Free admission to the Cardinals Museum for veterans and active military

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

The saddest game ever

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

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

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

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

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Diane

2015 United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diane

Happy 70th Cardinals Anniversary to Red Schoendiest!

I’ve always been fond of Red Schoendiest,since, like Whitey Herzog, he’s a southern Illinois boy who’s done well for himself.  If you haven’t ever Red’s book Red:  A Baseball Life, I recommend you do so – it’s a very enjoyable read.  It was 70 years ago today that Red joined the Cardinals.  The Cardinals want you to join them in proclaiming love for Red, and here’s some details as to how to do so:

Cardinals Honor Red Schoendienst on 70 Years & Counting In MLB

 Team Launches #LoveRed2 Campaign Asking Fans to Join Team in Sharing Video Messages Demonstrating Their Appreciation and Affection for Red 

ST. LOUIS, April 17, 2015 – It was seventy years ago today that Albert “Red” Schoendienst began his remarkable career in Major League Baseball.  The St. Louis Cardinals are marking the milestone by honoring Red with a special pre-game ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Reds.  In addition, the team is launching a season-long campaign encouraging fans to demonstrate their affection for Red by sharing a video message via social media using the hashtag #LoveRed2.

 “We want to mark this amazing milestone by letting Red know how much he means to the entire Cardinals family,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals.  “We encourage fans to join us in showing their affinity, affection and appreciation for number two as he celebrates seventy years and counting in Major League Baseball.”

The team is asking fans to join Cardinals players, broadcasters, and team officials in taping video messages where they say their name while announcing that they love Red too.  Fans are asked to share those videos on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Vine using the hashtag #LoveRed2.  Fans can learn more at cardinals.com/lovered2.

Red, who will be joined by his family, will be honored with a special ceremony at 7PM prior to tonight’s game.  Red and fans will enjoy congratulatory video messages from players throughout the game and the team will wear a commemorative number 2 “70 Years in Uniform and Counting” patch on their sleeve.

Red made his Major League Baseball debut on April 17, 1945, when the Cardinals played the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  The young man from Germantown, Illinois joined the team to fill in for left fielder Stan Musial, who was serving in the U.S. Navy.  Red went 1 for 4 with a triple and run scored.  The following year, in 1946, Red moved positions ultimately settling into second base.  St. Louis won the World Series over the Boston Red Sox that season as Red began to develop into one of the best hitting and fielding second basemen of all time.  He played 19 years with the Cardinals, Giants, and Braves, and was a 10-time All-Star.  In 1953, Red put together his finest season when he established career highs with a .342 batting average, 15 home runs and 79 RBI.  On the Cardinals’ career lists, Red ranks fourth in at-bats (6,841) and pinch hits (54), fifth in games played (1,795), sixth in runs scored (1,025) and hits (1,980), seventh in doubles (352), and eighth in total bases (2,657).  He led the N.L. with 200 hits in 1957, and seven times he led or tied for the league lead in fielding percentage.

Red served as a coach on the 1964 World Championship team and was named manager when Johnny Keane resigned at the conclusion of the season.  Red piloted St. Louis to a World Series victory over the Red Sox in 1967 and another N.L. pennant in 1968 en route to a 12-year tenure as skipper, the longest in franchise history until Tony La Russa surpassed him in 2008.  Red ranks second in franchise records with 1,041 managerial wins.

Red was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989, had his number retired by the club in 1996, and was an inaugural member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.  Red currently serves as a special assistant to the General Manager.  Throughout his career, Red has been a model teammate, a mentor, and above all, a leader.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

A few thoughts about Jackie Robinson Day

JackieEvery year on April 15, Major League Baseball honors the late Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the major leagues. April 15 is the anniversary of the first day Jackie played in the major leagues.  For today only, every uniform worn in major league baseball will bear the number 42 in Jackie’s honor.   There will be a video tribute to Jackie before the Cardinals game tonight.  The number 42 is now retired permanently – that number will never be used by any team in major league baseball again.

If you have not yet watched the movie 42, I highly recommend you do so. Branch Rickey was the brave owner who decided it was time that an African-American got the opportunity to play ball at the major league level and Jackie was the player he selected. The movie shows the shameful treatment Jackie endured during his first major league season. The ignorance of many of the players in the major leagues and the fans back in those days was incredible. We thankfully live in more enlightened times. The only physical difference between African-Americans and Caucasians is that God used a brown crayon instead of a flesh colored one.  And there are so many beautiful shades of brown!

There have been many African-American players in the Cardinals’ lineups over the years – Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Willie McGee, Ozzie Smith, and Terry Pendleton, to name just a few.  Sadly, Jason Heyward is the only African-American player in the current lineup. In fact, there aren’t all that many African-Americans playing baseball at all any more – they have gravitated to basketball, football, and boxing. After all the struggles African-Americans have suffered for the opportunity to play the great game of baseball, it’s a shame that there are not that many African-American players any more.

My son and I will be attending tonight’s Cardinals game, so come on by and say hi –  we’ll be in section 355, row 5.  I know I said my next post wouldn’t be until next week, but the writing muse inspired me sooner.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Pomp but no circumstance

Opening Day 2015Yesterday was the Cardinals’ home opener, and as always, expectations ran high.  It poured down rain Monday morning, but by 10 AM, the rain had stopped.  The sun did its best to break through the clouds, but it unfortunately didn’t succeed.  The overcast weather, however, didn’t keep the citizens of Cardinals Nation from flooding into downtown St. Louis to all the pep rally locations, even if they didn’t have tickets to the game (like me).  Opening Day is an unofficial St. Louis civic holiday.  The boys are back in town and all is well with the world.

There were long lines to get into Busch Stadium yesterday due to the new metal detectors that were installed in the off-season. There was plenty of advance notice about the new metal detectors – maybe folks should have gotten moving to the stadium sooner. The on-field pre-game festivities began promptly at 2:30, whether you were in your seat or not. Various civic personalities were introduced.  The beloved Clydesdales made their annual trip around the warning track.  Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Tony LaRussa, Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, and Red Schoendiest were introduced.  Then the St. Louis Cardinals Museum and Hall of Famers Willie McGee, Mike Shannon, and Jim Edmonds that were there were introduced.  Why do I always tear up during the introduction of the Hall of Famers?  Is it just me? Or am I just a sentimental female?  I tear up as well during the Cooperstown Hall of Fame ceremonies when they introduce the players. I can’t blame it on the hormones anymore – I’m too old.  :(

All the current players then made their way around the warning track to home plate.  They all greeted the Hall of Famers (except for Jason Heyward, who forgot) and took their place along the first base line.  Lance Lynn showed a lot of class and respect for the Hall of Famers by removing his cap when he shook their hands.  That man’s mama raised him right.

An American bald eagle was released and he flew around the stadium for a good 5 minutes. I didn’t think he would ever go back to his handler.  The poor bird probably enjoyed his temporary freedom.  I understand he got a mouse for a treat.  He was probably hungry after all that flying around.

Then came the beautiful video tribute for Oscar Tavares, and a moment of silence for Oscar, his girlfriend Edila and Post-Dispatch sports writer Bryan Burwell, who passed away last winter.  The Cardinals did a classy thing and left a spot and a press pass in the press box for Bryan.  Lynn was seen putting his arm around Carlos Martinez’ shoulders during the Oscar tribute, a gesture of support and empathy.

The National Anthem was performed awesomely by Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson.  What a voice! It gave me goosebumps.

The Opening Day ceremonies went off without a hitch (with the exception of Heyward’s faux pas), but the game itself was not without its problems.  The Brewers scored a run in the first inning without the benefit of a hit.  Wainwright’s pitching was inconsistent, and it could be that there was too long of a time between starts for him, due to the days off on Tuesday and Thursday last week.  Wainwright had to pitch a longer game yesterday, because Matheny used 5 bullpen pitchers in Sunday’s game.  Kolten Wong’s defense was sloppy – he made two errors, and brave Kolten tried to take the brunt of the loss upon himself but there were other factors that led to yesterday’s loss.

The Cardinals got within one run, but they lost the game, 5-4. Tradition met today, but today was sadly lacking. I know we’re only 6 games into the season, but the lack of offense, continuing over from last season, is concerning.  Lance Lynn pitches tomorrow evening and I will be attending my first game of the season.  I hope to bring home a win.

My next post will be after the annual blogger event next Sunday evening. See you then! Thanks for reading!

Diane

Homestand Highlights 4/13-19/15

Opening Day 2015It’s Opening Day!  The Cards are finally back at the home roost (b/k/a Busch Stadium).  I can’t wait for today’s game, can you? I hope to get down to the rally today.  Here are all the highlights for this homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Monday, April 13 – Sunday, April 19, 2015)Opening Day, Yadier Molina bobblehead giveaway, and Red Schoendienst celebration highlight the first homestand of 2015

ST. LOUIS, April 13, 2015– Today marks the annual return of baseball to St. Louis, and the reigning National League Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals are kicking off their home schedule against the division rival Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds. The six-game homestand is highlighted by annual Opening Day festivities (#OpeningDaySTL), the Yadier Molina bobblehead giveaway, Jackie Robinson Day, and a ceremony celebrating Red Schoendienst’s 70th year in baseball (#LoveRed2).

Monday, April 13, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (3:15 p.m.)

#OpeningDaySTL

Gates open at 1:15 p.m.

  • Cardinals Official Opening Day Pre-Game Pep Rally, sponsored by Hardee’s: The Cardinals, Ballpark Village and Hardee’s will host a pre-game pep rally in the Ballpark Village parking lot from 11 a.m. – 2p.m. Fan favorite, DJ Todd Thomas will perform and Fredbird and Team Fredbird will be on hand to give away Opening Day tickets, autographed items and other Cardinals prizes. Fans can purchase a Hardee’s Combo Meal after regular breakfast hours from the Mobile Diner or Hardee’s restaurant on Chestnut and receive a free Cardinals t-shirt while supplies last. Other sponsors include: Budweiser, FOX Sports Midwest, Goodwill, Krispy Kreme, The Muny, PNC Bank, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Office Essentials and The Tan Company.
  •  Budweiser Magnet Schedule: All ticketed-fans, ages 21 and over, will receive a magnet featuring the 2015 Cardinals schedule, compliments of Budweiser.

  • Anthem: The National Anthem will be performed by Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson.

  • Ceremonial Pitch: Former Cardinals outfielder Willie McGee will throw the ceremonial first pitch to Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.
  • Remembering Taveras: Prior to the game, there will be a tribute video and moment of silence for Oscar Taveras and long-time sportswriter Bryan Burwell.  
  • Pre-game Ceremony: The pre-game ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m. as the famed Budweiser Clydesdales take their annual pre-game lap around the warning track. The ceremony continues with appearances from St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay, Fredbird, Team Fredbird and an American Bald Eagle, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary. The 2015 team and National Baseball Hall of Famers will be introduced via Ford motorcade, while 2014 Cardinals Hall of Fame class members Mike Shannon, Jim Edmonds and Willie McGee will also be on field. The Color Guard and American Flag in center field will be presented by the service men and women of Ft. Leonard Wood.
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the six 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 and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • Cardinals Museum Championship Gallery Re-opens: After undergoing some offseason renovations, the Championship Gallery at the Cardinals Museum re-opens today with new and improved display cases celebrating the franchise’s 11 World Series titles. For more information, visit cardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).

  •  Get Social: Fans should follow the team on Facebook (facebook.com/cardinals), Twitter (@cardinals), and Instagram (cardinals) for behind-the-scenes content from the club throughout the day. Fans can join the Opening Day discussion using the hashtag #OpeningDaySTL.
  •  Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music from DJ Rick Paul in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) post-game until close.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Jackie Robinson Day: Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing Number ’42’ during the game.
  • Catholic Family Night: Fans who purchase this special theme ticket will receive a voucher for a limited edition Cardinals themed blessing bracelet, presented by Catholic Supply of St. Louis. Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item. There will also be special programming in the Riverview Corner including a musical performance by Karl Zimmerman from 5:45 – 6:15 p.m. and a pre-game prayer and testimony from Cardinals broadcaster Rick Horton from 6:15 – 6:30 p.m. For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).  
  •  College Night Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite students, faculty and staff of local colleges and universities to the first college night of the season. Fans who purchase the $15 Right/Left Field loge theme night ticket, receive a limited edition pair of Cardinals sunglasses with Croakies. 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).

  • Jackie Robinson Jersey Raffle: During a pre-game ceremony, the St. Louis Cardinals, On the Run, and Anheuser-Busch will kick off their 8th annual Jackie Robinson jersey raffle which raises money for the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) and Cardinals Care in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. Fans can purchase raffle tickets at area On the Run locations for a chance to win a game-worn, autographed #42 jersey from Jackie Robinson Day at Busch Stadium & two tickets to the May 29th home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Winners will receive their jerseys as part of a pre-game field ceremony on May 29th at Busch Stadium. Raffle sales begin today and continue through April 30th. To find your nearest On the Run visit OntheRunSTL.com. Efforts support students of color in pursuit of a college education and children throughout Missouri and Illinois. Over the past 7 seasons, the Jackie Robinson Day Jersey raffle has raised more than $400,000 to benefit the JRF’s local Scholars and Cardinals Care.  JRF currently supports five Scholars from St. Louis, in addition to others from the surrounding area. 
  • Ernest Jones Ceremony: During a pre-game ceremony, the Cardinals will honor Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jr., the first African-American scout for the team.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m. 

  • KSDK First Alert Weather Bash at Busch: The Cardinals and KSDK News Channel 5 are hosting a weather bash pre-game to educate kids about the weather and its effects on the environment. This educational program, geared towards elementary and middle school students, teaches children about weather, and includes science experiments from Mad Science, an educational expo and tickets to the game all for just $16. Visit cardinals.com/theme for more info. 

 

  • Charity Haircuts in the Plaza sponsored by Great Clips: During the game, fans can root on their team 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. 
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music from DJ Rick Paul in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) post-game until close.

Friday, April 17, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

#LoveRed2

Gates open at 5:15 p.m. 

  • Adult Zip-Up Hooded Sweatshirt: 25,000 ticketed-fans, ages 16 and older, receive an adult fleece zip-up hooded sweatshirt.

  • Celebrating 70 Years of Red Schoendienst: In a ceremony prior to the game, the Cardinals will honor Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst who is celebrating his 70th season in Major League Baseball. The 92-year-old legend made his Major League debut on April 17, 1945. Fans are encouraged to share memories and congratulatory messages to Red using the hashtag #LoveRed2. 
  • Navy Ceremony: During a ceremony prior to the game, the Secretary of the United States Navy (SECNAV), Ray Mabus, will be on field for a special announcement. 
  • Dueling Pianos: From 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. there will be a dueling piano performance in Ford Plaza, courtesy of Spanky Entertainment. 
  • Missouri Farmers Care: Race to the Plate: During tonight’s game, the Cardinals and Missouri Farmers Care will debut a new in-game feature – a mascot race featuring Captain Cornelius, Bessie the Cow and Simon the Soybean. The feature will happen at every Friday home game during the 2015 season. Join the conversation on how today’s food is grown and raised atMissouriFarmersCare.com. 
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game. The auction is a great way for fans and collectors alike to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. Auction tables are located at Gate 1, Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the six 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 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, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music from Boogie Chyld in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) post-game until close. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m. 

  • Yadier Molina Gold and Platinum Gloves Bobblehead: 25,000 ticketed-fans, ages 16 and older, receive a bobblehead celebrating Yadier Molina’s seventh consecutive Gold Glove and third Platinum Glove Award, courtesy of Central Bank of St. Louis.

 

  • Rawlings Gold Glove Ceremony: In a ceremony prior to the game, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and right fielder Jason Heyward will receive their 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove awards. Gold Gloves are awarded annually for fielding excellence. This marks Molina’s seventh consecutive award (2008-2014) and Heyward’s second (2012, 2014 with the Braves). Molina will also receive his 2014 Platinum Glove Award. Since the award’s inception in 2011, Molina has won it three times as the best defender at any position in the National League.  
  • Prairie Farms Run the Bases: Following the game, fans 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting). Presented by Prairie Farms. 
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the six 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 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, Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning. All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Live Music at Cardinals Nation: There will be free live music from Sable in the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant) post-game until close.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:05 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:05 p.m. 

  • Kids Baseball T-Shirt: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, receive a youth baseball t-shirt. Presented by Pasta House and Coca-Cola.
  • Kids Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, receive a free ticket to a 2015 home game. 
  • Wilson MLB Defensive Player of the Year: In a ceremony prior to the game, Cardinals right fielder Jason Heyward will receive his 2014 Wilson MLB Defensive Player of the Year award, which he earned as a member of the Braves.
  • 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, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the six 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 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, 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.  

More Homestand Information

Metal Detectors

One change Cardinals fans will note this season is the installation of walk-through metal detectors at all Busch Stadium gates and entrances, as part of Major League Baseball’s implementation of mandatory metal detection screening of all guests at all MLB ballparks in 2015. Please see below for some helpful tips to ensure a smooth entry process for fans at Busch Stadium this season:

Allow more time – Stadium entry may take longer than in previous years. Please try to arrive earlier than normal to ensure you’re in the ballpark in plenty of time.

  • Be prepared for gate inspections – Entering with fewer items and having bags ready for inspection will speed up the process. Busch Stadium walk-through metal detectors are not as sensitive as TSA detectors at airports. Fans do not need to remove belt and shoes, but will need to remove large metal objects from pockets such as cell phones, keys, and glasses. Please inform gate staff of pacemakers or artificial joints that may set off the detectors. Have game tickets ready for ushers to scan. Fans can also visit this linkfor a refresher on which items are allowed into the ballpark.
  • Best gates to use – Fans who park on North or East sides of Busch Stadium are encouraged to enter at Gates 1 or 6, as these gates typically have shorter entry lines.

Jason Heyward featured on cover of new Cardinals Magazine

Cardinals Magazine kicks off its 24th season with a pair of must-read stories on two of the most watched players in 2015.The cover story on Gold-Glove outfielder Jason Heyward reveals how we embraces his new opportunity in St. Louis and why current and former teammates and coaches believe the talented 25 year-old will become a central figure in the Cards’ lineup in 2015. The same optimism is shared for Carlos Martinez, who opens up about the loss of his friend Oscar Taveras and how his greater maturity is driving him to become a fixture in the Cards’ rotation.

This page-turning edition includes an oral history of the stunning comeback in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS in Los Angeles through the eyes of Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday and others. Other exclusive content includes the debut of Carpenter’s new journal, Old School vs. New School featuring Randy Choate and Michael Wacha, a detailed review of and book excerpt from Mike Matheny’s national best-selling book “The Matheny Manifesto,” and photos from the offseason international travels of Matheny, Wainwright and Choate.

Throughout the season, Cardinals Magazine is on sale for just $5 at Busch Stadium at all gates, the Team Store, and the Cardinals Authentics Shop at Ballpark Village. It’s also available at many area retailers: Schnucks, Dierbergs, QT, Walgreens and Cardinals Clubhouse. To order a print or digital subscription, visit cardinals.com/magazine or call 314.345.9000. Sign up today and receive two tickets to a Monday-Thursday home games in 2015 (#CardsMag).

Official 2015 Scorecard

Also on sale at Busch Stadium this season is the popular 2014 Official Scorecard, featuring the striking artistic designs of local artist Mike Right, who has been creating the timeless Cardinals scorecard imagery since 2003. Inside, the scorecard also teaches fans how to score the “Cardinal Way”—a storied tradition by club officials that dates back to the 1940s. During games, fans can purchase Cardinals Magazine and the Official Scorecard together for just $5 at all gates.

New for 2015, fans coming to Busch Stadium can now purchase the magazine and scorecard with a credit or debit card at any gate. And in April, fans can purchase the 2015 Cardinals Official Calendar featuring the complete season schedule and more than 30 coupons from club and area retailers.

 Cardinals Authentics

New this season, the Cardinals Authentics Shop – the official source of game-used and autographed collectibles and memorabilia directly from the club – will have game-used bases and baseballs available for purchase before the end of the game. All season long, fans will be able to take a piece of the game directly from the field to their home, all in one visit. For more information on Cardinals Authentics, and their two locations (inside Ford Plaza and at Cardinals Nation inside Ballpark Village), visit cardinals.com/authentics (#CardsAuthentics).

Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar

Open daily, Cardinals Nation is the year-round home to Cardinals fans offering a variety of weekly programming and special events. This season, fans won’t want to miss the following highlights:

  • GW Grill on Clark Street featuring St. Louis’ own G&W Bratwursts and Hot Dogs on game days.
  • Game-day buffet at the Hall of Fame Club (2nd floor)
  • Homerun Brunch every non-home game Sunday
  • Keep the Cup promotion on game days with 3 limited edition cups this season
  • Free live music after weekend home games
  • And much more! Visit cardinalsnation.com for details. 

Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

Featuring stadiums, players and championship moments, the Cardinals Museum boasts one of the largest team-specific collections of artifacts and memorabilia in the world. The Museum’s seven galleries take fans on a chronological journey through the rich history of the Cardinals, allowing them to learn about the birth of the franchise, relive special memories and interact with great exhibits. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. On game nights, the Museum will remain open through the 7th inning. Adult admission is $12, and tickets can be purchased atcardinalsnation.com. (#CardsMuseum)

St. Louis Cardinals Official 2015 Media Guide

Typically available only to sportswriters, broadcasters, baseball executives and scouts, the Cardinals annual media guide is the ultimate insider’s resource. The Cardinals 2015 Media Guide can be purchased for $20 at cardinals.com/mediaguide, at the Team Store inside Busch Stadium, at each gate where scorecards are sold, at the Cardinals Authentics Shop in Cardinals Nation at Ballpark Village, and by phone at 314.345.9000.

 Cardinals in the Community

Cardinals Care (#CardsCare) was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed nearly $21 million to support St. Louis area non-profit youth organizations and built 21 youth ball fields in local under-resourced neighborhoods. 2015 marks the 12th year of Cardinals Care’s innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year. Fans can support Cardinals Care by donating directly at cardinals.com/community or in a variety of ways:

  • Cardinals Care 6K and One Mile Fun Run: Registration is now open for the sixth annual Cardinals Care 6K and One Mile Fun Run set for Sunday, September 13th. Those interested in participating are encouraged to learn more and register at cardinals.com/6k(#CardsCare6K).

Cardinals Work “4 A Greener Game”

The Green Team is a group of volunteers who walk down the aisles of the seating bowl in-between innings collecting recyclables from fans and promoting recycling at Busch Stadium. In exchange for their services, volunteers are able to watch the game in standing room only sections of Busch Stadium, as collections are only done in-between innings and during pitching changes so as not to disturb fans trying to watch the game. To volunteer or learn more, visit cardinals.com/green (#4AGreenerGame).

Cardinals Social Media

Join the Cardinals throughout the season on a variety of social media platforms including Twitter (@Cardinals), Facebook (facebook.com/cardinals), Instagram (Cardinals), Pinterest (pinterest.com/cardinalsmlb), Tumblr (stlcardinals) and Google + (St. Louis Cardinals). Fans will get an inside look at the team, exclusive promotions and giveaways, breaking club news, behind-the-scenes photos, videos and much more. For more info, and a list of verified player twitter accounts, visit cardinals.com/connect. Join the conversation using #STLCards.

Facebook Fridays with Fredbird: Every Friday, Fredbird and Team Fredbird will appear somewhere within Cardinal Nation to give away a select number of free tickets or items to lucky fans on a first come, first serve basis. Be sure to join the fun. To find out where Fredbird will be each week follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/cardinals and on Twitter @Cardinals, or visit cardinals.com/facebookfridays for more details (#Fredbird).

Fan-Friendly Values

  • Dynamic Deals of the Week: The Cardinals’ value-based dynamic pricing system allows them to offer outstanding ticket savings to fans throughout the season. Special values will be highlighted each Monday as part of the “Dynamic Deals of the Week” promotion. Fans can sign up to receive weekly Dynamic Deal emails at cardinals.com. 
  • KMOX 1120 First Pitch Tickets: The Cardinals are pleased to team up with KMOX 1120 to offer the KMOX 1120 First Pitch Tickets. At 9 a.m. on the day of each game, fans may purchase a voucher good for two tickets to that day’s game for a total cost of $11.20 ($5.60 per ticket). The voucher may be redeemed for tickets 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the game. The tickets may be anywhere in the park, depending on availability.

For more information on Cardinals promotions and scheduled events visit cardinals.com/promotions and cardinals.com/theme.

Media Information

Media looking for more information may contact the Cardinals Communications Department directly at 314.345.9904. Media can find helpful information about covering the team, including how to apply for credentials, sign up to receive team news releases and gain access to the team’s digital newsroom at cardinals.com/communications.

That’s all for now!  Go Cards! Thanks for reading!

Diane

2015 Opening Day schedule

Opening Day 2015Only 3 more days until the Cardinals’ home opener!  Since I work 2 blocks from Busch Stadium, I’ve been watching as the structural steel has been repainted and watching as the stadium is being spruced up for the new season.  I can’t wait to see it on TV during the Opening Day ceremonies.  And of course, it will be great to see our boys back home. If you’re going to be at any of the rallies, comment below so I can look for you!  Here’s all the details on Monday’s activities and all the new items at the stadium:

APRIL 13, 2015 – OPENING DAY IN ST. LOUIS

Tradition Meets Today for Fans at Opening Day 2015

ST. LOUIS – April 9, 2015– A pre-game ceremony that welcomes home the 2014 National League Central Division Champions, honors the team’s Hall of Famers, and commemorates the great tradition of Opening Day in St. Louis will punctuate a day of activities celebrating the annual return of baseball to St. Louis on Monday, April 13th.  The Cardinals will take on the Milwaukee Brewers in a 3:15 p.m. game. Following is a schedule of official activities and information to help fans enjoy the great tradition that is Opening Day in St. Louis (#OpeningDaySTL).

Opening Day in St. Louis 2015 – Tradition Meets Today

Tradition Meets Today – It is the theme of the 2015 season and the focus of the home opener this year. No one day better embodies the rich tradition of the St. Louis Cardinals than Opening Day at Busch Stadium. Despite the fact that the Cardinals are celebrating their 124th season of play in the National League, there is always something fresh and new about the home opener.

In a city where baseball is a religion and the fan passion is extraordinary, the story of Opening Day is told more effectively through poetry than prose. Opening Day in St. Louis is a day where generations of fans from all walks of life and different corners of the community come together in fellowship to celebrate their deep connection with the team and with one another.

The tradition is passed on from year to year, from teammate to teammate, and from fan to fan. The tradition is also refreshed and renewed each spring. For many fans, Opening Day in St. Louis is a long-standing tradition they celebrate annually. For others, a new tradition will be born on Monday in St. Louis.

Regardless of how a fan shares the Opening Day experience, what gate they enter, seat or standing room spot they occupy, or how they choose to share the experience (in park, at Ballpark Village, online, on social media, with the At Bat 15 app, on TV, via radio etc.), all Cardinals fans are part of the important tradition that embodies the hope, joy and shared purpose that a new season of baseball brings. It doesn’t matter if you are a child attending your first game or a Hall of Famer celebrating 70 seasons in baseball, Opening Day is sure to give you goosebumps. This Monday, Opening Day in St. Louis is where Tradition Meets Today.

Schedule

11 a.m. – 2 p.m.   Cardinals Official Opening Day Pre-Game Pep Rally, sponsored by Hardee’s:  The Cardinals, Ballpark Village and Hardee’s will host a pre-game pep rally in the Ballpark Village parking lot. Fan favorite, DJ Todd Thomas will perform from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fredbird and Team Fredbird will be on hand to give away Opening Day tickets, autographed items and other Cardinals prizes. Fans can purchase a Hardee’s Combo Meal after regular breakfast hours from the Mobile Diner or Hardee’s restaurant on Chestnut and receive a free Cardinals t-shirt while supplies last. Other sponsors include: Budweiser, FOX Sports Midwest, Goodwill, The Muny, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Office Essentials and The Tan Company. Fans can get their picture with a single Budweiser Clydesdale (weather permitting).

1:15 p.m.              Gates open

Budweiser Magnet Schedule Day:  All ticketed-fans, ages 21 and over, will receive a magnet with the 2015 Cardinals schedule, compliments of Budweiser Beer.

2:30 p.m.     Pre-game ceremonies begin with an appearance by the famed Budweiser Clydesdales.

Introduction of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay, and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

Introduction of Fredbird and Team Fredbird

Hall of Famers will be introduced via a Ford Motorcade, led around the warning trackEach Hall of Famer will be riding in a 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible.                                         

Tradition Meets Today Video

Introduction of three members of the 2014 Class of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame from the dugout (Jim EdmondsWillie McGee and Mike Shannon)

Introduction of the 2015 St. Louis Cardinals via Ford Motorcade. The players will ride in 2015 Ford F-150s.

Introduction of the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals lineups

Color Guard and American Flag in Center Field, courtesy of the service men and women of Ft. Leonard Wood

American Bald Eagle, courtesy of the World Bird Sanctuary of St. Louis

Tribute to Oscar Taveras and moment of silence for Bryan Burwell and Oscar Taveras

The National Anthem will be performed by Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson

Ceremonial First Pitch by Willie McGee to Ozzie Smith

3:15 p.m.  Game Time

Watching on TV

Fans can watch the game and pre-game ceremony in High Definition on FOX Sports Midwest.

Radio Coverage

Fans can tune into KMOX (1120 AM) or one of the 140 Stations in the Cardinals Radio Network to hear Mike Shannon and John Rooney call the game. The expanded pre-game show starts at 1:40 p.m.

Online or On the Go

Fans may also follow the game for free on cardinals.com using the Gameday application, or via the team’s Twitter account, @Cardinals. From mobile devices, fans can keep tabs on the score using MLB’s mobile app, At Bat 15.

Getting to the Game

MoDOT will not have any scheduled lane closures on state highways inside the city limits for Opening Day. There have been several changes to roadways around the downtown area – most importantly on Memorial. Drivers should pay attention to the roadways, as roads they are familiar with may have changed. Since the ramp from the Poplar Street Bridge to eastbound I-44 (formerly westbound I-70) is closed for reconstruction, Illinois drivers should use the ramp to 9th Street.

From northbound I-55, drivers can continue on eastbound I-44 to Walnut or to Washington. From eastbound I-70, drivers can take the Tucker ramp into the city, or stay on westbound I-44 and exit at Broadway. Illinois drivers can now also use the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge to get into downtown. When they get off the bridge, they can follow Tucker into the downtown area. As usual, Clark Street will be closed in between the stadium and Ballpark Village.

Alternative Transportation

MetroLink is a convenient alternative to driving. To avoid the traffic congestion and the cost of parking on game day, fans can use one of 19 free Park-Ride lots along the MetroLink line and take the train to Stadium Station, right across the street from the ballpark. Check the Metro website,MetroSt.Louis.org, for schedules and the Park-Ride lot nearest you. There are also plenty of buses in Missouri and Illinois that will get fans to Busch Stadium including the RedBird Express that departs from the Water Tower at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, Illinois. The first RedBird Express leaves 2 ½ hours before the game and runs approximately every 5 minutes. On Opening Day, the RedBird Express will start running at noon.

Ballpark Improvements

As the Cardinals begin their tenth season of play in Busch Stadium, the team has made a number of improvements to the stadium during the offseason, including a major expansion of the UMB Champions Club, as well as a variety of other upgrades and maintenance projects throughout the ballpark.

The UMB Champions Club, one of the most sought after, all-inclusive, luxury VIP fan experiences within the ballpark has undergone a 1,000 square foot expansion, including the installation of 87 new seats. The club was expanded to the south over the Musial Bridge as well as to the north toward the Budweiser Bow Tie Bar.

The Gate 5 area of the ballpark was reconfigured to improve the pedestrian flow within the ballpark and fan access to the park. The gates were moved 12 feet north toward Clark Street. These improvements have also improved the site lines from the AT&T Rooftop and other spots within Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village.

A new retail store has been added in center field featuring hats from New Era, 47 Brand and American Needle, and an embroidery machine to create custom hats. The store is located in Ford Plaza at the entrance to the Family Pavilion.

One of the biggest changes fans will note this season is the installation of walk-through metal detectors at all of the gates and stadium entrances as part of Major League Baseball’s implementation of mandatory metal detection screening of all guests at all MLB ballparks in 2015.

For more than a decade, the Cardinals have conducted systematic screening of fans with handheld metal detectors. In order to ensure effective screening of all guests who enter the park with minimal inconvenience or delay, the Cardinals have installed walk-through magnetometers at all gates and increased event staffing by twenty percent.   Additional upgrades and improvements include:

  •  Extensive painting of all of the exposed structural steel around the ballpark
  •  A variety of concession stands throughout the ballpark have been upgraded. All concession stands have been upgraded with new energy-efficient beverage coolers to dispense refreshing Coke and AB-In Bev beverages. New, easier-to-read, graphically-enhanced menu boards have been installed at all of the field level concession stands.
  •  New televisions have been installed in various sections of the ballpark.
  •  The installation of new backstop netting behind home plate
  •  The installation of a new Trivision scoreboard in center field
  •  Renovation of the Group Sales Corner including walls and an enhanced AV system
  •  More directional signage has been installed to assist fans navigating the ballpark.
  •  The re-numbering of all bleacher seat sections from 500 sections to 100 sections to better reflect that the bleachers  are located on the first level of the ballpark (101,103,105,107, 109, 111, 189, 191, 193, 195, 197).
  •  The installation of LED light fixtures in a variety of locations within the ballpark to improve illumination while also  enhancing energy efficiency
  •  The installation of new flooring throughout select areas of the ballpark.

In addition to the ballpark improvements, some operational changes will be in place during 2015 season. The most notable change is that gates will open 1 ½ hours prior to games on Monday thru Thursday (with the exception of Opening Day & holidays), and two hours prior to Friday, Saturday and Sunday games. Food and beverage service in all-inclusive areas will commence when the ballpark opens. Gate 4 will permanently become the only smoking/ re-entry gate.

New Menu for 2015

Delaware North Companies Sportservice, the St. Louis Cardinals’ concessionaire for more than 50 years, is preparing to welcome fans back to the Stadium with a starting lineup of food to please every fan’s unique taste. New are several menu items in concessions and suites along with a second location of a 2014 fan favorite, The Barrel Aged Cocktail Bar, featuring craft cocktails. Delaware North Executive Chef Larry Johnson and his culinary team have developed a wide array of new menu items for both concessions and suites.  Following is a list of the new concession menu items:

  •  Waffle Sandwiches – Waffles cooked to order with choice of fried chicken breast with maple bacon gravy; chicken  carnitas with crispy bacon, pico de gallo and ranch dressing; or BBQ pulled pork with creamy coleslaw and BBQ  sauce. Each sandwich is served with white queso tater tots (“Crowd The Plate Stand”-section 148).
  •  Walking Tacos – Choice of original Doritos or Fritos topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and salsa.  Build on that with nacho beef, pulled pork or chicken carnitas. (Sections 266, 432, 199) Shrimp Walking Tacos are  available at the Island Grill location near Section 144. Nacho Beef Walking Tacos (only) will also be vended in the  seats.
  •  Extreme Bacon Sandwich – BBQ spiced ground pork filled with cheddar cheese and crisp chopped bacon, wrapped with apple-wood-smoked bacon and finished with barbeque glaze. The sandwich is carved to order, served on a locally baked Hawaiian bun with BBQ aioli and served with maple bacon chips (Broadway BBQ –Section 109 and Bacon Station Portable at Section 446).
  •  Turkey Burger – A ground turkey patty served on a locally-baked Hawaiian bun with arugula, guacamole and pico de  gallo. Comes with house-fried tortilla chips (Double Play Tap & Grill-Section 135).
  •  Double Gooey Burger – This half-pound burger consists of two fresh grilled patties served on a locally baked  Hawaiian bun with two slices of American cheese, signature sauce, shredded lettuce and sliced tomato (Double Play Tap & Grill-Section 135).
  •  Quadruple Gooey Burger – This one-pound burger consists of four fresh grilled patties served on a locally baked  Hawaiian bun with four slices of American cheese, signature sauce, shredded lettuce and sliced tomato (Double Play  Tap & Grill – Section 135).
  •  Big Kahuna – An 8-oz. jumbo ice cream sandwich cookie (Available at all Ballpark Favorites concession stands and  vended throughout the stadium).
  •  Oreo Churro – A 7-inch double-twist Oreo batter churro with Oreo crème dipping sauce (Redbird Club – Section 251  and Oreo/Funnel Cake Portables at Sections 454 and 145).
  •  7-oz. Bavarian Pretzel – An oversize Bavarian-style pretzel large enough to share with family or friends (Gashouse Grills, Sections 141, 101, 271, 264, 266, 432).
  •  Bacon Cheddar Bratwurst – Locally produced by Norrenberns Foods for Busch stadium with chopped bacon,  cheddar cheese and topped with BBQ sauce (Broadway BBQ – Section 109 and The Bacon Station Portable –  Section 446).
  •  Pretzel Bites – Locally made by A Different Twist, these pretzel poppers are served with white queso dipping sauce  (Crowd the Plate – Section 148 & Triple Play in Section 271).
  •  Deep-Fried Oreo Cookies – Oreo cookies fried in funnel cake batter and served with a side of whipped cream and  chocolate sauce (Redbird Club Section 251 and Crowd the Plate Stand at Section 148).

Due to customer demand, Cardinals fans will also have another new spot at which to quench their thirst. The second location of The Barrel Aged Cocktail Bar (Section 130) features a wide array of craft cocktails made fresh from a variety of ingredients, including fine spirits, fresh fruits and juices. Among the new craft cocktails: The Dark and Stormy, made with dark rum and ginger beer; the Crisp Caramel Apple, made with Crown Royal Regal Apple and Sprite; the Specialty Bloody Mary with Absolut Cilantro Vodka; the B.L.T., made with Bulleit Bourbon, a lemon garish and tonic water; and three cocktails made with White Lightnin’, including Redbird Punch made with White Lightin’ and Apple Pie Moonshine mixed with cranberry juice and ginger ale.

New Suite Menu Items

In suites, Delaware North is adding a Sushi Cart, a Turkey and Beef Tenderloin Carvery Cart, and Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Cart, which will feature vanilla and chocolate ice cream, root beer and orange floats and various toppings. Among the new suite menu packages are the Cardinals Sampler, which includes house-made meatballs, toasted cannelloni and Buffalo chicken wings; the Ultimate Burger Slider Trio, featuring black Angus beef, turkey or Italian sausage served with various cheeses and toppings on a bakery fresh Kaiser bun; and a Jumbo Hot Dog Bar with all-beef franks and a variety of toppings ranging from pulled pork to corn pico de gallo.

Other new suite menu items include a Watermelon and Spinach Salad, a Kale and Arugula Salad, a Spinach Artichoke Pizza, a Mediterranean Focaccia Sandwich, St. Louis Chicken Po’ Boy Slider, and Strawberry Shortcake. Suite holders will also have access to the new Field Suites Landing, featuring Stella Artois draft beer, an assortment of craft beers, premium wines, and Cold Slab Creamery ice cream with a selection of “mix-in” toppings.

New Retail for 2015

Fans will also find new Cardinals apparel and other merchandise, plus a new specialty retail store. Delaware North created a new retail store in centerfield featuring hats from New Era, 47 Brand and American Needle, and an embroidery machine to create custom hats. Men’s, women’s and children’s apparel will also be available. The new store is located in Ford Plaza at Section 101, at the entrance to the Family Pavilion.

New Cardinals-branded apparel and merchandise for 2015, which is available at the Cardinals Team Store and other locations within the ballpark, include exclusive Delaware North-created hats; ladies apparel, plush, and accessories from Tokidoki; watches with interchangeable faces and bands from Modify; new replica jerseys with a Cool Base fabric; Alex Woo jewelry featuring a second logo; a new collection of eight different style Dooney and Bourke handbags; a ukulele, guitar straps and picks from Peavey; Eastland boat shoes and Row One sneakers; an expanded line of pet products; and an expanded Peanuts line, including men’s women’s and children’s apparel and bobbleheads.

Fans will want to visit one of the two Cardinals Authentics locations (inside Cardinals Nation and Busch Stadium in the Ford Plaza north of Gate 6)  to shop for genuine Cardinals gear and to own a piece of St. Louis history. Both Cardinals Authentics locations specialize in official, game-used, limited edition and  autographed collectibles and memorabilia direct from the club. Both stores offer a great selection of current and vintage Cardinals apparel, as well as one-of-a-kind collectibles. The Cardinals Nation location is open daily 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; on game nights, the shop will remain open 1 hour post game.

Cardinals Authentics is offering the ultimate fan experience by having game-used memorabilia such as baseballs and bases available for purchase before the end of the game throughout the 2015 season. All season long, fans will be able to take a piece of the game directly from the field to their home. Cardinals Authentics features game-used bases, game-used balls, bats, helmets, caps and jerseys.

Cardinals Authentics is also helping fans celebrate the 70th anniversary of Red Schoendienst’s first game in 1945 by selling a limited-edition collectible that includes an autographed copy of the June 6, 1960, Sports Illustrated cover featuring Red. The beautifully-framed piece, inscribed with “70 years in Baseball, 1945-2015,”retails for $249.99.

In January, Cardinals Authentics launched a coin series which will include one frame to display the 11 coins that will be available throughout the season. Each month, Cardinals Authentics will make a new coin available that commemorates one of the 11 World Series Titles from the St. Louis Cardinals. The coins retail for $11.99 and the frame retails for $24.99.

Fans should stop by the Authentics Store to pick up autographed items from a variety of Cardinals players, including Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Randal Grichuk, Marco Gonzales, Mike Matheny, Matt Adams, and Kolten Wong. Cardinals Authentics also features a wider selection of Yadier Molina autographed merchandise this season than in the past.

Ballpark Village

Ballpark Village will again be the place to be before, during and after the game. Since opening in March of 2014, Ballpark Village has hosted more than 5 million visitors of all ages from across the country and brought hundreds of great events to downtown. As Ballpark Village enters its second year, several additions and improvements are underway including the recent opening of the new Crown Room second-floor lounge in Budweiser Brew House, the addition of two 15-foot television screens in Fox Sports Midwest Live!, a two-sided permanent outdoor stage next to the Busch II infield and greatly improved sight lines into left center field in Busch Stadium. For more information about upcoming promotions at Ballpark Village, visit stlballparkvillage.com

Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar

Fans will want to come downtown early to have breakfast at Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar in Ballpark Village on Opening Day. Cardinals Nation will open for breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. hosting the Y98 Phillips and Company Morning Show featuring menu items chosen by the Y98 Crew.

Open daily, Cardinals Nation is the year-round home to Cardinals fans offering a variety of weekly programming and special events. Offering an expansive menu that recently doubled in size with 27 new menu items, Cardinals Nation has something for everyone. Known for putting a spin on traditional favorites, the Cardinals Nation menu boasts the right mixture of everyday picks and unique novelties. Fans will want to check out the G&W Grill on game days in front of Cardinals Nation on Clark Street. The G&W Grill features St. Louis’ own G&W Sausage Company Bratwursts and Hot Dogs.

Fans will also want to visit the new Cardinals Hall of Fame Club on the second floor of the Cardinals Nation Restaurant and Bar that will be open before and after every home baseball game. The Hall of Fame Club features a great Game Day Buffet prior to the game and an ala carte small plate menu after the game. Fans will also find a new, improved Balcony Bar overlooking Fox Sports Midwest Live! which offers entertainment (band or DJ) post game on Friday and Saturday Nights.

Throughout the 2015 season, Cardinals Nation will be running a “Keep the Cup” promotion on game days allowing fans to purchase a commemorative ‘Celebrate the Championships’ collectible 20 oz. cup that can be refilled with their favorite domestic draft for $6. Three limited edition cups will be made available during the 2015 season that fans won’t want to miss (1944 vs. St. Louis Browns, 1982 vs. Milwaukee Brewers and 2006 vs. Detroit Tigers).

The restaurant will continue to offer the Homerun Brunch every non-home game Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that features the best Bloody Mary bar in St. Louis, and they will be debuting a special loyalty program for Cardinals fans.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame & Museum at Cardinals Nation

Our Home.  Our History.  Our Heroes.

With the start of the 2015 season, the museum’s Championship Gallery features a fresh, new look utilizing deep red case backgrounds with a larger selection of artifacts and memorabilia in each of the 12 cases. Along with key player jerseys, new artifacts are highlighted, such as a Dizzy Dean watch, matching pennants for the 1944 Cardinals and Browns, Lou Brock’s 1967 World Series issued bat, and Darrell Porter’s shoes.

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. With over 8,000 square feet on the second floor of Cardinals Nation, the Museum (#CardsMuseum) celebrates the rich history of baseball in St. Louis and the legacy of one of baseball’s most storied franchises. The museum allows the Cardinals to showcase the team’s extensive collection of Cardinals artifacts, memorabilia and photography in a way that brings to life the amazing story of one of baseball’s most storied franchises.

The Museum walks visitors through the history of the Cardinals, beginning with the early days of Sportsman’s Park through today’s celebrated stadium and team. Each stage of the Museum has been carefully designed to reflect the historic stadium architecture and the time period being explored. The walk through history is accomplished through changing photographic pallets, case designs, and park aesthetics like appropriate woodwork and steel trusses.

The Cardinals designed the museum galleries to be fun, immersive, time-traveling experiences for all fans, whether they are long-time die-hard fans or those just beginning to fall in love with the team. The design of the Cardinals Museum integrates historic artifacts with state-of-the-art touchscreen technology and other multimedia to create immersive environments.

#CardsFanFlix – 2015 Initiative to Engage with Fans Using Mobile Video

Reverend Robbie Sondag, a Cardinals fan from Fort Wayne, Indiana, will enjoy the Ultimate Opening Day experience with tickets to the President’s Box as he won the Cardinals Ultimate Fan Video Contest with his Ultimate Cardinal Fan Robbie Video. More than seventy fans submitted videos to the Ultimate Fan Video Contest, the first in a series of #CardsFanFlix promotions to engage fans to develop videos that celebrate the St. Louis Cardinals. The team recently launched the Take Me Out to the Ballgame Talent contest and plans a series of efforts throughout the season to encourage fans to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the team, while also showcasing their talent using a medium that is transforming how people connect with one another. Through the various #CardsFanFlix fan engagement efforts, the team hopes to tap into the increasing trend for user-generated video content that is transforming the web and social platforms thanks to advances in mobile technology. Fans can check out all the fan videos and learn more at cardinals.com/fanflix.

Cardinals Magazine’s New Edition & 2015 Official Scorecard

In time for Opening Day, Cardinals Magazine kicks off its 24th season with a pair of must-read stories on two of the most watched players in 2015. The cover story on Gold-Glove outfielder Jason Heyward reveals his embrace of his new opportunity in St. Louis and why current and former teammates and coaches believe the talented 25 year old will become a central figure in the Cards’ lineup in 2015. The same optimism is shared for Carlos Martinez, who opens up about the loss of his friend Oscar Taveras and how his greater maturity is driving him to become a fixture in the Cards’ rotation.

This page-turning edition includes an oral history of the stunning comeback in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS in Los Angeles through the eyes of Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday and others.

Other exclusive content includes the debut of Carpenter’s new journal, Old School vs. New School featuring Randy Choate and Michael Wacha, a detailed review of, and book excerpt from, Mike Matheny’s national best-selling book “The Matheny Manifesto,” and photos from the offseason international travels of Matheny, Wainwright and Choate.

Throughout the season, Cardinals Magazine is on sale for just $5 at Busch Stadium at all gates, the team store, and the Cardinals Authentics store at Ballpark Village. It’s also available at many STL retailers: Schnucks, Dierbergs, QT, Walgreens and Cardinals Clubhouse. To order a print or digital subscription, please visit cardinals.com/magazine or call 314.345.9000. Sign up today and receive two tickets to a Monday-Thursday home games in 2015.

Also on sale at Busch Stadium this season is the popular 2015 Official Scorecard, featuring the striking artistic designs of local artist Mike Right, who has been creating the timeless Cardinals scorecard imagery since 2003. Inside, the scorecard also teaches fans how to score the “Cardinal Way”—a storied tradition by club officials that dates back to the 1940’s. During games, fans can purchase Cardinals Magazine and the Official Scorecard together for just $5 at all gates.

New for 2015, fans coming to Busch Stadium can now purchase the magazine and scorecard with a credit or debit card at any gate. And in April, fans can purchase the 2015 Cardinals Official Calendar featuring the complete season schedule and more than 30 coupons from club and area retailers.

BUSCH STADIUM – POLICY REMINDERS

Bag Inspections Policy

  • The standard game-day bag inspection policies for Busch Stadium will be in effect. Bags must meet Major League Baseball’s standard size restriction (16”x16”x8”), and all bags will be inspected prior to entry.
  • Fans will be permitted to bring small personal cameras and will be subject to inspection.  No professional-sized photography equipment will be allowed except for members of the media with proper MLB credentials.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages such as water and soda in open cups or in clear plastic bottles no larger than 2 liters are allowed.
  • Alcohol, bottles, cans, thermoses, hard-sided coolers; hard plastic cups/mugs are not permitted.
  • Small banners and signs are allowed. Banners may be displayed as long as they do not hinder or interfere with a ball in play or distract or interfere with the view of another guest. Banners may not be displayed in fair territory, be obscene or in poor taste, attract abuse or cause a disturbance among other guests. They should be baseball-oriented and not commercial in nature.
  • Please minimize items you bring into the stadium to speed up the inspection process.
  • Expect long lines upon entry and allow yourself plenty of time to go through the inspection process.

Exit/Re-entry Policy

Standard Exit/Re-entry Policies are in effect. Guests wishing to leave the stadium, but planning to return during the same game must present their ticket, obtain a re-entry card, and have their hand stamped at Gate 4 as they exit the stadium. Guests must show their ticket, re-entry card and hand stamp as they pass through the metal detectors upon re-entry.

No Smoking Policy

Standard Busch Stadium Smoking Policy is in effect. Busch Stadium is a smoke-free facility, including “smokeless” cigarettes. Exit/re-entry turnstiles will be set up at Gate 4 to allow fans access in and out of the stadium if they wish to smoke. Guests must show their ticket, re-entry card and hand stamp as they pass through the metal detectors upon re-entry.

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” video contest announcement

Take me outI’m so glad Cardinals baseball is back!  The Opening Night game was a great game. Adam Wainwright didn’t have his best stuff and gave up some doubles, but he got the win.  Jason Heyward was 3 for 5 with two doubles in his Cardinals debut.  The New Runnin’ Redbirds stole 4 bases, including a double steal by Matt Holliday and Heyward.  And Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side, which was amazing. The Cubs, unfortunately, played like the Cubs.  They left 13 runners in scoring position.  They also bobbled a few balls in the outfield.  And the Friendly Confines were more like the Unfriendly Confines, since there were not enough restrooms to accommodate the fans.  Some fans were forced to pee in beer cups.  Tonight’s game is cancelled due to the inclement weather forecast.  We will have to wait until Wednesday afternoon to see our boys play again.  In the meantime, here’s some news about an exciting new contest from the Cardinals.  I hope to be able to enter this contest!  Here are all the details:

“Take Me Out to The Ballgame” Talent Video Contest Announced

Fans Challenged to Demonstrate Singing Talent With 2nd #CardsFanFlix Fan Video Promotion. Winner’s Video Premieres at Ballpark July 29th

ST. LOUIS, April 5, 2015– As the St. Louis Cardinals begin their 124th season of play in the National League today, the team has launched another #CardsFanFlix  fan engagement promotion to encourage fans to submit videos singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  The winning video, which will be selected by a fan vote, will be shown on the scoreboard during the 7th Inning stretch at the Cardinals – Reds game on Wednesday, July 29th.  The winner will also be treated to a VIP experience that includes 10 tickets to the game.

“We hope to encourage individual fans, church choirs, school groups, local organizations and all fans with talent to show us their creativity with their version of this baseball classic,” said Ron Watermon, Vice President of Communications.  “We are encouraging fans to have some fun putting their own fresh mark on this classic song that embodies what we all love about the game of baseball.”

The “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” Talent Contest is the second in a series of several #CardsFanFlix promotions the team has planned this season to encourage fans to create videos that celebrate the Cardinals.  Over seventy videos were submitted to the Ultimate Fan Video Contest that was launched on March 2.  A winner of that contest will be announced this week and will enjoy the ultimate fan experience on Opening Day in St. Louis next week – four tickets to enjoy the game from the President’s box.  Fan videos can be viewed at www.cardinals.com/ultimatefan

Fans who participate in the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” Talent Contest are asked to create a video up to three minutes in length.  While fans must respect copyright laws and keep things in good taste, they are encouraged to be creative, show off their talent and convey their enthusiasm for the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans can submit a video via Vine, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any other public platform, but in order to be eligible for the contest they must provide the Cardinals a link to the video and complete a short submission form on the contest web page.

Through the #CardsFanFlix fan engagement effort this season, the St. Louis Cardinals hope to tap into the increasing trend of user-generated video content made possible by advances with mobile technology and social media.  Social media platforms such as Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Twitter have all seen increased video content.  YouTube estimates that approximately 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Fans can learn more about #CardsFanFlix at cardinals.com/fanflix.  Fans can join the conversation by using #CardsFanFlix.

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

Diane

Decisions, decisions

Some decisions are hard.  What do I want to do for a living?  What college should I attend?  Who should I marry?  Should we have kids?  Those are life-changing decisions.

Mike Matheny’s decision as to which Cardinals pitcher will be fifth in the rotation this season, while not as hard as the above-listed decisions, is still a difficult one to make.  There are three pitchers who are equally deserving of the fifth slot, and all three have pitched well in spring training.  Let’s take a look at each pitcher.

Jaime Garcia has been a Cardinal for a few seasons now, although he was on the disabled list last year and the year before. When he was able to pitch in seasons past, during one start, he would be lights out, and in his next start, he would just be goofy. Inconsistency, thy name is Jaime Garcia.  However, Jaime came to camp this year with a gutsy determination to earn the fifth spot in the rotation.  He said he could pitch and so far, he’s proven that he was right. In today’s game, he struck out 7 over 4 innings.  In his last 2 starts, he struck out 12 batters.  He has a 3.86 ERA.

Carlos Martinez pitched for the Cardinals in a variety of roles last season – starter, short relief and long relief.  He desperately wants to be a starting pitcher.  The death of Oscar Martinez, Carlos’ best friend, has given Carlos a determination to pitch well to honor his friend’s memory.  Carlos will just have to look at his uniform number to find the inspiration he needs.  So far this spring, Carlos has a 1-0 record with a .6.75 ERA.  Like Jaime, Carlos has experience pitching at the major league level.

Marco Gonzales is the hot-shot rookie who wants to prove he belongs with the big club.  Last year in the minors, Marco had a 9-5 record with a 2.43 ERA. Gonzalez has a 3-0 record in spring training, with a miniscule .084 ERA..  During Tuesday’s game, Gonzales went 4 innings and threw 41 strikes. He is the only Cardinals pitcher to go 4 innings in a start so far this spring.

I don’t envy Mike the decision he has to make.  However, if it were me, this is what I would do.  I would tell Garcia that the rotation spot is his to lose.  The Cards have too much money tied up in him to release him without giving him a shot at the fifth spot.  However, I would tell him that should he get injured or falter, there are two other pitchers waiting in the wings (pardon the pun) to take the spot.  I would keep Martinez on the roster to use as a reliever and for a spot start if necessary.  I would send Gonzales back down to AAA for one more season.   He would be the first pitcher that I would call up if there were injuries to any pitchers. This is just my opinion, however, and it will probably not coincide with what Mike decides.

Spring training will be over in 2 weeks and regular season baseball  will be back in a little over two weeks! I can’t wait – can you?  That’s all for now – thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time!

Diane

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