The good and bad of spring training 2016

ST2016I looked at the calendar today and was amazed to discover that the regular season starts in less than two weeks!  I’ve been really busy at work the last few weeks, so the time has flown.  I’ve had a little time to reflect on what has happened to the Cardinals during spring training this year.  Here are my thoughts:

The good:

Seung Hwan Oh. This has been one of Mo’s better off-season pickups.  Not only does Oh have a surname worthy of many catchy tweets, but he is a wicked pitcher as well.  He has only given up 1 hit and 1 run in spring training.  He is well deserving of the nickname The Final Boss.  Oh has asked Cards fans to think up a new nickname for him.  I can only think of one – O-o-o-o-o-h Baby! I am looking forward to seeing him pitch in the regular season.

Brayan Peña.  Peña is another one of Mo’s great off-season pickups.  He will be a better than average back up for Yadi when he needs a day off, or if Yadi can’t start the regular season.  Peña’s lively personality is contagious and will be a great addition to the team. He’s a fan favorite no matter what team he’s playing for, as you can see if you follow Peña on Twitter.  If you  haven’t yet read Peña’s story about how he defected from Cuba, check it out here.

Jedd Gyorko.  The Cards needed a good backup infield player after Pete Kozma was released.  Jon Jay was traded to the Padres for Gyorko, and this was a really good deal. The Cards had an overload of outfielders, so Jay was expendable.  Gyorko can play a variety of infield positions, which came in handy after Jhonny Peralta got hurt (see below).

Matt Holliday at first base.  I admit to being skeptical about this at first (pun intended).  Holliday has been patrolling left field for years now.  But it’s not like it hasn’t been done before.  As Mark Tomasik wrote about last week on his Retrosimba blog, none other than Stan the Man himself was converted from an outfielder to a first baseman.  And don’t forget about Albert Pujols’ conversion from left field to first base.  Brandon Moss and Matt Adams are still battling for the first base position, so any time that Holliday would be playing at first would probably be minimal. However, playing first would be a great way for Holliday to extend his career – that is, unless and until the DH finally comes to the National League.

The bad:

The spring training standings.  The Cards have lost the last 8 spring training games in a row.  There are three ways to look at spring training standings:  1.  These games don’t count anyway, so I’m not worried about it; 2.  The team is not playing well during spring training, and that will carry over to the regular season; or 3.  The team is playing really well and that bodes well for the regular season.  I am starting to get a little concerned about the spring training standings.  It’s pretty sad that a bracket-type contest to determine the best Cardinals blogger Twitter account is getting more attention than the Cards’ spring training season itself.

The offense.  Second verse, same as the first.  The Cards appear to be in the same offensive funk that ended their playoff run last season. One wonders how long it will take before someone figures out that John Mabry is the reason for the team’s offense problems.  This is Baseball 101 – you can’t win games unless you score runs.  Mike Matheny has stated that he wants to see more stolen bases this year and more aggressiveness on the base paths.  Gee, that sounds familiar – oh wait, that’s Whiteyball.  Home runs are nice, but I enjoy watching small ball as well.

Jhonny Peralta.  It always seems like the Cards have at least one player get injured during spring training, and this year is no exception.  On March 5  in a game against the Marlins, Peralta injured his thumb while fielding a ball. It’s the same injury that Yadi had with his thumb. Hopefully, Jhonny won’t have to have 2 surgeries like Yadi had.  Jhonny’s injury led to Mo signing Ruben Tejada, recently released by the Mets, to compete for the shortstop position.

The Cards didn’t have a game scheduled for today, and they have no more days off for the rest of spring training.  Hopefully, the team will start winning and get the momentum they need to start the regular season on a good note.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

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Housecleaning time

housecleaningNow that I’ve had time to mourn the end of Cardinals baseball for 2015, it’s time to look ahead to 2016 and think about how to make the team better.  Yes, I know, the Cards won 100 games in 2015, but the team didn’t make it past the NLDS due to the collapse of hitting and pitching.  So here are my suggestions for housecleaning chores:

1. Resign Jason Heyward. Preferably as soon as possible – the longer Cards’ management waits, the more his asking price will go up, especially if he receives big offers from other interested teams.  I made my arguments for resigning Heyward back in August in this blog post.  The Cards have the money to sign Heyward to a big contract, so let’s get it done.

2. Fire John Mabry. Maybe listening to my hubby complain about him is rubbing off on me, but I believe it’s time for Mabry to go.  I know Mo said that all the coaches were going to be given contracts for 2016, but if Mabry hasn’t signed that contract yet, it would be easy to turn him loose.  Derrick Goold wrote a very good article about the declining offense in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which you can read here.  For what it’s worth, Jim Edmonds or Lance Berkman are my suggestions for a replacement batting coach.

3. First base. Stephen Piscotty either needs to be the Cards’ first baseman on a permanent basis or Cards management needs to trade for or acquire a first baseman.  Matt Adams was in a decline even before his injury. The Cards need more production from this spot in the lineup.

4. Time for Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos to go. Jay didn’t play most of the year due to a wrist injury. When he did come back, his defense was rusty.  Bourjos can be a speedy baserunner, but he isn’t always a smart baserunner.  Bourjos never seemed to recover from his hip injury. Tommy Pham would be a good replacement in center field. He and Randal Grichuk could be platooned, or Piscotty could play CF and Mark Reynolds or Brandon Moss could play first for a change of pace.

5. Rest for the starting lineup.. We saw this earlier in the season, when Matt Carpenter was hot at the plate, but then couldn’t play for a while because he was exhausted.  If players get proper rest, i.e., a game off once a week or so, they won’t be as prone to injury or exhaustion. The day off could be rotated – the first baseman one day, the second baseman the next day, etc.  Now if a player is on a hot hitting streak, the player may not want a day off.  That would be a decision between the player and the manager.  A day off for each player on the starting lineup also keeps the bench players fresh and gives them some playing time.

6. A professional grade back-up catcher. Tony Cruz filled in admirably while Yadi was out with his thumb injury, but it’s just not the same without Yadi. Some of the pitchers are not fond of Cruz.  I guess Yadi spoiled them for anyone else.  But Yadi is getting older, and the Cards need to find a great backup catcher to fill in for Yadi and eventually take over for him when he retires.  Travis Tartamella may be the one to fill the bill, but he only played one game during the regular season and that’s not enough to judge whether he’s the one.  If Travis isn’t the chosen one, the Cards may need to pick up a backup catcher from another team.

7. Matheny needs to learn how to manage the team in the postseason. Never was this more evident than this year. The Cards played 4 games and only won one. Perhaps Mike needs to sit down for a heart-to-heart with Whitey Herzog to learn how to manage in the postseason. I’m sure Whitey would be happy to assist.

Now that it’s the offseason, I probably won’t be posting as much. Unless, of course, something exciting happens. You can always find me on Twitter and you can find my Twitter feed on the column to the right.  Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Resilience despite adversity

ResilienceI wrote a blog post earlier this season about how the infirmary was getting full of Cardinals players.   Maybe that was bad luck –  who knows?  The Cardinals have endured more than their share of injuries this season.  I’ll list them so we can see the magnitude of the injuries:

Jordan Walden – shoulder
Adam Wainwright – torn Achilles tendon
Matt Adams – torn right quadriceps muscle, Grade 4
Matt Holliday – torn right quadriceps muscle, Grade 2
Matt Belisle –forearm tenderness
Jason Heyward – hamstring strain
Randal Grichuk – muscle strain lifting weight, elbow strain
Jon Jay – recovery from off-season wrist surgery
Yadier Molina – slight tear of left thumb ligament
Carlos Martinez – strained shoulder
Stephen Piscotty – outfield collision with Peter Bourjos

(If there is anyone I missed, or if I goofed up on the injuries, please let me know in the comments section below.)

Yet despite all these injuries (and with some great pickups and call ups by Mo), the Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central with the best record in baseball.  The magic number to clinch the NL Central is 2, and if the Cards win tomorrow at Pittsburgh, it will be zero.  This will be the Cardinals’ first 100 win season since 2005.

The Cardinals have shown amazing resilience this season. A lesser team would crumble under the weight of all these injuries. But the Cardinals have not crumbled, thanks to the managing of Mike Matheny.  Mike is the glue that has held this team together through all the injuries and all the other craziness this season (hacking? What hacking?).

Now we Cards fans and bloggers may not agree with every move Mike makes, but you can’t argue with results. This is Mike’s fourth year managing the Cardinals (heck, managing a major league team, period) and the team has gone to the postseason every year for the last four years.  How many managers can claim that honor during their first four years of managing?  If you want to get some insight as to how Mike manages a team, I highly suggest you pick up and read his book The Matheny Manifesto (click on the title to find it on Amazon).

Mike deserves the NL Manager of the Year award for the way he has handled the Cardinals during this season of adversity.  However, we Cards fans all know that the NL MOY award will go to Joe Maddon, since he turned those loveable losers the Cubs into playoff contenders, and Chicago is a larger market than St. Louis too.

The Cards’ game tonight was postponed until tomorrow due to rain.  It will be made up tomorrow with a day-night doubleheader.  Game time for the first game is 12:35 PM CST.  I will be listening to the game on KMOX at my desk. I will be hoping and praying for no more injuries, and that the Cards will clinch the division.  Last night’s game made my stomach upset; I’m hoping for an uneventful win tomorrow.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Second half thoughts and ponderings

The Cardinals really needed the All-Star break; they looked extremely tired and disoriented in this past weekend’s games.  The Cardinals start the second half of the season in first place by just 2 ½ games.  A 3-5 road trip, culminating with 2 ugly losses to the Pirates right before the All-Star break, contributed to the narrowing of the gap in the standings between the Cards and the Pirates.  There’s plenty of baseball left to play, however, so here are my thoughts about the second half of the season.

Matt Holliday returns to the lineup on Friday.  This will create quite a traffic jam in the outfield.  There are 3 outfield positions, and there are 6 outfielders on the roster.  Even using “new” math (or Common Core math), that doesn’t compute.  Adjustments will have to be made.

Holliday is signed through 2016 with an option year for 2017. Heyward is signed through the end of the year, at which time he will become a free agent.  Jon Jay is currently on the disabled list. Per the Cardinals’ website, his date of return is to be determined. So that leaves 3 players competing for the center field position.

The Cards can’t keep all the extra outfield players on the roster.  There have been folks clamoring that Jay be released or traded. Bourjos, despite his occasional flubs, has proven he can be an everyday player.  I would trade or release Jay, start Bourjos in at CF, then keep Grichuk and Pham on the bench to spell the starting outfielders in case of injury or a needed day off.  Grichuk could also be a good pinch hitter.  If Heyward doesn’t sign with the Cards next season, I would then put Grichuk in RF.

Trevor Rosenthal didn’t pitch in the All-Star Game due to arm soreness.  He did not look very good on the mound in Sunday’s game.  I would not be surprised if he landed on the DL.  Should the break help his arm feel better and if I were Mike, I would only use Rosey in a true save situation and not pitch him if the game isn’t on the line. The Cards will need Rosey fresh come September and (hopefully) October.

I am really starting to like scrappy Mark Reynolds, but he is not an everyday 1B and he wasn’t signed to be the everyday 1B.  Xavier Scruggs wasn’t the answer to the Cards’ first base woes; he is already back in Memphis.  Dan Johnson isn’t the answer either.  Stephen Piscotty is touted as the next first baseman; however, he is still learning the position at Memphis.  Since Adams isn’t due to be off the DL until the season is almost over, Mo may have to pick up or trade for a 1B player, even if it is just a rental until after the season is over.

I have really missed Cardinals baseball and I’m glad that it starts up again tomorrow night.  Today is the 70th anniversary of Red Schoendiest’s debut in baseball.  The Cardinals have encouraged fans to post a congratulatory video on social media.  I posted it on Twitter, and in case you missed it, here it is:

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Winter Warm-Up autograph tickets on sale Monday 1/6/14!

The weather is cold outside and 8-12″ of snow is expected in the St. Louis area starting tomorrow night into most of Sunday, but here’s some news to warm up your weekend – Winter Warm-Up autograph tickets go on sale on Monday!  Here’s the scoop from the Cardinals’ front office in the press release below:

WINTER WARM-UP AUTOGRAPH TICKETS ON SALE MONDAY

Autograph donations to benefit kids in the Cardinals Community

             ST. LOUIS, Mo. (January 3, 2014) – Cardinals Care, the charitable foundation of the St. Louis Cardinals, announced today that fans may begin purchasing autograph tickets for the 18th annual Winter Warm-Up on the team’s website, cardinals.com/winterwarmup, at 9 a.m. CT on Monday, January 6th.

            Player autograph sessions are one of the most popular attractions of the Warm-Up. While some players’ autographs are free with the admission pass, others require an autograph ticket available through a specific additional donation. Every dollar donated for autograph tickets – as well as all proceeds from the Winter Warm-Up weekend – benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s community foundation that cares for kids.

            The highly-anticipated annual event takes place Saturday, January 18 through Monday, January 20, 2014 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day), at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. Fans may continue to purchase admission passes for the three-day Winter Warm-Up online at cardinals.com/winterwarmup, in the official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium and at Cardinals Clubhouse stores located around St. Louis. A Winter Warm-Up admission pass is required to enter the Warm-Up and obtain autographs.

            Fans will have the opportunity to meet members of the 2013 National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals including Adam Wainwright, Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, Matt Holliday, Manager Mike Matheny, NLCS MVP Michael Wacha and more. Hall of Famers Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog and Tony La Russa will be on hand for the weekend event as well as two of the newest Cardinals, outfielder Peter Bourjos and shortstop Jhonny Peralta.

            “The Warm-Up is the perfect opportunity for fans to meet their favorite players and help kids in the St. Louis community,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “We hope fans will join us in welcoming our new players and celebrating our 19th National League pennant.”

            Fans are encouraged to visit cardinals.com/winterwarmup for the most up-to-date details about player autograph dates, times and, if required, additional donation amounts. All autograph tickets will be sold online through Wednesday, January 15th at 5 p.m. CT.  Any remaining autograph tickets not sold online will be available at the Winter Warm-Up. For complete event details, schedule and frequently asked questions, visit cardinals.com/winterwarmup. The current autograph schedule follows below.

            Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the Cardinals organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field. Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested $19 million in helping children, including providing $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 21 youth ball fields in neighborhoods in both Missouri and Illinois. In 2013, Cardinals Care celebrated the 10th anniversary of the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.

 *Dates, times and players may change prior to Winter Warm-Up. Some players may be added after today.*

Player

Donation

Signing Date

Signing Time

Adams, Matt

$20

Sunday, January 19

10am-12pm

Bourjos, Peter

$20

Monday, January 20

9-11am

Carpenter, Matt

$40

Sunday, January 19

3-5pm

Clark, Jack

$5

Saturday, January 18

11am-1pm

Craig, Allen

$40

Sunday, January 19

3-5pm

Cruz, Tony

$5

Sunday, January 19

10am-12pm

Descalso, Daniel

$15

Saturday, January 18

10am-12pm

Ellis, Mark

$5

Sunday, January 19

9-11am

Freeman, Sam

$5

Sunday, January 19

1-3pm

Herzog, Whitey

$75

Monday, January 20

11am-12pm

Holliday, Matt

$75

Monday, January 20

10am-12pm

Jay, Jon

$20

Sunday, January 19

3-5pm

Jordan, Brian

$10

Monday, January 20

11am-1pm

Kelly, Joe

$25

Sunday, January 19

11am-1pm

Kozma, Pete

$5

Saturday, January 18

10am-12pm

La Russa, Tony

$75

Sunday, January 19

10am-12pm

Lynn, Lance

$20

Sunday, January 19

1-3pm

Lyons, Tyler

$5

Sunday, January 19

12-2pm

Mabry, John

$5

Monday, January 20

12-2pm

Maness, Seth

$10

Saturday, January 18

2-4pm

Matheny, Mike

$40

Monday, January 20

9-11am

Miller, Shelby

$25

Sunday, January 19

1-3pm

Molina, Yadier

$100

TBD

TBD

Motte, Jason

$30

Sunday, January 19

2-4pm

Peralta, Jhonny

$25

TBD

TBD

Robinson, Shane

$5

Sunday, January 19

11am-1pm

Rosenthal, Trevor

$35

Saturday, January 18

12-2pm

Schoendienst, Red

$75

Sunday, January 19

10-11am

Shannon, Mike

$10

Sunday, January 19

12-1pm

Siegrist, Kevin

$15

Saturday, January 18

3-5pm

Smith, Ozzie

-pre-autographed baseball

$75

Everyday

Cardinals Care Store

Taveras, Oscar

$20

Saturday, January 18

2-4pm

Wacha, Michael

$70

Monday, January 20

12-2pm

Wainwright, Adam

$80

Saturday, January 18

12-2pm

Wong, Kolten

$15

Sunday, January 19

2-4pm

 The following players will be signing free autographs and will require a line ticket. More information will be available at the Winter Warm-Up.

Check cardinals.com/winterwarmup for their dates and times.

Current Players:

Former Players:

Keith Butler

Randal Grichuk Alan Benes Cal Eldred Tom Lawless Ted Savage
Eric Fornataro Zach Petrick Ernie Broglio Ryan Franklin Kyle McClellan Jason Simontacchi
Greg Garcia Stephen Piscotty Glenn Brummer Rick Horton Cliff Politte Scott Terry
John Costello Al Hrabosky Kerry Robinson Bill Virdon
Danny Cox Ken Dayley Mike Jorgensen Stan Royer

Thanks for reading! Until next time, stay warm!

Diane

A love letter to the St. Louis Cardinals players

Dear boys,

I call you boys affectionately because you are all much younger than me. I am writing to express my love and devotion, and my excitement that once again you all are on the brink of winning another National League pennant.

However, this is not a blind love.  I hope you will be open to some loving and constructive criticism.  Let’s start with hitting.

Please be patient at the plate.  Take some balls.  Wait for a good pitch or a mistake pitch to hit.  Make the pitcher work for the out.  The higher the pitch count, the earlier the pitcher will be taken out of the game.  And just get a hit.  Enough hits in a row will equal runs.  There’s no need to be swinging for the fences every time you’re up at bat (yes, Matt Adams, I’m talking to you).  This is all fundamental stuff you should have learned a long time ago and shouldn’t have to be reminded about. Allen Craig is unable at the present time to pick up the slack. You should be thankful that during the first two games of the NLCS that the pitching was lights out; otherwise, I wouldn’t even be writing this letter.  To summarize, you boys need to hit more!

If and when you do get on base, be an alert base runner.  Watch for passed balls or wild pitches so you can advance on the base paths.  Watch and see where hit balls land to determine whether it’s safe to advance or not.  Listen to your base coaches; they will tell you whether to run or not.   And when it’s time to run, run like the wind.  Don’t get hung up between bases!

As for defense, I don’t have too many complaints about the infield.  The infielders are doing a good job throwing runners out at first, and there have been some timely double plays.  As for the outfielders, however (yes, I’m talking to you, Jon Jay), your communication skills need work. If you think you’ll be able to catch the ball then call the other players off.  Be alert and try and figure out where the ball will go then move your body there to catch the ball, preferably with both hands.

You boys are great baseball players, otherwise, you wouldn’t be playing in the NLCS right now – you’d be home watching on TV or playing golf.  There are a lot of NL teams that would love to be where you are right now.

So please boys, please get this pennant won tonight.  My heart can’t stand much more drama. I have to have some time to recover before the next round of drama hopefully starts next week.  Thank you!

Love always,

Diane

 

P.S.:  Thanks for reading!  See you next time!  Go Cards!

High sock Sunday

On Sundays, Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay goes old school  and wears the old uniform socks.  He will tweet “#HighSockSunday” to announce it.  Several of the other Cardinals players will wear the high socks on Sunday as well.  But what Jon calls high socks are actually called baseball stirrups.  I wondered about when and how stirrups came into use, so I did a little research.

Back in the late 1800’s, players started wearing knickers, which are pants that end right below the knee.  Baseball teams wore solid color socks, called stockings.  The Boston Americans changed their name to the Red Sox due to the red stockings they wore.  The Cincinnati Reds were once called the Red Stockings.  In 1895, the Orioles were the first team to wear striped stockings.

Stirrups began  to be worn by players in the early 20th century.  The dyes used for the colored socks were not colorfast, and there were fears that if players got spiked that the colored dye would get into the bloodstream.  So players would wear a white sock under the colored socks, which supposedly would block any leaking dye.  These white socks became known as sanitary socks.  But it was soon discovered that the material of both pairs of socks together were too thick and caused the player’s shoes to fit improperly.  So some smart person (I couldn’t find out who) came up with the idea of the stirrup sock.

During the 1910’s and 1920’s, players began pulling the stirrup sock  higher so more of the sanitary sock showed.  By the 1940’s, the stirrup look was incorporated into the stocking itself.  Eventually, however, players’ pants got longer and longer until they came down to their ankles (and past). Stirrups eventually fell out of favor, although Jay and other players are bringing the old school look back.

Personally, I am not a big fan of the long pants, especially the way they puddle around the ankle.  The puddling makes the pants look sloppy, like lounge pants. Do these pants only come in one length?  Men’s dress pants and jeans come in different inseam lengths.  Surely they can make uniform pants the same way.  I think the stirrups add a professional touch to the baseball uniform.

Our new kitty even has high socks, and of course, his name is Sox.  Here’s a photo:

Sox

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted.  I think my muse went on vacation.  I hope to be back on schedule soon, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  See you next time!

Diane

Bibliography:

“Dressed to the Nines:  The History of the Baseball Uniform, ” Baseball Hall of Fame, http://exhibits.baseballhalloffame.org/dressed_to_the_nines/stockings.htm

“Hosiery History,” The Village Voice, http://www.villagevoice.com/2001-06-05/news/hosiery-history/

“Baseball stirrups,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_stirrups

 

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