With the conclusion to the professional football season, some would say the official countdown to Opening Day can truly begin (although some of you might have already started and some hockey fans reading might disagree). We still have a few more precious weeks, 50 days to be exact, before our lives become consumed by the all-encompassing and unforgiving sport that we love and sometimes think we hate. Gone will be this Rams stocking cap and gloves, and banished will be my Blues Sweatshirt soon after (but hopefully not too soon, amirite?), replaced by thoughts of summer and Long, Hot, Summer Days, and my Eckstein jersey, and cruel, cruel BABIP, and 6'6" right-handed Texans with a devastating change-up that make weaker men crumble at the mere thought.
Winter is almost over. SPRING is COMING, soon to a theater near you. - MLB
Other Things Going on in Baseball...
- Did you know the Cardinals set a record for batting average with runners in scoring position? Yeah, me either. You'd think that would get mentioned more. Weird. Here are the top ten scoring lineups.- MLB
- Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are making ze monies, agreeing to an eight year, $135 million deal, which is a franchise record, and a two year, $13.3 million deal, respectively. - MLB
- Hank Aaron turned 80 years old this past week. Watch him break Babe Ruth's career home run record here. - Cut4
- The third generation Trenton Thunder bat dog, Rookie, is ready to start his adorable training. I cannot handle this cuteness. - Cut4
- Tracy McGrady, a retried professional basketball player, is attempting to resurrect his professional sports career, in baseball, that is. Featuring an 85 mph fastball, a changeup, a slider, and a splitter, the 6'8" righthander will get his shot with the Sugar Land Skeeters. - ESPN
- Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation concludes his 10 part series "Where Homeruns Look the Best". Parts of note - 1-3, 4-6, 10-12, 25-27, Introduction (And here is a video of Pujols knocking out the "I" in "BIG MAC LAND", just cause. - Youtube)
- Major League Baseball is experimenting with protective hats. While the idea is nice, the execution may leave something to be desired. - Baseball Nation
- The Big Puma has retired. Danup weighs in on what type of legacy he left behind. - Mad em Dashes
- Babe Ruth would have been 119 yesterday. Celebrate the life of the Great Bambino by watching him hit the first homerun ever in an All Star Game. - Cut4
- On a more serious note, Hall of Famer and broadcaster, Ralph Kiner, has passed away at 91 years old. - MLB
What the Cardinals Are Up To...
- The creator of my newest website obsession (@darenw) tweeted me this link. This query shows Cardinal homeruns hit last season. Yes, even Pete Kozma's. - Baseball Savant
- Cardinal70 (@C70), the author at United Cardinals Bloggers is doing his sixth annual approval ratings for Cardinals players, management, media, and others. The blog offers a lot of great information and if you have ten minutes to spare (or really, less than that), help out a fellow fan by filling out this survey! - United Cardinals Bloggers (Survey)
- The Cards have avoided arbitration with utility infielder and United States Marine Corps WWII veteran, Daniel Descalso, by agreeing to a $1.29 million deal. Support our veterans! - STLToday
- Ozzie Smith and Bob Gibson have been featured on the MLB Network program "My Most Memorable Game". Videos to sneak peeks are here. - MLB (Ozzie); MLB Gibby)
- Bernie Miklasz gives his reasons why the Cards should be better in 2014. I am pretty sure it is a slideshow, so you are welcome. - STLToday
- Last week, Joe posted his Interview with Alex Reyes and fourstick included young Alexander in his prospect profile, Hatchlings. The 98th ranked prospect has caught the attention of others, including Fangraphs, where they did a very nice analysis on the young pitcher. Thanks goes to guayzimi for posting this link. - Fangraphs
KNOW THY ENEMY...
- Ever wondered why Mr. Red wore number 27? The Reds can thank the Cardinals for that. Thanks OCCardsFan for sharing the link! - Todd Radom
- Speaking of the Reds, they have done almost nothing this offseason, with the exception of signing Skip Schumaker, of course. - Baseball Nation
Viva el Stuff...
- A very important Cardinal legend celebrated a birthday this past week. PugetSoundCardsAddict is on top of it. - Viva el Birdos
- The past, present, and future of baseball, told in a way only VEB knows how. Great job, thenextgen, wherever you are! - Viva el Birdos
- As many of you might remember, I was pretty, uh... upset, let's say, when news of the David Freese trade broke. We did, however, in return get a promising prospect named Randal Grichuk, in addition to centerfielder Peter Bourjos (give your projections here), and he is a pretty good sport. - Viva el Birdos
- Okay, he is a very good sport. He is also a "ha" and a "lol" guy. Send your questions to Joe! - Twitter
@PatNeshek Hey Pat, I write for @vivaelbirdos and am a current @butleru pharmacy student. Could we have a chat for the site? #GoDawgs :)
— stlCupofJoe (@stlCupofJoe) February 6, 2014
- In other news, the Blues took on the Ottawa Senators Tuesday, losing in a shootout 5 - 4 in a game that required drinking in order to forget.
(A friend tweeted this to me saying this is what she imagined I looked like during the game. It isn't that far from the truth, actually.)
Thursday night, everyone's favorite St. Louis based hockey team battled the Bruins at Scottrade winning in overtime (Overtime? Never heard of it.) with a score of 3 to 2 and yours truly in the audience, ending my personal losing streak at just two. - St. Louis Game Time
The Stan Musial Veterans' Memorial Bridge, or, as my uncle says, the Stan Span, will open February 8, which is tomorrow. (Credit to J-Mill at SLGT for posting this link.) - MODOT
There will also be Winter Olympics starting this week! Opening Ceremony kicked off last night. Let's hope that everyone stays safe and the USA brings home lots of gold (unless you are not American, in which case, do what you want, of course). - CNN
- The Superbowl has ended in a Seattle Seahawks' victory over the Denver Broncos, 43 - 8 and oh my lanta, what the heck is happening? - SBNation
- Seriously, what is happening? I have so many things to say about this, yet nothing to say at all. Thanks to docB15 for the link! - SBNation
- Joe Buck does a "Superbowl commercial". And it fails. But it is funny. - Funny Or Die