COVID throws the Cardinals a curveball

You may recall in my July 27, 2020 blog post I addressed what MLB needed to do to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep players and staff safe.  Unfortunately, the Cardinals were the next team with mass positive tests for COVID. The first positive test occurred last week before the Cards were supposed to play Milwaukee.  That series was canceled and the team was put under quarantine in their Milwaukee hotel – the Pfister, which is supposedly haunted.  On Thursday, two more players tested positive for COVID.  The series with Detroit was also canceled.  On Friday, the Cardinals had everyone tested for COVID using rapid testing, and by Monday, 13 players and staff had tested positive for COVID. The Field of Dreams game, which had been scheduled for August 13, has also been canceled.

Yadier Molina was the first brave soul to admit on social media (Instagram) that he had tested positive for COVID.  Yadi can catch anything, and he caught COVID as well.  Yadi stated that he was sad to have tested positive even after following the prevention recommendations, and he would do everything in his power to get back ASAP.  He requested privacy for him and his family as he recovers.  Paul DeJong also mentioned that he had also tested positive even after following the prevention recommendations.

So here is the list of players that have tested positive:  Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong, Kodi Whitley, Junior Fernandez, and Edmundo Sosa.  Carlos Martinez has also been placed on the injured list, but he has NOT been publicly identified as having COVID. Brad Miller was activated off of the injured list. Several staff members have also tested positive and they will be replaced by members of the Springfield Alternative Training staff.   The players who tested positive had to drive home from Milwaukee to St. Louis in rented vehicles.

If you follow some of the individual Cardinals players on social media, you may have seen the Instagram video where Jack Flaherty helped keep his pitching arm supple by tilting up the mattress up against the wall and throwing baseballs at it.  LOL! Adam Wainwright posted a video on Twitter where he was hitting golf balls into a chair.  Austin Gomber posted a photo of the streets of Milwaukee wondering what was going on out there.

What happens now?  The remaining players and staff have to have 2 negative COVID tests in a row before the team can return to play.  The first set of tests were all negative.  If tomorrow’s tests are negative, the team will be cleared up to travel back to St. Louis and they will play this weekend’s series against the Cubs.  The infected players have to be isolated for 7 days and after that, test negative twice in 24 hours and pass a stress test in order to be able to play again.

There is a lot of shuffling and strategy that will now have to take place.  Tommy Edman will have to play shortstop and Matt Carpenter will have to go back to playing third, which leads to a hunt for a DH. Brad Miller has had DH experience, so he may be considered for that position.   Thankfully, the Cards have a lot of pitching depth, so they shouldn’t miss Whitley and Fernandez too much. Martinez was the 5th starter, but several of the other pitchers have starter experience, like Daniel Ponce de Leon.  Yadi is the GOAT at catcher, but Wieters has plenty of experience and filled in nicely for Yadi last season when he was on the IL.

No make-up dates for the missed games have yet to be announced. Will they be rescheduled? If so, when?  Doubleheaders have been downgraded to 7 innings for each game but playing a lot of doubleheaders can make a team weary.

Here’s hoping the Cards can tighten up their COVID protocol and there will be no more outbreaks this season.  Yadi and Paul testing positive for COVID goes to show that even though you take all the proper precautions, you can still come down with COVID.  Please wear your masks, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and keep a 6′ distance from others in public. Hopefully, no other teams will have  COVID outbreaks and the rest of the season will flow smoothly.  I miss Cardinals baseball and I’m sure you all do too.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

An impromptu 2020 United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event

2020 has been a strange year indeed.  First, there was a pandemic (which is still ongoing), and then there were the riots (also still ongoing, albeit sporadically).  The pandemic postponed all major sports, and baseball just recently started play.  I thought for sure that there wouldn’t be a blogger event this year.  If fans weren’t allowed in the stadium, the Cardinals sure wouldn’t be throwing a party for us.

But this morning, I got an email from Chris Tunno from the Cardinals’ front office inviting me to a Zoom meeting with John Mozeliak at 3 PM this afternoon.  When signing in to the Zoom meeting, I was to put my name and my blog’s name. That tipped me off that this might be this year’s blogger event.

Oddly, some UCB’ers received an email that the Zoom meeting was happening today (I did not), and some UCB’ers received yesterday’s message but didn’t get today’s message with the Zoom link that I received.  And in the meantime between this morning’s email and the Zoom meeting, another email was sent with a different meeting number (that I didn’t receive – thanks, Daniel for forwarding me the email). A challenge, to be sure.

I dug my knockoff iPods out of my purse at 3 PM and opened the Zoom app on my phone. I’m hoping that no one at work saw me on my phone and especially that no one saw that I was in a Zoom meeting since I’m not supposed to be on my phone during work hours.  I took notes with one hand while holding the phone in my other hand.  If I had a phone stand on my desk, I could have typed my notes while I was listening and it would have looked like I was working.  The Zoom phone app sadly doesn’t allow you to record the meeting, unlike the computer version. That would have made for easier transcription later. So I’m going to type up what I can read from my notes.  I will be typing summaries of the questions/answers.

Mo spoke from the Target Field conference room.  Someone asked if the Jupiter spring training facility was open. Mo replied that there is one player there and 2 staff members, so it’s pretty much closed.

There is confusion as to how to handle games when positive tests are received. Mo replied that the Cardinals have protocols for contract tracing and Moises Rodriguez of the Cardinals’ staff is the point man for that.  If a player tests positive, he is removed from the bubble.

A question was asked whether Mo would like the 30 man roster to continue beyond the first 2 weeks and Mo said he would vote for that, for insurance.

A question was asked about the Springfield squad and what Mo was looking to do with the players who had been drafted in the last 2 years. Mo replied that if they’re at Springfield that he would like them to get some baseball experience.

Then we had a surprise visitor.  Jim Hayes (b/k/a @TheCatonFox) dropped by. He had a mask on, but we knew it was him by his dulcet tones.  Jim asked what does a leash look like for removing a player – who’s in and who’s out? Mo replied that there was no simple answer.  He stated that performance does matter and it can’t be ignored for too long.

Daniel thanked Jim on Twitter for stopping by and he apologized for crashing the blogger event.  He saw that Mo was in a Zoom meeting and he thought he would ask a question. We told him not to be sorry and that we were glad to have him.  I told him that he could hang out with the bloggers anytime.

A question was asked about how the team was keeping in touch with players that aren’t playing this year.  Mo said that pitchers are contacted bi-monthly and players are given programs to follow.  They are hoping for an instructional league.

Questions were asked about the minor leagues. There is a movement to condense minor league teams. Mo said he doesn’t know if it will happen next year.  The biggest advantage of condensing the minor league teams is that there would be no cost to the team and that there would be a more focused curriculum.

A question was asked about whether scouting was still going on.  Mo said, yes, but only day trips.  There are only 3 scouts allowed per tournament.  There is video scouting going on.

Dan asked about external options to replace Miles Mikolas, who is on the IL.  Mo replied that the Cards have internal options – Alex Reyes, etc.

Mo was asked if anything has gotten easier as the season has progressed. Mo said, no, not really – there are a lot of curveballs.

Someone asked whether there was going to be cardboard cutouts in the Busch Stadium seats like there are in other stadiums. Mo said he was okay with cutouts.  He thinks that there will be cutouts at the stadium in the next homestand. Jack Flaherty’s mom will be happy – she’s been asking about cutouts on Twitter.

What would the Cards do if they get into a situation like the Marlins where they had a bunch of players come down with COVID? Mo replied that the staff is on top of it and they follow all the CDC guidelines.

What went into the decision to make KK the closer? Mo said that KK’s preference is to start, but he wanted a dynamic role.

Someone asked what would be Giovanny Gallego’s role. Mo said that he would be pitching in the 8th and 9th innings for an opportunity to protect pitching.

A question was asked about whether the game could bring normalcy back to the country like after 9/11. Mo states that the game is bringing hope.

A question was asked about pitching depth and whether a shorter season would impact the game. Mo replied that he didn’t know but Johnson City has a 60 game season. Pitching should carry the game.

Chris Tunno popped in and said that there was only time for two more questions.

I decided to ask a question.  I asked if fans being in the stadium this season was off the table.  Mo said he hadn’t concluded that it won’t happen.

There was one more question, but I didn’t write it down. Mo thanked us for coming to the Zoom meeting. He said that he read most of our blogs and he enjoyed them.

Hopefully, next year things will be back to normal and we will once again have a regularly scheduled blogger event. Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

COVID throws a curve ball

It was no surprise to hear today that several players and two coaches from the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19.  The only surprise that mass infections happened so soon. The Marlins-Orioles game has been canceled this evening and so has the Yankees-Phillies game (the Phillies played the Marlins yesterday). Earlier in the year, a plan was hatched for two bubbles, one in each of the spring training states.  Given the recent surge of COVID cases in Florida, we should be very glad that that plan didn’t take effect.

MLB’s protocol as to what should happen in cases of mass positive tests hasn’t been very good. The taxi squads were a good idea, but I don’t believe it was meant to replace players in case of mass positive tests.

Here’s what I think should have been/should be done for each team to prevent the spread of COVID:

  1. Each team should stay in a hotel close to the ballpark. They should be the only ones in the hotel or if that’s not possible, one or two floors should be assigned to them and only a designated set of employees should service the room and bring room service.
  1. While staying at the hotel, there is to be no “visiting” from room to room. The player is to stay in his assigned room and order room service.  Players can Face Time or text if they want to talk to each other or to family.
  1. Players/coaches should only go from the hotel directly to the ballpark and vice versa. No outside meals or visiting any other business, or partying.  (I wonder if partying is how the Marlins’ players came down with COVID.)
  1. Teams should rent vans or travel buses to take players/coaches back and forth to the ballpark and to the airport. No private automobiles should be allowed. The vans/buses should be sterilized both before and after use.  Masks must be worn on the vans/buses.  No food or drink is allowed.
  1. When teams leave their hometown, the hotel rooms/floors they stayed in are to be completely sanitized and left empty until the team’s return.
  1. The travel buses are to take the players straight to the airport with no stops. They should fly in private jets that have been sanitized before the players’ arrival. No food or drink is allowed. The jets will be sanitized upon the players’ departure.
  1. Opposing teams should also have their own hotel with the same protocol as above, but it should be a different hotel and not the same hotel the home team stays at.
  1. During the game, all participants are to wear masks. On the bench, players are to stay six feet apart.  No home run celebrations are allowed.  No shaking hands or hugging or high (or low) fives.
  1. Players should wear masks while batting. Masks can be removed if a player gets a hit.  Fielders/base coaches/umpires should wear a mask if at all possible.
  1. Players are to shower in their hotel rooms and not at the ballpark (if they’re not already).

I realize that this is a long and complicated list, but unless stricter rules are enacted, baseball may be canceled altogether in 2020. And we don’t want that, do we?  Especially since we waited for so long for baseball to begin.

Here’s hoping that the ill players and coaches get well soon and that no other players or coaches come down with COVID-19.  I hope all of my readers are well and don’t come down with COVID either.  Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Opening Day is tomorrow – but it will look a lot different

Tomorrow is Opening Day (finally!) for the Cardinals.  But Opening Day will look a lot different than it’s looked in a long time.  The Opening Day game will actually be at night, which is the first time that’s happened since 2007 (thanks to Rob Rains for the assist).

Pep rallies won’t be happening, that’s for sure.  There are lots of people in crowds at a pep rally, they’re not socially distancing and not wearing masks, and some of them are heavy drinkers.  Then those fans go to the game and then go home to their families and to their workplaces. That’s a recipe for a COVID outbreak.

There won’t be any fans in the stands, but if you were lucky enough to be able to purchase a ticket for the Budweiser Brew House deck, you can be at the game.  I briefly thought about buying a ticket, but with tickets starting at $100 each and the fact that the players would look very small from up there, I declined.  You can view the game on the big screen TV’s at the many Ballpark Village venues, but you have to wear masks and be socially distanced.

Yadi and the umpires won’t be the only ones wearing masks – the managers and the coaches are wearing masks, along with some of the players.  And dugout celebrations will definitely be different – no hugs and high fives.  There will be a Black Lives Matter inscription on the pitcher’s mound, at the least for Opening Weekend.

There won’t be any Opening Day ceremonies before the game like the ones we’ve come to love.  We won’t see the Cardinals Hall of Famers in their lovely red jackets.  Most of those gentlemen are in their 60s and 70s.  We wish they could live forever, but we don’t want them to die from COVID, especially when it could be prevented.

We won’t see the Clydesdales and the beer wagon circle the field.  And we especially won’t see the players enter the field in those sweet Ford Mustang convertibles.  There won’t be any Team Fredbird members to assist them and the Hall of Famers in getting out of the vehicles.  Speaking of Fredbird, he won’t be there either – no mascots are allowed at MLB games this year.

Having no ceremonies on Opening Day is actually retro – the Cardinals didn’t have any inside-the-park Opening Day ceremonies until the DeWitts bought the team.  Pep rallies have been around for a long time, though – I remember attending pep rallies in the 1980s.  Working in downtown St. Louis has its benefits.

Even though we may not be at Busch Stadium in person and there will be no pomp and ceremony, Opening Day is still a major date on the Cardinals holiday calendar.  So stock up on your favorite snacks and beverages and celebrate (finally!) the start of the 2020 season, and rejoice that baseball is finally back, restrictions and all.

In other news, the Cardinals released Brett Cecil yesterday.  This was the last year of a four year contract for Cecil, and many fans are relieved that he is gone.  The Cecil deal was not one of John Mozeliak’s better deals. Brad Miller has been put on the injured list for bursitis in his ankle.  And the Cardinals announced their 30 man roster today.  Here’s a photo:

Image may contain: text that says '2020 OPENING DAY ROSTER PITCHERS MARTÍNEZ FERNÁNDEZ FLAHERTY MIKOLAS GANT A. MILLER GOMBER PONCE DE LEON HELSLEY WAINWRIGHT HUDSON WEBB KIM WHITLEY CATCHERS INFIELDERS KNIZNER CARPENTER MOLINA DEJONG WIETERS EDMAN OUTFIELDERS GOLDSCHMIDT BADER RAVELO DEAN SOSA FOWLER WONG O'NEILL THOMAS IN'

You may count the names and think, “Hey, there’s only 29 names!” Per the Cardinals’ website, they are waiting on Giovanny Gallegos and hoping he will be able to join the team soon.

If you’re thinking about switching your cell phone provider, you might want to do it soon.  T-Mobile (and also Sprint) customers are eligible to receive a free year of MLB.TV, and they have sweetened the pot by adding a year’s subscription to The Athletic.  If you’re an out-of-market fan, this is a great deal for you; if you’re not, you can listen to the KMOX audio.  I watched yesterday’s exhibition game on my phone on the way home from work on the train.  This offer is only good until August 4, so you’d better hurry.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time! And go Cards!

Diane

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

You’re probably amazed that I’m posting another blog post so soon after the last one, but there was so much news going on in Cardinals land today that I just had to tell you all about it.

Starting tomorrow night (7/14/20), most of the Cardinals’ intrasquad games will be live-streamed on Cardinals.com starting at 7 PM CST.  The game will be announced by longtime Cardinals announcer Dan McLaughlin.  If you’ve visited a Schnucks store in the last few months, you have heard Dan’s dulcet tones remind customers to stay 6 feet apart and also reminding cashiers to sanitize the keypads and the check lanes.  It will be good to hear him announce Cardinals baseball once again.  The Cards have the day off today, probably for COVID testing, but today is Yadier Molina’s 38th birthday, and I like that reason better.  I can just see Yadi asking Mike Shildt, “Can the team have the 13th off for my birthday?” Like a fine wine, Yadi just gets better with age.  I hope the GOAT has a great birthday.

Here’s some news that will make you realize that real ballgames are starting soon.  The Cardinals will host the Kansas City Royals for an exhibition game on July 23, 2020, at 3:05 PM CST. This will be the first exhibition game ever in Busch Stadium III. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports Midwest and KMOX radio.  This will mark Mike Matheny’s return to Busch Stadium, which should be very interesting.

And here’s some sad news.  The 2020 Cardinals Hall of Fame induction ceremony, during which John Tudor, Tommy Herr, and Bill White were to join the other Cardinals immortals, has been postponed to August 21, 2021, when both the 2020 class and the 2021 class will be inducted.  That darn COVID has also postponed another Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the first being the Baseball Hall of Fame induction during which my main man Ted Simmons was supposed to join the immortals.  Perhaps I can get enough money scraped together to go to Cooperstown next year to see Ted get inducted, now that it’s been postponed.

I neglected to mention this in my last blog post, but if you purchased tickets for the rest of the 2020 season, you can now receive a refund.  You can go here:  https://www.mlb.com/cardinals/tickets/refund for details for a ticket refund.

And more news – Jordan Hicks has opted out of the 2020 season, citing pre-existing health concerns.  Jordan is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, and he also has Type 1 diabetes, which is one of the health conditions which increases the risk of contracting COVID.  I respect his decision, and I look forward to seeing his 100+ MPH fastball in 2021.  Jordan is only 23 (the same age as my son! Yikes!), so he has plenty of years left in his career.

Let’s hope we have some better news in the days to come.  Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Yes! There will be baseball! And it’s coming soon!

It turned out I didn’t have to post the next act of my play after all.  The MLBPAA and MLB finally came to a consensus and decided that there will be baseball after all in 2020.  There will only be 60 games and the first games will take place on July 23.  Each team will only play teams in their division. The Cardinals are in the NL Central, so they will play teams from the NL Central and the AL Central.  There will be a universal DH (cue the groaning).  If games go into extra innings, the team that is up to bat will have a runner at second base.  And of course, there will be no fans in the stands.  The Cards will replace the Yankees as the White Sox’s opponents in the Field of Dreams game on August 13.

The Cardinals’ first game is on July 24 at Busch Stadium against the Pirates.  The last series of the season is against the Brewers the last weekend in September.  You can view the 60 game schedule here. If you would like to add the schedule to your calendar, whether it’s Google, Outlook, Office 365, or on your smartphone, click on the icon with the plus sign on it when you go to the link.

Amazingly, only 1.9% of all the COVID-19 tests through July 9th were positive, according to this article on MLB.com.  Three Cards players (Elehuris Montero, Genesis Cabrera, and Ricardo Sanchez) tested positive, but they were asymptomatic. And several MLB players have decided not to play this year, which is their prerogative, of course, either due to chronic illnesses in their families or because of new additions to their families, such as Buster Posey, who with his wife adopted twins who were born prematurely.  MLB will have to reconfigure their testing protocols to avoid what happened last Monday, when several teams had to cancel their practices because test results were not available due to FedEx not operating on July 3rd for the Independence Day holiday.  If the testing is consistent and the players behave themselves, the 2020 season will hopefully be played.  I’m not sure, however, if fans will be allowed in the stadiums this year since it appears that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading once again.

MLB felt sorry for the fans not being able to attend games this season, so they released the 2021 schedule early.  The Cards are playing the same interleague teams they would have been playing during the full 2020 season except for the Yankees.  I was really looking forward to those games too.  😦 Darn coronavirus!  You can view the Cards’ 2021 schedule here. Some of the game times have not been determined yet.

The Cardinals have been practicing in the evenings because it’s currently very warm in St. Louis.  Paul DeJong is hitting like there hasn’t been a long break at all.  There is a new Big Mac Land sign for Paul to hit with a home run.  It is really good to see the players practicing.  I really like those workout t-shirts the players are wearing; does anyone know where I can get one?  A shortened season with different rules will require a different coaching strategy than a full 162 game season.  It will be interesting to see how Mike Shildt will handle everything.

In personal news, I was rehired to the position I left in March, so I once again get to see Busch Stadium twice a day as I get off and on the train at the Stadium Metrolink station – masked, of course.  The outside loudspeakers at Busch are playing some of the great calls from the Cardinals’ radio announcers, which I hear when I get up to street level (the Stadium station is below ground level). I’m sure it must be to pump up the players, but it sure boosts my morale.  The calls must be on a loop because I hear the same calls every day – couldn’t they switch it up and put some older calls on the loop?  The Team Store has now reopened at Busch Stadium so you can shop to your heart’s (and your wallet’s) content.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

The Honorable Kenesaw Mountain Landis, presiding – Acts I – III

Kenesaw Mountain Landis, from Wikipedia.

This is a play that currently has three acts.  If consensus is not made shortly between the Commissioner and the MLBPA about whether baseball will proceed in 2020, more acts will follow.

Act I

The front door of a residence, late at night, in early 20th-century style, in the year 1920.  A phone booth lands on the sidewalk and two men dressed in 21st-century clothes emerge.  The men go up to the door and start pounding on it.

Man:    (from inside the door in a booming voice) Who’s there?  What do you want?

John:   I’m John Price.

Bill:      I’m Bill Francis.

Man:    What the hell do you want at this time of night?

John:   Is this the home of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis?

Man:    Yes. I’m Landis. (opens the door) What kind of clothes are those?

John:   Your Honor, we’re from the future – 2020, to be exact.

KML:   2020? Do you mean the world is still is turning in 2020?

Bill:      Indeed. But sir, we need you to come to the future with us.

KML:   In that? (points at the phone booth) Why would I want to do that?

John:   Sir, it’s baseball.  It needs your help.  If you don’t come back and help us, there won’t be baseball at all in 2020.  We need your arbitration skills.

KML:   No baseball, eh?  That would be bad.  (pause) Just a minute.  I have to let my wife know I’ll be gone for a few days.  You will get me back here, right?

Bill:      Yes, of course! Of course! This machine has been thoroughly tested.

KML:   Be right back. (Landis goes into the house.)

Bill:      I can’t believe it! He’s coming with us!

John:   He’s going to ask about what’s going on.  Are you ready to tell him?

Bill:      Yes.

KML:   Sorry I took so long, boys.  I had to pack a few things.  The wife isn’t happy with me but if I bring her something from the future, maybe she’ll forgive me.

(The men get into the phone booth.  Bill sets the gauge for June 20, 2020.)

(The phone booth lands in the backyard of a home.  The men exit the phone booth and enter the house.)

KML:   Now perhaps one of you would like to tell me just how it came to be that baseball is in trouble in 2020.

Bill:      Well, sir, you see, there was a pandemic.  There was a virus called coronavirus.  All of the sports leagues shut down – the NBA, the NHL –

KML:   NBA? NHL?

Bill:      Basketball. Hockey.

KML:   Oh.

Bill:      Schools were shut down and the kids had to learn at home.   People couldn’t go to work and they had to start working from home.  Churches were closed. Restaurants, bars, and stores were closed.

KML:   Quarantine?  I remember that from the Spanish flu pandemic.  This sounds worse.

John:   Oh, yes.  Over 100,000 dead in the U.S. alone. It hit during the first 2 weeks of baseball spring training.  The spring training camps were shut down.  The players all had to go home.

Bill:      The pandemic eventually started winding down and the other sports leagues made plans to reopen.  But baseball – well, they’re having trouble figuring out how and when to open.  Rob Manfred, the commissioner, and union president Tony Clark have been going back and forth –

KML:   Union?  The players have a union?

John:   Yes. Since the 1970s, I think.

Bill:      They’ve been negotiating for weeks.  The players and the fans are getting disgusted and are posting on social media –

KML:   What is social media?

John:   I can tell it’s going to take a while to explain everything to you.  And then we’ll have to get you some clothes that aren’t so early 20th century.  Bill and I are roommates –

KML:   Pansies? As in homosexual?

John:   No, no.  I have a girlfriend.  Bill and I share the rent on this house.  But we have a guest bedroom and that’s where you can sleep.  With a good night’s rest, we’ll be able to explain everything better tomorrow.  Here’s the guest room.  We have a spare toothbrush in case you didn’t bring yours. The bathroom is right down the hall. Tomorrow is Saturday, so we’ll have all day to go over everything and go shopping for some clothes.

Bill:      Thanks for coming with the future with us, Judge Landis.  I promise you’ll never forget it.

KML:   That’s what I’m afraid of. (The stage goes dark.)

End of Act I

Act II

The guys are all at the breakfast table enjoying a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, and coffee.

KML:   Not bad for a man cooking. The only people that cook in my day are women and chefs.

Bill:      Thanks – I think.

KML:   Explain to me just exactly what you think you need me to do.  Why am I here?

John:   Well, first we need to buy you some new clothes and shoes.  What’s your waist size and inseam? And we need your collar and shoe size.

(KML gives them his measurements.)

Bill:      Well, he can wear a pair of my shorts and a t-shirt until we can get him to a store to buy him some clothes. He can wear my soccer slides with socks. He needs to try on the clothes before we buy them.

KML:   There are no tailors in the 21st century?

John:   Only if you are very rich. And we aren’t rich.  We’re just scientists who love baseball.  We were smart enough to invent a time machine.  But to go to the mall, we’ll ride in Bill’s Jeep.

Bill:      Jeeps were invented in World War II.

KML:   There’s going to be another world war? I hope I don’t live to see it.  (Note: KML died in November 1944. He did see WWII. – DMS)

John:   Don’t worry, we won’t make you ride in the time machine until it’s time to take you back to 1920.

KML:   Oh, good. Something to look forward to.

(The guys get into the Jeep and drive off.)

(The guys are at the men’s clothing store at the mall.)

Bill:      Judge Landis, you’ll need a suit.

KML:   A suit? Will I be presiding over a hearing?

John:   That’s what we’re hoping.

Bill:      Plus, you’ll need some casual clothes.  You can’t wear a suit all the time.

KML:   I don’t even do that in 1920.

John:   Get him some khakis and some polo shirts. He’s not the surfer boy type.

Bill:      Are you going to need underwear too?

KML:   I brought some, but thanks.

(John heads over to the Dockers section of the store and picks up some pairs of khakis and some polo shirts.)

Bill:      Judge Landis needs some more modern shoes, I think.  Deck shoes for the Dockers and dress shoes for the suit?

John:   Yes, and the suit is the next stop on our trip.

(The guys buy the clothes and shoes and head back to the Jeep. They drive back to the house.)

Act III

(The guys are back at the house. KML has changed into a polo shirt and khakis.)

KML:   These clothes are very comfortable.  Can I take them back to 1920?

Bill:      Well, sure, if they wear those back then.  We wouldn’t want you to look out of place.

John:   I guess we’ve delayed long enough.  We need to acquaint Judge Landis with today’s technology.

(Bill turns on the TV.)

KML:   Is there a person in there? He must be very thin.

Bill:      No, Judge Landis, that’s a television. It’s like a movie screen but in your living room.

(KML looks at the TV in amazement.)

(Bill changes the channel with the remote.)

Bill:      And you’re not stuck just watching one show.  There are many channels, including sports channels, where you can watch games without having to go the stadium.

(John walks over to the desk and turns on the computer.)

KML:   Is that another television?

Bill:      It has pictures on the screen like a TV but it’s a computer.

John:   This is a keyboard like a typewriter keyboard but you can use it to type words on the computer.

Bill:      Social media is going to blow his mind.

(John sits down at the computer and opens Google Chrome.)

John:   This is an Internet browser. With an Internet browser, you can communicate with people all over the world.  You can do research and play games.

KML:   What is that social media you were talking about?

Bill:      They are programs you access using the browser.  Facebook is where people post what they’re doing, where they are, and personal greetings.  Twitter is where people post short messages and engage people in conversation.

(John opens up Twitter.)

John:   Here, Judge Landis, have a seat and try it out.  This is a mouse.

KML:   That doesn’t look like any mouse I’ve seen.  No fur.

John:   (laughs) Not that kind of mouse.

(John shows KML how to use the mouse.)

KML:   (scrolls through John’s Twitter page) Some of these people look like baseball players.

Bill:      They are.

KML:   My goodness, what terrible language! Polite people do not use that language in public.

John:   Unfortunately, things are a lot different these days.

Bill:      Okay, Judge Landis, here is our idea.  We want to set you up with a Twitter account.  We will tweet from your –

KML:   Tweet?

John:   It’s what they call messages on Twitter.  See the little bluebird? Birds tweet.

Bill:      We will address your tweet to Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (better known as the union), calling out the current baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, and the head of the players’ union, Tony Clark.  The tweet will tell them that we have brought you to the future to arbitrate the current dispute and summon them to a meeting to settle it once and for all.

KML:   Where will we hold this meeting?

John:   We rented a banquet room at a local Holiday Inn.  We’ll have it set up like a courtroom.  What do you think, Judge Landis?

KML:   I like the idea.  I always liked a challenge.

Bill:      We have to take your photo, Judge, so we can post it on your Twitter account.  If we use an old photo of you, no one will think it’s really you and that it’s a fake account. (Bill pulls out a digital camera.)

KML:   There’s no film?

Bill:      No, there’s a little card that the photos are stored on.

KML:   How do the photos get on the computer?

Bill:      There is a transfer cord that transfers the photos from the camera to the computer.

KML:   My, a lot has changed over the last 100 years.

John:   Judge, maybe you ought to put on your suit – at least the suit jacket, shirt, and tie.  That will make your photo look formal.  We’ll just take a bust pose and use that.

(KML goes to his room and changes into his suit.)

Bill:      Looking good, Judge Landis.  Have a seat in this chair.  (Bill puts the chair against the solid-colored wall.)

John:   People didn’t smile in photos back in your day, Judge, so you don’t have to smile in yours.

KML:   Thanks.

(John takes a photo, then hooks the camera up to the computer.  He opens up the photo software and imports the photo.)

John:   See, Judge?  There’s your photo.

KML:   My goodness.

John:   I’ll sign out of Twitter so we can open up your account.  (John signs out of Twitter and then selects “Sign Up.”)

John:   What should we name you on Twitter? Hon. Kenesaw M. Landis?

KML:   That will be fine.

John:   Phone number? I’ll just use mine. What’s your date of birth?

KML:   November 20, 1896.

(John and KML talk back and forth, giving information for the Twitter account.  John adds KML’s photo.)

John:   And there’s your Twitter page.

KML:   Now what?

John:   Well, we don’t want to make your first tweet the demand to Clark and Manfred. That will look fake. Bill will find your account on his smartphone and follow you.  Then he will post that he’s found your Twitter page and share it on Twitter.  More people will follow you and after you have a few followers, we’ll post the tweet to Clark and Manfred.

Bill:      John, refresh the page.

John:   Look, Judge Landis, there’s the tweet that Bill has followed you on Twitter.

Bill:      Refresh the page again, John.

John:   Look, Judge Landis, there’s Bill’s tweet talking about your Twitter account.

(As the trio watches the Twitter page, more and more people follow Judge Landis’ Twitter account and it shows up on his page.)

KML:   My goodness, I didn’t know how many people know who I am.

John:   Rob Manfred and Tony Clark don’t have Twitter accounts but Major League Baseball and the players’ union have Twitter accounts and we will address your tweet to them. Here we go.

John:   (speaking as he types) To @MLB and @MLBPA: I understand that baseball may not be played in 2020. I have been brought to the future to arbitrate the current dispute. I call out Rob Manfred and Tony Clark to meet with me at the Drury Inn at the Holiday Inn Chicago Midway on 6/22/20 at – (John posts the first tweet.)

John:   (speaking as he types again) 9 AM to settle this dispute so baseball can be played in 2020. No lawyers, no media, no players. Just you two.  See you there. (John posts the second tweet.)

KML:   Gentlemen, my stomach is rumbling.  It must be time for lunch.

Bill:      We’ll let those tweets cook for a while we eat.  I’ll order us a pizza.  Judge, do they have pizza in 1920? I think you’ll really like it.

End of Act III

If this present dispute doesn’t end soon, the play will continue.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this play.  See you next time!

Diane

Bibliography:  “Kenesaw Mountain Landis,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenesaw_Mountain_Landis

 

 

 

 

2020 Cardinals Hall of Fame inductees announced!

To paraphrase Shakespeare, this is the spring of baseball fans’ discontent.  I am sympathetic to those who have suffered from the coronavirus, both physically and financially.  I am one of the financial sufferers – I was laid off on Wednesday from the job I started just two months ago. If you know of a downtown St. Louis law firm that needs a talented legal assistant, please let me know. But darn it – I miss baseball and you, dear reader, probably do too.  Hopefully, the MLBPA and the owners will get their differences worked out so that we can see baseball in some form this year, even with the designated hitter.

While we wait for live baseball, the Cardinals announced the inductees for the Cardinals Hall of Fame this evening, If you are a long time reader of this blog, you know who my favorite 1980s pitcher is and I’m happy to announce that he finally got elected to the Cardinals Hall of Fame! Details on when the actual ceremony will take place were not announced, but here are all of the other details:

2020 CARDINALS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CLASS ANNOUNCED

World Champion 2B Tom Herr and Franchise E.R.A. Leader John Tudor Voted In By Fans

Eight-Time All-Star and Six-Time Gold Glove 1B Bill White Also To Be Enshrined

In a televised special on FOX Sports Midwest this evening, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that Tom HerrJohn Tudor, and Bill White will be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.  This is the seventh induction class since the team dedicated the Cardinals Hall of Fame with an inaugural class on Opening Day in 2014.  Details regarding a formal induction ceremony for the 2020 Induction Class will be announced at a later date.

Chosen by the fans, Tom Herr and John Tudor were the top two-vote getters in the Cardinals Hall of Fame online balloting presented by Edward Jones.  The ballot, which also included Cardinals legends Steve Carlton, Keith Hernandez, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, and Lee Smith, was selected by a Red Ribbon committee of St. Louis baseball experts through a secret ballot process.  Cardinals fans cast a record 113,000 votes over the nine-week voting period.

In addition to nominating modern players for fan balloting, the Red Ribbon Committee also elected Bill White, a veteran player, for induction using a secret ballot process.  White, a Gold Glove first baseman and African-American pioneer, was a starter for the Cardinals from 1959-1965 and returned to finish his career in 1969.  The 1964 World Champion would later become the first black president of a major sports league when he was named National League President in 1989.

“Selecting the members of the Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Class is one of our organization’s greatest traditions,” said Bill DeWitt Jr., Cardinals Chairman and CEO.  “We thank the over 100,000 fans and our Red Ribbon Committee who cast their votes for this year’s induction class and look forward to celebrating the achievements of these remarkable players with Cardinals Nation very soon.”

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, as well as those who have made exceptional contributions to the organization.  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 of “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.

Each member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame is permanently enshrined in the Cardinals Hall of Fame Gallery presented by Edward Jones that is located on the second floor of Cardinals Nation in Ballpark Village, just outside the entrance to the Cardinals Museum.  The Hall of Fame Gallery is free and open to the public.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/HOF for more information.  #CardsHOF

The following is a description of each Inductee’s career as a Cardinal:

Tom Herr (Modern Era Player — Fan Selection)

Years: 1979 – 1988;  .274/.349/.354, 1021 H, 179 2B, 31 3B, 498 R, 152 SB (1029 Games)

Making his debut the same night Lou Brock clubbed his 3,000th career hit, Tom Herr made his mark on one of the most popular eras of Cardinals baseball.  He led the National League in both fielding percentage and assists as a second baseman in 1981 and finished in the top-three in double plays turned in six of his 10 seasons in St. Louis.  Herr’s finest offensive season came in 1985 when he was named to the All-Star team and finished fifth in NL MVP voting after finishing in the league’s top-ten in on-base percentage, batting average, hits, doubles, runs batted in and walks.  That season he had 110 RBI and only eight home runs, making him the last player in NL history to reach 100+ RBI with less than 10 HR. A fan favorite of the Whiteyball era, Herr may best be remembered for hitting a 10th inning walk-off grand slam against the New York Mets on “Seat Cushion Night” at Busch Stadium, resulting in thousands of fans hurling their cushions onto the field.

John Tudor (Modern Era Player — Fan Selection)

Years: 1985 – 1988, 1990/62-26, 2.52 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 22 CG, 12 SHO, 881.2 IP (125 Games Started)

During his five seasons in a Cardinals uniform, John Tudor accumulated a .705 winning percentage and 2.52 ERA over 125 starts, both of which still stand as all-time Cardinals records (minimum 750.0 IP).  The left-hander’s finest season came during his first year with the club in 1985 when he won 21 games (including a mind-blowing 20-1 record after June 1) with a miniscule 1.93 ERA and 10 complete-game shutouts and finished second in National League Cy Young voting.  A member of two National League pennant-winning teams in 1985 and 1987, Tudor had a 3.16 ERA over nine post-season starts for the Cardinals.  Tudor would go on to win at least 10 games in each of the four full seasons he pitched for the Redbirds and remains the only pitcher to reach double-digit shutouts in a single season in the last 45 years.

Bill White (Veteran Era Player — Red Ribbon Panel Selection)

Years: 1959 – 1965, 1969; .298/.357/.472, 1241 H, 209 2B, 140 HR, 843 R, 870 RBI (1113 Games)

Acquired via trade two weeks before the start of the 1959 season, Bill White would go on to spend the next seven years in the Cardinals starting lineup.  The left-handed first baseman was named an All-Star in five of those seven seasons and was part of the all-Cardinals starting infield in the 1963 All-Star Game. After setting career highs in batting average (.324) and OPS (.868) in 1962, White returned with an even better year in 1963, establishing career bests in hits (200), runs (106), home runs (27) and RBI (109).  The next year, White finished third in NL MVP voting after putting up another 20+ HR and 100+ RBI season as the Cardinals won their first World Series title in 18 seasons.  In addition to his prowess at the plate, White earned six consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1960-1965.  While playing for the Cardinals, White worked part-time for KMOX, a precursor to him becoming the first African-American play-by-play broadcaster for a major league team in 1971 and the first African-American president of a major sports league (National League President) in 1989.

Cardinals Hall of Fame Members (43)

Jim Bottomley Jim Edmonds Tony La Russa Branch Rickey
Ken Boyer Curt Flood Ray Lankford Scott Rolen
Sam Breadon Bob Forsch Marty Marion Red Schoendienst
Harry Brecheen Frank Frisch Pepper Martin Mike Shannon
Lou Brock Bob Gibson Tim McCarver Ted Simmons
Jack Buck Chick Hafey Willie McGee Enos Slaughter
August A. Busch Jr. Jesse Haines Mark McGwire Ozzie Smith
Chris Carpenter Whitey Herzog Joe Medwick Billy Southworth
Vince Coleman Rogers Hornsby Johnny Mize Bruce Sutter
Mort Cooper Jason Isringhausen Terry Moore Joe Torre
Dizzy Dean George Kissell Stan Musial  

2020 Cardinals Hall of Fame Red Ribbon Selection Committee (15)

Tom Ackerman,  Frank Cusumano,  Derrick Goold, Whitey Herzog, Benjamin Hochman, Rick Hummel, Randy Karraker,  Martin Kilcoyne, Tony La Russa, Bernie Miklasz, Joe Ostermeier, Rob Rains, Anne Rogers, Joe Torre and Brian Walton.

Thanks as always for reading! Here’s hoping for live baseball soon!

Diane

 

Home Opening Day would have been tomorrow :(

If you have a Cardinals wall calendar or a foldable Cardinals schedule or have the schedule downloaded on your phone, you know what tomorrow is, and you are probably sad like I am.  For tomorrow would have been the Cards’ home opener and downtown St. Louis should have been full of joy at the Cardinals’ return and full of Cardinals fans, drunken and otherwise.  Instead, thanks to the coronavirus, downtown St. Louis is practically a ghost town.  I know this personally because I work at a law firm in downtown St. Louis, and Missouri deems lawyers as essential employees.

The Cardinals have come up with some ideas to help ease the pain of not having a home opener, and they are detailed below:

CARDINALS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR ‘STAY HOME OPENER’

Includes Launch of COVID-19 Community Support Web Page and Social Media Activations

 ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 1, 2020–The St. Louis Cardinals are marking the team’s original home opener date on Thursday, April 2nd by encouraging fans to stay home and stay safe. The Club’s ‘Stay Home Opener’ includes a number of social media activations as well as the launch of the Club’s resources page, cardinals.com/support.

“We know our fans miss baseball, and we miss it too,” said Bill DeWitt III, Team President.  “We would love to be celebrating our home opener tomorrow, but the current situation demands that we all help slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home and practicing social distancing.  We hope our millions of fans will check out our website and social feeds which will celebrate some past home openers and also provide helpful links from our community partners on health and wellness issues.”

 Community Support and Resources Web Page

The community resource web page houses comprehensive information on ways to support our community partners, as well as resources available for those in need. The website also incorporates a number of baseball-themed, educational activities for children.

“We are fortunate to work with a number of amazing community partners who are providing critical resources and aid to those most impacted in our region,” said Michael Hall, Vice President, Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care.  “We’re honored to support their efforts and encourage our fans to help out where they can.”

The team is also working with its partners at FOX Sports Midwest and Anheuser-Busch on supporting the American Red Cross and the critical need for blood and platelet donations by promoting the need for healthy blood donors on their social media platforms.

In addition, Cardinals Care is working with Stan the Man, Inc. to support hunger relief efforts for the St. Louis Area Foodbank.  Starting Thursday, fans who donate to the Step Up to the Plate campaign will be entered into a drawing to win one of several baseball-themed prizes. Fans can find more information at stlfoodbank.org.

Social Media Activations

As part of the ‘Stay Home Opener,’ the team encourages fans to show their team spirit by wearing St. Louis Cardinals gear and by sharing their Busch Stadium home opener memories on social media using #STLStayHomeOpener.

Digital and printable signs stating “I Stay Home For ________” will be available for download from the team’s website, providing people the opportunity to show support for medical professionals, emergency personnel and others in our thoughts during this time.

The team will engage with fans and influencers throughout the day across the Cardinals’ social platforms and will highlight exclusive Opening Day videos and photo collections from previous years.

On the Radio

In honor of the home opener, KMOX will be hosting a two-hour Cardinals special broadcast from 4-6 PM featuring interviews with current and former players, including Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Willie McGee, Mike Shildt, Adam Wainwright, Tony LaRussa and many more.

Fans can visit cardinals.com for complete details about Thursday’s #STLStayHomeOpener and the team’s ongoing efforts to support the community.

I hope you are staying at home and staying healthy.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who are ill with this virus and with those whose loved ones have passed away from this virus.  I hope and pray that this virus disappears soon so that the baseball season can start, and we can get back to some sense of normalcy.

Thanks as always for reading!

Diane

Hope, postponed

Today was supposed to be Opening Day for Major League Baseball, New Year’s (or New Season’s) Day for baseball fans, with all its pomp and circumstance.  The Cardinals were to start the season on the road at Cincinnati, the traditional Opening Day city. However, thanks to this insidious coronavirus, there is no joy in Mudville – baseball is shut down. Opening Day is the first sure sign of spring for me.  If Opening Day hasn’t happened yet then spring hasn’t happened yet either, despite the best efforts of Mother Nature.  Hope springs eternal, but hope has now been postponed. 

I want to see Yadi behind the plate with Waino on the mound.  I want to see Harrison playing center field.  I want to know who’s been selected to play left field.  I want to see the Cardinals Hall of Famers in their red jackets behind home plate on the home Opening Day.  I want to hear the crack of a bat hitting the ball, and the sound of a ball smacking into a glove. I want to go to Budweiser Terrace and enjoy a $5 can of Busch beer. I want to sit in the stands with the rest of the fans and cheer on my Redbirds.  Proverbs 13:12(a) states, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” There are a lot of heartsick baseball fans (and baseball players too) right about now.

Opening Day will finally happen this year (we hope), but when it will happen is anyone’s guess.  There are so many possibilities being propounded that I can’t even list them all.  However, MLB and the Cardinals have been doing a great job keeping fans’ interest in baseball by interacting on social media.  In fact, this morning at 10:00 AM CST, you can watch Game 6 of the 2011 World Series (a/k/a David Freese’s historic game) on the Cardinals’ Facebook page and on www.cardinals.com.  In addition, MLB has opened up an online course that parents who are homeschooling their children may find of interest.  I will post the details below my signature.

Even my iPhone knows I miss baseball. My iPhone finally stopped sending calendar appointments to my Apple Watch for upcoming baseball games, even though I hadn’t turned off the notification. It’s like it knew that baseball wasn’t being played right now.  It pierced my heart and made me sad every day when I saw an upcoming game on my watch that wasn’t going to happen, so I’m glad I’m not seeing the appointments for now.  If you would like the Cardinals’ schedule synced to your phone’s calendar, however, go here:  https://www.mlb.com/cardinals/fans/downloadable-schedule, click the Add to Calendar button, then follow the next steps. 

It’s been a long and crazy month, and knowing when baseball will return will make things a lot easier.  This shutdown of baseball (and indeed, the shutdown of society) will be finished sooner if we follow the CDC’s instructions – wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, use hand sanitizer, disinfect surfaces and practice social distancing.  I hope you are physically and emotionally well, despite the fact that there is currently no baseball to enjoy. Thanks as always for reading! See you next time and I hope it’s soon!

Diane

P.S:  Here are the details about the online course:

Major League Baseball and EVERFI, the leading social impact education and Official Education Partner of MLB, today announced the widespread availability of the “Summer Slugger” digital education platform to assist some of the 39 million students currently learning at home in the United States and Canada. Parents, legal guardians, and teachers can access the program for students at SummerSlugger.com.

Summer Slugger contains 36 Series (designed to take no longer than 10 minutes to complete) which cover the following educational topics: units of measure, place value, arithmetic, geometry, spelling, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Summer Slugger unlocks activities and offers rewards for progress and consistency along the way. Students engage with content that reinforces key foundational and procedural skills while enjoying the freedom and motivation of digital baseball activity.