Clayton Kershaw enters Fatherhood


Clayton Kershaw might win the National League most valuable player and Cy Young awards this fall, but neither would be the highlight of his off-season.

Kershaw and his wife, Ellen, are expecting their first child — a daughter — in January.

“We’re pumped,” Kershaw said Saturday.

Kershaw, 26, said he had no particular hopes and dreams for his daughter, aside from happiness.

“I know the feeling of feeling helpless when your daughter or someone else you care about is going through something,” he said. “I just hope that she is never sad. That’s my goal.”

Source: Bill Shaikin Los Angeles Times

St. Louis Cardinals Top Seven Prospects 2014

Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Fall Stars GameI  call this season the year of the rookies for the St. Louis Cardinals. This year we  have seen the likes of Randal Grichuk, Marco Gonzales, Sam Tuivailala, Greg Garcia, Tommy Pham, and Xavier Scruggs called up to fill in and help the team out with their talents. With Oscar Taveras being thrust into the limelight by the Allen Craig trade the new top seven Cardinals prospect list looks quite different. This is what I came up with

1. Stephen Piscotty. A very fast and approaching MLB outfielder. Known for his speed and hitting abilities to hit drive lines which means high RBI ability. Also covers a lot of ground and a strong throwing arm

2. Marco Gonzales, With only nine appearances with the big team, Marco has captured my attention with the velocity of his fastball and slider. Gonzales not far from the Majors  at all.

3. Rob Kaminsky, Here is another pitcher that could be MLB ready in a few years . A lefty that throws strikes with three pitch types, changeup, curveball and fastball.. His fastballs range from 89-94 mph .

4. Charlie Tilson, Here is a kid that has a ton of talent as an outfielder. A lead off hiiter with lots of grit but still needs to work on patience at the plate.

5. Alexander Reyes, Another dominant right handed pitcher that stays perched in the Cardinals system. Has a nice mix of pitches that include curveballs, changeups and a 97mph fastball.

6. Randal Grichuk, I consider Grichuk the prize gem we got from the Angels when we traded David Freese. Personally I would rather see Grichuk have the rightfield job over Oscar Taveras. Fun to watch in the outfield with his Jim Edmonds style catches that thrills the fans. He does show power and  hits for average.

7.Juan Herrara,  I tend to believe that Herrara would slide into the shortstop position once Jhonny Perralta finishes his career with the Cardinals. His huge upside is speed, great range and a solid arm. Has no power but has a patience at the plate. Needs more polish with his hitting skills.

St. Louis Cardinals Postseason Ticket Information


After securing a postseason berth for the fourth straight season, the St. Louis Cardinals are announcing ticketing details for potential National League Championship Series (NLCS) and World Series games.

            Tickets for potential NLCS games go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, September 25th at 10 a.m. CT. online at, via phone at 314.345.9000, and at the Busch Stadium ticket windows on 8th Street.

            Due to high demand, the Cardinals will host an online registration for the opportunity to purchase potential World Series tickets. Online registration for the chance to purchase possible Cardinals World Series tickets begins on Friday, September 26th and concludes on Monday, October 6th. Winners of the random drawing will be contacted via e-mail on Friday, October 10th and notified of the process for purchasing World Series tickets.

            Based on the final standings, the Cardinals could host up to four NLCS games. Due to the American League’s win in the All-Star Game, potential World Series games in St. Louis would be Games 3, 4 and 5.  

            Tickets for possible Wild Card and National League Division Series games are also on sale now.

            Complete details and rules for the random drawing and purchases are available at

Strike Out for Cancer Tee’s at Fizzy’s


For those of you that didn’t know Fizzy’s Soda Fountain & Grill have been selling Jason Motte’s Strike Out for Cancer T-Shirts. The Tees are $30. When I was there the other night they had a San Francisco Giants style Tee available. The owner told me that Motte does pop in their store from time to time. Fizzy’s is located on 29 N Gore Street in Webster Groves. They are a few stores north of Euclid Records. If your a fan of old fashion style fountain drink you would love this place. According to my son Gabe, it has the best root beer floats ever. A very family orientated business that’s known for its ice cream and service. Next time I am there I plan to get a tee shirt.


Motte Nominee for Roberto Clemente Award


Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of MLB, today announced that Jason Motte was named the Cardinals’ 2014 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Motte is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual Award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

Each Club nominates one player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet in an effort to pay tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. Wednesday, September 17th marks the thirteenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet and to honor Clemente’s legacy. The 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

What began in 2010 as a small idea to provide support for cancer patients has evolved into the mission of the Jason Motte Foundation led by Jason and his wife Caitlin. Since then, Motte has embraced the initiative and taken it to another level. One of his most successful ventures has been his “K Cancer” t-shirt which even features a Clemente quote printed on the inside: “Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.” Earlier this year, Jason rolled out the t-shirts league-wide backed by a player on each team. Together, the players held a Strikeout Cancer Day on September 2nd with activities across MLB ballparks.

In addition, Motte regularly hosts large scale fundraisers in St. Louis and Memphis, Tennessee, represents Cardinal Glennon’s Homers 4 Health and K’s for Kids initiative, volunteers as a Pen Pal for the local nonprofit Great Circle, and served as an honorary chair for the 2014 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure – just to name a few of his 2014 activities.

                “Jason is truly a one-of-a kind player. We’re so proud of the work he’s done this year and the impact he’s left on the community –both locally and across Major League Baseball,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “We see Jason spending so much of his spare time interacting with cancer patients on social media and visiting them at area hospitals. But it doesn’t stop there. He truly cares for the individuals and for their families- checking in regularly with a friendly text message or leaving tickets for them when they need a break for the hospital. He’s a perfect example of what Clemente stood for.”

                “I’m so honored to be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award,” said Motte. “I see his quote every time I put on my K Cancer shirt, and I do my best to live those words. It’s such an honor to be recognized in this way.”

Motte will be recognized tomorrow at Busch Stadium during a pre-game ceremony as part of Roberto Clemente Day festivities across the league. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.

Beginning tomorrow, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recipient by visiting, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Sunday, October 6th and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2014 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.

The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel. The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel of dignitaries, which includes Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig; MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred; MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente; and representatives from Chevrolet, MLB Network,, ESPN, FOX Sports and TBS, among others.

Last year’s national recipient was Cardinals’ nominee Carlos Beltran.

The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:


Willie Mays+**


Ken Singleton


Barry Larkin+


Edgar Martinez


Brooks Robinson+**


Cecil Cooper


Dave Winfield+


John Smoltz


Al Kaline+


Ron Guidry


Ozzie Smith+


Carlos Delgado


Willie Stargell+


Don Baylor


Kirby Puckett+


Craig Biggio


Lou Brock+


Garry Maddox


Eric Davis


Albert Pujols


Pete Rose


Rick Sutcliffe


Sammy Sosa


Derek Jeter


Rod Carew+


Dale Murphy


Tony Gwynn+


Tim Wakefield


Greg Luzinski


Gary Carter+


Al Leiter


David Ortiz


Andre Thornton


Dave Stewart


Curt Schilling


Clayton Kershaw


Phil Niekro+


Harold Reynolds


Jim Thome


Carlos Beltran


Steve Garvey


Cal Ripken, Jr.+


Jamie Moyer


+ Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

** Originally known as the Commissioner’s Award (prior to 1973)

St. Louis Cardinals Media Alert

Cardinal Playoff Tickets go on Sale Thursday


As postseason play approaches, tickets for potential Cardinals Wild Card and Division Series games will go on sale Thursday, September 11th at 10 a.m. CT.

            Based on the final standings, the Cardinals could host one Wild Card game and as many as three home games in the National League Division Series (NLDS).  

            Tickets for all potential Wild Card and NLDS games will be available tomorrow at, via phone at 314.345.9000, and at the Busch Stadium ticket windows on 8th Street.

            Ticketing details for possible National League Championship Series (NLCS) games and World Series games will be announced later in September.

            Announcements regarding potential Tiebreaker game ticket availability and public purchase will come at a later date, if necessary.

St. Louis Cardinals News Release

Cardinals Add to Their 40 Man Roster


Today the Cardinals added one of my favorite Minor League Outfielders Tommy Pham along with Greg Garcia and pitcher Sam Tuivailala to their 40 man roster today. I am looking forward to seeing what Tommy Pham can do on the big club.. Here is the press release from the St. Louis Cardinals about this afternoon’s moves.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they that they have added three additional players to their active roster with rookie infielder Greg Garcia, outfielder Tommy Pham and right-handed pitcher Sam Tuivailala (pronounced TOO-ee-vah-lah-la) being promoted from the Memphis (AAA) roster.   To make room for the additional players on their 40-man Major League roster, the Cardinals designated catcher Audry Perez and outfielder Rafael Ortega for assignment.  The Cardinals active roster currently stands at 36 players.

            Garcia, 25, will be making his third appearance of the season with the Cardinals, while both Pham, 26, and Tuivailala, 21, will be making their Major League debuts with their first game appearances.

            The right-handed hitting Garcia, who has appeared in nine games with the Cardinals this season, finished the 2014 minor league campaign with a .275 batting average, eight home runs and 41 RBI in 110 games between Memphis (AAA) and Springfield (AA).  Garcia was drafted by the Cardinals in the 7th round (229th player overall) of the 2010 draft out of the University of Hawaii where he was teammates with Kolten Wong.

            Pham, a 16th round (496th player overall) draft selection by the Cardinals in 2006 out of Durango High School in Las Vegas, NV, converted from shortstop to outfield in 2007 and has drawn accolades from Baseball America as one of the top defensive outfielders and top-rated outfield arms in the Cardinals organization.   The right-handed hitting Pham, whose development has been slowed by multiple injuries, batted .324 (3rd in Pacific Coast League) with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 104 games at Memphis, leading the team in batting, stolen bases (20) and triples (6).

            The 6-3, 195-pound Tuivailala was selected by the Cardinals as a shortstop in the 3rd round (106th player overall) of the 2010 draft out of Aragon High School in San Mateo, CA.  He converted to a pitcher in 2012 with Johnson City (Rookie).

            Tuivailala has pitched at three levels (A, AA, AAA) this season, going a combined 2-2 with a 3.15 ERA and eight saves in 48 games with Palm Beach (A), Springfield (AA) and Memphis (AAA).  His 97 strikeouts in 60.0 IP this season were the most of any minor league pitcher with 60 or fewer innings pitched.

            The hard-throwing Tuivailala has allowed just two home runs in his 108.1 career innings pitched and struck out 170 (14.1 strikeouts/9 IP).  He recorded strikeouts in 43 of his 48 appearances this season.  Tuivailala has been selected to play for the Peoria Javelinas in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League.

            Garcia wears uniform #35, while Pham has been assigned uniform #60 and Tuivailala #64.

Cardinals Keeping Their Eye on Kang


Nick Carfardo on MLB Trade Rumors has reported that Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang would be available to sign with any MLB teams in 2015. One team that has a lot of interest in Kang are the Cardinals. As of recently there are more MLB teams that are looking at Kang. Here are Kang’s numbers, he hit 38 home runs and drove home 107 runs in 107 games for Nexen of the KBO. He stands 6′ feet tall and weighs 180  pounds. He hits right and throws right. His KBO stats from 2006 through 2013 has him with a .289 batting average, 99 HRs, and 428 RBIs. With the KBO he is a three time Gold Glove winner in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Kang is a type of player if signed would help any MLB team due to his fielding abilities and batting power. Would love to see Kang with the Cardinals but at what cost would it be to sign him.

Home Plate Rule Must Change


 It’s the newest rule in baseball, and plenty of managers and players will tell you it’s also the dumbest.

Implemented this season to help avoid home-plate collisions and concussions, Rule 7.13 has probably served its intended purpose.

Yet, it has created consternation, confusion and annoyance on how to approach – and police – the dirt around home plate.

Now, as playoff races gain clarity and the season trucks toward a momentous conclusion, it has inspired fear – that it could send the postseason into chaos.

“It would be a travesty if it decides the seventh game of the World Series,” Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who caught for 19 years in the major leagues, told USA TODAY Sports. “I think the idea was to prevent collisions, and in my mind, it’s been successful. I haven’t seen a collision all year.

“But it does need to be clarified. It needs to be much more cut and dry, because right now, it’s hazy.

“I’m hoping they do something before the playoffs.”

The easiest step, several veteran players told USA TODAY Sports, is to scrap the rule right now. Dump it like it never existed – as MLB did earlier this season with an ill-advised interpretation of the “transfer rule” on catches.

As for 7.13? If you want to revise it during the winter, fine, but please don’t let it decide a pennant race, let alone a postseason game.

Four of six managers of teams in playoff position – or on the verge of it – told USA TODAY Sports they’d prefer the rule be altered before the playoffs.

Some players are more strident.

“I hope they get rid of that, like tomorrow,” Tigers veteran outfielder Torii Hunter says. “This thing is terrible, man. I think honestly they should scrap it.

“You can play with replay, fair and foul, or whatever, but when you start messing with the structure of the game, you’ve got a mess. Come on, you start talking about how to slide this way, or you’re out. Or catch the ball this way, or you’re out. You can’t do that. Now, you’re causing bad throws because guys don’t want to throw the ball over the middle of the plate. Or they throw the ball on the outside part of the plate, and he’s safe.

“The whole thing is stupid.”

Open to interpretation


The rule was implemented this year in large part, because of the season-ending injury suffered in May 2011 by San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey in a violent home-plate collision.

The result: Implementing a rule that prevents baserunners from deliberately making contact with catchers at the plate when they don’t have the ball. Catcher also are prohibited from blocking the plate without the ball, and are required to give the base runner an open route to slide.

It has created havoc with umpires and MLB’s instant-replay command center in New York, with no one quite sure how to interpret one call from the next.

Baseball’s first year of expanded replay has unfolded largely without incident outside of the home-plate rulings.

“That to me is the most awkward thing we’re trying to get done right now,” Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon says. “The play at the plate has all kinds of nuance to it that nobody can decide what’s right and wrong. It’s so unclear that you can’t ask it to be umpired consistently. It’s impossible.

“So, I would go back to old rules ASAP, and rock and roll.”

St. Louis Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierznyski hated the rule when it was implemented during spring training, and six months later, his view has only been fortified with the controversial calls that have left managers, catchers and baserunners befuddled.

“It’s just not right,” Pierznyski says. “Say we’re playing the Brewers in September, and there’s a play at the plate in the ninth inning, and the game’s on the line. You’re going to do everything you can to stop the run. And if the guy is out by 20 feet, and is called safe, something is wrong. It shouldn’t matter where the catcher is standing. If a guy’s out, he’s out.

“Can you imagine if the Red Sox and Yankees were fighting for a playoff spot and Derek Jeter was out at home, but called safe because someone was blocking the plate? There’d be a damn riot.

“I understand why they made the rule, but at the same time, it’s been part of the game for 150 years.”

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who’s on Commissioner Bud Selig’s on-field committee, anticipates ample discussions with MLB officials and clubs before the postseason.

“We have some clarity moving forward, but there’s still, I think, an aura of uncertainty around what exactly is going to be called at home plate,” Scioscia told reporters this week. “Once you get some clarity on how it’s going to be interpreted by a replay official, you’re going to have a little better idea of how you can execute the play, and I think that’s what will happen.

“I’m sure when you get into a playoff scenario, there will definitely be some discussions on exactly the definition of what’s going to be called and how things are going to be interpreted out there on the field.”

The Cincinnati Reds almost felt guilty this year winning a game against the Miami Marlins when Reds shortstop Zack Cozart was out by 10 feet trying to score the tying run, but ruled safe when replay officials determined Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis violated Rule 7.13 for failing to provide Cozart with a lane to the plate.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond, a former catcher, called the ruling “an absolute joke,” and was supported by team president David Samson, who said that “everyone around baseball should be embarrassed by a call like that.”

The Reds, who won the game, can’t begin to imagine the Marlins’ fury if that decision costs them a playoff berth.

“These are things that are affecting a pennant race right now,” Reds catcher Brayan Pena says. “Everybody says it sucks. We talk about how bad it would be in the World Series, but to get to the World Series, you need to get into the playoffs.

“I know MLB is trying to protect the players, and avoid concussions, but we all grew up learning how to catch the ball, and protect home plate, no matter what. You save a run, and you’re a hero.

“Now, we as catchers, have to adjust and make sure we obey they rule. But it’s not easy. In the heat of the battle, you’re not thinking about where you’re standing or whether they’re going to review something. You go with your instinct. And your instinct tells you to go protect home plate, no matter what happens.”

‘You don’t know what to do’

It’s no different than with the position players rounding third base and running home. They don’t want to be worrying about searching for a lane, or whether they have to slide. They’re just looking to score.

“Let us play,” Yankees veteran right fielder Carlos Beltran says. “If an umpire sees that a runner is trying to run into the catcher on purpose, go ahead and call him out. That’s the way it should be judged.

“But the way it is now, it makes the players think too much instead of just reacting.”

Skip Schumaker, the Reds’ 10-year veteran outfielder, believes the new rule may actually create injuries for baserunners.

“As a position player,” Schumaker says, “you don’t know what the hell to do. You lose that aggression. Then, you get caught in an awkward slide, and those hand-slides are just as dangerous.

“I hate the rule. It’s not fair to anybody. It’s unfair to the players. It’s unfair to the umpires. The managers get (ticked) off. I can’t imagine what would happen if something like this is called during the playoffs. It would be tragic if it decided a playoff game.”

What’s so wrong, Schumaker wonders, by just letting catchers make their own individual choice? If you want to block the plate, block it. If you want to stand to the side and make a tag, feel free.

“You talk to catchers who have been around a long time, and they want the freedom to do what they want at home plate,” Schumaker says. “If you don’t want to block the plate, you don’t have to. If you want to go with a swipe tag, and take the chance that run will score, you can absolutely do that.

“You going to tell me that (Cardinals All-Star catcher]) Yadier Molina in the playoffs is going to just let some guys score. There’s no way. These old-school players are not going to let that happen.

“So, as position players, we should have the same freedom, too.”

Certainly, the rule has caused complete confusion among umpires, to a point that several veteran umps told USA TODAY Sports they will opt not to call it during the postseason, instead leaving interpretation to replay officials in New York.

The umpires spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic.

And really, Joe Torre, executive vice president of Major League Baseball, is fine by that, understanding the home-plate umpire’s difficulty in interpreting the call on the fly.

“I know there’s been some confusion,” says Yankee manager Joe Girardi, a 15-year big-league catcher, “but I think the rule has worked. I really do. I think they’ll sit down this winter, and they’ll try to make it more understandable. I know they have some ideas.”

A tipping point

There was only occasional talk of any rule at all until May 25, 2011, when Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins dropped his shoulder and leveled Posey at the plate.

“The new rules are only in place,” Maddon says, “because a star catcher got injured and he was bowled over and he was in bad position. I hate to say it was his fault.”

But, yet, Posey was indeed in the wrong position.

If he doesn’t get hurt, or if Posey is merely a backup catcher and not a reigning Rookie of the Year and eventual MVP, do we even have a rule?

“That’s the thing that makes no sense,” Hunter says. “One guy. It happened to one guy. You don’t want that to happen to anybody, but one guy.

“This has been happening in baseball for all of these years, and we change the rules for one guy?”

Posey declined comment on the home-plate collision rules. Giants manager Bruce Bochy believes it’s unfair that Posey’s injury is the reason for the rule change, saying he began to advocate for a rule in 2003 when San Diego Padres catcher Gary Bennett missed five weeks with a sprained knee ligament in a collision with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Brian Jordan.

“Probably because Buster’s a bigger name, so to speak, it got a little more attention,” Bochy says. “But with the concussions now, it’s time to protect these guys, not just now, but later on in life.”

Yet, you ask Bochy, a former catcher, and he’ll also tell that it’s time for Rule 7.13 to be tweaked before the playoffs commence in just a month.

“I think you should so there’s not a controversial call during the playoffs,” Bochy says, “and make sure everybody’s on the same page. Just make sure everybody’s on the same page, take away confusion about blocking home plate.”

Time is running out, and MLB needs to react, even if it means educating the contending teams once again. Fans were outraged last year when the Cardinals won Game 3 of the World Series on a walk-off obstruction call, and no one would dare argue it wasn’t the proper call.

Yet, can you imagine the outrage if a postseason game is decided by this experimental rule?

“There’s some confusion, and there’s work to be done, ” says Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, a former catcher whose career ended prematurely because of concussions. “I could see spending the winter thinking about it, and the spring working through it, before next year.

“But in order to change something now, just for the postseason, I don’t think it’s fair. I know there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the umpires, and as managers, we don’t know how it’s going to be ruled, so we have to look at it all of the time.”

“But for a guy whose career was affected by it, I appreciate the fact that it’s working.”

It may be eliminating home-plate collisions, but it sure has created confusion.

It’s time to kill the rule, at least for the postseason, before everyone’s left wondering what in the world hit them.

Source: Paul White in Baltimore; Jorge L. Ortiz in San Francisco