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TMCNet:  St. Louis Post-Dispatch Bernie Miklasz column: Ludwick has the numbers to earn slot as an All-Star

[June 14, 2008]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Bernie Miklasz column: Ludwick has the numbers to earn slot as an All-Star

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch (KRT) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jun. 14--If the injured Albert Pujols doesn't make it to the All-Star Game, Ryan Ludwick is certainly building a case to earn a spot on the National League roster.

Among all NL outfielders, Ludwick came into the weekend ranked first in batting average (.326), RBIs (51), slugging percentage (.689) and combined onbase percentage plus slugging (1.086). He was tied for second among NL outfielders in homers (16) and was third in extra-base hits (35).


And Ludwick is among the best road hitters in the NL at any position. He's first in the league (all players) in road OPS (1.144), homers (12), RBIs (36) and slugging (.746).

Ludwick isn't a national name, but I don't see an NL outfielder who is having a better all-around season so far.

Reading Time, three minutes Free Anheuser-Busch.

I'm sorry, but it wouldn't sound right for Dan McLaughlin to open an FSN broadcast by saying, "welcome to InBev Stadium for tonight's Cubs-Cardinals game."

Better lower those expectations for Chris Carpenter, who has had a setback in his rehab from elbow surgery. His return for this year is highly questionable. And if there's any doubt, forget about using him this season and get Carpenter ready for 2009. Once again, luck has turned against the Cardinals.

Congrats to the STL's Deandre "Bull" Latimore, a 5-1 underdog, who shocked No. 1 junior middleweight contender Sechew Powell with a 7th round TKO Wednesday in New York. Before a national cable audience on ESPN2, the ultra-aggressive Bull took control of the fight in the fourth round and pummeled the stunned Powell with a sequence of unanswered shots in the seventh. Latimore still must develop ring moxy, and trainer Kenny Adams is making a difference in that area. But the Bull hits hard and is always moving forward to press the action, and his crowd-pleasing style will fill arenas.

If Chris Duncan doesn't hit for power upon his recall from Memphis, the last thing I want to hear is his father -- or anyone with the Cardinals -- complaining about media coverage. Here's the deal: Duncan is a big-league hitter, and he got to the majors because he could hit the ball hard, and send it a long way. So now he must do that again -- or he doesn't. It's that simple. It's Chris vs. the pitcher, period. The media have nothing to do with Duncan's success, his failure or his slugging percentage. And to suggest otherwise is pretty weak.

By the way, the Pirates hat that Latimore wore into the ring with the "P" across the front was his way of recognizing the Peabody housing project in St. Louis, where he grew up. The victory should move the Bull into a top 10 ranking, and his promoter, Steve Smith of Rumbletime Promotions, wants to match Latimore vs. Cory Spinks in St. Louis.

Congrats to Natalie and Jamal Mayers on the birth of their second daughter, Harper Catherine Mayers on June 11. She joins older sister Langley on the energy line. ... Doug Nachman, the best thoroughbred handicapper in St. Louis, did it again with a very nice win ticket on the Belmont Stakes champion, Da'Tara, at 38-1. ... St. Louisan Michael Davies, a good playmaker and scorer at the U. of Wisconsin, has been invited to the upcoming Blues' prospect camp.

Speaking on our KSLG (1380 AM) show on Thursday, Rams head coach Scott Linehan said Orlando Pace (rotator cuff surgery) had a "very positive" strength test this week. Other bits from Linehan: The team would like to sign an offensive lineman, defensive back and "true" fullback before training camp. And asked to name the players who showed the most improvement during the offseason, Linehan mentioned cornerback Tye Hill, defensive end Victor Adeyanju, tight end Joe Klopfenstein and tailback Anthony Pittman.

The Cardinals entered the weekend with the NL's best record in terms of winning series; they were 14-3, with five ties. Philadelphia was second-best at 13-5-4. ... Alicia DeShasier, a 2007 grad of SIU-Edwardsville, recently qualified in the javelin competition for the U.S. Olympic trials, scheduled for Eugene, Ore., June 27-July 5. ... St. Louisan Pat Hogan (DeSmet, Syracuse) suits up for the Chicago Machine today against Philadelphia in the first pro lacrosse game in St. Louis. It's at 5 p.m. at the Anheuser-Busch Center.

Rawlings and Fleishman-Hillard last week won two Silver Anvil awards from the Public Relations Society of America for Rawlings' "Summer of Glove" campaign that marked the 50th anniversary of the Rawlings Gold Glove. The Silver Anvil is the highest honor in the public relations industry. ... Blues players Barret Jackman, Jay McClement and Erik Johnson and sidelined Cardinals pitcher Todd Wellemeyer attended the Dave Matthews Band concert last week at Busch.

Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse has the best winning percentage in the majors (11-2, .846) since last July 25. ... Andy Strickland of KSLG reports that Marty Brooks is the new director of operations for Scottrade Center after an 11-year stint of running the arena in Hartford, Conn. And Scottrade GM Dennis Petrullo has been promoted to senior VP of Sports Capital Partners (that's Dave Checketts' group). Petrullo will book events at Scottrade as well as the stadium in Salt Lake City that houses Checketts' MLS soccer team.

Retired Rams Marshall Faulk and Roland Williams participated in the first annual Jonny G Foundation Celebration at Meadowbrook CC. The event honored the life of Jonathan Goldberg, who was a water boy for the Rams and a bat boy for the Cardinals until his death last year at age 13. The event raised $40,000 for local charities. ... Congrats to Washington University director of athletics John Schael, who was named Division III Central Region AD of the Year. Schael has excelled as the Washington U. AD for the past 30 years.

The Nice Section The Tom Lombardo (St. Louis) Chapter of the National Football Foundation is having its annual golf tournament at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 27 at the Columbia (Ill.) golf course. This is an important fundraiser that enables the chapter to continue holding its annual banquet that honors dozens of high school and college football players each year. Cost is only $70 per golfer and hole sponsors are needed. For info call Bob Bunton at 636-891-9710.

-- The 19th annual JCGDA Golf Classic is Monday, June 23 at Sugar Creek CC. Cost is $100 per golfer or $400 per foursome. The JCGDA promotes business and development in Jefferson County. For more information call Sarah Davis at 314-210-0211.

To see more of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.stltoday.com.

Copyright (c) 2008, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
For reprints, email tmsreprints@permissionsgroup.com, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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