Mid-season musings

It’s Thursday evening and we’re usually watching a Cards game.  However, since this is the All-Star break, there is no baseball tonight. There will be baseball again tomorrow night but until then, I’ll just put my thoughts down here and see if you agree with me or not.

At mid-season, the Cards are tied for second place with the Cubs in the NL Central with a 43-45 record.  It could be worse – the Cards could be in last place. The Cincinnati Reds are presently in last place.  The Brewers are in first place – who’d a thunk it? The NL Central is a weak division this year. Given the quality of the Cards’ play this year, it’s amazing the Cards are tied for second place.  Like last season, the Cards have been consistently inconsistent.

Some of the players we saw at the beginning of the season have departed or have been shuttled off to Memphis.  Jhonny Peralta and Jonathon Broxton were designated for assignment. Matt Adams was traded to Atlanta, where he has been hitting well. Aledmys Diaz was sent down to Memphis, and Randal Grichuk has been sent down to Memphis and brought back up.  Luke Voit and Paul DeJong have been brought up from Memphis and played well.  Tommy Pham was called up from Memphis when Dexter Fowler was injured and has played and hit very well.

There have been changes at the managerial level as well, as outlined here. And John Mozeliak has been bumped up to a new position created for him, that of President of Baseball Operations.   Mo’s assistant GM, Michael Girsch, was promoted to general manager.

The second half of the season starts tomorrow.  The trade deadline is fast approaching.  The Cubs made a major move today – they traded 3 prospects for White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana.  Will the Cards be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?

There are traffic jams in the outfield and in the infield.  There are four outfielders but only 3 positions.  Tommy Pham came up from Memphis and made a big splash playing center field filling in for Dexter Fowler in his two stints on the disabled list.  Tommy grew so comfortable in center field that he has stated publicly he wants to play there all the time.  However, Dexter is not going away anytime soon.  Tommy, if you had played better in that position last season, the sight problems notwithstanding, perhaps the team wouldn’t have had to sign Dexter.  I felt so bad for Jose Martinez.  He toiled in the minor leagues for years to get the chance to play in the major leagues only to be sent back down.  So do any of the outfielders go away by the trade deadline? I think the best thing that could happen is that Pham gets moved to left field and Dexter stays in center.  Grichuk should ride the bench in case of injury or if a pinch hitter is needed.  Grichuk’s bat has been streaky, but we knew that.

The infield also has a traffic jam.  Aledmys Diaz was sent down to Memphis.  Paul DeJong was brought up and has played well.  Second base has been sort of a revolving door.  Matt Carpenter was assigned to first base, which left no place for Matt Adams. Kolten Wong has been on the disabled list. Greg Garcia and Matt Carpenter have tried playing second base but neither of them has done well at the position.  Kolten has been activated so he will be back at second base tomorrow night.  Kolten’s bat has been on fire in rehab.  Luke Voit is doing a great job playing first.  He is also batting quite well.  Carpenter is the odd man out.

The closer role has also been a revolving door.  Seung-Hwan Oh started the season as the closer, but he has proven to be human.  Trevor Rosenthal has had his ups and downs as well And the bullpen has been streaky.

Everyone is saying that the Cardinals need a big bat in the middle of the lineup.  I have another suggestion.  Perhaps the Cardinals need a new hitting coach. Matt Holliday has been working with Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ big home run hitter.  Matt would be a great hitting coach for the Cards.

So should the Cards be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?  There are so many variables in play that I hate to make even an educated guess.  All I know is that I’m glad that I don’t have to make that decision.

The All-Star Game was a lot of fun (even though the National League lost), but I’m missing Cardinals baseball and I can’t wait until 6:15 PM CST when the Cardinals play again.  Here’s hoping that the Cardinals are more consistent in the second half of the season and make the playoffs.  There’s still time for it to happen. Thanks as always for reading – see you next time!

Diane

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Winter Warm-Up 2017 Report

img_0155-2The first day of Winter Warm-Up was canceled due to Winter Storm Jupiter (how ironic, considering the Cardinals hold spring training there) throwing down freezing rain. The Cardinals refunded autograph tickets and then, on top of that, offered a voucher for all pass holders for two free tickets for a game in the 2017 season.  They didn’t have to do that, but I thought it was a really nice gesture. My friend Kim was unable to go with us to WWU this year (I missed you, Kim 😦 ), so it was just my son and me.

1/16/17:

On Sunday morning, we decided to stop at Starbucks in the hotel because we needed some caffeine.  I looked up and there was Jenifer Langosch, the beat writer for the Cardinals. We chatted briefly and then she had to leave.

There was a line snaking through the lobby, so we joined it. We got a program and realized that the coat check was on the 4th floor, so we decided to go up the elevators to get there. Once there, we discovered that no one was allowed into the main hall from the elevator section until 9:15. To make matters worse, there were several fans in wheelchairs and with walkers for which this entrance was the only way they were going to get to the main hall since they could not use the escalators. Even with autograph tickets, they were not allowed in. I don’t know whose bright idea this was, but it had to be against ADA regulations.  I’m unsure if this was taken care of on Monday since we got there later. Hopefully, this will be fixed next year.

Phil and I rode the elevator back downstairs and by this time, the line was not as long. In fact, it didn’t appear that there were as many people at WWU than there was last year.  I wonder if the cancellation of Saturday’s events turned some people off enough that they decided not to come at all.  We stopped at the second floor and visited the vendor booths.  Rawlings had a booth and there was a real Gold Glove trophy on display.

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We then went upstairs and dropped off our coats. It was time to go to our first presentation of the day, a history of promo items and a 2017 preview of promo items with Megan Eberhart, the manager of Promotions and Events.  Megan asked about some of our favorite promo items.  She then talked about the process about how they come up with the promo items and when they start planning for the next season, which is before Labor Day.  She showed us some of the promo items that will be given away this year, which includes a 1980’s batting practice jersey, a Bruce Sutter garden gnome, and instead of a bat giveaway for the kids, they will get a Rawlings glove instead. Here are photos of some of the 2017 promo items:

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The new slogan for this year is “There’s Only One Cardinals Baseball.” Megan took questions from the attendees and then it was time to go.

Phil and I visited the Cardinals Care store.  They were offering a 2014 Cardinals Care Broadcast Auction Wacha Fan Pack for $20.00, which included a Michael Wacha bobblehead, a replica 2013 National League Championship replica ring, and a voucher for two tickets for the 2017 season.  That was a bargain I couldn’t pass up. I also bought a  Cardinals Care bag to carry it in, since it was in a heavy cardboard box.  We then visited the Cardinals Team Store.  They had lots of merchandise half price or less.  There were lots of items from the Winter Classics and closeout Matt Holliday items.  There was also some Star Wars Cardinals items.

It was time for lunch, so Phil and I left the Hyatt and walked down to Hardee’s for lunch. After lunch, we walked back to the Hyatt.  We went to the Main Stage seating area and were lucky enough to snatch two front row seats.

I left Phil at our seats and took a couple photos of Kolten Wong. They didn’t turn out well enough to post, however. I just got an iPhone and I’m still trying to learn how to take photos with it.  I will bring my digital camera again next year.

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John Rooney had Kolten come up on stage and they had a nice discussion.  Kolten admitted that the team sucked at home last year and they were hoping to do better this year.  John and  Kolten talked about how Kolten had spent the winter in St. Louis.  Rooney asked Kolten how many coats he had and Kolten said six, but he was still cold. I guess it’s hard to get used to a cold climate like St. Louis when you grow up in a tropical paradise like Hawaii.

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After Rooney and Kolten were done, it was time for the presentation I had been waiting for all day, the 1967 team retrospective with Rooney, Mike Shannon, Orlando Cepeda, Dick Hughes and Larry Jaster.  There were some wonderful stories told about the season, Bob Gibson, and the postseason.  Shannon was the best storyteller on the stage.  Rooney’s job was to MC the presentation to keep it rolling. I only wish I would have had the funds to attend the Baseball Writers’ Association dinner that evening to hear more of those stories.

There were 2 booths, sponsored by Ballpark Village and Fox Sports Midwest where you could get your photo taken in front of a green screen and your photo was merged via computer with a background.  Here are my photos:

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I wish I could be an announcer on Fox Sports Midwest.  There are a lot of female Cardinals fans and I’m sure they would enjoy hearing analysis from a female.

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At 2:00 PM, we attended a presentation by Brian Finch, the head of the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, entitled “Ballplayers as Musicians – The Cardinals’ Mudcats Band of 1934.”  This presentation was very informative.  I knew about Pepper Martin and the Gashouse Gang, of course, but I never knew about the Mudcats.  I learned more about Pepper Martin than I probably ever wanted to know, including the fact that he went commando under his uniforms and that he wore the same 5 suits in rotation on road trips.  I am sure if the Mudcats were around today that they would be social media stars.  Brian also mentioned (and there is a display of this in the new Women in Baseball exhibit in the Hall of Fame and Museum) that the song “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is about a woman who wanted to go to the ballgame on a date rather than the movies.

I was really looking forward to Brian’s presentation on Stan Musial that was supposed to occur on Saturday.  Hopefully, he will save it for next year’s WWU.  Brian’s presentations are very informative and entertaining.  They are worth the price of a WWU pass alone.  Brian even sent me an email with the sources he used for his presentation, and I am passing them on to you in case you would like to read about Pepper Martin and the Mudcats:  Pepper Martin:  A Baseball Biography by Thomas Barthel and Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” by Andy Strasberg.  Click on the titles to order them from Amazon.  I am going to see if I can find them at my local library.

After the presentation, we went back to the main stage area to see Aledmys Diaz and Stephen Piscotty.   I snapped a couple of photos:

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Adam Wainwright was also signing during this time and he was very personable as always.  For those of you who love Randal Grichuk, here is a photo of him:

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We stopped by the Cardinals Magazine table and I purchased a very nice commemorative magazine about Busch Stadium II which was published in 2005, Busch Stadium II’s last year of existence.

Phil and I were getting tired, so we decided it was time to go home.

1/16/17:

Tom Lawless was the only free autograph I wanted to get in the morning on the 16th, and he was signing until 11:00 AM, so we decided to head to WWU a little later in the morning. The will call in the 100 N. Broadway building was empty, as we discovered when we went there first.  We then went to the hotel lobby to get an autograph ticket.  We stopped by the vendor with all the individual baseball cards and I found one of Tom for him to sign.  I wanted to find cards for Randy Flores and Kerry Robinson, but he didn’t have one for either player.

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Mike Leake was also signing. Mike, didn’t your mama ever teach you you’re not supposed to wear your hat inside?  LOL!

We then went to the main stage area and I got Tom’s autograph.  We then went to the Cardinals Care store and the Cardinals Team Store to see if they had any new merchandise or had marked down any items. I purchased a pennant for $3.00 to use for my afternoon free autographs. The CC store had marked down some of their items but they were still not in my price range.

At 11:00 PM, we went to a presentation given by team photographer Taka Yanagimoto titled “2016 – A Year in Photos.”  Mr. Yanagimoto presented a slide show of many excellent photos, both formally posed shots and candid shots.  He showed photos of Seung Hwan Oh when he signed with the team and when he stepped out of the dugout and onto the field for the first time. Everyone was amused by the photo of Jedd Gyorko and Brandon Moss sitting in lawn chairs on the field drinking beer next to a barbecue grill.  Mr. Yanagimoto showed us one of his favorite photos, which was taken on the roof of Busch Stadium.  He told us about how he gets up on the roof of Busch Stadium.  I’m not afraid of heights, but that’s too far up (and there are no handrails) for me.  Mr. Yanagimoto stated that the Cardinals are only one of three teams in MLB to have their own photography team.  It was an entertaining and informative presentation.

Both Phil and I were getting hungry, so we went to lunch at St. Louis Bread Company. I was pleased to discover that our order would be delivered to our table. The Bread Co. locations in Illinois don’t offer that service yet.

We went back to the hotel at 1 PM and got autograph tickets for Kerry Robinson and Randy Flores.  The sign with the ticket pick up information indicated that Yadi’s flight was delayed and he would not be at WWU to sign autographs until 3 PM.

My line ticket for Randy Flores was number 269 and they were only taking line tickets 1-50.  So we went to the food area to kill some time and we ran into Sally Rains of STL Sports Page. We had a nice conversation about some of the other Cardinals bloggers (don’t worry, I didn’t say anything bad at all about you).

Here are Randy and Kerry:

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I really wanted to stay to see Yadi, but I had to get home to put some leftover lasagna in the oven for dinner.  Maybe next year I’ll get to see Yadi.

It was great seeing all the guys.  It made me realize how much I missed baseball.  Pitchers and catchers report on Valentine’s Day. What an appropriate day!

I’m sorry it took me so long to post this.  I had to figure out how to get my phone photos downloaded where I could do something with them, and then I had to write everything up.   Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane

Homestand Highlights – April 29-May 8

Home Sweet Home.2jpgAfter a long West Coast trip, the Cardinals are back home at Busch Stadium for a nice, long homestand, and they will host the Nationals, the Phillies, and the Pirates. Hopefully, the late game last night in the Arizona desert will not affect our guys for this evening’s game. There is a lot going on in this homestand, including some great promotional giveaways, so let’s get started!

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Friday, April 29—Sunday, May 8, 2016)

Green Week, Bobblehead & Replica Ring Giveaways and Mother’s Day Highlight the Second Homestand of the Season 

ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 29, 2016 – The Cardinals are back at Busch for the first of two 10-game homestands this season—their longest of the season—which kicks off with a three-game series with the Washington Nationals (April 29-May 1), continues with a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (May 2-5) and concludes with a three-game series versus division rival Pittsburgh Pirates (May 6-8). The homestand is highlighted by annual Green Week festivities, a Trevor Rosenthal bobblehead and a replica 1946 World Series Championship ring giveaway, three Theme Nights and Mother’s Day celebration.

Friday, April 29, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  •  Adult Zip-Up Hooded Sweatshirt Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a fleece zip-up hooded sweatshirt.

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  • Cardinals 2016 Hall of Fame Induction Announcement: The Cardinals 2016 Hall of Fame induction class will be revealed on FOX Sports Midwest tonight during a 30-minute pregame television special at 6:00 p.m. CT.  The 2016 Cardinals Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 27. 

The winners are Sam Breadon (organization selection), Terry Moore (Veterans’ Committee), Chris Carpenter and Joe Torre (fan selections).

  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes at Busch Stadium gates before the game.  Fans are asked to clean out their closets of any unwanted, gently-used shoes, tie or band them together and drop them in the designated shoe collection bins.  Shoeman Water Projects creates clean drinking water for those in need by selling shoes to exporters for resale and then using the money generated from those sales to purchase well-drilling rigs and water purification systems in developing countries (#4AGreenerGame).  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.
  •  Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum.  Today’s featured items will include Joe Medwick’s 1937 Triple Crown.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations, and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game.  The auction is a great way for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community.  Auction tables are located at Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.
  • Race To The Plate: At every Friday home game, fans will enjoy the Missouri Farmers Care: Race To The Plate—a mascot race featuring Captain Cornelius, Bessie the Cow and Simon the Soybean.  A new mascot will debut later in the season as well.  Join the conversation on how today’s food is grown and raised atMissouriFarmersCare.com (#GoFarmTeam).

Saturday, April 30, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  •  Trevor Rosenthal Bobblehead Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a Trevor Rosenthal bobblehead with sound chip, presented by The Hartford.

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  • Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals catcher Glenn Brummer will be on hand to sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Saturday Signings is a new program held exclusively in the Cardinals Museum before each Saturday home game during the 2016 season where fans can get an autograph from a former Cardinals player with valid admission to the Museum.  In addition to having a valid admission to the museum, fans must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and will be distributed on the day of each Saturday signing.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/museum for the full schedule and additional details.
  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: See above (Friday, April 29) for details.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations, and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

 Sunday, May 1, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m. This is also the United Cardinals Bloggers’ blogger event day.

  • Randal Grichuk Kids Bat Promotional Giveaway: All kids, ages 15 and younger, entering with a ticket will receive a 28-inch Randal Grichuk bat, courtesy of Rawlings.

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  • Kids Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, receive a free ticket voucher for a 2016 home game courtesy of Ritz.
  • 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 ice cream (while supplies last).
  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: See above (Friday, April 29) for details.
  • Green Week Activity Volunteer Recognition: During pregame ceremonies, the Cardinals will honor an outstanding Green Team volunteer.  During Green Week, and all season long, the St. Louis Cardinals Knight FM Green Team volunteers walk down the aisles of the seating bowl in-between innings and collect recyclables from fans while promoting recycling at Busch Stadium.  In exchange for their services, they are able to watch the game in standing room only sections of Busch Stadium.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/green (#4AGreenerGame).
  • Home Run Against Hunger Food Drive: The Cardinals, in partnership with Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance and Feeding Missouri, are hosting a food drive in the Ballpark Village parking lot before today’s contest from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Fans who bring a non-perishable donation will receive a voucher for two tickets to an upcoming Cardinals game.
  • St. Louis Blues Themed Batting Practice Jerseys Auction:  Online auctions for 31 autographed Blues-themed batting practice jerseys/sweaters worn by Cardinal players prior to the club’s inaugural Blues Theme Night on September 21, 2015 ends tonight at 11:59 p.m.  Proceeds from the online jersey auction will benefit Cardinals Care.  Go to cardinals.com/community to bid.
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations, and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visitcardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

 Monday, May 2, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Boy/Girl Scouts Night Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite all Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their families to enjoy Scout Night at the ballpark.  This is the second of three planned Scouts Nights for the 2016 season.  For just $14, each scout receives a ticket to the game as well as a voucher which can be exchanged for a Cardinals scout patch.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

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  • Green Week Activity – Shoe Recycling: See above (Friday, April 29) for details.
  • Green Week Activity – Operation Food Search Presentation: In a ceremony prior to the game, Operation Food Search will recognize the Cardinals and the team’s concessionaire, Delaware North Sportservice.  Together, the Cardinals and Delaware North Companies diverted nearly 78,000 pounds of unused food from concessions stands in Busch Stadium to Operation Food Search since 2010, which reduced the amount of waste going to landfills.  When food decomposes in landfills, it becomes a source of greenhouse gas emissions.  The Cardinals are exceeding their food recovery goals, which results in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change while contributing to Operation Food Search’s efforts in feeding 200,000 of our neighbors in need  (#4AGreenerGame).
  • Live From UMB Champions Club:  FOX Sports Midwest will broadcast this evening’s game on television from the UMB Champions Club.
  • MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

 Tuesday, May 3, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.  My son and I will be at this game, thanks to the Papa John’s $6.00 tickets.

  •  Jeff Suppan Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Jeff Suppan mini bobblehead as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2006 World Series Champion Cardinals.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Jeff Suppan.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase general tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#BudBash).  

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

 Wednesday, May 4, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

  • Tote Bag Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans will receive a reusable Cardinals grocery/tote bag, compliments of MLB Network.

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  • College Night Theme Tickets: The St. Louis Cardinals invite students, faculty and staff of local colleges and universities to the second and final College Night of the season.  Fans who purchase the $20 Right/Left Field loge theme night ticket, receive an exclusive, limited edition Cardinals lightweight hoodie.  Fans must present the special theme night voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  For more info, or to purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#CardsTheme).

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  • Cardinals Care Spring Grant Ceremony: In an afternoon ceremony, Cardinals Care will distribute more than $130,000 to 64 area nonprofit groups that support local kids.  A Cardinals player, executives and Fredbird will all take part in the afternoon event (#CardsCare).
  • Saint Louis Football Club: Members of United Soccer League’s Saint Louis FC and “Mr. Soccer” Bill McDermott will be recognized on the field prior to the start of the game.
  • Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals welcome back the Battle at Busch concert series.  The 2016 schedule features 18 local bands over the course of six nights, at six different Cardinals home games in Ford Plaza.  Tonight’s battle features In the Arms of Machines, Hobo Empire and Shark Dad.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:30 p.m. with each act given 20 minutes to perform.  Each band will be judged on a point system by Mozingo Music and 105.7 The Point.  The top four scoring bands of the summer will be invited back to play on September 28th in the Battle at Busch finals for the grand prize package.  Tickets are available for $10.57 to each Battle at Busch game by going to cardinals.com/battleatbusch.
  • Pregame Pom/Cheer/Dance Performance: Prior to the game, groups from Meghan Torno School of Irish Dance, Dancers On Tour, Flipside Gymnastics, H and F Cheer, and Vineland Dragonettes/Dragon Dudes will perform in the Riverview Corner (behind Section 432) beginning at 5:50 p.m.

 Thursday, May 5, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

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

Friday, May 6, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

  • Replica 1946 World Series Championship Ring Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a wearable 1946 World Series Championship replica ring.

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  • Academy Sports + Outdoors Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Two current Cardinals players (TBD) will sign 100 autographs inside Ford Plaza for fans 15 years old and younger from 5:45-6:15.  Former Cardinals Danny Cox and Tom Lawless will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  *Players subject to change*
  • Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum will highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum.  Today’s featured items will relate to the 1946 World Series including Stan Musial’s Sporting News Player of the Year award.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum (#CardsMuseum).
  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations, and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  • Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Fans have the unique opportunity to bid on exclusive autographed Cardinals memorabilia at the game.  The auction is a great way for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community.  Auction tables are located at Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.
  • Race To The Plate: Every Friday night, fans will enjoy the Missouri Farmers Care: Race To The Plate—a mascot race featuring Captain Cornelius, Bessie the Cow and Simon the Soybean.  A new mascot will debut later in the season as well.  Join the conversation on how today’s food is grown and raised at MissouriFarmersCare.com(#GoFarmTeam).

Saturday, May 7, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • Adult Replica Mike Shannon Jersey Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a 1966 Mike Shannon replica jersey, courtesy of Goodwill.

mike_shannon_jersey_200x169

  • Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations, and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  •  MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

Sunday, May 8, 2016 — Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

  • Adult Performance T-Shirt Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a Cardinals performance t-shirt with pink accent colors in honor of Mother’s Day, presented by Power of the Pink!

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  • Kids Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, receive a free ticket voucher for a 2016 home game courtesy of Ritz.

 

  • 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 ice cream (while supplies last).
  •  Special Mother’s Day Uniforms: For the first time, the Cardinals and MLB will celebrate Mother’s Day with specially designed uniforms that incorporate pink into the Cardinals’ regular logos, with caps highlighted by a dark grey crown and brim.  In honor of Mother’s Day, MLB will donate its licensed uniform royalties to the Susan G. Komen and Stand Up to Cancer charities.

MD Jersey  MD Cap

  • Honorary Bat Girl: As part of MLB’s Honorary Bat Girl Program, the Cardinals will recognize Christina Sego, a breast cancer survivor, with an on-field ceremony and honorary first pitch before the game.  Ms. Sego was nominated by her son, Jordan, who described how she has been affected by her diagnosis and her commitment to battling the disease.
  •  Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the seven ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the middle of the 7th inning.  One lucky fan will receive 50 percent of the gross proceeds from the game’s raffle ticket donations, and the other half will benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s charitable foundation that helps children.  For more info, past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050 (#Raffle4Kids).
  •  MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction inside Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, UMB Champions Club and the Cardinals Club from the time gates open through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the Players Alumni Association, a non-profit group that strives to preserve the game of baseball while supporting a variety of charities.

This afternoon, I attended the The Cardinals Way at Cardinals Nation presentation, at which Dan McLaughlin interviewed Bill DeWitt, Sr., John Mozeliak, and Howard Megdal, author of The Cardinals Way (which was reviewed in my last blog post) about the contents of the book.  It was an enjoyable and entertaining presentation.  Howard signed my copy of his book, mentioned that he read my blog and thanked me for my nice review.  That was so encouraging!  There were Cardinals Insider members taping the presentation, so you may be able to see it on Cardinals Insider soon.

Sunday is the annual United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event at Busch Stadium, and I’ll post all the details in my next blog post.  If you’ll be at tomorrow’s game and/or have nothing to do tomorrow night, there will be a UCB get-together tomorrow night at Cardinals Nation and you’re welcome to join us for some Cardinals conversation.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and 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