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

Home Sweet Home.2jpg

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

Homestand Highlights – 6/14/16-6/19/16

Home Sweet Home.2jpgThe Cards are back home after a successful 5-1 road trip, which included a sweep of the Pirates. The weather is getting hotter and so are the Cardinals.  It’s always good when the guys are home.

It’s going to be very, very hot at the games these next two weeks. Please drink plenty of water and go to the concourses and cool off if you start getting overheated.  It wouldn’t be much fun to be going to the hospital for heat exhaustion/dehydration instead of watching the game.

Here are all the details on this homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Tuesday, June 14—Sunday, June 19, 2016)

Pooches In The Ballpark, Superhero Theme Night & Father’s Day Highlight The Fifth Homestand of the Season 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., June 14, 2016 – After taking five of six games on their latest road trip, the Cardinals head back to Busch Stadium for a two game series versus former NL division rival Houston Astros (June 14-15) and three games against 2011 World Series opponent Texas Rangers (June 17-19).  The all interleague homestand is highlighted by the 12th annual Purina Pooches in the Ballpark game presented by Schnucks, Superhero and Teachers theme nights and Father’s Day celebration.  Additionally, fans are encouraged to continue voting online for Cardinals players for the 2016 All-Star Game in San Diego at cardinals.com/vote (#VoteSTL).

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Houston Astros (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Jason Isringhausen Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase a special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Jason Isringhausen 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 Izzy.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase general tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#BudBash).

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Superhero Night Theme Tickets: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superhero Night at the ballpark!  Bring the entire family out to meet your favorite comic book characters and superheroes that will be roving the stadium throughout the night.  Fans who purchase a Superhero Night theme ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals superhero t-shirt.  Kid sizes also come with a cape!  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visitcardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

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Trevor’s Troops: Trevor Rosenthal and his Trevor’s Troops program will host a group from Angel’s Arms for tonight’s game.  The group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Trevor in the dugout to take pictures, receive autographs and ask questions prior to the start of 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 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, June 15, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Houston Astros (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

Teachers Night Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite all teachers and their families to enjoy their summer break by spending a night at the ballpark.  Fans who purchase a Teachers Night theme ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals t-shirt specially designed for teachers.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

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Boy/Girl Scouts Night Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite all Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their families to enjoy Scout Night at the ballpark.  For just $14, each scout receives a ticket to the game as well as a voucher which can be exchanged for a Cardinals scout patch.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

Boy Scouts Patch Girl Scouts Patch

Telecast For The Troops: FOX Sports Midwest presents This One’s For You, its annual Cardinals telecast to the troops.  FSM will conduct live interviews with soldiers from the Missouri Air National Guard’s 157th Air Operation Group deployed to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar during the game.  Family members and supports of the deployed Airmen will be at Busch Stadium as well.

Honorary First Pitch: Missouri Teacher of the Year, Linda Glasgow, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s game.  Glasgow just completed her 31st year of teaching in the Blue Springs School District, where she currently teaches 3rd grade.  The Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education conducts the Missouri Teacher of the Year program with financial support provided by the Boeing Company.

Tsunami Waves: Carlos Martinez and his Tsunami Waves foundation will host a local Hispanic group for tonight’s game.  The group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Carlos in the dugout to take pictures, receive autographs and ask questions prior to the start of the game.

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

 Friday, June 17, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Kolten Wong Adult Hawaiian Print Jersey Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a specially designed Kolton Wong Hawaiian print jersey.

wong_jersey_cutout

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.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Two current Cardinals players (TBD) will sign 100 autographs inside Ford Plaza for fans 15 years old and younger from 5:45-6:15.  Former Cardinals Curt Ford and Pat Perry will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  *Players subject to change*

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).

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 be Hawaiian themed and includes a trophy from the 1997 Padres Paradise Series in which the Cardinals won two of three games against the San Diego Padres at Aloha Stadium in the first regular season major league game played in Hawaii.  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 (Section 137), 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.

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, June 18, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers (3:15 p.m.)

FOX Saturday Baseball National Broadcast on Fox Sports One

Gates open at 1:15 p.m.

Cardinals Pet Leash Holder with Photo Frame Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a unique Cardinals pet leash holder with photo frame, courtesy of Purina.

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Purina Pooches In The Ballpark: Fans who purchased a special ticket are allowed to bring their dog to the game in a pet-friendly section of the stadium.  Participants will take part in a pregame costume parade around the warning track and receive a Purina goodie-bag.  All fans –regardless of ticket type – can enjoy a performance from the Purina Pro Plan Performance Team at 11:00 a.m. on the Busch II Infield at Ballpark Village (and again at 2:10 p.m. on Busch Stadium’s outfield) and see highly trained dogs compete in canine dock-diving at the Purina Ultimate Air Dogs Competition located in the parking lot north of Ballpark Village at noon.  (#PurinaPooches).

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.

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals infielder Tom Lawless will be on hand to sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 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.

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).

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

Sunday, June 19, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Cardinals Adult Dress Socks Promotional Giveaway: A perfect gift for Dad on Father’s Day!  The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will go home with a pair of Cardinals dress socks.

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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).

Special Father’s Day Uniforms: For the first time, the Cardinals and MLB will celebrate Father’s Day with specially designed uniforms that incorporate light blue into the Cardinals’ regular logos, with caps highlighted by a dark grey crown and brim.  In honor of Father’s Day, MLB will donate its licensed uniform royalties to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer charities.

jersey hat

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).

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

 That’s all for now! Stay cool (literally and figuratively)!  See you next time!

Diane

Diane’s excellent dugout box seat adventure (and other notes)

13321711_1165327370172374_6324672859891808381_nI have a baseball hangover today, which is a good thing. A baseball hangover is what happens when you stay until the last out of an evening baseball game and don’t get to bed until later than you normally do.  Then when you do get to bed, you can’t sleep because you’re still thinking about the game.  You are then very drowsy the next day at work, and no amount of caffeine or sugar will help. You can’t take a nap because you’re at work, unless, of course, you’re self-employed.   It’s like that Diana Ross song, Love Hangover – “Sweetest hangover, I don’t want to get over.”

The cause of my baseball hangover is last night’s Cardinals-Giants game, which the Cardinals won 6-3.  An attorney at the law firm I work at gifted me his sweet Dugout Box seats three rows off the field, on the first base side. (Our view was actually better than seen in the photo.)  He had originally given me his tickets for May 1, but that turned out to be the game for the United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event.  He very graciously switched out the tickets for last night’s game.

The gates opened at 5:05 last night, so hubby and I got to the ballpark early in hopes of obtaining some autographs.  Unfortunately, by the time we got through the gate, received our promotional giveaway (a very nice beach tote), bought a scorecard, ran into hubby’s second cousin Amy and her family and then got down to the field, batting practice was already over.  I and several other folks waited by the padded infield wall in hopes that maybe a player would wander over our way and give us an autograph, but it was not to be.

Last night’s game was on ESPN and that’s why it was a Sunday evening game.  It was originally scheduled as a 1:15 PM game.  I’m glad it was changed so I wouldn’t have to miss church.  My daughter lives in Connecticut and I wanted to bring a sign that would have read, “Hi Rachel! Love, Mom,” but hubby wouldn’t let me.

We watched several people throw first pitches, including a 102 year-old woman who not only threw very well but appeared to have all her faculties, which is incredible.  Later on in the game, Fredbird and Papa John’s brought her a pizza and several other goodies to help her celebrate her birthday.

The game finally started.  Carlos Martinez looked very good for the first few innings, until he gave up a 2 run home run.  The Cardinals’ hitting started to break out in the 6th  inning.  It seemed like Bruce Bochy switched pitchers after every batter. I couldn’t keep up, so I stopped updating my scorecard.

Did you see the diving play that the Giants’ right fielder made in the 5th  inning?  It happened on the warning track on the first base side right in front of us.  He didn’t make the catch, but as he got up, we applauded his effort, as good, sportsmanlike Cardinals fans always do.  The poor guy probably had rug burns on his stomach.

There were a couple of foul balls hit in our direction, but neither of the foul balls came close enough to our seats to attempt to catch them.  I used to have a glove, but I donated it to Carlos Martinez’ Tsunami Waves charity last year.  I’m too old to play slow-pitch softball ever again.

I really enjoyed sitting in the box seats. The sight lines were great, and the people sitting around me were civilized, unlike those I’ve encountered in other areas of the stadium.  It was sometimes hard to see around the beer vendors, however.  I hope that nice attorney will think of me again in case he has no one for his tickets.  If there is a next time, I will take my son Phillip to the game. He wanted to go this time, but I told him his father had better dibs because I’ve known him longer.

In other news, the Cardinals optioned Kolten Wong to AAA today so that Jhonny Peralta can be activated. Peralta will join the team tomorrow in Cincinnati.  Matt Carpenter will move to  second base and Peralta will move to third.  Hopefully, Kolten will make the most of his time at AAA and get his head together so that when he comes back, he will play better.  Kolten was sent down to AAA in 2014 and he played a lot better when he came back.  Brayan Pena is due for a rehab assignment soon.  Yadi look rather tired last night.  He needs more than just tonight off.  Hopefully, when Brayan comes back, he can give Yadi some regular days off.

The Cards are playing a little better but as I write this, they are 10 games out of first.  At this point, I think the Cards are playing for a wild card spot rather than a division title.  Set your sights higher, guys!

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

Diane

 

Not our year

Sad baseballI have watched the Cardinals play this season, and I have come to the conclusion that this year is not our year.  I know what you’re thinking.  Diane, the 2011 Cardinals were 11 ½ games out and they managed to get into the playoffs and win the World Series.  But that was a different manager and a different team.  There are only 6 players from that 2011 team on the 2016 team – Adams, Holliday, Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and Molina. Molina is playing well.  Wainwright is starting to return to form, but Adams is only now starting to hit better and Holliday is showing his age.  It’s hard to tell what Jaime Garcia you’re going to get when he starts – Good Jaime or Bad Jaime.  And Lance Lynn is on the DL for the year after Tommy John surgery.  Also, the only coaches left from that 2011 team are Derek Liliquist and Jose Oquendo.

The Cards are playing this year like teams who never make the playoffs; for example, the Phillies.  The Cubs are in first in the NL Central and they’re playing like a team who wants to win. As a Cards fan, I hate to admit it, but this could finally be the Cubs’ year.

Let’s look at an overview of the Cards’ performance this season.  Lowlights – there are many.  Ruben Tejada pitching in relief may have been when the season jumped the shark. Rosenthal is experimenting with pitches while he’s trying to save a game, like at the game I was at last Saturday.  Matt Holliday’s batting average has been sinking like a rock (although he did hit a home run today), and Mike Matheny refuses to move him from the third spot in the batting order.  Jhonny Peralta’s thumb injury put a major monkey wrench in the season, but hopefully, he will be back soon.  Jose Oquendo  has really been missed in the third base box and his absence has contributed to some terrible baserunning errors.  Michael Wacha’s mechanics are seriously messed up.  He should be sent to the minor leagues for some work. Carlos Martinez started the season strong, but he has not pitched well at all in his last few starts.  And how is it that Kolten Wong can make spectacular plays seem routine but mess up routine plays?

Highlights – there are a few.  Aledmys Diaz has impressed with his bat, but he is still making rookie mistakes with his glove.  Molina’s batting average is much better this year. Stephen Piscotty has been a shining star, making us forget Jason Heyward.   Seung Hwan Oh was John Mozeliak’s best off-season pick up.  He has been lights out in relief. Unfortunately, Oh showed he really was human in today’s game when he gave up three runs and a home run. Perhaps Oh should be the closer instead of Rosenthal?

This has not been my year either.  The presidential candidate I backed dropped out of the race, and I was passed over for a job I really wanted and was recommended for, along with some other personal things going on in my life that it’s not necessary to talk about here.  Cardinals baseball is a great distraction when things go south in my personal life, but this year, the Cards are not playing well so I don’t even have that.  Can we just turn back the calendar to January 1, 2016 and have a do-over?

Cards fans have seen their team go to the playoffs for the last few years and we are spoiled.  We’ve forgotten how to handle it when our team is bad.  So if you have the opportunity to attend a Cards game this season, go to have fun hanging out with your friends and/or family.  Just don’t expect to see winning baseball.  If the Cards do win, that’s a plus.

I realize that it’s almost the end of May and there still may be time to rescue the sinking S.S. Cardinals ship.  If the Cards can resurrect this season and make the playoffs, I’ll be happy to eat my words.  Just write them in icing on a large chocolate chip cookie, please.

That’s all for now!  Hopefully, I will have a more upbeat blog post next time.  See you then!

Diane

Homestand Highlights – April 29-May 8

Home Sweet Home.2jpgAfter a long West Coast trip, the Cardinals are back home at Busch Stadium for a nice, long homestand, and they will host the Nationals, the Phillies, and the Pirates. Hopefully, the late game last night in the Arizona desert will not affect our guys for this evening’s game. There is a lot going on in this homestand, including some great promotional giveaways, so let’s get started!

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Friday, April 29—Sunday, May 8, 2016)

Green Week, Bobblehead & Replica Ring Giveaways and Mother’s Day Highlight the Second Homestand of the Season 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 29, 2016 – The Cardinals are back at Busch for the first of two 10-game homestands this season—their longest of the season—which kicks off with a three-game series with the Washington Nationals (April 29-May 1), continues with a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (May 2-5) and concludes with a three-game series versus division rival Pittsburgh Pirates (May 6-8). The homestand is highlighted by annual Green Week festivities, a Trevor Rosenthal bobblehead and a replica 1946 World Series Championship ring giveaway, three Theme Nights and Mother’s Day celebration.

Friday, April 29, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  •  Adult Zip-Up Hooded Sweatshirt Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a fleece zip-up hooded sweatshirt.

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  • Cardinals 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Announcement: The Cardinals 2016 Hall of Fame induction class will be revealed on FOX Sports Midwest tonight during a 30-minute pregame television special at 6:00 p.m. CT.  The 2016 Cardinals Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 27. 

The winners are Sam Breadon (organization selection), Terry Moore (Veterans’ Committee), Chris Carpenter and Joe Torre (fan selections).

  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes at Busch Stadium gates before the game.  Fans are asked to clean out their closets of any unwanted, gently-used shoes, tie or band them together and drop them in the designated shoe collection bins.  Shoeman Water Projects creates clean drinking water for those in need by selling shoes to exporters for resale and then using the money generated from those sales to purchase well-drilling rigs and water purification systems in developing countries (#4AGreenerGame).  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.
  •  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 Joe Medwick’s 1937 Triple Crown.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • 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.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), 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.
  • 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 and Simon the Soybean.  A new mascot will debut later in the season as well.  Join the conversation on how today’s food is grown and raised atMissouriFarmersCare.com (#GoFarmTeam).

Saturday, April 30, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  •  Trevor Rosenthal Bobblehead Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a Trevor Rosenthal bobblehead with sound chip, presented by The Hartford.

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  • Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals catcher Glenn Brummer will be on hand to sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Saturday Signings is a new program held exclusively in the Cardinals Museum before each Saturday home game during the 2016 season where fans can get an autograph from a former Cardinals player with valid admission to the Museum.  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.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/museum for the full schedule and additional details.
  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: See above (Friday, April 29) for details.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), 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.

 Sunday, May 1, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m. This is also the United Cardinals Bloggers’ blogger event day.

  • Randal Grichuk Kids Bat Promotional Giveaway: All kids, ages 15 and younger, entering with a ticket will receive a 28-inch Randal Grichuk bat, courtesy of Rawlings.

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  • Kids Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, receive a free ticket voucher for a 2016 home game courtesy of Ritz.
  • 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).
  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: See above (Friday, April 29) for details.
  • Green Week Activity Volunteer Recognition: During pregame ceremonies, the Cardinals will honor an outstanding Green Team volunteer.  During Green Week, and all season long, the St. Louis Cardinals Knight FM Green Team volunteers walk down the aisles of the seating bowl in-between innings and collect recyclables from fans while promoting recycling at Busch Stadium.  In exchange for their services, they are able to watch the game in standing room only sections of Busch Stadium.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/green (#4AGreenerGame).
  • Home Run Against Hunger Food Drive: The Cardinals, in partnership with Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance and Feeding Missouri, are hosting a food drive in the Ballpark Village parking lot before today’s contest from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Fans who bring a non-perishable donation will receive a voucher for two tickets to an upcoming Cardinals game.
  • St. Louis Blues Themed Batting Practice Jerseys Auction:  Online auctions for 31 autographed Blues-themed batting practice jerseys/sweaters worn by Cardinal players prior to the club’s inaugural Blues Theme Night on September 21, 2015 ends tonight at 11:59 p.m.  Proceeds from the online jersey auction will benefit Cardinals Care.  Go to cardinals.com/community to bid.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), 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, May 2, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Boy/Girl Scouts Night Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite all Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their families to enjoy Scout Night at the ballpark.  This is the second of three planned Scouts Nights for the 2016 season.  For just $14, each scout receives a ticket to the game as well as a voucher which can be exchanged for a Cardinals scout patch.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

Boy Scouts Patch Girl Scouts Patch

  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: See above (Friday, April 29) for details.
  • Green Week Activity – Operation Food Search Presentation: In a ceremony prior to the game, Operation Food Search will recognize the Cardinals and the team’s concessionaire, Delaware North Sportservice.  Together, the Cardinals and Delaware North Companies diverted nearly 78,000 pounds of unused food from concessions stands in Busch Stadium to Operation Food Search since 2010, which reduced the amount of waste going to landfills.  When food decomposes in landfills, it becomes a source of greenhouse gas emissions.  The Cardinals are exceeding their food recovery goals, which results in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change while contributing to Operation Food Search’s efforts in feeding 200,000 of our neighbors in need  (#4AGreenerGame).
  • Live From UMB Champions Club:  FOX Sports Midwest will broadcast this evening’s game on television from the UMB Champions Club.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), 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.

 Tuesday, May 3, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.  My son and I will be at this game, thanks to the Papa John’s $6.00 tickets.

  •  Jeff Suppan Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Jeff Suppan 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 Jeff Suppan.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase general tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#BudBash).  

Suppan

  • 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, May 4, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Tote Bag Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans will receive a reusable Cardinals grocery/tote bag, compliments of MLB Network.

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  • College Night Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite students, faculty and staff of local colleges and universities to the second and final College Night of the season.  Fans who purchase the $20 Right/Left Field loge theme night ticket, receive an exclusive, limited edition Cardinals lightweight hoodie.  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/theme (#CardsTheme).

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  • Cardinals Care Spring Grant Ceremony: In an afternoon ceremony, Cardinals Care will distribute more than $130,000 to 64 area nonprofit groups that support local kids.  A Cardinals player, executives and Fredbird will all take part in the afternoon event (#CardsCare).
  • Saint Louis Football Club: Members of United Soccer League’s Saint Louis FC and “Mr. Soccer” Bill McDermott will be recognized on the field 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 In the Arms of Machines, Hobo Empire and Shark Dad.  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.
  • Pregame Pom/Cheer/Dance Performance: Prior to the game, groups from Meghan Torno School of Irish Dance, Dancers On Tour, Flipside Gymnastics, H and F Cheer, and Vineland Dragonettes/Dragon Dudes will perform in the Riverview Corner (behind Section 432) beginning at 5:50 p.m.

 Thursday, May 5, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  •  Charity Haircuts in the Plaza sponsored by Great Clips: During the game, fans can root on the Cardinals and shape up their roots with a visit to Ford Plaza for Great Clips’ Charity Haircuts.  For a $10 donation, Great Clips – who sponsors the event every weekday afternoon game during the season – will cut your hair and donate all proceeds to Cardinals Care. 

Friday, May 6, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  • Replica 1946 World Series Championship Ring Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a wearable 1946 World Series Championship replica ring.

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  • Academy Sports + Outdoors Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Two current Cardinals players (TBD) will sign 100 autographs inside Ford Plaza for fans 15 years old and younger from 5:45-6:15.  Former Cardinals Danny Cox and Tom Lawless will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  *Players subject to change*
  • 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 relate to the 1946 World Series including Stan Musial’s Sporting News Player of the Year award.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • 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: Every Friday night, fans will enjoy the Missouri Farmers Care: Race To The Plate—a mascot race featuring Captain Cornelius, Bessie the Cow and Simon the Soybean.  A new mascot will debut later in the season as well.  Join the conversation on how today’s food is grown and raised at MissouriFarmersCare.com(#GoFarmTeam).

Saturday, May 7, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • Adult Replica Mike Shannon Jersey Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a 1966 Mike Shannon replica jersey, courtesy of Goodwill.

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  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  •  MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), 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.

Sunday, May 8, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • Adult Performance T-Shirt Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a Cardinals performance t-shirt with pink accent colors in honor of Mother’s Day, presented by Power of the Pink!

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  • Kids Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, receive a free ticket voucher for a 2016 home game courtesy of Ritz.

 

  • 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).
  •  Special Mother’s Day Uniforms: For the first time, the Cardinals and MLB will celebrate Mother’s Day with specially designed uniforms that incorporate pink into the Cardinals’ regular logos, with caps highlighted by a dark grey crown and brim.  In honor of Mother’s Day, MLB will donate its licensed uniform royalties to the Susan G. Komen and Stand Up to Cancer charities.

MD Jersey  MD Cap

  • Honorary Bat Girl: As part of MLB’s Honorary Bat Girl Program, the Cardinals will recognize Christina Sego, a breast cancer survivor, with an on-field ceremony and honorary first pitch before the game.  Ms. Sego was nominated by her son, Jordan, who described how she has been affected by her diagnosis and her commitment to battling the disease.
  •  Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 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, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  •  MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), 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.

This afternoon, I attended the The Cardinals Way at Cardinals Nation presentation, at which Dan McLaughlin interviewed Bill DeWitt, Sr., John Mozeliak, and Howard Megdal, author of The Cardinals Way (which was reviewed in my last blog post) about the contents of the book.  It was an enjoyable and entertaining presentation.  Howard signed my copy of his book, mentioned that he read my blog and thanked me for my nice review.  That was so encouraging!  There were Cardinals Insider members taping the presentation, so you may be able to see it on Cardinals Insider soon.

Sunday is the annual United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event at Busch Stadium, and I’ll post all the details in my next blog post.  If you’ll be at tomorrow’s game and/or have nothing to do tomorrow night, there will be a UCB get-together tomorrow night at Cardinals Nation and you’re welcome to join us for some Cardinals conversation.

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

Diane