Baseball on the horizon!

baseball-sunThe period between the end of the playoffs and spring training always seems very long to me, even though there are major holidays during that time period – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and my birthday.  (Yes, my birthday is a major holiday – well, it is to me, anyway. I’m happy I’ve made it to another birthday.)

Now that we’ve turned the page to a new year, however, we can see baseball coming on the horizon.  January has been a busy month.  January’s first event of the month was when Winter Warm-Up autograph tickets went on sale.  The next big event takes place on Saturday, January 7, when individual tickets to spring training games go on sale.  Those tickets can be purchased at www.cardinals.com/springtraining.  If you’re looking for a complete spring training package (tickets/hotel/etc.), you can go to www.cardinals.com/vacations.   Spring training is on my Cardinals bucket list and I hope to go to a spring training game someday. I have auditioned for  the KMOX Spring Correspondent contest the last two years, but have yet to be selected.  Maybe this year?  I will be auditioning on Monday night, so keep your fingers crossed and send some prayers my way!

For those of you in far-flung locations of Cardinals Nation, the Cardinals Caravan is hitting the road again from January 13-16, 2017.  A combination of current players, future stars and former Redbirds will travel on each caravan emceed by a current team broadcaster.  Current players scheduled to attend include Stephen Piscotty, Aledmys Diaz, Randal Grichuk and Kolten Wong.  Top prospects Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly and Harrison Bader are slated to appear along with Cardinals alumni Kyle McClellan, Jason Simontacchi, Kerry Robinson and Brad Thompson.  Broadcasters Dan McLaughlin, John Rooney, Ricky Horton, Mike Claiborne, Tom Ackerman and Chris Hrabe will serve as emcees.  Fredbird will also make an appearance at several caravan stops. For more details about the Cardinals Caravan schedule, you can go to www.cardinals.com/caravan.

The big event for this month, however, is Winter Warm-Up, which takes place from January 14-17, 2017. That’s next weekend already! I’ll be attending, so if you see me, stop me and say hello! I love to meet my readers.

As mentioned in the second paragraph, autograph tickets are already on sale and some tickets have already sold out.  Last year, I made a chart of who was signing when in order to determine whether I wanted to get free autographs or go to breakout sessions.  I thought I’d share this year’s chart here for your reference. I have added the price for each ticket next to each name and the names are in descending order by the price of the ticket.  Feel free to copy and paste the chart into a Word or Notepad document for your use. The tickets for the names in bold print and with no price next to them are already sold out as of this writing (1/5/17).  For updates on autograph tickets, go here:

WINTER WARM-UP AUTOGRAPH SCHEDULE

TIME Saturday, January 14 Sunday, January 15 Monday, January 16
9:00 AM Ray King $5.00

Miguel Socolovich $5.00

Greg Garcia $10.00

Stubby Clapp $0.00

Danny Cox $0.00

Adam Wainwright $75.00

Mike Leake $30.00

Tom Lawless $0.00

John Mabry $0.00

10:00 AM Brian Jordan

Trevor Rosenthal $25.00

David Bell $5.00

Al Hrabosky $0.00

Scott Terry $0.00

Harrison Bader

Paul DeJong

Austin Gomber

Greg Garcia $10.00

Marco Gonzales $15.00

Stubby Clapp $0.00

Adam Wainwright $75.00

Michael Wacha $50.00

Mike Leake $30.00

Mike Matheny $25.00

Luke Voit $5.00

Tom Lawless $0.00

11:00 AM Dexter Fowler

Brett Cecil $35.00

Trevor Rosenthal $25.00

Matt Bowman $15.00

John Gant $10.00

Tito Landrum $0.00

Carson Kelly

Kolten Wong $50.00

Marco Gonzales $15.00

Tommy Pham $10.00

Mitch Harris $5.00

Mike Mayers $5.00

Whitey Herzog $75.00

Michael Wacha $50.00

Mike Matheny $25.00

Alan Benes $0.00

Bill DeWitt III $0.00

Bill DeWitt, Jr. $0.00

12:00 PM Dexter Fowler

Brett Cecil $35.00

Matt Bowman $15.00

John Gant $10.00

Tito Landrum $0.00

Mike Shannon

Carson Kelly

Kolten Wong $50.00

Tommy Pham $10.00

Carlos Martinez $75.00

Rick Horton $0.00

Jhonny Peralta $35.00

Lance Lynn $20.00

Alan Benes $0.00

Kerry Robinson $0.00

Jason Simontacchi $0.00

1:00 PM Tony LaRussa $75.00

Alex Reyes $60.00

Zach Duke $20.00

Ryan Sherriff $5.00

Cliff Politte $0.00

Brad Thompson $0.00

Luke Weaver

Carlos Martinez $75.00

Randal Grichuk $35.00

Rick Horton $0.00

Yadier Molina $150.00

Matt Carpenter $75.00

Jhonny Peralta $35.00

Lance Lynn $20.00

Randy Flores $0.00

Kerry Robinson $0.00

2:00 PM Tony LaRussa $75.00

Alex Reyes $60.00

Matt Adams $25.00

Zach Duke $20.00

Cliff Politte $0.00

Brad Thompson $0.00

Aledmys Diaz

Luke Weaver

Orlando Cepeda $75.00

Stephen Piscotty $75.00

Randal Grichuk $35.00

Larry Jaster $0.00

Yadier Molina $150.00

Matt Carpenter $75.00

Randy Flores $0.00

3:00 PM Matt Adams $25.00

Tyler Lyons $5.00

Rowan Wick $5.00

Patrick Wisdom $5.00

Scott Cooper $0.00

John Costello $0.00

Aledmys Diaz

Stephen Piscotty $75.00

Sam Tuivailala $5.00

Kyle McClellan $0.00

 
4:00 PM Jack Clark $5.00

Tyler Lyons $5.00

Rowan Wick $5.00

Patrick Wisdom $5.00

Scott Cooper $0.00

John Costello $0.00

Bill Mueller $5.00

Sam Tuivailala $5.00

Kyle McClellan $0.00

 

In a change from last year, autograph tickets for the free autographs will be distributed in the lobby of the 100 North Broadway building (formerly a Bank of America office location) one hour before each player’s signing time.  This building is one block west of the Hyatt Regency. This is a much better setup than last year, when free autograph tickets were distributed in the Chestnut Street lobby of the Hyatt.  The Chestnut Street lobby is next to the valet parking/parking garage, and WWU attendees would have to worm their way through the autograph ticket lines to get to the escalators and the elevators to go upstairs to the main event.

For more helpful hints about how to optimize your Winter Warm-Up experience, you can refer back to my blog post here.

I will report from Winter Warm-Up next weekend, so see you then! Thanks for reading!

Diane

Ladies’ Night (and birthday night) at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum – A report

img_0012I spent last Friday evening  dining at Cardinals Nation and perusing the new “Women in Baseball” exhibit at the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  It was a great way to spend my birthday.  How am I and/or the Cardinals going to top this next year?

Since I work in downtown St. Louis, I decided to stay downtown rather than go home and come back later.  I goofed around on my cell phone for a while after I clocked out, then I went to change my clothes and freshen up.  I had a reservation at Cardinals Nation for 5:30; however, my stomach started rumbling around 5:15, so I thought I’d head over to the restaurant and see if I could get seated early.  One of my friends was supposed to come and hang out with me; however, she begged off, stating she was in a sad mood and didn’t want to drag me down with her. What a shame – I think she would have had a great time.  But I can enjoy my own company (as long as I have my cell phone), and it was kind of nice being able to hear my own thoughts for a change.

When I arrived at Cardinals Nation, I asked the ladies at the front desk if they had any idea whether any of the activities were going to be held downstairs at the restaurant or whether all the activities were going to be upstairs at the museum.  They had no clue, unfortunately, so they guided me to a table.  I made a reservation because I thought that there would be a lot of people wanting to see the museum.  However, there were maybe 10 people there.

When I made my reservation, Cardinals Nation sent me an email with an offer for a free appetizer, since it was the first time I had made a reservation there.  Free food! How cool was that!  Haley was my waitress.  I pulled up the free appetizer email on my cell phone and once we got the code straightened out, she ordered my appetizer. Some of the waitresses came over to chat with me – I guess Haley told them I was a Cardinals blogger. I passed out my card with my blog post address and Twitter name.  I didn’t want to eat too much since I had a lot of birthday goodies at work that day, so  I ended up ordering a bowl of cheddar broccoli soup and a half salad. The pretzel bites appetizer and the soup and salad were enough.

There was a card on each table announcing the food and drink specials specially themed for the Women in Baseball exhibit.
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At 6 PM, I decided to go upstairs since the festivities were starting.  I asked Haley if I could leave my jacket and my tote bag downstairs. I really didn’t want to drag them around upstairs.  Haley assured me that she would keep an eye on my stuff.  I dashed out the side door so I could take the elevator upstairs. An older couple came through the doors with a confused look on their faces. I asked them if they were here for the Women in Baseball exhibit and they said yes.  “Well, follow me!” I said, and they rode upstairs in the elevator with me.

Here are the windows for the 2016 Hall of Fame inductees that are located outside the museum.

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I asked the older couple who rode up the elevator with me whether they’d ever been to the museum before.  They said no.  I told them that they were really going to enjoy it.  They stood at the wall with all of the quotes on it, and I left them behind and moved on since I’d read all the quotes before.

Since I have been to the museum before (see my blog post on that here), I headed to one of my favorite exhibits, the Stan Musial exhibit.   I looked at some of the artifacts and opened the drawers to see some other items.  One of the other exhibits that caught my eye was this old scorecard, in the photo below.  It appears that there are 4 boxes per at bat for each batter.  One box for each pitch, perhaps? If any of my readers can explain how this scorecard works, please comment below.

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When I saw the banner pictured above, I knew I had finally found the Women in Baseball exhibit. And the first person I saw was Jenifer Langosch, the beat writer for the Cardinals.  I went up and introduced myself using my Twitter name (@Diane1611).  We had a lovely conversation about blogging and the UCB.  I did want to give other folks the opportunity to talk with her, so I decided it was time to look at the exhibit.

The first exhibit I viewed was about Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the woman owner of the Cardinals from 1911-1918.  I have written a blog post about her before, and you can read it here if you’re interested. Here’s a photo of the exhibit:

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The next exhibit featured the lady who designed the birds for the Cardinals logo.  Here is a photo of that exhibit:

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The next exhibit featured the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League, the subject of the movie “A League of Their Own.”  The photos of the players you see below are from ladies who played on those teams who live in the St. Louis metro area. Some of these players signed autographs at FanFest for the 2009 All-Star Game.  I overhead the curator tell someone that Barbara Hoffman, one of the players, has a booth at the St. Clair County Flea Market every month.  I think I’m going have to go the flea market next month and search for her.  Here’s a photo of the AAGPBL exhibit:

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There was a secondary exhibit on the AAGBPL, which was a map that showed where all the teams were located.  This exhibit also showed how the baseballs that the teams used shrunk in size over the years.  Here’s a photo:

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The next exhibit is based on the ballpark favorite, “Take Me Out to The Ballgame.” We normally just sing the refrain during the 7th inning stretch, but the verses are about a lady named Katie Casey who wants her date to take her to the ballgame.  Here’s a photo of this exhibit:

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The next exhibit reviews what was once known as Ladies’ Day at the ballpark.  The Cardinals were one of the first teams to institute Ladies’ Day.  This exhibit also shows a couple of the promotional items for the ladies.  Here’s a photo:

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The next three exhibits explain other promotions for ladies by the Cardinals over the years and how women hand sewed the Cardinals’ uniforms:

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After I was done looking at the Women in Baseball exhibit, I decided to explore the rest of the museum.  I love my hubby and son, but when we go somewhere, they’re always in a hurry to look at things and then leave.  I sat down in the Busch Stadium II section and watched a film clip of Ozzie Smith hitting his HR against the Dodgers in the 1985 playoffs.  I told the ladies sitting in front of me about my memory of that HR.  I was driving up Hwy. 55, going home from my job at Shattinger Music Company on South Broadway.  I was taking the exit to the Poplar Street Bridge eastbound off of 55.  It was a warm day, so I had the car window open. Ozzie hit the HR just as I was getting on the bridge, so I heard it on the radio and heard the loud crowd noise. It was magic.

As I wandered around the museum and looked at all the memorabilia, I realized how much I missed baseball.  I wondered to myself if they would let me live at the museum.  There’s a bench that I could sleep on and plenty of places to get a meal.  I work just a few blocks away.  But then I realized they probably wouldn’t let me live there, so I decided it was time to go downstairs and get a beer since it was my birthday after all.

I sat at my table and Haley came over to see if I  needed anything.  Since one of the drink specials was $1.00 off of a bottle of craft beer, I decided to get a bottle of Blue Moon and not the local product for a change.  I looked up to see two older ladies sitting in a booth next to my table.  The one lady asked me if I’d like to come and join them.  Of course! When you’re a Cardinals fan, another Cardinals fan is always a fast friend.  We spoke about the museum exhibit.  I asked if they had ever been to any of the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and they said they had not.  One of the ladies offered me half of her hamburger and the other shared some of her fries with me.  I couldn’t say no. If you’re reading this, ladies, I’m sorry that I have forgotten your names, or I would have put them in this post.

There was a DJ playing tunes in the restaurant.  Jenifer came down and talked with the DJ about the new exhibit and the DJ dropped the fact that Jenifer is the only female beat writer in MLB.  How amazing!  The female curator of the museum came down and also talked with the DJ about the museum.  There were giveaways of bobbleheads and the new book about the evolution of the Cardinals logos and uniforms.  I took the forms up to drop in the box at the DJ booth and mentioned to the DJ that it was my birthday.  “Then you deserve a present!” he said and gave me a Cardinals Nation aluminum water bottle.  My tablemates won bobbleheads, but I didn’t win anything.  I guess the water bottle was my reward.  I would have really liked a copy of that new book.  I mentioned to Haley that it was my birthday and she said, “Oh! You get a free birthday brownie!”  More free food!   The brownie arrived with a side of ice cream.  I ate the ice cream but took the brownie home to eat later.

I left about 8 PM to walk down to the Metrolink station to go home.  I had a wonderful evening.  If you haven’t been to the Cardinals Museum, I highly recommend that you visit.  It truly is a magical place for all of us who love Cardinals baseball.

That’s all for now! Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

 

 

Exciting new exhibit “Women in Baseball” at Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is debuting a new exhibit this Friday night. It’s called “Women in Baseball: How They Made History,” and we lady Cardinals fans are sure to enjoy it. The photo of the left is of Helene Hathaway Robison Britton, the first woman team owner.  If you missed my blog post about Helene, you can read it here.  There will be a special event this Friday night at the Cardinals Nation restaurant to kick off the new exhibit called (of course) “Ladies’ Night” from 6 PM to 9 PM. How did the Cardinals know that Friday is my birthday? How lovely of them to not only open a new exhibit about women in baseball but throw a party on my birthday as well. 🙂 I will be at Cardinals Nation Friday evening at Ladies’ Night, of course, and I hope some of my readers will be there too. I’d love to meet you, so if you see me, stop by and say hello. Here are more details about the new exhibit and Ladies’ Night:

CARDINALS MUSEUM TO DEBUT SPECIAL EXHIBIT CELEBRATING WOMEN IN BASEBALL
“Women in Baseball: How They Made History” Opens on November 18 and Runs through the 2017 Season
Cardinals Nation Restaurant to Host Ladies Night Event with Free After-Hours Admission & Special Guests

ST. LOUIS, Mo., November 15, 2016 – The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will open its new special exhibit entitled “Women in Baseball: How They Made History” on Friday, November 18. The exhibit, which replaces last year’s special exhibition “Farming the Business of Cardinals Baseball”, examines women’s involvement and contributions to St. Louis baseball and the game at large.

“The artifacts we have gathered for this special exhibit are some of the most unique and oldest items from our own collection, but also include important artifacts and images on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Missouri Historical Society and various individuals,” said Paula Homan, Cardinals Museum Curator. “It really enables us to tell the stories of the barrier-breaking women who have influenced this organization, and all of baseball, in a fitting way.”

“Women in Baseball” features over 100 artifacts which tell stories about Major League Baseball’s first female owner, the origins of the iconic birds on the bat logo, local women from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and more. Exhibit highlights include a “Ladies’ Gala Day” giveaway from 1885, the oldest stadium giveaway in the Cardinals Museum collection; Allie May Schmidt’s original hand-painted cardinal birds, which were the inspiration behind the club’s logo; the ladies’ day entrance sign from 1950 used to welcome patrons of Ladies’ Day through a dedicated gate at Sportsman’s Park; and a hands-on interactive that shows the changing circumference of the baseballs used by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players from 1943-1954.

Additionally, Cardinals Nation Restaurant & Bar will host “Ladies Night at Cardinals Nation” to celebrate the opening of the new exhibit from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on November 18. Open to all fans, the event will feature free after-hours museum admission, food and drink specials, a live DJ and appearances by Homan and MLB.com Cardinals beat writer, Jenifer Langosch.

The Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the offseason. The special exhibit is open to the public through the conclusion of the 2017 baseball season and is included with admission to the museum. To purchase Cardinals Museum tickets or learn more about museum membership, visit cardinals.com/museum.

As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

The 2016 Cardinals Blogger Awards – my votes

voteI’ve had a while to get over the fact that the Cardinals didn’t make the playoffs, and that those pesky Cubs won the World Series instead of Cleveland.  However, I walk across the street from Busch Stadium on my way to the Metrolink station every day, and seeing all the flags at the stadium put away for the winter makes me sad.  But life goes on, and on this Election Eve, it’s now time for the 2016 Cardinals Blogger Awards.  You are invited to vote for the 2016 Blogger Awards until November 18, 2016 (that’s my birthday, BTW), and here’s the link for you to cast your ballot:  2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot. My selections in each of these categories are listed below, but don’t let that affect your vote. 🙂

1) Player of the Year
–Matt Carpenter
X Aledmys Diaz
–Yadier Molina
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: _______________

Jhonny Peralta got hurt (what’s new?).  Aledmys took over and took off like a rocket. If Aledmys hadn’t gotten hit by an Andrew Cashner pitch, he may have been one of the candidates for the NL Rookie of the Year. I’m looking forward to seeing what Aledmys can do in seasons to come.

2) Pitcher of the Year
X Carlos Martinez
–Seung-hwan Oh
–Alex Reyes
–Write-in: _______________

As Adam Wainwright faltered early in the season and had a rough stretch in August, Carlos took over the position of ace on the staff.  He had a 16-9 record, the best record of the staff.  His pitches and the speed of his pitches were wicked.  I can’t wait to see how he pitches next season.

3) Game of the Year
April 8 at Braves (three PH HR)
April 14 at Brewers (Garcia 1 hit, 13 K)
 X  July 16 vs. Marlins (Adam Wainwright shutout)
July 22 vs. Dodgers (Matt Adams home run in 16th)
July 27 at Mets (snapping Famila’s save streak)
August 5 vs. Braves (Jaime Garcia 8 scoreless, 11 K)
August 8 vs. Reds (5 run 9th)
August 14 at Cubs (Piscotty tiebreaking homer)
September 9 at Pittsburgh (three HR in 9th)
October 1 vs. Pittsburgh (rally plus Gyorko winning homer)
–Write-in: ____________

The July 16 game was a magical game in a season that was less than magical. Adam Wainwright pitched one of the games of his career in front of his teammates from the 2006 World Series who had come to town to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Cards’ World Series win.  Waino showed he could still pitch like a master.

4) Surprise Player of the Year
–Matt Bowman
_ Aledmys Diaz
X  Jedd Gyorko
–Brandon Moss
–Write-in: ______________

I’m sure we all thought “Jedd who?” when we heard that Mo had traded Jon Jay to the Padres.  Jedd showed his grit and his moxie as he hit home runs when it counted.  The Cards got the best end of that deal, especially when Jay got injured and was out most of the season.

5) Disappointing Player of the Year
–Trevor Rosenthal
–Adam Wainwright
_ Michael Wacha
–Kolten Wong
 X Write-in: Mike Leake

I was going to select Kolten Wong, but he didn’t play enough to give a good sample size.  Mike Leake got my only write in vote instead.  There was a great deal of hoopla when he was signed, and it was hoped he would help with the team since Lance Lynn was out after Tommy John surgery, but he only had a 9-12 record and a 4.69 ERA.  Hopefully, Leake will pitch better next year.

6) Rookie of the Year
–Aledmys Diaz
–Seung-hwan Oh
X Alex Reyes
–Luke Weaver
–Write-in: ______________

Brought up mid-season, Reyes quickly impressed and ended up with a 1.54 ERA, which was the best ERA on the pitching staff.  I’m looking forward to seeing how Reyes will pitch during a full season.

7) Acquisition of the Year
–Zach Duke
–Jedd Gyorko
–Mike Leake
X Seung-hwan Oh
–Write-in: ______________

Oh was the best player that Mo picked up last winter.  Oh was originally signed for eighth inning relief, but he flourished in the closer role when Trevor Rosenthal got hurt.  “Stone Buddha” is one of Oh’s nicknames and if you watch him pitch, you see why.  There is no emotion on Oh’s face when he pitches.

8) Most Anticipated Cardinal
–Harrison Bader
–Austin Gomber
–Delvin Perez
–Rowan Wick
–Write-in: _______________

I don’t follow the minors all that much, so I don’t feel qualified to answer this question.

9) Best Individual Cardinal Blog
–Write-in: _____________

I love all the UCB blogs equally, so I don’t want to play favorites.  I respectfully decline to vote in this category.

10) Best Team Cardinal Blog
X Write-in: Cards Conclave

CC was founded by UCB head honcho Daniel Shoptaw, and he and several other writers share their thoughts about the Cardinals there.  Many different voices in one location – you can’t beat it.

11) Best Media Coverage
X Derrick Goold

–Benjamin Hochman
–Jenifer Langosch
–Bernie Miklasz
–Jose de Jesus Ortiz
X Rob Rains
–Write-in: ______________

A tie here, but I selected them for different reasons.  Derrick is great on Twitter and very responsive to followers who tweet at him.  His columns are informative and well written. Rob does a great job covering the Cardinals on his (and wife Sally’s) website STLSportsPage.com.  Rob has great analysis.

12) Post of the Year
–”Cardinals Find Perfect Timing as Playoff Hopes Crash”–Bill, I70 Baseball
XThe Kolten Wong Situation”–Daniel, C70 At The Bat
–”Lou Brock, the Lucrative Acquisition Fleet Footed All-Star Societal Difference Maker”–Josey, The Redbird Retreat
–”Not Our Year”–Diane, Women Who Love Cardinal Baseball
X Worrying What the Flash Means: How We Talk About Race in Baseball”–Chase, Double Birds
–Write-in: _______________

I will take Proverbs 27:2 to heart (Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth, A stranger, and not your own lips.), and not vote for my own post.  I found myself liking two of the other posts equally well.  Daniel’s post took Rob Rains’ interview with Kolten Wong and expanded upon it.  Chase’s post covers the race problems in today’s game and is very well written.

13) Best UCB Podcast
X Bird Seeds (video)

–Conversations With C70
–The Double Birds Podcast
–Gateway To Baseball Heaven
–Meet Me At Musial
–STL CardGals
–Talking About Birds
–UCB Radio Hour
–Write-in: _________________

Okay, I admit, I don’t listen to many podcasts, but I have watched Bird Seeds and it’s very enjoyable.  Video podcasts are the future of podcasts and Tara does a very good job with Bird Seeds.

14) Best Non-UCB Podcast
–Best Podcast in Baseball
–Cards on Cards
–Cubs Cards Cast
–St. Louis Cardinals Extras (MLB.com)
–Two Birds on a Bat
–Viva El Birdos
–Write-in: _________________

As mentioned above, I don’t have much time to listen to podcasts, so I have no vote for this category.  Sorry about that.

15) Best Podcaster
–Write-in: _________________

Another category in which I don’t feel qualified to vote.

16) Best UCB Twitterer
X Write-in: @CardinalsTales

Bob Netherton (a/k/a Big Green Bob) is my favorite UCB Twitter guy.  He doesn’t write many blog posts, but that’s okay because short-form writing is his best game.  He tells it like it is and doesn’t mince words or characters when it comes to the Cards.  If he’s in the mood, he will post what he calls Twitter Tales, where he takes a classic Cards game and posts it on Twitter, 140 characters/letters at a time.  When he’s not expounding on the Cards, he posts Twitter posts with photos of yummy food cooked on his Big Green Egg barbecue grill.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is Election Day, so go out there and do your civic duty.  And don’t forget to vote for the 2016 UCB Blogger Awards!  Here’s the link again for that, so you don’t have to scroll back up to the top – 2016 Cardinals Blogger Award Ballot.  Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Worse. Game. Ever. (that I’ve seen in person)

angryLast night’s Cards-Reds game was the most horrible game I have ever seen in person. The Cards lost to the Reds 15-2.  In my last blog post, I compared the bad Cardinals to a beer league softball team, and sure enough, that’s the team that showed up to play last night.  When I played co-ed softball, there was a 10 run mercy rule (the game ends after a team scores 10 runs), but unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to baseball.  If it did, the game would have been over after the fourth inning.

My last blog post pleaded for Good Jaime to show up last night. Bad Jaime showed up instead.  He only lasted one inning. The experiment to move Jaime back into the starting rotation failed miserably. I’m pretty sure that last night was the last time we’ll ever see Jaime pitching in a Cardinals uniform.

Michael Wacha relieved Jaime in the second inning, but he wasn’t much better.  The next relief pitcher was Luke Weaver.  After Luke, Dean Kiekhefer came in to pitch. Hazelbaker, a position player, was the last pitcher of the game. We left the game after the sixth inning.  We just couldn’t take any more misery.

Yadi had a bad night too; he couldn’t throw out anyone trying to steal.  The Cards did score a couple of runs, so at least it wasn’t a shutout.  The highlight of the game was a Stephen Piscotty triple.

I always buy a scorecard and keep score when I go to a game, but last night, I stopped keeping score after the fourth inning.  The Reds’ lineup batted 1 ½ times in the fourth inning, and there’s no room on a scorecard to score a second run through the lineup (if there is a way, someone please let me know how), so I just gave up keeping score all together.

My friend noticed how empty the stadium was last night even before the game.  There was less than 40,000 attendees for the first time since 2013.  The left upper deck was completely empty.  In fact, the fans booed several times last night, and I’m ashamed to say I was one of them.  I never thought that I would ever boo my beloved Cardinals, but last night I did.  It appears the fans are getting tired of crappy baseball.  I’m glad that I didn’t pay for my tickets to last night’s game; I would have been really angry if I had paid good money for that lousy outcome. It’s a shame that the last game I got to see at Busch Stadium this season was such a debacle.  I missed going to Bible study for this?  I would have gotten more out of Bible study that that game.

After last night’s loss, the Cards are 1 game back of the Giants for the second wild card spot.  It’s still possible for the Cards to get to the wild card game, but even if by some stroke of luck they did, I really don’t think they’d win the game.  I think the guys have finally run out of steam, and Yadi especially.  Carson Kelly should have been called up earlier to give Yadi some days off, and Mike Matheny should have insisted that Yadi take more time off.  Brayan Pena was supposed to be Yadi’s backup, but he got injured.  Either the guys are totally exhausted, or there are some issues going on in the clubhouse that we are not yet privy to.  It appears they have checked out for the season.

I think it’s time for us Cards fans to start mentally checking out of this season too.  I predicted back in May that this wasn’t our year, and I was right. After the season is over, there will be some housecleaning occurring.  I think there will be some players gone next season, and maybe some coaches and perhaps a manager too.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!

Diane

Homesick blues – a tough love letter to the Cardinals players

love-letterHello, boys. It’s been a while since I’ve written to you. I write because the end of the season is almost upon us, and the remaining games of the season are at home.  Unfortunately, you all have played much better on the road than at home, which puzzles me, and others, I’m sure, greatly.

As you also know, there is a tight race for the wild card right now and the Cards are still in the thick of it.  If you all had won more games at home, the Cubs would not have clinched the division.  I must move past that, however, and state that if you all want to be in the playoffs, you all must win some, if not all, of these final games.

It’s been a tough season to be a Cardinals fan.  At times, you all play like the team we know and love.  At other times, however, you all played like a beer softball league team, which was quite frustrating.  You all have a chance in this final week of the regular season to finish strong and get momentum to get into the playoffs.  Do you all want to be in the playoffs?

I will be at Busch Stadium tomorrow evening for what is probably my last game of the season (unless I am lucky enough to get other tickets somehow for this week), along with a friend of mine who has never been to a game in Busch Stadium III. Please give us a good game, guys, and better yet, a win.  Jaime Garcia, please be Good Jaime tomorrow night and not Bad Jaime.  Guys, please let us see more regular hits, although the home runs are nice.

Guys, let’s beat the Cubs tonight and come back home ready to finish the season strong. Hopefully, the next letter I write to you will be in the playoffs. It’s time to post this letter and watch the game.

Love always,

Diane

P.S.:  Aledmys Diaz, my condolences and prayers to you on the loss of your childhood friend Jose Fernandez.  It reminds me so much of Oscar Tavares.

 

The Cardinals’ top 5 prospects

Top 5The United Cardinals Bloggers’ project for September is to write about who we think are the Cards’ top 5 prospects. Three of these prospects are already in the show, and two of those three are due to injuries to players on the parent club.

  1. Alex Reyes – Reyes is a great pitching talent. He has a 100 MPH fastball and great location. If Jaime Garcia gets released like he should be, Reyes will be a great addition to the rotation. But Alex needs to stay away from the reefer, mon.
  2. Carson Kelly – Kelly is being touted as Yadier Molina’s successor. He has been brought up to the majors this season to be the third string catcher for the occasional start when Yadi needs a rest, like for yesterday’s game.  The hope is the more Carson sees at the major league level, the more impetus it gives him to keep working hard so that he can come up to the show and stay there.
  3. Luke Weaver – Weaver has been a great fill in pitcher, but I think he needs another year in the minors before he’s brought up to the majors on a permanent basis. He has good pitches, but he needs some confidence building. He has appeared nervous on the mound. He didn’t look so good in his start against Colorado yesterday.
  4. Magneuris Sierra – Magneuris is speedy on the base paths and on the field.  he doesn’t have home run power, but should have good run production.  He still needs a couple of years in the minors for some seasoning.  He will be a good centerfielder a couple of years down the line.
  5. Harrison Bader – Harrison zoomed through the minor league system, and is now in Memphis. Harrison can play all three outfield positions; however, he is an average hitter. Harrison will compete with Magneuris for the centerfield position in a couple of years.

This sure has been a crazy season for the Cards. We are now in the last 2 weeks of the regular season and if things keep going well, the Cards should earn one of the wild card play-in slots.  The Cards won 4 games in a row, but given the way this season has gone, I don’t know whether to start getting excited or not.  Just when I think the Cards are on a roll, a bad game happens and they break my heart all over again.  In addition, every time the Cards play a game that would put them 10 games over .500, they lose, like yesterday.  It’s like they just can’t get over that hump. The emotions of Cards fans are like this song by the Foundations from 1968:

Why do you build me up (build me up), buttercup baby, just to let me down (let me down),

And mess me around and then worse of all (worse of all),

You never call, baby, like you say you will (say you will),

But I love you still.

I need you (I need you) more than anyone, darling, you know that I have from the start,

So build me up, buttercup, don’t break my heart.

Here’s the video for your viewing and listening pleasure – you can thank me or curse me for the earworm later:

Sorry I haven’t written much later.  I haven’t had a lot to say in long form.  I’ve been doing a lot of talking on Twitter lately, so follow me on there if you miss what I have to say.  If things pick up, I’ll hopefully be posting more.  Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane