20 things fans of the Pond Scum need to know about my Cardinals

(For the benefit of Listmaker and his readership.)

1. You didn’t intimidate us in ’86, we just felt sorry for ya. That’s all.

2. You got lucky against us in ’00; I wouldn’t hold your breath this time.

3. Don’t stray too far off of first, lest ye be picked off by the rifle that is Yadi Molina’s right arm. And be careful on your way down to second, Jose.

4. Beware “Belly”! He may be fat, but Ronnie Belliard is a gamer who likes to stick his tongue out of his mouth more often than His Airness, has been good in the clutch as of late, plays a deep second base, and makes the off-balance throw to first better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

5. Scott Rolen stinks right now, whether he (or his bum, surgically-repaired shoulder) wants to admit it. Pitch to him all day and all night, and watch him feebly pop up to short center field.

6. Chris Duncan (or “Chaw” as he’s called in my house) wears a skillet for a glove, but carries a mighty big stick, much like one former U.S. President.

7. Hollywood Jim Edmonds is suffering from “post-concussion syndrome,” whatever that means. He also has a tinge in his shoulder and an ouchy on his foot. Man, is he playing in pain. You will now cringe as the broadcasters remind you of this four times each game.

8. You do not want to face Chris Carpenter. Seriously, you better abduct him while he’s in St. Louis, otherwise you aren’t winning Game 3.

9. Don’t look Wainwright’s curve ball in the eyes — it’ll break your heart.

10. The only current Redbird to ever hit a homer off of Billy Wagner is … wait for it … a little longer … David Eckstein. (That just means Pujols is due.)

11. Speaking of the Big Guy, Albert the Great, he’s got two career hits against Maine in three at bats. Both of those hits left the yard. (Did someone say SEVEN RBI?)

12. That tuft of red hair on Speez’s chin is a year-long gimmick that won’t die. Please make it die. Pretty please?

13. I don’t like Tony La Russa. I think he’s overrated, so I guess we share something in common. But boy did he pull all the right strings in the NLDS. Too bad he has a habit of choking in the NLCS and beyond.

14. About the veggie lovin’, animal huggin’, former middle-infield scrub: He’s having a hard time deciding whether to start veteran Jason Marquis and his 6.02 ERA in Game 4, or rookie Anthony “Hey! Did you forget that I one-hit the White Sox this year?” Reyes. Them’s smarts. That’s what a law degree will getcha.

15. Soup — or Sooooooooooup if you’re really feeling it — is our version of Greg Maddux, minus the Hall of Fame credentials. Laugh all you want, but Delgado, Green, and Beltran are hitting a combined .172 against him in his career.

16. I don’t know why So Taguchi is on a Major League roster either, unless it’s to up our cute factor. (But isn’t that why we acquired Eckstein?)

17. Juan Encarnacion collected ONE RBI in his first 19 games this year. Everyone hated him. Then he had a game-winning triple in Game 4 of the NLDS. Now everyone loves him.

18. Jeff Weaver is one ugly motherfucker.

19. We will not let Braden Looper beat us. He’s been relegated to mop-up duty, unless the rest of our inexperienced pen implodes. (Very doubtful: we’ve got Tyler Johnson, Josh Kinney, Brad Thompson, Randy Flores, and Josh Hancock on our side — all names that strike fear into the minds of opposing batters.)

20. Those who pitch around Pujols are pussies. Smart baseball, my ass!

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