Homestand Highlights 4/25/17-5/4/17

Twenty-three days of the 2017 season have already gone by, and a lot has happened.  I have been to two games already this season, and the Cardinals have won both of them.  (Perhaps the Cards’ front office needs to give me season tickets?) The pitching has been stellar, for the most part, but the defense is sloppy, like last year. Tonight, however, the boys are back in town for nine games.  Here’s hoping they play better at home than they did last year.

There’s a lot going on at Busch Stadium for the next nine days, so here are all the details:

HOMESTAND HIGHLIGHTS (Tuesday, April 25—Thursday, May 4)

Green Week, Law Enforcement & Firefighters Appreciation Nights Highlight Third Homestand at Busch

ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 25, 2017 – After taking three of four games from the Brew Crew in Milwaukee, the Redbirds return to Busch Stadium for the first of two 10-game homestands in 2017—their longest of the season.  The homestand kicks off with a three-game interleague matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays (April 25-27), continues with three games against the Cincinnati Reds (April 28-30) and concludes with a four-game series versus the Milwaukee Brewers (May 1-4).  The homestand is highlighted by annual Green Week festivities, the 2017 Cardinals Hall of Fame Induction Class announcement, Photo Day and a Carlos Martínez and Matt Carpenter double bobblehead.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Lou Brock Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Lou Brock mini bobblehead as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 World Series Champion team.  For more info, or to purchase general tickets, visit cardinals.com/theme (#BudBash). Lou was supposed to attend, but unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment. Your continued thoughts and prayers for Lou would be appreciated, I’m sure.

Redbird Rookies Rawlings Gold Glove Ceremony: Six children from the club’s Redbird Rookies community program will be honored on the field before tonight’s game.  In order to qualify for the Gold Glove Award the children had to attend all four Redbird Rookies off-field events and complete an application that included specific tasks for different age groups.  The applications were evaluated by Cardinals Care staff and two participants in each of the three ages groups were selected as winners.  Each winner received four Field Box tickets to tonight’s game, an opportunity to meet a Cardinals player and will be presented with a personalized glove from Rawlings. (#CardsCare)

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 will be located by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m. My family will be at tomorrow night’s game.  I’m hoping for another win.  🙂

Law Enforcement Appreciation Theme Night: The Cardinals and Major League Baseball are teaming up to honor law enforcement officers and their families for Law Enforcement Appreciation Night.  Fans who purchase this special theme night ticket will receive an exclusive Cardinals Law Enforcement hat.  Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  Tickets are currently sold out.  For more information, visit cardinals.com/lawenforcement. (#CardsTheme)

 

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside 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 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.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Green Week – 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 have diverted nearly 79,000 pounds of unused food from concessions stands in Busch Stadium to Operation Food Search since 2010, which reduces 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 of feeding 200,000 of our neighbors in need  (#4AGreenerGame).

 Battle at Busch: 105.7 The Point and the Cardinals welcome back the Battle at Busch concert series.  The 2017 schedule features 18 local bands over the course of six nights, at six different Cardinals home games in Ford Plaza.  Tonight’s battle features The Faded Truth and The Revolutioners.  Gate 6 will open at 5:15 p.m. for the event.  Performances begin at 5:45 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 26 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.

Piscotty’s Pals: Stephen Piscotty will host a group from the Down Syndrome Association for tonight’s game as part of his Piscotty’s Pals player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Stephen in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions. 

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137) and Gate 3 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.

 Thursday, April 27, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Toronto Blue Jays (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside 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 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.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to the 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, April 28, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:15 p.m.

Bruce Sutter Garden Gnome Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans ages 16 and older will leave with an exclusive Bruce Sutter garden gnome.  (#CardsPromo)

Cardinals 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Announcement: The fourth elected Cardinals 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 2017 Cardinals Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 26.

Green Week – Redbird Garden: The Cardinals and Delaware North Sportservice, in collaboration with Urban Harvest STL, will commemorate the newly installed Redbird Garden during a pregame field ceremony.  The hydroponic garden, located in the Level 3 elevator landing above Gate 6, features herbs (Thyme, Sage, etc.) and fresh greens (Kale, etc.) that Sportservice chefs will harvest for use in salads at Busch Stadium. (#4AGreenerGame)

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest: Nathan’s Famous will host a local regional qualifier for their Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest at 6:00 p.m. in the Ford Plaza.  The top male and female finishers in this event will qualify for a seat at the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, Brooklyn where they will face reigning champions Joey Chestnut and Miki Sudo.

Cardinals Museum Artifact Spotlight: Every Friday home game, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum highlight artifacts in the collection not currently on display during a pregame presentation inside the Museum.  Today’s featured item relates to the Marvelous Musical Mississippi Mudcat Band.  For more information or to purchase tickets to the museum, visit cardinals.com/museum.  (#CardsMuseum)

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 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.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.

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 will be located by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

Saturday, April 29, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Carlos Martínez & Matt Carpenter Double Bobblehead Promotional Giveaway: The first 30,000 ticketed fans, ages 16 and older, will receive a one-of-a-kind Carlos Martínez and Matt Carpenter double bobblehead highlighting the Cardinals’ post-home run, water splash celebration.  Presented by SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital(#CardsPromo)

Photo Day: Prior to the game, fans will be allowed on the field to get up-close and personal photos of their favorite Cardinals players, coaches and Fredbird.  Field access is on a first-come, first-served basis and will begin approximately 10 minutes after gates open.  Weather permitting.  Fans are encouraged to share their photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat using #CardsPhotoDay.

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside 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 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.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Saturday Signings at the Museum: Former Cardinals outfielder Ken Oberkfell will sign autographs at the Cardinals Museum from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  In addition to having a valid admission to the museum, fans must have an autograph line ticket, which are free and will be distributed beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Busch II Infield outside Cardinals Nation.  Visit cardinals.com/museum for more information.

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 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.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.

 Sunday, April 30, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

 Carlos Martínez Kids Home White Jersey Promotional Giveaway: All kids ages 15 and younger will receive a replica Carlos Martínez home white jersey, courtesy of Powerade and Shop ‘n Save.  Size exchanges can be made at the Riverview Corner kiosk until 2:45 p.m.  (#CardsPromo)

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 food donation or make a monetary donation will receive a voucher for two tickets to an upcoming 2017 Cardinals game.

Green Week – Shoe Collection: The Cardinals, in partnership with Shoeman Water Projects, will collect shoes inside 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 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.  For more information about Green Week, visit cardinals.com/greenweek.  (#4AGreenerGame)

Green Week – Volunteer Recognition: During pregame ceremonies, the Cardinals will honor our outstanding Green Team volunteers.  During Green Week, and all season long, the St. Louis Cardinals Knight FM Green Team walks 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, visitcardinals.com/green (#4AGreenerGame).

Honorary First Pitch: World War II Veteran & Pearl Harbor survivor Lieutenant Jim Downing will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before today’s game.

Kids Free Ticket Voucher: All ticketed-fans, ages 15 and younger, will receive a free ticket voucher for a 2017 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).

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

Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle: Fans 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.  For past winning raffle numbers and kiosk locations, visit cardinals.com/5050.

Monday, May 1, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

 St. Louis Blues Themed Batting Practice Jerseys Auction:  Online auctions for 39 autographed Blues-themed batting practice jerseys worn by Cardinal players prior to last year’s Blues Theme Night on September 28, 2016 begins today.  The auctions will end on Sunday, May 7, at 8:59 p.m.  Proceeds from the online jersey auction will benefit Cardinals Care.  Fans can bid at cardinals.com/community.

 All-Star Balloting Launch: Online balloting for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game launches today at cardinals.com/vote.  The 88th edition of MLB’s Midsummer Classic will take place at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11 and is set to be the first since 2002 where the outcome does not determine home-field advantage for the World Series.

Live from the UMB Champions Club: KMOX will perform tonight’s radio broadcast from Busch Stadium’s premier all-inclusive ticketed area, the UMB Champions Club.

Trevor’s Troops: Trevor Rosenthal will host a group from Walker Scottish Rite for tonight’s game as part of his Trevor’s Troops player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Trevor in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

College Theme Night II: The St. Louis Cardinals invite students, faculty and staff of local colleges and universities to the second of two College Nights of the season.  Fans who purchase the $20 theme night ticket receive a Cardinals College Night t-shirt.  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).

Tom Pagnozzi Budweiser Bash Theme Night: Fans who purchase this special Bud Bash Theme Ticket receive a voucher for a limited edition Tom Pagnozzi mini bobblehead as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1987 National League Championship team.  VIP ticket-holders will also have access to a pregame autograph session with Pags.  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).

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athletes: Over 150 high school senior athletes, recognized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for their excellence in the classroom and on the field, will take part in a pregame parade around the warning track before tonight’s game.

Spanish Audio Broadcast: The Cardinals will stream eight Spanish language home audio broadcasts via cardinals.com and the MLB.com At Bat mobile app in 2017.  The club will produce the game’s broadcast in cooperation with La Ke Buena Spanish internet radio to provide game play-by-play from announcer Polo Ascencio and color commentary from former Cardinals Assistant Hitting Coach Bengie Molina.

Live from the UMB Champions Club: FOX Sports Midwest will broadcast this evening’s game from Busch Stadium’s premier all-inclusive ticketed area, the UMB Champions Club.

Fowler’s Friends: Dexter Fowler will host a group from Urban Future for tonight’s game as part of his Fowler’s Friends player ticket program.  Prior to the game, the group will get to watch batting practice from the field and meet with Dexter in the dugout to take pictures and ask questions.

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 will be located by Gate 1 (Section 137), Gate 3, inside the Cardinals Club, UMB Champions Club and Redbird Club.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:15 p.m.)

Gates open at 5:45 p.m.

Cardinals Care Spring Grant Ceremony: In an afternoon ceremony, Cardinals Care will distribute more than $135,000 to 77 area nonprofit groups that support local kids.  A Cardinals player, executives and Fredbird will all take part in the afternoon event (#CardsCare).

Firefighters Appreciation Theme Night: The Cardinals are partnering with The Hartford and the company’s Junior Fire Marshal program to celebrate our brave men and women in uniform and their families for Firefighters Appreciation Night.  Fans who purchase this special theme night ticket will receive a unique Cardinals firefighter t-shirt. Fans must present the voucher in order to receive this promotional item.  Additionally, children can visit The Hartford’s Junior Fire Marshal booths in the Ford Plaza or Riverview Corner to receive a free Junior Fire Marshal helmet and fire safety educational materials.  A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to The Backstoppers, Inc.  To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit cardinals.com/firefighters. (#CardsTheme)

Boy/Girl Scouts Theme Night II: 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 Scouts Nights for the 2017 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). 

Spanish Audio Broadcast: The Cardinals will stream eight Spanish language home audio broadcasts via cardinals.com and the MLB.com At Bat mobile app in 2017.  The club will produce the game’s broadcast in cooperation with La Ke Buena Spanish internet radio to provide game play-by-play from announcer Polo Ascencio and color commentary from former Cardinals Assistant Hitting Coach Bengie Molina.

Pregame Poms/Cheer/Dance Performances: Prior to the game, groups from Dance Experience Performing Arts, Meghan Torno School of Irish Dance and the Vineland Dragonettes & Dragon Dudes will perform in the Ford Plaza beginning around 5:45 p.m.

MLBPAA Auction: The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association will conduct a baseball-themed silent auction by Gate 1 (Section 137) and Gate 3 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.

Thursday, May 4, 2017 — Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (12:45 p.m.)

Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

Great Clips Charity Haircuts: During the game, fans can root for the Redbirds and shape up their roots with a visit to the 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.

The photo at the top of the post is Flat Yadi, like Flat Stan from a couple of years ago.  If you would like a Flat Yadi of your very own, go to http://www.cardinals.com/yadi and print your own, then share on social media using the hashtag #YadiYadiYadi. I shared on Instagram.

That’s all for now! (And it’s quite a lot!)  See you next time and thanks for reading!

Diane

Yadi’s contract extension – my thoughts

MEMORANDUM

TO:                  John Mozeliak and William DeWitt, III

DATE:            March 21, 2017

FROM:            Women Who Love Cardinals Baseball

RE:                  Yadier Molina’s contract extension

============================================================================

Gentlemen:

As you know, Yadier Molina’s contract is up for extension at the end of the season.  It is my understanding that negotiations have begun.  Could we get this deal done soonest, preferably before the season starts?  Yadi deserves to play without having to worry about his contract all season.  The fans deserve not to have to worry when they go to a game whether this is the last season they will see Yadi in a Cardinals uniform.  Sure, Yadi has an option for 2018, but why make him wait that long? To make a great Opening Night even better, you could announce that Yadi’s contract extension has been taken care of.

It would be heartbreaking for Yadi to be seen in any other uniform but a Cardinals uniform (especially a Cubs uniform). Yadi is one of the few players in recent years to still be with the team that drafted him.  Please let Yadi retire a Cardinal and don’t let him walk.

I shouldn’t have to remind you about Yadi’s importance and contributions to the team, but I will.  Yadi has many deserved accolades – eight consecutive Gold Gloves, four Platinum Gloves, one Silver Slugger and he is also a 7 time All-Star.  He played in 83 consecutive playoff games. Yadi has also broken the Cardinals’ all-time games caught record.  He is the best defensive catcher in the game.  His passion for the game, as seen recently in the World Baseball Classic, is contagious.  His pitch calling is second to none, and his batting average has improved over the years as well.

Yadi is not asking for much time wise, only 3 more years.  He’s not asking for 10 years, like Albert did.  He will be 37 years old at the end of this contract extension. Like a fine wine, Yadi is only getting better as he gets older.  Should Yadi need a day or two of rest (or God forbid, he gets injured again), Eric Fryer is a more than competent backup catcher.

Carson Kelly, Yadi’s successor, is probably anxious for Yadi to retire.  But the young grasshopper must wait patiently. Yadi’s shoes will be hard to fill, so Carson needs to learn all he can so that he can be ready when the time comes for him to step into Yadi’s position.

Mo and Mr. DeWitt, as a Cardinals blogger and a lifelong Cardinals fan, I implore you:  make Yadi a Cardinal for life.  Then 5 years after Yadi retires, he will be voted into both the Cardinals Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame, for Yadi is one of the best catchers in modern times and he deserves to join the immortals.  When Yadi is inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame,  being the emotional woman I am, I will cry buckets, just like I did when Ted Simmons was inducted.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Diane Schultz

Worse. Game. Ever. (that I’ve seen in person)

angryLast night’s Cards-Reds game was the most horrible game I have ever seen in person. The Cards lost to the Reds 15-2.  In my last blog post, I compared the bad Cardinals to a beer league softball team, and sure enough, that’s the team that showed up to play last night.  When I played co-ed softball, there was a 10 run mercy rule (the game ends after a team scores 10 runs), but unfortunately, that doesn’t apply to baseball.  If it did, the game would have been over after the fourth inning.

My last blog post pleaded for Good Jaime to show up last night. Bad Jaime showed up instead.  He only lasted one inning. The experiment to move Jaime back into the starting rotation failed miserably. I’m pretty sure that last night was the last time we’ll ever see Jaime pitching in a Cardinals uniform.

Michael Wacha relieved Jaime in the second inning, but he wasn’t much better.  The next relief pitcher was Luke Weaver.  After Luke, Dean Kiekhefer came in to pitch. Hazelbaker, a position player, was the last pitcher of the game. We left the game after the sixth inning.  We just couldn’t take any more misery.

Yadi had a bad night too; he couldn’t throw out anyone trying to steal.  The Cards did score a couple of runs, so at least it wasn’t a shutout.  The highlight of the game was a Stephen Piscotty triple.

I always buy a scorecard and keep score when I go to a game, but last night, I stopped keeping score after the fourth inning.  The Reds’ lineup batted 1 ½ times in the fourth inning, and there’s no room on a scorecard to score a second run through the lineup (if there is a way, someone please let me know how), so I just gave up keeping score all together.

My friend noticed how empty the stadium was last night even before the game.  There was less than 40,000 attendees for the first time since 2013.  The left upper deck was completely empty.  In fact, the fans booed several times last night, and I’m ashamed to say I was one of them.  I never thought that I would ever boo my beloved Cardinals, but last night I did.  It appears the fans are getting tired of crappy baseball.  I’m glad that I didn’t pay for my tickets to last night’s game; I would have been really angry if I had paid good money for that lousy outcome. It’s a shame that the last game I got to see at Busch Stadium this season was such a debacle.  I missed going to Bible study for this?  I would have gotten more out of Bible study that that game.

After last night’s loss, the Cards are 1 game back of the Giants for the second wild card spot.  It’s still possible for the Cards to get to the wild card game, but even if by some stroke of luck they did, I really don’t think they’d win the game.  I think the guys have finally run out of steam, and Yadi especially.  Carson Kelly should have been called up earlier to give Yadi some days off, and Mike Matheny should have insisted that Yadi take more time off.  Brayan Pena was supposed to be Yadi’s backup, but he got injured.  Either the guys are totally exhausted, or there are some issues going on in the clubhouse that we are not yet privy to.  It appears they have checked out for the season.

I think it’s time for us Cards fans to start mentally checking out of this season too.  I predicted back in May that this wasn’t our year, and I was right. After the season is over, there will be some housecleaning occurring.  I think there will be some players gone next season, and maybe some coaches and perhaps a manager too.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!

Diane

The perfect lineup (with 1 subtraction)

My fellow Cardinals bloggers and I complain on Twitter night after night Scan0004about manager Mike Matheny’s constant lineup changes.  The lineup is never the same from one night to the next.  Even the casual fan can see the lack of results that this constant changing produces.  But last night, it appeared that Mike spun the wheels on the lineup machine and finally hit the right jackpot.  Here was the lineup for last night’s game:

Carpenter 1B

Gyorko 2B

Moss LF

Piscotty RF

Molina C

Peralta 3B

Grichuk CF

G. Garcia SS

Martinez P

And lo and behold, Mike is using this same lineup in tonight’s game as well, with Waino pitching.  See how easy that was?   Carpenter celebrated being back in the leadoff spot last night by hitting a home run.  Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk hit home runs too, and the Cardinals beat the Mets 8-1.  It was a fun game and even though I was at Bible study, I stealthily looked at my AtBat app to see how the game was going.  Yadi getting caught trying to steal third, however – no, Yadi, don’t do that anymore, or I will have to tweet at your brother Bengie to get on you about that.

I think this lineup should be on the field every night for the rest of the season, and even into the playoffs, if these Cards should get that far.  The only subtraction that I would make is when Aledmys Diaz returns from the disabled list, he would go in Garcia’s spot, and of course, the pitcher varies every game.

Garcia, Matt Adams, and Kolten Wong could come off the bench to pinch hit or spell one of the regular infielders if they need a night off or get hurt (God forbid – the disabled list has been overcrowded this season).  Matt Holliday and Jeremy Hazelbaker could do the same for the outfielders.  Tommy Pham – the jury’s still out on him.

A couple of random thoughts: Could Jaime Garcia just be released now instead of the end of the season when his option is up?  It’s bad enough that you don’t know whether you’re going to get Good Jaime or Bad Jaime when it’s his turn in the rotation.  Lately, however, only Bad Jaime has shown up to pitch.  Alex Reyes has shown that he’s more than ready to be a starter in the show.  Maybe I’m being selfish, but since my son and I will be going to the game on Sunday (which is Jaime’s next start), it would be really great to see Alex’s debut as a starter.

And why, with the exception of Martinez, are our pitchers not ready to pitch in the first inning?  It never fails that the other team starts scoring in the first inning.  The Cards have to start playing catch up already in the bottom of the first.  Are the pitchers not getting enough throwing time before the games?  Or are they getting too much throwing time?  Could the pitchers not be mentally ready to go in the first inning? That appears to be something that Derek Lilliquist needs to work on with them. This problem needs to be solved ASAP.

On Saturday, August 27,  Chris Carpenter, Joe Torre, Sam Breadon and Terry Moore will be inducted in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.  The ceremony starts at 2 PM at Fox Sports Midwest Live in Ballpark Village.  The doors open at 11 AM, so get there early to wait in line. Last year, my son and I didn’t get there until 12 noon and we had to share a table with some other folks. I told him we needed to get there earlier.  One of these days, he’ll learn to listen to me.  However, if you can’t make it, Fox Sports Midwest will show the ceremony on Sunday, August 28 at 11:30 a.m.  If you’re at the ceremony, find me and say hi – I always love to meet folks who read my blog.

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

Diane

Diane’s excellent dugout box seat adventure (and other notes)

13321711_1165327370172374_6324672859891808381_nI have a baseball hangover today, which is a good thing. A baseball hangover is what happens when you stay until the last out of an evening baseball game and don’t get to bed until later than you normally do.  Then when you do get to bed, you can’t sleep because you’re still thinking about the game.  You are then very drowsy the next day at work, and no amount of caffeine or sugar will help. You can’t take a nap because you’re at work, unless, of course, you’re self-employed.   It’s like that Diana Ross song, Love Hangover – “Sweetest hangover, I don’t want to get over.”

The cause of my baseball hangover is last night’s Cardinals-Giants game, which the Cardinals won 6-3.  An attorney at the law firm I work at gifted me his sweet Dugout Box seats three rows off the field, on the first base side. (Our view was actually better than seen in the photo.)  He had originally given me his tickets for May 1, but that turned out to be the game for the United Cardinals Bloggers blogger event.  He very graciously switched out the tickets for last night’s game.

The gates opened at 5:05 last night, so hubby and I got to the ballpark early in hopes of obtaining some autographs.  Unfortunately, by the time we got through the gate, received our promotional giveaway (a very nice beach tote), bought a scorecard, ran into hubby’s second cousin Amy and her family and then got down to the field, batting practice was already over.  I and several other folks waited by the padded infield wall in hopes that maybe a player would wander over our way and give us an autograph, but it was not to be.

Last night’s game was on ESPN and that’s why it was a Sunday evening game.  It was originally scheduled as a 1:15 PM game.  I’m glad it was changed so I wouldn’t have to miss church.  My daughter lives in Connecticut and I wanted to bring a sign that would have read, “Hi Rachel! Love, Mom,” but hubby wouldn’t let me.

We watched several people throw first pitches, including a 102 year-old woman who not only threw very well but appeared to have all her faculties, which is incredible.  Later on in the game, Fredbird and Papa John’s brought her a pizza and several other goodies to help her celebrate her birthday.

The game finally started.  Carlos Martinez looked very good for the first few innings, until he gave up a 2 run home run.  The Cardinals’ hitting started to break out in the 6th  inning.  It seemed like Bruce Bochy switched pitchers after every batter. I couldn’t keep up, so I stopped updating my scorecard.

Did you see the diving play that the Giants’ right fielder made in the 5th  inning?  It happened on the warning track on the first base side right in front of us.  He didn’t make the catch, but as he got up, we applauded his effort, as good, sportsmanlike Cardinals fans always do.  The poor guy probably had rug burns on his stomach.

There were a couple of foul balls hit in our direction, but neither of the foul balls came close enough to our seats to attempt to catch them.  I used to have a glove, but I donated it to Carlos Martinez’ Tsunami Waves charity last year.  I’m too old to play slow-pitch softball ever again.

I really enjoyed sitting in the box seats. The sight lines were great, and the people sitting around me were civilized, unlike those I’ve encountered in other areas of the stadium.  It was sometimes hard to see around the beer vendors, however.  I hope that nice attorney will think of me again in case he has no one for his tickets.  If there is a next time, I will take my son Phillip to the game. He wanted to go this time, but I told him his father had better dibs because I’ve known him longer.

In other news, the Cardinals optioned Kolten Wong to AAA today so that Jhonny Peralta can be activated. Peralta will join the team tomorrow in Cincinnati.  Matt Carpenter will move to  second base and Peralta will move to third.  Hopefully, Kolten will make the most of his time at AAA and get his head together so that when he comes back, he will play better.  Kolten was sent down to AAA in 2014 and he played a lot better when he came back.  Brayan Pena is due for a rehab assignment soon.  Yadi look rather tired last night.  He needs more than just tonight off.  Hopefully, when Brayan comes back, he can give Yadi some regular days off.

The Cards are playing a little better but as I write this, they are 10 games out of first.  At this point, I think the Cards are playing for a wild card spot rather than a division title.  Set your sights higher, guys!

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and 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

Spring training is over – hallelujah!

BalloonsThe Cards’ last spring training game today was a doozy and to make things even better, it was against the Yankees.  There were home runs a-plenty – 2 by Stephen Piscotty, 1 by Tommy Pham, 1 by Jeremy Hazelbaker and 1 by Brandon Moss.  Hopefully, the hitting slump is over and the team meetings the other day did the trick in getting the guys motivated.

Let’s hope the Birds will have some of today’s firepower in Pittsburgh on Sunday, despite the fact that the high temperature this Sunday in Pittsburgh is supposed to only be 39 degrees – and that’s Fahrenheit, not Celsius. I’ve attended games in early October in St. Louis in those kinds of temperatures and I feel sorry for those poor fans who will be shivering in the stands.  When MLB assembles the schedule for next season, they should ensure that no games are played in the Northeast, the upper Midwest and Toronto in the first part of April, since there is still the possibility of cold weather and even snow. Unless, of course, the games are scheduled in Milwaukee and Toronto, since those stadiums have roofs.  In contrast, the high temperature in St. Louis this Sunday will be 68 degrees.  That’s a perfect temperature for a ball game – not too hot and not too cold.

I was so hoping that the Cards would leave spring training without a major injury.  Unfortunately, Jhonny Peralta tore the same ligament on his thumb that Yadier Molina did during the playoffs last year. Jhonny will be out at least until June.  Peralta’s injury led to the signing of Ruben Tejada.  However, Ruben left today’s game with a left quad strain. Jeremy Hazelbaker, who has been hot during spring training, is going north with the team due to Tejada’s injury. Mitch Harris will start the season on the disabled list with compression syndrome.  And Jordan Walden, who looked like he would be good to go up until Wednesday, is now on the DL with shoulder issues.  Walden’s injury led to an opening on the roster for Rule 5 player Matt Bowman, who pitched in today’s game.

But the most devastating injury out of spring training was not to a player. Third base coach Jose “Secret Weapon” Oquendo is out for the season due to a knee replacement surgery that went awry and had to be repeated.  The Cardinals offered to let Oquendo do some coaching from the bench, but he said if he couldn’t do the job he was hired to do that he didn’t want to be there at all.  Jose’s absence will be a great loss for the team, since not only does Jose work with the Spanish-speaking players, he works with the other players on base running.   First base coach Chris Maloney has moved over to third base to replace Jose and Bill Mueller has moved to first base.  Time will tell how much Jose’s absence will affect the team.

The Cards have two days off before Opening Day on Sunday.  I’m ready for regular season baseball, aren’t you?  I’m ready to come home from work and know I’m going to be seeing my favorite team playing ball on TV.  This Sunday is going to be awesome – church in the morning and then coming home in time to watch the Cards’ opener on TV.  Are you ready for some baseball? I know I am!

As always, thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane