After 39 straight days of either workouts or games the St. Louis Cardinals received a full day off yesterday.
Manager Mike Matheny told players to stay away from the training facilities and he went to see his kids play in a high school baseball showcase. From here on the Redbirds will receive one more day off on Tuesday, April 3rd the day before they open the season in Miami’s new ballpark. Essentially they will have a light day on Monday as well as they will face their Double-A squad, in Springfield, MO.
The only player to get some work in yesterday was Jaime Garcia who pitched in a Triple-A game, as it was his turn in the rotation.
MINOR LEAGUER SUSPENDED
Cody Stanley, a catcher in the Cardinals’ system was handed a 50-game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. Stanley was set to make a move up from the low-A Quad Cities this season.
HOMERS FOR HEALTH
Matt Holliday and David Freese have some added incentive for hitting home runs this season. They are the ambassadors for the initiative which raises money for the SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, which is a not-for-profit pediatric hospital in St. Louis. Fans pledge a donation for each Cardinal home run hit during the regular season. Pledges of at least 50-cents per homer will receive a photo of Holliday and Freese. For more information and to pledge follow the link to glennon.org.
Adam Wainwright takes to the mound today against the Detroit Tigers at Roger Dean Stadium. This puts him in line for the start in the game against the Double-A Cardinals. His first start of the regular season will be in Milwaukee against the Brewers. He’s scheduled to pitch the home opener on April 13th against the Chicago Cubs.
MY TWO CENTS
For what it’s worth, I wish there was a full slate of “real” games for today. The teams are ready to go as there was a game played in Japan this morning between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s. I won’t relay the results in case you’re interested in watching it later. The point is, Spring Training should end sooner than it does. I’m not suggesting shortening the length of Spring Training, since the players are used to the number of games, at-bats, pitches thrown to be ready for the regular season. Just start it up 5 to 7 days earlier so the season starts in full by the end of March. I understand the potential for snow outs etc. in the early spring, but is the weather any better in late October or November?
The reason we won’t have more games until next week is money. It’s always about the money. Major League Baseball is trying, and doing a good job, of spreading the game to other parts of the world. More exposure equals more money in the till. The game is already immensely popular in Japan. The professional league there is often times considered Quad-A level ball. Over the coming years we’ll see the season open in other places around the world and it’s great. What I don’t get is why the full week delay for other games to begin? The teams playing in Japan or elsewhere in the future could easily be a part of the last series to open in the U.S. and still get five days to recoup from the travel if everything was shift back. This would ensure there are zero games in November and allows baseball to finish its season before the NFL really takes over. I’m ready now.