Monday, January 08, 2007

I've moved

Well... I'd like to thank the good people who make this website available for free....

Because of a lack of views and for convenience purposes.... I've written other blogs and will write future blogs at

Monday, March 13, 2006

Disaster Strikes

Wow... 3/12/06... A Day to Remember
How is it possible? How can Wabash Avenue... as Springfield as it gets... (even though so much of it is in Jerome) and Parkway Pointe be a vast wasteland?
Old friends and I don't know how many acquaintances have lost a lot... cars, homes, businesses...etc....
I"m happy to see no one was seriously hurt... unlike people, the Barrelhead can be rebuilt.. all the King's Horses and all the King's Men CAN put the Lauterbach guy and his head together again... just like the old Southeast Pseudo-Spartan....
I have had a healthy fear of tornadic weather since I was 12 years old... and a tornado wiped out a third of my Southern Illinois hometown in December of all things.... when I see green skies.. or feel that change in air pressure with a funnel system I'm back in December of 81 or 82... when a tornado came a block from my basement-less house and I thought my life was about to be snuffed out.... I don't know what compels people to chase these things, but I say hat's off to the emergency personnel; and stormchasers who go in harm's way... that's not my cup of tea.. never will be.
Good luck and God Bless...
Shawn Balint

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Great One and Friends Gamble... Big Deal!!!!

Hello again friends.. hope someone is reading this....

I thought I would chime in on the Wayne Gretzsky front....

The Great One is dealing with reports that his wife and assistant coach/friend Rick Tocchet are involved in a gambling ring at some level....

Let me say this......I DON'T CARE!!!! This is the goofiest thing since Martha Stewart.. .once again we have a case of federal prosecutors going after big names and not one of the major problems in our society...

Martha Stewart to me is everything I don't want to see in a woman... always worried about appearances, and what other people think and vacuuming seven times a day and living in a house where you never feel comfortable because it always has to be some kind of Better Homes and Garden Showplace.. The Martha Stewart philosophy means you have less and less chill out time on the couch with the wife watching tv or going out... she is worried about company or spends too much for overpriced stuff at a home improvement store.. but that being said, she got ahead on Wall Street the way just about everyone who gets ahead on Wall Street has.. the inside scoop... I imagine there are a few Congressmen that have too... there was never a need to put Martha in an ankle braclet at a time when pedophiles were running loose in this country... just a dog and pony show..

The case of Wayne Gretzsky and company is another example.... if Joe or Jane Six Pack can spend half their check on instant lottery tickets or a casino, what's the problem with Wayne's wife dropping $75,000? or Michael Jordan dropped thousands on a golf game? There is so much hypocrisy about gambling... Joe or Jane Six Pack can get into trouble gambling..... the Gretzsky's and Tocchet's don't have that problem.... This is a sick waste of tax dollars... "Operation Slap Shot" tells me this is one career builder for a federal prosecutor that wants to get a premiere judgeship or something of the like...

This is the latest in a series of dissapointments with federal prosecutors... I look at the recent turn in the war on drugs... raiding "head shops" of so-called tobacco accessories, that can also be used with marijuana. I'm not a fan of mary jane... but please let's have a federal war on meth or coke or crack... let's go after something that destroys neighborhoods and kills!

These days I'm more limited in offering my opinions because my job in St. Louis calls for me to be more of a pure journalist... but all I ask of the Justice Department and some of our U.S. Attorneys (there are many good ones) to fight real crime!

By the way.. I miss you good Springfield folks and it's good to see old friends again St. Louis...

I will continue to have some involvement in the Springfield area when time allows... including the St. Patrick's Day Parade... and if you're a business looking for a top of the line professional voice... I'm your man!!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

No longer a Joe Girardi fan!!!!!

Well folks I'm going to try this blog thing again.... I saw someone was dissapointed with my lack of posts, but I quit because of lack of interest...

Well... let me say I always like Joe Girardi as a ballplayer, whether it be in his days as a Cub, Rockie, Yankee and Cardinal... when he was able to actually play. His handling of the Darrel Kile incident was absolutely amazing.

That being said... I saw with great disdain that Joe is laying down the law on facial hair as manager of the Marlins. He calls that a "clean" look. Well I guess that makes me dirty and a professor of bad hygiene because I have a goatee and mustasche and I feel naked without it... I must have had dirty dreams in high school because I couldn't wait until I could grow a good mustasche.

Let's see who else fits into the category of unclean and undesirable... oh there was that guy, I think Jesus was his name... WWJD? Funny well he wouldn't shave... shoot from what we understand his dad set a bad example by also wearing facial hair. No wonder the clean shaven Pontius Pilate cast him aside.. I forgot, did Barabbus have facial hair? How did either side win the civil war with bearded Robert E. Lee taking on bearded U.S. Grant. It's a fluke the Union won that war because undesirable Abe Lincoln was going up against the clean shaven Jefferson Davis.

To me this is Big Brother in the private sector.. it's one thing to have a dress code... but no facial hair rules are a serious intrusion... I don't care if you're making $10,000 or $10,000,000. Other than maybe television or a high 6-figure job, no one should be able to tell you that you can't have facial hair.

I'm sorry if I'm assembling a ball team, do I want choir boys or a bunch of bad asses... hmm... I think I'll take the intimdating looking guys... Let's forgot about whether Mark McGwire was on the juice... he looked like a big Barney Fife without facial hair.. with the goatee he was more intimdating... Bagwell and others looked more intimidating.. and Kirk Gibson looked more intimdating with that mustasche back in the '88 series.. can you imagine him clean shaven when he slugged that Eck pitch into the stands at Dodger Stadium?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Here is my mug.. for some reason I can't keep my eyes oepne when someone takes a picture Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 03, 2005


BUSCH STADIUM 1966-2005 and I missed the funeral (even though the postseason is yet to come)

I'm the world's biggest idiot.. I had tickets in my hands to this game and I resold them!
I couldn't find out what exactly the final game entailed and I decided I was going to sell the tickets I got on Ebay and try to save some cash for the World Series.... After watching the Rams game... bad call huh?... I started listening to the post-game ceremonies on the radio about midway through the 80's... right when they introduced Willie McGee...powerful stuff.. then I came in and was happy to see WB11 in St. Louis carried the thing wall to wall... but then I just couldn't believe I sold back tickets to something like "this".

I've been all about building the new ballpark.. while living in exile in Maryland for a couple of years... I caught many games at Camden Yards and have waited for the current Busch to go in favor of what is popping up next door. But dog gone.. I got sentimental about that old ballpark...

I wish they could have had a football Cardinal segment... I know they had rough years.. .. (maybe they did and I missed it).... I still get warm feelings thinking about Dierdorf, Jackie Smith, Roger Wehrli, Roy Green, Stump Mitchell and Ottis Anderson... but I'll never forget JV Cain... I was young and it was so hard for me to comprehend this young tight end losing his life right there on the field... I'd watched him make incredible one handed catches.. and at that age someone like that seems invincible... With the Big Red changing uniforms and the old stadium closing.. it's another major degree of separation from the Big Red era.. I miss the old bandshell and the Bob Kuban brass band playing Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

I was glad to see Keith Hernandez and Jack Clark greeted by cheers... it bothered me when they were booed so heavily and I still remember when somebody harassed Hernandez' daughters at a game. Keith Hernandez gave it all on the field.. was a clutch player.. and never let things in his pesonal life affect his performance... I loved the McGwire home run chase.. and still remember standing behind the cage when he took batting practice and just hit balls in unbelieveable places.. there's nothing they sell in a bottle that can given full credit for that. That being said... I still preferred to see a Jack Clark home run... it was a thing of beauty they way he exploded on the ball... I still can't believe I argued with so many fans about this guys toughness... if you ask me, he's as tough as they get.. and he put his posterior on the line for his team in the option year of a contract.... I was furious at the Cardinals when he left town... they totally lowballed him and insulted him.... one-dimensional player? Hell yeah.. and good at that dimension. I will agree with anyone that Ozzie's game 5 homer was more intense and dramatic but I think Jack gets shortchanged when it comes to getting credit for his game 6 NLCS homer..

Speaking of Jack.. words can't say how much I miss Jack Buck. In this business, he stands alone as my idol.. and idol is a word I almost don't use... What a human being.. .great broadcaster... great human... a WWII veteran with great conviction and a great heart. I remember being at the first game after 9/11... to watch this man battling his physical ailments in front of the packed house.. and here this man who had become somewhat frail.. inspired you with his strength and iron will. I never did get my hands on the Jack Buck tribute cd... but I"ll find myself playing the Mark Mcgwire homer CD and my eyes fill up to hear his voice again... I used to work for KMOX's rival... it sounds corny, but I always wanted to tell him I admired him.. but that sounds so sixteen-year-oldish... I thought about sending a letter and asking for an autograph... but never did.. especially because of that working for a competitor status.... I hope to meet him after my time on this planet is up....

The death of Daryl Kile... wow... I could see how that would be too much for his wife to handle and why she didn't bring her family.. His death hit home with me with double force ... here's a guy struck down in the prime of his career.. and he was my age. I wish we knew Daryl Kile a little better.. I could go on and on.. but I think I'll stop... the memories are amazing.. the Gussie Busch tribute was overwhelming... the Clydesdales and "the hat" were overwhelming... a great show put on by the Cardinals.... the final musical tribute was just too much.. .reminded me of watching the Walter Payton tribute when they showed him hugging his kid as a baby... and playing "I will remember you"...

Sometimes we get jaded with chats about contracts and steroids.. but to me Sunday was not only about the Brocks and Gibsons.. it was also about the guys who fought against the odds like former Springfield Capital Jason Simontacci to make the big show.... I didn't think I'd miss Busch Stadium version 2.0... but now I know I will... it will be sad to see her go Ebbet's Field style... in the words of Bob Hope... thanks for the memories....

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ohio State tight end draws hate mail

Wow.. I love sports... I'm known to cus at the television when the STL Rams, Illini, STL Blues and Cardinals fall short of expectations or a player makes a mistake. That being said... I think it's insane when people vandalize the home of a reliever who blew a postseason save or cheer when a quarterback they hate (Wade Wilson in New Orleans) suffers a serious knee injury. Now word surfaces that Ohio State tight end Ryan Hamby is receiving tons of hate mail after dropping a certain touchdown pass during the Buckeyes loss to Texas.

I understand demanding more of professional athletes... ticket prices are absolutely ridiculous... but there are limits to your right complain. The fan pays big money for tickets... insane money for beer... BUT... they don't do two-a-days in the summer heat and try to add a full class schedule.... Does the fan, the booster, the former player really want that win more than a young man who has made sacrifices, not just in the weeks prior to the season, but his whole life? Tons of hours are invested in that moment when the potentially game winning catch heads in his direction.

Do you think reliever Donnie Moore really wanted to get to the World Series less than the common Angels fan? I'm not sure if fan reaction or media attention led to his suicide, but feeling he let his team down and falling short of his personal goals had to be a dominant force in making such a drastic decision... ending his life. Athletes can regret a tough loss for the rest of their lives....

I'm intense about sports.. and I'll still bitch and moan about the Cardinals getting screwed in the 1985 World Series (20 years later) or the horrible officiating in last spring's Final Four (Illinois and North Carolina). and I can't stand the fact that the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl (four years ago) because they illegally held, grabbed and mugged Marshall Faulk the entire game... but I'm not going to vandalize the car of a referee, the umpire or Bill Belichik.

Man.. get a grip. American sports fans are acting more and more like European soccer hooligans or worse Romans in the coliseum doing the wave and cheering for the Christians to be lion food.