Homestand Highlights for May 17-May 23, 2018

cropped-home-sweet-home.jpgThe Cards are limping back into town with Adam Wainwright, Luke Gregerson, Carlos Martinez and Tyler Lyons joining Yadier Molina on the disabled list.  The Memphis Express has been busy with John Brebbia and John Gant going back and forth.  The Cardinals start a week long homestand starting tomorrow night.  My son and I will be at Saturday afternoon’s game in section 131, row 5, so come by and say hello if you’re at the game.  Maybe you can buy us both a beer.  🙂 Here are the details on this homestand:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Thursday, May 17—Wednesday, May 23)

1968 NLCS Anniversary Weekend & I-70 Series Highlight Fourth Homestand of 2018

ST. LOUIS, Mo., May 16, 2018 – The Cardinals return home after completing a six-game road trip through San Diego and Minnesota.  The seven-game homestand kicks off with a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies (May 17-20) and concludes with three games versus our American League rivals, the Kansas City Royals (May 21-23).  The fourth homestand of the season is highlighted by the 1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend and eight Theme events including Braggin’ Rights Night and A Night with the Ecksteins.

Thursday, May 17, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (6:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 4:45 p.m.

Soccer NightWith the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive a unique St. Louis Cardinals soccer jersey.  Presented by AJAX Soccer.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/soccer. #CardsTheme

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gates 1 and 3 through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Friday, May 18, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:15 p.m.)

1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Bob Gibson Pitching Rubber Giveaway: 30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, can relive one of the most dominant pitching performances in MLB history by taking home their very own Bob Gibson pitching rubber, commemorating Gibby’s incredible 1968 season.  Presented by Ameren Missouri. #CardsPromo

Bob Gibson Pregame CeremonyThe Cardinals will formally commence the #CompleteGamer fan engagement campaign celebrating Hall of Fame Pitcher Bob Gibson with a special ceremony prior to tonight’s game.  The #CompleteGamer campaign is designed to honor “Gibby” and share his extraordinary personal story while raising money to benefit musically-gifted urban youth and recognizing #CompleteGamers from other fields/vocations.  Fans can visit cardinals.com/Gibson for more information.

Braggin’ Rights Night: Illini Night and Mizzou Night are combing for Braggin’ Rights Night presented by FOX Sports Midwest.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an Illini or Mizzou-themed Cardinals jersey.  A pregame pep rally will feature band members, cheer squads and athletes from each school.  Mizzou Head Football Coach Barry Odom and Illini Head Basketball Coach Brad Underwood are both scheduled to attend as well.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/Illini or cardinals.com/Mizzou. #CardsTheme 

Cardinals Care Spring Grant Ceremony: In an afternoon ceremony, Cardinals Care will distribute more than $134,000 to 68 area nonprofit groups that support local kids.  A Cardinals player, executives and Fredbird will all take part in the afternoon event. #CardsCare

Alumni Celebrity Bartender: Former Cardinals reliever, John Costello, will be bartending in Budweiser Terrace from innings two through four during tonight’s game.

Dream Weavers: Luke Weaver will host a group from the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition for tonight’s game as part of his Dream Weavers player ticket program.

Cardinals en Español: Tonight’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Artifact Spotlight: Before every Friday home game, the Cardinals Museum highlights artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum at 3:00 & 3:30.  Today’s featured item relates to former Cardinals outfielder Roger Maris. To purchase museum tickets, visitcardinals.com/museum. #CardsMuseum

Flashback Friday: Before every Friday home game at 4:00 p.m., the Cardinals Museum will host a presentation about Cardinals history or a museum-related topic from one of the Museum’s staff members, a former player or a visiting author.  Today’s presentation will be hosted Cardinals Magazine Senior Staff Writer, Stan McNeal.  To purchase museum tickets, visit cardinals.com/museum. #CardsMuseum

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from tonight’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. #CardsCare

Saturday, May 19, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1:15 p.m.)

1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend presented by Heartland Coca-Cola

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

1968 Replica Ring Giveaway30,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a wearable replica ring of the 1968 National League Championship ring that the players and coaches received 50 years ago! #CardsPromo

1968 National League Championship Anniversary CeremonyIn recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Cardinals 1968 National League Championship, 16 members of the 1968 team will be honored in a pregame ceremony.  The former players will be introduced from the dugout and members from the team will throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals All-Star first baseman Julian Javier will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.

Alumni Celebrity Bartender: Former Cardinals starting pitcher, Danny Cox, will be bartending in Budweiser Terrace from innings two through four during today’s game.

Cardinals en Español: Today’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from today’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Sunday, May 20, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (1:15 p.m.)

1968 National League Championship Anniversary Weekend

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Kids Baseball Glove Giveaway: All kids ages 15 and younger, entering with a ticket, can come out to celebrate Major League Baseball’s Play Ball Weekend and field like the pros when they receive their very own Rawlings Kids Baseball Glove.  Right handed-gloves can be exchange for left-handed gloves in Budweiser Terrace until 2:15 p.m. #CardsPromo

Kids Ticket Voucher Giveaway: All kids entering with a ticket, ages 15 and younger, will receive a free ticket voucher valid for select Cardinals regular season home games in 2018, courtesy of Ritz. #CardsPromo

Six Flags Day: All children under 48 inches receive a free ticket to Six Flags, valid any one day through July 31, 2018. #CardsPromo

Prairie Farms Kids Run the Bases: Following the game, fans ages 15 and under are invited to run the bases of Busch Stadium (weather permitting).  Presented by Prairie Farms.

Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday: Starting two hours prior to the game, bring the entire family to Ford Plaza for games, prizes and free North Star frozen treats (while supplies last).

Negro Leagues Tribute Day: Come celebrate the history of the St. Louis Stars and Negro League Baseball at the ballpark.  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive a pinstripe St. Louis Stars cap.  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.  President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Bob Kendrick, and KMOX’s Mike Clairborne will host a round table in Cunningham Corner from 11:45a.m.-12:15p.m.To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/negroleagues. #CardsTheme

Home Run Against Hunger Food Drive: The Cardinals, in partnership with Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance and Feeding Missouri, are hosting a food drive in front of the Official Cardinals Team Store before today’s contest from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Fans who bring a non-perishable food donation will receive a voucher for two tickets to an upcoming Cardinals game. #HomeRunAgainstHunger 

Honorary Bat Girl: As part of MLB’s support of the annual “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, traditionally commemorated each Mother’s Day, the Cardinals will recognize Kathy Koke, a breast cancer survivor, with an on-field ceremony and honorary first pitch before the game.  Mrs. Koke is celebrating six years of being cancer free and is dedicated to helping fund cancer research and help raise awareness.

Cardinals en Español: Today’s game will be broadcast over the radio in Spanish by Polo Ascencio and Bengie Molina.  The Spanish broadcast will air locally on WIJR 880 AM and be streamed via cardinals.com & the MLB.com At Bat mobile app. #STLCardenales

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: One lucky fan will receive 50% of the gross proceeds from today’s raffle ticket donations.  The other half will benefit Cardinals Care.  For more info and past winning raffle numbers, visit cardinals.com/5050.  #CardsCare5050

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1, Gate 3 and inside the Cardinals Club through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Monday, May 21, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (7:15 p.m.)

MLB Network Showcase National Broadcast (out-of-market only)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

T-Shirt of the Month Giveaway: 20,000 fans, ages 16 and older, will take home a unique Cardinals t-shirt depicting Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.  The t-shirt’s design was selected as the winner by the fans via an online vote. #CardsPromo

Autograph Night: Get free autographs from current and former Cardinals players, courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors.  Harrison Bader will sign 100 autographs in Budweiser Terrace for fans ages 15 and younger from 5:45-6:15.  Kids must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and are distributed in Budweiser Terrace.  Former Cardinals Danny Cox and John Costello will sign autographs for fans of all ages from 6:15-7:00.  Players subject to change.

A Night With The Ecksteins Theme Event: 2006 World Series MVP David Eckstein and his wife, Ashley, are returning to the ballpark to celebrate the release of Ashley’s new book and chat about following your dreams! With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive access to a pregame Q&A session with Ashley & David Eckstein, a copy of Ashley’s new book, It’s Your Universe, and an autograph from Ashley and David.  Tickets and more information available at cardinals.com/Eckstein. #CardsTheme

Nurses Night: Nurses Night returns in 2018 with a day and night option for all the shift-workers!  With the purchase of a special Theme Ticket, fans will receive an exclusive Cardinals scrub jacket. To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/nurses. #CardsTheme

Wainwright’s Winners: Adam Wainwright will host a group from The Maren Fund for tonight’s game as part of his Wainwright’s Winners player ticket program.

MLBPAA Auction: The MLB Players Alumni Association will conduct a silent auction by Gate 1 and Gate 3 through the fifth inning.  All proceeds will benefit Cardinals Care and the MLBPAA.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (7:15 p.m.) 

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Brian Jordan Budweiser Bash Theme EventFans who purchase a special Bud Bash Theme Ticket will receive a limited-edition Brian Jordan mini-bobblehead as we celebrate Cardinal fan favorites.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Brian in the Budweiser Terrace.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  To purchase tickets, visit cardinals.com/budbash#BudBash

Tsunami Waves: Carlos Martínez will host a group from World Pediatric Project for tonight’s game as part of his Tsunami Waves player ticket program.

Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals welcome back the Battle at Busch concert series.  Tonight’s battle features Jean Claude & The Eclairs, L.T.H.and Legends Undercover.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:35 p.m. in Budweiser Terrace.  Tickets are available for $5 to each Battle at Busch game at cardinals.com/battleatbusch.

Cardinals Care Stadium Auction: Auction tables will be located inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club for fans and collectors to obtain specialty Cardinals items while helping support the programs that Cardinals Care provides to youth in the community. #CardsCare

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 — Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals (12:15 p.m.)  

MLB Network Showcase National Broadcast (out-of-market only)

Gates open at 10:45 a.m.

KMOX Day: Fans who purchase a special Theme Ticket will receive an old-school KMOX microphone that plays some special highlights from Jack Buck, John Rooney and Mike Shannon.  Fans can also enjoy a special pregame meet & greet with KMOX on-air personalities.  This event is sold out. #CardsTheme

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to Ford Plaza.  For a $10 donation, Great Clips will cut your hair and donate all proceeds to Cardinals Care.

MORE INFORMATION

#CompleteGamer – Celebrating Bob Gibson in 2018

On April 15th, 59 years to the date of his first Major League start, the Cardinals launched the #CompleteGamer fan engagement campaign to honor Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, who played his entire 17-year career with the Cardinals and ended his career with more complete games (255) than his franchise leading number of wins (251).

To reach a new generation of fans, the team has released a #CompleteGamer song and music video that serves as a theme song for the campaign and seeks to convey Gibson’s extraordinary life story in a musical style reminiscent of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton by using hip-hop accompanied by powerful music performed by an orchestra.

As part of the campaign, fans are asked to share examples of people that they know who are a #CompleteGamer in their own respective field or vocation.  Each week, the team will highlight at least one fan #CompleteGamer and they will receive a special Gibson autographed item from the team.  Fans can nominate someone through an online submission form at cardinals.com/Gibson.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

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Preseason ponderings and burning questions for the regular season

The last game of the preseason is tonight. The reason I called it a preseason game is because last night’s and tonight’s game are not in Florida, so they can’t be spring training games. You can watch tonight’s game for free on MLB.TV – just go to mlb.com, select the Cardinals-Blue Jays game in the scoreboard section and click on the TV icon. The game starts at 6:07 PM CST, so hopefully you’re not reading this too late to watch it.

It was a little disconcerting following last night’s game on Gameday only.  The game wasn’t broadcast on KMOX or on FOX Sports or any other cable network. It felt like the 1960’s and 1970’s when very few games were televised and you could only follow the game on KMOX. But the regular season starts in only 2 days and I’ll be able to watch and/or listen to all the baseball I want! Are you excited? I am. Here’s some of my thoughts on spring training and the season to come.

Spring training notes:

Amazingly, the Cardinals escaped spring training without a major injury, such as a pitcher needing Tommy John surgery. However, Adam Wainwright and Luke Gregerson suffered hamstring strains. Both Adam and Luke injured their hamstrings in a sprint drill. Why the heck are pitchers doing sprint drills? Pitchers do not do that much running, unless they manage to get on base. A pitcher would not need to sprint to cover first base. Gregerson also suffered an oblique injury earlier in spring training. Both Adam and Luke are on the disabled list to start the season. At least those are minor injuries.

Carson Kelly, Yadi’s backup last year, was sent down to Memphis. Yadi’s stamina has improved with age to the point that he hardly ever takes a day off. Carson’s offense has suffered as a result of not getting enough playing time, and that carried over to spring training. Carson needs to be playing every day in order to improve, and not ride the bench while Yadi plays. Be patient, young padawan; your time will come. Francisco Pena, the son of former Cardinals catcher Tony Pena, will be the backup catcher.

Jack Flaherty was lights out in spring training. He is definitely one of the starters in the rotation of the future. The future is now, however, as Jack will be taking Wainwright’s place in the rotation until Waino’s hamstring heals.

Yairo Munoz, one of the prospects obtained in the Stephen Piscotty trade, was very good in spring training. His great offense helped him make the team as an infield backup. It was reported that his mother cried when he told her the news. I would have cried too if one of my kids had played baseball and I was told that he/she had been added to the major league squad.

Burning questions:

Since no closer has been chosen, will the 9th inning be closer by committee? Dominic Leone and Tyler Lyons appear to be the top candidates for the closer position.

Carlos Martinez has shown flashes of greatness. Will he get it together and be the dominant pitcher we know he can be? Although some fans like Carlos’ funky hair colors, I think it’s a distraction. Save the funky colors for the off-season, Carlos.

Will Mike Matheny micromanage the team and keep Mike Maddux, Willie McGee and Jose Oquendo from doing their jobs effectively?

Will Tommy Pham have another season like he did last season? Or will his vision problems give him more trouble?

Will Jose Martinez get enough playing time? If Pham gets hurt, Fowler could be moved back to center field and Jose could play right field.

Will Michael Wacha’s shoulder stay healed? He has pitched very well in spring training. Here’s hoping he’s regained his 2013 form and will be the dominant pitcher he was then.

I have a great deal for you.  Is T-Mobile your cell phone provider? If not, you should hurry up and switch to T-Mobile – they are offering a great perk:  a free season of MLB.TV,  through their T-Mobile Tuesdays app. That means you can watch all out-of- market baseball games on your cellphone, tablet, etc. All you need is an MLB.com account. This deal is only good through April 7. I discovered this great perk in the app last Tuesday and it made me really glad that I had switched to T-Mobile from AT&T.

Thanks as always for reading! See you next time!

Diane

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