Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stan Musial's wife, Lil, dies at 91

Stan Musial's wife has died.

Lil Musial died at 6 p.m. Thursday at home surrounded by family members, grandson Brian Schwarze said. She was 91.

"She passed on her favorite number," he said. Stan Musial's uniform number was 6.
The couple was married 72 years. Schwarze said his grandmother had recently been ill.
"We've all kind of known this was coming," Schwarze said. "She went in peace."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Baseball Hall of Fame Song Writer Writes New Tunes About Your Beloved Browns

By Emmett McAuliffe, St. Louis Browns Fan Club Board

One of the duties of your Browns Board of Directors is to follow up on leads of all kinds.  Sometimes this involves pursuing new directions that the club has never taken before.

Imagine our surprise when the opportunity dropped in our laps to have two brand-new songs written about our beloved Browns. 

In this case, the songwriter was none other than Joe Pickering Jr. who has written songs for HBO Films and has four albums of material in the national Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum's sound collection.  Joe was interested in writing  new song about the Browns, and was not going to charge us anything, and all we had to do was work with him by providing him some of the history and lore of the team.  Which naturally we were happy to do.

The result of this collaboration is "Brownie Pop Flies", a delightful song with a catchy hook and another called "First in Booze, First in Shoes."  The lyrics for "Pop Flies" are a meditation, of sorts, on the Browns penchant for hitting the ball in the air rather than on a line.  The singer of "Brownie Pop Flies" is Danny Mack, who is a member of a Hall of Fame in his own right: the Country Music Association of America Hall of Fame.  The song features full instrumentation including guitar, bass, banjo, and piano.

"First in Booze, First in Shoes" is sung by Phil Coley who has produced and played on more than 100 albums, which were all recorded in his studio. His radio spots can be heard daily around the West GA. area. Songwriters from all over the United States use Phil to demo their songs. Whether Phil is playing guitar, producing music, or writing music, he can be counted on to give a 100 percent in any situation.

Both songs are available for digital download at CD Baby.  Other online outlets will be available soon, as well as a compact disc edition.   CD Baby also allows a free streaming sample of the songs so that you can make up your mind about the $.99 purchase per song.

We hope that you will support Joe and reward him in his efforts.  And may his songs spark a renaissance of some new Browns art, story, song and "lore".  

The song is now available on digital download from CD Baby and soon available on Apple I Tunes, Amazon, Napster, etc. You can purchase a digital download from CD Baby at this link:

Albert Pujols' batting slump will last all season

A St. Louis Browns Fan Club member, who lives in the Los Angeles area (Angel country), shares his thoughts on the signing of Albert Pujols by the Angels.

All of us Los Angeles Angel fans are waiting for Albert Pujols to come out of his batting slump. It is not going to happen. He used to be "Fat Albert." But now he is Slim Trim Albert, and his dramatic weight loss has badly affected his hitting. His high fly balls to the outfield don't even reach the warning track anymore. He isn't even much of a threat to hit home runs in 2012. He is not aggressive at the plate, and he takes "home run pitches" for called strikes.

Last Friday night, my daughter and I went to the Angel game against
Baltimore. We sat in the second row behind the Orioles' dugout. When
I saw Pujols up close, I was alarmed by his slim, trim body. To the
casual observer he looks like he is in fantastic physical condition.
But something is wrong.

I think the Angels should send him to an Internal Medicine specialist
for a complete checkup. I also think the Angels' trainer should take
him into the weight room for a telltale evaluation. If he cannot
bench press the weight that he used to handle, it will show objectively
that his physical strength is waning.

When the TV camera is on him close up, his arms are not massive and
strong like they used to be. His upper body is much less than it used
to be. His neck muscles and facial muscles show a Slim Trim Albert who
bears little resemblance to the Fat Albert who used to hit over 40
home runs every year.

By the end of May, the Angels' top brass will be asking, "How long can
we keep putting Albert into the lineup batting third when he is just
not producing at the plate?" 

I am reminded of Cecil Fielder of the Detroit Tigers.  In 1988, he was an 
unproductive hitter for Toronto Blue Jays at 230 pounds.  They released 
him and he played in Japan in 1989.  In 1990, he came back to the U.S. 
at 6'5" and well over 270 pounds.  His hips and thighs were beyond huge; 
they were massive.   Results as first baseman for the Tigers: 

1990 - 51 home runs, 132 RBI, and lead American League in both. 

1991 - 44 home runs, 133 RBI; and lead American League in both. 

1992 - 35 home runs, 124 RBI

1993 - 30 home runs, 117 RBI

Pujols'  performance as a defensive first baseman is always excellent -- 
sometimes spectacular. But the Angels are paying him $24 million
per year to bat .330 and hit 40 home runs and drive in 120 runs. That
is not going to happen in 2012.

I hope I am wrong, wrong, wrong in my above assessment. But I think I
am right.  Slim Trim Albert is not going to be a productive hitter.



Al's son sent a follow up to his dad:

Below is my son Rick's assessment of Albert Pujols' lack of hitting production so far for the Angels.  I see no indications that he is going to get better.  The most disturbing part is that American League pitchers are throwing him home run pitches right over the plate.  The pitchers and pitching coaches are not afraid of him at all.  

Best, AL 

-----Forwarded Message-----
From: Rick Schallau
Sent: Apr 28, 2012 9:20 PM
To: Al Schallau
Subject: Re: Albert Pujols' batting slump will last all season 

A few of my thoughts on the matter:

Pujols may or may not have been using human growth hormone, which baseball had never blood tested for until this year. If he had been using H.G.H. he had incentive up until his signing with the Angels to continue using it. Inflated stats equates to an inflated contract. Now that he has a ten year contract that will last through the end of his career, he has no further incentive to continue to use H.G.H. Since baseball contracts are guaranteed, the Angels are "on the hook" for all of that money.

Pujols is from the Dominican Republic, a place that is notorious for fake birth certificates. Although he is listed as being born January 16, 1980, making him 32 years old, who knows for sure that he wasn't born in 1978 or even 1977? Pujols hit 37 home runs as a 21 year old rookie in 2001. I don't see many 21 year olds hitting that many home runs these days, although you do see it more often from 23-24 year olds. For comparison sake, American born Prince Fielder hit 28 home runs when he was 22, then hit 50 home runs when he was 23, his second full season in the majors. Was Pujols 23 or 24 as a rookie (which would make him 34 or 35 now)?

Beyond statistics such as batting average, home runs and slugging percentage is the important statistic of walks, as well as intentional walks:

2009 - AB - 568, BB - 115, IBB - 44, 1 BB per 4.9 AB (highest walk total of career)

2010 - AB - 587, BB - 103, IBB - 38, 1 BB per 5.6 AB

2011 - AB - 579, BB - 61, IBB - 15, 1 BB per 9.49 AB (lowest walk total of career)

2012 - AB - 80, BB 6, IBB 2 - 1 BB per 13.3 AB

Early returns are discouraging, let's hope Pujols can turn things around.