Manager Tony La Russa broke some good news to two players Tuesday morning before the team bus left for Port St. Lucie.
La Russa made it official when he told David Freese that he will be the Opening Day starter at third base. Freese had been assumed to be the everyday third baseman coming in to camp, but the Cardinals’ manager was adament the position was not etched in stone.
Along with breaking the news to Freese, the Cardinals skipper also called pitcher Jaime Garcia into his office to tell him he would be the fifth pitcher in the starting rotation, something assumed by many but never confirmed by club officials.
Source: Brendan Marks
Albert Pujols returned to the St. Louis lineup Wednesday, but the Cardinals lost All-Star catcher Yadier Molina to injury during a 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.Molina left the game in the second inning with a strained right oblique and will be reevaluated on Thursday.
“It wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t want to make it worse,” Molina said. “I don’t know how long it will take to recover. Hopefully it’s only a couple of days.”
Molina injured his oblique while sliding into second on a double. He advanced to third on David Freese’s single to center but did not try to score. He left the game immediately thereafter, walking off the infield holding his right side.
The loss of Molina concerned manager Tony La Russa, who only hours before was eagerly anticipating Pujols’ return to lineup.
We are inching closer towards the beginning of the 2010 MLB season. So it is time to go ahead and put out my picks on who will finish first and who might win MVP or CyYoung for the NL and AL.
Here we go:
AL West: Mariners
AL Central: Twins
AL East: Yankees
AL Wild Card: Rangers
NL West: Dodgers
NL Central: Cardinals
NL East: Braves
NL WC: Phillies
World Series: Cardinals vs Yankees
World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals!!!
MVP Joe Mauer
Cy Young Jon Lester
MVP Albert Pujols
CyYoung: Adam Wainwright
The Eagles and Dixie Chicks will fly into Busch Stadium this summer.
The classic rockers and country trio will perform June 24, the first concert at the stadium since Dave Matthews Band and the Black Crowes played in 2008.
This is only the second concert for the stadium, which opened in 2006.
St. Louis Cardinals vice president Bill DeWitt III said concerts are the biggest way to drive additional revenue into Busch Stadium.
“It’s a goal of ours to have one big show a year. But it takes two to tango,” DeWitt said.
“If you have more than one stadium show a year you’re doing well,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar. “If you have three or more, you’re doing exceptional.” The stadiums have such a large capacity, they are hard to fill, he added. Giants Stadium in New York is one notable exception.
It takes a special kind of act to book Busch Stadium, DeWitt said. They have to be able to fill the majority of the space and have to be willing to play an outdoor show. But most importantly, “the tour needs to be flexible enough to fit into our baseball season. All those things have to be in place. There just aren’t that many bands out there that fit the bill.”
DeWitt was hoping U2’s show would make its way here, but it turns out it was too big. The stage would have taken up the entire field, which would’ve required complete resodding.
“That became too problemic,” DeWitt said. “We’re about baseball games first.”
Mark Campana, president of the Midwest division of Live Nation, adds that U2 is mostly playing stadiums with over 50,000 capacity. Busch Stadium has a 38,500 capacity for the Eagles show.
“U2 is going into major markets, and as much as I love St. Louis, it’s not considered a major market,” Campana said.
Jimmy Buffett also was considered for a Busch concert, but he preferred amphitheathers over stadiums for this tour. He’s coming to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater next month.
Campana says the success of the Dave Matthews Band show helped pave the way for the Eagles.
“Dave [Matthews] and his band loved the place and fan feedback was that it was a magical night,” Campana said. “It made it easy for us to talk to DeWitt and his team about bringing another event.”
source: Kevin Johnson
Brian Giles, a 15-year big-league veteran and one half of the wacky brother combination for the San Diego Padres a few years ago, retired today because his arthritic right knee became too painful
Giles, 39, was limited to 61 games with the Padres last year. He signed a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers and was in their major-league camp this spring. He broke in with the Cleveland Indians, playing an important role in their 1997 World Series campaign and hit a career-high 39 home runs for Pittsburgh in 1999.
Giles, an outfielder, played the last 6 1/2 years for the Padres, teaming with his brother, Marcus, in 2007. They were the subject of an offbeat profile in USA TODAY by Bob Nightengale that spring. And excerpt:
The Giles boys can be, well, a little different.
Ask him what their father does for a living, Brian deadpans: “He’s a pimp.” And their mother? “She’s a stripper.”
They filmed a series of commercials Monday night that was supposed to last no more than 30 minutes. It took nearly two hours. It began with Marcus, a second baseman, saying it was cool having makeup applied to their faces. (“I haven’t done this since I was 5,” Marcus says, “back when I wanted to be a girl.”) It ended with Brian dropping his pants and jumping on Marcus, with the two giggling uncontrollably until the cameras stopped.
Source: Mike Dodd
Don Mattingly looked comfortable on his first semi-official morning as Dodgers manager, and in a few years, he might seem even more at home. The Dodgers hitting coach is at the helm at Camelback Ranch in place of regular skipper Joe Torre, who is handling the split squad that left for Taiwan on Wednesday. But he’s also viewed as Torre’s potential successor in Chavez Ravine, and Mattingly reiterated that he was approached in the offseason about eventually filling that role.
“Nothing definitive” was discussed in terms of replacing Torre, who is in the final year of his contract with the Dodgers but has talked to team owner Frank McCourt about an extension for 2011, Mattingly said.
But Mattingly said that in between his offseason interview with the Cleveland Indians and a scheduled interview with the Washington Nationals, he met with McCourt and general manager Ned Colletti, and Mattingly said he met with McCourt, Colletti and team president Dennis Mannion later in the winter in Arizona and had productive conversations that led him to turn down the Nationals interview.
“They like me, I like them, and I felt like I was part of their future,” Mattingly said. “So we kept the conversation going. … I like California. I liked it from the first time I came out to play [with the Yankees in the 1980s] in Anaheim. It fits my personality more than anything. It fits me perfectly.”
On Wednesday, the role of manager, even if it’s only for five days in the Cactus League, also seemed to fit him perfectly. He began his first day in the interim gig by handling the inquisitive Los Angeles media with veteran aplomb.
One L.A. newspaper columnist jokingly asked Mattingly if he’s ready to officially name hot-hitting Blake DeWitt as the Dodgers’ starting second baseman for 2010.
Mattingly laughed it off and remarked that he’d be sure to answer reporters’ questions in a “dull” fashion so as not to cause any controversy. In doing so, he passed the first of many tests on his road to a Major League manager’s seat.
“Experience,” Mattingly said of what he’d take out of his five-day stint as manager. “I just keep getting it.”
Mattingly has plenty of experience outside of managing, of course.
The Yankees legend, who starred at first base from 1983-95, was the Yankees’ hitting coach under Torre from 2004-06, took over bench coach duties in ’07, and even got to manage two games that season.
“Joe’s bad temper got him thrown out when I was bench coach,” said Mattingly, who claims he went 1-1 in the two games, although the win and loss are on Torre’s permanent record. “He probably blames me for getting thrown out of those games.”
Mattingly followed Torre to Los Angeles, taking over the Dodgers’ hitting coach duties after the ’08 All-Star break. In ’09, the club led the National League with a .270 batting average and .346 on-base percentage.
Mattingly said he’ll still be primarily focused on making his hitters better, even during these give games of managing, but that he’s happy to get a taste of the stressful in-game decision-making that’s needed when you’re in the big chair.
“There’s a lot going on, with guys switching out [of positions and spots in the batting order],” he said. “But each day, there’s more of a rhythm and flow to the game.”
Part of his managerial duties are to inform the media of the status of injured players. Mattingly was prepared, saying that starter Charlie Haeger left Tuesday’s game with a strained lower back and hip and that no magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test appeared to be necessary. Mattingly estimated Haeger would be out “a couple days.”
He also said third baseman Casey Blake (strained muscle in his side) would take another day off but would probably be ready to play Thursday.
He also said the team would give Garret Anderson some work at first base, a position the veteran big league outfielder hasn’t played since Triple-A in 1994, because it gives the team “more flexibility.”
Mattingly made sure to repeat that he’s not looking ahead to a managerial career when there’s so much work to be done in his present position.
“You never stop learning,” Mattingly said. “I’ve got to keep my priorities straight and know what my job is. And Joe knows I’ve got his back.”
source: Doug Miller