Count on the craziness of October. To quote an executive: "Get in, because it's a crap shoot from there."
I, too, am glad we're doing it. Mitchell Forde, our Hummel Intern, has really seized on the idea and brought that addition to the Web site. I am happy to hear it's been well-received, and it's a good reminder that we need to make that part of our Constant Cardinals Coverage (TM pending).
Mainly because he's been working with other teams. He's been with the Brewers, Seattle, and now the Braves in recent years. He lives in St. Louis and he scouts for those teams. He had that time as the Brewers bench coach, too.
Fenway is always a great place to visit. I'm actually going to tonight's game at Fenway to see the Sox play Cleveland. I bought tickets. Going with a buddy from Mizzou. It will be nice to be at the ballpark, enjoying a game. It will be the first time I've attended a game at Fenway in the seats without a credential since, goodness, maybe 2000 or 2001.
Team may help organize it, find the flights, arrange rooms, etc., but it is on the players to cover the cost. The team of course pays for the player's travel and sets all that up. Sometimes the travel is not ideal. Especially from some of the PCL outposts that require a player to leave early, connect, and maybe connect again just to arrive in time for a game.
McCarver is doing the two games at Fenway, and on the rare chance I'm home and not at the game I do enjoy the obvious chemistry that he and Dan McLaughlin have. I can tell you that when I get a chance to talk with McCarver on these road trips, I always hear a story or a point about the game in general that I haven't heard before and helps me think of it in a new way.
I am able to attend other games as long as I'm doing so with a purpose, as a member of the working press. On the road, I do go to other games, when possible, and I try to get interviews that will help with future stories. For example, a few years ago I got into Pittsburgh early and they were playing that night against the Brewers. I called ahead to let them know I would attend. I got a tip that the Cardinals were about to trade for John Axford, and so I wanted to go talk to Axford, who was there with the Brewers. The trade happened the next day. Axford never did appear in the clubhouse. But that would be one reason to attend a game that isn't the Cardinals. For tonight, though, I purchased tickets and I'm sitting in the seats.
It was, yes. It was the dinner in Cincinnati, called by the veterans and featuring statements by some of the players, like Pham. Adam Wainwright. Matt Carpenter, Molina. The usual folks spoke. It was that dinner that gave birth to the hand signal described earlier. Jesus Ortiz wrote in greater detail about the Steak House Summit in his Sunday column at StlToday.com.
Players pay for tickets now, too. Just so you know. So when DeJong is funding the presence of 20+ family members at Milwaukee games or Carlos Martinez is filling up the seats in Miami with family, they are paying for those tickets. They aren't free.
Absolutely they do. I think I've mentioned this story before about the questions about bunting that Mike Matheny asked baseball ops to look into research and the stack of papers -- a good 7 inches high -- that he had on his desk going through all the info collected. I wouldn't get wrapped up in this past weekend as some great indictment on their love of the bunt. I think this was certainly more of their love of seeing if Brandon Phillips can field the bunt. Several hitters told me that they got up there and saw how far back Phillips was playing and thought why not just steal a hit now. Tommy Pham tried to do that.
It was part of the original ballpark and it was made that way because it had to fit on small footprint. Like Wrigley, Fenway is bound on all sides by the neighborhood and streets around it. Rather than have seats 310 feet away that would have invited home runs, they built the wall up up up up so that it would stop those homers and turn them into singles or doubles. That was the idea. It was basically the best use of the space they had.
Exactly. They have to pay for the tickets.
The Cardinals will still need a backup for next season. I am hesitant to connect the dots here because Kelly is the best catching prospect in the game, defensively, and the Cardinals still wnat to see more defensively from Knizner. He's had a strong year, a good year, but this is a leap that I don't think the team is ready to make.
Mozeliak describes Maloney's current role as special assignments. It seems possible that Maloney is helping Mozeliak find what Mozeliak was talking about at the press conference about his new role -- they're canvassing the minors where the nuts and bolts have loosened and trying to find ways to improve, advance, innovate. Maloney would have a good eye for that, and he has Mozeliak's trust. That's important. It also would be why they wouldn't advertise the role.
And squirrels are too hyper. Can't win. They need a #RallyPuppy. Loyal. Always there with a smile.
Been saying DeJong is a legit talent since shortly after he was drafted -- shortly after I talked with him, got a chance to see him play, and spoke with scouts I trust about him. It was just days after he was drafted that I got a call from someone I trust about prospects, and he told me, "You've got to talk to this kid. Just talk to him." And then we got into the bat speed and natural power that he clearly has. I was talking to another scout this past week, and he suggested that he would give DeJong a 70 for power on the 20-80 scale, and that he would add that it might be the best natural power on the Cardinals team. All of that can be true and he could still have a sophomore slump, which is why we can still hold true to the Aledmys Diaz statements. You'll recall from awhile back a question about what player has the best OPS upside of the team. Carpenter was the obvious pick. I suggested Diaz. Had DeJong been with the team, I would have suggested him. No one picked Pham. Our bad. However, Diaz still has that talent. The Show-Me State Saw That last year, and it wouldn't be a shock at all if Diaz surfaced at third base or super utility in the near future -- or next season. He is also an appealing trade piece because of his contract and because other teams Saw What He Did, too.
They have had that discussion internally. You can imagine how appealing that is to Leake.
This is an excellent question, and it absolutely is a factor in any decision. You described it well. Look, Lance isn't always going to thrill people -- and his postgame press conferences are, in the words of Jim Hayes, performance art. Don't judge a book by that cover. Away from the camera, Lynn is a necessary personality. He's the one that dragged Alex Reyes into the team within a team work, the one who suggested Reyes come out with the other starters to see bullpens to offer thoughts, to watch the work. Lynn has done other things for young pitchers that, to be honest, are a bit like Chris Carpenter would do -- out of sight, not often revealed, and sometimes done to prod as well as nurture. Lynn can be a rusty nail. Teams need a rusty nail.
Thanks for listening, and I don't think any of these answers are easy. But I do know they are becoming increasingly important, and we saw that again this past weekend. I hope you saw the coverage of the protests outside Busch from my colleague Benjamin Hochman. He had already written his Tommy Pham column for the paper, and he jumped into the fray of reporting -- like any of us should, really. And he produced compelling coverage online and for the paper. The image of someone walking around Busch Stadium with a rifle slung over his shoulder was .... alarming. I won't lie: I leave the ballpark late at night and I've had times where I've wondered what's around the corner -- especially when they were talking about putting a gun locker not too far from where many people leave the ballpark. The Cardinals wanted to stay on the sidelines of that discussion, too. Well, guess what: There are sidelines anymore. We're all in the arena, and the Cardinals should have the confidence in their brand, their position in the city and region, and volume of their voice to say something. Do something. It took time for the team to go from the Tyler Dunnington accusations to a Pride Night, but during that time it was a lot of questions and questions and questions from media members like me and several others and conversations internally with executives and advocates to then make that happen. It was a slower process than many people wanted, but you see the result. Maybe that's where the Cardinals are headed on all these things -- glacially, but they'll get there.