Homestand Highlights June 25-July 1, 2018

cropped-home-sweet-home.jpgThe Cardinals return home to Busch Stadium after a disappointing 3-4 road trip. Fans, bloggers and sportswriters alike are calling for John Mabry, the Cardinals’ hitting coach, to be fired.  The last two games in Milwaukee were promising. The Cardinals won both of those games.  The first three games of this homestand, however, are against the Cleveland Indians, who are the hottest team in baseball right now.  Here’s hoping that the last two wins and coming back to the home field will put this team to rights.  Here’s all the details on this upcoming homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Monday, June 25—Sunday, July 1)

Carlos Martínez Bobblehead and Margaritaville Night Highlight Seventh Homestand of 2018

The Cardinals are back at Busch Stadium after a seven-game road trip through Philadelphia and Milwaukee.  The six-game homestand kicks off with a three-game interleague series against the Cleveland Indians (June 25-27) and concludes with three games versus the Atlanta Braves (June 29-July 1).  The seventh homestand of the season is highlighted by Bob Costas Night and an all-over print button up shirt gate giveaway.  Additionally, fans are encouraged to continue voting online for Cardinals players for the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington D.C. at cardinals.com/vote. #VoteSTL

Monday, June 25, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Cleveland Indians (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Bob Costas Night: Broadcasting legend and honorary St. Louisan, Bob Costas, will be at the ballpark for Bob Costas Night!  Fans who purchase a special Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Bob Costas bobblehead celebrating his induction into the broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer.  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/Costas. #CardsTheme

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Cleveland Indians (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Cancer Awareness Night: The Cardinals are teaming with Siteman Cancer Center and Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital to celebrate Cancer Awareness Night.  Fans who purchase a special Theme Ticket will receive a Cardinals cap of their choice corresponding to the awareness colors of the most prevalent cancers in the St. Louis area.  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated back to cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/cancer.#CardsTheme

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 Jordan McCants, Silver Creek and Miss E & The Rebels.  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.

Dream Weavers: Luke Weaver will host a group from Burns Recovered for tonight’s game as part of his Dream Weavers 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 27, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Cleveland Indians (7:15 p.m.)

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 “The Heat is On” Cardinals t-shirt.  The t-shirt’s design was selected as the winner by fans via an online vote. #CardsPromo

Peanuts NightFollowing 2017’s popular Charlie Brown bobblehead, Peanuts Night returns to the Theme Tickets lineup!  Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals-themed Snoopy bobblehead.  For tickets, visit cardinals.com/peanuts#CardsTheme

Tsunami Waves: Carlos Martinez will host a group from Crisis Nursery Latino Outreach 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 SHIVER, The Red Step Project and Skyline In Ruins.  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.

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, June 29, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

All-Over Print Button Up Giveaway: 30,00 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a one-of-a-kind Cardinals all-over print shirt, courtesy of Shane Co.#CardsPromo

Margaritaville Night: Change your latitude and float on down to Busch Stadium for Margaritaville Night.  Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive a Margaritaville-inspired Cardinals t-shirt and can enjoy a pregame concert in Budweiser Terrace by The Boat Drunks.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/margaritaville. #CardsTheme

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 or #SomosSTL

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 baseball’s fixation with facial hair! 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 starting pitcher Todd Stottlemyre.  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

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.

Saturday, June 30, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (6:15 p.m.)

FOX Baseball Night in America National Broadcast

Gates open at 4:15 p.m.

Carlos Martínez Mystery Hair Bobblehead Giveaway: 30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home one of four different Carlos Martínez Mystery Hair Bobbleheads, courtesy of AT&T.  Be sure to make your way to Ford Plaza to check out the lifesized version of this bobblehead that will be on display all season long.#CardsPromo

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals starting pitcher Todd Stottlemyre will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 2:00-4:00 p.m.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.

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 or #SomosSTL

Cardinals Wives Grab Bag Fundraiser: Cardinals Wives will be selling mystery grab bags to fans for $50 at Gates 3 and 4, the Cardinals Club, the Redbird Club, Ford Plaza and Bud Terrace. Inside each bag is an autographed baseball from a Cardinals player and a card revealing the mystery signature. The proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit Angels’ Arms and Girls in the Know.  For more info visit cardinals.com/cardinalswives. #CardsWives

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, July 1, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Adult Cardinals Bucket Hat Giveaway: 30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will receive their very own Cardinals bucket hat, compliments of Coca-Cola. #CardsPromo

Kids Cardinals Bucket Hat Giveaway: All kids, ages 15 and younger entering with a ticket, will receive their very own Cardinals bucket hat, courtesy of Powerade.#CardsPromo

Transplant Awareness Day: Presented by Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center and the St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  Fans who purchase this special Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals cap support organ donation!  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated back to support transplants and organ donation.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/transplant. #CardsTheme

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).

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.

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 or #SomosSTL

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.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

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RIP Joaquín Andújar

JoaquinCardinal Nation is in mourning today at the sad news of the passing of Joaquín Andújar.  Those of us who followed Cardinals baseball in the 1980s know Joaquín well.  He was a fiery, passionate pitcher, who loved the game and loved pitching.  Joaquín called himself One Tough Dominican. The St. Louis radio DJ’s called him Walking Underwear due to Joaquín’s thick accent.  It was fun watching him on and off the mound. Here’s one of my favorite stories about Joaquín from Whitey Herzog’s book You’re Missin’ a Great Game:

Ozzie still tells the damnedest stories.  Like the day in Montreal I came out to the mound to talk to talk to Goombah about pitching to Al Oliver. Ozzie’s on the mound as usual, with his arms folded, looking annoyed.  Joaquin wants to stay in there, of course, even though Oliver’s a good left-handed hitter. So I just say, “Look, I’ll leave you in, but be careful.” Joaquin looks at me like I’ve insulted his manhood.  He frowns and points at his chest. “He one tough hitter,” he says.  “Me one tough pitcher!”

Before I can even put my foot in the dugout, the ball’s going over the left centerfield fence.  And Ozzie comes back to the mound laughing, slaps Goombah on the back and says, “Hey Jack! You one tough pitcher, he one better batter!”

Joaquín started his career in 1969 after signing with the Mets, just a month shy of his 17th birthday.  He played in the Reds’ farm system for 6 years until he was traded to the Astros after the 1975 season. Joaquín made his major league debut against, ironically, the Reds in 1976. In 1977, Joaquín was named to the All-Star Game as the Astros’ representative, but could not play due to an injury he sustained in his last start before the All-Star Game.

Joaquín pitched out of the Astros’ bullpen in 1978.  He began the 1979 season in the bullpen, but was put in the starting rotation.  His work in the rotation earned him another start in the All-Star Game, but Joaquín could not attend.

In 1980, Joaquín split his pitching between the bullpen and the starting rotation.  Joaquín made his first post-season appearance in 1980 because of a one-game playoff between the Astros and the Dodgers. Joaquín got a save in game 2 of the NLCS against the Phillies. Joaquín was traded to the Cardinals for Tony Scott in 1981 just before the players’ strike.

Joaquín’s best career years were with the Cardinals.  Joaquín was put in the starting rotation after the 1981 players’ strike and had a 6-1 record.  1982 was a great year for Joaquín – he had a 15-10 record, and he pitched 265.2 innings.  Joaquín started and won game 3 of the NLCS against the Braves.  In the World Series, he started and won games 3 and 7.

Joaquín  had a career year in 1984, with a 20-14 record and a 3.34 ERA.  He also led the league in wins, innings pitched (261.1), and shutouts (4).  Joaquín was also selected to the All-Star Game for the fourth time.  He also won the Gold Glove.  Andújar was also arguably the ace of the Cardinals’ staff – in 1982 and 1984, he led the team in ERA, wins, games started, complete games, innings pitched, shutouts and strikeouts.

In 1985, Andújar was selected to the All-Star Game for the fourth time after starting with a 12-1 record.  1985 was the year of the bitter rivalry between the Cards and the Mets. The radio DJ’s back in the 1980 (namely, J.C. Corcoran and his crew) really stirred the rivalry pot, calling the Mets “pond scum.” The Cards ended up winning the NL East over the Mets and beat the Dodgers in the NLCS to get to the World Series.

Sadly, the 1985 World Series didn’t go well for Joaquín.  He started but lost game 3.  Whitey decided to go with John Tudor for game 7 due to John’s low postseason ERA.  Tudor had a rare bad start and Joaquín was called in for mop up duty. Joaquín disagreed with Don Denkinger’s bad call of a ball.  After the next call, Joaquín had to be restrained and he was ejected from the game.  Joaquín was so angry about getting ejected that he assaulted a toilet in the men’s room at Kaufmann Stadium with a bat.

In 1986, the Cards traded Joaquín to the A’s for Tim Conroy and Mike Heath,  At the beginning of the season, Joaquín served a 5 game suspension for the World Series incident. Commissioner Peter Uberroth handed out year long suspensions to those who had admitted cocaine use during the Pittsburgh drug trials, including Joaquín, who had also dealt drugs to Lonnie Smith in 1982. The suspensions were downgraded to anti-drug donations and community service.

Joaquín only pitched for the A’s in 1986 and 1987.  He came home to the Astros in 1988 and pitched in the bullpen, but made some starts due to injuries.  Joaquín signed a one year contract with the Expos in 1989, but didn’t make the team.

After retiring from baseball, Joaquín started a trucking company in his native Dominican Republic and was involved in youth baseball activities.  He passed away today at the age of 62 from complications from diabetes.  One Tough Dominican should be too tough to die, at the young age of 62 or any other age. Joaquín, my sympathies and condolences are with your family.  Thanks for the memories and thanks for the great baseball.

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

Diane

Bibliography:

“Joaquín Andújar,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaqu%C3%ADn_And%C3%BAjar

You’re Missin’ a Great Game by Whitey Herzog and Jonathan Pitts, Berkley Books, 1999.

Players who really need the All-Star break

Summertime, for most of us, means vacation time.  For kids of all ages who attend school, summer is a roughly two-and-a-half month break from book work.  For those of us who work for a living, summer means time for a vacation to get away from the workplace and relax.   For baseball players, the All-Star break is their vacation unless, of course, they have been selected to play in the All-Star game.

There are 5 Cardinals who are going to the All-Star Game this week.  They have played an excellent first half and deserve to go.  Despite the Cards having one of the best records in baseball, there are still some issues with certain Cards players.  These players need to take the All-Star break to rest, regroup and/or rejuvenate.

1.        Matt Holliday –  Matt’s right hamstring cramped up on him while running to first base during a game last week.  He has been on a day-to-day basis since then.  The All-Star break will help him rest his hurting hammy and hopefully avoid a trip to the disabled list.

2.       David Freese – Freese has looked terrible at the plate lately.  He will not take a walk.    It doesn’t matter how you get on base, just that you do get on base.  If you don’t get on base, there is no possibility of a run, and without enough runs, you don’t win.

3.       Jon Jay – Jay doesn’t look so great at the plate either.  If it weren’t for Jay’s errorless streak, Taveras comes up from Memphis (that is, if his ankle holds up).

4.       Lance Lynn – Lance can’t win on the road.  There is always one inning where opposing batters seem use him for batting practice.  That’s okay if our offense can make up the runs given up.  A short break may help him get his head together.

Even with the minor difficulties listed above, the first half of the season has been great.  The Cardinals have nothing to be ashamed of.  They had the best record in baseball for a while.  The Cards had a June swoon that appears to be reversing itself.  The interleague series did not go well this year, unfortunately.

I’m looking forward to the second half of the season.  The possibility of Chris Carpenter returning is intriguing.  With the exception of a long road trip at the end of July (Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati), most of the remaining games are at home, and the Cards play best at home.  And is John Mozeliak done wheeling and dealing?  The trade deadline is July 31.

For those of us who love Cardinals baseball so much that we don’t know what to do with ourselves when a game isn’t being played, the All-Star break is too long.  But for those players not participating in the All-Star festivities, it’s time to go for them to go home to their families and enjoy a little R&R time so they’re ready to go for the second half of the season and hopefully, a playoff run.

I’ll enjoy tonight’s game, hoping to see Adam Wainwright pitch another masterpiece.  The All-Star break will help me look even more forward to Friday night’s game and the resumption of the season.  I hope it will for you too.

Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

Rock the vote!

The All-Star vote, that is.  The front runners in the NL All-Star Game vote were announced today and there are no Cardinals players on the list.  Not even our beloved Yadier Molina, the best catcher in baseball, who was the recipient of the 2012 Gold Glove and the 2012 Platinum Glove, is #1 on the list.  Yadi trails the Giants’ Buster Posey by 300,000 votes.  This is a travesty.  The Cardinals have the best record in baseball and none of their players are in the lead at their positions.

There is a way to rectify this and you can help.  If you have not filled out your All-Star ballot, do it now! You do not have to attend a Major League game to get a paper All-Star Game ballot, although you certainly can if you’re able to get to a game. You can place your All-Star Game ballot vote online.  This is much easier and there are no possibilities of “hanging chads.”  You can vote up to 25 times per email address.  If you hook up your ballot to your MLB.com account, you can vote an additional 10 times.  Okay, maybe that’s stuffing the ballot box.  LOL!  Here’s the direct link to the All-Star Game ballot:  http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2013/ballot.jsp?tcid=ASG13_News_Stack

You can’t vote for pitchers, since those are chosen by the AL and NL team managers, but you can vote for position players (and the DH for the American League).  The Cards have several deserving players.  Besides the aforementioned Mr. Molina, Carlos Beltran deserves to be an All-Star.  He has been awesome this season.  Carlos is currently 4th in the outfield voting field.  Matt Carpenter has been playing quite well at 2B.  If I could vote for pitchers, I would vote for Lance Lynn as a starter and Edward Mujica as the closer.  They both have great records this year.

As you may know, whichever league wins the All-Star Game gets home field advantage in the World Series.  The National League has won the last three All-Star Games and (you guessed it) the National League has won the last three World Series – 2010, Giants; 2011, Cardinals; and 2012, Giants. (Hey, that means it’s the Cards’ turn again!  LOL!)  So we want to make sure that we load the All-Star Game with Cardinals players.

So just in case you missed it above, here’s the link to the online All-Star Game ballot again: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2013/ballot.jsp?tcid=ASG13_News_Stack.  Remember, vote early, vote often and vote Cardinals!  Don’t forget, All-Star Game voting ends July 7.  Drop me a note in the comment section below and let me know you voted.  Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane