Sunday, November 27, 2011

McLaughlin's future

Count me in as one that is pulling for Dan McLaughlin to return to the broadcast booth next season.

Holliday on WS win

All winners in the DVD promotional giveaway have been notified and should expect to get their DVDs this week.

Matt Holliday speaks about winning the World Series.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “It was heartbreaking to get to a Game 7 of a World Series and to realize that I had no chance to play.”

So, how did the Stillwater native balance the disappointment and the delirium?

Holliday insists it wasn't that hard. Maybe he's being modest about that. Maybe celebrating on the field and smiling in the clubhouse and spraying teammates with champagne and riding through the streets of St. Louis during the victory parade were some of the most difficult things he's ever done.

Or maybe the way he handled all of that is further evidence of why he's known as one of the good guys in baseball.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 World Series Highlight Film Review

You know, I had this crazy feeling that if we won the World Series that Mad Men star Jon Hamm, a Cardinals fan, would narrate the DVD film. He was not as well known in 2006 when we won seeing as Mad Men would not air until 2007. In any event, his voices provides a nice feeling while watching the highlight film.

The set comes with 2 DVDs. The second one featuring the complete instant classic that we call Game 5 of the NLDS--the winner-take-all duel between Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay. It's interesting that that game is included as it's the only game that I didn't record due to Yom Kippur and now I have the chance to watch it in it's entirety thanks to this set. Now, if you are so inclined to get the bluray, it's all on the same disc and that comes out on December 6, 2011.

The first 15 minutes takes us from Spring Training's new hope up until the start of the World Series. It's Jon Hamm's narration that truly does serve as a bridge between the highlights. I really credit the writer (senior writer Jeff Scott) in this instance because they did a damn fine job.

Throughout the film, there are numerous interviews from the players, coaching staff, and those that cover baseball such as Bryan Burwell, Tom Verducci, and Ken Rosenthal. I didn't mind the media interviews as I felt it added to the narrative.

After Game 1, Jason Motte gets his own film crew prior to Game 2. No telling how much he actually paid for his meal.

I love how it shows a press clip just before the Game 5 coverage where Tony La Russa gets asked about the phones 6 days before Game 5. Talk about great editing!

Game 6 alone gets comments from several players describing the whole weirdness of the first several innings with each team capitalizing on the other team's mistakes. Even the final few innings, we hear the calls from all of the broadcast crews especially during the David Freese triple in the bottom of the 9th, the 10th inning when Jon Jay helps take the lead for the Cards, and finally the walk off by David Freese to save the series in the 11th inning.

Following Game 7 and the celebration footage, we're treated to footage from the parade and rally. As a sidenote, the editing and interviews were finished after Tony retired.

While I'm watching this, the premiere is going on at the Peaboxy in St. Louis. From what I am reading on twitter, and I have to echo the thoughts of some of my fellow Cardinal bloggers in the fact that MLB Productions will did outdo themselves this time around. This comes from someone who owns the 2006 highlight film. I'm not sure if it's the writing, editing, or both. Plus, it has Jon Hamm narrating and right now, that's the actor you want to narrate a film about the Cardinals.

The exclusive interviews included in the film really take it to a different level. I might add more to this post as I watch the bonus features but the film alone is worth the purchase.

Every game really does get it's justice so if you have a tight budget and cannot afford the 8 disc collector's set, I can say that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this 2 DVD set without reservation.

PICTURE: I'm watching on a bluray player that upconverts standard DVDs to 1080pi and it is just as if I were watching the HD broadcast on TBS or FOX of the actual games.

AUDIO: President in Dolby 5.1

*This Week in Baseball - Dave Duncan
*This Week in Baseball - Lance Berkman
*Prime 9 - La Russa segment
*NLDS Game 5 Last Out and Celebration
*NLCS Game 6 Last Out and Celebration
*World Series Game 3 - Pujols 3 Home Runs
*World Series Game 6 - Freese triple to tie
*World Series Game 6 - Berkman single to tie again
*World Series Game 6 - Freese Walk Off Home Run
*World Series Game 6 - Freese and Berkman Presser
*World Series Game 7 - Freese double to tie
*World Series Game 7 - Last out and celebration

The running time is 4 hours total, most of which is Game 5. The highlight film itself is closer to 90 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 World Series Highlight Film and Giveaway

Through A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions, the 2011 World Series Highlight Film is due out this week.

Redbirds Fun will be giving away 3 DVD sets in a promotion sponsored by A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions. This will be run through twitter and facebook. I'll pick winners at random. The deadline will be 3 PM on Black Friday.

The trivia question: Other than Tony La Russa, who is the other manager to have won two World Series rings managing the Cardinals?

Here's the press release for the set:

In the OFFICIAL 2011 WORLD SERIES FILM, the annual, crowning program from Major League Baseball Productions, St. Louis native and narrator Jon Hamm (Mad Men) delivers the redoubtable Redbirds championship run, from first pitch to last in a pulse-pounding documentary format. Providing comprehensive highlights, exclusive access and interviews, plus breath-taking footage and sounds captured by MLB cameras and microphones throughout the series, this DVD is a perfect way to relive the epic battle against the Texas Rangers.

The OFFICIAL 2011 WORLD SERIES FILM will be released as a 2-disc set, featuring an exclusiv bonus disc containing the complete NLDS Game 5 vs. the Phillies, a taut 1-0 pitcher’s duel which propelled the Cardinals to the NLCS and, ultimately, the World Series. Additional extras include behind-the-scenes interviews and bonus programming. Just in time for the holidays, the OFFICIAL 2011 WORLD SERIES FILM 2-Disc DVD will be available on November 22 and will also be available in the crystal clarity of a single Blu-ray disc on December 6, both currently available for pre-order on

Bonus Material: This Week in Baseball - Dave Duncan n This Week in Baseball - Lance Berkman n Prime 9 La Russa Segment n NLDS Game 5 Last Out and Celebration n NLCS Game 6 Last Out and Celebration n WS Game 3 - Pujols 3 HRs n WS Game 6 - Freese Triple to Tie n WS Game 6 - Berkman Single to Tie Again n WS Game 6 - Freese Walk-off HR n WS Game 6 Postgame - Berkman and Freese Presser n WS Game 7 - Freese Double to Tie n WS Game 7 - Last out and Celebration n WS Parade
The premiere is November 22nd at the Peabody Opera House. The trailer can be viewed here.

Wild Cards: Book Review

Wild Cards: The St. Louis Cardinals' Stunning 2011 Championship Season from Rob Rains is currently in stores and being sold online following the Cardinals' World Series win.

This book relives not just the three postseason series but also various parts of the season. All in all, it's 128 pages but it's a really fast 128 pages.

I'm not sure if it was because of the very quick press time but I feel that it could have been proofread another time since the final night section appeared twice, word for word, and with the same picture. Moreover, a lot of punctuation was missing. That's personal nitpicking on my part.

However, this was the first book out following the World Series win but it's a good one nonetheless.

From the press release:
While the 2011 World Series capped arguably the most exciting season in team history, injuries, off-field distractions, and poor play contributed to a lackluster start; by mid-August the Cardinals looked dead in the water. Then, an influx of new talent and rejuvenated stars – along with rally squirrels, happy flights, and an irrepressible never-say-die attitude – propelled St. Louis into the playoffs, where they defeated the favored Phillies and Brewers. The season culminated with a fantastic seven-game, roller-coaster World Series triumph against the Texas Rangers. Wild Cards celebrates the highlights of this championship season. Packed with full-color action photos, detailed accounts of every postseason game, and profiles of Albert Pujols, David Freese, and other stars, this commemorative keepsake is sure to be treasured by every Cardinals fan.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book now for sale

While I have several review copies to get through, I have my own book now available.

I just finished writing this other day, and it concludes a whole chapter on sports. You can now buy it online at Create Space or Amazon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Mike Matheny: The New Manager

It will take some time getting used to referring to Mike Matheny as the newest Cardinals' manager but that's what he is.
The Cardinals announced it this evening and will be hosting a press conference at 11 central.
Former Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny manager will become the team's new manager, the club announced Sunday evening.

He will be introduced at a Busch Stadium news conference on Monday at 11 a.m. CT.
Here's to the very best of wishes for next season.

The word from Joe Strauss is that Matheny has a two year deal with a club option for 2014.

B.J. Rains has some quotes from the team.
"I know everyone is excited, I know that for a fact," said third baseman David Freese. "Anyone that thinks Mike Matheny won't be a winning manager has another thing coming.

"He soaks everything in. I've noticed him the last few years soaking everything in when guys are talking – coaches, players everybody. He's a guy that loves baseball. He's a leader. He has a certain presence where you know Mike Matheny is in the room. It's going to take him a long way."[...]

"It's definitely going to be different than playing for Tony, that's for sure," said infielder Dan Descalso. "I'm interested to see how Mike handles it and what he brings to the table. I saw the type of player he was and how much of a leader he was on the field as a catcher and I'm sure he will be the same in the dugout.

"I think he's a great guy for the job. He seems like a natural leader. I can't wait to play for him."[...]

"Mike has helped me through a lot of things I have dealt with over the years," Freese said. "It's weird because he's a very good friend of mine and now he's my manager. That's the coolest part about it."
Meanwhile, Matt offers more right here on the 49th manager in club history.

Cardinals in 2012

Joe Strauss offers an outlook of what the Cards could look like in 2012. We'll see what happens first. The Cards HAVE to resign Albert Pujols first and foremost. What does the second base situation look like?
Pujols' return is considered Plan A. If the three-time NL Most Valuable Player ultimately signs elsewhere, the Cardinals are prepared to transfer Berkman to first base and anoint Allen Craig starting right fielder.

Mozeliak says he has no plans to tinker with a rotation that regains 2010 NL Cy Young Award runner-up Adam Wainwright and has five members under contract through next season. "As of now, I don't see that as an area of need," Mozeliak said.

Acquiring a second lefthanded reliever to complement Marc Rzepczynski and clarifying a vague situation at shortstop are more pressing.

Mozeliak projects Daniel Descalso as next season's starting second baseman with incumbent Skip Schumaker ticketed for a 'super utility" role should the club avoid arbitration. The plan may leave Theriot, last season's opening day shortstop, a nontender candidate in search of a more robust role elsewhere.

Descalso appeared at second base in only nine of 63 starts last season. He started 53 games at third base — most of them while David Freese recovered from a fractured hand — and was solid enough to receive consideration for a Gold Glove.

Descalso's arm and glove are "plus" tools; however, his range at second base was considered no better than average during his time with Class AAA Memphis in 2010. Promoted to the parent club that September, Descalso played 73 of 74 innings at third base, not second.

Mozeliak explained succinctly: "I think he's a very good baseball player who can handle the position."
I like Skip and he makes a great addition to the club. Whether Theriot remains a Cardinal does not bother me one bit but Skip can be starter or a defensive replacement.

Mo and La Russa, however, appeared to have some differences regarding that of Tyler Greene. While Mo works to bring back Furcal for next year, he had this to say:
Mozeliak won't confine his projection for Greene to a reserve role, saying, "I would have no problem with him and Descalso as our middle infield."
The article mentions bringing back Nick Punto.

There's even talk of using one of the catching prospects to backup Yadier Molina--either Tony Cruz or Bryan Anderson. Hey, I have no problem there. Sure, they won't be a regular starter but I don't mind someone that is tearing it up in the minors to get a chance with the Cardinals. Matheny seems to be a fan or Cruz and Anderson backing up Molina so there's an incentive.
Mozeliak endorses Jon Jay as an everyday center fielder rather than the lefthanded half of a platoon. With Schumaker as more of an extra outfielder than an infield regular, Greene could become available for spot center field duty against some lefthanded pitching.

The Cardinals apparently are ready to also break with a long-standing tradition of having veteran backup catchers as Mozeliak envisions Tony Cruz and longtime prospect Bryan Anderson competing for the role next spring.

Cruz, 25, bypassed Anderson, 24, on the organizational depth chart last summer and earned praise as a capable pinch hitter and mature backstop. Anderson, without options and considered a potential candidate for release last summer, never earned La Russa's confidence. However, Mike Matheny, one of the candidates for manager, offered positive reports on the lefthanded-hitting Anderson's defensive development in his role as a roving catching instructor.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 Cardinal Blogger Awards Ballot

The following is how I vote for the 2011 Cardinal Blogger Awards. Fans can vote here.

Award 1 Cardinal Player of the Year: Albert Pujols

Award 2 Cardinal Pitcher of the Year: Chris Carpenter

Award 3 Regular Season Game of the Year: September 28 at Houston (Carpenter shutout on last day)

Award 4 Post-Season Game of the Year: WS Game 6 (two rallies with one strike left)

Award 5 Surprise Player of the Year: Lance Berkman

Award 6 Disappointing Player of the Year: Ryan Theriot

Award 7 Cardinal Rookie of the Year: Allen Craig

Award 8 Pre-Season Acquisition of the Year: Lance Berkman

Award 9 Mid-Season Acquisition of the Year: Rafael Furcal

Award 10 Most Anticipated Cardinal: Shelby Miller

Award 11 Best Individual Cardinal Blog: C70 at the Bat

Award 12 Best Team Cardinal Blog: Viva El Birdos

Award 13 Best Professional Cardinal Blog: Bird Land

Award 14 Best Rookie Cardinal Blog (began December 1, 2010 or later): STL: Fear The Red

Award 15 Post of the Year: C70: Happily Ever After

Award 16 Best UCB Project: Roundtables

Award 17 Most Optimistic Cardinal Blog: Not sure.

Award 18 Best UCB Podcast: UCB Radio Hour

Award 19 Best UCB Twitterer: Does all of them count? Honestly, I have a list of Cards related twitter accounts, including fans, and I try and follow them as much as possible.

Award 20 Best Fake Cardinal Twitter Account: SirGloveAWilson

Mike Matheny for Manager?

I'm hearing that the St. Louis Cardinals could be preparing to announce Mike Matheny as the next manager as early as Sunday, possibly as late as Monday. We shall see. Honestly, given the whole Boston Red Sox collapse in September, I would rather have Matheny at the helm then Francona.

In other news, the Miami Marlins made an offer to Albert Pujols but there have been no details released.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Book of the Week: Commish & The Cardinals

This weekend's reading consisted of reading Commish & the Cardinals, a collection of articles written over the years by Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel.

As Bernie Miklasz writes in the opening, you heard Jack Buck's call, now read Rick's article. They go hand in hand.

I knew that DK's death was hard on the time but I did not realize that some of the players just were not able to play at all the day after in Chicago.

I got to relive the closing days at Busch Stadium in 2005, a night that kept getting postponed, kinda like Albert's alleged last at-bat at Busch this past year.

The book is technically out of print but you might find a copy on sale through the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website for $5.99 plus shipping.

For a Cardinals fan, it is a must have for your bookshelf.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Is Feliz the new Lidge?

Is Neftali Feliz the new Brad Lidge? It's posssible.

Joe and Derrick have more on the interview with Mike Matheny.
"I believe we had a positive discussion, and I was able to answer all their questions — all they had for me," Matheny said Friday afternoon. "It's really going to be up to them to sort through all the things they're looking for in that position and who fits it best."

Matheny, 40, has less managerial and coaching experience than any of the six known candidates to succeed a man who managed more major-league games than anyone in the game's history other than Connie Mack.

However, he possesses the leadership qualities, presence and organizational bloodlines the Cardinals might favor in determining their next field boss.

Matheny described his lack of managerial experience as "the elephant that walked in with me" to the interview. However, Matheny was made to feel the issue is of less significance than even he had hoped.
Rick Hummel offers more on the sudden passing of Bob Forsch.

Friday, November 04, 2011

RIP Bob Forsch

The Cardinals have announced the sudden passing of Bob Forsch, the third winningest pitcher in team history.

Press release sent out by the St. Louis Cardinals:
The entire St. Louis Cardinals organization was saddened by the sudden passing last night of former Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch at the age of 61. Forsch spent 15 seasons with the Cardinals and is third all-time in franchise history with 163 victories.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Forsch,” Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said, “Bob was a one of the best pitchers in the history of our organization and a valued member of the Cardinals family.”

Forsch, who was known for clutch performances in crucial games, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the World Series on Friday night in St. Louis.

“Having been with Bob just last week, we are all stunned by this news,” DeWitt said, “The entire Cardinals organization extends its sincere condolences to Bob’s wife Janice, his two daughters Amy and Kristin, and his countless friends.”

Forsch was part of all three Cardinals World Series teams during the 1980s, including the 1982 World Championship team. Forsch is one of only 28 pitchers to throw multiple no-hitters. His first came on April 16, 1978 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies and his second was on April 26, 1983 vs. the Montreal Expos. The two no-hitters were the only two ever thrown at Busch Memorial Stadium, where he won more games and pitched more innings than any other pitcher.

Throughout his sixteen year MLB career that included a stop in Houston, Forsch won 168 games. Forsch was selected by the Cardinals in the 26th round of the 1968 amateur draft and broke into the big leagues with the Cardinals on July 7, 1974. Over his career, he amassed 1,133 strikeouts, a 3.76 ERA and a .533 winning percentage.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Bob Forsch.


Derrick wrote the latest on the interview with Chris Maloney.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Interviews started today

The first round have interviews have begun today according to Joe and Derrick.

Terry Francona will be interviewed on Friday while there will be some more rounds on Tuesday.

Hall of Fame Golden Era Vets

We found out today who the ten candidates are for consideration with regards to the Golden Era veterans. It's my hope that at least someone from this class gets inducted because when it comes to players, the veterans committee has been getting stingy.

Gil Hodges and Ron Santo are the most notable candidates that have not been inducted yet even though they should have been elected while they were in their first 15 years.

The members of the committee that will, G-d willing, vote in a candidate are two are:
Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton and Williams; Major League executives Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gene Michael, and Al Rosen; and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O'Connell and Dave Van Dyck.
Those with ties to the St. Louis Cardinals organization include:
Ken Boyer played 15 Major League seasons as a third baseman with the Cardinals, Mets, White Sox and Dodgers. He was named to seven All-Star teams and won the 1964 NL MVP Award while leading the Cardinals to a World Series victory.

Jim Kaat pitched 25 seasons with the Senators, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games, the third-highest total for those eligible but not enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He was a three-time All-Star and part of the Cardinals' 1982 World Series championship team.

Minnie Minoso played 17 seasons with the Indians, White Sox, Cardinals and Senators, winning three Gold Glove Awards and being named an All-Star seven times. A native of Cuba, he was one of the first great Latin American players in the 1950s.
Voting takes place on December 4th in Dallas just before the annual meeting is set to take place. Twelve votes are needed for induction. Canidates elected for inducted will be announced the next day.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Interviews to start soon...

Joe Strauss reports that interviews are set to begin soon. The only manager amongst those that managed in the majors last season is Terry Francona.
The committee today holds the first in a series of face-to-face interviews with a pool of "less than 10" candidates including former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona and longtime Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo. The Cardinals also have received permission to interview Hall of Fame Chicago Cubs second baseman and current Philadelphia Phillies minor-league manager Ryne Sandberg.

General manager John Mozeliak on Wednesday confirmed only that the interview process would formally begin today. Mozeliak declined to comment on specific candidates, including Sandberg, whose involvement represents something of a surprise to many due to his ties to the Cardinals' chief rival.

Francona, who steered the Red Sox to the 2004 and 2007 World Series championships, is the only one of six known candidates with prior major-league managerial experience.

Mozeliak plans to also interview Memphis manager Chris Maloney, minor-league instructor and former Gold Glove catcher Mike Matheny and Chicago White Sox coach Joe McEwing, according to sources familiar with the process.
For a bulk of the last 46 years, with rare exception, the Cards have been managed by Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, Joe Torre, and Tony La Russa. All of which are in the Hall of Fame or will be inducted in 2014.

In Albert news, C70 offers some thoughts as to why Albert will stay a Cardinal when all is said and done.

Cardinals reach out to Ryne Sandberg

While the Chicago Cubs have fired manager Mike Quade, they have have made it very clear that they are not interested in hiring Ryne Sandberg. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have expressed an interest in bringing in Sandberg for an interview. Sandberg is one of the few Cubs players that I respected while growing up. You know a Hall of Famer when you see one. When the Cubs originally hired Ryne to manage in the minor leagues, I thought that they would be grooming him for the big league. I guess that was not the case.

Joe Strauss reports that Dave McKay saw Tony's retirement coming.

Rick Hummel reports that Tony La Russa could still manage in the All Star Game next year. Outside of winning the World Series, you could not send him off in a better way. This way, the fans would be able to say goodbye. Bobby Cox had his farewell tour so fans could say goodbye to him. With La Russa, we assumed he would come back.

Albert Pujols issued a statement on Tony's retirement.
"I'd like to congratulate Tony on his amazing Hall of Fame career. He's been like a father to me and in my opinion, is one of the greatest managers in the history of the game. I've been blessed to be able to learn from Tony for the past 11 years and I wish him well on his retirement."

I haven't really had a chance to write about what Tony thought about Moneyball but Mike Bauman wrote an article over at
"I think Brad Pitt is a great actor," La Russa said of the actor who played Oakland general manager Billy Beane in the movie. But the thrust of his remarks was not in the direction of praise.

"Good acting," La Russa said in his evaluation of the movie. "I'm serious. Good acting. I mean, I was offended because of what the book represented, and I know a lot of those guys [who] were portrayed. I knew a few of those guys as scouts. It strains the credibility a little bit.

"[The A's] won 20 in a row, [in 2002], qualify for the playoffs, go two [games] up on the Yankees [in the AL Division Series], and there wasn't anything in the movie except a brief about Miguel [Tejada] and Eric [Chavez], the three starters [Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson] and [closer] Billy Koch.

"It was about a couple of trades and turning Scott [Hatteberg] into a first baseman. That club was carried by those guys that were signed [and] developed the old-fashioned way. That part wasn't enjoyable, because it's a nice story, but it is not accurate enough."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Gold Glove Awards

The Rawlings Gold Glove Awards are being presented on ESPN2 and were delayed thanks to a high scoring football game.

C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals (4th award)
1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (1st)
2B: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds (3rd)
3B: Placido Polanco, Philadelphia Phillies (3rd, 1st at 3B)
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies (2nd)
CF: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers (2nd)
LF: Gerardo Parra, Arizona Diamondbacks (1st)
RF: Andre Ethier, Los Angeles Dodgers (1st)
P: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers (1st)

C: Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles (1st)
1B: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox (1st)
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox (2nd)
3B: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers (3rd)
SS: Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels (1st)
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox (1st)
LF: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals (1st)
RF: Nick Marakis, Baltimore Orioles (1st)
P: Mark Buehrle, Chicago White Sox (3rd)

Wild Cards

Wild Cards: The St. Louis Cardinals' Stunning 2011 Championship Season from Rob Rains is due out this week following the Cardinals' World Series win. It is being published by Triumph Books and hits stores on November 2, 2011.

From the press release:
While the 2011 World Series capped arguably the most exciting season in team history, injuries, off-field distractions, and poor play contributed to a lackluster start; by mid-August the Cardinals looked dead in the water. Then, an influx of new talent and rejuvenated stars – along with rally squirrels, happy flights, and an irrepressible never-say-die attitude – propelled St. Louis into the playoffs, where they defeated the favored Phillies and Brewers. The season culminated with a fantastic seven-game, roller-coaster World Series triumph against the Texas Rangers. Wild Cards celebrates the highlights of this championship season. Packed with full-color action photos, detailed accounts of every postseason game, and profiles of Albert Pujols, David Freese, and other stars, this commemorative keepsake is sure to be treasured by every Cardinals fan.

Freese's popularity rising...

David Freese is a rising star. Jaime Garcia is #4 on the list. Via the press release I received:
St. Louis Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese has earned the top spot on Brand Affinity Technologies’ monthly ranking of Rising Sports Stars with an 84 percent popularity gain. Hitting the game-winning home run in Game 6 of the World Series, Freese secured a Cardinals win and forced Game 7 of the World Series in arguably one of the most exciting baseball games in history. Freese continued his great performance into Game 7 with two RBI’s, leading the Cardinals to their 11th World Series championship and earning him the World Series and league championship MVP honors.
In other news, Next Media Animation, the animators over in Taiwan have honored the St. Louis Cardinals.

Buzz Bissinger, author of Three Nights in August, offers his thoughts on Tony La Russa.

Finally, Rob Rains notes what all Mo must do during the offseason.