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Cardinals news and notes: Pham, Grichuk, and recaps

The weekend in VEB

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Fourteen years ago Saturday, on June 18, 2002, Cardinals ace Darryl Kile pitched 7 2/3 innings against the eventual World Series champion Anaheim Angels. He allowed six hits, one (earned) run, one walk, and he struck out five batters. Kile had a Game Score of 67, and as he left the mound at Busch Stadium, the 39,386 in attendance, which included a 13 year-old me, gave him a standing ovation.

The next day, a future St. Louis Cardinals outfielder whom Kile would never meet but with whom he would eventually be forever linked, turned ten years old.

Just four days after his sharp performance against the Angels, and three days after the 10th birthday of Oscar Taveras, Darryl Kile was found dead in his hotel in Chicago of what was later determined to be a 90% blockage in two of his three coronary arteries.

Twelve years after I saw Darryl Kile's last game, I had the great privilege of seeing Oscar Taveras's first game.

The deaths of Darryl Kile and Oscar Taveras meant different things to those of us who remember both of them. Darryl Kile was 33; Oscar Taveras was 22. Darryl Kile was old enough to have been Oscar Taveras's father. Darryl Kile's death felt like that of an uncle; Taveras's, like that of a younger sibling or cousin.

As a middle schooler, I didn't understand how Darryl Kile could die. He was a professional athlete; how could a professional athlete die of natural causes? As an adult, I thought I understood death better. When Darryl Kile died, I flipped out and cried. When Oscar Taveras died, I put my head in my hands and stared ahead in silence for hours. I didn't cry; I just sat and contemplated. I still can't grasp that yesterday, he would have turned 24. I think back to how stupid, how naive, how young I was on my 24th birthday, and it's jarring to think that Oscar Taveras, regardless of the stupid mistakes of youth that he made, never got the chance to reminisce about his 24th birthday.

The deaths of Darryl Kile and Oscar Taveras represent benchmarks of sorts for me. I'm sure they do (as I'm sure does the death of Josh Hancock) for others. I can only hope that more benchmarks will not be necessary.

It was a busy Father's Day weekend on the site. Here's what you may have missed.

BABIP winners and losers

Ben Markham analyzed which Cardinals have been the most lucky and unlucky with respect to their batting averages on balls in play. For the team as a whole, things balance out to some degree, though looking at which players have been lucky and which have been unlucky is helpful for the purposes of analysis.

Tommy Pham promoted, Randal Grichuk demoted

The Cardinals demoted Randal Grichuk to AAA Memphis, promoting Tommy Pham in the process. I wrote the VEB story on it.

A hypothetical draft recap

The MLB draft is the red baron's annual Bonnaroo, and as such, he picked whom he would have drafted when the Cardinals drafted. There will be inevitable second-guessing of picks, most of it unfair, so it is nice to let RB first-guess so he can tell us he told us so, or if the picks work out, so he can hope we forgot about this.

Game recaps

The Cardinals lost 4-3 on Saturday to the Texas Rangers, and IHeartBoog wrote the game recap. On Sunday, the Cardinals lost 5-4 and WyoCardsFan wrote the recap. Please thank them both for their sacrifice.

Oh, and our very own Joe Schwarz got married over the weekend. Congratulate him to the point of annoyance.

Have a great week, folks. The baseball can't get any worse, right?