Bianca LaRussa a Raiderette

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa got a surprise last week when his daughter announced her new career path.

Bianca Tai tried out for the Oakland Raiders cheerleading team and posted on twitter that she has become a 2011 Raiderette.

“A goal and a dream come true- I’m a 2011 Raiderette” she tweeted. “I’m so excited to rep an organization that does so much good.”

According to Bernie Miklasz from the Post-Dispatch, making the team wasn’t truly a surprise to the family, “given her extensive training and background in dance.”

Huffington Post

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Cardinals to help with Tornado Relief

The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that the team and its charitable foundation Cardinals Care will make donations to the American Red Cross to assist them with their efforts to help the families devastated by yesterday’s tornados in the St. Louis area.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends and neighbors tonight,” said Bill DeWitt III, the President of the Cardinals. “We want to do our part to immediately help these families begin the process of rebuilding their lives.”

The team has pledged $30,000 to the American Red Cross, with $20,000 coming directly from the Cardinals and $10,000 from the team’s charitable foundation Cardinals Care. The team will make a formal check presentation to representatives of the American Red Cross prior to tomorrow night’s game.

“Our hearts go out to each of these families and particularly the children,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Cardinals Care and Community Relations.

Cardinals Care is dedicated to caring for kids. Since it was founded in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed over $17 million to area non-profit youth organizations, built 19 youth ball fields in local disadvantaged neighborhoods and currently serves over 4,000 kids as part of the Redbird Rookies program.

Fans are encouraged to assist with the relief efforts and can learn more about helping the American Red Cross at http://www.redcrossstl.org or calling 314.516.2800.

St.Louis Cardinals Media Release

Cardinals Going to the Dogs

MEDIA ADVISORY

TICKETS GO ON SALE APRIL 22 FOR THE

SEVENTH ANNUAL PURINA® POOCHES IN THE BALLPARK

Costume Parade on Busch Stadium Field Kicks-Off Game Day Festivities

WHAT: It’s time once again for St. Louis canines to “bark” on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Saturday, June 25 for the seventh annual Purina® Pooches in the Ballpark event, presented by Schnucks®. More than 200 dogs, along with their owners, are invited to sit in a special “pooches” section of the ballpark. Tickets for this year’s event go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 22 on the St. Louis Cardinals Web site. The cost is $112 per person (dogs get in the stadium for free) and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Tickets to last year’s game sold out in under a week, so St. Louis dog owners are encouraged to act fast to secure their seats and enjoy a day at the ballpark with their four-legged friends.

Canine Cardinals Fan Costume Parade 4:45 p.m.

o

All four-legged ticket holders (and their owners) will show off their favorite Cardinals gear in a pre-game costume parade on the Busch Stadium field.

Purina® Incredible Dog Team Performance 5:15 p.m.

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Watch as these incredibly talented, athletic canines will snatch flying discs out of the air while performing some amazing tricks. The Purina® Incredible Dog Team travels across the country performing at sporting events, on television shows and a variety of other public events.

Purina® Pooches in the Ballpark 6:15 p.m.

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More than 200 canine Cardinals fans will join their owners in the designated “pooch” section of Busch Stadium.

WHEN: Tickets go on sale starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 22 for the seventh annual Purina®

Pooches in the Ballpark day. To purchase tickets and learn more about the parade and game

day rules, please go to http://www.cardinals.mlb.com. Tickets are available on a first come, first

served basis.

HOW: Visit http://www.cardinals.mlb.com for more information about purchasing tickets.

WHO: Purina® and Schnucks® are proud to once again sponsor this fun-filled hometown event the

whole family can enjoy – including our beloved four-legged Cardinals fans.

Bud Selig Takes Over the Dodgers

Oh No! My Poor Dodgers. Look whats going on:
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig stripped Dodgers owner Frank McCourt of financial control of the club Wednesday, saying he would appoint a trustee to oversee the team’s business affairs while investigating the “operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities.”

Selig intervened after McCourt required a $30-million loan from Fox last week in order to meet the team’s first payroll of the season.

Selig said he would identify the trustee “in the next several days.”

McCourt has been under financial pressure since at least 2009, when he was rebuffed in at least three attempts to gain additional financing, according to court documents filed in his divorce case.

Season ticket sales have fallen from 27,000 in 2007 to just more than 17,000 this season, according to court documents and baseball sources.

The divorce remains unresolved, and Selig has neither approved nor rejected a proposed 20-year television contract with Fox that McCourt presented as a long-term solution to settle the divorce, manage the Dodgers’ debts and improve the team and the stadium. The Dodgers had more than $430 million in long-term debt as of 2009, according to court records.

Gary Toebben, the president and CEO of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, said he thinks the takeover may be for the best, given the franchise’s recent troubles.

“This has been like watching a soap opera unfold,” he said. “We want a financially solvent Dodgers. We want a winning team.”

“The Dodgers are part of the heart and soul of the community,” he continued, noting that the team brings in money to Los Angeles in hotels, restaurant and advertising dollars.

The worst-case scenario, he said, would be the Dodgers leaving Los Angeles.

“Franchises move in Major League Baseball,” he said. “But I would expect that with the history of the Dodgers in this community, they will stay.”

The big question, he said, “Is who will own that franchise and which direction will they take it?”

He said he had not heard of any parties interested in taking over the team.

Jamie McCourt released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“As the 50% owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, I welcome and support the Commissioner’s actions to provide the necessary transparency, guidance and direction for the franchise and for Dodgers fans everywhere.”

Selig’s complete statement:

“Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club. I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt’s ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days. The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future.”

Bill Shaikin

Schumaker and Craig Go On DL

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have placed second baseman Skip Schumaker (right triceps strain) and outfielder Allen Craig (left groin strain) on the 15-day disabled list. Schumaker’s move is retroactive to April 16 and Craig’s to April 17. The Cardinals currently have five players (Adam Wainwright, Brian Tallet, Bryan Augenstein, Schumaker & Craig) on the disabled list.

The Cardinals also announced today that they have activated infielder Nick Punto from the 15-day disabled list and recalled first baseman Mark Hamilton from Memphis (AAA).

Punto, 33, missed most of spring training after undergoing surgery in February for a sports hernia. He batted .400 (6-for-15) with a .526 on-base pct. and no strikeouts in four games with the Cardinals Extended Spring Training team.

Punto (#8) was signed by the Cardinals as a free-agent on January 21. He owns a career batting mark of .247 with 13 HR, 198 RBI and 91 stolen bases in eight-plus seasons with the Minnesota Twins (2004-10) and Philadelphia Phillies (2001-03). He enjoyed his best overall season in 2006 for the Twins, batting .290 with 21 doubles and 45 RBI.

Punto was flawless in his 122 total chances at third base last season – making him the majors’ first player with a min. of 100 total chances to compile an errorless season at the hot corner since Wayne Garrett of the Montreal Expos in 1977.

Hamilton, 26, played in nine games for St. Louis last September, and was batting .297 (11-for-37) with a homer and four RBI in 11 games for the Redbirds to begin the 2011 campaign. Hamilton (#38) led Memphis with 18 home runs last season and compiled a .298 batting average. He was a 2nd round supplemental pick for the Cardinals in the 2006 draft out of Tulane University.

KSDK

Ryan Franklin Loses Closer Role

Well, I hate to see this happen but LaRussa took his closing responsibilities away from him due to his performance of late. I am kind of old school in which Franklin needs to work this out on the field instead of being punished. Here is the rest of the story:
Manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday that changing Franklin’s responsibilities might help the 38-year-old right-hander get back on track. He didn’t say who might replace Franklin in the ninth, but the top candidate probably is Mitchell Boggs.

“I think the thing to do is watch the game and see who comes out there,” La Russa said. “We can talk about it afterwards. You treat him like a hitter who’s struggling, change the responsibility a little bit for a little bit.”

Franklin was 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA in six games and one save in five chances entering a three-game series against the Washington Nationals. He was 27 for 29 on save tries last season and an All-Star in 2009, relying on a half-dozen options to compensate for lack of a dominating fastball.

Franklin has already made a cosmetic change, shearing off more than half of a long beard that juts off his chin.

“Whenever the phone rings and they say ‘Franklin get up,’ I get up,” Franklin said. “However they want to put me out there. It doesn’t matter, I’m theirs.

“However they want to treat it, I’m on board.”

Franklin says he’s happy with his pitches but blamed himself for poor pitch selection. He gave up a game-winning, two-run homer to the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp on Sunday.

“My stuff’s fine, everything in the arsenal’s still there,” Franklin said. “I haven’t lost anything.”

Franklin has been unlucky, too, with blown saves on consecutive days in San Francisco. He was one out away when center fielder Colby Rasmus dropped Miguel Tejada’s drive to the warning track after a long run, and a day earlier first baseman Albert Pujols was at first to receive a pickoff throw from catcher Yadier Molina, providing an opening for Pablo Sandoval’s game-tying, ninth-inning single.

“Sure, if you’re human it’s going to affect you, but you can’t let it affect you on the mound,” Franklin said. “What it boils down to is I’ve got blood going through my veins, so sure it affects you. I’m not going to lie.”

The 27-year-old Boggs had a 2.00 ERA in six games covering nine innings with 12 strikeouts and three walks. He’s had five consecutive scoreless appearances.

“If my name gets called I’ll be ready for it, I’ll be ready to go,” Boggs said. “But that’s not something I need to think about and it’s not my decision to make.”

La Russa’s face was swollen and his left eye was nearly shut from what the manager said was a virus
he’s had for five days. It didn’t keep him off the field during pregame drills.

“Actually it looks bad, but I’m not in a lot of pain,” La Russa said. “It scares kids. Like bad makeup in a horror movie.”

ESPN AP