Q&A with Cardinals GM John Mozeliak – Part 2

UCB_11For the second year in a row, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has graciously answered questions from various United Cardinals Bloggers writers. Many thanks to Lindsey Weber of the Cardinals’ communication department for assisting in this opportunity to pick Mo’s brain.

There were 60 questions asked by the bloggers.  I had two questions, but only one got answered, probably because there were so many questions. Here is my question, with Mo’s response:

WWLCB:  As we all know, baseball has a long regular season and then, if a team has a good enough record, a long postseason as well. One reason the offense suffered in 2015 may have been the lack of scheduled days off for the non-injured starting lineup. Will there be more of an effort made to give the starting lineup scheduled days off during the 2016 season?

Mo: That’s an interesting question and I’m not exactly sure if that’s a chicken and the egg situation. I think being more proactive on creating a balanced team to where you can give Yadi an extra day, or Matt Holliday, Matt Carpenter, Peralta; the fact that we’re naming names means it’s probably a good strategy. I think that’s something that Mike and his staff are going to be very conscious of.

If you would like to see the other questions that Mo answered, you can go to United Cardinals Bloggers to see the other posts.

The winter meetings start this week, so hopefully Mo will do some wheeling and dealing to pick up some players for the Cards.  My next post will be the annual WWLCB Holiday Gift Guide, so look for that.  Until next time, thanks for reading!

Diane

It’s time for the 2015 Cardinals Blogger Award ballot!

UCB_11While you’re waiting for the 2016 season to begin, you can think about and vote for what Cardinals blogs (hopefully this one) you’ve enjoyed and podcasts you enjoyed this past season.  You can also think about and vote for your favorite players and favorite games as well.

The Blogger Awards are split into two parts, On-Field Awards and Blog Awards.   Click this link to vote on the ballot.  Here is a preview of the ballot, to get you thinking about how you’re going to vote:

On-Field Awards:

1.  Cardinal Player of the Year

Matt Carpenter
Jason Heyward
Jhonny Peralta
Stephen Piscotty
Other

2.  Cardinal Pitcher of the Year
Jaime Garcia
John Lackey
Carlos Martinez
Trevor Rosenthal
Other

3. Game of the Year

May 31 vs. LAD (Martinez pitches on OT Day)
August 31 vs. WAS (five run rally)
September 9 vs. CHC (Piscotty caps rally)
September 20 vs. CHC (Heyward throws out Rizzo)
September 28 vs. PIT (Scoreless into 9th)
September 28 vs. PIT (Scoreless into 9th)
Other

4. Surprise Cardinal Player of the Year

John Lackey
Stephen Piscotty
Trevor Rosenthal
Other

5. Disappointing Cardinal Player of the Year

Peter Bourjos
Jon Jay
Brandon Moss
Other

6. Cardinal Rookie of the Year

Mitch Harris
Tommy Pham
Stephen Piscotty
Other

7. Acquisition of the Year

Jonathan Broxton
Steve Cishek
Jason Heyward
Brandon Moss
Other

8. Most Anticipated Cardinal

Anthony Garcia
Michael Ohlman
Alex Reyes
Luke Weaver
Other

9. Biggest Cardinal Injury

Matt Adams
Matt Holliday
Carlos Martinez
Adam Wainwright
Other

Blog Awards

10. Cardinal Blog of the Year, One Writer Only

Your answer

11. Cardinal Blog of the Year, Two or More Writers

Your answer

12. Best Media Coverage

Derrick Goold
Jenifer Langosch
Bernie Miklasz
Rob Rains
Other

13. Best Rookie Cardinal Blog

Me and Willie McGee
The Redbird Retreat
Other :

14. Post of the Year

Are the Cardinals Supposed To Be Scared? (About.com)
Talking Twitter With the Cards (C70 At The Bat)
In Defense of Mike Matheny (KSDK)
Carlos Martinez, Human Tsunami (The Redbird Retreat)
Why Billy Southworth Managed Cardinals With Heavy Heart (RetroSimba)
Other

15. Best UCB Podcast

Best Dans in Baseball
Bird Seeds (video cast)
Conversations with C70
Gateway to Baseball Heaven
STL CardGals
Talking About Birds
UCB Radio Hour
Other :

16. Best Non-UCB Podcast

Best Podcast in Baseball
Cubs Cards Cast
St. Louis Cardinals Extras (MLB.com)
Viva El Birdos
Other

17. Best Cardinal Podcaster (one name)

Your answer

18. Best Cardinal Twitterer

Your answer

Just in case you missed the link, here it is:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ZBbpjQHEH6VLtH3jwZ2tTPGRc4xvZCsI7vdM8AsB-ic/viewform  Hey, don’t forget to vote for me!  My Twitter handle is @Diane1611.  If you want to see the winners of the Awards, you can go to http://www.unitedcardinalbloggers.com/.

Thanks for reading! See you  next time!

Diane

2016 Winter Warm-Up tickets go on sale this Friday!

The Cardinals’ 2015 season didn’t end quite the way we wanted it to, but it’s never too early to start dreaming about the 2016 season.  The annual Winter Warm-Up gets us through the long, cold winter and gives us dreams of spring training.  I’m happy to announce that tickets for the 2016 Winter Warm-Up go on sale this Friday.  (If anyone would like to buy me a pass for Christmas, it would be greatly appreciated.)  Here’s all the details:

20th  ANNUAL WINTER WARM-UP TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY

Proceeds from the 2016 Cardinals Care event continue to benefit kids in the local community

ST. LOUIS, November 23, 2015 – Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St. Louis Cardinals, announced today that tickets for the or the 20th annual Winter Warm-Up (#CardsWarmUp) will be available starting Friday, November 27 at 10 a.m. CT. One of the most popular fan events in baseball, Winter Warm-Up takes place Saturday, January 16 through Monday, January 18, 2016 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day), at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. The event times are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday.

Beginning Friday morning, fans can purchase admission passes for the three-day Winter Warm-Up online at cardinals.com/winterwarmup, in the official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium and at Cardinals Clubhouse stores located around St. Louis. Those who order online by January 4 will receive their passes in the mail. Fans who order on/or after January 5, can avoid the Will Call lines by picking up passes at the Busch Stadium ticket windows Monday, January 11 through Wednesday, January 13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Will Call opens on Friday, January 15 at the Hyatt Regency.

The prices for admission passes, which are valid for all three days of the Warm-Up, will remain the same as the last few years – $40 for fans age 16 and over and $10 for children age 5 to 15. Kids under 5 are admitted free of charge. Members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID can receive one free adult pass which must be obtained in person at the Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium (November 27- January 15) or at the event.

Winter Warm-Up provides fans with countless unique opportunities while raising money for Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable fund whose mission is caring for kids in the Cardinals community. Fans can meet their favorite players at autograph sessions, play interactive games, share memories with Hall-of-Famers, take photos with Fredbird, find collectible memorabilia, bid on one-of-a-kind items at live and silent auctions, experience live presentations, and ask tough questions of players, owners, scouts, broadcasters and officials at Q&A sessions.

“We hope that the 2016 Winter Warm-Up will be our best one yet as we reach the 20 year milestone for the fan-favorite event,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “It’s really incredible to think about how many kids we’ve helped over the last 20 years, thanks to the generosity and continued support of Cardinals Nation.”

Many players’ autographs are free with the admission pass, while others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation. All autograph tickets will be sold online beginning Tuesday, January 5 through Sunday, January 10.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/winterwarmup in mid-December for details, including player autograph dates, times and, if required, additional donation amounts. Any remaining autograph tickets not sold online will be available at the Winter Warm-Up. For complete event details, schedule and frequently asked questions, visit cardinals.com/winterwarmup.

Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed over $21 million to support St. Louis area non-profit youth organizations and built 22 youth ball fields in local under-resourced neighborhoods. 2015 marked the 12th year of Cardinals Care’s innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading! See you soon!

Diane

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

extraThere was lots of news yesterday on the Cardinals front, some of it bad and some of it good. Where should I start – the bad news or the good news?  I believe it’s best to get the bad news out of the way first.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Cardinals announced that Lance Lynn had undergone Tommy John surgery and would be out for the entire 2016 season.  Perhaps this explains all the pitching trouble that Lance had during the last few weeks of the season and during the NLDS.

Without Lynn, the 2016 lineup looks like this:  Wainwright, Wacha, Lackey (if signed), Martinez, and Garcia.  But what happens if one of these pitchers is injured?   Alex Reyes would not be able to be brought up from the minors for a while, since he will be serving a 40 game suspension (10 games’ suspension will be for fall league games) in the because marijuana was detected in his drug test. Tyler Lyons showed grit and determination in his starts last season and it earned him a place on the postseason roster.  I would like to see him get another chance to pitch in the majors next season.  If any of the starting rotation pitchers are injured, Lyons should be the first one to be called up.

Fellow blogger Tom Knuppel (Cardinals GM) asked on Twitter and Facebook whether Trevor Rosenthal could be converted to a starter.  I replied that Rosey almost gives me a heart attack pitching in the ninth inning.  My poor heart couldn’t handle him being a starter.

Lynn’s surgery really throws a monkey wrench in the Cards’ offseason plans. Any hopes of letting Lackey go or trading Garcia are out of the question now.  I would like to see the Cards resign Lackey at the very least, even if only for a one year contract.

In other bad news, fan favorite Lou Brock had surgery yesterday to amputate his leg below the knee due to complications from an infection related to diabetes.  How ironic that the Cards’ best base stealer ever had to have part of one of his legs amputated.  I wish you Godspeed and quick healing, Lou, and I hope we will see you walk on the Busch Stadium infield with the rest of the Hall of Fame members on Opening Day 2016. Lan

Now for the good news – yes, there is some.  Yesterday evening, both Yadier Molina and Jason Heyward won Gold Gloves.  It was Yadi’s eighth Gold Glove in a row and Jason’s second. Both players are well deserving of their awards.  But the Cards should have negotiated to resign Heyward before the Gold Gloves were given out – Heyward’s asking price has just gone up.

Cards manager Mike Matheny was nominated for the Manager of the Year award yesterday.  In other years, Mike would be a shoo-in for this award for leading the team to 100 wins with all the injuries and the Oscar Tavares tragedy.  However, the other nominees are Joe Maddon and Terry Collins.  Maddon led the Cubs to their first NLCS since 2003 and Collins led the Mets to the World Series for the first time since 2000.  I predict Maddon will win the MOY award.

If you are interested in learning more about the Cardinals’ farm system and you’re in the St. Louis area, visit the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for a special exhibit on the history of the Cardinals’ farm system.  Here’s some more information:

On Saturday, November 21, the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will open a new exhibit entitled “Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball” which celebrates the rich history of the franchise’s minor league system. This display, which replaces last year’s special exhibition “Stan Musial: ‘The Man’ Off the Field,” will be previewed Friday, November 20, during an exclusive ticketed event with General Manager John Mozeliak.

The Cardinals developed baseball’s first successful farm system based on Branch Rickey’s concept in the early 1920s and few ideas have had a more dramatic impact on the game,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “We take great pride in our farm system and the impact our homegrown players have had on our franchise history; we’re looking forward to sharing those stories with our fans.”   

“Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball” features over 100 artifacts which bring to life the rich history of the franchise’s farm system from the 1920s through today. Exhibit highlights include Branch Rickey’s 1919 road jersey worn while managing the Cardinals; George Kissell’s hand-written pocket-sized coaching manual – the genesis for the club’s organizational guidelines that are still in use today (on loan from the Kissell family); a game-worn barnstorming jersey from Jim Bottomley, the first superstar from the farm system; Dave Duncan’s pitching chart of rookie hurler Bud Smith’s no-hitter in 2001; top prospect Oscar Taveras’ Carlos Martinez-model bat used during the 2014 season; an original eight-foot-by-five-foot banner featuring the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada farm team that flew over Sportsman’s Park circa 1954; and much more.

A limited number of tickets remain for the exclusive exhibit preview on Friday, November 20. With the purchase of a $60 ticket ($50 for museum members), fans receive a private, after-hours first look at the exhibit with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Cardinals Museum, a farm-to-table dinner buffet and drinks in the Hall of Fame Club at Cardinals Nation, and an after-dinner Q&A session with General Manager John Mozeliak and broadcaster Dan McLaughlin. For more information or to purchase event tickets, fans can visit cardinals.com/museum.

The Cardinals Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the offseason. The special exhibit, which is open to the public from November 21, through the conclusion of the 2016 baseball season, is free with the cost of museum admission. To purchase Cardinals Museum tickets or learn more about museum membership, visit cardinals.com/museum.    

Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane