The hardware has been delivered and the Birds are sporting their new bling. The official ring ceremony took place at Busch Stadium on April 14th. As always the Cardinal organization might quite an event out of the whole opening weekend. It is always a magnificent production, but is significantly more impressive when they are handing out the rings. This edition of the ring is quite a display. One that is fitting for the display, the Cardinals put on ion the post season earning their 11th title.
St. Louis Cardinals receive their 2011 World Series rings during a ceremony before a game against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)
The ring is made up of 103 round diamonds with a total weight of 2.62 carats, 14K white gold with 50 custom-cut rubies: 28 rubies make up the “STL” on one side, eight to make the “11” (signifying the teams 11th World Series win) on the other and 14 rubies compose the cardinal sitting on a 14K yellow gold bat on top of the ring. I feel one of the neatest attributes of the ring is the Rally Squirrel being displayed on the side of the ring. You can love it or hate it, but the Rally Squirrel is now a part of Cardinal history.
Which player wouldn’t be like a kid on Christmas morning when they received their ring? Players in the past have made statements that it doesn’t mean a thing until you get the ring. It is a bragging rights symbol for a player, now and at the end of their careers. How many rings do you have? I think about the rookie players who had their first year in the big leagues and now they have ring. I also think about the veterans that are closing in on the twilight of their careers and they are just now getting their first ring, like Lance Berkman. I would imagine that no matter how many you have, you would swell with pride each time you earn another.
So what happens to the players that were traded during the off season? What happens to their rings? They still get them. Over the past few days Tony La Russa has been hand delivering the rings to some of the former players. He made it up to Detroit this past Sunday to present rings to Gerald Laird and Octavio Dotel. He also made it over to Washington to deliver Edwin Jackson’s jewelery. I think it is a respectable thing to do, making the trips and personally presenting each player with theirs.
What about the guy that went to the Angels? Funny you would ask that. I thought the same thing a few weeks ago. Well, I have tried not mentioning him in anything I have posted of late but it is unavoidable this time. He still gets one and he does deserve it. Recent comments that he made to the press, obviously it isn’t that big of a deal to him. He told reporters that TLR could drop it off at his locker sometime when he was in California. It wasn’t enough that he spewed that classless statement but he added the Cardinals could utilize his number 5 for anyone that would want it. It didn’t matter to him. He said that was in the past. Bitter party of one your table is ready. The last time I checked HE left St. Louis. Then he was shocked the St. Louis fans didn’t still love him and felt betrayed.
I admit that I am sitting back with a smug smirk on my face so far this season. Will he put numbers up, more than likely yes he will. But, the longer it takes the more I giggle about it. He has never been known to take criticism very well and especially from the media. He was treated with kid gloves by the media in St. Louis. He will be treated with boxing gloves by the West Coast media. That will be fun to watch. If you search his name and news you will find story after story how he has not hit a home run, he has only walked 3 times and only one of those was an intentional walk. He has gone 9 games without a free pass. He has 4 RBI’s and is hitting .246. His teammates and management are making excuses for him and the media in California are already comparing him to Mo Vaughn.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out over the course of a season. In the mean time the Cardinals will enjoy the defense of their World Championship and hopefully they will earn another ring, one they won’t have to share with someone that just wants it dropped off at their locker.