A WWLCB visit to Santa Claus

I felt a little awkward standing in line with all the kids and their parents.  My kids have long since grown and I have no grandchildren to take to visit Santa. But surely as long as I still believed in Santa, he would listen to my gift requests and take care of them, wouldn’t he?   I was about to find out.

(I step forward to see Santa.)

Santa (SC):     Ho ho ho! Who’s next?

WWLCB (DMS):   (smiles) Hello Santa!

SC:            You’re a little tall to sit on my lap, I believe.

DMS:         (giggles) Yes, I am.  I’ll just kneel right here.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back up when I’m done.

SC:            Ho ho ho! I know about that.  My old bones and joints need a couple of days rest after I deliver all those presents on Christmas Eve.  So, what would you like for Christmas, young lady?

DMS:         Bless your heart, Santa. I haven’t been a young lady for years, but I’ll take that compliment.  Actually, I don’t need anything for myself.  I have a few requests about the St. Louis Cardinals, however.

SC:             Cardinals baseball?  We tried to play baseball at the North Pole, but the snowballs fell apart as soon as we hit them.  But I do enjoy watching baseball on TV.  I have MLB.TV and all the games are out-of-market so I can watch them all.  What are your requests?

DMS:        (pulls out a list from her pocket) Here we go.

Harrison Bader needs to learn how to hit.  He has great speed on the base paths, and he is an elite centerfielder, but his hitting needs improvement.

Speaking of hitting, the Cards’ bats have been really anemic, especially during the playoffs.  They had games where they would score lots of runs and then the next game, they would hardly score at all.  The hitting needs to be more consistent.

It appears that Marcell Ozuna will not be returning to the Cardinals next season.  I would like to request a quality left fielder as his replacement without the loss of too many prospects or money.

Matt Carpenter’s throwing arm needs a rejuvenation.  I cringe every time he throws to first base.

Carlos Martinez needs to get his shoulder strong enough to rejoin the starting rotation.  And while we’re at it, please give him the ability to not get the jitters in case of a pitching mistake.  He can be too emotional.

Santa, could the Cardinals please win their 12th World Series in 2020?  It’s been almost 10 years since the Cards have won a World Series.  We miss championship baseball in St. Louis.

Last but not least, could you please contact the Modern Era Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame and get Ted Simmons elected to the Hall of Fame?  I wrote 3 blog posts to the Modern Era Committee and he only missed getting in by one vote last time.  I worry about Ted – I’ve seen him lately and he doesn’t look well.  He needs to be elected to the Hall of Fame before something happens to him.  If Ted does get elected, I need money to attend the induction ceremony.

(The kids in the line are starting to get whiny since I’m taking too long talking to Santa.)

SC:          (chuckles) My goodness, that’s a very long list.  And your requests are very specific. I can’t promise you everything, but I will do my very best to do what I can to make your Christmas very merry.  (Santa reaches into a basket.)  Everyone who sees Santa gets a candy cane and you are no exception.  Merry Christmas Diane!

DMS:       (gets up slowly from her knees) Wait, I didn’t tell you my name.  How did you know –

SC:           Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas! (Santa’s elf escorts me to the door and I exit.)


Would you like to be Santa’s helper for some good girls and boys?  The Cardinals will be holding their fourth annual gift drive this Wednesday, December 4, 2019, from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  You can drop off an unwrapped toy or a gift card at the ticket windows on the 8th Street side of Busch Stadium.  You can drive up and Santa’s helpers will come to your car window to pick up your toy/gift card. In reward for your generosity, you will receive a cup of hot chocolate and a gift from the Cardinals – last year, the gift was a Marty pass, which grants the recipient two free tickets to a Cardinals game from Monday through Thursday, with some exceptions. A portion of the toys and gift cards will be given out by Fredbird during Breakfast with Santa at Scott Air Force Base, hosted by the American Red Cross.  The remaining gifts will be distributed to select Cardinals Care partner agencies including Angels’ Arms, Annie Malone Children & Family Service Center, Southside Early Childhood Center, The James Project, Youth in Need and Marygrove throughout the holiday season. A win-win for you and for the kids! For more information, go here:  cardinals.com/giftdrive.

I hope Santa brings you what you want for Christmas! Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Onward and forward to the NLCS!

Since it took 162 games for the Cardinals to win the National League Central (with some help from the Colorado Rockies – thanks, guys!), I shouldn’t have been surprised that it took all 5 games for the Cards to beat the Braves and win the NLDS.  The scores of all the games were close with the exception of Game 5.  Sunday’s game was especially heartbreaking, with Adam Wainwright pitching a masterpiece but Carlos Martinez giving up a home run to lose the game.  I really thought the Cards were done.

Then came Game 4 on Monday.  The marketing director at work stopped me on the way back to my desk on Monday around 1:55 PM to tell me that she had 2 tickets to the game and asked if I wanted to go.  Free tickets to an NLDS game?  You don’t have to ask me twice!  I went back to my desk, clocked out, changed into my sneakers and grabbed my purse. Since the building our law firm is in is only two blocks from Busch Stadium, I got there just in time to see Paul Goldschmidt’s and Marcell Ozuna’s home runs in the bottom of the first.  Yadi the G.O.A.T. became Yadi the hero in the bottom of the 10th inning with a sacrifice fly to bring Kolten Wong home to win the game.  Kolten ran like his hamstring had never been hurt. What a game! Hope was renewed.

Then came Game 5. I was so hoping that the Cards would not have to go back to Atlanta to face the tomahawk chop and those annoying Braves fans.  Well, at least the Braves fans didn’t throw beer bottles at the Cardinals on the field like they did during the wild card game in 2012.  And the Braves did not give fans the foam tomahawks, thanks to Ryan Helsley’s remarks (Helsey is half Cherokee). The Cards scored 10 runs in the first inning.  Jack Flaherty pitched a great game and even nicked Ronald Acuna, Jr., who mouthed off all the way to first base even with Yadi escorting him. And in the first inning, Matt Carpenter told Mike Shildt that one of the best defensive players in the National League was sitting on the bench.  Carp told Mike to take him out and put Bader in.  What a selfless guy and a great teammate!

And now for the first time since 2014, the Cardinals will be playing in the NLCS!  They will be playing the Nationals, and it’s the first time the Nats have made it to the NLCS. Matt Adams will be in the NLCS again. Sadly, however, since the Nats beat the Dodgers, my MLB playoff bracket is busted.  I was so hoping the Dodgers would win since the Cards seem to have the Dodgers’ number in the playoffs and especially Clayton Kershaw’s number, who imploded last night.

Since the Cards won the division and the Nats were the wild card. the Cards will have home field advantage in the NLCS.  Games 1, 2, and 6 and 7 (if necessary) will be played in St. Louis. Miles Mikolas will start tomorrow night and Adam Wainwright will pitch Saturday afternoon, with Jack Flaherty pitching on Monday and Dakota Hudson on Tuesday in Washington.  Will you be attending either (or both) Games 1 and 2?  If so, here are all the details:

2019 NLCS GAMES ONE AND TWO DETAILS — CARDINALS VS. NATIONALS

St. Louis and Washington Meet in Playoffs For Second Time, First Time Since Cardinals 2012 NLDS Win

For the first time since 2014, the St. Louis Cardinals have advanced to the National League Championship Series.  The Redbirds begin a best-of-seven series tomorrow against the Wild Card winning Washington Nationals, who defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in their Division Series matchup three games to two.  A very limited amount of NLCS tickets are available at cardinals.com/postseason.  Fans wishing to obtain tickets are strongly encouraged to purchase verified tickets on the team’s website or from the club’s official online marketplace, StubHub.  Fans are also encouraged to arrive early to the ballpark to allow everyone to be in their seats by the start of the games.  Below are details for the NLCS series against the Nationals.

NLCS Game 1 — Friday, October 11, 2019 — Busch Stadium (7:08 PM CT)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

Gates open at 4:35 PM

Official Cardinals Pregame Pep Rally:

  • 4:00–6:00 PM on the Missouri Lottery Outdoor Stage/Busch II Infield at Ballpark Village

         Music, entertainment and appearances by DJ Todd Thomas, Cardinals Organist Dwayne Hilton, Fredbird, Team               Fredbird, and Cardinals Alumni with prize and ticket giveaways!

Red & Navy Rally Towel Giveaway: 40,000 fans entering with a ticket.  Presented by SSM Health.

Pregame Field Ceremonies:

  • Introduction of the St. Louis Cardinals & Washington Nationals
  • Outfield Flag by Fort Leonard Wood
  • National Anthem performed by Charles Glenn
  • Ceremonial First Pitches by Cardinals Hall of Famers Jason Isringhausen and Scott Rolen

NLCS Game 2 — Saturday, October 12, 2019 — Busch Stadium (3:08 PM CT)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

Gates open at 12:35 PM

Official Cardinals Pregame Pep Rally:

  • 12:00-2:00 PM on the Missouri Lottery Outdoor Stage/Busch II Infield at Ballpark Village

         Music, entertainment and appearances by DJ Todd Thomas, Cardinals Organist Dwayne Hilton, Fredbird, Team               Fredbird, and Cardinals Alumni with prize and ticket giveaways!

Red & Navy Rally Towel Giveaway: 40,000 fans entering with a ticket.  Presented by Ameren Missouri & Ameren Illinois.

Pregame Field Ceremonies:

  • Colors presented by Navy Talent Acquisition Group – Mid-America Color Guard
  • National Anthem performance by Retired Naval Petty Officer, 1st Class, Generald Wilson
  • Ceremonial First Pitches by Cardinals Alumni Danny Cox and John Tudor

Below is the TV and radio station information for Games 3 through 7:

NLCS Game 3 — Monday, October 14, 2019 — Nationals Park (TBD)

TV: TBS;  Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 4 — Tuesday, October 15, 2019 — Nationals Park (TBD)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 5 — Wednesday, October 16, 2019 — Nationals Park (TBD)* (if necessary)

TV: TBS ; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 6 — Friday, October 18, 2019 — Busch Stadium (TBD)* (if necessary)

TV: TBS;  Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

NLCS Game 7 — Saturday, October 19, 2019 — Busch Stadium (TBD)* (if necessary)

TV: TBS; Postgame: FOX Sports Midwest

Radio: KMOX 1120 AM, WIJR 880 AM (Spanish)

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it)

When the Cardinals went to Chicago this weekend, I have to admit I was a bit nervous. The Cards had only won one game all season at Wrigley.  The best we could hope for was a split.

However, this was an exciting series from the first game to the last game, although the Sunday game was sort of boring until the top of the ninth inning, probably because there was limited scoring.  None of the games were blowouts – in fact, the Cards won all four games by only one run.  The Thursday night game went into extra innings, thanks to Carlos Martinez, but Matt Carpenter saved the day by hitting a home run in the top of the tenth inning.  Sadly, Carpenter was in the game because Kolten Wong injured his left hamstring running to first base.  When bad things happen, the other players take up the slack and get things done.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be.  Kolten has a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring and he hopes to be able to play in the Cubs series this weekend at Busch Stadium.

The Saturday afternoon game itself was so exciting, with the lead going back and forth, that I thought I might have a heart attack.  The two home runs in the top of the ninth by Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong (who hit it out of the park onto Waverly Avenue) were so exciting, my son and I screamed like we were at the ballpark.  Twitter was on fire this weekend, with Cards fans and Cubs fans going back and forth at each other.  Watching the game and being on Twitter at the same time is a great experience.  If you’re not on Twitter, you should be.  I post during games as much as possible. My Twitter feed is on the right-hand column of your screen.

The Thursday night Cards-Cubs game was on FOX and not FOX Sports Midwest, and the FOX announcers slobbered all over the Cubs just like the ESPN announcers do.  The Cards have the best announcer in baseball in Dan McLaughlin. We really miss Dan when we have to put up with the national announcers who act like the Cardinals don’t exist because they’re not an East or West Coast team or they’re not Chicago.  The exception to this would be the YouTube announcers and that may be because one of the announcers is Jason Marquis, who used to pitch for the Cardinals.  By the way, the Wednesday afternoon Cards-Diamondbacks game is on YouTube, which should make those Cards fans who have Dish Network or Sling happy since FOX Sports Midwest is no longer on those providers.  Danny Mac said yesterday that if the Cards clinch the division on Wednesday that there would be special coverage on FOX Sports Midwest after the game.

The Cards have clinched one of the wild card spots and had a lovely champagne toast, but that’s not enough – the Cards should win the division. The magic number for the Cards to win the division is now 4, which means that any combination of Cards wins/Brewers losses gives the Cards the division title.  The Cubs’ loss yesterday meant that they are eliminated from the playoffs.

The Cards play a three-game series with the Diamondbacks this week.  Paul Goldschmidt returns to Arizona and no doubt, the fans there will give him a standing ovation.  The Cards could clinch the division as soon as Wednesday.  The sooner the better, in my opinion.

As for the title of this post?  You may remember that back in May, I wrote a blog post about the Cards needing a theme song like the Blues had with “Gloria.”  On Saturday night, Jeff Niehaus (@Fly_the_L on Twitter) came up with the song “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire.  The first line is “Do you remember the 21st night of September?” and Saturday’s date was indeed September 21.  However, I believe I have found an even better song, and it’s “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters.  I put up a poll on Twitter, but unfortunately, I only got two votes, one for each song, so it was a tie.  In case you haven’t heard the song in a while, here’s the video:

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

Diane

 

2019 Winter Warm-Up report

This past weekend, my son and I attended the 2018 Winter Warm-Up.  Mother Nature brought the winter part – snow was predicted for Saturday, but it was just cold and windy instead.  Mother Nature brought a surprise quick moving system that dropped an inch of snow on Sunday afternoon, but Monday was windy and cold, just like Saturday.

Saturday, January 19

Phil and I arrived at the Hyatt around 8:30 AM.  The line was almost ready to go out the front door. When the line started moving, we thought we’d be smart and take the elevators upstairs to the 4th floor.  However, those entrances were closed until 9:30 AM, which meant we had to go downstairs and rejoin the line, which was even longer by this point.  Thankfully, the line moves quickly.

We went to the coat check on the 4th floor and checked our coats.  I noticed three kiosks like the ones at Busch Stadium, only instead of game tickets, you could purchase or pick up autograph tickets.  That was a really good idea on somebody’s part – the line at will call in the lobby can be long.  I didn’t plan well and didn’t get any autograph tickets this year.  The only autograph ticket I really wanted was Harrison Bader, and his tickets sold out before I could even get home from work to purchase one.  I already had a lot of the autographs of the players with free autograph tickets.  The other tickets were not in my budget.

We decided to go downstairs to the second floor and check out the vendor area.  There were various sports collectors with items for sale.  There were booths from the Peoria, Springfield, Johnson City, and the Springfield minor league Cards teams.  The Louisville Slugger museum had a booth.  They had Paul Goldschmidt’s Silver Slugger award on display (see the photo on the left).  Phil and I had stopped by the museum in April when we went to the Newsboys concert in Louisville but didn’t have the time to take the tour.  I signed up for the museum’s e-mail list and received a free pass for two for the factory tour.  Now we have an excuse to return to Louisville and visit the museum.

I found a vendor with lots of Cardinals and Blues gear for sale at very decent prices.  My hubby has been looking for a reasonably priced Cardinals polo shirt.  I found one for $20.00.  This same vendor had Paul Goldschmidt jerseys for $100.00, which was a really good price.

Rawlings had a display with Yadi’s Gold Glove.  You could get your photo taken with the glove.  Amazingly, the glove comes off of the base, which is heavy.  My son had me take his photo with the glove and as I took his photo, so did a photographer from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  His photo was in the print edition of Sunday’s Post-Dispatch.  I was surprised that his photo made the print edition.

After we had gone through the vendor area, we decided to go to the Cardinals Authentics store.  There were lots of jerseys of current players and former players.  There was memorabilia available for purchase.  There were used equipment holders, like bat bags.  There were also used and broken bats for purchase.  I picked up Jedd Gyorko’s bat.  It still had pine tar on it and I accidentally touched it.  It was still sticky.

None of the morning breakout sessions appealed to us, so we went to the food sales area (cash only, by the way) to get Phil some caffeine and crash for a while.  I went on Twitter and saw a photo of Andrew Miller from the media session.  He wore a plaid long-sleeved shirt, and with his dark hair and mustache, he looked like a lumberjack.  Andrew is also very tall.  I attempted to use some paper napkins and some good old-fashioned spit to remove the pine tar from my hand, but I was unsuccessful and had to go to the restroom to wash my hands.

We missed seeing Kolten Wong because it was time to go to lunch – there was a presentation we wanted to attend at noon.  We were originally going to go out to eat lunch, but because the forecast (erroneously) said there was going to be 2-4″ of cold, blowing snow on Saturday, we decided to purchase a King of the Hill sandwich from Schnucks along with some chips on Friday evening and eat that for lunch.

The program indicated that at the noon presentation that the first 50 people would receive Cardinals Hall of Fame bobbleheads.  Phil and I got to the Clubhouse presentation room hallway by 11:30, thinking we would be early enough to snag one of the bobbleheads.  But according to the Cardinals Care volunteers, the vouchers for the bobbleheads were given out at 10:00 AM.  We were disappointed, but there would be another chance to get a bobblehead on Sunday.

The noon presentation was given by Brian Finch of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.  It was called “Back to the Future – a look at the new road blue uniforms” about the new powder blue jerseys that the Cardinals will wear for Saturday road games next season.  Brian outlined the history of the blue jerseys – the Cardinals were not the first to wear powder blue jerseys.  The Dodgers wore satin blue jerseys in 1944 and 1948.  Brian’s presentations are very well done and entertaining.  And you’ll learn something too!

We wanted to attend the next presentation, which was the annual look at the upcoming season’s marketing and promotional items.  We and several others sat in the presentation room waiting for the presentation to begin, but a volunteer finally came into the room and told us that the presentation had been canceled. I was disappointed because I really enjoy seeing what the promotions department comes up with.  There should have been a better way to let us know the presentation had been canceled.

Since the presentation was canceled, we went up to the main ballroom to see Carlos Martinez and Dexter Fowler.  I couldn’t get close enough to get a decent photo of Dexter, so the photo is from the video screen.   Dexter has a beautiful smile.  He looked very happy to meet with the fans and sign autographs.  Hopefully, his foot is better and he will play better this year.

 

 

 

 

I stopped by the Post-Dispatch booth in the ballroom.  We are current subscribers, but our monthly bill just went up to newsstand rate and I expressed my displeasure.  They offered me a deal for $17.00/month for a year and that was awesome, so I grabbed it.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong, with a couple other players, were signing at 3 PM. Paul was very engaging with the fans.  I think he’s really going to like it in St. Louis and I hope he will sign an extension.  I couldn’t get close enough to either player to get a decent photo, sadly.

The major conversation buzzing through the fans was Cubs player Kris Bryant’s smart-aleck remark to Ryan Dempster on Friday evening that St. Louis is boring. Dempster replied that he would never play in St. Louis. Yadi basically said that players should not disrespect other cities and should play and compete with respect. The Internet blew up.  The remarks put fuel to the fire for the Cards-Cubs rivalry.  It should be a very interesting season.

After we saw the two Pauls, we decided it was time to go home.

Sunday, January 20

Our Sunday morning tradition is to stop at Starbucks in the lobby of the Hyatt for coffee before getting in line.  Starbucks itself had a line.  Everyone else must have had the same idea.

The line this morning to get into the Warm-Up went out the front door.  When we finally got up to the 4th floor, we checked our coats and went to the ballroom.  I wanted to see Andrew Knizner (Yadi’s heir apparent, since Carson Kelly was one of the players traded to Arizona for Goldschmidt), Stubby Clapp and John Brebbia.  Brebbia has not yet grown back the beard he sported last summer.

We went down to the presentation room and spoke with the Cardinals Care volunteers about the bobblehead situation for Sunday.  They said that we should line up an hour before the presentation we wanted to attend in order to receive a voucher.  We got our coats and went to St. Louis Bread Company for lunch. After we returned, we went back up to the ballroom to see Miles Mikolas, Rick Ankiel, Jose Martinez, and Yairo Munoz.

I met Jayne, a Facebook friend that I have never met in person, which was really cool. Jayne (last names are not listed to protect the innocent) had an entourage with her that included Bertie, Linda, and another lady whose name I can’t remember.  We chatted for quite a while until it was time for us to get into the bobblehead line

We then got into the bobblehead line at 1 PM for the 2:00 PM presentation, which meant we missed seeing Mike Shildt, John Gant and Dakota Hudson. We also missed Mike Shannon, John Rooney and Mike Girsch on the main stage.

The 2 PM presentation was by Brian Finch.  It was titled “Call to the Hall: Lankford, Coleman, and Brecheen,” and it outlined the process of how players are elected to the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  It’s a more complicated process than you might think, and putting together the Hall of Fame ceremony involves a lot of logistics.  I was hoping to receive a Ted Simmons bobblehead, but we got Jim Edmonds bobbleheads instead.  If you have a Ted Simmons HOF bobblehead that you would like to trade for a Jim Edmonds, drop a comment below with a way for me to reach you.

After the presentation, we went back upstairs to see Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and Jason Motte.  Jedd Gyorko was scheduled to appear, but Winter Storm Harvey kept him in West Virginia and all flights were canceled.

After we saw Waino, Wacha, and Motte, it was time to go home.  We were in the lobby by the elevators and I looked up to see Miles Mikolas. He was wearing a black, long-sleeved thermal henley shirt, black jeans, and black boots.  “Hi Miles!” I said.  “How’s it going?” He got into the elevator.  Phil asked me who I was talking to and I told him Miles Mikolas.  I said, “Didn’t you recognize the red hair, mustache, and beard?” LOL!

Monday, January 21

Sadly, Monday was the last day of Winter Warm-Up.  The only presentation we wanted to see was at noon, so we took a later train to try to get to the Hyatt a little later, but we got there just as the line started moving.  We looked around the vendor section to see if there were any last day discounts but didn’t find anything we wanted.  There was a rack of jerseys at the Cardinals Authentics booth that was 50% off, but I thought hubby would be upset with me if I spent $100 on a jersey, even if it was authentic.

We went up to the ballroom so we could see Matt Carpenter and Jack Flaherty.  We also wanted to see Whitey Herzog.  Whitey was the manager of my favorite 1980’s Cards teams.  I really liked Whitey, even though he traded my favorite Ted Simmons to the Brewers.  

We listened to the live auction on the main stage.  There were 3 items up for bid – a live cooking demonstration with a Cardinals hef, a 2013 Cardinals NL Champions large pennant, and a VIP experience at the 2019 Musial Awards.  All three of the items sold for over $1,000 each.

We decided to go to the cash food section for lunch since it was too cold to go out.  We missed seeing Jordan Hicks, Joe Magrane and Danny Cox.  The presentation we wanted to attend was at noon.  We got to the presentation room early enough where we could sit in on the presentation from Wild Bird Sanctuary.   The bald eagle was calm and well-behaved, even when Fredbird stopped by.  Birds of a feather flock together!

The noon presentation was titled “2018 – A Year in Photos” with Taka Yanagimoto, the Cards’ manager of photography.  We enjoy this presentation every year.  Taka explained that there are 4 other photographers on the Cardinals staff.  They take thousands of photos every year, but only so many are saved.  They are always looking for historical photos.  Taka then showed some of the best photos that were taken last year.  He always finishes the presentations with photos of players that have been traded or have left the team.  Close to the end of the presentation, a special visitor came to see Taka.  Can you guess who it is?

It’s Jack Flaherty!  Taka said that he and Jack are BFF’s.  For the first time since we have attended this presentation, Taka’s wife and family were at the presentation and they were sitting in the row behind us.

Going to the presentation meant that we missed Joe Magrane, Danny Cox, and Jordan Hicks.  But Tony LaRussa was still signing when we returned to the ballroom for the last time. I made a trip to the restroom and Phil said that Tony LaRussa walked right past him.

We also saw Bengie Molina and Yadi Molina.  When Yadi came in and sat down, the whole room broke out in applause.  Everyone started chanting, “Yadi! Yadi!”  We love our Yadi in St. Louis, even more since he defended St. Louis’s honor in his reply to Kris Bryant.

Then it was time to go across the ballroom to see hunky Harrison Bader.  Be still my beating heart!  He was wearing a black knit cap, which made me sad because I wanted to see his pretty, curly hair.  He flashed his gorgeous smile to all who wanted his autograph.  Next year, I’m purchasing autograph tickets the day they go on sale so I don’t miss out on seeing Harrison up close and personal.  I turned around and saw Bertie, one of Jayne’s entourage.  We discussed our mutual admiration of Harrison.

After we saw Harrison, it was time to go home.  What else could compare?

I have to apologize for the quality of some of these photos.  If you’re not in line to get autographs, you can’t get very close, and the digital zoom of the camera or iPhone makes the photos fuzzy.  Plus, you have to hurry to get a good shot as others folks are trying to do the same thing.

Baseball is coming soon – the first spring training game is a month from tomorrow!  Pitchers and catchers report on February 12.  Winter Warm-Up reminds me just how much I love Cardinals baseball.  Everyone should go to Winter Warm-Up at least once.  It’s a great experience.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Has the magic vanished? and Homestand Highlights for September 10-16, 2018

In my last blog post, I mentioned that the Cardinals should take the interim tag off of Mike Shildt.  I didn’t think they would do it the very next day!  LOL! I should probably buy some Powerball tickets.

What an August the Cardinals had!  They finished the month with 9 series wins, including sweeps of the Nationals, the Royals, and the Dodgers.  Matt Carpenter and his magical salsa led the Cardinals into playoff contention.  It was fun to watch Cardinals baseball again.

But then the calendar turned to September.  All of a sudden, the bad habits from earlier in the season began returning.  The batters had too many strikeouts and the pitchers allowed too many walks.  Yadi Molina and Kolten Wong landed on the disabled list with hamstring strains (although Kolten has been activated).  Jedd Gyorko landed on the DL with a groin strain.  He has had to return to St. Louis for reassessment.  The Cards miss Yadi and Jedd greatly.  The Cards have only won 3 of the 8 games played in September.  Did Matt Carpenter run out of the magic salsa? Matt should make a new batch when he returns to St. Louis.

Today’s game was interesting, however.  The Rally Squirrel made a return appearance and the Cards scored 5 runs in the inning after he showed up.  Matt Carpenter and Mike Shildt were both ejected from the game in the top of the 9th after a bad third strike call from the umpire.  After that, however, Carlos Martinez saved the game.  It was announced today that Mike Shildt has made Carlos the closer and I think that was a good choice.  Carlos thrives on pressure.  Let’s hope the magic returns and carries the Cards into the playoffs.

Hopefully, the win today will provide some momentum for the Cards’ return to Busch Stadium for the second to the last homestand of the season that starts tomorrow night.  Our good friend Adam Wainwright will be the starter for tomorrow night’s game, albeit without his batterymate Yadi. The last weekday game of the season is Wednesday against the Pirates.  Here are all the details on the upcoming homestand.  Will you be attending any games?

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Monday, September 10—Sunday, September 16)

First Responders & Fiesta Cardenales Highlight Twelfth Homestand of 2018

 ST. LOUIS, Mo., September 7, 2018 – The Cardinals return to Busch Stadium on September 10th after a six-game road trip through Washington and Detroit.  The seven-game homestand kicks off with three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates (September 10-12) and concludes with a four-game series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers (September 13-16).  The twelfth homestand of the season is highlighted by 80s Night and a Mark McGwire bobblehead giveaway. 

Monday, September 10, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Law Enforcement Appreciation Theme Night: Support our brave men and women in uniform at Law Enforcement Appreciation Night presented by American Eagle Credit Union!  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Cardinals Law Enforcement t-shirt.  A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  A day game option is available on September 12.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/lawenforcement.  #CardsTheme

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

September 11th Commemoration: The TSA Color Guard will present the colors during tonight’s pregame presentation of God Bless America and the National Anthem. Kristin Salvatore, a survivor of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, will throw a ceremonial pitch prior to tonight’s game.  We will also observe a moment of silence in remembrance of all the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Firefighters Appreciation Theme Night: Celebrate the men and women that help keep our city safe at Firefighter Appreciation Night presented by American Eagle Credit Union!  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Cardinals Firefighter t-shirt.  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to The Backstoppers.  A day game option is available on September 12.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/firefighters.  #CardsTheme

Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Francisco Peña 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 Greg Mathews and David Green will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  Players subject to change.

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

Player Ticket Program: A player will host a group from a local charitable organization for tonight’s game as part of the club’s Player Ticket Program.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (12:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 10:45 a.m.

Law Enforcement & Firefighter Appreciation Theme Day: Support or brave men and women in uniform at Law Enforcement & Firefighter Appreciation Day presented by American Eagle Credit Union!  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Cardinals Law Enforcement or Firefighter t-shirt.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.  #CardsTheme

Career Day Theme Event: Students and educators can enjoy a special pregame Q&A/panel discussion with executives focusing on careers in sports and media, followed by an exclusive College Fair with representatives from colleges and universities around the Midwest.  The $15 Career Day Theme Ticket also includes a ticket to the game plus a jumbo hot dog, soda & chips.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/careerday.  #CardsTheme

Thursday, September 13, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

T-Shirt of the Month Giveaway: The Redbirds are hot! What can we attribute this spicy streak to?  It’s Gotta Be The Salsa!  20,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a t-shirt commemorating the team’s salsa craze, designed by Fresh Brewed Tees.  #CardsPromo

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Theme Night: Join us for Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day presented by the St. Louis Metropolitan St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Busch Stadium.  Fans who purchase a special Theme Ticket will receive an exclusive green lightweight hooded pullover.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme.  #CardsTheme

Player Ticket Program: Adam Wainwright will host a group from Lift for Life Gym for tonight’s game as part of the club’s Player Ticket Program.

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.

Friday, September 14, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Replica 1928 Jersey Giveaway: 30,000 fans ages 16 and older, can help honor the 90-year anniversary of the 1928 season by taking home a one-of-a-kind 1928 replica jersey, featuring pinstripes and a throwback Cardinals logo.  Presented by Old Dominion Freight Line. #CardsPromo 

80s Theme Night: Go Crazy Folks, Go Crazy!  We’re going back in time to celebrate 80s Night at Busch Stadium.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive 80s-themed Cardinals dugout jacket.  Come early for a rad pregame concert by That 80’s Band in Budweiser Terrace.  In honor of a favorite 80s movie, Back to the Future, a portion of each ticket sold will be donated to Team Gateway To A Cure, benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Caregivers Support Groups.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/80s.  #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 Hall of Fame first baseman and 1928 MVP, Jim Bottomley. To purchase museum tickets, visit cardinals.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 led by former Cardinals pitcher Woody Williams.  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

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.

Saturday, September 15, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (12:05 p.m.)

Gates open at 10:05 a.m.

Replica 2013 Mystery NL Championship Ring Giveaway: 30,000 fans ages 16 and older, will receive a replica 2013 National League Champion mystery player ring, courtesy of Edward Jones.  The individual player rings will celebrate a few of the top layers from the 2013 team including Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha Matt Carpenter.  #CardsPromo

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals pitcher Woody Williams will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 9:00-11:00 a.m.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.  #CardsMuseum

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.

#Join4Joe Bone Marrow Donor Drive: This marks the 3rd year of the #Join4Joe Bone Marrow Donor Drive, which is held each year in remembrance of Cardinals beat writer, Joe Strauss. Representatives from Be the Match will be in Ford Plaza and Budweiser Terrace to help fans sign up to receive a Bone Marrow Donor Kit. For more info visit cardinals.com/join4joe.

Sunday, September 16, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (7:05 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:05 p.m.

Mark McGwire Bobblehead Giveaway: 30,000 fans ages 16 and older, will take home their very own Mark McGwire bobblehead commemorating the 20-year anniversary of Big Mac’s record-breaking 62nd home run, courtesy of Coca-Cola and Dierbergs. #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).

Fiesta Cardenales Theme Event: The Cardinals welcome all members of the Latino and Hispanic community for a cultural celebration during Hispanic Heritage Month.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive a one-of-a-kind Cardenales cap.  A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the Hispanic Education Cultural & Scholarship Foundation.  Come early for a pregame event featuring current Cardinals players and music in Budweiser Terrace.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/fiesta.  #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 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.

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

Diane

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

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

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