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