The Cardinals, for reasons known only to them, have taken personal offense to this harmless, noble tradition. I recently decided to spend a few days inside the Cardinal clubhouse using my, uhm, Brewed Sports press pass* to find out exactly what the big deal was. As it turns out, the untucked shirt is just one of the many things that the Cardinal team finds offensive.
"Those bastards eat Twinkies, after every game!" That was an angry Khalil Greene referring to the Florida Marlin infielders Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla, who enjoy some of the famous Hostess snacks after every game. Greene went on to say that "they'll pay for that lack of respect next time with some chin music. Everyone knows Ding Dongs rule."
2nd baseman Skip Schumaker claims he has been personally effected by the odd quirks of his club. Said Schumaker:
"My real name is Randolpho, but Albert thought is was too showy, and did not display proper respect for the game. I mean, who has ever heard of a player named Randolpho? Anyway, I've been "Skip" ever since."
When asked about Randolpho "Skip" Schumaker, Pujols was guarded. He claimed that while Skip could call himself whatever he wanted, he didn't want anything to detract from the solemn nature and century long tradition of baseball. When asked if he was offended when other players "watched their home runs" as Brewer left-fielder Ryan Braun has been accused of doing, he stated that "Yeah, I do. Ryan doesn't spend nearly enough time admiring" and that "he needs to watch the master to learn how to properly ogle a moonshot." He then said he had to run to talk to catcher "Phil Molina."
Centerfielder Rick Ankiel claimed to have the biggest problem with untucking shirts after games. Ankiel claimed to have never untucked a uniform, having installed a hatch on the seat of his uniform pants for bathroom emergencies. When asked if anything else offended Ankiel he replied "throwing strikes."
Manager Tony LaRussa had his share of odd quirks as well. In his own words:
"I was talking to Charlie Manuel a few years ago, just casual conversation. He said every night he likes to head home from the ball park, get in his recliner, and have a little Jack Daniels to help get to bed. The jerk. Everyone knows you're supposed to drink a lot of Jim Beam while you're driving home."
Other players were just as forthcoming. Pitcher Adam Wainwright is offended whenever anyone ties their shoe on the field, claiming that "they should care more about their equipment when participating in this great game of ours."
Chris Carpenter is offended by unkempt fingernails and the color green. Injured 3rd baseman Troy Glaus hates 14 foot high walls and chicken wings. Pitching coach Dave Duncan claimed that former Cardinal Scott Rolen was shipped out because he owned a poofy dog unbecoming of a baseball player, and "only drank craft beer after games, the pansy." Duncan also claimed that relief pitcher Ryan Franklin was on a short leash, at least until he "got rid of that stupid Prius."
Rookie Colby Rasmus believes that the game has no place for mascots with claws or any entrance music written in a 5/3 time signature. Ryan Ludwick will not "look a sunflower seed chewer directly in the eye" and thinks "the Padres are trying to convert me." Lastly, pitcher Kyle Lohse was greatly offended by tucked in shirts, making him somewhat of an outcast on the team. "That", said Lohse, "and Albert's secret steroid use. Wait, forget that last one."**
Other anonymous Cardinals claimed to take great offense to "teams that play on Tuesdays," Excedrin users, elbow bandages, ice packs, heat packs, gold chains, Simon and Garfunkel, 4-wheel drive, historical fiction, pasta, and Jews.
We followed up our Cardinal observations with a call to Brewer manager Ken Macha who, when asked if anything offended him replied:
"Yeah, losing, and bullshit."
*The Brewed Sports Press Pass is just a piece of paper that says we can make up quotes to make people look bad.
**There is no evidence that Albert Pujols has ever taken a performance enhancing drug, except for everyone who is remotely close to being as good as he is having taken them.