Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Only Sacrifice Cards Need Is in Hitting Deep

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Only Sacrifice Cards Need Is in Hitting Deep

Article excerpt

Outfielder Brian Jordan has a suggestion.

Animal sacrifice.

"Someone bring a live chicken in here," Jordan said. Now, before the La Russa family and other outraged Animal Rescue Foundation members lose their tail feathers, please understand that BJ is joking. Yes, the Cardinals are frustrated. They have a 7-14 record, a stagnant offense and are one moon removed from the elevated Houston Astros. But the Cardinals are not really planning to set up a mock altar (as in the movie "Major League") for the ritual killing of barnyard fowl in an appeal to the baseball gods. But the Cardinals might be smart to steal a few of Larry Walker's bats. Their offense is missing. Perhaps it has been bought out by NationsBank, sold to Mexico, or pilfered in the Midnight Basketball scandal. The Cardinals rank in the bottom three in the National League in 13 hitting categories, including average, runs, hits, total bases, home runs, RBIs, strikeouts, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. The Cardinals do lead the NL in one department: most knuckleheaded at-bats. Have you ever seen so many bad, impatient swings in one month? By trying to do too much, Cardinals batters end up doing very little. When you have slap hitters shooting for the fences, the lineup is dysfunctional. Gentlemen: Put the ball in play. Let's go back to the tee-ball days and freshen up on the basics. Enough with the Dave Kingman impersonation. "There's only one guy on our club who should be hitting fly balls and that's Ron Gant," manager Tony La Russa said. "Everyone else, the more they concentrate on hitting the ball sharply and hitting hard ground balls, the more productive they'll be. We've got some legs on this team, and we can utilize that speed by getting on base. But everyone is trying to hit it far, trying to be a hero." As it stands now - and this team is standing around a lot - the Cardinals are doomed if they spot the opposition four runs. The Colorado Rockies led 5-0 Friday night and 4-0 Saturday afternoon and played enough defense to ward off the Cardinals in both victories. …

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