Former pitching prospect turned head case turned failure turned outfield prospect Rick Ankiel made his re-debut as a Cardinal last night, hitting a three-run homer that powered St. Louis past the Padres 5-0. It was kind of surprising that the Cardinals called up Ankiel at all — they are, after all, firmly ensconced below .500, and Ankiel had only hit 32 home runs in Triple-A this season. It just didn't make any sense to bring a young power hitter into the lineup.
But anyway. As expected, people were all giddy that a guy whose promising career imploded has been reincarnated at a different position. Tony LaRussa:
"Short of winning the World Series, it's the happiest I've seen our club. I'm fighting my butt off to keep it together. Next to striking out [Brandon Inge to win the World Series], that's the happiest I've been in this uniform."
And here I was thinking Adam Wainwright got the last out of the series last year. I had no idea it was LaRussa on the mound. That LaRussa! So versatile. A baseball genius, really.