My two sons, their better halves, and my two grandsons are coming to our house tomorrow to spend Father’s Day with me. Today, my older son, Jason, treated us all to a delicious seafood dinner at a local Houston eatery, and my younger son, Paul, gave me a new Cardinals cap – the Sunday cap, red and blue with the Redbird on the bat. As wonderful as all this is and will be, I would like the St. Louis Cardinals’ players and coaches to give my boys and me, along with Cardinals’ fans all over the world the PERFECT Father’s Day gift – a victory tonight against the Royals and another one tomorrow! There is no better way to end a losing skid than to start and continue a winning streak, and that is what I would like for Father’s Day, 2011…
Now that the Cardinals former Director of Scouting, Chris Correa, has pleaded guilty to hacking the Houston Astros computer data system in U.S. District Court, my hope is that the DeWitt family, as primary representatives of Cardinal ownership, will make it clear, in no uncertain terms, to John Mozeliak and ALL members of the Cardinals organization that this type of action will absolutely not be tolerated!
Having been a Cardinals fan my entire life (68 years thus far), one of the things I value most about our organization is that we have succeeded primarily by drafting and developing young players and not by purchasing those drafted and developed by our competition. Critical for this process to succeed, in my opinion, is selecting players who have a high degree of integrity and who are of good character. Our ownership and management must exemplify these traits and be an example for each player to look up to. Although we are all indeed human and most certainly will err at times, our leaders must demonstrate great discipline by taking the proper corrective action when signs of weakness appear. I have great confidence that our leaders will prove worthy to this challenge, right the ship, and lead Cardinals management, players, and all us in Cardinals Nation to the prize of being absolutely the BEST we can be, while not sacrificing the principles of honor and fair play…
As I watch the Cardinals’ offense struggle early against Shelby Miller and his Braves in game 161 of the 2015 MLB season, I am not impressed with the apparent lack of focus or intensity demonstrated thus far by the Cardinals’ offense and pitching staff. The team’s performance in these last three “lame duck” games after winning the NL Central Crown and securing home field advantage in the NL Playoffs is hopefully not representative of how the team will play in the Postseason. A BIG challenge for Mike Matheny and his coaching staff is to design a training regimen that will get and keep the team in optimum shape for the playoffs. My opinion is that it is paramount for Mike to continue to keep the team focused on winning “today” – In other words, we need to “dance with what brung us”…
As Michael Wacha takes the hill today for my St. Louis Cardinals, with 20 games, including today’s, remaining in the 2015 regular season, it is truly time for him and his teammates to “put up or shut up”! This year the team has led the major leagues in wins for most of the season and has seemingly been on cruise control for most of it, despite injuries to key players Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, and Matt Adams, and to strong support players Matt Belisle, Randal Grichuk, Jon Jay, and Jordan Walden. Sportscasters, fans, and many others have extolled the virtues of how Mike Matheny and John Mozeliak are “miracle workers” and how the team has continued to always have just the right player to fill in for those who have been hurt – players like rookies Stephen Piscotty, Greg Garcia, and Tommy Pham, with help from bench players Mark Reynolds and Brandon Moss. HOWEVER, the team has been mired in their worst 10-game stretch of the season (having lost 8 of their last 10) and is in danger of being swept by the Cincinnati Reds and allowing their closest challenger, the Pittsburgh Pirates, to get within 1 1/2 games of them with a Cardinals’ loss and a Pirates’ win today. No question that major league teams face this kind of adversity fairly often during the course of the long 162 game season, but for this to occur in the middle of September certainly compounds the situation!
Time to put together a sustained rally over the next 3 weeks, boys, or have plenty of time over the winter to reflect on what could have been. REGARDLESS of the outcome, I will still love and support my Redbirds, but obviously, for their sake as well as mine, I would prefer them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and prove victorious…
As I ponder how difficult it has been for me, as a lifelong Cardinals’ fan, to endure the recent offensive drought the team is experiencing, and how it seems as if the opposing teams have been coming through with key hits while we continually struggle to do so, it finally dawned on me this morning how DIFFICULT the long, hard, grind of a Major League Baseball season really is! Duh! I need to continue to give my beloved Cardinals my undying support, and quit feeling like they are failing me as a fan! THEY are the ones who are ACTUALLY going through the tough grind, and they deserve all the support I can muster!!! HANG IT THERE BOYS!!! YOU’RE THE BEST!!!
At 12:05 CT this coming Thursday, March 5, 2015, my favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals, of course, will begin their 2015 campaign with a Spring Training game at Roger Dean Stadium against the Miami Marlins. FINALLY, BASEBALL WILL BE BACK!!!
I only hope that many more folks will take the opportunity this season to follow their team of choice seriously! I realize that “seriously” means different things to different people, but to me it means attempting to hear or see EVERY PITCH OF EVERY INNING YOUR TEAM PLAYS IN A GIVEN SEASON! I have been fairly successful for the past few seasons, missing only a handful of innings each year. You ask me why? I receive GREAT JOY following my boys in Red as they struggle each season to find their way thru the tough National League Central Division in hopes of winning the Division Crown, then the National League Pennant, and finally, the World Series Crown! Not always are we successful, but after all, the journey is ALWAYS thrilling and well worth the time and effort.
Please take my suggestion and give it a try this year… BASEBALL – THE GREATEST GAME EVER CONCEIVED!!!
What an appropriate title for the upcoming clash between the Cardinals and the Red Sox for the 2013 World Series Championship!
Only time will tell which team will come out the victor, but, of course, my TOTAL support is for my beloved Redbirds!