than the odds of another early appearance by April. The Blues and Cardinals need to get together to make sure the NHL knows St. Louis is ready to host a Winter Classic at Busch Stadium in the near future.

That’s all I have for now. This has been very therapeutic. But my nose is still stuffy.