Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Tag Archives: #chickcomment

Want To Be An On-Site Reporter?

Okay, here’s the deal – there are five of us running around here on Diamond Diaries. Five fanatic female Cardinal fans. We love our baseball and we love our boys. When the Cardinals come to us and say, “Hey, we’re having a social media night and you all have two free tickets,” we do a little happy dance.

Then we looked at the date. Tuesday, May 17. For the most part we’re all an out of town group, and it’s tough to sneak in to St. Louis on a weeknight (at least during the school year). None of us can use the tickets. Cue the sad trombone.

The good news? Our loss is your gain!

That’s right, we’re giving you a chance to be our representatives for social media night in St. Louis! You will receive…

  • Field Box ticket to the game
  • “Tweet Me In St. Louis” T-Shirt (at left)
  • Access to a Pre-Game Social Hour
  • Bill Ivie will be wandering around with free stuff, but you have to tell him I sent you.
  • You get to touch Matt Sebek’s hair. No really – he said so.

All we ask of you is this…

  • Take a couple pictures! We’re jealous that you can be there, and want to see what we’re missing out on.
  • Be willing to write up a few paragraphs on what you experienced. Did you seriously touch Matt Sebek’s hair (and did you take a picture – this really intrigues me)? Did John Mozeliak come out to give a little talk? Say so! Did you get to shake hands with Matthew Leach or Derrick Goold? Tells us about what you talked about with them! Did a foul ball land three rows in front of you? So close! All we ask is that you email us some thoughts and pictures that we can use here on the site.

How do you get these tickets? I thought you’d never ask…

Give me a story. Some story about someone that had an influence on you as a baseball fan. Maybe you got an autograph from a player after a game. Maybe your dad bought you a foam finger and taught you about how to bunt over a pretzel and nachos. Maybe the bullpen guys tossed you a ball during warmups. Maybe you just met a fellow Cardinals fan on vacation somewhere and stopped to chat for a minute about the team. These things interest me.

Leave your story in the comments section and check back Monday morning to find out if you won! Good luck!

As a more current thoughts of the team type thing to leave you with, I have two little gems. The first is from Emily, who dropped this on Twitter last night –

Also, if you missed it last night, Erika, Emily and I were on the UCB Radio Hour with Bill Ivie last night to talk a little baseball with him. Topics included the ever popular #chickcomments, a possible resurgence of the MV3 from 6-7 years ago, and me telling a story about a mean trick I pulled on Erika last summer. Check it out!

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Photo Thursday

So… the last two games. They happened. The great thing about baseball is that we have another game to look forward to. Today. 2:10. Chris Carpenter vs. Ubaldo Jimenez. It promises to be a pretty fantastic match-up!

On to the week in pictures (Sorry, no sadness here)!

Ang wants a Brockabrella. No really, she does.
Who can make it happen?!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
The Baby Birds are coming BACK! Tyler Greene doesn’t plan
on leaving anytime soon!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
See? Even Matt Holliday is happy to see him back!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
Now this? This is just an awesome picture.
Would you run on this face? Not a chance.
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
It’s not every day a B-52 flies over before the game!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
More Baby Birds! How about Jon Jay –
back in business in St. Louis!
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
Scott Rovak – US Presswire
We admire the hustle from Jason Motte, but…
The Canadian Press
Ho hum, another complete game for Adam.
We don’t like – we LOVE these games!
Dilip Vishwanat – Getty Images
‘Oh! Look at it go!’
Best picture we’ve had yet? Probably!
Dilip Vishwanat – Getty Images

The CDD Draft Spectacular Photo Thursday

We feel fairly confident in our ability to talk Cardinal baseball here at Cardinal Diamond Diaries. We even know a bit about the minor leagues. However, we are not about to pretend to know anything about the MLB draft that concluded yesterday. That would be ridiculous. 

If you are looking for real draft coverage, we recommend http://www.futureredbirds.net. Those boys know the draft. We’ll even make it easy and link to their 2010 draft information. Just click on each player’s name to learn all the goodies we would not even pretend to know.

What we do know is pictures!  So for our own special touch in covering the draft, we have collected that vital piece of information missing from most draft reviews: pictures of the Cardinals’ draft picks – limiting it to the first 12 rounds due to space and attention span.

Round 1 (#25 overall) – Zach Cox

What we know: He plays 3B for Arkansas, who are still competing in the College World Series. He is hitting .427 with 64 runs, 9 home runs, 48 RBI, and a .603 slugging %. That’s real good.
What we think: Ang thinks he looks kinda goofy. Erika disagrees. This should be a fun project!

Round 1 sandwich pick (46 overall) – Seth Blair
What we know: He’s a right handed pitcher from Arizona State – also still playing in the CWS. He’s got a lot of pitches, but only 3(ish) of them look usable in the majors, so he might wind up a reliever.
What we think: Get a haircut, son.

Round 1 sandwich pick (50 overall) – Tyrell Jenkins
What we know: Tyrell is a high school kid out of Texas. He’s a 3 sport athlete committed to Baylor to pitch and play QB. He ran a 49 second 400 meters this year – without training. That’s nuts.
What we think: You waaaant to plaaaaay for the Cardinals, baby face.

Round 2 (75 overall) – Matthew (Jordan) Swagerty
What we know: He goes by Jordan, so that’s what we will call him. Jordan is a pitcher who moonlights as a catcher. He’s got 3 solid pitches and good command, which are very nice qualities. He’s also holding down a 2.05 ERA with 14 saves in 32 relief appearances.
What we think: He’s a cutie, but has the nose of someone who’s been punched in the face… or had it broken (Ang – been there).

Round 3 (106 overall) – Samuel Tuivailala
What we know: He’s a shortstop out of California who was also the ace of his high school pitching staff, as well as the quarterback and the point guard (show off). He’s committed to Fresno State, where they had planned to use him both for his bat and for his arm.
What we think: Samuel was drafted as a middle infielder, but he is neither small nor scrappy. Tony wouldn’t know what to do with him. Also, do you really think Mike Shannon could pronounce that last name? Not a chance.

Round 4 (139 overall) – Cody Stanley
What we know: He’s a catcher out of UNC-Willmington who led the CAA with 22 runners caught stealing. Everything we read uses the word ‘solid’ from his batting to his defense.
What we think: This is the first #chickcomment** worthy pick we’ve seen so far! Solid looks indeed! Definitely “one to watch!” 
**editor’s note: #chickcomment: (def). n. of or pertaining to the use of descriptive terms, generally by females, to describe or quantify the level of hotness or the cute-ability factor of a given subject/male.” 

Round 5 (169 overall) – Nicholas Longmire
What we know: Not much, really. Reactions are mixed. Some project him to be a raw power outfielder and okay at everything else, others see him as above average at everything except hitting for average. Hmm…
What we think: For a college kid, it’s weird that people don’t agree about him. We’ll take the high road and point out that he looks like a happy kid!

Round 6 – John Gast
What we know: The news actually doesn’t sound great on Gast. He’s already had Tommy John surgery (as a high school student). He bounced back and had a decent first two years at Florida State, but this year has seen his ERA rise all the way up to 6.33.
What we think: Finding a flattering picture was a bit of a challenge here. And if we didn’t know better, we’d think this was taken in the early 1990’s. Do they recycle uniforms at FSU? Is that why it looks like they covered up an older name?

Round 7 – Greg Garcia
What we know: He plays shortstop at U of Hawaii. After losing in the regional final to Arizona State, the UH coach admitted that he assumed most of his names would get snatched in the draft, including Garcia. He was batting .359 going into the ASU game and is projected to be a plus-plus defender.
What we think: We didn’t think they played baseball in Hawaii, but now that we know this nugget of information, we’re off to buy vacation tickets.

Round 8 – Daniel Bibona
What we know: The Cards drafted the lefty last year out of UC – Irvine, and he didn’t sign, choosing to do another year for the Anteaters. What he lacks in speed on his pitches he makes up for in command and precision. He’s been compared to Tom Glavine.
What we think: When we heard the Cards had drafted him twice, we had hoped it was for his #chickcomment worthiness. Of course we suppose it’s also pretty good that he’s a promising lefty!

Round 9 – Tyler Lyons
What we know: Tyler’s another lefty out of OK State. He had a 0.00 ERA (that is not a typo) in 2008 and had a chance to go in the first round, but stayed in school. His last two years have not been as good, and now instead of a power starter he projects as a middle reliever.
What we think: A cute Okie boy? Let the #chickcomments begin?!  (Line forms behind Erika!)

Round 10 – Reginald Williams
What we know: Reginald is a CF out of Middle Georgia College who projects to be a quick switch-hitter and a solid defender. His dad – Reggie Williams – was also a baseball player.
What we think: Reginald is an old man’s name. We’re going to call him Reggie from here on out.

Round 11 – Ben Freeman
What we know: Ben is a tall, skinny lefty out of a Florida high school. He had an ERA of 0.70 this year and struck out 126 in 59 2/3 innings.
What we think: How come our high school sports pictures never looked that cool?

Round 12 – Austin Wilson
What we know: We actually know more about this kid than any other in the draft. He was ranked 27th overall by Baseball America, but he’s committed to Stanford, which is why he fell 350 places below his projected value. He’s got raw power and looks to be a very good outfielder. He also has all the little intangibles – you know, work ethic, drive, character – that make him a very desirable guy to have in your system. 
What we think: It’s a definitely flyer pick and it would be slightly unreasonable to expect the Cardinals to sign him. People are pointing out that it’s not really about the money – he and his family want him to go to Stanford. But, as Joaquin Andujar says, ‘youneverknow.’

That wraps up our look at the first 12 rounds of the draft. If you want to know more, head back over to Future Redbirds, because they’re into this. We’re just easily entertained. 😉

Showing the Love for Adam

Did all of you know that my favorite Cardinal is Adam Wainwright? Did you think it was Brendan Ryan, Joe Mather, Blake Hawksworth or some other guy I’ve mentioned over and over again? It’s definitely Adam. Shame on me for taking this long to tell all of you about this. Shame on all of us here at the CDD for not shedding light on what one of the best pitchers in the National League has been up to so far this season!

Adam Wainwright is a good ol’ Southern boy, born and raised in Brunswick, Georgia. He had planned to go to Georgia Tech, but when his favorite team – the Atlanta Braves – drafted him 29th overall in the 2000 draft, he jumped at the chance to sign. Things honestly did not go very well with the Braves. I’ve read in several interviews that Waino just never felt like he was really going anywhere there, so when the Cards picked him up as an accessory in a 5 player deal with the Braves in December of 2003, Adam was ready to move somewhere new.

The trade in itself fascinates me. The Cardinals gave up J.D. Drew, the oft-injured and never quite living up to expectations outfielder, and Eli Marrero, a decent utility player. The Braves handed over Wainwright, Ray King, a big ol’ lefty that reminds me of current big ol’ lefty Denny Reyes, and Jason Marquis, who actually had a couple of nice years here, no matter what the Negative Nancys choose to remember. At the time, people kind of shrugged their shoulders about it. Both teams were unloading a couple of guys they couldn’t seem to do much with.

For whatever reason, the only player I was interested in from that trade was Wainwright. He wasn’t talked about very much, but I caught on and he because the first player I was really watching in the minors. When he made his debut in September of 2005 I was excited, and when he made the Opening Day roster as a bullpen guy in 2006 I smiled to myself and hoped that he would become more than the artist formerly known as Brad Thompson.

When Jason Isringhausen was finally shut down late in 2006 for season-ending hip surgery, people questioned if Tony LaRussa was really going to let the rookie with the big curveball close out games in the middle of a pennant race. He did, and Adam did not buckle under the pressure, saving two crucial games on September 27 and 30 to hold off the Astros and seal the division. As for the postseason, I’ll let Wikipedia tell you the story: 

  • On October 19, 2006, in the final game of the National League Championship Series, Wainwright, with the bases loaded, struck out Carlos Beltran looking on 3 pitches, ending the New York Mets‘ season and sending the Cardinals to the World Series.

It’s doubtful Beltran’s knees have unbuckled from that one. (Also worth noting – game 5 of the WS was my 20th birthday. Doubtful there will be a better one!)

Since then Adam was moved to the rotation, where, were it not for Chris Carpenter, would be the unquestioned ace of the staff. Last year, while having the most first place votes for the Cy Young award, he somehow wound up third, but he was voted Most Outstanding Pitcher in the Players Choice Awards. The players know he’s the real deal.

This year Wainwright has been overshadowed in a major way. Between…
  • Ubaldo Jimenez being really impressive (but NOT impressive enough to have this many comparisons to Gibson’s 1968, so stop it)
  • Stephen Strasburg merely walking onto the mound in DC (no offense to the kid, but someone call me when he beats someone without a Pirates uniform on… or he raises the dead or something)
  • Roy Halladay finally making it out of the AL East and into the NL, which is a more pitcher-friendly league
  • Jaime Garcia being in Rookie of the Year contention
  • not to mention Chris Carpenter doing what Chris Carpenter does……. 
No wonder hardly anyone is talking about Adam Wainwright! There are two guys on his own team on this list!

Well I’m talking about Adam. Look at where he’s standing so far this year compared to the rest of the National League (stats from baseball-reference):
  • Wins: 8 – tied for 2nd (0 of which have been classified as ‘cheap’ by B-R, while 2 of his losses have been classified as ‘tough’ thanks to lack of run support)
  • Complete games: 3 – 2nd
  • Quality starts: 11 – 2nd
  • ERA: 2.05 – 4th
  • Innings pitched: 88 – 2nd
  • Strikeouts: 88 – 2nd
  • ERA+ (ballpark adjusted ERA): 198 – 4th
  • WHIP: 0.943 – 2nd
  • K/BB: 3.86 – 4th
Umm… wow. No other pitcher was in the top five in all of those categories. If that doesn’t tell you how good Adam’s been this year, nothing else will.

Need more? You mean, besides the fact that he hit a home run in his very first major league at bat, his #chickcomment worthiness, or his curveball that makes hitters weak in the knees? How about I leave you with this story on how he joined up with Catch-a-Dream to spend a day with a young man who is fighting cancer.

Adam Wainwright is pitching tonight for the Cardinals. Watch him. Respect him.

PS-Check back tomorrow. We’re covering the draft in our own Diamond Diaries way…

2010 UCB Progressive Game Blog: 7th Inning

This is the third year that the United Cardinal Bloggers (UCB) have done a progressive game blog, and we here at Cardinal Diamond Diaries are very excited to be joining in on the fun this year. If you want to start at the beginning, head over to the pre-game post at UCB. We are taking a look at the 7th inning, so there is a lot of game to catch up on before we get into the action. If you’re coming to us from Redbird Rants, then welcome! If you want to back up and see what Ryne had to say about the 6th,click here!We’ll wait … back? Okay, we’re picking things up with a 4-0 Cubs score …
Top of the 7th
Chris: Thankfully, the bottom of the 6th ended – but it gave the Cards an even bigger hole to dig their way out of now. Luckily, the right guys are coming up in the top of the 7th. The Cards still have just 1hitas the inning starts. Carlos Silva has a career high in strikeouts, with 10 going into this inning.
The shadows are across the plate at Wrigley, while the pitcher is still in the sun. That will make it even more challenging for the Cardinals as they’re batting, and it’s unfortunately not like they’ve been doing much off Silva anyway.
Ang: Ryan Ludwick popped up in the shallow part of the infield, and Albert Pujols did the same. Not a promising start to what could have been cast as a big inning for the Cards with the heart of the order coming up.
Silva is still throwing well for the 7th inning, although his location is getting a little farther off the mark than it was earlier in the game.
Matt Holliday put a charge into one, but the wind blew it down and it hit off the base of the wall for a two-out, stand-up double.Interesting to note:Holliday has had both of the hits off of Silva in this current 2-hit shutout of the Cardinals.
Colby Rasmus had a great start to the season but his patience at the plate has gone down as he has expanded his zone this month and piled up quite a few strikeouts. Colby already had 2 strike outs on the day leading into this at bat, and he fared no better as he chased an inside pitch that was caught at his shoetops. Three outs.
Time for the Stretch
Chris: Joe Buck mentioned that Jim Belushi would be singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. The whole celebrity singing thing at Wrigley is beyond tired now. In 1998,the first season after Harry Caray died, it was a nice tribute to him. Now, 12 years later, it’s just another Wrigley Field gimmick. “Oooooh, look – the ivy!” “Ooooh, look – women in tube tops!” “Oooooh, look – someone we don’t care about singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’!” Give us “Here Comes the King” at Busch Stadium instead!
Ang: Thank you, FOX,for not making us listen to Jim try to sing.
Erika: We here at the CDD have a better idea for 7th inning stretch. So grab your popcorn, peanuts and your choice of beverage and join us to watch one of our favorite Cardinal commercials, featuring Brendan Ryan!
And then finish up with a little eye candy commercial featuring Mr. Hunky himself,Matt Holliday!
Bottom of the 7th
Ang: After walking in a run and then nailing down the last out of the 6th inning, Mitchell Boggs returned to tackle Derrek Lee and the Cubs in the bottom of the 7th. Lee was punched out on a strike over the outside part of the plate.
Alfonso Soriano came up swinging, striking out on three straight pitches that were all low and away.
Okay, FOX, I’m thanking you a second time for miking up home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt and letting us listen in on his comments to Yadier Molina about Adam Ottavino’s first big league start. Wendestedt made the comment that Wrigley Field is an awful tough place to have your first start, but Otto did a nice job. I like that we got that little glimpse into the game!
Marlon Byrd chopped it up the third base line, which David Freese scooped up and tossed a wide but catchable ball over to Albert for the third out of the inning.
Chris: Actually, Byrd grounded to ^Batman^!
Erika: A little background for those of you who may not know: David Freese gained that nickname based on his love of the movie Batman, as described by Derrick Goold during spring training here. We love the nickname and were thrilled when our Twitter pal @stl_cardsfan29sharedthis video, which gives us all a chance to see Freese in his good-luck charm mask.
That wraps up our inning. At the end of the 7th, the score is still 4-0 bad guys. Thanks to Daniel for inviting us to join in on the progressive game blog, and hope to see you all again here on the CDD. Head over to Intangiball for the 8th! Go Cards!

Can you say hot?

David Freese is hot. He was named National League Player of the Week yesterday after hitting .462 (12 for 26) last week, with three home runs – his first of the season – and 11 RBI. Last night he hit a bases-loaded double for one of his two hits, driving in three runs and raising his batting average to .358. His average currently ranks second in the National League.

Freese should have been mentioned in my April wrap-up post on Saturday. He hit .324 in April, drove in 14 runs, had some terrific plays at third base (after a rough night on a Sunday night ESPN game against the Brewers early in the month). He was definitely one of the month’s surprises. But in my rush to finish before the noon game began on May 1, I overlooked him. And all he’s done since then is make me feel all the more foolish about forgetting him – he’s seven for 13 this month with three doubles, two homers and five RBIs for a .538 average and on-base percentage, slugging percentage of 1.231 and OPS of 1.769.

Okay, David, you get your own post.

Going into spring training, Freese was the top candidate for the Cardinals third base job, but there were some reservations about him too. He’d been arrested for DUI in December. This column by Bernie Miklasz from late February is interesting to re-read now. I can be as skeptical as any fan needs to be anymore, so sometimes quotes from players sound like nothing more than the clichés straight out of “Bull Durham.” Yet this quote from the column stands out two months later: “I believe the Cardinals will see me at my best. It’s exciting. I think a lot of good things will happen this year.” Just over a month into the season, good things are definitely happening for him.

Then there’s Batman. Derrick Goold first reported on Freese’s Batman mask back in spring training, then mentioned it again yesterday. The mask also was mentioned in the Associated Press article about Sunday’s game: “Freese leads National League rookies with nine multihit games, and he had six RBIs on Wednesday against Atlanta. He’s taken to wearing a Batman mask in the clubhouse as a good luck charm before games. ‘I think it’s just one of those weeks. I threw the Batman mask on a couple of times,’ Freese said. ‘It’s got a lot of hits in it.'” So Freese even has the foresight to pick an appropriate superhero to admire, or at least is trying to live up to his hero’s name on the field. (Sidenote: why are there no pictures of him in the Batman mask in any of these articles??!?!!)

Back to the first sentence. Yes, David Freese is hot – both on and off the field. Look at the pictures we do have, which Erika herself took during spring training! And these don’t really do justice to those eyes, that hair, the chin … (Do I have to use a #chickcomment tag like we do on Twitter?)

So here’s hoping Batman continues to excel as he’s done so far this season, in all facets of the game. And may his Player of the Week honors be the first of many for him this season.

On a different note
If you haven’t yet had the chance to check out “Brendan and Joe’s Excellent Adventures” videos on the Fox Sports Midwest site, you need to do it. These two just continually crack us up. (Is it any surprise that Joe was wearing David’s Batman mask in the clubhouse?) Hey, Fox Midwest, where’s their reality show??

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