Cards News and Notes: Summer baseball in St. Louis has begun

After a tough stretch of finals kept me away from writing the past few days, I’m ready to roll again on Redbird Rants and Call to the Pen. Tonight is my last in Syracuse and my first year of college is officially over. It feels like just yesterday that I was moving in and getting ready for a whole new experience. Now, my bags are packed and I head home to Reading tomorrow for the summer. I enjoyed my year at Syracuse and look forward to building on what I learned. Career-wise, I got my first taste of news writing this semester and I have tried to apply that style to add quality to the blog. Outside of my writing online, I wrote a story on the Somali Bantu community and Syracuse that opened my eyes to others’ struggles. I listened to their stories and got the chance to share it through writing. I look forward to learning more over the next three years and getting the chance to tell more stories especially in the world of sports.

With the end of the school year, comes the beginning of summer and I’m excited. I hope more free time translates to more stories to keep you updated on all of your Cardinals news. I have some exciting plans to improve and diversify the blog in the coming weeks including player profiles, a look at baseball history, and the Redbird Rants Player of the Week. I hope to have an extra feature added to the site at the end of May that will come out once or twice a month all summer, but you’ll have to stay tuned for that.

Anyway, thanks for hanging with me after the short break in posts. I’m dedicated to making this the best Cardinals blog out there over the next four months. It won’t be easy considering the great blogs covering the Redbirds, but I’m going to put everything I have into the blog this summer. Expect multiple posts nearly every day from here on out.

Finally, I’d like to put out some new features with the new site design. In the top right hand corner, you can click on the Facebook and Twitter icons to redirect to the Redbird Rants pages on each site. The other button leads to the RSS feed of the site, which allows you to sign up to receive updates for every new article on the site via email. If you’d like to subscribe to receive Redbird Rants by email, you can also enter your email in the subscribe by email title above the polls feature. Polls is another new part of the site. Now, you can find a poll at all times on the front page of the site about half way down. Be sure to make your voice heard on the latest Cards debate. FanSided Network and Related Sites gives you links to other great blogs on the FanSided network. And under Schedule, you can find the Cards schedule for the 2010 season and up-to-date standings for the entire MLB. Enjoy the new look!

Now, let’s catch up on Cards news from the past few days. [...]

-Tony La Russa batted the pitcher eighth for 13 straight games until changing it up again tonight. La Russa has done it in the past and isn’t afraid to try anything to get his guys going. The move was triggered by Skip Schumaker’s struggles in the leadoff spot. La Russa moved him to the nine-hole, a spot he considers the second leadoff in some cases. Tonight, Colby Rasmus is batting leadoff and Schumaker is seventh in the lineup. Even though the Cards are tied for the best record in the NL, the skipper is always finding ways to motivate the team and make it better.

-Albert Pujols was named the “MLB Clutch Performer of the Month” by Pepsi for the month of April. The reigning MVP got off to another great start in 2010 and will most likely be in the race again. What else is new? He hit .345, smashed seven homers, and drove in 19 runs to win the award. One month down, five to go? If that happens, they can start carving his name into another shiny trophy.

-Tony La Russa is making news outside the diamond, too. The Cards manager will appear on Animal Planet’s Housecat Housecall to train therapy cats for an animal-assisted therapy program run by his animal welfare organization, ARF. He has always been an animal lover and activist in animal rescue. La Russa is also lending his support to a ballot initiative in Missouri to fight puppy mills, which breed and store dogs in poor conditions and ignore their medical needs. Missouri is known as the puppy mills capital of the United States and La Russa wants to see that changed. The new law would limit the number of dogs in a facility, outline regulations for food and care, and provide veterinary care to the animals. Even in the middle of the season, La Russa is devoted to making a difference outside of baseball and that is commendable.

-Tonight, the Cards started a three-game set with the Astros in a battle of “first vs. the worst.” Houston is a league-worst 10-21. Matt Holliday made his return to the lineup. He is 1 for 3 with an RBI as St. Louis leads the ‘Stros 2-0. Brad Penny has been brilliant once again, bouncing back from his worst start of the season last week. He has pitched 6 1/3 innings of shoutout ball as we sit in the top of the seventh.

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Tags: Albert Pujols Matt Holliday News St Louis Cardinals Tony La Russa

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