Designated Hitters

Tony La Russa and family and Dr. Katrina Warren. (Catalyst PR)

For this late, stop-gappy post I offer you this remuneration: a picture of Tony La Russa and family with Dr. Katrina Warren (left), host of "the hit reality-based cat TV series, Cat Chow's Housecat Housecall." Do you like press releases that talk about cats like they're people?

"The third season of Cat Chow's Housecat Housecall continues our mission of providing cat owners with actionable tips and tools to help them create a well-balanced home life for the whole family, including the cat," said Dr. Katrina Warren. "It is extremely rewarding to watch a family finally realize the true joy of having a cat after we've been able to help them work through all their cat's behavioral challenges."

This season of Cat Chow's Housecat Housecall tackles issues revolving around household integration as in the case of Star, a cat trying to adjust to a household dominated by dogs, or Mia and Peaches, two cats in need of coaxing to warm up to the man of the house. Other stories involve a cat named Tuxedo, who has developed inappropriate scratching behaviors, and Taz, a cat who started to act out when his teenage caretaker left for college. In the case of St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa, Dr. Katrina worked side-by-side with him and his family to identify and train "therapy" cats for an animal-assisted therapy program run by ARF, the animal welfare organization founded by LaRussa. And, Dr. Katrina's abilities are put to the test when she visits Carrie Ann Inaba's home and provides the busy professional and owner of five cats with insights on how to successfully juggle a multi-cat household.

It's on Animal Planet; the episode airs Saturday at 9:30 AM central, so I can only hope somebody has this DVRed. 

So: The Cardinals enter their first series in an AL ballpark without a clear designated hitter on the bench.

Edit: The Cardinals enter their first series in an AL ballpark without a designated hitter on the bench that Viva El Birdos would ever want to see start three games in a row.

Nick Stavinoha is still hitting .308/.345/.462, having righted his May-into-June slump in such a way as to make it look, to inexperienced split-watchers, that he'd never slumped at all. On teams with worse systems and less depth—the teams that John Gall could have played on, for instance—his AAAA slugging ways would be appreciated a little more than they are, but as the guy who is not Allen Craig we must watch even his most successful back-kneed exploits with a mix of admiration and contempt. 

So the news that the Cardinals would go into the extraleague part of interleague without a set DH has come as a disappointment only to the most Craig-centric of inveterate Future Redbirds readers. But today's lineup, just tweeted, features the deep knee-bender himself, thanks to the Blue Jays' left-handed starter. Tony La Russa: he'll get you, even if the getting involves suggesting an entirely different strategy to the mothership

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