Cardinal baseball, from the girls
Tag Archives: Tyler Greene
March 8, 2012Posted by on
Little league practice schedules and reports from Jupiter’s Spring Training games: signs that the world is finally waking up from a long winter, and baseball’s back! …..almost.
Spring Training whets the appetite and refreshes the senses. Lineups, pitching reports, actual games on green grass with familiar faces (and some unfamiliar mugs) donning the birds on the bat… it’s all so surreal, especially with the backdrop of Florida palm trees.
While that’s all very well and tropically good (and I’m still crossing my fingers for the possibility of a quick pilgrimage to Florida), I find myself longing for the real deal: the true start of the 2012 season. The 2011 World Series Champions have a lot to prove. New manager and No Albert Pujols may top the list, but whether ESPN is interested or not, Cardinal Nation has a lot of curiosities about how this team will perform.
My Top 10 Highlights/Curiosities for the upcoming 2012 season:
10. Pregame interviews on Fox Sports Midwest: this is where the players get a chance to prove they have personality. Sink or swim, boys!
8. Eduardo Sanchez’ filthy slider. I fell in love with that pitch only to have it ripped away too early in the season last year. Please, oh please, let’s have a healthy Sanchez and many, many gorgeous dirty pitches out of the bullpen this year.
7. Mike Matheny management style. What attitude will this team have under Matheny’s reins? Will it be more youthful? Will the playbook be more predictable? One thing’s for certain, getting my non-baseball girlfriends to watch a game will be easier with Matheny front and center in dugout shots. (Cute manager? Heckya!)
6. Jason Motte, “The Closer”. Bearded, fidgety, always throwing himself off the mound with the force of that fastball. He makes me smile. Bring on the crazy-Motte! I miss watching him yell at his glove.
5. Lovable Lance at 1st – those are mighty big shoes to fill! Can Berkman be more than “adequate”? For his sake (and ours), I hope we never hear “Albert would’ve…” or “if Albert had been there…” Honestly, Berkman surpassed any and all expectations last year, so here’s hoping he can make us forget all about you-know-who.
4. Chris Carpenter attitude. Yes, he scares me. Yes, he has a mouth on him. But man, oh man, a game with Carp on the mound is like a baseball drug. He’s our bad boy, intense. fierce. And afterwards, please throw in a good dose of that sexy, deep, gurgly Carp-voice in post game interviews? Thank you.
3. Adam Wainwright back on the bump. Remind me again…How did we ever win the World Series without Wainwright?? Soooo glad he’s back. Soooo thrilled he’s healthy. The question now is can we expect him to pick up where he left off?? Pencil him into those pregame TV interviews ASAP. And also into those dugout shots. Ok? Ok. Good!
2. David Freese smiles. Is there anything lovelier? Especially those ginormous joyful grins of a walk-off win. Such a humble, talented, gorgeous MVP… and he tweets?!! (love!) Stay healthy, Dave, stay healthy!
…and for my #1 pick, I gotta say that I am most looking forward to seeing the return of my favorite familiar baseball sight: Matt Holliday digging in at the plate, Matt Holliday leg kicks, Matt Holliday launching ‘em into the stands, Matt Holliday digging for home, Matt Holliday… well, you get the point.
The boys are back! Almost. =)
January 14, 2012Posted by on
The Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up kicked off today at the Hyatt Regency in downtown St. Louis. Throngs of Cardinal fans, all clad in red and looking for a midwinter baseball boost crowded the 2nd and 4th floors to see favorite baseball players, buy souvenirs, collect autographs and talk ball.
As I mentioned earlier in the week (click HERE for that post), I have had varying levels of anxiety mixed with complete joy over the Cardinals’ invitation to cover the event as a credentialed member of “the press”.
My Winter Warm-Up began at the St. Louis airport, where while waiting for my bags I looked up to see Tyler Greene walking my way. I of course greeted him with a warm “Hi Tyler.” He stopped, smiled, said “Hi,” and paused…
(This “press” thing had me all confused! Here I’d been working on suppressing fan tendencies all week in preparation for WWU, yet there I was at the airport dressed in my not-fan press’ly attire mentally preparing to be professional and what happens? I run into one of the Cardinals. My mind short-circuits, knowing this was not the place to ask my prepared interview questions. So…. what to do???)
I went with the obvious, and brilliantly asked him if he was on his was to WWU. Small, mundane chatter. My mental dialogue is sarcastically critical: “Perfect, Erika.” Tyler answers, smiles again. and pauses… (I am not blocking his way. promise.) We established what time he was signing autographs & I finally (mercifully) waved him on his way, ending with a mostly fan-like “I’ll see you there!” ugh.
Awkward Tyler Greene airport conversation. My WWU is starting off oddly.
I arrived at the Hyatt around noon, dropped my bags in the room, grabbed my camera, my spare iphone (voice recorder) and all the questions I had worked on for the day’s listed player interviews. (The players come to the press area after signing autographs and answer questions, as time allows. Well actually, I thought the players would come after signing, but learned that they may instead come to the interview area before scheduled WWU autograph sessions. [lesson #1] So, I was a bit disappointed to discover that I had already missed interview opportunities with minor leaguers Jordan Swagerty, Zack Cox, and Ryan Jackson (yep, they missed out on those amazing questions I had prepared for them) as well as the big boys, Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal.
Despite studying maps of the layout beforehand, I was lost in the crowd on the 2nd floor while hunting for the spot to pick up my credentials. Who should come to the rescue, but Matt Sebek (there with Josh Bacott to hunt their Joe SportsFan WWU bread-and-butter: the elusive, but always rewarding Unusual Cardinal Fan photos). With good directions from Sebek, I found the lovely Cardinals Care volunteers who handed over my credentials, and I was off to the 4th floor! … into another crowd, and lost. again. A text to a friendly blogger buddy: Kevin (covering the WWU for Daniel Shoptaw’s site: C70 at the Bat) helped me find my way to the media work room. I had arrived! Late, but ready to hit the ground running!
I spent the next 20-30 minutes hearing what I had missed and waiting for my first media scrum. Yep, the word is “scrum”. Apparently that is the term used to describe how the press crowds around a player to ask questions and record soundbites. It isn’t actually as horribly nasty as it sounds, but the experienced scrummers definitely had an advantage and there is most assuredly a scrum pecking order. The pros were up close, on the player’s immediate right or left. The television cameras had front and center. The tall guys holding the microphones were in front. This, of course, made it hard on us shorter folk left in the back. However, later in the afternoon, I found a loophole: stand on a chair. [lesson #3] (I was assured by Brian Stull of 101 ESPN in St. Louis that standing on a chair was perfectly acceptable and he would take the blame if it was not.) I believe he was right because another (more seasoned-looking) photographer stood on a chair next to me during Adam Wainwright’s scrum time. When in Rome…. ;)
My first scrum experience was with John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ GM. As advised by my fellow newly credentialed blogger comrades, I set my iphone recorder on the podium and managed to snag a prime position with a clear shot of Mo – right next to the tv cameras (beginners luck).
Mozeliak talked for over 20 minutes. Topics ranging from the opening at second base, to Yadier Molina’s no-show (again) at WWU and including bits about Kyle McClellan- is he staying or going?, how he (Mo) felt when he got the call that Albert had accepted the deal with the Angels, and the future of the organization with all the offseason staffing/coaching changes.
I learned that John Mozeliak really likes to talk about Tyler Greene’s athleticism and his being a superb athlete. When asked about the 2B options for 2012, Mo was insistent that Tyler Greene would have every opportunity to get more playing time in 2012 and went on to be very supportive of Greene and his potential. This ode to Tyler Greene caught me off guard, as it seemed to shock others in the room as well because Mo was then questioned about Greene’s prior chances to prove himself. I am proud to say that I did speak up and ask Mo what getting Tyler Greene more playing time would mean for Daniel Descalso. In response, Mo praised Descalso’s contributions, emphasizing his abililty to play multiple positions, but finished up with another nod to Tyler Greene’s ability to ALSO play multiple positions. From the sounds of it, Spring Training may bring quite the battle for 2B, which at this time is “open”.
Another tantalizing tidbit from Mo’s moments: Yadi will be making a donation to the Cardinals Care fund since he has backed out of Winter Warm-Up this year. (All proceeds from the Annual Winter Warm-Up benefit Cardinals Care, the team’s community foundation supporting kids.) Mo also mentioned that Yadi doesn’t like to do public autograph sessions, which although not surprising, was disappointing to hear (from a fan’s perspective, which I would never admit to while being a member of the press.) But truthfully, Yadi… what gives??
I did discover lesson #2 after the Mozeliak ditty: ”when hurriedly putting your voice recorder on the podium prior to the scrummage, you should check to make sure it is actually recording.” In the excitement of it all, I thought I hit the little red button. I did not. And that is why I am relying on memory here for the Mozeliak interview… (consider that my disclaimer). You can check out the links below from the other Cardinal bloggers who were smart enough to turn on their recorders.
My 2nd scrum was less informative and cut short. Matt Carpenter (AAA Memphis), pitcher Lance Lynn and the previously-showered-with-Mo-love Tyler Greene all came in together about 10 minutes before their scheduled autograph sessions. Matt Carpenter looked as though he knew the other two would get most of the questions (he was right.) The highlights: appearing slimmer than when we last saw him, Lance Lynn discussed how his mentality had changed from starting to relieving and how he “just wants to pitch, wherever it may be.”
Tyler Greene talked about being “ready to play… to come into Spring Training ready to play…to play as much as he can….” When told that Mo was pretty adamant about his getting every opportunity to win the 2B job, Tyler said “it’s great! it’s an open spot… there’s going to be some competition… everybody’s going to be working for it & working hard.” Tyler then deflected some questions about his prior efforts at the Cardinal infield, reiterating that it was in the past and he is just looking forward to Spring Training while emphasizing his extra practice at 2B this offseason. Matt Carpenter spoke about working on being versatile and practicing other positions. (An assumed reference to the burgeoning wealth of 3B talent with World Series MVP David Freese ahead of him and Zack Cox likely surging up to AAA this season.) All three spoke highly of their former Memphis skipper, Chris Maloney, newly promoted to Cardinals 1st base coach for 2012, and then they were quickly scooted off to the autograph tables.
Adam Wainwright was the highlight of my first day Winter Warm-Up. Although slumming it in a boring gray hoodie, he was darling, as usual. Waino answered questions about his rehab (“feeling great” and saying “I am actually worried that I’m too far along instead of the other way around.”) He joked about when he might feel comfortable ribbing new teammate Carlos Beltran about “the curve” and told how Matt Holliday liked to tease him about his gardening hobby that helped occupy his time and “kept him sane” in 2011. It was obvious Waino is ready to get back to the game.
Some more Waino highlights: In his humble, yet upstanding way, Adam spoke about his role in the clubhouse, saying “I feel like I have a leadership role on the team. I feel like I can help in a lot of different ways.” He also took the opportunity to elaborate on the role faith played in his recovery, explaining “when you are leaning on somebody who is a lot stronger than any human could be and is inspiring like God is, then you are always going to be okay.”
And as luck would have it, my first day of Winter Warm-Up wrapped up with my baseball player talking about a football player. You may have heard of him? His name’s Tim Tebow, and Adam Wainwright is a huge fan.
For more WWU goodies, be sure to check out my partners in crime:
Nick is covering WWU at PitchersHitEighth
and Ann is posting updates at Aaron Miles Fastball
Tomorrow, I’m back at it again. More pictures, more player info. Winter Warm-Up Day 2!
June 2, 2011Posted by on
I have a few thoughts in mind right now… one of them might turn into something, but it’s been a busy week, school is out, and this teacher has turned her brain OFF, so we’ll see…
-> Colby Rasmus needs a haircut. No excuses. No delays. Go straight to Hair Jail, Colby dear.
-> Brendan Ryan is currently batting .275 for the Mariners with 4 errors in 235 chances, while Ryan Theriot is batting .298 with 10 errors in 202 chances. You know, I know, everyone knows that we were in love with Brendo over here……… but (Erika don’t read the rest of this sentence) Brendan couldn’t do what he’s doing in Seattle in St. Louis. Okay, he could, he’s capable, but he wore out his welcome with his teammates and his manager. He could have stuck around this year, but I’m not sure it would have made a difference. I don’t particularly care for Ryan Theriot. I have made peace with this though, especially with his 15 game hitting streak and his not really being a dud in the field as of late. (I was born in the Show Me State after all… and I’m from the ‘what have you done for me lately?’ generation)
-> Yadi’s defense has been bothering me all year. He’s not making throws as crisply as he used to make them, and he hasn’t blocked some pitches that I feel like he should be blocking. It’s a concern. However, he’s batting .320 and has 24 RBI. I find it much harder to be concerned when I am be distracted by that fact. Truth.
-> I want to like Tyler Greene. I really do. I just can’t make myself do it. Even when he makes good plays or gets a key hit – my brain flashes to his dropped popups and things of that nature, and I just get irritated. Also, I really don’t like it when Allen Craig starts at second base and then gets subbed for in the later innings, especially by Greene. What are you subbing for – defense? He hasn’t made an error today. Offense? He has one of the best hitting lines on the team. Defense? He has zero errors. As friend of the site Bob Netherton pointed out on twitter yesterday – Craig is no longer a AAAA player. Subbing him out of the game is completely unnecessary.
-> Also, I like Craig at second. I really like him there, and I like him in the lineup on a consistent basis. Or Dirty Danny D at second – him too. With Holliday going on the DL, do you know who I want as the 4th outfielder behind Rasmus, Berkman, and Jay? Skip. Schumaker.
-> I’m concerned about the pitching staff at the moment. In the last six games, no pitcher has made it past six innings, and Lohse is the only one that did that. Westbrook’s last two starts were 5 2/3 and 5. Carpenter’s last one was 5. McClellan? 4. Jaime? 3 1/3. This is not a recipe for success. The reason the team was surviving the low-scoring games was the starting pitching going 7 or 8 innings every night. To top it off, Lance Lynn is starting tonight on three days rest. That makes me nervous. I will be seriously pulling for the kid, but I will also be very nervous.
-> Finally, I want to know how this stayed hidden from Erika and myself until yesterday. HOW LONG had this been out before we were made aware of it? (To see the full issue click here or the behind the scenes video here!)
Cards are still playing the Giants? I’m ready for this series to be done!
Agree? Disagree? Think I’m a little off my rocker lately? Say so in the comments!
May 19, 2011Posted by on
It was comical really – by the end of the game last night, I had witnessed a first baseman (Mark Hamilton) in left, a middle infielder (Tyler Greene) in right, an outfielder (Allen Craig) started at second, and everyone on Twitter could only guess what could happen should anything else strange go down.
-Several abdicated for Ryan Franklin to be the first pitcher chucked into the outfield, a la Kyle Lohse and Roy Oswalt last year.
-One joked that this would be the last time Lohse ever played Tony as a joke.
-At least one person noted (apologies for forgetting who) that this would be the night for Albert Pujols to play every single position on the field.
-My plan was just to revert to beer league softball rules. Whatever glove you grab on your way out to the field is the position you play that inning. You know that would be amusing.
There is a fundamental problem behind this problem though. The 40 man roster is a mess. Keeping 10 infielders and only 6 outfielders on a 40 man roster? WHO DOES THIS?! Say this turns into more of a problem than it already was. Today’s game is already going to be a laugh riot, as rumors are already swirling that Colby Rasmus, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday could all possibly be unavailable for today’s afternoon tilt against the hapless Astros. I can only guess who will be pressed into outfield duty if that is the case. I’m guessing Greene gets shoved back out there and Pete Kozma possibly gets his first major league start…
Speaking of Kozma… oi. Seriously. Dude is hitting .220/.284/.284 at Memphis. Not only does that not warrant a call-up, that’s a guy begging to stay down in Memphis to figure things out. I mean, congrats to him on his first major league hit/RBI/walk yesterday, because you know Erika, Emily and I were all happy-dancing all over the place seeing a baby bird have some success with the big club, but let’s be real – he’s not ready. Thankfully he’s supposed to be a very short term solution while waiting for Skip Schumaker to get back, but the rash of injuries to infielders this year has just been nothing short of astounding.
*ahem* Sorry about the tangent. I haven’t gotten enough sleep lately. Anyway, say any one of Rasmus/Berkman/Holliday come down with something serious enough to warrant a DL trip, or even several days off to recover and get back out there. In that case, the Cardinals are SOL, because I don’t think they’re looking to pull up Adron Chambers (the one outfielder on the 40 man that is not currently on the major league roster). The short term solution, should one of our big 3 be ailing longer than a day or so?
As soon as Skip Schumaker comes off the DL? Put him in the outfield. A novel idea, I know. This could all come to nothing, of course, but this is just nuts.
Day game today, starting at 12:45, and I’ll be on the road again, so but sure to let me know what kind of hijinx go on today. Here’s hoping I get served a heaping helping of crow about something – I don’t care what.
October 11, 2010Posted by on
Welcome to Monday’s Girl Talk… except, this week, we let the boys join in! Before you gasp in shock, let me explain. Each year the United Cardinal Bloggers does a roundtable discussion in October, with the bloggers taking turns asking a question. Today is ladies’s day, so read through our question and the boys of the UCB answers, then head over to the UCB website and check out the full calendar of questions and sites. Enjoy!
Our question won’t surprise most of you, given our love of the Baby Birds. We wanted to know which of our beloved Baby Birds that were wandering the grass of Busch Stadium throughout the year should be looked at as permanent members of the squad next year, either as regulars or bench guys. We also asked which players should get the longest looks in the spring and which of the boys the team should (*gasp*) cut ties with, whether through trades or releasing them. I included the names Daniel Descalso, Allen Craig, Mark Hamilton, Fernando Salas, Joe Mather, Tyler Greene, Matt Pagnozzi and Bryan Anderson, but the responses threw out a couple other names as well. I’ll toss it over to the boys, then chime in with my thoughts at the end…
Daniel (C70 At The Bat)
Dennis (Pitchers Hit Eighth)
Joseph (The McBrayer-Baseball Blog)
Joey Bombs Mather, may not get anything in return.
Dustin (Welcome To Baseball Heaven)
Tom (Cardinals GM)
Cole (Redbird Report)
I’d say Fernando Salas. He was solid just about every time he stepped out there this year. Also, you can’t ignore his 19 saves and 0.98 WHIP that he posted in AAA this season. He clearly has good stuff, and it wasn’t just at the minor league level.
Bill (I-70 Baseball)
I am of the belief that a good portion of the Cardinals Minor League system are nothing more than career minor leaguers.
Craig, Mather, Greene could all be traded or cut loose and I honestly would not notice or care (sorry, Erika).
That being said, as for “long looks” next Spring, I would like to see Descalso, Anderson, and Pagnozzi be given every opportunity to play themselves out of a job. Fernando Salas needs to be a part of this bullpen.
Hamilton is intriguing, but projects as a first baseman. Let’s hope he’s blocked.
Goodness. Not much love for some of our favorite Baby Birds, is there? Last I checked Erika hadn’t read any of these responses… I think we should all be crossing our fingers that she hasn’t made it this far into today’s post. If she has, sorry dear, but I’m going to probably agree with all of the above.
I want Pags and Anderson given shots to make it on the roster as Yadi’s back-up, but whichever one doesn’t make it should probably just be traded ASAP, because it’s not worth keeping them both around anymore.
I think Descalso will become next year’s Tyler Greene if he doesn’t make the roster. He’ll be the first one up to be the bench guy. In all honesty I want him to have a strong spring and oust Skippy for second base, but I’m not sure he’ll get that much of a chance.
Salas is here to stay. He put it a lot of miles this year between Memphis and St. Louis, and played well everywhere he went. Keep him around.
Craig needs consistent playing time. If he can get it in St. Louis and finally put up the numbers he’s been putting up in Memphis he’ll stick. If not, sayonara.
The rest? You all know I love Joe Mather, but I don’t see him ever being anything more than a AAAA guy (*sheds a tear*). Tyler Greene has never impressed me at the big league level. Ever. His defense isn’t as good as Brendan, his bat isn’t as good as Skip, and I have to believe that there will be someone standing at third not named Tyler Greene. I like the look of Mark Hamilton, but if he is manning first for the Cardinals in the coming years, that means Albert is not. I’m not sure I’m ready to deal with that idea.
Now, we just included players that were actually on the big league squad at some point this year. There are still plenty of names and faces coming up through the ranks of the Cardinal minor league system… but it might be awhile before the calvary comes riding in. Just sayin’.
Thanks to Daniel and the rest of the UCB team for letting us join in on the fun, and be sure to check in over at the official site to see some of our responses to other questions throughout the month of October! Oh hey, while I’ve got you here, yesterday my newest post went up at I-70 Baseball, checking out the Cardinals from 1900-1905. Give it a look and let me know what you think!
July 24, 2010Posted by on
Yesterday’s game was frustrating. The offense is obviously frustrating, but for some reason I was fixating on the defense, so today you’re getting a little middle infielders by the numbers. Erika and I (along with several other diehards in Cardinal Nation) had a collective heart attack when we heard that Brendan Ryan and Jon Jay were the two names that had been potentially offered to the Astros in return for Roy Oswalt. Now, I don’t think this is actually a true offer, just a rumor, sent out into the world to make fans spaz out and scribes scramble to find out whether or not it is actual fact or fiction. We won’t go into that one any more today…
After seeing a couple of botched double plays yesterday afternoon, and hearing one of our middle infielders dropped into trade talks made me wonder what this team has looked like with our various fielders in and out of the games.
I’ll admit – I didn’t go too in-depth on this one. I think you will see that it wasn’t particularly necessary. All I did was look at sheer numbers – did the team win or lose on any given day with any given player playing at various positions. So here it is – Aaron Miles, Tyler Greene, Felipe Lopez, Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan by the wins and losses:
- starting at 2B: 3-4
- starting at 3B: 0-1
I’ll admit, this is a very small sample size. Fair enough. Moving on.
- starting at 2B: 2-2
- starting at SS: 6-7
This is still a small sample size. Let’s keep going.
- starting at 2B: 6-5
- starting at SS: 6-10
The numbers are getting bigger, and they are starting to paint a picture.
For Schumaker and Ryan I looked at it a little differently. They both have started in just the one position (in the middle infield at least), and I was curious as to how they fare with and without each other. Let’s look at Skippy first.
- starting at 2B: 43-29
- starting with either Lopez or Greene: 12-13
- starting with Brendan: 31-16
- sitting on the bench at the start: 11-14
The number line to catch here: Skip and Brendan in the lineup together has produced a Cardinals team that is 15 games over .500. Yes, I did contact Erika when I found that out. She and I thought the same thing, ‘No way and HECK YES!‘ But we’re just getting started…
- starting at SS: 42-20
- starting with either Lopez, Greene or Miles: 11-8
- staring with Skip: 31-16
- sitting on the bench at the start: 12-23
This absolutely blew my mind. Brendan Ryan in the lineup equates to 22 games over .500, and out of the lineup is 11 games under.
|Scott Rovak – US Presswire|
I think the answer is simple. Put Brendan and Skip in the lineup and let them play. Just by observation (read: don’t yell at me for the next sentence – it’s my observation), it looks like Brendan and Skip have the easiest camaraderie on the field. I don’t know if it’s because they have played together more than any of the other pairings (although that would make sense) or if they just blend the best. Obviously they have both had their share of errors, miscues and otherwise ugly plays this year. The fact of the matter remains – Brendan and Skip in the lineup together has produced winning baseball.
Wins and losses don’t lie.
July 8, 2010Posted by on
So… the last two games. They happened. The great thing about baseball is that we have another game to look forward to. Today. 2:10. Chris Carpenter vs. Ubaldo Jimenez. It promises to be a pretty fantastic match-up!
On to the week in pictures (Sorry, no sadness here)!
|Ang wants a Brockabrella. No really, she does.
Who can make it happen?!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
|The Baby Birds are coming BACK! Tyler Greene doesn’t plan
on leaving anytime soon!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
|See? Even Matt Holliday is happy to see him back!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
|Now this? This is just an awesome picture.
Would you run on this face? Not a chance.
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
|It’s not every day a B-52 flies over before the game!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
|More Baby Birds! How about Jon Jay -
back in business in St. Louis!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
|We admire the hustle from Jason Motte, but…
The Canadian Press
|Ho hum, another complete game for Adam.
We don’t like – we LOVE these games!
Dilip Vishwanat – Getty Images
|‘Oh! Look at it go!’
Best picture we’ve had yet? Probably!
Dilip Vishwanat – Getty Images
June 6, 2010Posted by on
Another unplanned Sunday post. Last time Erika couldn’t stop thinking about it, and the same could be said for me today.
I’m starting to believe that all the news I need (or is it want?) to learn can be found on Twitter before I find it anywhere else. The case was definitely solidified yesterday morning when this tweet came up in my feed:
Color me absolutely confused.
Winn has been so abysmal this year that he’s batting .213/.300/.295 (batting/on-base/slugging). He was designated for assignment by the Yankees, and the Cardinals came knocking.
I wrote over at Baseball Digest a couple weeks ago about how the Cardinals’ signing of Aaron Miles was unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong – I like Aaron Miles. He’s a good guy and he was a solid competitor for the Cardinals a couple of years ago. He was sent to AA, where he put up a rousing line of .279/.362/.344… let me remind you, this is in Double A. I was not the only one scratching my head and quietly (alright, maybe more like vocally) questioning the purpose of bringing Miles up at the expense of one of the CDD’s beloved Baby Birds. This time the victim was Allen Craig, who had just been called up the day before and hadn’t really seen any action since setting his locker back up in St. Louis.
What was the point? Craig got off to a rough start at the beginning of the year at both the major and then minor league level, but has recovered quite nicely to be built up to a .284/.346/.388 line. At Triple A.
So, fine, Tony can have his fun and let Miles run around on the big league team, play horrible defense with very little range, and be regaled by all for being the scrappy beast of a man he apparently is.
*Ahem* Okay. Sorry. I’ll be good. Promise.
Back to Winn. Now let me get this straight – Jon Jay, who has been batting .375 off the bench and gone .302 overall (on the big league squad) was sent down so the Cards could sign another aging player who’s seen better days. Rick Hummel tried to spell it out for us yesterday, but I finished the article feeling more frustrated than calmed.
Tony LaRussa had affectionately called the young guys running around the clubhouse his ‘Baby Bench,’ and many of us out in Cardinal Nation were having a good time seeing some of the guys we’ve been following up the ladder in the minors finally getting a consistent shot on the big league club. Granted, some of them (recent CDD favorite Joe Mather included) have had some struggles. This would be why the official word from the big guys is that the Baby Birds are being yo-yo’d around in order to get them more consistent at bats in the minors.
To that I call you-know-what. You cannot convince me in a million years that Randy Winn and Aaron Miles are doing or will do better on this team than guys like Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Joe Mather and Tyler Greene.
Viva el Baby Bench!
June 5, 2010Posted by on
There are a few Cardinals ballplayers that I absolutely LOVE to watch: David Freese, Brendan Ryan and “Hunky” Matt Holliday top my favorites list. When a player makes that list, he is usually there to stay, such as dear Yadier Molina – who sparked my love for the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2006.
Other players wearing the Birds on the Bat get my support and my fan love too of course; but sometimes there are players that I just have not found a connection with. Joe Mather has been one of those guys… until this past Wednesday night.
My impression of Joe Mather has been clouded by previous, albeit limited, in-person observations. Last year Joe was recovering from injury, working his way back in AAA. He was frustrated at the plate and in the field, and his mood reflected that frustration. When the Memphis Redbirds came to Oklahoma – yes, I am an Okie – Joe would run right past the waiting fans, dashing straight into the dugout without so much as a glance.
During Spring Training in Florida this year I asked Joe for an autograph. He just shook his head and said “later,” but never returned. Of course, I understood. Players cannot always stop to sign autographs or talk with fans. They have jobs to do. But because of these less-than-encouraging impressions of Joe Mather, my interest in cheering for him has been somewhat lackluster.
My kids, on the other hand, have taken a real liking to Joe Mather, probably because I have shared with them the hilarious Brendan Ryan home videos (with sidekick Joe) from the FSMW website. So, when Joe Mather was optioned to AAA Memphis this past week my kids were thrilled. You see, the Memphis Redbirds were visiting our local Oklahoma City Redhawks for a four game series and we already had tickets.
The kiddos have learned that with just a little extra effort, they can improve their chances for an autograph.So with handmade signs reading “JOE MATHER,” they waited patiently by the 1st base side of the stands during the pre-game warm-ups.
Tyler Greene – always smiling and willing to sign a baseball – trotted right over to visit with us, but Joe Mather was nowhere to be seen.
Just when I thought Joe might disappoint us yet again, he came onto the field, ran some drills, saw the signs and headed our way. While signing baseballs, Joe perked up when I joked how nice it was for him to grow a mustache too, in support of his Cardinals teammate Brendan Ryan (who credits growing a mustache with helping him break out of a slump.) Joe laughed and talked with us a bit about Brendan. That fun interaction made up for all the past “Grumpy Joe” moments I had witnessed.
During Wednesday’s game, Joe had quite a few Cardinals fans cheering him on. By the middle of the game, Joe was smiling as he jogged to and from the dugout, past our seats. And by the end of the game, the Redbirds had won and Joe was celebrating in the outfield with teammates Allen Craig and Jim Rapoport. It was great to see a “Happy Joe” having fun playing baseball in my hometown!
But the story doesn’t end there. I was living the dream when, after the on-field celebrations had ended, Joe Mather went into the dugout, fished out a game ball and looked in my direction. (Our front row seats gave us a clear view of the covered dugout.) Joe caught my eye, pointed to me, and lobbed me that baseball, up and over the dozen or so fans between us. Thankfully I caught the baseball with some modicum of grace, and looked back at Joe. He smiled a great big grin, waved goodbye, and then headed down the dugout steps and out of sight.
Welcome to the list! =)
Welcome to the list! =)
June 2, 2010Posted by on
Chris’ computer ate her homework. No really – her computer crashed and today’s blog post is being held hostage by the Geek Squad somewhere. Angela and I had high expectations for a fill-in post, but unfortunately were both a little distracted by last night’s Cardinals game …and this:
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=12194640&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1David Freese Cover Photo Shoot from ALIVE Magazine St. Louis on Vimeo.
So, from the minds of two very tired and slightly giddy Cardinals bloggers, we bring you a list of “Things That Make Us Go Hmmmm?”
We were wondering….
1. Why would Brendan Ryan forego the high socks when his mustache alone seemed to be bringing the luck?
2. Why does Jason LaRue only cut his hair once a year? Why now? (By the way, Jason’s new look gets a definite thumbs-up!)
3. Why bring Aaron Miles up to the big leagues now when Tyler Greene and Joe Mather are both hitting better? (and at a higher level?)
4. Who invented MLB blackout areas and why don’t they make any sense?
5. Why is Colby striking out so much lately?
6. Why did the McGwires plan to have babies in June? Mark has a baseball job!
Let’s rephrase that: Why did Mark McGwire accept a job as the Cardinals’ batting coach when his wife was having triplets in June?
PS- congratulations to the McGwire family!
7. Why bring in Ryan Franklin in the 8th inning with the Cardinals trailing and a shortage of available arms?
8. Are there actual people running baseball-reference.com? Or do computers boost statistics from somewhere? Or is it just the work of magic baseball fairies?
9. Why do people either LOVE the wave or HATE the wave? No in-betweeners?
10. Why has Angela not dedicated an entire blog post to Adam Wainwright?
11. Why do Cardinals fans love scrappy little players? How far back does this love affair go? Pepper Martin?
12. Do players that go up/down from MLB to AAA rent more than one apartment?
13. Does pay change, depending on whether the boys are playing AAA or MLB games?
14. How many tattoos does Felipe Lopez have anyway?
15. Why does the national media only care about the Yankees/Sox baseball rivalry?
16. Why doesn’t anyone in baseball recognize that the Cardinals have the top three rotation guys in the majors?
17. How do we even compare team offense stats between AL and NL teams when AL teams have a DH and NL teams bat their pitchers?
18. How will Brendan Ryan survive without his sidekick while Joe Mather is with AAA Memphis?
And the biggest questions is:
How many readers will actually stick around to read all 18 things that we were wondering about?
Thanks for reading, Mom!
Today the Cardinals face the Reds to battle for the series at 7:15pm CT (on ESPN).