St. Louis Cardinals turn first triple play since 2005 (Video)

The Toronto Blue Jays are 19-4 in their last 23 games and the way things have been going lately it’s tough to imagine them on the wrong side of a highlight. However, that’s what happened during Friday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jose Bautista was at the plate with the bases loaded. More often than not, you would probably expect the Jays slugger to deliver in that situation.

cardinals-triple-playThis wasn’t one of those times. Bautista hit a line drive that was caught by Daniel Descalso, who flipped to Jhonny Peralta for the second out. Peralta then threw to Allen Craig before Melky Cabrera was able to return for the third and final out.

The result was the first triple play turned by the Cardinals since 2005 and the first the Jays have hit into since 2008.

What shouldn’t go unmentioned is the effort by second base umpire Manny Gonzalez to avoid being hit by the ball. Those were some pretty good reflexes.

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Don Mattingly wonders if Cardinals were stealing signs in NLCS

Don-Mattingly-DodgersThe St. Louis Cardinals made relatively easy work of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS this year, winning the series in six games and finishing the job with a 9-0 thumping in Game 6. Traditionalists would argue that the Cardinals were simply the better team. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has wondered if St. Louis gained an advantage with its knack for stealing signs.

At the MLB winter meetings on Wednesday, Mattingly said his team was well aware of the Cardinals’ reputation for stealing signs when they began the NLCS. While he said he does not believe St. Louis won the series because of sign stealing, he did admit that the Dodgers complained about where Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo was standing at certain times.

“We felt like we had to be sure we kept an eye on their first-base coach and their third-base coach,” Mattingly said, via Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. “They’re the ones with the easiest way to steal signs. Josie’s a guy, at third, who’s always looking for my signs from our dugout.”

Mattingly said he had someone else besides himself relay signs from the dugout during the series to try to stop Oquendo from stealing them. There has also been speculation that the Cardinals mastered the art of relaying signs to hitters when they had a man on second base. They hit .190 in the NLCS with no runners on base and .259 with runners in scoring position. As Saxon pointed out, St. Louis hit .236 with nobody on and .330 with runners in scoring position during the regular season.

“If you think a guy’s looking from second base, then you have to have a combination of signs,” Mattingly said. “If you think guys are cheating from first base, then you have to have multiple signs even with a guy on first. It’s your job to make sure they can’t do it.”

Mattingly reiterated that he was not using the prospect of sign stealing as an excuse, but he could have just as easily refused to discuss it. Stealing signs has been part of the game for years. The best teams can adapt accordingly.

Adam Wainwright: Bad barbecue makes me want to fight somebody

Adam-Wainwright-CardinalsSt. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright loves baseball. If he didn’t, he probably would not be pitching professionally. But there is something in life he seems to love much, much more. That something is barbecue.

During a Q&A with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this week, Wainwright discussed how big of a foodie he considers himself to be. When Derrick Goold asked him what food he would equate to pitching Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006, the right-hander gave a convincing response.

“It would be a combination of steak and barbeque,” Wainwright said. “Because I can eat good barbeque every single day of my whole life, without question, no doubt. I can tell you that right now. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. Also, bad barbeque makes me want to fight somebody. When I have a really bad rib or a really bad pulled pork, it just makes me angry. It’s such a great piece of meat to ruin.”

You think this guy is messing around about his brisket? It certainly doesn’t sound like it. Remember, this is the same guy that hammers down a certain type of sandwich to survive a hot summer day. Food is a major part of Wainwright’s life — there’s really no denying that at this point.

Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Jaime Garcia reportedly will be removed from NLDS roster; Cardinals furious

The Cardinals reportedly plan to remove pitcher Jaime Garcia from their NLDS roster because of a shoulder problem, and his teammates are said to be furious with him over the issue.

Garcia missed over two months of the season from June-August because of a shoulder injury that landed him on the 60-day disabled list. He pitched fairly well upon returning from the DL, lowering his season ERA from 4.48 to 3.92. He was the Cardinals’ Game 2 starter for the NLDS, but he was removed after two shaky innings against the Nationals and replaced by Lance Lynn, who got the win.

Garcia was sent for an MRI on the shoulder, and the Cardinals reportedly are waiting for the results before deciding his future. St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Joe Strauss said on Twitter that Garcia was going to be removed from the postseason roster. Strauss also reported that several Cardinals players are upset with Garcia for starting a playoff game without telling the team that he was injured. Others reportedly question whether the injury was enough to prevent him from pitching deeper into the game.

GM John Mozeliak called Garcia’s handling of the situation “frustrating.”

We can understand why Garcia may have kept the shoulder issue to himself. He was probably trying to tough it out, give his team everything he could, and avoid letting down his teammates. But by keeping the news of his shoulder problems to himself, he let down his team because it prevented them from making an informed decision about the playoff rotation.

What’s odd is that he pronounced himself “healthy” in this pregame interview. He was obviously lying.

Photo Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Cardinals wore tacky tuxedos for their road trip to LA (Pictures)

The St. Louis Cardinals decided to dress up for their short road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles on Thursday. Even though it looks like they were headed to a costume party, the actual theme for the trip was “tacky tuxedos.” As you can tell, some of those were pretty ugly looking outfits.

Here’s a rundown of what some of the players were wearing:

Jason Motte went camo, Allen Craig had a leopard print trim on his white jacket, Marc Rzepczynski was in all red, Yadier Molina had a plaid coat and white pants, Victor Marte had the green shirt and plaid vest, Jake Westbrook wore white, Tyler Greene was in the red spandex, Lance Berkman was in pink, David Freese had the Dr. Seuss hat, and Matt Carpenter wore the Pee-Wee Herman outfit.

If you’re talking tacky tuxedos, naturally you’re going to see a few guys pull off the “Dumb & Dumber” look. Kyle Lohse (right) and Mitchell Boggs (left) accomplished that:

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Cardinals will wear gold jerseys and caps for home opener, ring ceremony (Picture)

I’m a fan. The uniforms you see above are the ones the Cardinals will be wearing during their home opener on April 13, when they will also be receiving their World Series rings. It’s almost gotten to the point where I cringe every time I hear the phrase “new uniforms” because of some of the absolute nonsense we’ve seen, but the Cardinals got it right with these. At first glance, they aren’t even that much different from their regular hats and jerseys. The gold adds a perfect touch in my opinion. The Cards are the champs and they just lost arguably the best player in baseball. Might as well flaunt what you have while you have it.

Picture via MLB Public Relations twitter
H/T Joe Sports Fan via SI Hot Clicks

Albert Pujols’ Wife Says the City of St. Louis has Been Deceived

In all likelihood, we will never know the real reason Albert Pujols ended up in an Angels uniform.  Some will insist it was about the money.  Angry Cardinals fans have demanded an explanation from Pujols, a player they insist lied when he said he wanted to be a Cardinal for the rest of his life.  It’s quite possible he was simply telling the fans what they wanted to hear when he made that statement, or it’s possible it was the truth.  Perhaps Pujols made that statement assuming the Cardinals would match any free agent offer he received and not expect him to give them a hometown discount.  Albert’s wife, Deidre Pujols, tried to bring some clarity to the situation on Monday.

“When you have somebody say, ‘we want you to be a Cardinal for life,’ and then only offer you a five-year deal, it kind of confused us,” Deidre told 99.1 Joy FM in St. Louis.

The Cardinals’ initial offer to Pujols was reportedly for five years and $130 million.  Contract negotiations always need a starting point, but that sounds more like C.C. Sabathia money.  When you take into account the fact that the Red Sox gave Carl Crawford a seven-year, $142 million contract, you can understand why Pujols’ wife called the offer an “insult.”  The Cards’ final offer is said to have been 10 years, $210 million with $30 million deferred with no interest.  It was still far too low.

“I’m going to tell you what, listeners especially, had that offer been given to us with a guarantee (i.e. no deferred money), we would have a Cardinal on our bat,” Deidre continued. “Albert and I never, not one time ever, made plans to leave this city. We had no reason, not one reason, to want to leave. … People were deceived by the numbers.”

Fans have already begun customizing their Pujols’ jerseys and newspapers have accused him of turning his back on the city, but none of us know what went on behind closed doors.  The Angels gave Pujols $254 million without a cent deferred.  The fact that Pujols took the deal would seem to indicate money was important to him.  It could also show that the Angels cared more about acquiring him than the Cardinals cared about keeping him.