Homestand Highlights for May 31, 2018 – June 7, 2018

cropped-home-sweet-home.jpgThe Cardinals come back to town tomorrow night for a week long homestand. Alex Reyes pitched his first game at the major league level since September 2016 today.  Sadly, the Cards’ bats let him down.  Since my last report, Adam Wainwright and Dominic Leone have been moved to the 60 day disabled list.  Yadier Molina, however, has been cleared to start baseball activities.  Yadi, we miss you terribly, but don’t rush it – we need you back at 110%.  We’ll be at Friday night’s game in Section 166, row 16.  Come on by and say hello! Here’s all the details on this homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Thursday, May 31—Thursday, June 7)

YADI Tumbler, Chris Carpenter Bobblehead & Christian Day Highlight Fifth Homestand of 2018

ST. LOUIS, Mo., May 30, 2018 – The Cardinals are back at Busch Stadium after completing a six-game road trip through Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.  The seven-game homestand kicks off with a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates (May 31-June 3) and concludes with three games versus the Miami Marlins (June 5-7).  The fifth homestand of the season is highlighted by the first-ever Elvis Theme Night, Photo Day and the start of All-Star voting. #VoteSTL

Thursday, May 31, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

Scouts Night: All Girl/Boy Scouts and their families are invited to Scout Night at the ballpark.  This is the second of three Scout Nights for the 2018 season.  Scouts and their guests can enjoy $14 tickets, and each scout theme ticket will include a special Girl/Boy Scout patch.  Scout and troop leaders are also invited to participate in a pregame parade around the warning track.  Theme Tickets to this event are currently sold out.

The Art of Baseball Program: Springboard to Learning’s signature, the Art of Baseball, will culminate at Busch Stadium before tonight’s game. Designed in conjunction with Cardinals Care, the program helps students in grades 3 through 8 discover exciting connections between art, Major League Baseball, statistics and the world of business.  Students will present infographics that display their research from 5:00-6:15 in Cunningham Corner, which is open for any fan attending the game to view.

Friday, June 1, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:15 p.m.)

Ritz “Kick Off To Summer” Weekend

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

YADI Tumbler Giveaway: 30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a stainless steel tumbler featuring Yadier Molina, courtesy of Apple Vacations. #CardsPromo

Elvis Night: Throw on your blue suede shows and head down to Busch Stadium for Elvis Night.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Elvis bobblehead.  Come early for a pregame performance in Budweiser Terrace by world-renowned Elvis talent performer Bill Cherry.  A portion of each ticket purchased will be donated to The Elvis Presley Charitable Foundation.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/Elvis. #CardsTheme

Alumni Celebrity Bartender: Former Cardinals reliever and St. Louis native, Cliff Politte, will be bartending in Budweiser Terrace from innings two through four during tonight’s game.·

Boots at Busch: 93.7 The Bull and the Cardinals welcome back Boots at Busch—a series of home games featuring live country music in a “battle of the bands” format.  Tonight’s battle features Biscuits and Gravy, Shotgun Creek and Whiskey Raccoons.  Performances begin at 5:35 p.m. in Budweiser Terrace.  Tickets are available for $5 to each Battle at Busch game at cardinals.com/bootsatbusch.

Cardinals en Español: Tonight’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Artifact Spotlight: Before every Friday home game, the Cardinals Museum highlights artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum at 3:00 & 3:30.  Today’s featured item relates to the 1930 Cardinals and St. Louis Browns. To purchase museum tickets, visitcardinals.com/museum. #CardsMuseum

Flashback Friday: Before every Friday home game at 4:00 p.m., the Cardinals Museum will host a presentation about Cardinals history or a museum-related topic from one of the Museum’s staff members, a former player or a visiting author.  Today’s presentation will be hosted by former Cardinals pitcher, Dave LaPoint.  To purchase museum tickets, visit cardinals.com/museum. #CardsMuseum

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from tonight’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located at Gates 1 and 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. #CardsCare

Saturday, June 2, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:15 p.m.)

Ritz “Kick Off To Summer” Weekend

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Saturday Embroidered Jersey Giveaway30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a Cardinals Saturday alternate jersey featuring an embroidered front logo, courtesy of Scott Credit Union. #CardsPromo

Prairie Farms Kids Run the Bases: Following the game, fans ages 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting).  Presented by Prairie Farms.

Photo Day: Prior to the game, fans will be granted access on the field to get photos of their favorite players, coaches and Fredbird (weather permitting).  Field access is on a first come, first served basis and will begin approximately 15 minutes after gates open.  Fans are encouraged to share their photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat using #CardsPhotoDay.

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals starting pitcher Dave LaPoint will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.

Alumni Celebrity Bartender: Former Cardinals starting pitcher, Dave LaPoint, will be bartending in Budweiser Terrace from innings two through four during today’s game.

Cardinals en Español: Today’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from today’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

LBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Sunday, June 3, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:15 p.m.)

Ritz “Kick Off To Summer” Weekend

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Chris Carpenter Bobblehead Giveaway: 30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a bobblehead of Cardinals Hall of Fame pitcher Chris Carpenter.  The bobblehead commemorates Carp’s diving catch and slide to first base in Game 1 of the 2011 World Series. #CardsPromo

Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star frozen treats (while supplies last).

Christian Day at the Ballpark: All fans are invited to participate in the 28th annual Christian Day at the Ballpark.  Following the game, fans can relocate to seats behind the Cardinals dugout to watch a special postgame program featuring Cardinals Hall of Famer and current coach Willie McGee, Mike Matheny and current Cardinals players.  For more information, fans can visit cardinals.com/christianday.  Presented by Thrivent Financial.

Zumba® Fitness Theme Event: The Cardinals invite all fitness fans to join us for Zumba® Fitness Party at the Park.  Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive access to a pregame Zumba® class and an exclusive Cardinals tank.  The pregame class will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Budweiser Terrace.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/zumba. #CardsTheme

Cardinals en Español: Today’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from today’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Miami Marlins (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Scott Rolen Budweiser Bash Theme EventFans who purchase a special Bud Bash Theme Ticket will receive a limited-edition Scott Rolen bobblehead as we celebrate Cardinal fan favorites.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Scott in the Budweiser Terrace.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/budbash#BudBash

Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals welcome back the Battle at Busch concert series.  Tonight’s battle features Wayside, Away From Reason and HOOKiE.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:35 p.m. in Budweiser Terrace.  Tickets are available for $5 to each Battle at Busch game at cardinals.com/battleatbusch.

Tha Phamily: Tommy Pham will host a group from Dutchtown Outreach for tonight’s game as part of his Tha Phamily player ticket program.

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located at Gates 1 and 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. #CardsCare

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Miami Marlins (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Scouts Night: All Girl/Boy Scouts and their families are invited to Scout Night at the ballpark.  This is the third of three Scout Nights for the 2018 season.  Scouts and their guests can enjoy $14 tickets, and each scout theme ticket will include a special Girl/Boy Scout patch.  Scout and troop leaders are also invited to participate in a pregame parade around the warning track.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme. #CardsTheme

Fredbird’s Garage Sale Theme Event: Fredbird has been doing his spring cleaning and found some items in the nest that he needs to get rid of!  Fans who purchase a special Theme Ticket for this event will be able to select three (3) previous Theme Ticket giveaways to take home including Bud Bash bobbleheads, Cancer Awareness caps, Star Wars & Grateful Dead t-shirts, etc.  Item/size availability is limited and items will be available on a first come, first served basis.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/garagesale. #CardsTheme

Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Tyler O’Neill will sign 100 autographs in Budweiser Terrace for fans ages 15 and younger from 5:45-6:15.  Kids must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and are distributed in Budweiser Terrace.  Former Cardinals Mike Crudale and Glenn Brummer will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  Players subject to change.

Fowler’s Friends: Dexter Fowler will host a group from Boys Hope Girls Hope for tonight’s game as part of his Fowler’s Friends player ticket program.

Redbird Rookies Gold GloveSix children from the club’s Redbird Rookies baseball/softball program will be honored on the field before tonight’s game.  In order to qualify for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award the children had to attend all three Redbird Rookies off-field events as well as hit a “Home Run” in reading during the 2017 season.  They then had to complete an application which included a hand drawing or written contest entry, demonstrating the meaning of confidence, leadership, teamwork and integrity.  The applications were evaluated by Cardinals Care and Rawlings staff and two participants in each of the three age groups were selected as winners.  Each winner received four Field Box tickets to tonight’s game, an opportunity to meet a Cardinals player and will be presented with a personalized glove from Rawlings. #CardsCare

Live from the UMB Champions Club: KMOX will conduct its radio broadcast from Busch Stadium’s premier all-inclusive ticketed area, the UMB Champions Club.

Thursday, June 7, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Miami Marlins (12:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 10:45 a.m.

Kids Day OutAll kids are invited to come to the ballpark for Kids Day Out presented by Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer.  All kids who have a special $13 Theme Ticket will have access to a “Kids Zone” in Budweiser Terrace starting at 10:45 a.m. that includes carnival games, face painting and the Bubble Bus, among other fun activities.  Perfect for summer camps, daycares and any kids looking to have fun and catch a Cardinals game, the theme ticket also include a free jumbo hot dog, chips and soda!  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/kidsdayout. #CardsTheme

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to Ford Plaza.  For a $10 donation, Great Clips will cut your hair and donate all proceeds to Cardinals Care.

 

Thanks as always for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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Homestand Highlights for May 17-May 23, 2018

cropped-home-sweet-home.jpgThe Cards are limping back into town with Adam Wainwright, Luke Gregerson, Carlos Martinez and Tyler Lyons joining Yadier Molina on the disabled list.  The Memphis Express has been busy with John Brebbia and John Gant going back and forth.  The Cardinals start a week long homestand starting tomorrow night.  My son and I will be at Saturday afternoon’s game in section 131, row 5, so come by and say hello if you’re at the game.  Maybe you can buy us both a beer.  🙂 Here are the details on this homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Thursday, May 17—Wednesday, May 23)

1968 NLCS Anniversary Weekend & I-70 Series Highlight Fourth Homestand of 2018

ST. LOUIS, Mo., May 16, 2018 – The Cardinals return home after completing a six-game road trip through San Diego and Minnesota.  The seven-game homestand kicks off with a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (May 17-20) and concludes with three games versus our American League rivals, the Kansas City Royals (May 21-23).  The fourth homestand of the season is highlighted by the 1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend and eight Theme events including Braggin’ Rights Night and A Night with the Ecksteins.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

Soccer NightWith the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive a unique St. Louis Cardinals soccer jersey.  Presented by AJAX Soccer.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/soccer. #CardsTheme

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gates 1 and 3 through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Friday, May 18, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Bob Gibson Pitching Rubber Giveaway: 30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, can relive one of the most dominant pitching performances in MLB history by taking home their very own Bob Gibson pitching rubber, commemorating Gibby’s incredible 1968 season.  Presented by Ameren Missouri. #CardsPromo

Bob Gibson Pregame CeremonyThe Cardinals will formally commence the #CompleteGamer fan engagement campaign celebrating Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Gibson with a special ceremony prior to tonight’s game.  The #CompleteGamer campaign is designed to honor “Gibby” and share his extraordinary personal story while raising money to benefit musically-gifted urban youth and recognizing #CompleteGamers from other fields/vocations.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/Gibson for more information.

Braggin’ Rights Night: Illini Night and Mizzou Night are combing for Braggin’ Rights Night presented by FOX Sports Midwest.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an Illini or Mizzou-themed Cardinals jersey.  A pregame pep rally will feature band members, cheer squads and athletes from each school.  Mizzou Head Football Coach Barry Odom and Illini Head Basketball Coach Brad Underwood are both scheduled to attend as well.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/Illini or cardinals.com/Mizzou. #CardsTheme 

Cardinals Care Spring Grant Ceremony: In an afternoon ceremony, Cardinals Care will distribute more than $134,000 to 68 area nonprofit groups that support local kids.  A Cardinals player, executives and Fredbird will all take part in the afternoon event. #CardsCare

Alumni Celebrity Bartender: Former Cardinals reliever, John Costello, will be bartending in Budweiser Terrace from innings two through four during tonight’s game.

Dream Weavers: Luke Weaver will host a group from the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition for tonight’s game as part of his Dream Weavers player ticket program.

Cardinals en Español: Tonight’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Artifact Spotlight: Before every Friday home game, the Cardinals Museum highlights artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum at 3:00 & 3:30.  Today’s featured item relates to former Cardinals outfielder Roger Maris. To purchase museum tickets, visitcardinals.com/museum. #CardsMuseum

Flashback Friday: Before every Friday home game at 4:00 p.m., the Cardinals Museum will host a presentation about Cardinals history or a museum-related topic from one of the Museum’s staff members, a former player or a visiting author.  Today’s presentation will be hosted Cardinals Magazine Senior Staff Writer, Stan McNeal.  To purchase museum tickets, visit cardinals.com/museum. #CardsMuseum

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from tonight’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. #CardsCare

Saturday, May 19, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1:15 p.m.)

1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend presented by Heartland Coca-Cola

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

1968 Replica Ring Giveaway30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a wearable replica ring of the 1968 National League Championship ring that the players and coaches received 50 years ago! #CardsPromo

1968 National League Championship Anniversary CeremonyIn recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Cardinals 1968 National League Championship, 16 members of the 1968 team will be honored in a pregame ceremony.  The former players will be introduced from the dugout and members from the team will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals All-Star first baseman Julian Javier will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.

Alumni Celebrity Bartender: Former Cardinals starting pitcher, Danny Cox, will be bartending in Budweiser Terrace from innings two through four during today’s game.

Cardinals en Español: Today’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from today’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Sunday, May 20, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1:15 p.m.)

1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Kids Baseball Glove Giveaway: All kids ages 15 and younger, entering with a ticket, can come out to celebrate Major League Baseball’s Play Ball Weekend and field like the pros when they receive their very own Rawlings Kids Baseball Glove.  Right handed-gloves can be exchange for left-handed gloves in Budweiser Terrace until 2:15 p.m. #CardsPromo

Kids Ticket Voucher Giveaway: All kids entering with a ticket, ages 15 and younger, will receive a free ticket voucher valid for select Cardinals regular season home games in 2018, courtesy of Ritz. #CardsPromo

Six Flags Day: All children under 48 inches receive a free ticket to Six Flags, valid any one day through July 31, 2018. #CardsPromo

Prairie Farms Kids Run the Bases: Following the game, fans ages 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting).  Presented by Prairie Farms.

Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star frozen treats (while supplies last).

Negro Leagues Tribute Day: Come celebrate the history of the St. Louis Stars and Negro League Baseball at the ballpark.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive a pinstripe St. Louis Stars cap.  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.  President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Bob Kendrick, and KMOX’s Mike Clairborne will host a round table in Cunningham Corner from 11:45a.m.-12:15p.m.To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/negroleagues. #CardsTheme

Home Run Against Hunger Food Drive: The Cardinals, in partnership with Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance and Feeding Missouri, are hosting a food drive in front of the Official Cardinals Team Store before today’s contest from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Fans who bring a non-perishable food donation will receive a voucher for two tickets to an upcoming Cardinals game. #HomeRunAgainstHunger 

Honorary Bat Girl: As part of MLB’s support of the annual “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, traditionally commemorated each Mother’s Day, the Cardinals will recognize Kathy Koke, a breast cancer survivor, with an on-field ceremony and honorary first pitch before the game.  Mrs. Koke is celebrating six years of being cancer free and is dedicated to helping fund cancer research and help raise awareness.

Cardinals en Español: Today’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from today’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Monday, May 21, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (7:15 p.m.)

MLB Network Showcase National Broadcast (out-of-market only)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

T-Shirt of the Month Giveaway: 20,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a unique Cardinals t-shirt depicting Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.  The t-shirt’s design was selected as the winner by the fans via an online vote. #CardsPromo

Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Harrison Bader will sign 100 autographs in Budweiser Terrace for fans ages 15 and younger from 5:45-6:15.  Kids must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and are distributed in Budweiser Terrace.  Former Cardinals Danny Cox and John Costello will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  Players subject to change.

A Night With The Ecksteins Theme Event: 2006 World Series MVP David Eckstein and his wife, Ashley, are returning to the ballpark to celebrate the release of Ashley’s new book and chat about following your dreams! With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive access to a pregame Q&A session with Ashley & David Eckstein, a copy of Ashley’s new book, It’s Your Universe, and an autograph from Ashley and David.  Tickets and more information available at cardinals.com/Eckstein. #CardsTheme

Nurses Night: Nurses Night returns in 2018 with a day and night option for all the shift-workers!  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Cardinals scrub jacket. To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/nurses. #CardsTheme

Wainwright’s Winners: Adam Wainwright will host a group from The Maren Fund for tonight’s game as part of his Wainwright’s Winners player ticket program.

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1 and Gate 3 through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (7:15 p.m.) 

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Brian Jordan Budweiser Bash Theme EventFans who purchase a special Bud Bash Theme Ticket will receive a limited-edition Brian Jordan mini-bobblehead as we celebrate Cardinal fan favorites.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Brian in the Budweiser Terrace.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/budbash#BudBash

Tsunami Waves: Carlos Martínez will host a group from World Pediatric Project for tonight’s game as part of his Tsunami Waves player ticket program.

Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals welcome back the Battle at Busch concert series.  Tonight’s battle features Jean Claude & The Eclairs, L.T.H.and Legends Undercover.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:35 p.m. in Budweiser Terrace.  Tickets are available for $5 to each Battle at Busch game at cardinals.com/battleatbusch.

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. #CardsCare

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (12:15 p.m.)  

MLB Network Showcase National Broadcast (out-of-market only)

Gates open at 10:45 a.m.

KMOX Day: Fans who purchase a special Theme Ticket will receive an old-school KMOX microphone that plays some special highlights from Jack Buck, John Rooney and Mike Shannon.  Fans can also enjoy a special pregame meet & greet with KMOX on-air personalities.  This event is sold out. #CardsTheme

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to Ford Plaza.  For a $10 donation, Great Clips will cut your hair and donate all proceeds to Cardinals Care.

MORE INFORMATION

#CompleteGamer – Celebrating Bob Gibson in 2018

On April 15th, 59 years to the date of his first Major League start, the Cardinals launched the #CompleteGamer fan engagement campaign to honor Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, who played his entire 17-year career with the Cardinals and ended his career with more complete games (255) than his franchise leading number of wins (251).

To reach a new generation of fans, the team has released a #CompleteGamer song and music video that serves as a theme song for the campaign and seeks to convey Gibson’s extraordinary life story in a musical style reminiscent of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton by using hip-hop accompanied by powerful music performed by an orchestra.

As part of the campaign, fans are asked to share examples of people that they know who are a #CompleteGamer in their own respective field or vocation.  Each week, the team will highlight at least one fan #CompleteGamer and they will receive a special Gibson autographed item from the team.  Fans can nominate someone through an online submission form at cardinals.com/Gibson.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Preseason ponderings and burning questions for the regular season

The last game of the preseason is tonight. The reason I called it a preseason game is because last night’s and tonight’s game are not in Florida, so they can’t be spring training games. You can watch tonight’s game for free on MLB.TV – just go to mlb.com, select the Cardinals-Blue Jays game in the scoreboard section and click on the TV icon. The game starts at 6:07 PM CST, so hopefully you’re not reading this too late to watch it.

It was a little disconcerting following last night’s game on Gameday only.  The game wasn’t broadcast on KMOX or on FOX Sports or any other cable network. It felt like the 1960’s and 1970’s when very few games were televised and you could only follow the game on KMOX. But the regular season starts in only 2 days and I’ll be able to watch and/or listen to all the baseball I want! Are you excited? I am. Here’s some of my thoughts on spring training and the season to come.

Spring training notes:

Amazingly, the Cardinals escaped spring training without a major injury, such as a pitcher needing Tommy John surgery. However, Adam Wainwright and Luke Gregerson suffered hamstring strains. Both Adam and Luke injured their hamstrings in a sprint drill. Why the heck are pitchers doing sprint drills? Pitchers do not do that much running, unless they manage to get on base. A pitcher would not need to sprint to cover first base. Gregerson also suffered an oblique injury earlier in spring training. Both Adam and Luke are on the disabled list to start the season. At least those are minor injuries.

Carson Kelly, Yadi’s backup last year, was sent down to Memphis. Yadi’s stamina has improved with age to the point that he hardly ever takes a day off. Carson’s offense has suffered as a result of not getting enough playing time, and that carried over to spring training. Carson needs to be playing every day in order to improve, and not ride the bench while Yadi plays. Be patient, young padawan; your time will come. Francisco Pena, the son of former Cardinals catcher Tony Pena, will be the backup catcher.

Jack Flaherty was lights out in spring training. He is definitely one of the starters in the rotation of the future. The future is now, however, as Jack will be taking Wainwright’s place in the rotation until Waino’s hamstring heals.

Yairo Munoz, one of the prospects obtained in the Stephen Piscotty trade, was very good in spring training. His great offense helped him make the team as an infield backup. It was reported that his mother cried when he told her the news. I would have cried too if one of my kids had played baseball and I was told that he/she had been added to the major league squad.

Burning questions:

Since no closer has been chosen, will the 9th inning be closer by committee? Dominic Leone and Tyler Lyons appear to be the top candidates for the closer position.

Carlos Martinez has shown flashes of greatness. Will he get it together and be the dominant pitcher we know he can be? Although some fans like Carlos’ funky hair colors, I think it’s a distraction. Save the funky colors for the off-season, Carlos.

Will Mike Matheny micromanage the team and keep Mike Maddux, Willie McGee and Jose Oquendo from doing their jobs effectively?

Will Tommy Pham have another season like he did last season? Or will his vision problems give him more trouble?

Will Jose Martinez get enough playing time? If Pham gets hurt, Fowler could be moved back to center field and Jose could play right field.

Will Michael Wacha’s shoulder stay healed? He has pitched very well in spring training. Here’s hoping he’s regained his 2013 form and will be the dominant pitcher he was then.

I have a great deal for you.  Is T-Mobile your cell phone provider? If not, you should hurry up and switch to T-Mobile – they are offering a great perk:  a free season of MLB.TV,  through their T-Mobile Tuesdays app. That means you can watch all out-of- market baseball games on your cellphone, tablet, etc. All you need is an MLB.com account. This deal is only good through April 7. I discovered this great perk in the app last Tuesday and it made me really glad that I had switched to T-Mobile from AT&T.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Homestand Highlights September 8-14, 2017

Join4JoeThe calendar has turned and the Cards are now in the stretch run.  The Cards have won all but 2 games (not including tonight’s game, since it just started) of the West Coast road trip.  The young guys that were brought up from Memphis have invigorated this team. Despite injuries to Tommy Pham, Kolten Wong, and Dexter Fowler, the team has played well.  The Cards also picked up right handed reliever Juan Nicasio of the Phillies for minor leaguer Eliezer Alvarez.  Since the trade occurred after September 1, however, Nicasio would not be eligible to be put on the postseason roster.  This was a good pickup, since Seung Hwan Oh is a free agent after this season and Trevor Rosenthal will probably be out next season after Tommy John surgery.

The Cards will be back at home at Busch Stadium tomorrow night for the second-to-last homestand of the season.  There are some great theme night promotions during this homestand, including Rally Cat Appreciation Day. Speaking of Rally Cat, have they figured who is going to be his owner?  Here are all of the details on this upcoming homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Friday, September 8—Thursday, September 14)

#Join4Joe Bone Marrow Drive & Grateful Dead Tribute Night Highlight Twelfth Homestand at Busch 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., September 7, 2017 – The Cardinals return to Busch Stadium in the midst of a push towards the top of the N.L. Central Division and a N.L. Wild Card spot after their recent 10-game road trip.  The six-game homestand begins with a three-game weekend set against the Pittsburgh Pirates (September 8-10) and concludes with a three games versus the Cincinnati Reds (September 12-14).  The twelfth homestand of the year is highlighted by the second annual #Join4Joe Bone Marrow Donor Drive, Rally Cat Appreciation Day and Old School Wrestling Night.

 Friday, September 8, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Adult Kelly Green Cardinals Jersey Promotional Giveaway: 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a unique Cardinals Kelly Green Jersey.  Presented by Cooper Tire.  (#CardsPromo)

Green

Country Music Theme Night: Grab your boots and head down to Busch Stadium for Country Music Night presented by Q in the Lou.  With the purchase of a special theme ticket, fans will receive one-of-a-kind country-themed Cardinals snapback hat.  Come early and enjoy a pregame concert in Riverview Corner by American Idol winner and lifelong Cardinals fan, Trent Harmon, beginning at 5:30.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.  (#CardsTheme)

Country

2017 Roberto Clemente Award Nominee: During a pregame ceremony, Adam Wainwright will be recognized as the Cardinals’ 2017 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.  The annual award recognizes a player from each MLB Club who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.  The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2017 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel.  Fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website.  The winner of the fan voting, which will run from October 2-6, will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.

Roberto

Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum.  Today’s featured items relate to Cardinals Hall of Fame catcher Ted Simmons.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum. (#CardsMuseum)

Trevor’s Troops: Trevor Rosenthal will host a group from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for tonight’s game as part of his Trevor’s Troops player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Trevor in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.  Presented by Scott Credit Union.

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Chesterfield Bears Cheerleading, Lindenwood University-Belleville Lynx Cheer & Dance, McKendree University Cheer & Dance and O’Faolain Academy of Irish Dance will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning around 5:30 p.m.

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.  (#CardsCare5050)

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game.  The auction is a great way for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community.  Auction tables will be located by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

Saturday, September 9, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

Adult Quarter Zip Pullover Promotional Giveaway: 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a Cardinals Quarter Zip Pullover, compliments of Shane Co. (#CardsPromo)

Pullover

#Join4Joe Bone Marrow Donor Drive: For the second consecutive year, the Cardinals, in conjunction with the St. Louis Baseball Writers and Be the Match, will host the#Join4Joe bone marrow donor drive just outside the Family Pavilion in Ford Plaza from 4:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to add individuals to the national registry and honor the legacy of Joe Strauss, a longtime Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch who passed away in December 2015 at the age of 54 after a courageous battle fighting leukemia.  Volunteers will be assisting those interested in joining the national marrow registry complete the short process, which typically takes about 15 minutes.  Those unable to attend can learn more about the #Joine4Joe drive and join the national registry by requesting a donor kit anytime at cardinals.com/join4joe.  I am a member of the Be the Match bone marrow registry and signing up for the registry is much easier than giving blood (which I also do).

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  In addition to having a valid admission to the museum, fans must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and will be distributed beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Busch II Infield outside Cardinals Nation.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.  Presented by Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company. (#CardsMuseum)

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Bordeau Dance Studio, Hillsboro High School Cheer, North County Raiderettes, O’Fallon Golden Girls Dance, Ritenour High School Cheerleading and Tammy’s Tumbling will perform in Riverview Corner beginning around 4:30 p.m.

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.  (#CardsCare5050)

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Build-A-Bear Cardinals Pup Promotional Giveaway: 12,000 kids, ages 15 and younger entering with a ticket, will take home their very own Cardinals Pup, courtesy of Build-A-Bear Workshop.  (#CardsPromo)

BAB.png

Rally Cat Appreciation Theme Day: Celebrate everybody’s favorite new feline at Busch Stadium on Rally Cat Appreciation Day.  With the purchase of a special theme ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Rally Cat Cardinals t-shirt.  Additionally, a portion of each theme ticket sold will be donated to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/rallycat.  (#CardsTheme)

rally

Prairie Farms Kids Run the Bases: Following the game, fans ages 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting).  Presented by Prairie Farms.

Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star frozen treats (while supplies last).

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 18 and older may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050. (#CardsCare5050)

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

 Tuesday, September 12, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Willie McGee Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash theme ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Willie McGee mini bobblehead as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1987 National League Championship team.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Willie.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase general tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.  (#BudBash) (#CardsTheme)

McGee.jpg

Old School Wrestling Theme Night:  Grab your tag team partner and enter the ring for Old School Wrestling Night at Busch Stadium.  Fans that purchase a special theme ticket will take home a specially designed Cardinals World Championship Belt t-shirt.  Come early for a pregame autograph session and meet & greet featuring old-school legends “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Road Warrior Animal from 5:45-6:45! Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/theme.  (#CardsTheme)

WCW

Tsunami Waves: Carlos Martínez will host a group from The Venezuelan Society of Missouri for tonight’s game as part of his Tsunami Waves player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Carlos in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.  Presented by Scott Credit Union.

Suburban Journals Groom’s Cake Dive: Come witness the fun as 12 grooms-to-be dive headfirst into a multi-tiered wedding cake.  The 4th annual Suburban Journals Groom’s Cake Dive presented by St. Louis Best Bridal will take place at approximately 6:30 p.m. in Ford Plaza.  Contestants will root their way through cakes filled with special wedding-themed prizes including a honeymoon package and more.  Winners will also receive tickets to stay and enjoy the game in a party suite at Busch Stadium.

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Mehlville Pantherettes, Parkway Central High School Dance, Roxana High School Dance, St. Dominic High School Cheer and Triad Middle School & High School Cheer will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning around 5:45 p.m.

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game.  The auction is a great way for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community.  Auction tables will be located by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Grateful Dead Tribute Theme Night: Dead Freaks Unite! Truck on down to Busch Stadium for Grateful Dead Tribute Night.  Fans that purchase a special theme ticket will receive an exclusive Grateful Dead-themed Cardinals t-shirt.  Come early and enjoy a pregame concert in Riverview Corner by St. Louis’ favorite Dead tribute band, Jake’s Leg, starting at 5:45.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/gratefuldead. (#CardsTheme)

Dead.jpg

Trevor’s Troops: Trevor Rosenthal will host a group from USO Missouri for tonight’s game as part of his Trevor’s Troops player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Trevor in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.  Presented by Scott Credit Union.

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Cardinal Ritter Spirit Squad, Natural AllStars Impact Cheer and Timberland High School Dance will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning around 6:00 p.m.

Purina Pet Adoption: Join us for Purina’s Better Together Pet Adoption Days at the Ballpark.  Head to Ford Plaza prior to the games to meet adoptable furry friends from the Animal Protective Association (APA) and the Belleville area Humane Society.

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137) and Gate 3 from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Career Day Theme Event: Join the St. Louis Cardinals, FOX 2 and KPLR Channel 11 for the 13th annual Career Day at Busch Stadium presented by Westminster College.  Students and educators will enjoy a special pregame Q&A/Panel Discussion with executives from each company, focusing on careers in sports and media.  Following the presentation, students can attend an exclusive College Fair with representatives from many colleges and universities from around the Midwest.  Each $15 Career Day ticket includes access to the pregame activities, a ticket to the game, as well as a voucher for a free jumbo hot dog, soda and chips.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/careerday.  (#CardsTheme)

Memphis Grizzlies Regional Caravan Tour: The Memphis Grizzlies invite fans of all ages to join them in celebrating the start of the 2017-18 NBA season from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Ford Plaza as part of their 5th annual Regional Caravan Tour.  Fans will have the chance to get autographs, take photos and participate in contests and games with team mascot Grizz, members of the Grizz Girls and the Claw Crew.

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to Ford Plaza for Great Clips’ Charity Haircuts.  For a $10 donation, Great Clips—who sponsors the event every weekday afternoon game during the season—will cut your hair and donate all proceeds to Cardinals Care.

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137) and Gate 3 from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and 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

The perfect lineup (with 1 subtraction)

My fellow Cardinals bloggers and I complain on Twitter night after night Scan0004about manager Mike Matheny’s constant lineup changes.  The lineup is never the same from one night to the next.  Even the casual fan can see the lack of results that this constant changing produces.  But last night, it appeared that Mike spun the wheels on the lineup machine and finally hit the right jackpot.  Here was the lineup for last night’s game:

Carpenter 1B

Gyorko 2B

Moss LF

Piscotty RF

Molina C

Peralta 3B

Grichuk CF

G. Garcia SS

Martinez P

And lo and behold, Mike is using this same lineup in tonight’s game as well, with Waino pitching.  See how easy that was?   Carpenter celebrated being back in the leadoff spot last night by hitting a home run.  Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk hit home runs too, and the Cardinals beat the Mets 8-1.  It was a fun game and even though I was at Bible study, I stealthily looked at my AtBat app to see how the game was going.  Yadi getting caught trying to steal third, however – no, Yadi, don’t do that anymore, or I will have to tweet at your brother Bengie to get on you about that.

I think this lineup should be on the field every night for the rest of the season, and even into the playoffs, if these Cards should get that far.  The only subtraction that I would make is when Aledmys Diaz returns from the disabled list, he would go in Garcia’s spot, and of course, the pitcher varies every game.

Garcia, Matt Adams, and Kolten Wong could come off the bench to pinch hit or spell one of the regular infielders if they need a night off or get hurt (God forbid – the disabled list has been overcrowded this season).  Matt Holliday and Jeremy Hazelbaker could do the same for the outfielders.  Tommy Pham – the jury’s still out on him.

A couple of random thoughts: Could Jaime Garcia just be released now instead of the end of the season when his option is up?  It’s bad enough that you don’t know whether you’re going to get Good Jaime or Bad Jaime when it’s his turn in the rotation.  Lately, however, only Bad Jaime has shown up to pitch.  Alex Reyes has shown that he’s more than ready to be a starter in the show.  Maybe I’m being selfish, but since my son and I will be going to the game on Sunday (which is Jaime’s next start), it would be really great to see Alex’s debut as a starter.

And why, with the exception of Martinez, are our pitchers not ready to pitch in the first inning?  It never fails that the other team starts scoring in the first inning.  The Cards have to start playing catch up already in the bottom of the first.  Are the pitchers not getting enough throwing time before the games?  Or are they getting too much throwing time?  Could the pitchers not be mentally ready to go in the first inning? That appears to be something that Derek Lilliquist needs to work on with them. This problem needs to be solved ASAP.

On Saturday, August 27,  Chris Carpenter, Joe Torre, Sam Breadon and Terry Moore will be inducted in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  The ceremony starts at 2 PM at Fox Sports Midwest Live in Ballpark Village.  The doors open at 11 AM, so get there early to wait in line. Last year, my son and I didn’t get there until 12 noon and we had to share a table with some other folks. I told him we needed to get there earlier.  One of these days, he’ll learn to listen to me.  However, if you can’t make it, Fox Sports Midwest will show the ceremony on Sunday, August 28 at 11:30 a.m.  If you’re at the ceremony, find me and say hi – I always love to meet folks who read my blog.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

Those banged-up Birds

Bandaged birdThere sure have been a lot of injuries with the Cardinals players in the last month.  Here is the list of the more recently banged-up Birds and their injuries, taken from the injury report on the Cardinals’ website:

Matt Holliday – right thumb fracture, undergoing surgery on 8/18/16

Aledmys Diaz – right thumb fracture

Seth Maness – torn right ulnar collateral ligament, undergoing Tommy John surgery on 8/18/16

Matt Adams – right shoulder inflammation

Michael Wacha – right shoulder inflammation

Tyler Lyons – right knee stress reactions

Trevor Rosenthal – right shoulder inflammation

And this short list doesn’t include the players on the 60 day disabled list, who won’t be cleared to play until 2017.  After looking at all the injuries, I think it’s a good thing that there’s a 40 man roster.  I half expect Adam Wainwright to be added to the disabled list  soon – he hasn’t looked right since he pitched that complete game last month. And pitchers need to stop throwing at our players too.

It’s interesting that three players are on the disabled list for right shoulder inflammation. Two are pitchers and the other is a position player.  That’s one of those things that make you go “hmm.” Hypothetical question – are the Cards’ strength and conditioning staff not doing their job adequately?

Another cause of injuries could be that the season may be just too darn long.  Major League Baseball has one of the most strenuous and lengthy seasons in sports. Hockey has long regular and playoff seasons as well, but hockey games aren’t scheduled every night of the week.  There are 162 regular season baseball games, and teams have few days off every month.  There is the All-Star break;  however, if a player is in the All-Star Game, they then only get a 2 day break.

Before the regular season starts, there is a month of spring training games.  And if your team is lucky enough to make the playoffs, there is a total of 19 playoff games if each series goes the maximum number of games, and an additional play-in game if your team is one of the wild card teams.

That’s a lot of baseball. Sure, we fans love watching all this baseball, but I can see where it can really take a toll on a player’s body, especially a position player that’s in the lineup every day or a pitcher with a high pitching speed.  Maybe it’s time to think about either making the season shorter or playing fewer games during the regular season.  That will probably never happen, however, since the owners enjoy all the revenue from the regular season games and the revenue from the playoff games if their team is talented enough to make the playoffs.

Major League Baseball has one of the most strenuous and lengthy seasons in sports. Hockey has long regular and playoff seasons as well, but hockey games aren’t scheduled every night of the week.  There are 162 regular season baseball games, and teams have few days off, except for the All-Star break. And if a player is in the All-Star Game, they then only get a 2 day break.

Before the regular season starts, there is a month of spring training games.  And if your team is lucky enough to make the playoffs, there is a total of 19 playoff games if each series goes the maximum number of games, and an additional play-in game if your team is one of the wild card teams.

That’s a lot of baseball. Sure, we fans love watching all this baseball, but I can see where it can really take a toll on a player’s body, especially a position player that’s in the lineup every day or a pitcher with a high pitching speed.  Maybe it’s time to think about either making the season shorter or playing fewer games during the regular season.  That will probably never happen, however, since the owners enjoy all the revenue from the regular season games and the revenue from the playoff games if their team is talented enough to make the playoffs.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Not our year

Sad baseballI have watched the Cardinals play this season, and I have come to the conclusion that this year is not our year.  I know what you’re thinking.  Diane, the 2011 Cardinals were 11 ½ games out and they managed to get into the playoffs and win the World Series.  But that was a different manager and a different team.  There are only 6 players from that 2011 team on the 2016 team – Adams, Holliday, Wainwright, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and Molina. Molina is playing well.  Wainwright is starting to return to form, but Adams is only now starting to hit better and Holliday is showing his age.  It’s hard to tell what Jaime Garcia you’re going to get when he starts – Good Jaime or Bad Jaime.  And Lance Lynn is on the DL for the year after Tommy John surgery.  Also, the only coaches left from that 2011 team are Derek Liliquist and Jose Oquendo.

The Cards are playing this year like teams who never make the playoffs; for example, the Phillies.  The Cubs are in first in the NL Central and they’re playing like a team who wants to win. As a Cards fan, I hate to admit it, but this could finally be the Cubs’ year.

Let’s look at an overview of the Cards’ performance this season.  Lowlights – there are many.  Ruben Tejada pitching in relief may have been when the season jumped the shark. Rosenthal is experimenting with pitches while he’s trying to save a game, like at the game I was at last Saturday.  Matt Holliday’s batting average has been sinking like a rock (although he did hit a home run today), and Mike Matheny refuses to move him from the third spot in the batting order.  Jhonny Peralta’s thumb injury put a major monkey wrench in the season, but hopefully, he will be back soon.  Jose Oquendo  has really been missed in the third base box and his absence has contributed to some terrible baserunning errors.  Michael Wacha’s mechanics are seriously messed up.  He should be sent to the minor leagues for some work. Carlos Martinez started the season strong, but he has not pitched well at all in his last few starts.  And how is it that Kolten Wong can make spectacular plays seem routine but mess up routine plays?

Highlights – there are a few.  Aledmys Diaz has impressed with his bat, but he is still making rookie mistakes with his glove.  Molina’s batting average is much better this year. Stephen Piscotty has been a shining star, making us forget Jason Heyward.   Seung Hwan Oh was John Mozeliak’s best off-season pick up.  He has been lights out in relief. Unfortunately, Oh showed he really was human in today’s game when he gave up three runs and a home run. Perhaps Oh should be the closer instead of Rosenthal?

This has not been my year either.  The presidential candidate I backed dropped out of the race, and I was passed over for a job I really wanted and was recommended for, along with some other personal things going on in my life that it’s not necessary to talk about here.  Cardinals baseball is a great distraction when things go south in my personal life, but this year, the Cards are not playing well so I don’t even have that.  Can we just turn back the calendar to January 1, 2016 and have a do-over?

Cards fans have seen their team go to the playoffs for the last few years and we are spoiled.  We’ve forgotten how to handle it when our team is bad.  So if you have the opportunity to attend a Cards game this season, go to have fun hanging out with your friends and/or family.  Just don’t expect to see winning baseball.  If the Cards do win, that’s a plus.

I realize that it’s almost the end of May and there still may be time to rescue the sinking S.S. Cardinals ship.  If the Cards can resurrect this season and make the playoffs, I’ll be happy to eat my words.  Just write them in icing on a large chocolate chip cookie, please.

That’s all for now!  Hopefully, I will have a more upbeat blog post next time.  See you then!

Diane

2016 Winter Warm-Up wrap up

WWUThis was my first complete weekend excursion into the Winter Warm-Up experience. In 2004, an attorney I worked for had his uncle’s pass, so I headed over to the hotel on my lunch hour and zipped through the whole thing.

I usually do not go to Winter Warm-Up because of the cost of the pass ($40).  My friend Kim, however, contacted me and asked if I wanted to go.  I conferred with my husband and I was able to say yes.  I couldn’t afford any of the paid autograph tickets (and neither could Kim), so we thought we’d get some free autographs and attend some of the presentations. We could also see our boys of summer and get our fix until spring training. It was a win-win for both of us. My son Phillip also came with us.

As you may know, all proceeds from Winter Warm-Up go to Cardinals Care, the Cardinals’ charitable organization that supports children’s agencies, builds youth ball fields, and funds Redbird Rookies, which is a a youth baseball development program.  There were silent auctions held all three days, as well as live auctions on the main stage, the proceeds of which also went to Cardinals Care.

On Saturday, we arrived and went to the second floor.  We enjoyed looking at some of the goodies at the Cardinals Authentics booth, which unfortunately were  out of our price range. We then went into the exhibitor hall to check out the vendor booths. There were 44 vendors in the exhibitor hall, and 90% of them were sports collectible vendors.

After we got through the vendor booths, we went to the food sales area and got a soda.  We then decided to go upstairs to the fourth floor to the main stage area to hear general manager John Mozeliak speak.  Dan McLaughlin of Fox Sports Midwest conversed with Mo, and then the floor was opened to questions.  Some of the questions were very interesting.  Here’s a photo of that (it was taken with my phone from a distance, so I apologize for the quality of the photo):

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After we listened to the Q & A for a while, we decided to go to lunch. We walked down the street to Hardee’s.

When we came back, we decided to attend the 1:00 presentation in the Dugout Room.  We heard Dan Farrell speak about the Cardinals’ sales and marketing strategies for 2016.  Mr. Farrell told us about the HD video boards that were recently installed at Busch Stadium.  Mr. Farrell also talked about some of the promotions and theme nights for 2015. He also mentioned that instead of 25,000 giveaway items per game, there would be 30,000 giveaways per game.  Mr. Farrell also told us about a perk for season ticket holders – you are eligible to purchase a complete set of the promotional item giveaways for the season.

After the presentation, we went back to the fourth floor and looked at the goodies on sales at the Cardinals Team Store and the Cardinals Care Store. The items at the Team Store were at least 50% off, if not more. I purchased a little travel purse, originally $24.00, for $12.00.  I had wanted this particular item last year, but couldn’t find it this year.

After we were done looking through the stores,we went to the Clubhouse Room to a 2:00 presentation with Dan Martin, who is the artist that presently draws the Weatherbird for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Most of the presentation was about the late Amadee Wohlschlager, who drew many Cardinals and sports illustrations and who also drew the Weatherbird for many years.  Dan then drew the Weatherbird on a large paper on an easel to show us how it’s done.  He then had it auctioned off for Cardinals Care.

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After the presentation, we then went back into the main stage area to discover Jennifer Langosch (the beat writer for the Cardinals) and Derrick Goold (a sportswriter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the president of the Baseball Writers’Association of America), being interviewed by a member of Team Fredbird. This must have been a last minute thing, because it was not on the board that listed who was going to be on the stage that day.  I then saw and briefly chatted with Lindsey Weber, the Cardinals’ social media director.  After that, we went home for the day.

Via text Saturday night, Kim and I discussed what free autographs we wanted to get the next day and what time we needed to be there the next day to get tickets.  We arrived at 10 a.m. and stood in line to get tickets for Rick Horton’s autographs.  I went to a lot of games in the 1980s and remember seeing Rick pitch.  We then went to the second floor and got a soda. We then went back up to the Team Store, where I purchased the duffle bag I had looked at the day before.

We went back to the autograph ticket line to get autograph tickets for Andy and Alan Benes. I then realized we needed something for Rick and Andy and Alan Benes to sign. We popped into the vendor area and the very first vendor we stopped at had baseball cards of that day’s players for 50 cents each.  They were in great shape and the price was right. We then went back to the lobby and got our autograph tickets for the Benes brothers, then went back upstairs to get in line for Rick’s autograph.  Rick was very nice and personable.  While in line, we listened to Mike Shannon on the main stage. There was Q & A’s about his restaurant closing.

After we got Rick’s autograph, we decided it was time for lunch. We went to Hardee’s again.

We came back and got into the line for the Benes brothers’ autographs. The line moved quickly.  After we got the autographs, we went to a presentation in the Clubhouse Room given by Brian Finch, the author of  Redbird Relics. The presentation was about Billy Southworth’s modified baseball cap that his son wore in combat in World War II, and we could see and take photos of the cap:

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After the presentation, we went back to the Team Store to see if any new merchandise had come in.  I scored a leather steering wheel cover for $8.00.  We then headed home.

On Monday morning, Kim texted me and begged off for today, stating she had “people overload.”  I certainly could understand that.  There weren’t as many people there today, however, probably because it was Monday and a lot of people had to go back to work.

There wasn’t any free autographs that we wanted to get today, so Phil and I attended the presentation in the Clubhouse Room at 10:00 a.m. that looked back at the performance of Yadi and Waino in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, which was again presented by Brian Finch.  It was a toss-up between attending this presentation and listening to Bill DeWitt III on the Main Stage.  Brian told us what Mr. DeWitt was going to speak about, which were the names of  the 2016 Cardinals Hall of Fame nominees. There will be a formal post later with the names of the nominees.  So we didn’t really miss anything after all.

We also saw Yadi’s bat and cleats from the 7th game of the 2006 NLCS.  Here’s a photo (sorry about the flash, curators – I forgot to turn it off and I wanted to move the line along):

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At this presentation I also got to meet Josey Curtis, a fellow United Cardinals Bloggers blogger, who writes for STLSportsMinute.com.  She’s only 14 years old and she’s a great writer.  Go and look her up after you’re done reading this blog post.

After the presentation, we went back to the Team Store.  The wheel cover I bought yesterday didn’t fit my vehicle’s steering wheel and I wanted to see if I could get a refund. I couldn’t get a refund, but they let me have an exchange, so I got a nice Cardinals coffee mug that I will use at work.

On our way out, we stopped at the Tony LaRussa ARF Foundation booth.  Phil purchased a Memories and Dreams commemorative Hall of Fame Weekend Program from when Tony was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame which was autographed by Tony for only $5.00.  That was a great deal. We then went to St. Louis Bread Company for lunch since we were burned out on Hardee’s.  I ran into 2 attorneys there that I used to work for.  It was nice to see them.

This was the first Winter Warm-Up I attended and I really enjoyed it. I have a few practical tips, should you decide to attend next year:

Carry a little cash.  It is safer to carry plastic, but there is some things you will need cash for. You will need cash to tip the coat check attendant. The food sales area (water, soda, food items) and the beer vendor only take cash.  I didn’t buy any 50/50 tickets, but I would think they would only take cash as well.  Plus, if you have a budget for the day, you can carry that amount in cash, and once it’s gone, you’re done spending.

Dress in layers. Certain areas of the ballrooms are warm and some are chilly. I got warm in the main stage area on Saturday when there were a lot of people there.  The Clubhouse Presentation Room also got warm in the afternoon.  You can check your heavy coat with the coat check attendant on the fourth floor near the elevators.

Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be standing in line for autograph tickets and standing in line for autographs, and you’ll be walking around a lot.

Decide if it’s more important to you to get autographs or listen to presentations.  If there is a presentation on the Main Stage that’s going on while you’re in the autograph line, you’ll be able to hear it.  But the other presentations are in conference rooms on another floor. And if you want to get autograph tickets for free autographs, you may have to wait in line during times when presentations are being held.  The schedule is posted on the Cardinals’ website, so you can figure out in advance what you want to do. There are last minute autograph sessions and presentations, so keep your schedule open.

If you live in town and you don’t want the hassle or expense of finding a parking spot in a garage, you can take Metrolink to downtown St. Louis.  It’s a 5 block walk from the 8th & Pine Metrolink station to the Hyatt Regency.

Winter Warm-Up was a nice reminder that spring training, and then baseball, is right around the corner.  Hopefully, the time will pass quickly.  That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

The top 5 Cardinals stories of 2015

Top 5Where did the time go?  It’s hard to believe that 2015 is almost over.  In just three days, a new year begins.  It’s time for the December United Cardinals Blogger project, which is to write about what we feel are the top 5 Cardinals stories of the year.

This year was certainly an interesting but frustrating year for the Cardinals.  Here are my choices for the top 5 Cardinals stories of the year.  They aren’t in any particular order.

The hacking investigation.  This was likely the most bizarre Cardinals story of the year.  It was discovered that someone from the Cardinals organization had hacked into the database of ex-Cardinals employee Jeff Luhnow, now general manager of the Astros.  The hack was traced to a house in Jupiter, Florida, which is where the Cardinals staffers hold spring training.  Eventually, Chris Correa, the former director of scouting for the Cardinals, was fired. The FBI investigation of the hacking incident is ongoing.

Adam Wainwright’s Achilles tendon injury.  Once again, Adam missed almost a full season of baseball, although this time the injury was not to his pitching arm.  It was predicted that Adam would miss the whole season, but he made an amazing comeback and pitched a few innings as a reliever at the end of the season.  The Cardinals would have won even more games if Adam had been healthy, but his absence as a starter was most felt in the NLDS.  Adam would have likely started Game 1 and Lackey would have then started Game 2.  Garcia would have felt well enough to start Game 3 in Chicago and the Cards may have won the NLDS.

The Cards win 100 games for the first time since 2005.  Despite all the injuries and all the drama, the Cardinals managed to win 100 games in the 2015 season and won the NL Central for the third year in a row, which is a lot better record than most other teams had.

John Lackey and Jason Heyward defect to the Cubs.  I figured that Lackey would sign with the Cubs to go hang with his BFF Jon Lester.  But when Jason Heyward signed with the Cubs (and took a doggone long time to do so, prompting the Twitter hashtag #thingsfasterthanHeywooddecision), Cardinals fans felt like a bride jilted at the altar. We had hoped that Jason would stay around a while.  He seemed to understand the Cardinal Way.  In the end, however, Jason was a one-year rental. And his explanation that he didn’t want to be “the man” once Yadi, Adam and Matt retire rings hollow. The loss of Oscar Tavares stings even more now.

The early exit from the playoffs.  The Cards made the playoffs for the fifth year in a row.  However, the Cards couldn’t beat the Cubs in the NLDS, winning only Game 1, which is the playoff game I attended.  This was highly disappointing, not only for me since we had tickets to NLCS Game 7 but for all Cardinals fans, especially losing to the Cubs.  Hopefully, next year the Cards will go further in the playoffs.

That’s all for now! This will probably be my last blog post for 2015 unless something exciting happens that I just have to post about.  So I wish all my loyal readers a happy, healthy prosperous 2015 and may the Cardinals win their 12th World Series next year!

Diane