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!


Time to vote for the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame inductees!

Cards Hall of FameSpring training games have begun and isn’t it awesome to have baseball once again?  With the start of spring training games, it’s also time for fans to start voting to select the inductees into the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame.  This year’s roster of candidates is excellent and it will be hard for fans to pick just two to enter the Hall.  There are carryover candidates from last year.  Here are all the details:


Fans to select two players for August induction from ballot of Carlton, Forsch, Hernandez, McGwire, Morris, Renteria, Simmons & Torre

ST. LOUIS, MO (March 09, 2015) The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame fan balloting process began earlier today.  Fans can select two players for the August 15th induction from a ballot that includes Cardinals greats Steve Carlton, Bob Forsch, Keith Hernandez, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, Ted Simmons and Joe Torre.

The eight modern ballot nominees were selected by a “Red Ribbon” committee of Cardinals baseball experts through a secret ballot process in January.  The Cardinals Hall of Fame Vote presented by Edward Jones will run until April 20th at  The two players with the most fan votes after voting concludes will be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame during a formal enshrinement ceremony that will take place on Saturday, August 15th as part of the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

“Induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors the team can bestow,” said Bill DeWitt Jr., Chairman and CEO of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We think it is appropriate to have some of the best, most knowledgeable fans in the game of baseball choose the Cardinals players who will be part of this class.”

The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame was established as a way to recognize the exceptional careers and significant achievements of the greatest players in Cardinals history. To be eligible, players must have played for the Cardinals for at least three seasons and must be retired as a player from Major League Baseball for at least three years. The eligible pool of players is divided into two categories, ‘modern players’ and ‘veteran players.’ If a player retired more than 40 years prior to the induction year, he is classified as a veteran player.

In addition to nominating modern players for fan balloting, the “Red Ribbon” committee of Cardinals baseball experts also elected a veteran player for induction using a secret ballot process. Independent of this process, the Cardinals organization may also opt to induct an individual who was an important figure in Cardinals history such as a coach, broadcaster or member of the front office. The second elected induction class will be announced in a pre-game ceremony on Thursday, April 30th.

Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame is permanently enshrined in the Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery presented by Edward Jones located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, just outside the entrance to the team’s new museum. The Hall of Fame Gallery is free and open to the public. The plaques that adorn the gallery are produced by Matthews International, the company that also produces the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  Following is a description of each nominee’s career as a Cardinal:

Steve Carlton (#CarltonHOF)

77-62, 3.10 ERA, 1.28 WHP

Steve Carlton was a three-time All-Star in seven seasons with Cardinals.  He had 66 complete games as a Cardinal and was a 20-game winner in 1971.  Carlton was second in the NL with a 2.17 ERA in 1969.

Bob Forsch (#ForschHOF)

163-127, 3.67 ERA, 1079 K’s

Bob Forsch played 15 seasons with the Cardinals, making 401 starts, ranking second all-time in franchise history.  He threw two no-hitters, coming in 1978 and again in 1983, becoming the only pitcher in Cardinals history to throw two.  He played in three World Series, winning in 1982, a year in which he threw a three-hit shutout in the Cardinals first ever NLCS game.  The two-time Silver Slugger Award winner won 163 games for the Cardinals, ranking third in franchise history.

Keith Hernandez (#HernandezHOF)

.299 AVG, 265 2B, 662 R

Keith Hernandez played 10 seasons with the Cardinals, winning six straight Gold Gloves from 1978-1983.  He was a co-MVP in 1979, batting a league-leading .344 with 11 HR and 105 RBI.  The two-time All-Star was a member of the 1982 World Championship team.

Mark McGwire (#McGwireHOF)

220 HR, 473 RBIs, 1.111 OPS

Mark McGwire finished his career playing five seasons with the Cardinals.  In 1998, he broke the Major League Baseball single-season home run record of 61 set by Roger Maris with 70.  He blasted 220 career home runs with the Cardinals ranking sixth in franchise history, leading the National League in 1998 and 1999, the top two season totals in Cardinals history.  He set the Cardinals single-season walk mark with 162 in 1998.  McGwire had back-to-back seasons of 147 RBI, ranking tied for third in Cardinals history.  He was a three-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1998.

Matt Morris (#MorrisHOF)

101-62, 3.61 ERA, 986 K’s

Matt Morris pitched for the Cardinals from 1997-2005, finishing third in the Rookie of the Year award in 1997 and was a two-time All-Star in 2001 and 2002.  He played in five postseasons and one World Series, in 2004.  He led the National League with 22 wins in 2001 and won 101 games over his career with the Cardinals.

Edgar Renteria (#RenteriaHOF)

.290 AVG, 71 HR, 148 SB

Edgar Renteria was a three-time All-Star in six years with the St. Louis Cardinals.  He was a two-time Gold Gove shortstop, helping the Cardinals win the NL pennant in 2004.  Renteria was a three-time Silver Slugger with the Cardinals.

Ted Simmons (#SimmonsHOF)

.298 AVG, 172 HR, 929 RBIs

Ted Simmons played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, making his Major League debut at 18-years old in 1968.  He was a six-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger in 1980.  In 1975, Simmons set the National League record for hits by a catcher with 188.  He posted six seasons of 20 or more home runs and 10 consecutive seasons from 1971-80 with 75 or more RBI.  His 172 HR rank ninth and 929 RBI are seventh all-time in Cardinals franchise history.

Joe Torre (#TorreHOF)

.308 AVG, 558 RBIs, 161 2B

Joe Torre played six seasons with the Cardinals at catcher, first base and third base from 1969-74.  He was a four-time All-Star and was named National League MVP in 1971, leading the league with a .363 batting average with 137 RBI and 230 hits, while hitting 24 home runs.  His 230 hits were the most since Stan Musial had 230 in 1948, the most by a Cardinal since World War II.  He posted a career batting average of .308, ranking tenth in Cardinals franchise history.

The 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame “Red Ribbon” Selection Panel

Tom Ackerman,  Frank Cusumano,  Derrick Goold, Whitey Herzog, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker,  Martin Kilcoyne, Jenifer Langosch,  Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Red Schoendienst, Joe Strauss and Brian Walton.

Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum (#CardsMuseum)

The 8,000 square foot state-of-the art St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, which is on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, celebrates the rich history of baseball in St. Louis and the legacy of one of baseball’s most storied franchises. The Cardinals’ museum collection is the largest team-held collection in baseball and is second only to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in terms of size with over 16,000 memorabilia items and hundreds of thousands of archival photographs. Fans can learn more about the museum, hours of operation and admission at

There are some tough choices here, but I will be voting for Ted Simmons (who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame as well) and Bob Forsch.  Who will you vote for?

Thanks for reading! See you next time!


Auditioning for the KMOX Sports Correspondent contest

kmox-sportsco-finalI once wrote a blog post about my Cardinals bucket list, and one of the items on the list is going to spring training.  Alas, our household budget doesn’t allow for such luxuries.  However, if I get lucky enough, I may get to go to spring training this year, and it would be because of the KMOX Sports Correspondent contest. The winner of this contest wins a four day trip for two to spring training with tickets to two games. It’s not all fun; there is some work involved, but since it’s Cardinals baseball, it’ll be fun work. There are more details about the contest at the link here.  You have to audition to win the contest, however, so I auditioned last night.  Here’s the tale of my audition.

Last night’s audition was at Gold’s Gym in Fenton, Missouri.  The earlier audition dates were at other Gold’s Gyms in Missouri, but I decided to go to the Gold’s Gym in Fenton because it was the closest audition location to where I live in Illinois.  My son had another activity last night and I couldn’t take him and go to the audition too (we only have one vehicle), so I asked my friend Kim to drive me to Fenton.  She agreed (thank you, Kim) and she picked me up at my house. Of course, being a girl, I had to make sure my hair and my makeup looked good for my audition video before I left the house.

Earlier in the day, I went to Mapquest and printed out the directions to the Fenton Gold’s Gym to take with us.  The trip was going well until we got to Hwy. 270. Mapquest told us to take Exit 3, which was the first exit after the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.  Kim started to exit off the highway, but I realized it was Koch Road, which would take us to the VA Hospital and not to Fenton.  So Kim hurried up and got back on Hwy. 270.  What we really wanted was the MO-30 Gravois Road exit, which also turned out  to be Exit 3.  That’s really confusing, MODOT;  you all really need to fix that.

After a couple of wrong turns in beautiful rural Fenton, we finally arrived at Gold’s Gym.  After a long, cold walk from the parking lot, we entered the building.  We saw this sign:


So where are the auditions?  I asked the nice lady at the front desk for assistance.  It turned out it was right around the corner.  The Sports Open Line guys were broadcasting live.


The audition tables were on the right.  Kim and I were greeted by Mike Nichol and Todd Rick of the KMOX Street Team. They asked whether both of us were auditioning.  I said that I was the only one auditioning and Kim told them she was just along for moral support.  I was given a release to sign.  Since I am a legal assistant and Kim is a former paralegal, we both reviewed the legal language in the release thoroughly. There was a paragraph with a very long run-on sentence; one of us needs to work in the legal department at KMOX to review their releases, I think.

I was given a script to read, which was the Version 8 Copy.  I read the copy and grabbed a pen so I could edit the wording. That’s one of my duties as a legal assistant, editing and proofreading pleadings and other documents.  I asked who wrote the copy.  It turned out that Tom Ackerman, the KMOX Sports Director, wrote the copy.  I told Mike and Todd that Mr. Ackerman should feel free to email his copy to me and I would be happy to edit it for him.

After I was done editing, I read it through in my head a few times to get a feel for pacing.  There were second marks (10 sec, 30 sec, etc.) on the side of the copy.  I then had to write my name on a white sheet of paper.  My audition number was on this sheet – I was the 73rd person to audition.  Not that night – 73 was the total of all the auditions at that point.  I sat at a table behind a faux old fashioned microphone. Here’s a photo of me reading the script:

KMOX3 (1)

Here’s a photo of one of the Street Team guys filming my audition:


After I was done, the Street Team guys said I did a really good job.  I then told the Street Team guys about this blog.  Hopefully, they’ll look it up.  We discussed other matters about the contest and about spring training, and then it was time to go, because another person walked up to audition.

I honestly thought that I would have to wait to audition last night, but I didn’t.  Either everyone who wanted to audition already did, or it was just too cold for people to leave their nice warm homes.   Now that the auditions are over, all of the videos will be reviewed by the folks at KMOX.  Ten finalists will be selected next week.  The videos made by the finalists will be put on the KMOX website and the public can vote on who they like the best.  If I get selected to be a finalist, I will be sure to let you know where you can view the videos and how you can vote for me, if you want.  I wouldn’t want to pressure you or anything.  :)

After we stopped at the Phillips 66 station to fuel up the vehicle for the journey home, Kim used the voice option on Google Maps on her phone to get us back home and ironically, it took us the same way we came. Maybe Mapquest wasn’t wrong after all.

I hope I did auditioned well enough to be one of the finalists and I hope I get enough votes to win!  If not, I’ll try again next year.   That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and see you soon!


A Cardinals holiday (not Holliday) calendar


Inspired by Daniel Shoptaw’s blog post proclaiming that spring training is like Lent, I decided to make a list of Cardinals holidays.  They may not be religious or national holidays, but to the Cardinals fan, they’re worth celebrating.  I have listed these in chronological order, starting at the beginning of the year. The dates change from year to year; however, I have provided this year’s dates. 

Name of holiday:  Truck Day

Date:  A week before pitchers and catchers report – this year’s date was February 12.

Description:  This is the day when teams pack their equipment in tractor trailer trucks and head to the team’s spring training location.  Spring training starts in a week!  


Name of holiday:   Pitchers and Catchers Report

Date:   One week after Truck Day – this year’s date is February 19.

Description:  The day that pitchers and catchers report to spring training.  Spring training is officially underway!


Name of holiday:   Position Players Report

Date:   5 days after Pitchers and Catchers Report – this year’s date is February 24.

Description:  The first day that position players are to report to spring training.  A lot of the players arrived early this year.  They’re excited for the new season.


Name of holiday:   First Spring Training Game

Date:   Varies by year – this year’s first game is March 5

Description:  It’s been so long since the team’s last game! It’s great to see them back in uniform and on the field (that is, if the game is televised).  It’s also great to hear Mike and John on KMOX calling the game. 


Name of holiday:   Opening Day

Date:   Varies by year – this year’s Opening Day is April 5, which is also Easter this year.

Description:  Finally – the season has arrived! Winter is officially over!


Name of holiday:   Home Opening Day

Date:   Varies by year – this year’s first home game is April 13.

Description:  The Cards have opened on the road the last couple of years, so Home Opening Day is the real holiday for local Cardinals fans. 


Name of holiday:  All-Star Break

Date:  Varies by year – this year’s All-Star break is from July 13 – 16.

Description:  This holiday is a three day break in the middle of the season.  Those Cardinals selected to play in the All-Star Game participate in those festivities, while the rest of the team and coaching staff go home for a break.  A 162 game season is a long season.  After the break, it’s all systems go in order to get into the playoffs. 


Name of holiday:  Last regular home game of the season

Date:  Varies by year – this year’s date is September 27.

Description:  This day can either be happy or sad, depending on where the Cardinals are in the standings.  If they’re going to the playoffs, this is a happy day.  If the Cards are not going to the playoffs, it’s a sad day –there will be no more Cardinals games until next spring. 


Now some may say that the playoffs and World Series should be Cardinals holidays as well, but those aren’t guaranteed to happen on a year after year basis, so you really can’t print them on a calendar.  Those might be considered extra holidays. 

Pitchers and Catchers Report Day is tomorrow!  I’m so excited!  I hope you are too.  I can’t wait for this new season to begin.  Tomorrow night, I will be auditioning at the Gold’s Gym in Fenton, MO for the 2015 KMOX Spring Training Correspondent. More details are at the link here:  Stop by and audition yourself or just say hi!  Or you can keep your fingers crossed for me and wish me luck. That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and see you next time!


UCB Roundtable Question #1

UCB_11The United Cardinal Bloggers’ project for February is the preseason roundtable.  There will be 10 questions for this month’s roundtable.  As you may recall from past roundtable posts, a blogger asks a question and the other bloggers who want to participate answer the question.  The answers will be compiled by the person who asked the question into a blog post.   Dan Buffa was originally supposed to ask the question yesterday, but he decided he just wanted to answer questions instead.  So being the nice person that I am, I offered to fill in for him.  Sometimes I don’t mind going first!

So here was my question:
Happy Presidents’ Day! And more importantly, it’s Roundtable Opening Day, which is a sure sign that baseball is right around the corner!  Here’s the first roundtable question for 2015:

This is a 4 part question regarding the riddle that is Jaime Garcia:

1.  Will Jaime be healthy at the start of spring training?
2.  If Jaime shows up healthy at the start of spring training, will he stay healthy during spring training?
3.  If your answer to #2 is “yes,” will Jamie make the starting rotation, and if so, at which position?
4.  If your answer to either question is “no,” what do you think the Cards will do with Jaime?  Do they release him?  If so, who gets his rotation spot?

I’m looking forward to reading your answers.  If you’re where it’s snowing, stay safe!


And here are the answers:

Mark Tomasik,

Jaime Garcia’s track record indicates it is unlikely he has the ability to be a dependable member of the Cardinals’ staff.

I believe the Cardinals will try to showcase him during spring training, hyping every successful workout and appearance as evidence he has recovered, then trade him to a team desperate for pitching. The Cardinals will agree to pay most of his salary and will seek in a return a prospect. The Astros or Rangers could be landing spots for Jaime.
Tom, CardinalsGM:

I look for Garcia to begin the season in the rotation or at least he stays in extended Spring Training. However, he envision him not making it through the season without significant injury.

Honestly, I believe he has little in the tank but hope to be wrong.


Bill Ivie, I-70 Baseball:

Ah, Jaime…

 Yes, he will be “healthy” when camp opens and likely throughout, giving everyone hope that he will join the rotation and be the Jaime we all know he could have been.
But the team won’t rely on that.
A healthy spring will lead to extended spring training. From there, a rehab assignment in the minors. If someone at the big club goes down, he may get a call up. Ultimately, he’ll see as much action as his arm can handle without being on the big league club to try and entice some other team to give a bag of balls and maybe a few bobble heads in exchange for his service.
I’m not sure they release him before the trade deadline. Once the deadline passes, he may find himself on the open market. I fully believe he gets traded…if he actually stays healthy.

Bill Ivie


Eugene Tierney, 85% Sports:
1.  Possibly; based on the reports, Jaime is ready to pitch. We’ve seen in the past that reports on members of the Cardinals health are sometimes inaccurate. It’ll be one of those things where we’ll have to wait a week to truly see.
2.  It’s possible that he could make it through spring training healthy. He’ll be watched very closely and have limitations early on, which will allow him to last a little longer than in the season.
3.  With all of the injury issues he’s had, I see him competing for a rotation spot but ending up in extended spring training. They’ll try to trade him off, but many teams won’t be interested in an expensive question mark. They probably end up releasing him. He’s not better than what they already have and is not fun watching a guy and wondering when his arm will fall off.


Daniel Shoptaw, Cardinals Conclave:

Tara and I talked a bit about this last night on Gateway To Baseball Heaven.

What struck me was a Tweet from Jim Hayes (I believe) about how the club has recently gone from surprised at Garcia’s progress to really believing he can contribute.  Now, that could be build up for trade talk (something that I’ll admit didn’t come to mind last night), but I think save that there’s little reason to promote a healthy Garcia.  It’s not like they don’t have many other valuable options.  It’s not that they don’t have a preferred solution in Carlos Martinez.  There’s no reason to even bring up Garcia in people’s minds.

If he is healthy and if he is still with the club at the end of the spring, he will be in the rotation.  $9.5 million reasons for that.  And having a quality lefty in the rotation would be an advantage for the Cards.  Like Bill said, though, you can’t rely on that and Martinez and Marco Gonzales will be right there ready to step in if necessary.

A trade does seem likely, though I don’t know that the Cards will want to give him away.  The Garcia situation might be the most interesting thing in camp this spring.


Doug Vollet, Baseball Geek in Galveston:

Color me skeptical. I realize we’re on the hook for 9.5 Million, but that doesn’t mean he should be an automatic starter if he’s healthy. I’d make him a swing man this season, then if he stays healthy, move him full time into the rotation next year.

 Yes, 9.5 million is expensive for a swing man, but I believe in taking precautions. If you rush him back and he gets injured again, he’s useless. build him up this season, and if he’s still healthy at the end of it, exercise the option and put him into the rotation next year. If he’s injured by the end of the season, buy him out and say sayonara.

Daniel replied:

I could see that, but I’m not sure Garcia works well as a swing man.  It would seem (again, this is all supposition) that the best chance of keeping him healthy is keeping him on that regular work schedule of days off, days to throw, etc.  If you are warming him up at irregular times and putting him in the life of a swing man, my gut feeling is he’s more likely to get hurt that way.  I don’t know that–if not, I could see the advantage of him in that position, though we have a lot of lefties in the pen already (and a guy like Tyler Lyons who can do the swing thing as well).

Matt Whitener replied:

The rigors of being a reliever, and the unstable nature of preparing for that role physically, do not fit the goals the team seems to have laid out for Garcia. Frankly, Mozeliak does not speak of that as an option that he is interested in and Matheny does not mention him as a part of the left-handed options ini the bullpen. It is either start or sit for Garcia this year. But the team is pleasantly surprised by his progress, so it is very likely that they will give him a chance to prove what he can do in the rotation at some point in the year after off days become more scarce.

Doug replied:

Well it’s just my opinion. I tend to think outside of the box, and try to find the best fit, regardless of the players’ past. For example, Jon Jay had a good year last year, but I still think Bourjos should be starting, due to the amount of fly balls he and Heyward would suck up.

Matt replied:

Same here. I just tend to think that when its a margin between a health history (and a restrictive one at that) and performance preference, the rules and options have to be different.


Matt Whitener, Cheap Seats Please:

1.  Will Jaime be healthy at the start of spring training?
Last month at the Winter Warm-Up Mo expressed that he did not anticipate Jaime being ready to go by opening day, but rather to be a mid-season addition in the May/June range. With that said, I believe Jaime’s health will be under evaluation at the start of the spring. I do not expect to see much off of the mound from him, and especially not in the exhibition games. Caution is by and far the top priority for the club regarding him, and I think his training will be under evaluation until after the 25-man is set.

2.  If Jaime shows up healthy at the start of spring training, will he stay healthy during spring training?
That is the biggest question mark for Jaime; remaining healthy. He has proven before he can rehab, but he has not proven that he can maintain it. With the information presented right now, I don’t think that anybody can make a truly accurate assessment of it, but the history is not on his side.

3.  If your answer to #2 is “yes,” will Jamie make the starting rotation, and if so, at which position?

I do not believe that his health will factor into the Opening Day picture, but I also do not think he will be utilized in any other capacity except for as a starter when he is deemed healthy.

4.  If your answer to either question is “no,” what do you think the Cards will do with Jaime?  Do they release him?  If so, who gets his rotation spot?

The team will not release him, if for any other reason he provides depth for the rotation. And proven depth at that. If the expectation is for him to be a bonus or surplus throughout the year, there is no need to release him because the expectation is not for 30 starts, but probably whatever they can get from him.

The rotation spot scenario out of the gate is between Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales, and I do not anticipate that changing. However, the team does intend to be careful with both of those options innings over the full course of the year and considering the fact that everyone with the exception of Lance Lynn and John Lackey are already entering the season with injury flags, having Jaime in the fold as one of the 8 or 9 options to start a game at some point in the season keeps him with value to the team.

Also, he is in the last guaranteed year of his contract, so getting some final usage out of him (considering the fact they have to pay him regardless) is the prudent way to go about it.


Dan Buffa, Cardinals Farm:

Greetings from North Little Rock, Arkansas. Here, if it drops a half inch of ice, the whole town shuts down so here I am. All I can do now is drink coffee and talk baseball. (There’s a lot worse things we could be doing. – DMS)

1.  Will Jaime be healthy at the start of spring training?
Yes. Garcia had extensive nerve procedures done on his shoulder. There isn’t a real guarantee a pitcher comes back from that the same. However,  he has reported zero ill effects to his superiors but they and we all know what to expect when that news hits our ears. Skepticism.  Mo is probably pushing back the timetable to the media in order to paint a realistic gauge for his troublesome lefthander and also to maintain skeptical about the man’s future. My belief is that Jaime is entering spring training as healthy as possible and will be treated like a rotation spot is within his reach.

2.  If Jaime shows up healthy at the start of spring training, will he stay healthy during spring training?
Yes. At this point, 45 shoulder injuries(I kid) and counting, the Cards must keep in mind, as they do with other starters, that a certain care and protection is needed. Pop the hood, check the plugs and oil, and let them roll in April. Now, Garcia is coming back from something more serious than an offseason cleanup, so maybe he gets treated a little differently. However, in keeping with the framework of the question, if Garcia shows up healthy(yes), he leaves spring training healthy.

3.  If your answer to #2 is “yes,” will Jamie make the starting rotation, and if so, at which position?
This is a sad but true topic. If he makes it through spring training ready to go, why would he start in extended spring training?

If he is not deemed hurt yet needs a few extra starts to ensure the shoulder is ready, he takes a short trip to Memphis.  If Jaime is healthy, he is in the rotation. I’ve been an advocate for Carlos Martinez since Thanksgiving, but the fact is Garcia is making 9.5 million this season and has proven in the past to be quite an asset when healthy. To borrow a terribly overused cliche, he could be the poor man’s Cole Hamels. The Cards would be stupid to not use him if he is ready to go because:

a. Let him pitch, and see what he can do. How long can he stay healthy?
b. Let him drive up his trade value so other teams will be reaching for his services come July because the Cards, media and fans know there is no future for him in The Lou.
c. Jaime in the bullpen isn’t something I want to see unless Derek Liliquist invented a mood detector device for certain “mentally fragile” players.

If healthy, Jaime needs to pitch on the St. Louis Cardinals in the rotation in the 5th spot. Plain and simple.

4.  If your answer to either question is “no,” what do you think the Cards will do with Jaime?  Do they release him?  If so, who gets his rotation spot?
While neither of my answers were no, I will play the devil’s advocate hypothetical game and answer this.

If Jaime doesn’t leave spring training healthy, they will not release him. They simply can’t afford to, with the fragility of the staff. Waino and Wacha have warning labels on their arms and Lackey’s arm is stout yet old so he deserves an eye. Jaime won’t be released. The Cards must keep him in extended spring to get healthy or send him to Memphis to regroup. They can’t cut the chord in March. If he can’t start the season in the rotation, Carlos Martinez takes that spot.

I agree with Daniel Shoptaw. Jaime is going to be the most interesting player in camp this spring.

Thanks for asking,

Dan Buffa


Ben Chambers, The View From Here:

I think Jaime will be healthy, although I think once the team heads north, he’ll be kept at extended spring, sent to a rehab assignment, or both. The main reason that I think there’s no way that he makes the starting day rotation is all the talk about Carlos Martinez. They have been saying all winter that Martinez is pretty much the guy. If he takes the last spot, then there’s no room for Garcia.

That said, once he proves he’s healthy, you have to either trade him or give him a spot in the rotation. He’s not going to do well in a swing role and that may be harder on him. You can’t keep him in AAA because when he is healthy and right, he’s pretty good. There is a chance that someone goes down with an injury and that prompts him to move into the rotation, like when Kelly got hurt early last year.

I still think that the most likely option is that he gets traded early, or at least by July.


Tara Wellman, Bird Tales

This is the kind of question that will likely see very similar answers, meaning we’ll all seem brilliant or foolish by the end of Jaime Garcia’s 2015 season (whenever that may be…)! But, let me grab my Mozeliak-inspired GM specs and scarf (hey, it’s cold and I don’t look good in a bowtie.) and give it a go.

1.  Will Jaime be healthy at the start of spring training?
Here’s the thing with that — everyone is “healthy” when camp starts. Everyone “feels good” and is “ready to go.” The organizational outlook is eternally optimistic this time of year, as proven by the recent uptick in positivity concerning Jaime Garcia’s preparedness. But, let’s be real — he has a track record that doesn’t lend itself to an easy buy-in on what he’ll bring to the table.  Now, I’m not questioning the reliability of reports that say he is, in fact, healthy. I fully believe that he feels as strong as he thinks he should at the moment. But, I also remember how great Chris Carpenter felt the spring after his own bout with similar nerve issues, and how strong Garcia felt between surgeries in the past. Until Jaime ramps up his baseball activity levels enough to really test the multitude of recurring arm issues, the definition of “healthy” is relative.

2.  If Jaime shows up healthy at the start of spring training, will he stay healthy during spring training?
How the Cardinals attempt to bring Garcia along this spring will impact the answer to this question. Based on Jaime’s history, they will likely try to move him along slowly in order to get a clearer picture of how the nerve issue (among other things) will react to normal training. An easier pace and lessened strain should get him through the spring. If they push it, though, to see how “healthy” he really is, there’s a good chance he ends up missing a spring start or two, and possibly even shutting it down all together, a la Carpenter. My best guess, though? Yes. He makes it through Spring Training, much to the chagrin of Carlos Martinez.

3.  If your answer to #2 is “yes,” will Jamie make the starting rotation, and if so, at which position?
The truth of the matter is, everything hinges on how quickly he can be game-ready without pushing so hard that he breaks again. (And that is my fundamental problem with Garcia … but that’s a conversation for another day!) Just because he makes it through spring training without a relapse doesn’t mean he’ll have shaken off all the rust. It’s been a long time since he pitched in a big league game. There’s a chance he has to be so careful in how he trains that he won’t be ready when the Birds break camp. Then, there’s Martinez. Without a doubt, he’s been groomed as the guy to beat for anyone dreaming of joining Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn and John Lackey in the rotation. In fact, Martinez and Garcia haven’t been spoken of in the same breath all winter. If Jaime is still rusty (or simply a couple weeks behind the others) and Martinez is ready to rock and roll, I’d prefer to see Carlos get the 5th spot. I don’t think Mo wants to let Garcia go, but I also don’t believe he’s anxious to jump back on that horse without full confidence that his $9.5 million man is up for the challenge. So, while a 100% Garcia is undoubtedly an asset to the Cardinals’ 2015 rotation, I am not yet convinced that a 100% Garcia is a realistic option right out of Jupiter.

4.  If your answer to either question is “no,” what do you think the Cards will do with Jaime?  Do they release him?  If so, who gets his rotation spot?
This is the (nine) million dollar question, isn’t it? What do you do with an injury-prone, potential superstar if you don’t have confidence in his ability to contribute for more than a handful of starts? He’s not a AAA guy. He’s not a bullpen guy. He needs a perfectly bubble-wrapped scenario in order to succeed. Martinez, again, is the guy who will get the spot. Marco Gonzales provides a solid backup option as a #5 guy, and there are others in Memphis who could fill in here and there. If he’s healthy enough to draw interest from potential suitors, I’d say it’s worth hearing them out. But, with 2-3 current starters facing their own sets of question marks, it would be hard to let him go in case he became a necessary asset. So, what do they do?

*takes off GM dress-up clothes*

Sorry, Mo. This one’s all yours.

Daniel Solzman,

1.  Will Jaime be healthy at the start of spring training?

I would like to think that Jaime Garcia will be healthy at the start of spring training.  But to be honest, after what happened with Rafael Furcal during the 2012-13 offseason, you can understand my pessimism on the matter.

2.  If Jaime shows up healthy at the start of spring training, will he stay healthy during spring training?
We can only hope that he stays healthy.

3.  If your answer to #2 is “yes,” will Jamie make the starting rotation, and if so, at which position?
This is the hard part.  The way things look now, there are four locks for the rotation: Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, and Michael Wacha–that is assuming Wacha is completely healthy entering this year.  The final spot, in my mind, is between Carlos Martinez and Marco Gonzales.  I’m not fully convinced on Carlos as a starter quite yet.  Yes, he has a high
ceiling but his Minor League numbers just haven’t translated at the Major League level.  Will Yadier Molina’s locker being next to his during Spring Training lead to a change in this?  I hope so.

The Cardinals are paying Garcia nearly $10 million this season.  He may be a long reliever out of the bullpen but I just don’t envision him making another start for St. Louis unless it’s a spot start.

4.  If your answer to either question is “no,” what do you think the Cards will do with Jaime?  Do they release him?  If so, who gets his rotation spot?

(Daniel didn’t give me an answer to #4, although I suspect the answer is contained in his answer to #3).


Thanks to my fellow United Cardinals Bloggers for answering my question!  You can go to their blogs by clicking the links after their names. Who knows – you might find some more Cardinals blogs to enjoy!  If you want to see the other roundtable questions after those posts are completed, bookmark United Cardinal Bloggers.

Only 2 days until pitchers and catchers report, which means baseball is right around the corner!  I do feel sorry for those poor folks on the East Coast.  I’m sure they were ready for baseball three weeks ago.

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


The Cardinals game I would like to have attended

1968 WS scorecardThe United Cardinals Blogger project for this month is to post about a Cardinals game in the past that you 1968 WS G1 ticketwould have liked to have attended.  My selection is the October 2, 1968 game in which Bob Gibson set the record for most strikeouts in a World Series game with 17 strikeouts. I was in second grade when this game occurred, so technically, I could have attended the game.  I will write about the game like I had actually been there, through the eyes and words of a second grader.

My dad had started taking me to Cards games that summer.  He taught me how to keep score on a scorecard.  I loved spending time with him and watching baseball with him.  We would watch games on TV or listen to games on the radio at home.  I could only listen to West Coast games during the summer when I didn’t have school.

I was so excited when Dad came home from work and told me that his boss gave him his tickets to the game because he had a meeting and couldn’t go to the game. I thought that was really nice of Dad’s boss to give him World Series tickets.  Mom wrote a note to the teacher to get me excused from school.  I couldn’t hardly sleep the night before because I was so excited that I was going to the game.

It was the first game of the Series.  The Tigers were playing the Cardinals. Bob Gibson was pitching for the Cards and Denny McLain was pitching for the Tigers.  Gibby was my dad’s favorite pitcher because he pitched quick.  The batters were always scared of Gibby too.  He threw inside when he had to, to move the batter off the plate, my dad said.

After what seemed like forever, the game finally started.  My scorecard was on my lap and I was ready to keep score.  My dad would help me with scoring if I asked him.

In the top of the first, Dick McAuliffe was the first batter and Gibby struck him out.  Mickey Stanley  got a single, but Tim McCarver threw him out when he tried to steal second.  The crowd cheered.  Gibby struck out Al Kaline to finish the inning. Gibby had 2 strikeouts.  The Cards didn’t score in the first.

In the top of the second, Gibby struck out all three Tigers batters he faced. 5 strikeouts for Gibby.  In the bottom of the second, Orlando Cepeda hit a fly ball to center field.  McCarver hit a triple, but Mike Shannon and Julian Javier struck out.  No score yet.

In the top of the third, Bill Freehan struck out, but then Don Wert hit a single to center field.  Gibby struck out McLain, and then McAuliffe grounded out. 7 strikeouts for Gibby.

In the bottom of the third, Dal Maxwell walked.  It was the first walk of the game.  Gibby bunted Maxwell over to second.  Lou Brock got on base by a fielder’s choice and Maxwell was out at third.  Lou twisted his left ankle when he stole second, but he got back up and kept playing.  Whew! I sure was worried he was hurt bad.  Lou went to third on an error by the second baseman. Lou didn’t get to score because Curt Flood hit a pop fly to the shortstop.  Still no score.

The Tigers didn’t score in the top of the fourth, as Stanley and Norm Cash both flew out and Al Kaline struck out.  I counted Gibby’s strikeouts on my scorecard again as the half inning ended. There were 8.  That was a lot of strikeouts.

The Cards finally scored in the fourth. McLain walked Roger Maris and McCarver.  Mike Shannon hit a single and Maris scored.  Shannon went to second and McCarver went to third when Willie Horton booted the ball.  Julian Javier got a hit and Shannon and McCarver scored. The crowd went wild. The score was 3-0, Cards.

In the top of the fifth, Horton hit a pop fly and Northrup lined out to the shortstop.  Freehan walked, but Don Wert struck out looking.  Nine strikeouts for Gibby.  In the bottom of the fifth, Brock grounded out and Flood hit a pop fly to the second baseman.  Maris reached on an error by the first baseman, but Cepeda lined out to the left fielder. The score was still 3-0, Cards.

I thought the Tigers might score in the top of the sixth.  Tommy Matchick pinch hit for McLain, but he grounded out. McAuliffe singled, but Stanley struck out.  Kaline hit a double and moved McAuliffe to third, but Cash struck out. Eleven strikeouts for Gibby. Dad wondered out loud what the record was for the number of strikeouts in a single World Series game.  I didn’t know but I sure was enjoying this game.

Pat Dobson took over the mound from McLain in the bottom of the sixth.  McCarver hit a pop fly to second and Shannon grounded out.  Javier walked, but was caught stealing with Dal Maxvill up to bat.

In the top of the seventh, Gibby continued his magic.  Willie Horton lined out to the shortstop and then Jim Northrup and Bill Freehan struck out.  The count was up to 13 strikeouts for Gibby.  In the bottom of the seventh, Maxvill and Gibby both hit to the first baseman.  Lou Brock proved his ankle was fine because he hit a home run to make the score 4-0.  Curt Flood hit a single and then stole second, but Maris flew out for the final out.

In the top of the eighth, Mathews struck out – number 14 for Gibby.  Brown and McAuliffe both hit fly balls to the left fielder and the top of the eighth was over, just like that.  In the bottom of the eighth, Don Mathews took over the mound for Dobson. Flood hit a fly ball, which was caught in foul territory.  McCarver hit into a ground out.  Shannon hit a single, but Javier hit a fly ball to the center fielder.  The score was still 4-0.

When the ninth inning started, everyone stood up.  How could you sit when Bob Gibson was getting ready to win Game 1 of the Series and maybe set a record too?  The crowd groaned as Mathews hit a single.  But Gibby settled down and struck out Kaline, Nash, and Horton to win the game.  Gibby had a complete game shutout.  The scoreboard flashed that Gibby had set a World Series record with 17 strikeouts.  History had been made and I had been there to see it.

When I got home, I was so excited.  I told Mom all about the history making game I saw. She smiled and told me she had watched the game on TV.  What a story I had to tell the kids at school the next day!

I hope you enjoyed my “story.”  Thanks for reading! See you next time!



1968 World Series Game 1 box score,,,

2015 Cardinals theme nights announced

BB ticketI’m counting down the days until spring training and the start of the season, aren’t you?   Winter is so long and dreary without baseball.  We know that baseball will be coming soon with the announcement that theme tickets are now available for purchase for the 2015 Cardinals season.  There are over 20 theme nights this season, and more will be added over the course of the season. Keep in mind that the difference between promotion nights and theme nights is that you don’t get the promotional item unless you purchase the special theme night tickets. Hubby and I had non-theme tickets to the Christmas in July night last year.  It was a fun atmosphere: the organist played Christmas music; Fredbird dressed up in Santa gear; and when each Cardinal came up to bat, his photo appeared on the scoreboard with a holiday background.  Here are all the details on the theme night events:


Tickets on sale now for over 20 Theme Ticket dates including Star Wars Night, Superhero Night, Scout Nights and more

 ST. LOUIS, Mo. (January 21, 2015) – Tickets for more than 20 Theme Ticket promotional dates during the 2015 Season, including American Girl Night, Star Wars Night, Superhero Night and many more, are on sale now at

“Theme Tickets offer fans a fun, unique and special VIP way to enjoy Cardinals baseball while celebrating a shared common bond,” said Martin Coco, Director of Ticket Sales & Marketing. “We have an amazing lineup of special theme nights that fans won’t want to miss, including some new events like American Girl Night, that promise to be very popular.” 

Theme Tickets are customized promotions that allow a select number of fans to celebrate a common interest while enjoying access to a unique promotional item and/or exclusive pre-game event. Targeted around different occupations, organizations, communities, celebrities and more, Theme Tickets let fans enjoy the game in a whole new way.

The 2015 schedule includes returning favorites like Mizzou Night, Illini Night, Catholic Family Night, Jewish Community Day, Christmas in July, and Scout Nights, as well as several new events such as Nurses Night, St. Louis Browns Night and Runners Night.

Additional Theme Ticket events will be announced throughout the 2015 season.  A full listing of 2015 Theme Ticket dates follows.  Fans can learn more about Cardinals Theme Ticket dates and purchase their tickets for these events at

2015 Theme Nights Schedule as of 01.21.15

College Theme Night # 1

Wednesday, April 15 vs Milwaukee, 7:15

Cardinals Sunglasses, Croakie and Carrying Case

Local college students, faculty and staff can take a break from the books and join us for College Night and receive your exclusive Cardinals sunglasses/croakies combo.

Catholic Family Theme  Night (Catholic Supply of St. Louis Inc.)

Wednesday, April 15 vs Milwaukee, 7:15

Blessing Bracelet

Show your religious and team spirit at Catholic Family Theme Night. With your Catholic Family Night Theme Ticket you get a one of a kind Cardinals Blessing Bracelet!

Weather Bash at Busch

Thursday, April 16 vs Milwaukee, 12:45

Pre-game educational program and a voucher for hot dog, soda and chips

The ultimate field trip experience for grade school and middle school age kids. Pre-game weather presentation on the field with the KSDK weather team, followed by fun weather-related science experiments presented by “Mad Science”.

College Theme Night #2

Wednesday, April 29 vs Philadelphia, 7:15

Cardinals Hoodie

Celebrate the end of the school year with our second College Theme Night and take home an exclusive Cardinals-themed hooded sweatshirt!

Scout Night # 1

Monday, May 4 vs Chicago, 7:15

Scout Patch

Scouts their families and friends are invited to enjoy Scout Night at Busch Stadium. Boy and Girls Scouts that attend the game will receive a Cardinals scout patch.

Cinco de Mayo Theme Night

Tuesday, May 5 vs Chicago, 7:15

Cardinals Chip and Dip Tray

Grab your sombrero and head to Busch Stadium to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Cardinals game. With the purchase of your Cinco de Mayo Theme Ticket, you will receive a Cardinals chip and dip tray!

Illini Theme Night

Friday, May 15 vs Tigers, 7:15

Fighting Illini/Cardinals Hat

Spend an evening with fellow Illini fans and alumni! Show your team spirit all year long with your Illini/Cardinals hat that comes with the purchase of your Illini Night Theme Ticket.

Peanut Controlled Days

Sunday, May 17 vs Tigers & Sunday, July 26th Vs Atlanta, 1:15

Ticket in a Peanut Free Section

Fans with peanut allergies can enjoy Peanut Controlled Days featuring tickets in a peanut-free section. This area will be thoroughly cleaned before the game and the sale and consumption of peanuts will not be allowed.

Beer Tasting Theme Night

Wednesday, May 27 vs Arizona, 7:15

Pre-game beer tasting event

Like beer? Like Cardinals baseball? Fans can sample a variety of Anheuser-Busch specialty beers at this fun-filled pre-game event.

 Scout Night # 2

Wednesday, May 27 vs Arizona, 7:15

Scout Patch

Scouts their families and friends are invited to enjoy Scout Night at Busch Stadium. Boy and Girls Scouts that attend the game will receive a Cardinals Scout Patch.

Nurses Theme Night

Monday, June 1 vs Milwaukee, 7:15

Cardinals Scrub Top

All nurses in Cardinal Nation need to report to Busch Stadium STAT on Monday June 1s for Nurses Theme Night! Purchase a special Nurses Theme Ticket and receive a limited edition Cardinals scrub top!

Superhero Theme Night (Fantasy Books, Inc.)

Tuesday, June 2 vs Milwaukee, 7:15

SuperFred Bobblehead

It’s a bird…….it’s a plane…………it’s Superhero Night at Busch Stadium presented by Fantasy Books, Inc. Come down and see all your favorite superheroes as they roam the stadium for photo ops! A SuperFred Bobblehead comes with the purchase of your Superhero Theme Ticket.

Kids Day Out

Tuesday, June 16 vs Minnesota, 12:45

Pre-game Kids Zone and a voucher for a hot dog, soda and chips

Need a great field trip idea for kids during the long summer? Bring them down to Busch Stadium for Kids Day Out!

 Cancer Awareness Theme Night (Siteman Cancer Center)

Tuesday, June 30 vs Chicago White Sox, 7:15

Cancer Awareness Hat

The Cardinals and Siteman Cancer Center are teaming up to bring you Cancer Awareness Night at Busch Stadium. Fans purchasing this special Theme Ticket will receive a Cardinals Cancer Awareness hat – the color of the “STL” logo on the front of the hat corresponds to the awareness colors of the most prevalent cancers in the St. Louis area. A portion of each ticket sold will also be donated back to cancer research right here in St. Louis. Help the Cardinals strike out cancer by purchasing your ticket today!

Mizzou Theme Night

Friday, July 17 vs New York Mets, 7:15

Mizzou/Cardinals Hat

MIZ….ZOU! Show your team spirit at Mizzou Theme Night and receive the Mizzou/Cardinals hat with the purchase of your Mizzou Night Theme Ticket.

American Girl Theme Night (American Girl)

Monday, July 27 vs Cincinnati, 7:15

American Girl Doll T-shirt & Matching T-shirt Transfer

American Girl celebrates girls and all that they can be!  With the purchase of your special Theme Night ticket you will receive a one-of-a-kind American Girl Doll Cardinals t-shirt and matching T-shirt transfer.

 American Girl Night VIP Package: American Girl Theme Night at Busch Stadium also offers a one-of-a-kind VIP experience! The VIP ticket includes your very own American Girl Doll T-shirt and matching t-shirt transfer, plus exclusive access to a pre-game picnic! Bring along your American Girl Doll and get ready to enjoy a great evening of Cardinals baseball! 

Christmas in July Theme Night

Tuesday, July 28 vs Cincinnati, 7:15

Snow Globe

It doesn’t matter if you have been naughty or nice, all fans who purchase the Christmas in July Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals Snow Globe. Santa Fredbird will be on hand for photo ops as well!

Star Wars Theme Night

Wednesday, July 29 vs Cincinnati, 7:15

Star Wars/Cardinals T-shirt

Join the fun on Star Wars Theme Night as the ballpark is transformed with Star Wars-themed sights and sounds. Meet your favorite

Star Wars characters and receive your exclusive Star Wars/Cardinals t-shirt. It’s a night that no Jedi (or Redbird) will want to miss!

Jewish Community Day

Sunday, August 2 vs Colorado, 1:15

Cardinals Yarmulke

Join the St. Louis Jewish community when the Cards host the Rockies and receive an exclusive Cardinals Yarmulke, with the purchase of this special Theme ticket! Grab the whole family and enjoy a Sunday at the Ballpark with Jewish Community Day.

Runners Theme Night

Thursday, August 13 vs Pittsburgh, 6:15

Cardinals Technical Runners T-Shirt

Ready…Set….Go! Running enthusiasts need to race down to Busch Stadium for Runners Theme Night. Fans who purchase the special Runners Night Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals technical runners t-shirt, perfect for you next jog!

St. Louis Browns Theme Night

Monday, August 17 vs San Francisco, 7:15

St. Louis Browns Hat

Take a step back in baseball history and join us for St. Louis Browns Theme Night.  With the purchase of your special Browns Night Theme Ticket you will receive a limited addition Browns baseball cap! Fans will also enjoy other Browns-related activities and special guests that night as well.

 Outdoors Theme Night (Cabela’s)

Tuesday, September 8 vs Cubs, 7:15

Mossy Oak Camo Cap

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a Cardinals game and receive this limited addition Mossy Oak Cardinals ball cap with purchase of a special Theme Ticket to Outdoors Theme Night presented by Cabela’s!

Outdoors Night VIP Package: Are you a fan of Drury Outdoors? The Cardinals and Cabela’s are excited to host a pregame VIP event with Mark, Terry, Matt and Taylor Drury as well as Cardinals alumni!

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day

Wednesday, September 23 vs Cincinnati, 7:15

Paddy Cap

The Cardinals will have the luck of the Irish on Wednesday, September 23rd vs. the Reds! Join us for Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day at Busch Stadium and receive a limited edition Cardinals-themed Paddy Cap with the purchase of a special Theme Ticket. There will Irish music, Irish dancers and plenty of pregame Irish fun. So grab your fellow leprechauns and head down to the game!

Billikens Theme Night

Thursday, September 24 vs Milwaukee, 6:15

Billikens/Cardinals Hat

Cheer on the Cards as they take on the Brewers with fellow SLU Billikens fans and alumni. All fans purchasing a ticket to this special Billikens Theme Night will receive a Billikens themed Cardinals cap! Come out and show your SLU pride and enjoy the game.

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


2015 Cardinals Caravan schedule

Love the Cardinals but don’t live close to St. Louis?  If you live in Missouri or Illinois outside of the St. Louis area, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas or Tennessee, some of the Cardinals (past and present) are coming to visit you this month!  Here’s all the details:


2015 Caravan, presented by Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance, headlined by current stars Wong, Adams, Wacha and Rosenthal 

ST. LOUIS, January 06, 2015 – Today the St. Louis Cardinals announced the schedule for the team’s 2015 Cardinals Caravan, presented by Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance.

In addition to annual stops in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and Tennessee, the 2015 Caravan will add a sixth route with additional stops in Kentucky and Indiana. Altogether, more than 30 current and former players will embark on the journey making 22 stops in 21 cities throughout Cardinals Nation from January 16 – 19th.

 A combination of current players, future stars and former Cardinals will travel on each caravan emceed by a current team broadcaster. Some of the current players include 2014 Rookie of the Year finalist Kolten Wong, Michael Wacha, Matt Adams, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Marco Gonzales, and Randal Grichuk. Minor-league prospects include Stephen Piscotty, Greg Garcia, Tim Cooney, Xavier Scruggs and more. Brad Thompson, Danny Cox, Kerry Robinson, Alan and Andy Benes, and Al Hrabosky, among others, will represent Cardinals Alumni, while broadcasters John Rooney, Rick Horton, Mike Claiborne, Tom Ackerman, Chris Hrabe, and Dan McLaughlin will serve as emcees. Team mascot Fredbird will also make an appearance at several Caravan stops.

As in previous years, the Cardinals will be implementing an Autograph Ticket system at each stop. The first 400 kids (15 and under) through the door on the day of the event will receive a free Autograph Ticket which guarantees one autograph from each current and former player. Due to high demand, autographs will only be available for fans 15 and under.

Below is a schedule of the six Caravans, their destinations and participating players. The full schedule can also be found at


Thanks for reading!  See you next time!


Winter Warm-Up autograph tickets go on sale tomorrow!

WWUWhen Winter Warm-Up arrives, it’s a sure sign that spring training is right around the corner.  Fans love to go to Winter Warm-Up to see their favorite players up close and in the flesh. It’s the first opportunity to see new players such as Jason Heyward.  If finances permit, fans pay for autograph tickets, and autograph tickets go on sale tomorrow.  Here are the details on how to purchase autograph tickets:


Event is first opportunity to meet newcomer Heyward alongside current players like Molina and Wainwright 

 ST. LOUIS, January 05, 2015 – Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St. Louis Cardinals, announced today that fans may begin purchasing autograph tickets for the 19th annual Winter Warm-Up at, at 9 a.m. CT on Tuesday, January 6th.

The 2015 Winter Warm-Up event (#CardsWarmUp) – happening January 17-19 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch – is the first opportunity for Cardinals fans to meet offseason acquisitions Jason Heyward, Mark Reynolds, Matt Belisle, and Jordan Walden. Returning members of the 2014 NL Central Division Champion St. Louis Cardinals including Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Matt Holliday, Kolten Wong, and Matt Adams are scheduled to appear at the event along with Hall of Famers Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog and Tony La Russa. In total, more than 60 current and former players will be on hand for the event.

Player autograph sessions are one of the most popular attractions of the Warm-Up. While some players’ autographs are free with the admission pass, others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation. Every dollar donated for autograph tickets – as well as all proceeds from the Winter Warm-Up weekend – benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s community foundation that cares for kids.

“Winter Warm-Up is the perfect opportunity for fans to meet all of the newest Cardinals and all of their returning favorites while helping kids in the St. Louis community,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “We hope fans will join us as we kick off the 2015 season with the reigning NL Central Champs.”

Fans are encouraged to visit for the most up-to-date details about player autograph dates, times and, if required, additional donation amounts. All autograph tickets will be sold online through Sunday, January 11th at 11:59 p.m. CT.  Remaining autograph tickets not sold online will be available at the event. For complete details, schedule, frequently asked questions, and to purchase admission passes, visit A Winter Warm-Up admission pass is required to enter the Warm-Up and obtain autographs.

Cardinals Care 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 $20 million to support St. Louis area non-profit youth organizations and built 21 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged 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.

The 2015 autograph schedule follows:

*Dates, times and players may change; some players may be added. Limit 3 tickets per player; except Heyward, Molina—Limit 1.*



Signing Date

Signing Time

Adams, Matt


Sunday, January 18


Belisle, Matt


Saturday, January 17


Bell, David


Monday, January 19


Bourjos, Peter


Saturday, January 17


Brock, Lou –pre-autographed baseball



Cardinals Care Store

Carpenter, Matt


Sunday, January 18


Freeman, Sam


Sunday, January 18


Gibson, Bob –pre-autographed baseball



Cardinals Care Store

Gonzales, Marco


Sunday, January 18


Grichuk, Randal


Saturday, January 17


Herzog, Whitey


Monday, January 19


Heyward, Jason


Saturday, January 17


Holliday, Matt


Sunday, January 18


Isringhausen, Jason


Saturday, January 17


Jay, Jon –pre-autographed baseball



Cardinals Care Store

Kozma, Pete


Saturday, January 17


La Russa, Tony


Saturday, January 17


Lynn, Lance


Monday, January 19


Lyons, Tyler


Sunday, January 18


Mabry, John


Monday, January 19


Maness, Seth


Sunday, January 18


Martinez, Carlos


Monday, January 19


Matheny, Mike


Monday, January 19


Molina, Yadier




Mueller, Bill


Saturday, January 17


Peralta, Jhonny




Piscotty, Stephen


Saturday, January 17


Reynolds, Mark


Saturday, January 17


Rosenthal, Trevor


Monday, January 19


*Schoendienst, Red


Sunday, January 18


Scruggs, Xavier


Saturday, January 17


Shannon, Mike


Sunday, January 18


Siegrist, Kevin


Sunday, January 18


Smith, Ozzie –pre-autographed baseball



Cardinals Care Store

Tuivailala, Sam


Saturday, January 17


Wacha, Michael


Sunday, January 18


Wainwright, Adam


Sunday, January 18


Walden, Jordan




Wong, Kolten


Monday, January 19


*Indicates only baseballs and photos will be autographed.

The following players will be signing free autographs. These players will require a line ticket. More info at the event.

Current Players:

Former Players:

John Costello

Rick Horton

Ken Reitz

Brad Thompson

Dean Anna

Tommy Pham

Alan Benes

Danny Cox

Mike Jorgensen

Kerry Robinson

Mike Tyson

Tim Cooney

Cody Stanley

Andy Benes

Ken Dayley

Tom Lawless

Stan Royer

Todd Worrell

Greg Garcia

 Charlie Tilson

Glenn Brummer

Cal Eldred

Kyle McClellan

Jason Simontacchi

Ty Kelly

Scott Cooper

Rich Hacker

Cliff Politte

Scott Terry


Thanks for reading! See you next time!


The top 5 Cardinals stories of 2014

Top 5Believe it or not, 2014 is almost over and 2015 is right around the corner.  I’m so glad 2014 is almost over:  it was not a good year and I’m hoping that 2015 is a better year.  The United Cardinals Bloggers project for December is our choice of the Top 5 Cardinals stories of the year.  Without further ado, here are mine:

1.  The Joe Kelly-Allen Craig trade to the Red Sox. This trade shook up the team and made them realize that no player is indispensable, even if the players on the trade block are very popular with their teammates.  Kelly fell from grace during a game he started on July 29. Craig never did fully recover from the injury that kept him out of the 2013 playoffs; in fact, after the trade to the Red Sox, he reinjured his foot.  Note to husband: We must never go on vacation during the trade deadline ever again. Thank goodness for Twitter.

2.  The tragic death of Oscar Tavares. Oscar’s death at such a young age was tragic enough (which is covered in greater detail here), but when the results of the autopsy indicated that Oscar’s blood alcohol level was  .287,  his death was even more tragic.  Oscar had great potential that was wasted, and a young girl’s life was also lost due to his terrible mistake.  It bears repeating since New Year’s Eve is tomorrow night:  don’t drink and drive.

3.  The opening of Ballpark Village/Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum. Ballpark Village is a great gathering place before, during, and after a game. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat even when there isn’t a game, with a varied selection of restaurants.  The outdoor portion of BPV that replicates Busch Stadium II has hosted movies, yoga classes and other events.  I covered the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum in greater detail here, and it’s a great place to see Cardinals memorabilia.

4.  The anemic offense. If the Brewers hadn’t tanked in September, the Cards wouldn’t have made the playoffs at all. Amazingly, the Cards’ home runs increased dramatically during the playoffs.   Hopefully, this power shortage will be addressed in spring training.

5.  The trade for Jason Heyward. Due to the event of item #2, there was a figurative hole in right field.  Randall Grichuk is a promising player, but GM John Mozeliak felt that someone with more experience was needed to play in right field every day.  So Mo traded Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins to the Braves for Jason Hayward and RH relief pitcher Jordan Walden.

As we reach the end of another year, I’d like to thank my loyal readers for reading this blog over the years.  Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015!



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