Back on track and back in town

Cards trainWhat a difference a week makes.  As you may recall, in last week’s post, I mentioned that the Cards looked tired and that they really needed the All-Star break.  Matt Holliday did return to the lineup on Friday.  It took a few days, but the Cards are playing like the hot team from the first part of the season. Holliday’s grand slam HR on Tuesday was very exciting.  And Yadi hit an amazing triple last night and cleared the bases. I haven’t seen him run that fast in a long time. Hopefully, the team is back on track and there will be no more slumps (or injuries) this season.  The Cardinals are the first team to get to 60 wins this season.  I still think the Cards need to pick up an everyday first baseman.  Adam Lind of the Brewers would be a great pickup.  Hey, Mo, go get this deal done, OK?

The Cards start an 11 game homestand tonight, and I’m sure the guys are glad to be home.  My son and I will be at Monday’s night’s game – we purchased tickets during the $4 July 4th sale  We will be in sec. 367, row 14, so come by and say hi if you’ll be at the game. Here’s the homestand highlights:

 HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Thursday, July 23 – Sunday, August 2, 2015)Team Mickey Day, Star Wars Night and Lou Brock Bobblehead highlight the eighth homestand of 2015

ST. LOUIS, July 23, 2015– The Cardinals are back at Busch for an 11-game stretch which kicks off tonight with a make-up game versus the Kansas City Royals. The homestand continues with a three-game series with both the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds, and concludes with a four-game series versus the Colorado Rockies. The homestand is highlighted by Team Mickey Day, Star Wars Night, six stadium-wide giveaways and photo day.

Thursday, July 23, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

  • Make-up Game: Today’s game is the rescheduled date for the rained-out June 14th game versus the Kansas City Royals. Fans holding tickets for the original June 14 date may use the same ticket for admittance to today’s game.
  •  Prairie Farms Run the Bases: Following the game, fans 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting). Presented by Prairie Farms.
  • 1985 Throwback Uniforms and Bases: Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of their 1985 World Series matchup, the Cardinals and Royals will play today’s game in 1985 throwback uniforms – home white for the Cardinals and powder blue for the visiting Royals. The Cardinals will also use commemorative bases which will be available for purchase through Cardinals Authentics by visiting the store or calling 314.345.9851 (cardinals.com/authentics).

     

 

 

Friday, July 24, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  • Al Hrabosky Bobblehead: 25,000 ticketed-fans, ages 16 and older, receive a collectible Al Hrabosky bobblehead, honoring his playing days with the St. Louis Cardinals. Presented by FOX Sports Midwest (#CardsPromo). Hrabosky will also throw a ceremonial pitch before the game.

  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club and Redbird Club.
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music from Boogie Chyld in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) following the game.
  • Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum. Today’s featured items will include a pair of Al Hrabosky cleats and more. For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum(#CardsMuseum). 
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Saturday, July 25, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

  • Umpire Camp: Major League Baseball will host a free, one-day camp for anyone interested in umpiring in baseball and softball, including those aiming to begin professional careers. The camp will be held at Busch Stadium from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (registration begins at 8 a.m. near Gate 3). Staff for the event will include many accomplished former MLB Umpires, current MLB Supervisors and Observers, and Minor League Baseball officials. For more information on how to participate in this camp and future MLB Umpire Camps, interested applicants can visit facebook.com/mlb.camps or e-mail mlbumpirecamps@mlb.com. (I would like to go to this, but hubby won’t let me. Can someone please persuade him?  – DMS)
  • Adult Replica Saturday Alternate Wainwright Jersey: 25,000 ticketed-fans, ages 16 and older, receive a replica Adam Wainwright jersey, courtesy of Equifax (#CardsPromo).

  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music from Jackson Howard in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) after the game.

Sunday, July 26, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (1:15 p.m.)

#TeamMickey

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • Beach Towel: 25,000 ticketed-fans receive a Cardinals Beach Towel courtesy of Apple Vacations (#CardsPromo).

  • #TeamMickey Day at the Ballpark: Fans that purchase the special Team Mickey Day ticket will receive a limited edition co-branded Mickey Mouse New Era hat and enjoy a day full of exciting Mickey Mouse-themed activities, giveaways and special surprises. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Ticket voucher in order to receive this promotional item (#TeamMickey).

 

  • Peanut Controlled Day:  This unique opportunity allows our fans with peanut allergies to sit in a “Peanut Controlled Zone.” Fans who purchase the special Peanut Controlled Theme Ticket will sit in a section where sales of peanuts will be halted and fans will not be allowed to consume peanut products in that area. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).
  • Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star ice cream (while supplies last). 
  • Prairie Farms Run the Bases: Following the game, fans 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting). Presented by Prairie Farms. 
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities. 

Monday, July 27, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

#AmericanGirlNight

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • American Girl Night at the Ballpark (#AmericanGirlNight): Fans who purchase this special American Girl Night Theme Ticket will receive a one-of-a-kind Cardinals T-shirt for their American Girl Doll and a matching T-shirt transfer. Fans holding a sold-out VIP ticket for the event will also enjoy a pregame picnic with crafting station, photo opportunities, mobile hair salon for dolls, a talent show, prizes- including the chance to win an American Girl Doll- and more. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visitcardinals.com/theme. (#CardsTheme) Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item. *DOLL NOT INCLUDED

  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Battle At Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals present the Battle at Busch concert series. The 2015 schedule features 18 local bands over the course of six nights, at six different Cardinals home games in Ford Plaza. Tonight’s battle features Destination Z, Conquer As They Come and 5th Pocket. Bands begin performing 20 minutes after the gates open with each act given 20 minutes to perform. Each band will be judged on a point system by Mozingo Music and 105.7 The Point. The top three scoring bands of the summer will be invited back to play on September 22 in the “Battle at Busch” finals for the grand prize package. Tickets are available for $10.57 to each Battle at Busch game by going to cardinals.com/battleatbusch.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

#ChristmasInJuly

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Christmas In July (#ChristmasInJuly): Celebrate Christmas in July at Busch Stadium! Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals Snow Globe. Famous Christmas characters and Santa Fredbird will be in Ford Plaza for photo opportunities as well. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

  • Rick Horton Budweiser Bash Theme Night (#BudBash): Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a limited edition Rick Horton mini bobblehead as the Cardinals celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1985 Nationals League Champion Cardinals. VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Horton. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special theme night voucher in order to receive this promotional item. Horton will also throw a ceremonial pitch prior to the game.

  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club and Redbird Club.
  • Redbird Rookies Parade: Members of Cardinals Care’s innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play, will participate in a special parade around the warning track prior to the game.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

#StarWarsNight

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Star Wars Night at the Ballpark (#StarWarsNight): Busch Stadium will transform into a galaxy far, far away as the Cardinals host Star Wars Night, presented by Kohl’s. Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Star Wars Cardinals t-shirt. A portion of each ticket sold will benefit Stand Up to Cancer. From 5:45 p.m. until 8 p.m., fans will be able to take pictures with members of the 501st Legion, an international fan-based organization that dresses as costumed Star Wars characters, who will be stationed in Riverview Corner and Ford Plaza. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame Contest Winner: During the seventh inning stretch, Germantown Elementary School, winners of the fan-vote “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” Contest will have their video shown on the scoreboard. They also receive a one-of-a-kind VIP experience at Busch, including a photo opportunity with Germantown native, Red Schoendienst.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Thursday, July 30, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (6:15 p.m.)

#FansFightCancer

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

  • Cancer Awareness Night (#FansFightCancer): The Cardinals and Siteman Cancer Center are teaming up to bring fans Cancer Awareness Night at Busch Stadium. Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive a Cardinals Cancer Awareness hat, with the color of the “STL” logo on the front of the hat corresponding to the awareness color of the most prevalent cancers in the St. Louis area. A portion of each ticket sold will also be donated back to cancer research in St. Louis. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visitcardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities. 
  • Bass Pro Catch and Release Pond: Prior to the game, kids can enjoy “catching fish” in Bass Pro’s Catch and Release Pond, located outside of the Cardinals Team Store at 8th & Clark. Fans have the opportunity to take a photo with their fish, earn “First Fish” certificates and receive special giveaway items.
  • Redbird Rookies Parade: Members of Cardinals Care’s innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play, will participate in a special parade around the warning track prior to the game.  

Friday, July 31, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  • Lou Brock Bobblehead: On the day of MLB’s trade deadline, 25,000 ticketed-fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a Lou Brock bobblehead commemorating Brock’s arrival to the Cardinals via the Cubs – one of baseball’s most memorable trades. Presented by Lindenwood University (#CardsPromo).

  • Academy Sports + Outdoors Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors. Two current Cardinals players will sign 100 autographs in Ford Plaza for fans 15 years old and younger from 4:45-5:15 (Players TBD). Former Cardinals players Kyle McClellan and Scott Terry will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 5:15-6:00. *Players subject to change* 
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club and Redbird Club.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) following the game.
  • Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum. Today’s featured items will include a pair of Al Hrabosky cleats and more. For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum(#CardsMuseum). 

Saturday, August 1, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (6:15 p.m.)

#CardsPhotoDay

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

  • Build-a-Bear Workshop Bear: 12,000 ticketed-fans, ages 15 and under, receive a Cardinals bear, courtesy of Build-a-Bear Workshop (#CardsPromo).

  • Photo Day: Prior to the game, fans will be allowed on the field to get up-close and personal photos of their favorite players, coaches and Fredbird. Field access is on a first-come, first-served basis. Weather permitting. Fans are encouraged to share their photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #CardsPhotoDay. 
  • Cardinals Wives ‘Grab Bag’ Fundraiser for The Covering House: During the game, the Cardinals Wives will be selling grab bags of autographed baseballs to raise money for The Covering House, a local nonprofit which provides a place of refuge and restoration for girls who have experienced sexual trafficking or sexual exploitation. For $50, fans can purchase an unlabeled brown paper bag containing one autographed baseball from a current Cardinals player and a card identifying the signature. The Wives will be stationed at various locations throughout the stadium including inside Gate 3, Cardinals Club, Redbird Club and Ford Plaza. General donations are also accepted. Learn more at cardinals.com/wivescare (#CardsWives).
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities. 
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) after the game.

Sunday, August 2, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • Kids Replica Alternate Wong Jersey: 12,000 ticketed-fans, ages 15 and under, receive a kid’s alternate Wong jersey, courtesy of Powerade and Shop ‘N Save (#CardsPromo).

  • Fredbird’s Birthday Bash Weekend: The Cardinals are celebrating their beloved bird’s birthday with some of his furry friends. Raymond from the Tampa Bay Rays will help celebrate Fredbird’s birthday at the game along with Swinging Friar from the San Diego Padres.
  • Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star ice cream (while supplies last). 
  • Prairie Farms Run the Bases: Following the game, fans 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting). Presented by Prairie Farms. 
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities. 
  • Jewish Community Day: The Cardinals are celebrating the Jewish community at today’s game. Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals Yarmulke. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme(#CardsTheme). Fans must present the special Theme Night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.

More Homestand Information

Peralta, Wong and Cards 2015 HOF Class Highlight the Latest Edition of Cardinals Magazine                             

Wouldn’t it be a blast to watch a game with Adam Wainwright and his family at his home? Or learn more about the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame inductees from the likes of Bob Gibson and Tim McCarver? How about discovering 9 new things you should know about All-Star shortstop Jhonny Peralta?

These must-read stories and much more are the foundation of the wall-to-wall coverage inside the newest issue of Cardinals Magazine, which presents the most comprehensive, colorful look at the present, future and past of all-things-Cardinals. The brand-new issue delivers on all fronts, with 120 pages of content including a revealing profile on the electrifying Kolten Wong, exclusive scouting reports on the club’s top 10 signees from the 2015 draft and a no-nonsense evaluation of the 45 Hall of Famers with a “Cardinals connection” – and who really earned their place in the Hall as Redbirds.

During this homestand, Cardinals Magazine is on sale for just $5 inside each gate from our refurbished vendor carts, the Team Store, and the Cardinals Authentics Shop inside Ballpark Village. It’s also available at many area retailers, notably Schnucks, Dierbergs, QT, Walgreens and Cardinals Clubhouse. To order a subscription—and receive 2 FREE tickets to most any Monday through Thursday home game—visit cardinals.com/magazine or call 314.345.9000 (#CardsMag).

Don’t forget, when you go to a Cardinals game, you can purchase the magazine for $5 and get a free scorecard ($2.50 value).  That’s a great deal, which I have taken advantage of 3 times this season.

Thanks as always for reading! If you are a new reader, welcome!  Follow me on Twitter @Diane1611. See you next time!

Diane

Second half thoughts and ponderings

The Cardinals really needed the All-Star break; they looked extremely tired and disoriented in this past weekend’s games.  The Cardinals start the second half of the season in first place by just 2 ½ games.  A 3-5 road trip, culminating with 2 ugly losses to the Pirates right before the All-Star break, contributed to the narrowing of the gap in the standings between the Cards and the Pirates.  There’s plenty of baseball left to play, however, so here are my thoughts about the second half of the season.

Matt Holliday returns to the lineup on Friday.  This will create quite a traffic jam in the outfield.  There are 3 outfield positions, and there are 6 outfielders on the roster.  Even using “new” math (or Common Core math), that doesn’t compute.  Adjustments will have to be made.

Holliday is signed through 2016 with an option year for 2017. Heyward is signed through the end of the year, at which time he will become a free agent.  Jon Jay is currently on the disabled list. Per the Cardinals’ website, his date of return is to be determined. So that leaves 3 players competing for the center field position.

The Cards can’t keep all the extra outfield players on the roster.  There have been folks clamoring that Jay be released or traded. Bourjos, despite his occasional flubs, has proven he can be an everyday player.  I would trade or release Jay, start Bourjos in at CF, then keep Grichuk and Pham on the bench to spell the starting outfielders in case of injury or a needed day off.  Grichuk could also be a good pinch hitter.  If Heyward doesn’t sign with the Cards next season, I would then put Grichuk in RF.

Trevor Rosenthal didn’t pitch in the All-Star Game due to arm soreness.  He did not look very good on the mound in Sunday’s game.  I would not be surprised if he landed on the DL.  Should the break help his arm feel better and if I were Mike, I would only use Rosey in a true save situation and not pitch him if the game isn’t on the line. The Cards will need Rosey fresh come September and (hopefully) October.

I am really starting to like scrappy Mark Reynolds, but he is not an everyday 1B and he wasn’t signed to be the everyday 1B.  Xavier Scruggs wasn’t the answer to the Cards’ first base woes; he is already back in Memphis.  Dan Johnson isn’t the answer either.  Stephen Piscotty is touted as the next first baseman; however, he is still learning the position at Memphis.  Since Adams isn’t due to be off the DL until the season is almost over, Mo may have to pick up or trade for a 1B player, even if it is just a rental until after the season is over.

I have really missed Cardinals baseball and I’m glad that it starts up again tomorrow night.  Today is the 70th anniversary of Red Schoendiest’s debut in baseball.  The Cardinals have encouraged fans to post a congratulatory video on social media.  I posted it on Twitter, and in case you missed it, here it is:

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Women playing Major League Baseball? My thoughts

girls baseballBy now, you’ve probably seen the AT&T Uverse commercial in which a young lady with the last name of Cortez is the first female in the major leagues.  It got me thinking – is there any way a woman could play major league baseball, and if so, what positions could a woman play?

Let’s start with the premise of women playing Major League Baseball at all.  I believe it’s possible – baseball is not as physical of a sport as say, football or hockey.  No one gets tackled in baseball (unless there’s a bench clearing brawl) or gets into a fight (see the previous parentheses).  However, women are not as strong as men unless they’re taking steroids, and as we all know, that’s illegal.  Other issues include dressing out for games and practices, and hotel rooms on the road.

So let’s look at the positions that I don’t think women could play.  Even though there is a woman pitcher in the commercial, I don’t believe women have the arm strength and the endurance to be a pitcher.  A woman could have the hand-eye coordination to play in the outfield, although I don’t think their arms are strong enough to throw a ball to home plate if necessary.

Even with adequate chest protection, it would be hard for a woman to be a catcher.  The new rule prohibits a catcher from being bowled over by a runner at the plate, but there are other accidents waiting to happen for a catcher behind the plate. Second base or third base are possibilities, but women could get injured by players sliding with their spikes up.

That leaves the shortstop position and first base.  The shortstop position requires a player with agility and a good eye, and throwing distance is less than in the outfield. The first base position requires a player who is ready at all times, whether for turning double plays and who can keep a runner close to the base, and who can also catch foul balls.   Another position, but in the American League only, would be the designated hitter.  If a woman is a DH, there is no worries about whether or not she can play a position.

Interestingly, MLB announced today that a female French shortstop named Melissa Mayeux is the first woman to be added to the international registration list, which means she could possibly be signed by a major league team on July 2.  Ms. Mayeux is only 16 years old, but the fact that she was added to the registration list at all is groundbreaking  No doubt some of the women who played in the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League in the 1940’s and 1950’s would have loved to have seen this day.

I’ve played some coed softball in my day, but God didn’t see fit to give me the hand-eye coordination or the athletic ability to perform any kind of sports. I’m sure He knew what he was doing.  I’ve been told I throw like a girl – hey, I am one!

Here is a link to an interesting article from Newsweek magazine from July 2014 for your reading enjoyment: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/07/11/pitch-attitude-256853.html

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

And now for something completely different . . .

Foot(with apologies to Monty Python) This has been a bizarre season, to say the least.  First, the Cards lose Adam Wainwright for the year due to an Achilles tendon tear.  Next, the Cards lose Matt Adams after a Grade 4 tear to his right quad. Jordan Walden is also on the DL. Then Matt Holliday went on the DL with a tear of his right quad, but thankfully, not as severe as Adams’ tear.  Lance Lynn suffered some discomfort in his right forearm and was put on the DL, but he should return soon.  And now Rosenthal is suffering some arm tightness, so he has not been available out of the bullpen the last couple of days.

But even though the team has had all these injuries, the players that are uninjured have banded together and played hard. As of today, the Cardinals still have the best record in the majors.  This is no doubt due to excellent managing by Mike Matheny.

The cap on this bizarre season, however, is the news that the Cardinals are under investigation by the FBI for allegedly hacking into the Houston Astros’ database system by using some of Jeff Luhnow’s old computer passwords. Twitter and Facebook were blown up by comments and tweets.  Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth.

First, why didn’t Luhnow change his passwords when he went to the Astros?  At the law firm I work at, your password has to be changed every 45 days. The Cardinals obviously had Luhnow’s passwords, but when he built the new database for the Astros, he should have set up new passwords.  If he had, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

Second, if some of the Cardinals’ personnel suspected that Luhnow had taken the database and the other proprietary information with him to the Astros, why didn’t they go to Cardinals’ upper management and report their suspicions?  It could have then been investigated through the proper channels, rather than using Luhnow’s passwords on a computer in someone’s basement (as I read about earlier, but unfortunately, I can’t find the article now).

Third, why hack the Astros?  If it were disgruntled Cardinals employees who were upset with Luhnow, that could have been handled as per point 2 above. I could think of other teams more worthy to hack than the Astros, however.

Let’s not rush to judgment until we have all the information. There is limited information at this time, so we can’t rush to judgment against the Cardinals’ front office if indeed they had anything to do with this or knew about it in any way.  The Cardinals players, manager, and coaches knew nothing about this until the news broke and they had nothing to do with this, so let’s keep on supporting them and loving them. Unfortunately, hacking is a Federal offense, so harsh punishment, which includes prison time and heavy fines will be the result of this investigation.

Links to other articles of interest:

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/06/16/nyt-cardinals-investigated-by-fbi-for-hacking-astros/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/maurybrown/2015/06/16/the-cardinals-way-just-how-high-up-in-the-front-office-could-the-houston-astros-hack-go/

http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2015/06/16/cardinals-being-investigated-for-hacking-astros-computer-system/#33704101=0

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

The infirmary is getting full

Infirmary1The Cards certainly have had their share of injuries this season, haven’t they?  Waino tore his Achilles tendon and Matt Adams suffered a Grade 4 tear of his right quad, effectively ending their seasons. Reliever Jordan Walden is also on the DL. Matt Holliday went on the disabled list earlier this week with a Grade 2 tear of his right quad. Lance Lynn reported discomfort in his right forearm, so he was evaluated and he has been put on the 15 day DL.  Even with all these injuries, however, the Cards have kept on battling and they still have the best record in baseball.  A lesser team would crumble under all this adversity, but not our Cards. Let’s hope that Lynn and Holliday recover soon and that there be no more injuries to our guys this season.

Tyler Lyons has been called up from Memphis to replace Lynn and he will take Lynn’s scheduled start tomorrow evening.  Here’s all the details on that:

CARDINALS PITCHER LANCE LYNN PLACED ON 15-DAY D.L.;

LEFTY TYLER LYONS RECALLED FROM MEMPHIS (AAA) & WILL START TOMORROW

ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 12, 2015 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced prior to tonight’s game that they have placed right-handed pitcher Lance Lynn (right forearm strain) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 8, and have recalled left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons from Memphis (AAA).

Manager Mike Matheny has tabbed Lyons to start tomorrow afternoon’s game against Kansas City.

Lyons, 27, will be making his second appearance of the season with the Cardinals, after having made three starts (13.0 IP/17 strikeouts) from May 5-16.  

Following his option to Memphis on May 16, Lyons has been one of the top pitchers in the Pacific Coast League, going 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA (26.2 IP/7 ER) his last four starts at Triple-A.   Lyons’ overall mark at Memphis is 5-2 with a 2.61 ERA (7th in PCL) in eight starts, striking out 56 (6th) while walking only nine in his 48.1 innings of work.

The 6-4, 200-pound Lyons was named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending June7 after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (13.0 IP) in two starts last week.   It was the third such honor during his career, the most ever by a Memphis Redbirds pitcher.

Lyons overall mark in the majors stands at 2-8 with a 4.73 ERA in 26 games (15 starts).  He faced the Royals in his 2nd career start on May 28, 2013 in a 4-1 win at Kauffman Stadium, allowing just one run on two hits in 7.0 IP.

Lyons wears uniform no. 70.

Lynn joins Adam Wainwright, Jordan Walden, Matt Adams and Matt Holliday among Cardinals currently on the disabled list.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

A great Father’s Day contest from Cardinals Authentics!

AuthenticsHere’s a great contest from Cardinals Authentics that I wanted to share with all of you. The prize would be a great present for your favorite Cards fan dad. You do have to be able to go to a Cardinals Authentic store to sign up, however.  Here are the details:

CARDINALS AUTHENTICS GIVING DADS THE CHANCE TO ‘STEAL SECOND’

In-store contest featuring one-of-a-kind prize runs through June 20 at both store locations        

ST. LOUIS, June 8, 2015 – In honor of Father’s Day, Cardinals Authentics is giving fans the opportunity to win a one-of-a-kind prize for their dad: two tickets to a Cardinals game, a personalized Louisville Slugger bat, an authenticated game-used ball from the game they attend, and the chance to run on the field and “steal” second base to take home with them.

To enter the contest, fans must visit a Cardinals Authentics location and fill out an official entry form by Saturday, June 20. One winner will be selected at random and be notified on, or around, Sunday June 21. No purchase necessary.

Cardinals Authentics is located on the first floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A second location can be found inside Busch Stadium in centerfield between Gates 5 and 6, however this location is only accessible during home games.

In addition to the contest, Cardinals Authentics is also offering a free gift with purchase through June 20. With a minimum $100 purchase, fans will receive a limited edition commemorative pin set. The retro-themed pin set includes four pins featuring Cardinals logos from 1917-1966. The free gift is limited to one per customer per location per day; while supplies last.

As the only official source of game-used, limited-edition and autographed memorabilia straight from the team, Cardinals Authentics allows fans to take home a piece of the game. Specializing in valuable, one-of-a-kind collectibles, Authentics lets fans commemorate special occasions, hold onto important memories and celebrate great moments in team history in a completely unique way. Cardinals Authentics guarantees genuine memorabilia for all Cardinals fans as part of MLB’s comprehensive league-wide memorabilia authentication initiative. Fans can shop the Cardinals Authentics Stores located at Ford Plaza inside Busch Stadium, on the first floor of Cardinals Nation inside Ballpark Village, and online at cardinalsauthentics.com.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

Diane

Random thoughts and observations on the 6/2/15 game

M-STLI was fortunate enough to have attended last night’s game. It was quite an entertaining game.  We had great seats in section 248, which are the best seats I’ve ever had in Busch Stadium III.  They were behind home plate, the next level up from the field box seats in the Home Redbird Club. You could hear the ball hit the catcher’s mitt and the ball crack the bat.  If Joe West had made his calls any louder, we could have heard them too.

Speaking of Joe West, if his strike zone had been any bigger, you could have driven a Mack truck through it.  Matt Holliday was right to argue the called strike 3 and the Gameday graphic of his at bat backs him up.  Mike Matheny came out to back up Holliday (and hopefully cool him down), but sadly, both of them were ejected.  It was also Holliday’s last at-bat, so his on-base streak of 45 games ended with the botched call.

One of the benefits of baseball’s slow pace is that you can check Twitter and Facebook on your smartphone between batters.  There were various Joe West memes flooding Twitter and Facebook last night. One of my favorite memes consisted of 2 of the same photos of West ejecting Matheny side by side and in the second photo West’s head is replaced by Grumpy Cat’s head.  I think Grumpy Cat would object to that, however, and it might even be copyright infringement. Joe West needs retire for good.  There needs to be a definite retirement age for umpires, if there isn’t one already.

There was an amusing play in the fourth inning when three of the Brewers, who were chasing a foul ball hit by Matt Carpenter, and two of them (Segura and Ramirez) tumbled into the third base field box seats.  It reminded me of a Cubs play.

Yadi has lost too much weight, I think; he almost looks anorexic.  I wonder if the weight loss has affected his hitting.  The weight loss is good for his knees, but not for his hitting.  His timing is off at the plate.  He is swinging at the first pitch too much, although he did a little better today.

And speaking of hitting, where is the offense?  Grichuk went 2 for 3.  The Cards hit into 3 double plays, and didn’t have a runner in scoring position after the second inning. It would have been nice to have some of those runs from today’s game last night.

Lance Lynn did a masterful job pitching with only 1 run in support, and the BFIB cheered loudly when Matheny took him out and put Kevin Siegrist in.  Lynn acknowledged the fans’ love by tipping his hat to us.  He certainly is a class act.

Trevor Rosenthal did his usual job of making me a nervous wreck when he pitches.  In the bottom of the ninth, there were runners on first and third and only one out.  Thankfully, Kolten Wong and Kevin Reynolds turned an excellent double play and the fireworks went off.

Since the son and I took the Metrolink, we didn’t get home until almost 11 PM  But we had a good time, even though I was dragging at work today.  We had a great time.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Free admission to the Cardinals Museum for veterans and active military

Memorial DayFrom Saturday, May 23, 2015 through Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2015, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is offering free admission to the museum for veterans and also for active military members.  My heartfelt thanks go out to those who have served our country and my prayers go out to those who lost their lives during their service.  Here are all the details on the free admission, as well as other special offers for military personnel from the Cardinals:

The saddest game ever

What if they played a baseball game and nobody came (except a couple of scouts)?  That was the sad situation at today’s Orioles-White Sox game in Baltimore, due to the rioting and violence that have overtaken Baltimore after Freddie Gray’s death. Monday and Tuesday nights’ game were cancelled, to be rescheduled at a later date. It’s my understanding that the Orioles’ series with Tampa Bay is being moved to Tampa Bay, with the Orioles acting as the home team.

I understand the Orioles’ management’s and MLB’s concerns.  They probably don’t want to be sued should a fan be injured or killed at the game or traveling to and from the game. Some of the fans were willing to take that risk today, however; there were photos on Twitter of a lot of fans looking at the game through in the fence in center field.

Thankfully, none of the Cardinals’ games were cancelled or postponed last year after the rioting in Ferguson.  I was concerned about the safety of attending a ball game during that time.  But downtown St. Louis is a half hour away from Ferguson.  Camden Yards is right in the middle of downtown Baltimore.

How sad it is that baseball games have to be played with no fans in attendance or cancelled or postponed due to violence.  This world is a sad place, with violence unfortunately becoming the norm.  Rather than pillaging and looting, how about we channel that anger into something good?  How about we all love one another instead?

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Diane

2015 United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event report

UCB_11On Sunday evening, the Cardinals hosted the United Cardinals Bloggers for their annual blogger event.  This event is usually on a Sunday afternoon, but this year, we were treated to an evening game.

My friend Kim was my guest for this year’s blogger event.  It was my husband’s turn to attend, but since it was a night game and he gets up at 4:30 AM for work, it wouldn’t have worked out. Kim was very happy to be invited. Hopefully, next year the blogger event will be back to the afternoon schedule and my hubby will be able to attend.

The event was supposed to start at 5 PM, so I decided to get there early and get a front row seat.  My son and I arrived at the event right before starting time last year, so we had to sit in the back and I couldn’t see or hear very well.  Kim and I got to the administrative offices so early, the packets and the name tags hadn’t been put out yet.  I had to go back later and get a packet, plus write out name tags.  The packet was a nice folder with the party room menu on one side and handouts listing various events on the other.  The packet also contained an envelope with our game tickets.

Since we were there before everyone else, Kim and I had a nice discussion with Ron Watermon, the Cardinals’ Vice President of Communications, about the security problems on Opening Day.  He admitted that the gates should have been opened sooner that day.

The other bloggers began to show up and it was nice to catch up with folks I only talk to on Twitter. There was a nice crowd, considering it was a Sunday evening game. Finally, Mr. Watermon came to the podium.  He welcomed us all to the blogger event. Mr. Watermon mentioned that Daniel Shoptaw, the head of the UCB, was unable to be at the event because of the death of Daniel’s father-in-law, and that their thoughts and prayers were with Daniel’s family.  Mr. Watermon then spoke about the fan video contests and how they engage Cardinals Nation.  Mr. Watermon talked about the minister who won the Ultimate Fan contest.  Mr. Watermon asked the bloggers to help Red feel the love by posting videos telling Red that we love him.

It was then time for Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak to speak.  Rather than stepping up to the podium, Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Mozeliak stayed seated in their chairs, like a “fireside chat,” Mr. DeWitt stated.  DeWitt and Mozeliak have strong voices that carry well and we were all seated fairly close, so neither one of them really needed a microphone in order to be heard.

Mr. DeWitt was the first speaker. He talked about the business side of the organization. Mr. DeWitt spoke about some of the modifications that have been made to Ballpark Village, such as the extra video screens that will allow fans to watch both the Blues and the Cards at the same time.  Mr. DeWitt said that they were proud of Ballpark Village and that the BPV concept didn’t exist anywhere else in Major League Baseball.  There are now giveaway days at BPV during 25 of the Cardinals’ away games.  He said that there is an empty retail location that should be filled soon. He spoke briefly about the second phase of Ballpark Village, which may include an office complex, retail and a hotel.

Mr. DeWitt then spoke about improvements at Busch Stadium.  The Champions Club (an all-inclusive area) has been expanded.  Gate 5 has been renovated for the installation of metal detectors and for a better view for the fans in the rooftop seats at Ballpark Village.

Mr. DeWitt also spoke about the metal detectors that had been installed at the stadium.  He said that all the stadiums in Major League Baseball had installed metal detectors.  He admitted that the team hadn’t opened the gates early enough on Opening Day, and long lines ensued.  Mr. DeWitt said that Opening Day was different than other games, closer to playoff games, and they should have opened the gates earlier than they did, and they learned from their mistake.  There are also more cameras in the stadium.  Mr. DeWitt also mentioned that stadium security now has a bomb sniffing dog that can follow the trail of someone who might have an explosive device in a moving crowd. To my mind, that was reassuring.  I have watched The Sum of All Fears and The Dark Knight Rises a few too many times. I can see that kind of scenario happening at Busch Stadium, especially during a playoff game.

Mo spoke next. The team has gotten off to a very good start.  Mo is bullish about what is going on at the minor league level. Mo said that the team is competitive at the major league team level and that there are enough players coming through the pipeline at the minor league level. He talked about the $5 million Academy that the team is opening in the Dominican Republic to train the young prospects. The complex will help attract players.  Mo said that the people that have run the drafts the last few years have done a good job.  Mo said that there is a hard working group in the minor league level that helps develop the players.  Mo is looking at the future and he is very excited.

Then it was time for the Q & A session.  A question was asked about Sam Freeman.  Mo said that we could have gotten 3 lefties but they wanted someone that was an innings eater and that was the spot for Villanueva.  Freeman didn’t have control or command.  Freeman couldn’t throw strikes.  Freeman was traded instead of being put on waivers so the Cards could get something for him.

Dennis Lawson asked if some of the bloggers could take over the club’s social media accounts for a game.  He wondered what it would take to unlock that door.  Nervous laughter ensued from the room. Mo asked, “What do you mean?”  More laughter.  Dennis thought we could take over the Twitter and Instagram accounts, under the watchful eye of a supervising adult, of course.

Mo was asked how much the team used sabermetrics for strategy. Mo said that the Cards are a very data driven team and that they utilize sabermetrics to make decisions.  There is a balance between the analytical world and the scouting world. Sabermetrics power the entire team as to the decision making process.

There was a question about a timetable for Jason Heyward’s contract extension.  Mo said he knew there would be a Heyward question.There is no timetable to discuss an extension. Deadlines irritate on one side or the other.  They want Jason to experience St. Louis and see what the city’s all about.  He doesn’t envision a timetable, although he projected mid-season as a time to look at where they’re heading.

The next person said he was at the game on Saturday and he wanted to thank Mr. DeWitt for keeping the Blues information on the screen during the game. He wanted to know how who spearheads efforts between the teams.  DeWitt explained who in the Blues’ organization works with the Cards for cross-promotions.  There is an overlapped fan base between the teams.

The next question was about when Oscar died – was there a specific type of player that they had in mind to replace him?  How long do you mourn? There wasn’t going to be a lot of opportunity out there.  There was a couple player options they could pursue.  The team had heard good things about Jason Heyward.  The timing was good.  They do a lot of due diligence on players before they’re signed.  Heyward is a positive addition to the club.

Mo was asked what if he was encouraged about the early pitching of Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez.  Mo said that during spring training, they talked about having a competitive camp and that the media all laughed about it, Mo was shocked to see how well Garcia was pitching. Marco Gonzales was the next guy that threw well in camp.  The 5 who ended up in the rotation was interesting because it showed how deep the pitching could be.  The only concern is volume, how that is managed as the season goes.  Neither Wacha or Martinez has pitched over 100 innings in a season and Mike and Lilliquist are conscious of that.

The last question was that once upon a time, when teams had 4 man rotations, and they pitched 200 innings, you never heard about the sore arms that you hear about now.  Are the pitchers so finely tuned today that every little thing can throw them off balance and cause injuries?  Mo said that it would take hours to discuss.  Injuries are a concern to everybody because of all of the money invested in players.  Mo blamed it on all the hours that kids are pitching in Little League, and high school and college ball, and that by the time they get to the majors, they’re worn out.  Back in the 40’s 50’s, and 60’s, 250 innings were the norm.  The team looks at “stress” innings, like innings with lots of pitches.  That’s when injuries happen.

After the Q& A session was over, Mo and Mr. DeWitt left.  Larry Johnson, the team chef, spoke to us about all the good food waiting for us in the party rooms.  Stomachs could be heard rumbling all over the room, including my own.

Finally, it was time to go to the party rooms. Our party rooms were closer to home plate this year than last year. I tried the chicken and waffle sandwich. There was maple bacon gravy to put on the sandwich. I thought it was going to be overpowering, but it was actually very subtle and added a nice little zing of flavor to the sandwich.  Kim tried the spinach and artichoke pizza and said it was delicious.She also liked the cowboy mac n’ cheese, with baked beans in it.  I tried the walking taco, which was a large bag of either Doritos or Fritos Scoops (I picked the Fritos) that you zipped open the side of the bag and added shredded lettuce, taco meat, pulled pork, chicken carnitas and/or shredded cheese.  I tried the tater tots tacos, which I had last year.  I also tried the deep fried Oreo cookie, which came in a shot glass sized cup with whipped cream and chocolate syrup on the bottom for dipping.  I thought there could have been some more breading on the Oreo – it was thin and the cookie was soft.  Other desserts included an Oreo churro and strawberry shortcake. There was lots of other food, but there was just too much to try it all.

Kim and I sat at a table with Matt Whitener of Cheap Seats Please and Matt’s father, and we all had a delightful conversation with Ron Watermon about some of the other major league baseball stadiums.  They mostly talked; I listened, since Busch is the only stadium I’ve ever been too.

And oh yes, there was a game between the Cards and the Reds Sunday evening. It was a thrill to see Matt Carpenter hit a home run out on the outfield berm during his first at bat.  It was a classic pitcher’s duel between Adam Wainwright and Mat Latos.  Adam only gave up one run  Adam jammed the bases during the Reds’ half of the 8th, but he got out of it.  Trevor Rosenthal was not available to close, so Jordan Walden came in and got his first save for the Cards.  It was a really quick game – it started at 7:05 and ended at 9:09.  The talking heads at Baseball Tonight on ESPN probably had to scramble to fill up the extra time they had allotted for the game. We didn’t get a group shot of all the bloggers because the game ended so soon.  Sorry, Daniel – I did talk to Dathan about the group shot, but it didn’t work out.

I really enjoy the blogger events and I can’t wait until next year’s event.  I hope you have enjoyed reading about this year’s event.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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