“Baseball’s Greatest Games: St. Louis Cardinals 2011 World Series Game 6” review and giveaway!

This is the newest DVD from A&E Entertainment/MLB Productions.  This is an addition to the Baseball’s Greatest Games box set, also from A&E Entertainment. This DVD features Game 6 of the 2011 World Series in its entirety for the first time in Blu-ray format.  There is also a regular DVD for those who don’t have a Blu-ray player. The picture is clear and sharp and the sound quality is excellent on the Blu-ray disc. According to the box, the Blu-ray’s audio is in 5.1 surround sound.  I unfortunately don’t have surround sound, so I couldn’t check out this aspect. I didn’t watch the regular DVD since we have a Blu-ray player.  The back of the box lists the box score for the game. There are no extra materials on the inside of the case, just the two discs.

There is no commercial before the menu comes up.  You have the option to play the whole game from the beginning or choose the inning you want to watch, so if you want to skip the innings with all the errors or just watch the 11th inning, you can.  The DVD menu also allows you to select the audio feed of your choice – the Fox Network audio feed, the St. Louis radio network audio feed (Mike and John instead of Joe and Tim) or the Texas radio network audio feed. There is a disclaimer that reads, “For your enjoyment, we have included alternative broadcasts of the World Series games. Broadcasters often return to game action at different times; therefore, you may experience a delayed start to the half-inning play-by-play.”  According to the box, you can also select English or Spanish for the audio feeds as well. (I did not go that far in the menu on the DVD.)

Now for the giveaway.  I have six copies of this DVD to give away courtesy of our friends at A&E Entertainment/MLB Productions.  Last week’s winners are not eligible.  I have a simple question for you to answer.  Send your answer and your name and address to dmschultz1611@gmail.com to the following question: What were the runs, hits and errors totals for the Cardinals in Game 6? If you can’t wait to see if you win or if you don’t win, you can go here to buy your own copy:  http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12643416&cp=1452371.2366583.

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

On a roll

Baseball season has finally begun, and Cardinals fans are rejoicing.  The 2012 Cardinals have picked up where they left off in 2011, winning all but one of their first 6 games.  The bats are hot and the defense is great. Mr. He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named is now Mr. He-Who-Will-Not-Be-Missed.  This is a different Cardinals team without Mr. You-Know-Who;  a real team, a sum of all its parts, not Mr. You-Know-Who and then the rest of the team.  No set of rules for Mr. You-Know-Who and another set of rules for the rest of the team.

Mike Matheny is a confident manager.  His players respect him and are supportive of him.  And Mark McGuire is turning out to be a great hitting coach.  And why not?  Surely the man who once hit 70 home runs in one season knows something about hitting.  Knowing how to hit and knowing how to teach players to hit are two different things, but McGwire seems to be melding them together quite well.

The only loss thus far this season is the game in which Adam Wainwright pitched.  He did well enough, considering it was the first regular season game that he had pitched since September 2010.  I think it will take a couple of starts for Adam to get the rust off and get his focus back. Batters had better watch out once he does.

Will the Cardinals be able to keep up this pace all season?  It is a long 162 game season, after all.  There is bound to be a slump or two. Hopefully, there will be no major injuries besides Chris Carpenter’s balky shoulder.  But I really like the new attitude and the new spirit of these 2012 Cardinals.  I think they’re going to be a fun team to watch this year. What do you think? Comments are welcome, as long as they’re civilized.

Congratulations to Matt Leffler, Matt McArthur, and Aaron Morey, the winners of the 2011 World Series Collector’s DVD sets!  If you didn’t win, stay tuned – there will be another giveaway of a different DVD later this week, thanks to my friends at A&E.  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

It’s Opening Day (and a great giveaway!)!

Today is the day that Cardinals fans everywhere have anticipated since the last out of the 2011 World Series.  Today is the day the Cardinals defend their World Series title and hopefully add a 12th World Series trophy to the trophy case.  Can’t you just feel the electricity in the air?

This season will be very interesting, for a number of reasons.  Three big factors are missing from this year’s team.  Manager Tony LaRussa retired, first baseman Albert Pujols left for greener fields (literally and figuratively), and pitching coach Dave Duncan is on an “extended leave of absence” to take care of his wife, who has cancer.

Will the Cardinals be able to overcome these missing pieces?  Tony LaRussa’s replacement is Mike Matheny, who was a favorite when he was a Cardinals catcher, but who also has no major league managing experience.  But of the players who become managers, catchers are the best, due to their knowledge of what happens on the field and their ability to handle pitchers.  Ironically, Mike is now managing Yadier Molina, the catcher who replaced him in the lineup.

Lance Berkman has replaced Albert Pujols at first base.  Lance has plenty of experience playing first base from his days with the Astros, so there are no concerns here.  Lance’s move to first base left a hole in the outfield, which was filled by Cardinals killer Carlos Beltran.  Cardinals fans are thankful that Beltran is now hitting for us, instead of against us.

Dave Duncan’s replacement is Derek Lilliquist, who was Dave’s assistant.  Dave will be impossible to completely replace, for obvious reasons.  Dave could take old, washed up pitchers and make them able to pitch well again.  Whenever the Cards signed a new pitcher, I would joke with my husband that “here comes Dave Duncan’s latest reclamation project.”  But surely Lilliquist has observed Duncan’s techniques over the years and will be able to put them into practice.  He ran the pitching staff during Duncan’s absence in September and October last year, and I think things went rather well during that time, don’t you?

And there are other questions as well.  Who will start at second base?  Will this be Tyler Greene’s year?  Or will Daniel Descalso (a personal favorite) take over the position?  Will Skip Schumacher get any playing time at second once he recovers from his injury? And will WS and NLCS MVP David Freese be able to play for a full season without injury?

As usual, there are injuries to report.  Chris Carpenter is once again having shoulder problems and as of right now, it’s not certain when he’ll be able to pitch again.  Allen Craig is coming off of knee surgery, but his return has not been scheduled.  Skip Schumacher is suffering from a pulled oblique muscle.

Now let’s move on to some good things.  Adam Wainwright is back and pitching like it was 2010 all over again.  Yadier Molina, unlike Albert Pujols, did not make the team and the fans wait all season to see if he would sign with the Cardinals or move on to greener pastures.  He got the deal done during spring training and Cardinals fans everywhere heaved a big sigh of relief.

The Cardinals signed Rafael Furcal to a 2 year deal to plug the hole at shortstop.   The shortstop it position has been a rotating door, so it’s good to have this position filled on a permanent basis.  And Jason Motte has finally been designated the closer.

All in all, I believe 2012 will be a promising year.  The Cardinals cannot rest on their laurels; they will have to go all out and play as a team.  If all comes together and there are no major injuries, I think the Cardinals will win a 12th World Championship in 2012.

And now for the giveaway!  The folks at A&E Network Home Entertainment/MLB Productions have given us Cardinals bloggers 3 more sets of the 8 DVD 2011 St. Louis Cardinals World Series Collectors Set to give away.  Send the answer (and your name and address) to dmschultz1611@gmail.com to the following question:  In what Midwestern city did the Cardinals hold spring training during World War 2?  If you’re not lucky enough to win, click on the link to purchase a set of your own:  http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12179276&cp=2366583.2498437

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

P.S.:  I am no longer writing for Diamond Diaries, since they decided to go back to a two writer format.  I will voice my Cardinals opinions here on this blog, so please bookmark it for future reference.  Thanks!