Tagged: So Taguchi

You Never Know Who You Might See at the Ballpark

Tuesday, I went to a Oklahoma City Redhawks games with some girlfriends.  It was a very “chilled out” game by my usually
standard of insanity.  I did not go early
for batting practice.  I did not even
make it to my seat before first pitch.  I
did not keep a score sheet.  Sometimes,
it nice to be normal.


I also
did not take the time to shoot some photos of the “Dodgers” theme throughout
the stadium.  I did eat a tasty Dodger
Dog.  A Dodger Dog is long and skinny,
much like the people you see in
I also had garlic fries that were just as good as the ones I had in
San Francisco.

However, I did listen to the Cardinals game on my iPhone and enjoyed the play-by-play of the Cardinals disassembling the Tigers’ ace, Verlander.  Nice to see the offense come around.



Under the
category of “Where are they now?”, I saw three people you might have wondered
about.  It is just amazing who you might
cross paths with on a weeknight in the southern




I wrote a
blog this Spring about how So Taguchi might possibly be the ultimate good luck
charm, and I was concerned because he was a non-roster invitee to the
Chicago cubs camp.  I knew that he did not make the 25-man
roster, but I did not know what became of him. 


I scanned
a borrowed roster for the Iowa Cubs and was tickled to find So Taguchi’s
name.  Actually, I was down right
excited.  I mean, it is not like you see
a former Cardinal with two World Series rings (one from Philly last year)
playing in
Oklahoma City.


I spotted
him in the dugout in his usually bench playing role:





He later
came in to play right field and got one at bat:


I missed
getting a picture of his at bat because he was hit by a pitch almost


When he
came up to bat, I cheered loud.  I was
the only one in an otherwise quiet stadium, so it seemed really loud to
me.  Yes, I cheered for a cub.  Probably, the first and last time that will
ever happen. 


I am nervous that he is a lucky charm, and he could still end up playing for
the cubs.  More about my So Taguchi
superstitions can be found here.


Jeff Samardzija


Samardzija is probably better known for his college years where he was a fine
wide-receiver at Notre Dame.  Samardzija
set single-season school records in both receiving yards and touchdown


He did
spend a little time up with cubs last year, but did not make the team out of
Spring Training.  He has been pitching
with the
AAA Iowa Cubs this year.  He has a
3-3 record with a 4.27 ERA.


got the start (and the loss) on Monday night. 
So, on Tuesday he was in the stands with a radar gun logging pitches for
the Tuesday pitchers.







Hernandez, the pitcher born in
Cuba in either 1965 or 1969, recently
signed a minor league contract with the Rangers.  I spotted El Duque in the dugout:


Bye-Bye, Love

Bye-bye love, I’ll catch you later
Got a lead foot down on my accelerator and the rearview mirror torn off
I ain’t never lookin’ back. And that’s a fact.
I’ve tried all I can imagine
I’ve begged and pleaded in true lover’s fashion
I’ve got pride, I’m takin’ it for a ride
Bye-bye, bye-bye, my baby, bye-bye

-Phil Vassar


That song could apply to the end of every one of my love affairs.  When I am in, I am all in.  When I am done, I am all done.  I have never reunited with an ex after a break up.  Maybe, that that makes me a “hurt me once, shame on you…hurt me twice, shame on me” kind of girl.  Or, maybe, I just like closure. 


Now, just because I do not get back together with exes does not mean I hold onto bitterness or resentment.  I wish nothing but the best to ALL of the men I have ever dated.  Over 95% of them have a special place in my heart.  The other 5% have the great capacity to bring pain and suffering into their life all on their own.  They do not need my ill wishes.  Isn’t Karma great?


The new baseball season will be heralded this weekend with the reporting of pitchers and catchers.  Before I can start a new relationship with the 2009 Cardinals, it seemed fitting to bid adieu to the 2008 Cardinals that will not be a part of this year’s love affair.  It turns out that I am a ‘closure’ girl.


Cesar Izturis – Shortstop



AP Photo by Jeff Roberson


I will miss your easy smile, gold glove plays, bunting skills and stolen bases.  We have a new guy in your spot that they think can hit better than you, even though he did not last year.  They say he is a great defender, but I know when it comes to defense you are the king of the left side of the infield.  The Baltimore Orioles are lucky to have you.  I hope you have a great year.


Braden Looper – Right-Handed Starting Pitcher



AP Photo by Bill Boyce


My fellow, Okie, I would love to have you back this year, but alas…sigh….it is not meant to be.  You were the healthy, innings eating, keep-the-Cardinals-in-the-game pitcher that we desperately needed.  We had good times:  The full-game shutout.  We had bad times:  The rough start in Houston that I watched from the Crawford Boxes.  I loved the way you helped yourself out at the plate.  It will be tough to see you in that Brewers uniform, but I hope she it makes you happy.


Aaron Miles – 2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF and P



Reuters Pictures


I already said good-bye to you here.  I will miss your versatility and willingness to be a true team-player.   In an interview at Cubs Fan Fest, you said that you had been dreaming of being a Cubbie for a long time.  I hope you were referring to your childhood, because it would be wrong to be thinking of another club (especially that club) while wearing a Cardinals uniform.   Very, very wrong. 


I am not sure why anyone would rather be a Cub than a Cardinal.  Money aside, of course.  You better do everything you can to get your old pal, So Taguchi, on the roster, because that is the only way you will ever win a World Series in that uniform.  (See why here.)


Felipe Lopez – 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF



AP Photo by Jeff Roberson


I barely got to know you, and now you are a Diamondback.  In your short time with us, I never got a good feel for your defensive skills.  Maybe, you did not either since you were playing all over the place.  But, there is no denying that the Cardinals uniform woke up your bat.  I am curious how you will do as a Diamondback, so I will keep in touch.


Russ Springer – Right-Handed Relief Pitcher/Set-up Guy




Getty Images


Although I took the loss of Aaron Miles harder, I will probably miss you most of all.  You were the one reliever that I never worried about getting the job done.  Consistent, efficient and effective.  Even though you did not retire after all, I’m glad LaRussa let you get the last out in 2008.  It was a sweet good-bye kiss.  Have fun with the kids in Oakland, Old Man.


Ron Villone – Left-Handed Relief Pitcher/Lefty Specialist



AP Photo by Gene J. Puskar


Oh, Villy.  We had our ups and downs, but you play the game with heart and passion.  I respect that.  My favorite moment is when it took both Jason LaRue and Josh Kinney to keep you from rushing to Aaron Miles’ defense and murdering Doug Mientkiewicz.  You are an animal.  I respect that, too.  I hope you find a nice club to take you in.


Adam Kennedy – Second Base


KennedyAPPhotoTom Gannam.jpg

AP Photo by Tom Gannam


You and I never really connected.   That’s okay.  It happens sometimes.   Perhaps it was my fault for paying too much attention to the guy that was beating you out of playing time at second and not really taking the time to get to know you.  Maybe, it is your fault for putting your need to be an everyday player ahead of whatever your team needed you to be.   


When you asked for a trade during the later part of the season, I was not hurt that you no longer wanted to be with us.   I just thought you should have waited to ask until the season was over.  So, you should not be hurt now that you have been cut from the team, although you might think we should have released you as soon as the season was over.  Now, you are free to pursue that everyday job without restriction.  I really do wish you all the best and hope you find a happy home.


Jason Isringhausen – Right-Handed Relief Pitcher/Closer



Getty Images


Hey, Izzy?  Baby?  Where are you?  You don’t call.  You don’t write.  I know things ended badly, but you don’t have to shut us out.  Maybe, you are done.  Maybe, you will come back with another club.  Either way, I will always remember the good times: the summers, the saves and all the ninth inning doors you slammed.  Don’t be a stranger.  We can still be friends.


2008 Cardinals

Bye-bye, Love.  It was a good run.


2009 Cardinals

I cannot wait to meet you!


Lucky Number 99! No, not Manny

I’m talking, So Taguchi.  How lucky is So Taguchi?  We might find out this year. 



In case you haven’t heard of this much quieter player who wears number 99, So Taguchi is a native of Japan.  He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002 at the age of 33.  He’s a good little bench player.  Plays some outfield, a little 2B, steals a few bases and is good in a pinch–hit or run. 



After a few short call-ups in ’02 and ’03, Taguchi appeared in 109 games in 2004 after coming up in June.  How opportune that Taguchi happened to be on the Cardinals roster when they went to their first World Series in 15 years! 


In 2005, the Cardinals made it to the post-season again.  How fortunate Taguchi was to play in the post-season two-years in a row!  Was it a fluke?


In 2006, the Cardinals win the World Series.  How privileged Taguchi must have felt to be part of a winning tradition.


In 2007, the Cardinals rolled craps and Taguchi was cut loose.  Maybe, the luck had worn off.


Maybe not.  In 2008, Taguchi signs with the Philadelphia Phillies, who of course win the World Series.  Taguchi’s stats don’t flash, but his track record does.  Two teams.  Two rings.  That seems pretty improbable, especially when you think of all the great players with out a ring.


In a game fraught with superstition, curses, reverses and the 11th commandment (Don’t mess with a streak), is So Taguchi the ultimate good luck charm?  Does he have the mojo to reverse the longest running curse of them all?  You know, the one that involves a goat and a little place in Chicago that is grown over with ivy?


We may find out.  So Taguchi is on the list of non-roster Spring Training invitees for the Chicago Cubs.  If the Taguchi makes the roster and the Cubs finally reach ultimate success this year, the Cardinals are going to be sad they let So go.  And, no matter how bad the pun, I won’t be able to resist saying, “I told you So.”