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

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Those banged-up Birds

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

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

Aledmys Diaz – right thumb fracture

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

Matt Adams – right shoulder inflammation

Michael Wacha – right shoulder inflammation

Tyler Lyons – right knee stress reactions

Trevor Rosenthal – right shoulder inflammation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Trade deadline thoughts

DeadlineSorry I haven’t posted more.  It’s really discouraging watching the Cards play.  I’m a glass-half-filled kind of gal, so it’s hard to find something to write about when your team is playing badly.  One can only complain so much before it gets tiresome, and I love my loyal readers too much to subject them to too much negativity.

As you probably know, the trade deadline is August 1 (since July 31st is a Sunday), which is exciting yet scary at the same time. So are the Cards are sellers or buyers at the trade deadline?  Despite playing badly, the Cards are currently in line for the second wild card slot and are also in second place in the N.L. Central.  A Cubs collapse/Cards surge could mean another division title.  A key acquisition or two could make all the difference to get to the playoffs.

So if the Cards are buyers, what do they have to offer in a trade?  The Cards have an option on Jaime Garcia.  When Jaime starts, you never know if you’re going to get Good Jaime or Bad Jaime.  When Jaime is good, he’s very, very good, but when Jaime is bad, he’s awful.  Jaime should be some other team’s problem.

Kolten Wong is another player who may be better off with a change of venue.  There is a lot of pressure here for him to succeed, and Kolten appears to not handle pressure well.  The only negative about trading Kolten is the 5 year contract he signed earlier this year. It was meant to give Kolten a vote of confidence, but it doesn’t appear to have worked out that way. If Kolten is traded, the Cards may have to eat some of Kolten’s contract for the deal to work. Jedd Gyorko and/or Greg Garcia can take Kolten’s place at second, or there is another alternative, which I’ll discuss below.

Matt Adams’ shortcoming is that he only plays one position.  He would be a great DH for an American League team.  If the Cards could trade Adams to an AL team for a good player, I would be all over that trade.  Brandon Moss could move to left field and Matt Holliday could play first, which could possibly extend his career beyond this season.

The Cards do not need two center fielders.  If you melded Randall Grichuk and Tommy Pham into one person, you’d likely have a great center fielder.  However, since we can’t, one of these guys needs to leave, and I think it should be Tommy Pham.  Tommy is older and is injury prone.  If you need a second outfielder in case of injury, Stephen Piscotty can play center and Jeremy Hazelbaker can play right field.  There are a lot of fans who would like to see Carlos Gonzales patrol right field (and Piscotty would then become the CF), but he would probably bring a very high price tag.

One player whose name has been bandied about as trade bait is prospect Alex Reyes. I really don’t think the team should give him up.  A team should not give up an exciting prospect pitcher  The Cards should, however, call Reyes up in September when rosters expand to gear up for the playoffs, and get him some major league experience.

So what do the Cardinals need in order to get to the playoffs?  They need a good set-up pitcher.  Jerome Williams, who the Cards recently brought up from Memphis, is not the answer.

I have heard that Aledmys Diaz’ natural position is second base, so if Wong is traded, Diaz could move to second. Not all of Diaz’ errant throws can be blamed on rookie mistakes, perhaps. Peralta could then go back to shortstop, or a good shortstop could be acquired.  This could also help with the defense problems in the Cards’ infield.

The Cards could also use Mother Nature to cooperate and not force rain outs. Today’s doubleheader is the second in two weeks. Last week’s doubleheader was a day-night double, which gives the players a break between games; however, today’s doubleheader is a true doubleheader. The doubleheaders and game delays wreak havoc with a pitching rotation.  Calling Mike Mayers up from the minors as a fill-in ended up as a major humiliation in front of a national audience.  I sure hope he can recover from it.

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

Diane

Not our year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diane

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

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

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” video contest announcement

Take me outI’m so glad Cardinals baseball is back!  The Opening Night game was a great game. Adam Wainwright didn’t have his best stuff and gave up some doubles, but he got the win.  Jason Heyward was 3 for 5 with two doubles in his Cardinals debut.  The New Runnin’ Redbirds stole 4 bases, including a double steal by Matt Holliday and Heyward.  And Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side, which was amazing. The Cubs, unfortunately, played like the Cubs.  They left 13 runners in scoring position.  They also bobbled a few balls in the outfield.  And the Friendly Confines were more like the Unfriendly Confines, since there were not enough restrooms to accommodate the fans.  Some fans were forced to pee in beer cups.  Tonight’s game is cancelled due to the inclement weather forecast.  We will have to wait until Wednesday afternoon to see our boys play again.  In the meantime, here’s some news about an exciting new contest from the Cardinals.  I hope to be able to enter this contest!  Here are all the details:

“Take Me Out to The Ballgame” Talent Video Contest Announced

Fans Challenged to Demonstrate Singing Talent With 2nd #CardsFanFlix Fan Video Promotion. Winner’s Video Premieres at Ballpark July 29th

ST. LOUIS, April 5, 2015– As the St. Louis Cardinals begin their 124th season of play in the National League today, the team has launched another #CardsFanFlix  fan engagement promotion to encourage fans to submit videos singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”  The winning video, which will be selected by a fan vote, will be shown on the scoreboard during the 7th Inning stretch at the Cardinals – Reds game on Wednesday, July 29th.  The winner will also be treated to a VIP experience that includes 10 tickets to the game.

“We hope to encourage individual fans, church choirs, school groups, local organizations and all fans with talent to show us their creativity with their version of this baseball classic,” said Ron Watermon, Vice President of Communications.  “We are encouraging fans to have some fun putting their own fresh mark on this classic song that embodies what we all love about the game of baseball.”

The “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” Talent Contest is the second in a series of several #CardsFanFlix promotions the team has planned this season to encourage fans to create videos that celebrate the Cardinals.  Over seventy videos were submitted to the Ultimate Fan Video Contest that was launched on March 2.  A winner of that contest will be announced this week and will enjoy the ultimate fan experience on Opening Day in St. Louis next week – four tickets to enjoy the game from the President’s box.  Fan videos can be viewed at www.cardinals.com/ultimatefan

Fans who participate in the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” Talent Contest are asked to create a video up to three minutes in length.  While fans must respect copyright laws and keep things in good taste, they are encouraged to be creative, show off their talent and convey their enthusiasm for the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans can submit a video via Vine, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any other public platform, but in order to be eligible for the contest they must provide the Cardinals a link to the video and complete a short submission form on the contest web page.

Through the #CardsFanFlix fan engagement effort this season, the St. Louis Cardinals hope to tap into the increasing trend of user-generated video content made possible by advances with mobile technology and social media.  Social media platforms such as Facebook, Vine, Instagram and Twitter have all seen increased video content.  YouTube estimates that approximately 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Fans can learn more about #CardsFanFlix at cardinals.com/fanflix.  Fans can join the conversation by using #CardsFanFlix.

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

Diane

A Cardinals holiday (not Holliday) calendar

calendar

Inspired by Daniel Shoptaw’s blog post proclaiming that spring training is like Lent, I decided to make a list of Cardinals holidays.  They may not be religious or national holidays, but to the Cardinals fan, they’re worth celebrating.  I have listed these in chronological order, starting at the beginning of the year. The dates change from year to year; however, I have provided this year’s dates. 

Name of holiday:  Truck Day

Date:  A week before pitchers and catchers report – this year’s date was February 12.

Description:  This is the day when teams pack their equipment in tractor trailer trucks and head to the team’s spring training location.  Spring training starts in a week!  

 

Name of holiday:   Pitchers and Catchers Report

Date:   One week after Truck Day – this year’s date is February 19.

Description:  The day that pitchers and catchers report to spring training.  Spring training is officially underway!

 

Name of holiday:   Position Players Report

Date:   5 days after Pitchers and Catchers Report – this year’s date is February 24.

Description:  The first day that position players are to report to spring training.  A lot of the players arrived early this year.  They’re excited for the new season.

 

Name of holiday:   First Spring Training Game

Date:   Varies by year – this year’s first game is March 5

Description:  It’s been so long since the team’s last game! It’s great to see them back in uniform and on the field (that is, if the game is televised).  It’s also great to hear Mike and John on KMOX calling the game. 

 

Name of holiday:   Opening Day

Date:   Varies by year – this year’s Opening Day is April 5, which is also Easter this year.

Description:  Finally – the season has arrived! Winter is officially over!

 

Name of holiday:   Home Opening Day

Date:   Varies by year – this year’s first home game is April 13.

Description:  The Cards have opened on the road the last couple of years, so Home Opening Day is the real holiday for local Cardinals fans. 

 

Name of holiday:  All-Star Break

Date:  Varies by year – this year’s All-Star break is from July 13 – 16.

Description:  This holiday is a three day break in the middle of the season.  Those Cardinals selected to play in the All-Star Game participate in those festivities, while the rest of the team and coaching staff go home for a break.  A 162 game season is a long season.  After the break, it’s all systems go in order to get into the playoffs. 

 

Name of holiday:  Last regular home game of the season

Date:  Varies by year – this year’s date is September 27.

Description:  This day can either be happy or sad, depending on where the Cardinals are in the standings.  If they’re going to the playoffs, this is a happy day.  If the Cards are not going to the playoffs, it’s a sad day –there will be no more Cardinals games until next spring. 

 

Now some may say that the playoffs and World Series should be Cardinals holidays as well, but those aren’t guaranteed to happen on a year after year basis, so you really can’t print them on a calendar.  Those might be considered extra holidays. 

Pitchers and Catchers Report Day is tomorrow!  I’m so excited!  I hope you are too.  I can’t wait for this new season to begin.  Tomorrow night, I will be auditioning at the Gold’s Gym in Fenton, MO for the 2015 KMOX Spring Training Correspondent. More details are at the link here:  http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/kmox-sports-correspondent/.  Stop by and audition yourself or just say hi!  Or you can keep your fingers crossed for me and wish me luck. That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and see you next time!

Diane

2014 single game tickets go on sale this Friday!

Another2014 tickets sign that winter is almost over is the announcement that single game tickets will go on sale this Friday (February 28).  Are you planning on purchasing single game tickets for three or more games? The Cardinals will give you an early chance to purchase tickets online starting Wednesday morning. Here’s all the details:

2014 SINGLE-GAME TICKETS GO ON SALE THIS WEEK

Cardinals ticket prices start at just $5 for many games

ST. LOUIS, MO (February 24, 2014) –The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that individual tickets for the 2014 season will go on sale this Friday, February 28th beginning at 10 a.m. CT.

Fans who wish to purchase tickets to three or more games will receive early access to take part in a special online-only “multi-game” on-sale beginning Wednesday, February 26th at 10 a.m. CT.

In addition to hosting traditional rivals such as the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants, the Cardinals’ 2014 home schedule features highly anticipated interleague matchups with the New York Yankees (May 26-28) in Derek Jeter’s final season, as well as a World Series rematch with the Boston Red Sox (August 5-7). The 2014 schedule also includes over 35 promotional giveaway dates, featuring popular favorites such as five replica jerseys, five bobbleheads, three replica Championship rings and many more.

While ticket demand is expected to be high coming off the team’s second NL Championship in three years, the Cardinals will continue to offer great values in 2014 with ticket prices starting as low as $5.

Coming to Busch Stadium should be both an enjoyable and affordable experience for our fans,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the Cardinals. “Thanks to our dynamic ticket pricing system, we’re able to provide better deals on a consistent basis.”

The Cardinals’ dynamic pricing system allows the team to more accurately price tickets for individual games and provide fans more value. In 2013, over 50% of games featured tickets available for $10 or less.

Throughout the season, the team will continue to offer “Dynamic Deals of the Week” highlighting outstanding ticket savings for fans, as well as a host of other fan-friendly values which can be found at cardinals.com/fanvalues.

The multi-game sale and Friday single-game on-sale are both available online at cardinals.com. In addition, tickets will be available for Friday’s on-sale via phone at 314-345-9000 or in person at all Cardinals Clubhouse Stores and at the Busch Stadium Ticket Windows and kiosks.

A full list of fan-friendly values for the 2014 Season follows.

Fan-Friendly Values 2014

  • Dynamic Pricing: Ticket prices fluctuate based on market value, meaning many games feature tickets as low as $5.
  • Great Promotional Giveaways: Premium items including five replica jerseys, three replica rings and five bobbleheads highlight a season of over 35 stadium giveaways and special promotions.
  • Outside Food & Drinks at All Games: Busch Stadium is the only St. Louis sports venue where fans may bring in their own food and drinks for all home games (some size and content restrictions apply).
  • Hunter Family Sundays: On most Sundays, fans who purchase RF/LF Pavilion and RF Terrace tickets will receive a free Hunter hot dog and Coca-Cola.
  • Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sundays: Two hours prior to each Sunday game, enjoy games, prizes and FREE Prairie Farms ice cream and North Star frozen treats in the Ford Plaza.
  • Six Flags Double Play Combo: Get a Cardinals game ticket and a Six Flags ticket for only $60.
  • AAA Member Discounts: AAA members receive a $10 discount off select Monday-Thursday home game tickets.
  • Fill Up at Phillips 66: Fill up with eight (8) gallons or more at a participating Phillips 66 to receive a special discount ticket offer of up to 50% off many 2014 games.
  • KMOX 1120 First Pitch Tickets: At 9 a.m. CT on the day of each home game, fans may purchase a voucher good for two tickets for just $11.20 ($5.60 per ticket). Fans redeem their vouchers for actual tickets 15 minutes prior to game time. Tickets may be anywhere in the stadium from Field Box to Standing Room.
  • Ticket Packs: Several different 5-game and 10-game ticket packs, which feature discounted tickets to 2014’s best promotional giveaways and highest demand games.
  • Group Value Nights: Select games throughout the season where groups of 25 or more receive 50% off regular ticket prices.
  • Cards Cash: Stored money built into the barcode of your ticket, good for use at any Busch Stadium concession stand, kiosk or Team Store. Fans can add $12 Cards Cash to a ticket for just $10.

For more details, visit cardinals.com/fanvalues.

In other news, spring training has started and a pitcher is already injured (what’s new?). Jaime Garcia is experiencing pain in his pitching shoulder, on which he had surgery last season. For any other team but the Cardinals, this would be cause for concern. But the Cardinals have lots of pitching talent, so another pitcher can fill his slot if necessary. Jaime will have an MRI on Monday in St. Louis to determine the extent of the injury.  My husband had the same surgery that Jaime had a couple of years ago and he occasionally still has pain in his shoulder.

The first spring training game is Friday afternoon.  I would be able to listen to the broadcast if I weren’t having a colonoscopy that afternoon.  Your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated.  Matt Holliday would be proud of me. Hopefully, I get a better report than his mother did.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane