Questions with Mo 2018 and other news

MoEvery year, those United Cardinals Bloggers who would like to participate have the opportunity to ask questions of Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.  I posed three questions to Mo, but unfortunately, one question and half of another question (If Jose Oquendo retires, who will be the new third base coach?; and Rick Ankiel and Trevor Rosenthal are attempting comebacks – are the Cardinals interested?) became moot before Mo answered all of our questions.

So here is my question that Mo did answer:

Q:  How does the organization view Tyler O’Neill going into the 2019 season?

A:  I get this question a lot, in terms of Tyler and what he needs to do or what he needs to work on. Tyler doesn’t have a lot left to prove at Triple A. When you put up the type of offensive numbers he’s put up the last couple of years, it’s pretty obvious he knows what that league is about. I think the big question for him is will he be able to improve his contact rate? Lower his strikeout rate? And if he does that, will he still be able to maintain his power? If he does, he has a chance to be an elite hitter in this game. When he gets into camp that will be something we’ll revisit with him.

In other news, Mo and Girsch have given Cardinals fans two major early Christmas presents.  On December 5, the Cardinals traded Carson Kelly, Luke Weaver, minor league infielder Andy Young and a draft pick to the Diamondbacks for first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.  The Cards have needed a first rate first baseman for a long time.  Jose Martinez has a great bat but poor defense.  Matt Carpenter was good at first base, but first base is not his natural position.  The Cards didn’t give up much for Goldy – Carson didn’t have a chance in St. Louis since Yadier Molina refuses to grow old and retire already, and Luke Weaver didn’t pitch well at all the second part of the season.  However, Goldy becomes a free agent at the end of the 2019 season.  The Cards will have to convince Goldy to want to stay. The fans will welcome him – Goldy’s Winter Warm-Up autograph tickets sold out the first day they went on sale, even at the price of $100.00 each. (Harrison Bader’s WWU autograph tickets sold out the first day they went on sale also, and I did not get one.  😦 Dear Santa, please bring me a Harrison Bader WWU autograph ticket for Christmas.  I’ve been a very good girl this year.)

The other major early Christmas present came this week with the signing of free agent left handed pitcher Andrew Miller to a two year contract with a vesting option for year three.  Miller was limited to 34 innings in 37 appearances last year because of injuries, but in 2017, Miller was an All-Star for the Indians.  Miller has advised that his health issues (knee, hamstring and shoulder) have been resolved.  If Miller can regain the form that helped him earn the AL Championship Series MVP in 2016, he will be a great help to the Cardinals bullpen.

Will Cardinals fans get the biggest Christmas present of \all – Bryce Harper?  As  of this writing, Bryce has not yet signed with any team.  The Cardinals can afford Bryce’s asking price.  But then there is the problem of what to do with Dexter Fowler.  I was sorry to hear that Dexter suffered from depression last season.  His situation with Mike Matheny probably didn’t help with that at all.  If the Cards don’t sign Bryce, I’m hopeful that 2019 will be better for Dexter, with a new manager and a new hitting coach to help him.

As Christmas is 2 days away, and 2018 is almost over, I would to take this opportunity to thank my loyal readers and and subscribers for reading and following this blog.  Please accept my best wishes for a blessed, happy Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2019! And may the Cardinals win their 12th World Series title in 2019!

Diane

News and views

NewsHello! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! It’s the off-season and things are slow right now, so I thought I’d try a little different format. There will be news items listed below, with my views after the news items.

News: Cardinals Toy Drive

The St. Louis Cardinals Front Office and Cardinals Care are teaming up with the American Red Cross, KMOV, Rawlings Sporting Goods, Fontbonne University, Companion Bakery, The Cup, the St. Louis Surge and the St. Louis Blues for the seventh annual Holiday Gift Drive on Wednesday, December 5, to provide gifts to area youth in need and children of military families at Scott Air Force Base. Special thanks go out to Papa John’s Pizza for their support of this year’s holiday gift drive as well.

Fans can support this gift drive for local children of all ages by dropping off new, unwrapped toys or gift cards at the Gate 4 entrance to Busch Stadium along Clark Street. Fredbird and volunteers from each partnering organization will be outside Gate 4 to collect gifts from 6:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Fans who make a donation will receive a token of appreciation from the Cardinals and a complimentary hot chocolate from Delaware North Sportservice.

Views: This is a great project that I have participated in for the last two years. The token of appreciation from the Cardinals the first year was a small teddy bear with Cardinals logos on it. Last year’s token of appreciation was a Marty pass (the yellow pass, named after the late Marty Hendin, who was in charge of the promotions department), which can be used for Monday-Thursday home games, with some exceptions. That was a really nice giveaway! And the hot chocolate tastes pretty good too. If you live in the St. Louis area, I would encourage you to participate in this very worthy cause. If you’re on your way to work or somewhere else, you don’t even need to get out of your car – Fredbird and his helpers will pick up your donation from your car. I exit the Metrolink at the Stadium station every morning, so it’s just a short walk for me to drop off my donation. Fredbird likes my red hair, so he always tries to swallow my head. Silly bird!

News: New road alternative jersey

The St. Louis Cardinals unveiled a new road alternate jersey that players will wear during select Saturday road games starting with the 2019 season. The uniforms are powder blue in color, similar to the “Victory Blue” uniforms that players wore from 1976 through 1984.

“We are very excited about the new powder blue ‘Saturday Road’ uniform,” said Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III, who led the design efforts. “I know it will be popular with both players and fans — particularly those who remember the great teams of the 70s and 80s who wore this same color on the road.”

Here is a photo of the new road jersey, being put on by Harrison Bader:

Bader

Views: The fans have been clamoring for a return to the powder blue jerseys for a long time. However, they (and I) wanted the powder blue jerseys to be the Victory Blue pullover jerseys and not the Saturday alternative home jersey in blue. I’m very disappointed. Harrison looks great (as always) in the jersey, but I won’t be buying one.

News: 2019 Cardinals promotional items announced

The St. Louis Cardinals released its 2019 promotional schedule with over 50 giveaways for ticketed fans at cardinals.com/promotions.

This year’s promotional schedule features many fan-favorite giveaways for guests of all ages including five bobbleheads, seven replica jerseys, two replica rings, as well as brand-new items including a Cardinals Fleece Vest (April 19), Crossbody Bag (May 12), Golf Umbrella (July 13) and an exclusive Yadier Molina Funko POP! Figure (September 2). The club will continue to keep item quantity at 30,000 for a majority of the promotional dates.

Views: These promotions are nice, but how about signing a front line player (such as Bryce Harper) that will excite the fan base and make them want to buy tickets, rather than items that will be sold on eBay? (Or worse yet, selling them to that guy that stands near the Metrolink station who offers to buy your promotional item for $5.00 so he can sell it on eBay.)

News: New premium party suites at Busch Stadium.

The St. Louis Cardinals have launched sales of newly renovated Premium Party Suites for the 2019 season. Renovation of six existing party suites is currently underway to transform the private, climate-controlled areas with a more modern sport design.

Premium Party Suites will accommodate groups of 30-36, and will feature a full-service bar in each suite with cocktail, wine and beer service that extends through the bottom of the ninth inning. The Suites will also feature a reimagined food experience, including exclusive catered delivery of new menu enhancements before and during games, in addition to the traditional ballpark favorites.

“Premium Party Suites are a great new option for fans looking to enjoy a game in style with clients, employees or friends,” said Joe Strohm, Vice President of Ticket Sales. “We’re excited to offer guests this modern and upscale game day experience at Busch Stadium for the upcoming season.”

Views: During United Cardinals Bloggers Day every year, we are treated to a game in a party room. I have noticed, however, that things aren’t set up as efficiently as they could be. You have to go outside the party room to the concourse if you want a beer that’s not a Budweiser product, and there are no restrooms in the party rooms. Hopefully, the premium party suites will have restrooms in them. Will United Cardinals Bloggers Day 2019 be held in one of these premium party suites? If not, I’d settle for the Red Jacket Club.

The hot stove is heating up. There is buzz on Twitter today about the Cardinals and Diamondbacks having trade discussions about Paul Goldschmidt. Hopefully, my next blog post will be about the Cards picking up Goldschmidt and/or Bryce Harper. Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane