Big League Stew - MLB

If you have a profile on Facebook, there's a 100 percent chance you were bombarded with requests to write "25 Random Things" about yourself.  The fad — which is probably already over — was navel-gazing at its finest, but it was also perfectly suited for the blog environment.

Here on The Stew, we're continuing to throw the challenge a curve by requiring that all responding bloggers relate their 25 things to baseball. Up next is Aaron Hooks, a blogger who proves not only that some Cardinals fans know how to operate computers — c'mon, you knew that was coming — but that some of them are also pretty swell guys. You can read more of Hooks' humor-filled take on the Redbirds over at Cardinals Diaspora

1. When Jon Hamm broke on to the scene via the smashhit Mad Men he supplanted Billy Bob Thornton and John Goodman as the most recognizable Cardinals fan, at least to the mouth-breathing public. This makes me exactly 1.5 percent happier about the team for reasons I can't fully explain.

2. Larry Bigbie was the backup to Albert Pujols in 2005 until he had umbilical cord surgery and missed a season and a half before being released by the Cards. Seriously. I wish there were a joke here, but there isn't.

3. Recently I rewatched 1993 Cardinals-Reds game where Mark Whiten hit four home runs and accumulated 12 RBI. Two things stood out: 1) Joe Buck called this game and was screaming into the microphone ... maybe he has been lobotomized. 2) The 300 or so Cincinnati fans still at the game gave Whiten a curtain call. And not a weak one where he ran up the steps four seconds after he got in the dugout — an honest-to-God curtain call. That struck me as stupid. He played for the visiting team.

4. When the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006 it felt like high school when your teacher handed back a test you didn't study for and you somehow got an A. Brief ecstasy followed by an extended period of puzzlement. My favorite moment during the immediate flood of people into the streets surrounding Busch Stadium was my good buddy making out with a -2. Once he pulled his lips off that grenade, he looked at me and said... "Who cares, we just won the World Series!" I hope Cub fans never experience those type of moments.

5. Why weren't we doing the MLB Network years ago?

6. I once met a chick on a plane. I was hung over, but we talked and somehow the topic of streaking on the field came up. Long story short, I raised enough money on my website to pay for her bail plus fine and she streaked this past Fourth of July during a Cards-Cubs game. Sometimes my life is odd.

7. True story: Busch Stadium serves more nacho cheese by poundage than any other baseball stadium in the United States of America. I've personally witnessed patrons order 'just a cup of cheese' with no discernable meal in the vicinity.

8. Stupid is a baseball player that plays for $20,000; Smart is a man who figures out how to make $100 million, then says I'm sorry.

9. The old saying is true: I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother who is a Cubs fan.

10. If it comes out that Albert Pujols is actually 43 years old and on the PEDs it's going to be very difficult for everyone in St. Louis for a long, long time. Myself included. (And in no way is this last sentence implying guilt, it's simply a hypothetical. Albeit a hypothetical that's completely realistic, making Baby Jesus very sad.)

11. Aaron Miles bit the back muscle out of an attacker's back when he played in the minor leagues. The guy had a gun, Miles had his jaw. The jaw won. Awesome.

12. Karl Ravech used to bug the heck out of me, but he's really worked on his studio presence and is a solid baseball guy. John Kruk on the other hand ...

13. You probably already knew that Taylor Swift sung the national anthem at a World Series game last year. What you didn't know is that I love her and want to marry her. Yahoo!, please make that happen.

14. Busch Stadium is the home of the St. Louis Cardinals. You know how many beer taps sell Busch in Busch Stadium? Zero. Not one. Ladies and gentlemen, marketing in action.

15. It's very odd that baseball managers wear a uniform. The alternative of a suit, though, would be even odder, so we don't have a choice. We will see Charlie Manual's epic boiler, regardless.

16. Cardinals fans are the most polite fans in the entire world ... except when it comes to Tino Martinez. We loathe Tino Martinez.

17. Willie. McGee. Rules.

18. Back in 1992,  my 11-year-old self got to go on the field and interview players and coaches for a public-access TV station. Most of the players seemed annoyed when my buddy and I asked them about things like Nintendo and Liittle League, but Ozzie Smith, the team's only star, was the lone exception. Not only did he give us a 15-minute interview before the game, he sat us down in the dugout after we were done and asked us about, well, us. Really. We were in the Cardinals dugout, hanging with our favorite player before a game and he was acting interested in ... me. It was one of the coolest moments of my life and, ever since that day, I'll punch your throat if you say a bad word about the Wizard. 

19. Sometimes I feel sorry for Pittsburgh. Because how many times has the following conversation happened on a Tuesday during the season?

"Hey, I got free tickets to tonight's game, wanna go?"

Who they playing?

"Pirates, I think."

(Dial tone).

20. In this day and age, how no one has been able to land the Steve Bartman interview is simply baffling to me. Bartman, I want to get your word to the people. You have a home here in St. Louis. Come home, brother. Come home.

21. A baseball is made with 216 raised stitches from 88 inches of red cotton thread. That's 58 inches taller than David Eckstein.

22. Baseball cards are the most uncool things on the face of the earth these days, yet I'd still be fired up to be on one.

23. The joke about baseball bloggers living in their mother's basement is one of the most hackneyed pot shots in the history of old guys mad because they aren't getting laid.

24. What do gay bears and the World Series have in common? No Cubs.

25. Rick Ankiel slept with your mom AND your sister. Not much you can do about that, bro. 

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