Will Leitch has written the best and most accurate thing I’ve read about Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny so far, and why Cards fans get pretty worked up over how he manages in the postseason:

Matheny formulated a plan —Gonzales throws two innings — and maneuvered everything to rigidly follow that plan. When the plan fell into trouble, he had no backup plan, and he was doomed. The regular season requires only one plan; the postseason requires many. Matheny is a one-plan man.

For a good long while, you saw the same pattern every game: Martinez pitches the 7th, Neshek pitches the 8th, Rosenthal pitches the 9th. Cards fans’ heart rates jump every time Rosenthal pitches on not much rest.

It’s such a rigid plan—like taking the closer role that’s so popular now and extending it through more than one inning. What if you have lefties coming up to bat in the 9th? Why wouldn’t you stick with a lefty? Or if a reliever is in and is really clicking, why not stick with him?

Matheny doesn’t do this, and it’s why the Cardinals lose postseason games.

As I write this, the Cardinals are sadly losing the first game of the NLCS to the Giants, but no matter. It’s yet another postseason here in St. Louis, and I thought a new header image was in order.

It’s the most beautiful ballpark view that exists.

Next week, I’ll be celebrating four years of working at Automattic, which has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life. One of the perks of reaching your four-year anniversary is being given a MacBook (Air or Pro) model of your choice, with the WordPress logo customized onto the top cover.

As it turns out, the laptops are customized/branded at Colorware, and I asked before ordering mine if I could also have it painted. The answer was yes. :)

I went for a glossy red for the main piece, glossy white for the hinge, and matte black for the top and bottom plates. So far, the consensus is that it’s pretty sweet-looking:


It even looks pretty boss with the hinge closed, due to the fact that the main plate also covers the sides of the construction:


Red and white mixed with black has become a bit of a color scheme for me since I started working at Automattic. When you start here, you get a bag with the logo embroidered on it:


Originally, I’d gone this route because it matched these guys:


And it happened to match these guys, too:


But then at some point, it kind of turned into matching this guy/girl, which dawned on me when I bought this:


That’s of course not the only thing I have that matches the scheme, like my iPad in black with a Product Red case:


And my 3DS, which is in red and black:


And my wallet, which is the image of the grandaddy of them all:


But this new one is my favorite.


I’ll say more on the actual anniversary, which is next week. :)

This is my daughter. She is not yet a year-and-a-half old. We took her to her first Cardinals game when she was 2 weeks old. (She was adorable then, too.)

It appears I have already set this child on the right path:


Let’s file this under “Post-Dispatch What?”

First, the post declares him a “film star.” I think perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Second, wasn’t he just at a Cubs game wearing a Cubs jersey and singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”? ONE CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS.

Why is there an article about this? And they went to the trouble to take his picture for the article. The guy is trying to watch a baseball game—this is sacrosanct time. Don’t interrupt him for a fluff piece for the paper.

But at least there’s this:

“Cardinal fans are way too nice,” said the affable actor who was in town to perform at Lumiere Casino. “I mean here I was, in full battle gear with the hat and the jersey, and people are buying me drinks and food. Basically, you guys are the anti-Philly fans. I love it.”

I can say that I am proud—proud—that you can consider St. Louis to be the anti-Philly.

And this:

Schneider said Giants fans don’t hate the Cardinals. “I think it’s basically a friendly rivalry. But you guys are the Yankees of the National League.”

I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Bill Barnwell for Grantland:

It was a party in the stands. I was a total stranger who wasn’t even wearing anything Nationals-related, but it felt like I was sitting in seats with people whom I’d been suffering alongside for 30 years. High fives were exchanged. Blankets were shared. Everybody poked good-natured fun at the guy who was loudly offering Harper tips on how to properly maintain his balance throughout his stance just before he took Wainwright deep. I started wondering whether I would get fired from Grantland if I changed allegiances and Simmons noticed. It was the sort of scene you dream about as a fan, just complete and utter joy with hours more to go. It wasn’t my personal team’s joy, but I was having a lot of fun faking it through three innings.

And then, slowly but perceptibly, the situation began to erode.

Even after last year, I found what happened this weekend to be pretty improbable. But I never turned off the game and never gave up hope that just one more hit would turn things around. Barnwell nails how Cards fans feel about our team:

Think about it. In 13 months, the Cardinals have gone through last year’s September run, Game 6 of the World Series, and this 25-to-1 comeback win over the Nationals. If you were a Cardinals fan, why would you ever believe that your team is going to lose a playoff series again? If they happen to lose to the Giants, I feel like Cardinals fans will sit in front of their televisions until February expecting to hear that Yadier Molina’s exploited some loophole, restarted the playoffs, and somehow walked, hit a game-tying home run, and threw out runners at second and third on the same play. The Cardinals are closer to superheroes and action stars than baseball players in elimination games at this point.

By the way, I hope you’re ready for a lot of baseball stuff to hit my blog. It’s pretty much consuming my life right now, and in a good way.

Joe Strauss for the Post-Dispatch:

Carpenter, 37, acknowledged last Friday that he would continue to throw until it became clear there was no hope of soon returning to the Cardinals’ rotation. Carpenter said if he reached such a point he would consider other options. Surgery is among them.

Resistant to surgery when the same condition forced his shutdown in August 2008, Carpenter has been told he likely requires the procedure to extend his career.

I’m not an expert—merely a fan—but I would not be surprised to see Carpenter take this cue to retire and end his career at the top of his game, after a championship run last season and the best pitching performance I have seen in my life.

And he’d be forever loved in St. Louis.

(And strangely enough, this is not about baseball.)

I posted this in my Twitter feed, but thought I would crosspost it here for my followers: I have registered to run the Cardinals Care 6K here in St. Louis in September. For me, it’s going to be an interesting journey to see if I have the ability and the willpower to really rock it.

I am keeping a separate blog for it so this one isn’t inundated with posts about what I’m eating and how I’m doing with getting ready. If this is the kind of thing you’re interested in, or if you want to make a donation to my entry in the race, head on over to that blog: