Ladies’ Night (and birthday night) at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum – A report

img_0012I spent last Friday evening  dining at Cardinals Nation and perusing the new “Women in Baseball” exhibit at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  It was a great way to spend my birthday.  How am I and/or the Cardinals going to top this next year?

Since I work in downtown St. Louis, I decided to stay downtown rather than go home and come back later.  I goofed around on my cell phone for a while after I clocked out, then I went to change my clothes and freshen up.  I had a reservation at Cardinals Nation for 5:30; however, my stomach started rumbling around 5:15, so I thought I’d head over to the restaurant and see if I could get seated early.  One of my friends was supposed to come and hang out with me; however, she begged off, stating she was in a sad mood and didn’t want to drag me down with her. What a shame – I think she would have had a great time.  But I can enjoy my own company (as long as I have my cell phone), and it was kind of nice being able to hear my own thoughts for a change.

When I arrived at Cardinals Nation, I asked the ladies at the front desk if they had any idea whether any of the activities were going to be held downstairs at the restaurant or whether all the activities were going to be upstairs at the museum.  They had no clue, unfortunately, so they guided me to a table.  I made a reservation because I thought that there would be a lot of people wanting to see the museum.  However, there were maybe 10 people there.

When I made my reservation, Cardinals Nation sent me an email with an offer for a free appetizer, since it was the first time I had made a reservation there.  Free food! How cool was that!  Haley was my waitress.  I pulled up the free appetizer email on my cell phone and once we got the code straightened out, she ordered my appetizer. Some of the waitresses came over to chat with me – I guess Haley told them I was a Cardinals blogger. I passed out my card with my blog post address and Twitter name.  I didn’t want to eat too much since I had a lot of birthday goodies at work that day, so  I ended up ordering a bowl of cheddar broccoli soup and a half salad. The pretzel bites appetizer and the soup and salad were enough.

There was a card on each table announcing the food and drink specials specially themed for the Women in Baseball exhibit.
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At 6 PM, I decided to go upstairs since the festivities were starting.  I asked Haley if I could leave my jacket and my tote bag downstairs. I really didn’t want to drag them around upstairs.  Haley assured me that she would keep an eye on my stuff.  I dashed out the side door so I could take the elevator upstairs. An older couple came through the doors with a confused look on their faces. I asked them if they were here for the Women in Baseball exhibit and they said yes.  “Well, follow me!” I said, and they rode upstairs in the elevator with me.

Here are the windows for the 2016 Hall of Fame inductees that are located outside the museum.

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I asked the older couple who rode up the elevator with me whether they’d ever been to the museum before.  They said no.  I told them that they were really going to enjoy it.  They stood at the wall with all of the quotes on it, and I left them behind and moved on since I’d read all the quotes before.

Since I have been to the museum before (see my blog post on that here), I headed to one of my favorite exhibits, the Stan Musial exhibit.   I looked at some of the artifacts and opened the drawers to see some other items.  One of the other exhibits that caught my eye was this old scorecard, in the photo below.  It appears that there are 4 boxes per at bat for each batter.  One box for each pitch, perhaps? If any of my readers can explain how this scorecard works, please comment below.

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When I saw the banner pictured above, I knew I had finally found the Women in Baseball exhibit. And the first person I saw was Jenifer Langosch, the beat writer for the Cardinals.  I went up and introduced myself using my Twitter name (@Diane1611).  We had a lovely conversation about blogging and the UCB.  I did want to give other folks the opportunity to talk with her, so I decided it was time to look at the exhibit.

The first exhibit I viewed was about Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the woman owner of the Cardinals from 1911-1918.  I have written a blog post about her before, and you can read it here if you’re interested. Here’s a photo of the exhibit:

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The next exhibit featured the lady who designed the birds for the Cardinals logo.  Here is a photo of that exhibit:

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The next exhibit featured the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League, the subject of the movie “A League of Their Own.”  The photos of the players you see below are from ladies who played on those teams who live in the St. Louis metro area. Some of these players signed autographs at FanFest for the 2009 All-Star Game.  I overhead the curator tell someone that Barbara Hoffman, one of the players, has a booth at the St. Clair County Flea Market every month.  I think I’m going have to go the flea market next month and search for her.  Here’s a photo of the AAGPBL exhibit:

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There was a secondary exhibit on the AAGBPL, which was a map that showed where all the teams were located.  This exhibit also showed how the baseballs that the teams used shrunk in size over the years.  Here’s a photo:

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The next exhibit is based on the ballpark favorite, “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.” We normally just sing the refrain during the 7th inning stretch, but the verses are about a lady named Katie Casey who wants her date to take her to the ballgame.  Here’s a photo of this exhibit:

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The next exhibit reviews what was once known as Ladies’ Day at the ballpark.  The Cardinals were one of the first teams to institute Ladies’ Day.  This exhibit also shows a couple of the promotional items for the ladies.  Here’s a photo:

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The next three exhibits explain other promotions for ladies by the Cardinals over the years and how women hand sewed the Cardinals’ uniforms:

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After I was done looking at the Women in Baseball exhibit, I decided to explore the rest of the museum.  I love my hubby and son, but when we go somewhere, they’re always in a hurry to look at things and then leave.  I sat down in the Busch Stadium II section and watched a film clip of Ozzie Smith hitting his HR against the Dodgers in the 1985 playoffs.  I told the ladies sitting in front of me about my memory of that HR.  I was driving up Hwy. 55, going home from my job at Shattinger Music Company on South Broadway.  I was taking the exit to the Poplar Street Bridge eastbound off of 55.  It was a warm day, so I had the car window open. Ozzie hit the HR just as I was getting on the bridge, so I heard it on the radio and heard the loud crowd noise. It was magic.

As I wandered around the museum and looked at all the memorabilia, I realized how much I missed baseball.  I wondered to myself if they would let me live at the museum.  There’s a bench that I could sleep on and plenty of places to get a meal.  I work just a few blocks away.  But then I realized they probably wouldn’t let me live there, so I decided it was time to go downstairs and get a beer since it was my birthday after all.

I sat at my table and Haley came over to see if I  needed anything.  Since one of the drink specials was $1.00 off of a bottle of craft beer, I decided to get a bottle of Blue Moon and not the local product for a change.  I looked up to see two older ladies sitting in a booth next to my table.  The one lady asked me if I’d like to come and join them.  Of course! When you’re a Cardinals fan, another Cardinals fan is always a fast friend.  We spoke about the museum exhibit.  I asked if they had ever been to any of the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and they said they had not.  One of the ladies offered me half of her hamburger and the other shared some of her fries with me.  I couldn’t say no. If you’re reading this, ladies, I’m sorry that I have forgotten your names, or I would have put them in this post.

There was a DJ playing tunes in the restaurant.  Jenifer came down and talked with the DJ about the new exhibit and the DJ dropped the fact that Jenifer is the only female beat writer in MLB.  How amazing!  The female curator of the museum came down and also talked with the DJ about the museum.  There were giveaways of bobbleheads and the new book about the evolution of the Cardinals logos and uniforms.  I took the forms up to drop in the box at the DJ booth and mentioned to the DJ that it was my birthday.  “Then you deserve a present!” he said and gave me a Cardinals Nation aluminum water bottle.  My tablemates won bobbleheads, but I didn’t win anything.  I guess the water bottle was my reward.  I would have really liked a copy of that new book.  I mentioned to Haley that it was my birthday and she said, “Oh! You get a free birthday brownie!”  More free food!   The brownie arrived with a side of ice cream.  I ate the ice cream but took the brownie home to eat later.

I left about 8 PM to walk down to the Metrolink station to go home.  I had a wonderful evening.  If you haven’t been to the Cardinals Museum, I highly recommend that you visit.  It truly is a magical place for all of us who love Cardinals baseball.

That’s all for now! Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

 

 

Exciting new exhibit “Women in Baseball” at Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is debuting a new exhibit this Friday night. It’s called “Women in Baseball: How They Made History,” and we lady Cardinals fans are sure to enjoy it. The photo of the left is of Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the first woman team owner.  If you missed my blog post about Helene, you can read it here.  There will be a special event this Friday night at the Cardinals Nation restaurant to kick off the new exhibit called (of course) “Ladies’ Night” from 6 PM to 9 PM. How did the Cardinals know that Friday is my birthday? How lovely of them to not only open a new exhibit about women in baseball but throw a party on my birthday as well.🙂 I will be at Cardinals Nation Friday evening at Ladies’ Night, of course, and I hope some of my readers will be there too. I’d love to meet you, so if you see me, stop by and say hello. Here are more details about the new exhibit and Ladies’ Night:

CARDINALS MUSEUM TO DEBUT SPECIAL EXHIBIT CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BASEBALL
“Women in Baseball: How They Made History” Opens on November 18 and Runs through the 2017 Season
Cardinals Nation Restaurant to Host Ladies Night Event with Free After-Hours Admission & Special Guests

ST. LOUIS, Mo., November 15, 2016 – The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will open its new special exhibit entitled “Women in Baseball: How They Made History” on Friday, November 18. The exhibit, which replaces last year’s special exhibition “Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball”, examines women’s involvement and contributions to St. Louis baseball and the game at large.

“The artifacts we have gathered for this special exhibit are some of the most unique and oldest items from our own collection, but also include important artifacts and images on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Missouri Historical Society and various individuals,” said Paula Homan, Cardinals Museum Curator. “It really enables us to tell the stories of the barrier-breaking women who have influenced this organization, and all of baseball, in a fitting way.”

“Women in Baseball” features over 100 artifacts which tell stories about Major League Baseball’s first female owner, the origins of the iconic birds on the bat logo, local women from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and more. Exhibit highlights include a “Ladies’ Gala Day” giveaway from 1885, the oldest stadium giveaway in the Cardinals Museum collection; Allie May Schmidt’s original hand-painted cardinal birds, which were the inspiration behind the club’s logo; the ladies’ day entrance sign from 1950 used to welcome patrons of Ladies’ Day through a dedicated gate at Sportsman’s Park; and a hands-on interactive that shows the changing circumference of the baseballs used by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players from 1943-1954.

Additionally, Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar will host “Ladies Night at Cardinals Nation” to celebrate the opening of the new exhibit from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 18. Open to all fans, the event will feature free after-hours museum admission, food and drink specials, a live DJ and appearances by Homan and MLB.com Cardinals beat writer, Jenifer Langosch.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the offseason. The special exhibit is open to the public through the conclusion of the 2017 baseball season and is included with admission to the museum. To purchase Cardinals Museum tickets or learn more about museum membership, visit cardinals.com/museum.

As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

The 2016 Cardinals Blogger Awards – my votes

voteI’ve had a while to get over the fact that the Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs, and that those pesky Cubs won the World Series instead of Cleveland.  However, I walk across the street from Busch Stadium on my way to the Metrolink station every day, and seeing all the flags at the stadium put away for the winter makes me sad.  But life goes on, and on this Election Eve, it’s now time for the 2016 Cardinals Blogger Awards.  You are invited to vote for the 2016 Blogger Awards until November 18, 2016 (that’s my birthday, BTW), and here’s the link for you to cast your ballot:  2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot. My selections in each of these categories are listed below, but don’t let that affect your vote.🙂

1) Player of the Year
–Matt Carpenter
X Aledmys Diaz
–Yadier Molina
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: _______________

Jhonny Peralta got hurt (what’s new?).  Aledmys took over and took off like a rocket. If Aledmys hadn’t gotten hit by an Andrew Cashner pitch, he may have been one of the candidates for the NL Rookie of the Year. I’m looking forward to seeing what Aledmys can do in seasons to come.

2) Pitcher of the Year
X Carlos Martinez
–Seung-hwan Oh
–Alex Reyes
–Write-in: _______________

As Adam Wainwright faltered early in the season and had a rough stretch in August, Carlos took over the position of ace on the staff.  He had a 16-9 record, the best record of the staff.  His pitches and the speed of his pitches were wicked.  I can’t wait to see how he pitches next season.

3) Game of the Year
April 8 at Braves (three PH HR)
April 14 at Brewers (Garcia 1 hit, 13 K)
 X  July 16 vs. Marlins (Adam Wainwright shutout)
July 22 vs. Dodgers (Matt Adams home run in 16th)
July 27 at Mets (snapping Famila’s save streak)
August 5 vs. Braves (Jaime Garcia 8 scoreless, 11 K)
August 8 vs. Reds (5 run 9th)
August 14 at Cubs (Piscotty tiebreaking homer)
September 9 at Pittsburgh (three HR in 9th)
October 1 vs. Pittsburgh (rally plus Gyorko winning homer)
–Write-in: ____________

The July 16 game was a magical game in a season that was less than magical. Adam Wainwright pitched one of the games of his career in front of his teammates from the 2006 World Series who had come to town to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cards’ World Series win.  Waino showed he could still pitch like a master.

4) Surprise Player of the Year
–Matt Bowman
_ Aledmys Diaz
X  Jedd Gyorko
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: ______________

I’m sure we all thought “Jedd who?” when we heard that Mo had traded Jon Jay to the Padres.  Jedd showed his grit and his moxie as he hit home runs when it counted.  The Cards got the best end of that deal, especially when Jay got injured and was out most of the season.

5) Disappointing Player of the Year
–Trevor Rosenthal
–Adam Wainwright
_ Michael Wacha
–Kolten Wong
 X Write-in: Mike Leake

I was going to select Kolten Wong, but he didn’t play enough to give a good sample size.  Mike Leake got my only write in vote instead.  There was a great deal of hoopla when he was signed, and it was hoped he would help with the team since Lance Lynn was out after Tommy John surgery, but he only had a 9-12 record and a 4.69 ERA.  Hopefully, Leake will pitch better next year.

6) Rookie of the Year
–Aledmys Diaz
–Seung-hwan Oh
X Alex Reyes
–Luke Weaver
–Write-in: ______________

Brought up mid-season, Reyes quickly impressed and ended up with a 1.54 ERA, which was the best ERA on the pitching staff.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Reyes will pitch during a full season.

7) Acquisition of the Year
–Zach Duke
–Jedd Gyorko
–Mike Leake
X Seung-hwan Oh
–Write-in: ______________

Oh was the best player that Mo picked up last winter.  Oh was originally signed for eighth inning relief, but he flourished in the closer role when Trevor Rosenthal got hurt.  “Stone Buddha” is one of Oh’s nicknames and if you watch him pitch, you see why.  There is no emotion on Oh’s face when he pitches.

8) Most Anticipated Cardinal
–Harrison Bader
–Austin Gomber
–Delvin Perez
–Rowan Wick
–Write-in: _______________

I don’t follow the minors all that much, so I don’t feel qualified to answer this question.

9) Best Individual Cardinal Blog
–Write-in: _____________

I love all the UCB blogs equally, so I don’t want to play favorites.  I respectfully decline to vote in this category.

10) Best Team Cardinal Blog
X Write-in: Cards Conclave

CC was founded by UCB head honcho Daniel Shoptaw, and he and several other writers share their thoughts about the Cardinals there.  Many different voices in one location – you can’t beat it.

11) Best Media Coverage
X Derrick Goold

–Benjamin Hochman
–Jenifer Langosch
–Bernie Miklasz
–Jose de Jesus Ortiz
X Rob Rains
–Write-in: ______________

A tie here, but I selected them for different reasons.  Derrick is great on Twitter and very responsive to followers who tweet at him.  His columns are informative and well written. Rob does a great job covering the Cardinals on his (and wife Sally’s) website STLSportsPage.com.  Rob has great analysis.

12) Post of the Year
–”Cardinals Find Perfect Timing as Playoff Hopes Crash”–Bill, I70 Baseball
XThe Kolten Wong Situation”–Daniel, C70 At The Bat
–”Lou Brock, the Lucrative Acquisition Fleet Footed All-Star Societal Difference Maker”–Josey, The Redbird Retreat
–”Not Our Year”–Diane, Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball
X Worrying What the Flash Means: How We Talk About Race in Baseball”–Chase, Double Birds
–Write-in: _______________

I will take Proverbs 27:2 to heart (Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth, A stranger, and not your own lips.), and not vote for my own post.  I found myself liking two of the other posts equally well.  Daniel’s post took Rob Rains’ interview with Kolten Wong and expanded upon it.  Chase’s post covers the race problems in today’s game and is very well written.

13) Best UCB Podcast
X Bird Seeds (video)

–Conversations With C70
–The Double Birds Podcast
–Gateway To Baseball Heaven
–Meet Me At Musial
–STL CardGals
–Talking About Birds
–UCB Radio Hour
–Write-in: _________________

Okay, I admit, I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I have watched Bird Seeds and it’s very enjoyable.  Video podcasts are the future of podcasts and Tara does a very good job with Bird Seeds.

14) Best Non-UCB Podcast
–Best Podcast in Baseball
–Cards on Cards
–Cubs Cards Cast
–St. Louis Cardinals Extras (MLB.com)
–Two Birds on a Bat
–Viva El Birdos
–Write-in: _________________

As mentioned above, I don’t have much time to listen to podcasts, so I have no vote for this category.  Sorry about that.

15) Best Podcaster
–Write-in: _________________

Another category in which I don’t feel qualified to vote.

16) Best UCB Twitterer
X Write-in: @CardinalsTales

Bob Netherton (a/k/a Big Green Bob) is my favorite UCB Twitter guy.  He doesn’t write many blog posts, but that’s okay because short-form writing is his best game.  He tells it like it is and doesn’t mince words or characters when it comes to the Cards.  If he’s in the mood, he will post what he calls Twitter Tales, where he takes a classic Cards game and posts it on Twitter, 140 characters/letters at a time.  When he’s not expounding on the Cards, he posts Twitter posts with photos of yummy food cooked on his Big Green Egg barbecue grill.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Election Day, so go out there and do your civic duty.  And don’t forget to vote for the 2016 UCB Blogger Awards!  Here’s the link again for that, so you don’t have to scroll back up to the top – 2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot.  Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Worse. Game. Ever. (that I’ve seen in person)

angryLast night’s Cards-Reds game was the most horrible game I have ever seen in person. The Cards lost to the Reds 15-2.  In my last blog post, I compared the bad Cardinals to a beer league softball team, and sure enough, that’s the team that showed up to play last night.  When I played co-ed softball, there was a 10 run mercy rule (the game ends after a team scores 10 runs), but unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to baseball.  If it did, the game would have been over after the fourth inning.

My last blog post pleaded for Good Jaime to show up last night. Bad Jaime showed up instead.  He only lasted one inning. The experiment to move Jaime back into the starting rotation failed miserably. I’m pretty sure that last night was the last time we’ll ever see Jaime pitching in a Cardinals uniform.

Michael Wacha relieved Jaime in the second inning, but he wasn’t much better.  The next relief pitcher was Luke Weaver.  After Luke, Dean Kiekhefer came in to pitch. Hazelbaker, a position player, was the last pitcher of the game. We left the game after the sixth inning.  We just couldn’t take any more misery.

Yadi had a bad night too; he couldn’t throw out anyone trying to steal.  The Cards did score a couple of runs, so at least it wasn’t a shutout.  The highlight of the game was a Stephen Piscotty triple.

I always buy a scorecard and keep score when I go to a game, but last night, I stopped keeping score after the fourth inning.  The Reds’ lineup batted 1 ½ times in the fourth inning, and there’s no room on a scorecard to score a second run through the lineup (if there is a way, someone please let me know how), so I just gave up keeping score all together.

My friend noticed how empty the stadium was last night even before the game.  There was less than 40,000 attendees for the first time since 2013.  The left upper deck was completely empty.  In fact, the fans booed several times last night, and I’m ashamed to say I was one of them.  I never thought that I would ever boo my beloved Cardinals, but last night I did.  It appears the fans are getting tired of crappy baseball.  I’m glad that I didn’t pay for my tickets to last night’s game; I would have been really angry if I had paid good money for that lousy outcome. It’s a shame that the last game I got to see at Busch Stadium this season was such a debacle.  I missed going to Bible study for this?  I would have gotten more out of Bible study that that game.

After last night’s loss, the Cards are 1 game back of the Giants for the second wild card spot.  It’s still possible for the Cards to get to the wild card game, but even if by some stroke of luck they did, I really don’t think they’d win the game.  I think the guys have finally run out of steam, and Yadi especially.  Carson Kelly should have been called up earlier to give Yadi some days off, and Mike Matheny should have insisted that Yadi take more time off.  Brayan Pena was supposed to be Yadi’s backup, but he got injured.  Either the guys are totally exhausted, or there are some issues going on in the clubhouse that we are not yet privy to.  It appears they have checked out for the season.

I think it’s time for us Cards fans to start mentally checking out of this season too.  I predicted back in May that this wasn’t our year, and I was right. After the season is over, there will be some housecleaning occurring.  I think there will be some players gone next season, and maybe some coaches and perhaps a manager too.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!

Diane

Homesick blues – a tough love letter to the Cardinals players

love-letterHello, boys. It’s been a while since I’ve written to you. I write because the end of the season is almost upon us, and the remaining games of the season are at home.  Unfortunately, you all have played much better on the road than at home, which puzzles me, and others, I’m sure, greatly.

As you also know, there is a tight race for the wild card right now and the Cards are still in the thick of it.  If you all had won more games at home, the Cubs would not have clinched the division.  I must move past that, however, and state that if you all want to be in the playoffs, you all must win some, if not all, of these final games.

It’s been a tough season to be a Cardinals fan.  At times, you all play like the team we know and love.  At other times, however, you all played like a beer softball league team, which was quite frustrating.  You all have a chance in this final week of the regular season to finish strong and get momentum to get into the playoffs.  Do you all want to be in the playoffs?

I will be at Busch Stadium tomorrow evening for what is probably my last game of the season (unless I am lucky enough to get other tickets somehow for this week), along with a friend of mine who has never been to a game in Busch Stadium III. Please give us a good game, guys, and better yet, a win.  Jaime Garcia, please be Good Jaime tomorrow night and not Bad Jaime.  Guys, please let us see more regular hits, although the home runs are nice.

Guys, let’s beat the Cubs tonight and come back home ready to finish the season strong. Hopefully, the next letter I write to you will be in the playoffs. It’s time to post this letter and watch the game.

Love always,

Diane

P.S.:  Aledmys Diaz, my condolences and prayers to you on the loss of your childhood friend Jose Fernandez.  It reminds me so much of Oscar Tavares.

 

The Cardinals’ top 5 prospects

Top 5The United Cardinals Bloggers’ project for September is to write about who we think are the Cards’ top 5 prospects. Three of these prospects are already in the show, and two of those three are due to injuries to players on the parent club.

  1. Alex Reyes – Reyes is a great pitching talent. He has a 100 MPH fastball and great location. If Jaime Garcia gets released like he should be, Reyes will be a great addition to the rotation. But Alex needs to stay away from the reefer, mon.
  2. Carson Kelly – Kelly is being touted as Yadier Molina’s successor. He has been brought up to the majors this season to be the third string catcher for the occasional start when Yadi needs a rest, like for yesterday’s game.  The hope is the more Carson sees at the major league level, the more impetus it gives him to keep working hard so that he can come up to the show and stay there.
  3. Luke Weaver – Weaver has been a great fill in pitcher, but I think he needs another year in the minors before he’s brought up to the majors on a permanent basis. He has good pitches, but he needs some confidence building. He has appeared nervous on the mound. He didn’t look so good in his start against Colorado yesterday.
  4. Magneuris Sierra – Magneuris is speedy on the base paths and on the field.  he doesn’t have home run power, but should have good run production.  He still needs a couple of years in the minors for some seasoning.  He will be a good centerfielder a couple of years down the line.
  5. Harrison Bader – Harrison zoomed through the minor league system, and is now in Memphis. Harrison can play all three outfield positions; however, he is an average hitter. Harrison will compete with Magneuris for the centerfield position in a couple of years.

This sure has been a crazy season for the Cards. We are now in the last 2 weeks of the regular season and if things keep going well, the Cards should earn one of the wild card play-in slots.  The Cards won 4 games in a row, but given the way this season has gone, I don’t know whether to start getting excited or not.  Just when I think the Cards are on a roll, a bad game happens and they break my heart all over again.  In addition, every time the Cards play a game that would put them 10 games over .500, they lose, like yesterday.  It’s like they just can’t get over that hump. The emotions of Cards fans are like this song by the Foundations from 1968:

Why do you build me up (build me up), buttercup baby, just to let me down (let me down),

And mess me around and then worse of all (worse of all),

You never call, baby, like you say you will (say you will),

But I love you still.

I need you (I need you) more than anyone, darling, you know that I have from the start,

So build me up, buttercup, don’t break my heart.

Here’s the video for your viewing and listening pleasure – you can thank me or curse me for the earworm later:

Sorry I haven’t written much later.  I haven’t had a lot to say in long form.  I’ve been doing a lot of talking on Twitter lately, so follow me on there if you miss what I have to say.  If things pick up, I’ll hopefully be posting more.  Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

The perfect lineup (with 1 subtraction)

My fellow Cardinals bloggers and I complain on Twitter night after night Scan0004about manager Mike Matheny’s constant lineup changes.  The lineup is never the same from one night to the next.  Even the casual fan can see the lack of results that this constant changing produces.  But last night, it appeared that Mike spun the wheels on the lineup machine and finally hit the right jackpot.  Here was the lineup for last night’s game:

Carpenter 1B

Gyorko 2B

Moss LF

Piscotty RF

Molina C

Peralta 3B

Grichuk CF

G. Garcia SS

Martinez P

And lo and behold, Mike is using this same lineup in tonight’s game as well, with Waino pitching.  See how easy that was?   Carpenter celebrated being back in the leadoff spot last night by hitting a home run.  Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk hit home runs too, and the Cardinals beat the Mets 8-1.  It was a fun game and even though I was at Bible study, I stealthily looked at my AtBat app to see how the game was going.  Yadi getting caught trying to steal third, however – no, Yadi, don’t do that anymore, or I will have to tweet at your brother Bengie to get on you about that.

I think this lineup should be on the field every night for the rest of the season, and even into the playoffs, if these Cards should get that far.  The only subtraction that I would make is when Aledmys Diaz returns from the disabled list, he would go in Garcia’s spot, and of course, the pitcher varies every game.

Garcia, Matt Adams, and Kolten Wong could come off the bench to pinch hit or spell one of the regular infielders if they need a night off or get hurt (God forbid – the disabled list has been overcrowded this season).  Matt Holliday and Jeremy Hazelbaker could do the same for the outfielders.  Tommy Pham – the jury’s still out on him.

A couple of random thoughts: Could Jaime Garcia just be released now instead of the end of the season when his option is up?  It’s bad enough that you don’t know whether you’re going to get Good Jaime or Bad Jaime when it’s his turn in the rotation.  Lately, however, only Bad Jaime has shown up to pitch.  Alex Reyes has shown that he’s more than ready to be a starter in the show.  Maybe I’m being selfish, but since my son and I will be going to the game on Sunday (which is Jaime’s next start), it would be really great to see Alex’s debut as a starter.

And why, with the exception of Martinez, are our pitchers not ready to pitch in the first inning?  It never fails that the other team starts scoring in the first inning.  The Cards have to start playing catch up already in the bottom of the first.  Are the pitchers not getting enough throwing time before the games?  Or are they getting too much throwing time?  Could the pitchers not be mentally ready to go in the first inning? That appears to be something that Derek Lilliquist needs to work on with them. This problem needs to be solved ASAP.

On Saturday, August 27,  Chris Carpenter, Joe Torre, Sam Breadon and Terry Moore will be inducted in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  The ceremony starts at 2 PM at Fox Sports Midwest Live in Ballpark Village.  The doors open at 11 AM, so get there early to wait in line. Last year, my son and I didn’t get there until 12 noon and we had to share a table with some other folks. I told him we needed to get there earlier.  One of these days, he’ll learn to listen to me.  However, if you can’t make it, Fox Sports Midwest will show the ceremony on Sunday, August 28 at 11:30 a.m.  If you’re at the ceremony, find me and say hi – I always love to meet folks who read my blog.

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

Diane

Homestand Highlights August 23-28

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The Cards are back home at Busch Stadium after a short road trip.  The Cardinals Hall of Fame weekend is this weekend and that’s always exciting.  Our family will be attending the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, so if you’ll be in the house, stop by and say hi!  My son and I will be attending the game Sunday evening, which is the date of the closest home game to his birthday.

The Cards have sadly not played well at home this season. They currently hold the second wild card slot.  MLB announced today that the National League wild card game will be held October 5, so save that date.  However, there is still time for the Cubs to take a dive and the Cards to rise in the NL Central.  Here’s a look at all the exciting things that will happen during the next homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Tuesday, August 23—Sunday, August 28, 2016)

Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend and Beatles Tribute Night Highlight The Ninth Homestand of the Season

 ST. LOUIS, Mo., August 23, 2016 – Coming off another successful road trip that saw the Redbirds win 6 of 9 games, the Cardinals return home to Busch Stadium for a six game homestand.  The homestand starts with three games versus the defending National League champions New York Mets (August 23-25) and concludes with a three game weekend series against the Oakland Athletics (August 26-28).  The homestand is highlighted by the 2016 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Beatles Tribute Night and the grand opening of the historic Baseball Hall of Fame Tour at Ballpark Village.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 — Cardinals vs. New York Mets (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Chris Carpenter Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase a special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Chris Carpenter mini bobblehead as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the 2006 World Series Champion Cardinals.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Chris.  VIP tickets are currently sold out.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visitcardinals.com/budbash (#BudBash).
  • Beatles Tribute Night Theme Tickets: This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the historic Beatles concert at Busch Stadium II in 1966!  The Cardinals invite fans of all ages to join us at the ballpark to celebrate the Beatles.  Fans who purchase this special theme night ticket will receive an exclusive Beatles at Busch concert t-shirt.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  Come early and enjoy a pregame concert by Beatles cover band, Liverpool Legends, in Riverview Corner.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/beatles (#CardsTheme).
  • Pregame Pom/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Free Spirits Performance Team, Sparkling Divaz, SWIC Cheer, Tri-City Junior High Cheer, and Triad High School & Middle School Cheer will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning at approximately 5:50 p.m.
  • 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 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 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

 Wednesday, August 24, 2016 — Cardinals vs. New York Mets (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Y98 Night Theme Tickets: The annual Y98 Night is back at Busch!  Join the Phillips and Company Morning Show to celebrate longtime morning show co-host Jen Myers’ fight against breast cancer.  Fans who purchase the special Y98 Night theme ticket will receive a special Cardinals/Jen’s Tribe t-shirt.  Additionally, a portion of each ticket sold will be donated to Siteman Cancer Center.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info on Jen’s story, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/Y98 (#CardsTheme).

  • Nurses Night II Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite all nurses and their families who missed the first Nurses Night to enjoy Nurses Night #2 at the ballpark.  Fans who purchase the special theme night ticket receive an exclusive, limited edition Cardinals scrub top.  A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the March of Dimes foundation.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/nurses (#CardsTheme).

  • Long Haul Bombers: The Long Haul Bombers, a collection of the world’s greatest softball home run hitters, will hold a softball home run hitting contest on the field around 6:15 p.m.
  • Wainwright’s Winners: Adam Wainwright and his Wainwright’s Winners program will host a group from Blossom Wood Day School for tonight’s game.  The group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Adam in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions prior to the start of the game.
  •  Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals welcome back the Battle at Busch concert series.  The 2016 schedule features 18 local bands over the course of six nights, at six different Cardinals home games in Ford Plaza.  Tonight’s battle features Sharon Hazel Township, Tree One Four and Last Plane Out.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:30 p.m. 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 four scoring bands of the summer will be invited back to play on September 28th 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.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 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, August 25, 2016 — Cardinals vs. New York Mets (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

  • College Night III Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite students, faculty and staff of local colleges and universities to kick off the new semester at Busch Stadium.  Fans who purchase the $20 Right/Left Field Loge theme ticket will receive an exclusive 90’s themed Cardinals baseball tee.  Fans must present the special theme night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/college (#CardsTheme).

  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 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.

riday, August 26, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Oakland Athletics (7:15 p.m.)

Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend presented by Edward Jones

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  • Bob Gibson Hall of Fame Red Jacket Statue Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a Bob Gibson red jacket statute to add to their collection.  Presented by Scott Credit Union.

  • Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum.  Today’s featured items relate to Cardinals Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson and include a scorecard from Gibby’s only career no-hitter and a special cast of Gibson’s right hand holding a baseball.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visitcardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).
  • Big League Impact Fantasy Football Draft: Prior to game time activities, Cardinals players and a number of registered fans will participate in Adam Wainwright’s 4th Annual Big League Impact Fantasy Football Live Draft at Busch Stadium which raises money for a number of charitable initiatives including Cardinals Care, Operation Food Search of St. Louis and Crisis Aid International.  Participants will draft their own fantasy football team, competing against Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Stephen Piscotty, Matt Carpenter and Alex Pietrangelo, and receive a behind-the-scenes tour of Busch.  For more info, or to register for the event, visit bigleagueimpact.org.
  • Pregame Pom/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Dupo High School Dance, Incarnate Word Academy, Lutheran South Lancerettes,  McKendree University Cheer & Dance, Seckman High School Dance and Valley R-6 Cheer will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning at approximately 5:50 p.m.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.
  • 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 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 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.
  • Race To The Plate: At every Friday home game, fans will enjoy the Missouri Farmers Care: Race To The Plate—a mascot race featuring Captain Cornelius, Bessie the Cow, Simon the Soybean and Baconeer the Pig.  Join the conversation on how today’s food is grown and raised at MissouriFarmersCare.com (#GoFarmTeam).

 Saturday, August 27, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Oakland Athletics (6:15 p.m.)

Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend presented by Edward Jones

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

  • Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Chris Carpenter, Joe Torre, Terry Moore and Sam Breadon will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame during a 2:00 p.m. ceremony at FOX Sports Midwest Live! in Ballpark Village.  The ceremony is free and open to the public.  The 2016 inductees will also be recognized in a pregame ceremony on the field at Busch Stadium.  (#CardsHOF).
  • 2016 Cardinals Hall of Fame Inductees Plaque Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a collectible plaque highlighting the third induction class of the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  Presented by Edward Jones.

  • Turn Back The Clock: In celebration of the 90th Anniversary of the organization’s first World Series Championship, the Cardinals will be wearing their complete 1927 home uniforms featuring the World Champions logo on the left breast.
  • Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former manager and Cardinals Hall of Famer Tony LaRussa will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  In addition to having a valid admission to the museum, fans must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and will be distributed on the day of each Saturday signing.  A set amount of autograph line tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more info.
  •  Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 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.

 Sunday, August 28, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Oakland Athletics (1:15 p.m.)

Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend presented by Edward Jones

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • Adult Replica Batting Practice Hat Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will go home with their own Cardinals replica batting practice hat.  Presented by Monsanto.

  • Zumba® Day Theme Tickets: The Cardinals invite all fitness fans to join us for Zumba® Fitness Party at the Park presented by Club Fitness.  Fans who purchase this special theme ticket will receive access to a pregame Zumba® class and an exclusive Cardinals tank.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  The pregame class will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Cunningham Corner (on Level 2 behind the UMB Champions Club).  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/zumba (#CardsTheme).

  • Prairie Farms Kids 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.
  •  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).
  •  Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 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.

 MORE HOMESTAND INFORMATION

#STLisLou Social Media Campaign Launched to Honor Lou Brock

On April 19, the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Civic leaders launched #STLisLou to honor Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock, celebrate the St. Louis Community and raise money for children with diabetes.  The Cardinals are encouraging fans to show their affection for Lou Brock all season long by sharing video messages, photographs and other messages via social media using the hashtag #STLisLou.  The team is challenging fans to answer what does Lou Brock mean to you and what does he mean to St. Louis and the Cardinals?

Additionally, the team has partnered with Explore St. Louis and Downtown STL to develop “Tuesday’s Are Lou’s Day – Find Lou in the Lou!”, a weekly social media based scavenger hunt around town that will reward lucky fans with tickets, exclusive #STLisLou Lou Brock autographed baseballs and other prizes.  Fans can learn more about the campaign and see what others fans are posting to social media at cardinals.com/lou.

Molina’s #Made4TheBest & Cardinals Treasure Hunt Fan Video Contests

The Cardinals recently launched two new fan video contests: Molina’s #Made4TheBest and Cardinals Treasure Hunt.

Molina’s #Made4TheBest contest asks fans to submit videos celebrating Molina or creatively communicating one or more of the values or themes underling Molina’s M4 apparel brand.  The fan that creates the best video will win the opportunity to meet Molina on the field at Busch Stadium on Oct. 1, as well as enjoy the game as a VIP with three friends in the President’s Box.  A dozen fans who participate in the video contest will also receive a Yadi #Made4TheBest autographed baseball as part of Molina’s #Made4TheBest Mondays.  Visit cardinals.com/yadi for more information.

For the Cardinals Treasure Hunt contest, fans are asked to record a video that is two minutes or less in length showing off your greatest Cardinals or baseball collectible. Be sure to tell us where it came from, how you got it, and what it means to you. Take a still image of the object and write a short description, then create your video and submit it at cardinals.com/treasurehunt.  The fan with the best video will win a VIP prize pack including field box tickets and pregame field visit passes for Sept. 30, 2016 and a one year membership to the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum!

 Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

Saturday Signings at the Museum, a new program held exclusively at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum before each Saturday home game during the 2016 season where fans can meet and get an autograph from a former Cardinals player with valid admission to the museum.  In addition to having valid admission, fans must obtain a free autograph line ticket which will be distributed starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Busch Stadium II Infield entrance to Cardinals Nation at Ballpark Village on the day of each Saturday signing.  Players will sign for two hours prior to game time and fans will need to bring their own items to be autographed unless otherwise noted.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/museum for more details and scheduling.

The Cardinals are proud to continue to offer the Hall of Fame & Museum Membership Program for fans in 2016.  Individual ($50) or Family Membership ($85) options are available and membership benefits include unlimited museum admission for one year, guest passes, limited edition bobbleheads of Ken Boyer and Willie McGee, discounts to the Cardinals Authentics Shop & Cardinals Nation Restaurant, and access to select presales and member-only events.  Visit cardinals.com/membership for more information.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum within Cardinals Nation features the largest team-held collection in baseball.  The collection is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 20,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archival photographs.  Be sure to check out this year’s special gallery, Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball, which explores the history of baseball’s first successful farm system and how it literally changed the sport.  The Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and remains open through the 7th inning on home game nights.  Adult admission is $12, and tickets can be purchased at cardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).

New Cardinals Magazine Gets Candid With Waino, Salutes 2016 Hall of Fame Class

What would it be like to chat one-on-one with fan favorite Adam Wainwright?  Or listen to Gibby and Red share personal stories about the 2016 Cardinals Hall of Fame class?  Or even tour the franchise’s state-of-the-art baseball academy in the Dominican Republic?

In the new Cardinals Magazine, fans can do more than just imagine.  Our biggest issue of the season to date at 132 pages brings these stories and many others to life.  Better yet, through August 28, fans can take advantage of our stretch-run special: subscribe and receive 2 FREE tickets to watch the Redbirds at Busch in September and a 20% discount on the Cardinals 2016 Yearbook!

This must-have edition also includes entertaining stories on 2006 World Series MVP David Eckstein, John Goodman’s big night at the ballpark and fast-rising prospect Harrison Bader, as well as the latest installments of our popular monthly departments featuring Matt Carpenter and Carlos Martinez.

Now in its 25th season, Cardinals Magazine continues to provide its global readership with comprehensive, colorful coverage of all-things Cardinals.  Fans can purchase the 100-plus page fourth issue for just $5 at Busch Stadium vendors inside each stadium gate, team store locations and Cardinals Authentics stores in Ford Plaza and Ballpark Village.  Throughout St. Louis, the magazine is available for purchase at major retailers like Cardinals Clubhouse, Dierbergs, Schnucks, QuikTrip and Walgreens.  Print subscriptions are also available at cardinals.com/publications or 314-345-9000.  New this season, you can follow Cardinals Magazine on Twitter @CardsMagazine for one-of-a-kind coverage and watch weekly video segments (“Inside Access with Cardinals Magazine”) on the Cardinals Insider TV show or at cardinals.com/insider.

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

Diane

Those banged-up Birds

Bandaged birdThere sure have been a lot of injuries with the Cardinals players in the last month.  Here is the list of the more recently banged-up Birds and their injuries, taken from the injury report on the Cardinals’ website:

Matt Holliday – right thumb fracture, undergoing surgery on 8/18/16

Aledmys Diaz – right thumb fracture

Seth Maness – torn right ulnar collateral ligament, undergoing Tommy John surgery on 8/18/16

Matt Adams – right shoulder inflammation

Michael Wacha – right shoulder inflammation

Tyler Lyons – right knee stress reactions

Trevor Rosenthal – right shoulder inflammation

And this short list doesn’t include the players on the 60 day disabled list, who won’t be cleared to play until 2017.  After looking at all the injuries, I think it’s a good thing that there’s a 40 man roster.  I half expect Adam Wainwright to be added to the disabled list  soon – he hasn’t looked right since he pitched that complete game last month. And pitchers need to stop throwing at our players too.

It’s interesting that three players are on the disabled list for right shoulder inflammation. Two are pitchers and the other is a position player.  That’s one of those things that make you go “hmm.” Hypothetical question – are the Cards’ strength and conditioning staff not doing their job adequately?

Another cause of injuries could be that the season may be just too darn long.  Major League Baseball has one of the most strenuous and lengthy seasons in sports. Hockey has long regular and playoff seasons as well, but hockey games aren’t scheduled every night of the week.  There are 162 regular season baseball games, and teams have few days off every month.  There is the All-Star break;  however, if a player is in the All-Star Game, they then only get a 2 day break.

Before the regular season starts, there is a month of spring training games.  And if your team is lucky enough to make the playoffs, there is a total of 19 playoff games if each series goes the maximum number of games, and an additional play-in game if your team is one of the wild card teams.

That’s a lot of baseball. Sure, we fans love watching all this baseball, but I can see where it can really take a toll on a player’s body, especially a position player that’s in the lineup every day or a pitcher with a high pitching speed.  Maybe it’s time to think about either making the season shorter or playing fewer games during the regular season.  That will probably never happen, however, since the owners enjoy all the revenue from the regular season games and the revenue from the playoff games if their team is talented enough to make the playoffs.

Major League Baseball has one of the most strenuous and lengthy seasons in sports. Hockey has long regular and playoff seasons as well, but hockey games aren’t scheduled every night of the week.  There are 162 regular season baseball games, and teams have few days off, except for the All-Star break. And if a player is in the All-Star Game, they then only get a 2 day break.

Before the regular season starts, there is a month of spring training games.  And if your team is lucky enough to make the playoffs, there is a total of 19 playoff games if each series goes the maximum number of games, and an additional play-in game if your team is one of the wild card teams.

That’s a lot of baseball. Sure, we fans love watching all this baseball, but I can see where it can really take a toll on a player’s body, especially a position player that’s in the lineup every day or a pitcher with a high pitching speed.  Maybe it’s time to think about either making the season shorter or playing fewer games during the regular season.  That will probably never happen, however, since the owners enjoy all the revenue from the regular season games and the revenue from the playoff games if their team is talented enough to make the playoffs.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Trade deadline thoughts

DeadlineSorry I haven’t posted more.  It’s really discouraging watching the Cards play.  I’m a glass-half-filled kind of gal, so it’s hard to find something to write about when your team is playing badly.  One can only complain so much before it gets tiresome, and I love my loyal readers too much to subject them to too much negativity.

As you probably know, the trade deadline is August 1 (since July 31st is a Sunday), which is exciting yet scary at the same time. So are the Cards are sellers or buyers at the trade deadline?  Despite playing badly, the Cards are currently in line for the second wild card slot and are also in second place in the N.L. Central.  A Cubs collapse/Cards surge could mean another division title.  A key acquisition or two could make all the difference to get to the playoffs.

So if the Cards are buyers, what do they have to offer in a trade?  The Cards have an option on Jaime Garcia.  When Jaime starts, you never know if you’re going to get Good Jaime or Bad Jaime.  When Jaime is good, he’s very, very good, but when Jaime is bad, he’s awful.  Jaime should be some other team’s problem.

Kolten Wong is another player who may be better off with a change of venue.  There is a lot of pressure here for him to succeed, and Kolten appears to not handle pressure well.  The only negative about trading Kolten is the 5 year contract he signed earlier this year. It was meant to give Kolten a vote of confidence, but it doesn’t appear to have worked out that way. If Kolten is traded, the Cards may have to eat some of Kolten’s contract for the deal to work. Jedd Gyorko and/or Greg Garcia can take Kolten’s place at second, or there is another alternative, which I’ll discuss below.

Matt Adams’ shortcoming is that he only plays one position.  He would be a great DH for an American League team.  If the Cards could trade Adams to an AL team for a good player, I would be all over that trade.  Brandon Moss could move to left field and Matt Holliday could play first, which could possibly extend his career beyond this season.

The Cards do not need two center fielders.  If you melded Randall Grichuk and Tommy Pham into one person, you’d likely have a great center fielder.  However, since we can’t, one of these guys needs to leave, and I think it should be Tommy Pham.  Tommy is older and is injury prone.  If you need a second outfielder in case of injury, Stephen Piscotty can play center and Jeremy Hazelbaker can play right field.  There are a lot of fans who would like to see Carlos Gonzales patrol right field (and Piscotty would then become the CF), but he would probably bring a very high price tag.

One player whose name has been bandied about as trade bait is prospect Alex Reyes. I really don’t think the team should give him up.  A team should not give up an exciting prospect pitcher  The Cards should, however, call Reyes up in September when rosters expand to gear up for the playoffs, and get him some major league experience.

So what do the Cardinals need in order to get to the playoffs?  They need a good set-up pitcher.  Jerome Williams, who the Cards recently brought up from Memphis, is not the answer.

I have heard that Aledmys Diaz’ natural position is second base, so if Wong is traded, Diaz could move to second. Not all of Diaz’ errant throws can be blamed on rookie mistakes, perhaps. Peralta could then go back to shortstop, or a good shortstop could be acquired.  This could also help with the defense problems in the Cards’ infield.

The Cards could also use Mother Nature to cooperate and not force rain outs. Today’s doubleheader is the second in two weeks. Last week’s doubleheader was a day-night double, which gives the players a break between games; however, today’s doubleheader is a true doubleheader. The doubleheaders and game delays wreak havoc with a pitching rotation.  Calling Mike Mayers up from the minors as a fill-in ended up as a major humiliation in front of a national audience.  I sure hope he can recover from it.

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

Diane