America’s Pastime in St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO

@thelegendkil

The last couple of days of sports around these parts have been absolutely disgusting. From a student athlete at the Saint Louis University using unflattering language directed at the President of the United States ,to Chicago Cubs right fielder Jason Heyward having racial slurs hurled at him in his first game back at Busch Stadium.

And this isn’t ground breaking, not the first time we’ve heard about this. It’s been happening, but the thing is now, we are seeing this more frequently. It wasn’t that long ago we were talking about the protest at the University of Missouri and the rise of racial tension on the campus and throughout the city of Columbia, Missouri. For those who had friends and family there raced up the I-70 corridor, in the case of violence that has seemed to follow most protest as of late.

Now back to Saint Louis University. When I read the story written by Danny Wicentowski of the Riverfront Times, I instantly thought about how ironic that remark was coming from a student or athlete at the college nestled not far from low income housing. The remarks prompted a response from Robyn Browning – who wrote a letter to the President of SLU Dr. Fred P. Pestello urging for more action against the baseball players and requested to have them removed from the team.  Robyn also sent same letter to the commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference Bernadette V. McGlade. Calls have been made to the Atlantic 10 Conference they’ve have not been returned yet. You can also read Robyn’s open letter @robynbirdfly.

Now on to the St.Louis Cardinals fans who can’t get over the fact that Jason Heyward is no longer wearing the birds on the bat. A day after playing in his first game as a member of the Chicago Cubs, New York Daily News columnist Kate Feldman wrote a piece about Heyward being hit with racial taunts. I’m not surprised in the least that some of the Cardinal baseball fans did that.

There is a sector of Cardinal baseball fans that are so annoying. They act as though it’s such a great privilege to wear the Cardinals jersey. Heyward only played one season in St.Louis and hit .293 with 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in – that’s right 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in.

People are breaking into salami sweats over a baseball player under 15 home runs and wasn’t a RBI machine by no means. He hurt Cardinals feelings by rejecting them – and by joining the Chicago Cubs. I Don’t remember Chicago Cubs fans treating Shawon Dunston like this when he played for the Cardinals. And I know circumstances were different for Dunston – and the only similarity being that Dunston is a black player for a bitter rival.

These people need to get over themselves. They should be more mad the Cardinals didn’t resign pitcher John Lackey who struck out 11 Cardinal batters en route to a 5-0 shut out, pitching out of a couple of jams.

Meanwhile, Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright hasn’t won a game – and Lackey was clearly the team best pitcher last year. He is undefeated so far at 3-0.

And by the way so far so good since the Cardinals and Heyward didn’t agree on a deal, Heyward is hitting under .200 with just 7 RBI’s.

I also think the local broadcast on Fox Sports Midwest fanned the flames and kept bringing up that Heyward said that the Cardinals core of players were too old. Cardinals color commentator Al Hrabosky said it’s is true about the Cardinals core being older. He even went so far as to mention Matt Holiday, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright.

I don’t blame Heyward at all for choosing Chicago. Let’s face it, there is more to offer entertainment-wise. He’s 26 and single. And if these jilted fans feel this way, think about the region we’re living in.

It’s those little things, which are symbolic of the “Cardinal Way.”

Follow me on Twitter @thelegendkil

THE ASSOCIATION REPORT: First Edition

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Getting the new year started (yeah it’s 3 weeks in, SO WHAT) with The Association Report: First Edition.

While there may not be an NBA team here in St. Louis, the fans here definitely have something to cheer for. Three Missouri collegiate teams are playing some real good basketball.

You can definitely check out the hometown Billikens, who are currently undefeated in Atlantic-10 play and ranked in the Top 25 in the country. The Billikens are trying to prove to not only St. Louis, but to the rest of the country that this team is not a fluke after last season’s great success. A matter of fact, dating back to the 2011-2012 season, the Billikens are an astonishing 71-17 overall with a conference record of 29-7 (as of this blog date), 1 conference championship (also regular season title) and 2 straight NCAA tournament appearances. The play of Jordair Jett and Dwayne Evans indicate that this team could surprise people in the tourney. Definitely no fluke here.

Just a ways down Interstate 70 are the Mizzou Tigers, who currently sitting at 14-3 overall; you can overlook the 2-2 mark in conference play right now because it’s early. To me, it looks like an entirely different Tigers team. This team is led by three transfers in Jordan Clarkson, Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown. The good thing about this team, they can all shoot the rock, and they look at bit bigger than past Missouri teams, especially in the backcourt. My biggest hope is that they can get some in-state recruits. That has been Mizzou’s biggest heel. Many top recruits in the state go on to bigger programs and play. Current NBA players David Lee, Otto Porter and Bradley Beal come to mind about those that were not heavily recruited  enough by Mizzou. Send the house to these guys, especially if they fit what’s best for the school. But if it the transfers are what’s getting the job done, use that ploy as well. It really looks like Frank Haith knows what he’s doing, and is the right man for this job.

Not to forget, the Washington University Bears. Yes, that’s right. The Washington University Bears. This Division III powerhouse is 9-0 at home, with an 11-2 record and ranked 7th in the nation. I remember seeing the school on CBS for the Division III National Championship a few years back, apparently those coaches know what it takes to make a champion having won it, twice. Had to show love to these guys as well.

If college isn’t your sport than there are at least four other NBA teams that one fan can cheer for…whether it’s the Bulls, Thunder, Grizzlies or Pacers. Speaking of the Pacers, I had a feeling this team would be successful…but not THIS successful. Indiana currently sits at #1 overall in the NBA with a 32-7 record, with a home mark of 21-1. Of course, their biggest challenge is knocking off the defending champion…the Miami Heat.

Speaking of the Heat, recently LeBron James mentioned about that he’s “upset” about not taking as many shots as Kevin Durant. I have come to dislike LeBron again for his constant flopping (aka LeBroning) and getting away with lots of calls (most superstars get calls anyway). But besides that, his game is fine and he doesn’t need adjustments. Period. This guy can shoot 10-15 times a game and still score 20-30 points a game. The reason? He gets to the stripe. He shoots a lot of free throws and that can definitely add up. Plus, he can do this with ease. With a reliable post game, he can be even deadlier. He can be motivated by what Durant is doing, but he doesn’t need to. That’s the journalist in me and not the fan.

A-Train