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.

Black out the sun (corona)

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the coronavirus that has spread throughout the world.  The World Health Organization finally announced this week that the spread of the coronavirus had turned into a pandemic.  (They were a little slow on the uptake, like most large organizations.)

This pandemic has put the sports world on its ear.  First, the NCAA decided to play March Madness with only essential personnel and close family in the stands. (This reminded me of the MLB game played in Baltimore after the riots there.  You can refresh your memory on that here.) It was reported today that the men and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments have been canceled, along with other winter and spring NCAA championships. Other college tournaments followed suit.  Then the NBA suspended the season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus.  Like dominoes, the NHL and MLS also suspended their seasons, and other sporting events have been canceled as well. As of this writing, only the XFL is still open for business, although St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has prohibited gatherings of over 1,000 people, so the Battlehawks may be playing to an empty stadium.

For us baseball fans, the worse news of all came today – MLB has decided to cancel all spring training games starting tomorrow.  The Cardinals played their stadium mates the Marlins today (and won) in what was the last baseball game for a while.  MLB also determined today that the start of the regular season will be delayed at least two weeks.  Since the start of the baseball season has been delayed, will teams have to undergo a second spring training to get back into shape?  And if not, will there be more injuries to players due to the layoff? MLB originally chose March 29th for Opening Day this year so that the World Series wouldn’t be played during the presidential election, but with the delay of the start of the season, that’s a very real possibility.

I’m 58 years old and this is the first time that I can ever remember that all major sports leagues have shut down because of a pandemic.  (Professional sports in the U.S. were closed down for a week after 9/11, but that wasn’t because of a virus.) Since I am a baseball fan. I am very disappointed that I won’t be able to watch baseball for a while, but I feel sorry the most for those whose livelihoods depend on games being played – the vendors and the stadium workers and the businesses who depend on sporting events to bring in business.  The professional athletes and the staff will get paid, of course.  But the stadium and arena workers will not get paid, except for the workers for the NBA Mavericks, since owner Mark Cuban has stated publicly that he will financially assist the arena workers.  Hopefully, more team owners will follow Cuban’s shining example.

It will be so sad to barbecue on a Sunday afternoon without listening to Mike Shannon and John Rooney on KMOX calling a Cardinals game.  It will be so sad to not be able to hear Dan McLaughlin calling the game on FOX Sports Midwest.  What will the sportscasters report on the news and in the newspapers if there are no games to report about?

So now that there are no sports to watch on TV, what will we fans do to fill the time? I guess I’ll be reading more books and watching movies that I haven’t been able to watch.  Maybe I’ll write more blog posts on my other blogs.  Maybe I’ll do some retail therapy.  I sure hope the time passes quickly.  Baseball fans have been waiting all winter for spring and for baseball and now it feels like spring has been delayed too.  I’m praying that we all survive the next few weeks, from the virus and from no sports.  There may not be any new blog posts here for a while, at least until we find out when the season will resume.  If you miss me (aww!), you can follow me on Twitter @Diane1611.

Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds and take care of yourself! Thanks as always for reading and see you next time, whenever that will be.

Diane

 

The strange exit of Yairo Munoz

Since this blog is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers, I receive press releases from the Cardinals to use for blog posts if I want to.  I received a press release from the Cardinals yesterday morning discussing the first spring training roster cuts.  There was nothing unusual about that – not every player gets to go up north with the team, and it’s the time of spring training when the first roster cuts occur.

But the last line of the press release made me stop and wonder.  It read, “The team also announced that infielder Yairo Muñoz has been placed on Unconditional Release Waivers.”  What? Didn’t Yairo get hurt running to first base just last week? Why did the Cardinals release him?  There had to be more to the story.

Rob Rains of STL Sports Page was the first to report (at least the first I could find) the reason why Yairo had been released:

What Yairo did to the Cardinals is what’s known as “ghosting.”  Per Merriam-Webster,  the definition of “ghosting” that applies to Yairo’s conduct is: “the act or practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with someone (such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.”  In the working world, ghosting is when you accept a job offer but don’t show up on your first day or quitting a job without giving notice, which is what Yairo did.

It’s been reported in several sources that Yairo was unhappy with the playing time he got last season and during spring training.  He pulled his hamstring running to first base during the game on February 29. We were watching that game and I told my hubby, “Well, he’ll be out for a while.”

Per Derrick Goold’s article here, Yairo was scheduled for an MRI on the popped hamstring last Thursday, but he didn’t show up for the test.  Yairo didn’t communicate with the front office what his plans were, and the Cardinals decided to release him after learning that he got on a plane and went home to the Dominican Republic (the DR in Rob’s tweet above).

Sadly, this is not the first time that Cardinals players have not communicated with the front office about important things. In 2018, pitcher Ryan Sheriff had Tommy John surgery without advising the front office that he was having surgery. The Cardinals later released Sheriff.

In my opinion, Yairo went about this entirely the wrong way.  If Yairo felt disrespected and thought he wasn’t getting enough playing time, he should have gone to manager Mike Shildt and discussed it with him. Mike would have spoken with him and reassured him about his role with the team.  Instead, Yairo took his glove and went home, which showed disrespect to the team that signed him and gave him a chance to play.  Yairo is now a free agent, but when other teams see how he behaved in this situation, it doesn’t give them much confidence that he will behave well with them.  It will be interesting to see how and where Yairo lands.

I apologize that I haven’t posted in a while.  I recently started a new job, and tying up loose ends at the old job and preparing for the new job didn’t leave me much time or energy to write.  I no longer work two blocks from Busch Stadium, but I still work in downtown St. Louis.  I had to go out to the new firm’s Denver office to do computer training and my Uber driver took me past Coors Field on the way to the hotel I was staying in. If it had been baseball season, I could have gone to a game – Coors Field was only a few blocks from the hotel. To those in the Denver office reading this blog for the first time, thanks for stopping by!

I’m excited that the season starts 3 weeks from tonight and I hope you are too.  Thanks as always for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow! (and a special ticket sale)

Tomorrow is a minor holiday on the Cardinals’ calendar.  It’s the official day (2/11/20) that pitchers and catchers report to spring training, even though several pitchers, catchers, and other players have already reported to camp. If you follow Derrick Goold (of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and Jeff Jones on Twitter, they have posted photos of the players working out.  It’s so good to see the boys playing ball on the beautiful green fields of the training complex.  Hooray! Baseball is on its way!

You may recall that in a blog post here last month, I mentioned a special ticket deal that was to occur on the day that pitchers and catchers report. So grab your 2020 Cardinals schedule and figure out what Monday-Thursday home games you want to attend at this special low price.  Here are more details on the ticket sale:

CARDINALS ANNOUNCE $6 TICKET FLASH SALE

$6 Tickets Loaded With $6 Cards Cash for 2020 Monday-Thursday Games On Sale Tomorrow

To celebrate pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training, the St. Louis Cardinals have announced a special 12-hour ticket flash sale beginning tomorrow at 10 AM CT.

Fans can purchase tickets for any Monday—Thursday game (excluding Opening Day) for just $6.  Additionally, each $6 ticket purchased will be pre-loaded with $6 in Cards Cash for fans to use towards concessions or merchandise inside Busch Stadium.

Fans can purchase up to eight of the special $6 tickets per person, per game.  Games available in this special sale include matchups with the Cubs, Dodgers, Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Royals and more.

Tickets will be available at cardinals.com or via phone at 314-345-9000.  Again, this special ticket flash sale will only be available until 10 PM CT on Tuesday, February 11.

For more information, visit cardinals.com/flashsale.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

2020 Cardinals single-game ticket sales start tomorrow!

Happy Truck Day!  Today is the day that the moving trucks are loaded up with all the Cardinals’ gear to head to Jupiter (the city in Florida, not the planet) for spring training.  Pitchers and catchers report to spring training a week from today, although some players are already working out.  It was great to turn over my Cardinals calendar to February and see games listed on the calendar. Hooray!  Baseball will be back soon!

If you’re excited about baseball starting in just a couple months, I have some good news for you.  Starting tomorrow (if you buy tickets for three games or more), you can purchase single-game tickets for 2020! If you need tickets for just one game, you can start buying those on Friday.  Here are all the details on dates for single-game ticket sales:

2020 CARDINALS SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY

Fans Can Buy Single-Game Tickets as Early as Tomorrow by Purchasing 3+ Games

The St. Louis Cardinals have announced that single-game tickets for the 2020 season will go on sale this Friday, February 7, at 10 AM CT.

Fans who wish to purchase tickets to three or more games can take part in a special online-only multi-game ticket sale beginning tomorrow, February 5, at 10 AM CT.

The multi-game and single-game on-sales will be available at cardinals.com.  In addition, tickets for Friday’s single-game on-sale will be available via phone at 314-345-9000 and at the Busch Stadium Box Office on 8th Street.

The Cardinals’ 2020 home schedule features two four-game weekend series versus the Chicago Cubs (July 23-26 & September 10-13), the first visit to Busch Stadium since 2014 by the defending AL East Champion New York Yankees (July 17-19), and a NLCS rematch against the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals (June 29-July 2).  Featured holiday matchups include games against the New York Mets on Mother’s Day (May 10), Cincinnati Reds on Father’s Day (June 21), and Milwaukee Brewers on Independence Day (Saturday, July 4).  In addition to the Yankees, Busch Stadium will host interleague games with AL East teams including the Baltimore Orioles (April 2, 4-5) and Toronto Blue Jays (June 1-2).  The Redbirds will also host their AL rival, Kansas City Royals, for a two-game set on September 15-16.

This year’s schedule also features over 50 promotional dates for fans of all ages, highlighted by seven bobblehead giveaways and seven replica jersey promotions.  Additional top promos include an Adult Puffy Vest (April 24), a Cardinals Crossbody Purse (May 10), a “YADI” Tumbler (May 29), a Cardinals Belt (June 21), an Ozzie Smith Funko POP! Exclusive, (August 9), and a Cardinals Hockey Sweater (August 14).

The Cardinals will continue to utilize dynamic pricing in 2020 to more accurately price tickets for individual games and provide fans more price options.  In 2019, 88% of games featured tickets available for $10 or less and 52% of games featured tickets at $5 or below. 

Throughout the season, the team will offer great fan-friendly values, including the “Dynamic Deal of the Week” and a host of other offers highlighting outstanding ticket savings for fans at cardinals.com/fanvalues.  A full list of fan-friendly values for the 2020 season follows:

2020 Fan-Friendly Values

  • Budweiser Ballpark Pass: The Budweiser Ballpark Pass delivers a mobile standing room ticket for every home game (except Opening Day) for just $29.99 per month.  Budweiser Ballpark Pass sales will begin in March.
  • KMOX 1120 First Pitch Tickets: At 9 AM CT on the day of each home game, fans may purchase a voucher good for two tickets for just $11.20 ($5.60 per ticket).  Fans redeem their vouchers for actual tickets 15 minutes prior to game time. Tickets may be anywhere in the stadium from Field Box to Standing Room.
  • Nathan’s Famous Family Sundays: On most Sundays, fans who purchase select Pavilion or Terrace level tickets will receive a free Nathan’s jumbo hot dog and Coca-Cola.
  • Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sundays: Two hours prior to each Sunday game, fans can enjoy games, prizes and free Prairie Farms ice cream and North Star frozen treats in Ford Plaza.
  • AAA Discounts Rewards: AAA members receive a $10 discount off tickets on most Monday-Thursday games.
  • Fill Up at Phillips 66: Beginning April 1st, fill up with eight gallons or more at a participating Phillips 66 to receive a special discount ticket offer of up to 50% off many 2020 games.
  • Ticket Packs: Several different 5-game and 10-game ticket packs are available, featuring discounted tickets to 2020’s best promotional giveaways and high demand games.
  • Group Value Nights: Select games throughout the season where groups of 20 or more receive 50% off regular ticket prices.
  • Cards Cash: Stored money built into the barcode of your ticket, good for use at any Busch Stadium concession stand, kiosk or Official Cardinals Team Store.  Fans can add $12 Cards Cash to a ticket for just $10.
  • Outside Food & Drinks at All Games: Busch Stadium is the only St. Louis sports venue where fans may bring in their own food and drinks for all home games (some size and content restrictions apply).

Stay warm and dream of Cardinals baseball!  Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

2020 Winter Warm-Up Report Day 3

As Geoffrey Chaucer once wrote, “All good things must come to an end,” and so must Winter Warm-Up.  My son and I got to Winter Warm-Up on day 3 around 9:00 AM.  We stopped by Starbucks again for hot beverages and a snack.

We then went to drop off our coats at the coat check booth.  When I ran into my friend Linda the day before, she offered me an autograph ticket for Cliff Politte since she wouldn’t be there until later and he was signing at 9 AM.  I have to admit, I remembered that he played for the Cards but I couldn’t remember when he played.  I Googled Cliff the night before and discovered from BaseballReference.com that Cliff was drafted by the Cards but only pitched for them for one season in 1998. No wonder I didn’t remember when Cliff played for the Cards. My son was a toddler then and he kept me quite busy.

The number on my autograph ticket was 151.  I thought that I would be stuck at the end of the line, but the friendly Cardinals Care volunteers waved me on through, maybe because it was the last day and there were not many people in Cliff’s line.  I had Cliff autograph a baseball that I bought last year to collect autographs.  Miles Mikolas was sitting right next to him, so I got a great photo of Miles.

Our next stop was the Q&A with Jenifer Langosch, the former Cardinals beat writer who is now the MLB.com Senior Content Manager.  Jenifer gave us details on her life and how she started beat writing.  When she began a family, she decided it was time to move on to another baseball position, since beat writing can be grueling.  She is telecommuting in her new position.  Jenifer showed us the MLB.com website and discussed her job duties.  She showed us a website sponsored by MLB that I had never seen before, BaseballSavant.com. Stat geeks will love this website.  Jenifer then answered everyone’s questions and she would have answered more questions, but the Cardinals Care volunteer said it was time for the next presentation and everyone had to leave.

We had an hour to kill before the next presentation, so we went back to the food area on the second floor and grabbed a sandwich.  We then went to the Team Store again to see if there was any new merchandise and if anything had been marked down further.

The presentation at 12:00 PM is one of our favorite presentations and we go to it every year.  It was titled “2019 – A Year in Photos” and the presenter was Taka Yangimoto, the manager of photography for the Cardinals. Mr. Yangimoto talked about the photography staff and how many photos they take every year (in the thousands).  Photographs are used for ticket stubs, promotions, social media, and many other things.  Mr. Yangimoto then showed a slide show of some of the best photos taken last season.  Sadly, however, Jack Flaherty did not make an appearance like he did last year.

After this presentation, we went back to the Main Stage area.  I wanted to see Yadi and Waino.  Scott Warmann and Brad Thompson were the MC’s on the Main Stage.  Kolten Wong was onstage with Scott and Brad, answering their questions.  Kolten brought his Gold Glove with him for all to see.  He had just received it the night before at the Baseball Writers’ Dinner.  Kolten wore a gold bomber jacket to match his Gold Glove, and he also was wearing glasses, which he explained later were just a fashion statement.  Whew! Kolten was signing at 1 PM, so he went to his appointed seat.

Yadi came out from behind the curtain and everyone applauded, but where was Waino?  It turned out that Waino was still in the media room, and Yadi had to FaceTime Waino to get him to show up for duty.  The son insisted we needed to head over to Busch Stadium for the 2:00 PM stadium tour.  So we went over and got our coats, then we left.  I told the son that it wouldn’t take us that long to walk over to Busch Stadium from the Hyatt, but of course, he insisted it would.

We got to Ballpark Village around 1:30 PM. Since we had time to kill, we visited the Fanatics store and looked around.  After we were done there, we still had time to kill, so we walked through FOX Sports Midwest and went to the Team Store to look around.  I was looking for a Cardinals PopSocket for my cell phone case, but they didn’t sell them there.  We finally left and went to Gate 3, where the tour was to start.

My friend Linda and her friends were on the tour with us.  There were about fifteen people in the tour group.  There were two older gentlemen who were our tour guides (and gentlemen, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry, but I’ve forgotten your names).  Our first stop was the Cardinals Club, where we could see all of the World Series trophies. Joe Medwick’s Triple Crown trophy was in a glass case behind the bar.

After that, we then walked over to the Redbird Club.  The law firm that I work at has season tickets in the Redbird Club, so I’ve been in there before.  The walls of the Redbird Club have paintings of old baseball cards, and the guide explained that the cards pictured on the walls are from Bill DeWitt, Jr.’s personal baseball card collection.

After we were done at the Redbird Club, we proceeded to the KMOX press box.  The guide explained that the press box is one of the biggest in all of Major League Baseball.  The windows in the press box are vertically cantilevered so they can be opened wide.  Mike Shannon likes the windows open no matter what the weather so radio listeners can hear the roar of the crowd and the crack of the bat.  Mike doesn’t sit on a regular desk chair during broadcasts – he balances on a large red yoga ball.

After we were done viewing the press box, it was time to go down to the first floor.  Our first stop was the Cardinals Club, for season ticket holders that sit behind home base.  Our tour guide told us the price for a season ticket in this section, that you had to buy a minimum of two season tickets, and that you had to sign a contract to purchase them for 7 years.  I would definitely have to win a big Powerball lottery in order to afford those tickets.

Our next stop was the main attraction, the Cardinals locker room. Winter Warm-Up weekend is the only time during the year where the tour includes the Cardinals locker room and that’s why we decided to take the tour.  I felt like I was walking on hallowed ground when we walked in. The tour guide gave us some information about the locker room and then we had our photos taken by a Cardinals photographer in front of Yadier Molina’s locker.  I’ll post the photo at the end of the post underneath my name.  There’s a copyright on the photo, but I hope the Cardinals don’t mind that I post the photo – it’s free publicity for them to get more people to take the tour next year.

After we were done in the locker room, we went into the dugout.  Here are some photos:

The view of the field from the dugout stairs.

The dugout.

Diane in the dugout

The finish on the dugout bench was very worn, probably from all of the players and coaches sitting on it and spilling liquid on it all season.  I would think that it would be refinished in the spring before the season started.

It was then time to go back inside.  We actually got to walk on the warning track and we went back inside via the steps next to the visiting team’s dugout.

We saw some other things and then it was time for the tour to be over. The photos that were taken in the locker room were available for purchase and of course, we purchased them.  It was a nice souvenir of our tour.  Even though it was a cold day, we really enjoyed our tour.

Now that Winter Warm-Up is over, it’s only a few weeks until pitchers and catchers report. Baseball is just around the corner! Some of the players are already working out at the spring training complex.  They can’t wait for spring training and neither can I.

I’m sorry it took me so long to post this post.  Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane