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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Don’t miss Thursday Darryl Kile special

Darryl Kile finished his all-too-short 12-year Major League Baseball career as a St. Louis Cardinal, after pitching with distinction for the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies. His sudden passing in June 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 33 led to immediate grief across baseball and later with two different annual Darryl Kile Awards, presented by the Baseball Writers Association of America chapter in Houston and voted upon by the players in St. Louis. The latter recognize Kile’s qualities of being “a good teammate, a great friend, a fine father and a humble man.”

A decade later, former coaches and teammates are among those sharing their Kile remembrances in “The Life and Death of Darryl Kile.” The special, narrated by Bob Costas, airs at 8 p.m. CT Thursday on MLB Network.

The show features considerable footage of the events surrounding the June 22, 2002 Cardinals-Cubs game at Wrigley Field that was canceled after Kile’s body was discovered in his Chicago hotel room that morning. According to the Post-Dispatch, his widow, Flynn Kile, declined to be interviewed about his death, but Mike Matheny and Tony La Russa are among the many that speak.

La Russa: “He’s literally too good to be true. And you had to keep saying, ‘Was he really as great as we thought he was?’ And the answer was yes. … I’ll repeat it until the time you take the (microphone) away. He was so perfect it was not to be believed, but believe it.”

Matheny: “To me, he was the kind of person that made people around him better. Yes, everybody wants to win, but you just see very few people that go out of their way to invest in other people and Darryl Kile was one of those.”

MLB Network aired an excerpt of the “The Life and Death of Darryl Kile” on June 22, the ten-year anniversary of his passing. It can be viewed below.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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64 Responses to “Don’t miss Thursday Darryl Kile special”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Unfortunately, I will miss it because I don’t have MLB Network. 🙁

  2. blingboy says:

    I sort of feel like Costas and MLB Network could have taken the hint when Mrs. Kile declined to participate. I’ll probably pass on it. RIP.

  3. WesPowell says:

    Anyone dying young is truly heartbreaking.

    Looking at it strictly from the baseball angle, which I’m sure he would not mind as baseball was a large part of his life……

    We got Kile in 2000 and he won 20 games, 41 counting his next season and shortened 3rd year due to tragedy. He could have been a Cardinal star for 5 more years

    Also in 2000 Ankiel appeared to be one of the most promising lefthanders in baseball before his implosion.

    Later down the road we acquired Wainwright and Carpenter, who became studs, and both then missed all or signifigant portions of multiple seasons.

    Taking all this into account the Cardinals record over the last decade is amazing.

  4. WesPowell says:

    Also, during the break, I have created a division of last years national league playoff teams…..

    SAINT LOUIS……46-40……..—-
    ARIZONA………..42-43……..3 1/2
    MILWAUKEE…….40-45……..5 1/2
    PHILADELPHIA…37-50……..9 1/2

    We’re the only one over .500.

  5. WesPowell says:

    And although the Brewers and Phillies have missed key components from last year, I believe we have lost the most. LaRussa, Duncan, Pujols, Carpenter, and Berkman.

  6. WesPowell says:

    It is an interesting phemonenon. Someone comes on a Cardinal blog, says we have the best record of all of last years league playoff teams, and the responses come in defending some other team, minimizing us.

    I do this on other blogs occasionally of other teams. Go in and say something upbeat and without fail there is a rush of “yeah buts”. It’s unreal.

    • Nutlaw says:

      Goading people into disagreement with a constant string of over the top rah-rah hyperbole is not admirable behavior. The same people tend to disagree with overly gloomy rhetoric.

      If you find yourself repeatedly angering each online community that you enter, please reflect upon that. I’m not sure what welcome you expect to find by bragging about how upset you tend to make those around you.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Nutlaw, Wes is being himself. You might try to be more open-minded about people who are NOT all gloom and doom.

        Wes, I know what you mean. There are people who are fans but who routinely assume they somehow know more than Mo, TLR, Mike, Mark, and company. They are strange indeed.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Once again it is illustrated that when one consistently has a point of view that is at one end of the extreme, middle ground looks just the same as the other pole.

          Without balance in discussion, other people will stop trying to engage in conversation. Then, the extremists just end up talking to themselves, only to be called out when their comments are so outrageous that even the tolerant cannot let them pass.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Balance and conversation is found by having diverse perspectives, not just one.

            Westie used to be a big poster here, writing incomprehensible stuff about Pujols as a cancer and Westie as an expert on hitting. If we could enjoy Westie’s outlandish utterances, and I mostly did, Wes is only surprising because much of what he says is simple common sense.

            • Brian Walton says:

              It becomes a problem when some try to define common sense vs. outlandish utterance for everyone and push that view on others.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                It is true that many things are relative.

                Combativeness and oppressiveness are factors in causing problems.

                Carioca did not like TLR. Entitled to hold his own opinion. Crdswmn was hurt when B Ryan was traded. This is a feeling any person is entitled to have. People can express regrets or be frustrated by things that seem daft or wrong to them.

                Because Wes is a Cards fan who has expressed good sportsmanship in relation to other teams and humility about himself, these are likely to wear well in the long run.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  In other words, those who agree with me are saints and all others are sinners.

                  • JumboShrimp says:

                    You seem more given to viewing people as sinners versus saints. McGwire was one of your sinners, to me a distinguished player of the sport, suitably employed by the Cards today.
                    Julian Tavarez. His agent Scott Boras had horns, at least until Holliday and Lohse signed with the Cards.
                    The same agent took Pujols away, then brought Beltran to town. Is he a saint or devil or neither, just an agent doing his job?

  7. WesPowell says:

    The best was last year following Louisville. They have one of those blogs with thousands of members. Near the end of the regular season I was threatened with being banned by the moderators and I was literally the only one saying anything positive.

  8. WesPowell says:

    There were posters openly calling for the best players to transfer. Basically calling for a collapse of the program, I suppose as some sort of sacrifice to their anger at the coach. Those were the board regulars. The heros.

  9. WesPowell says:

    The ESPN Cardinal blog was hysterical last year. Each loss that happened in those final couple of frantic weeks was declared to be the loss that buried us, singling out who was responsible for blowing the season, usually a LaRussa decision.

  10. WesPowell says:

    It took me a while, but I finally figured out the glass is not half empty or half full. It’s full, from here on out.

    My smile is stuck. I can’t go back to frownland.

  11. crdswmn says:

    I flunked cheerleading in junior high. I always found those girls to be kinda snotty anyway. I was more of the cerebral type who looked at all sides of an issue. It has served me well.

  12. Brian Walton says:

    Saw this tweet from ESPNStats this morning.

    “Parity is back in MLB. Elias says that this is 1st time 11 AL teams have had .500 or better record at All-Star break.”

    Not said was that they fattened up on the NL in interleague play. AL was +30 games vs. NL this year.

    Big changes next year. Rivalry games cut from six to three or four. There will be 18-20 interleague games, with divisional teams playing the same opponents. Should be fairer.

  13. blingboy says:

    The Appel situation is intersting. The Pirates get the 9th pick in the first round as compensation for not signing him. And what happens to Appel next year after his senior year? Won’t he be in a take it or leave it situation? What does he do if he doesn’t sign? Play catch in his backyard until 2014?

    • Brian Walton says:

      Why would his situation next year be any different from any other senior?

      • blingboy says:

        Well, I’m thinking if he wouldn’t sign for $3.8 this year, what is he going to do next year when he has no leverage? Surely he wouldn’t get an offer so far over slot.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Oh, I see. Yes, from that perspective, the smart bet would seem to have been to take the money now.

        • CariocaCardinal says:

          The bet is not that he will get more over slot but that his slot will be higher as he will be drafted before #9. Based on talent, that probably should have happened this year. highly risky in my book but not out of the question he will get a higher bonus. but add in the fact that he will take a year longer to get to arb, FA, etc, It seems even a short term payoff of a bonus bump wouldn’t equal the long term finiancial loss.

          • Brian Walton says:

            Very well put. The lost year can never be regained.

          • Nutlaw says:

            Agreed. From what I read, he turned down $6M from the Astros first, so I’m not sure how he is expecting to benefit here whatsoever. In addition to losing his leverage and a year of professional play that should also help him to develop faster, what happens if he gets injured?

            As usual, I get the feeling that Boras is doing this for his own benefit, simply to appear tough. However, in the case of prospects, affiliation with Boras tends to make a player not worth it.

  14. crdswmn says:

    Does anyone know what the Cardinals have been hitting average wise with RISP within the last 30 days? I can only find entire season stats. It just seems to me that the entire team has been crappy with runners on recently and I would like to be able to quantify it but none of the stats sites give me that split.

    I see we are about to sign Brian Fuentes. Why? Are we attempting to become the team where all washed up relief pitchers come to die? Why can’t we get a relief pitcher that doesn’t suck? Is Mo that cheap?

    Damn this team makes me want to pull my hair out.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Have you tuned in to see him pitch? ……….. Thought not…… AL is tougher….. Oakland has a fair team…..they have other priorities……………. We need to effect chemistry……….. Freese and Jay are franchise players now………….. we have a whole bunch of players all of a sudden that don’t feel much of an edge………..Beltran could just disappear………… he usually gets hurt when he’s playing for a loser………….. Matheny tries to saddle up Wainwright…… Tony did his war horse……????? who knows where this goes……….. They will never give up Matheny…….. so lets get some players…….we have great pitching…….. a couple of BP arms……..maybe a hitter…… the chumps……..

      • crdswmn says:

        You know what? I heard the exact same kind of justifications for signing JC Romero that I am hearing now on Brian Fuentes. The pen needs a “veteran presence”. Fine, sign a “veteran presence” that can actually pitch worth a damn. And I am also tired of hearing that he may pitch better for the Cardinals. Dave Duncan is gone, and so is the Cardinals’ magic pixie dust. I’ve always thought that line of thinking was pretty arrogant to begin with.

        • Nutlaw says:

          Fuentes isn’t quite Romero. He has 18 Ks this year compared to 10 BBs. He has been unlucky to give up 5 HR in 25 IP as his career rate is half of that , particularly since he is inducing more ground balls than typical. His BABIP is also inflated, meaning that the opposing hitters have been getting lucky hits off of him (or that the defense behind him has been questionable). He tends to handle RHB almost as well as LHB, which is nice.

          I don’t know that he’s any better than Browning, but he’s no Romero. Don’t worry overly much.

          While picking up terrible players is a problem, picking up okay players for free is always welcome!

          • crdswmn says:

            Fuentes BABIP is .305. That isn’t that inflated.

            Against LHB .257/.333/.471
            Against RHB .300/.368/.536

            He also has a FIP of 4.76. His FIP against RHB is 6.07

            Fuentes is 36 years old. He is in decline. What his career numbers are have become less relevant. We are getting him as he is now, not as he was in 2008. And he isn’t free. Even if he signs for league minimum that is money that is wasted if we end up having to release him before the end of the season. I would rather the Cardinals spend a little extra money for a pitcher that will actually be effective and will last us, perhaps one we can bring back next season. What a concept.

            • Nutlaw says:

              He would sign for prorated league minimum salary, yes, and that doesn’t even register. An extra couple hundred thousand dollars won’t stop the team from doing anything.

              It wouldn’t be money that the Cardinals would be spending for more relievers – it would be prospects at this stage in the season.

              He’s throwing a sinker, a slider, and a changeup now, which is a solid repertoire. His velocity is up one MPH on each, higher than he’s thrown the past couple of years.

              I’m not saying that he’s a difference maker. Just that he probably won’t hurt the team. There’s no real downside here, and having some depth in the bullpen again would be nice.

              • crdswmn says:

                There is a downside if Fuentes is the only piece Mo gets for the bullpen. I’m afraid that Fuentes is Mo’s attempt to “fix the bullpen” and that will be it. That isn’t going to cut it for me. It’s also a downside if a better reliever is sacrificed for Fuentes.

                I will wait and see, but right now I don’t like it.

                • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                  ??????? I’ve seen him pitch a bit…..he could be effective now that he’s had his bell wrung…….he is free…..the minimum…….he has an appetite as we have seen………..Oakland is a black hole for egotists……… he could be out the door in a week if we don’t like him ……….. many want pitching, we aren’t going to bring in anything meaningful……besides …we don’t need a starter…….. Mo needs to move chumps………..under the guise of some desperate need…….he will…….

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