In The Lego Movie, there’s a character called Benny. Benny is a 1980s-era generic spaceman (complete with the cracked helmet that most folks had) who is, in the universe of the game, one of the Master Builders. Of course, what Benny always wants to build is a spaceship. He tries a couple of times during the movie, but that’s not what is required for the task at hand. Finally, later on, he gets the chance to build such a vehicle. Which leads to him bouncing around going, “Spaceship. Spaceship. SPACESHIP!” (Even the Lego set of his ship is called that!)
That’s us today. The Cardinals, after a long winter, finally take the field and play another team for the first time since Matt Carpenter struck out back in late October. Not only do the Cards play ball, but Fox Sports Midwest will be televising it. Say it with me folks. Baseball. Baseball. BASEBALL!
The players had a day off yesterday since Mike Matheny was satisfied with what he was seeing in camp. (Maybe not satisfied with what he was seeing in the bathroom, however, when he showed up with his mop and bucket.) So there’s not just a lot of news right here before the preseason schedule starts, but there are a few things to talk about.
First off, apparently Lance Berkman left his sense of humor in Adam Wainwright‘s locker this offseason. Not that Waino’s not been a funny man over the last few seasons, but look at these quotes Wainwright threw out there when discussing the new instant replay rules and the delays that might arise out of them.
There are millions of dollars being made on the commercials. Millions. And yet they want to talk about the speed of play. If you want to keep the commercials, open the strike zone up. It would also help me a whole lot.
I would rather take the two minutes there to get the right call made. If there would also be a way to take that time to make sure the call helps only me that would be great. Is that possible?”
Now tell me you can’t hear the Big Puma saying those emphasized parts. If Waino is starting to bring 80 humor to his game, there’s no way he can be denied a Cy Young now.
Willie McGee is in camp and apparently doing quite well. I don’t think I realized #51 went to all the minor league teams last summer and spent some time, something that he apparently will do again this year. Like many former players, he doesn’t want to do anything full-time since he has a family he’d like to see, but he’s doing what he can and is really taking it seriously, if reports are accurate. It’s good for him to pass on what he knows and it’s good for the young players coming up to know who McGee is. Willie will probably get into the Cardinal Hall of Fame at some time, even if the number is never retired, so it’s just another way the past and the future are linked up.
Today, the Cardinals take on the Marlins in one of the many Fish and Feathers meetings of the spring. When you share a complex, I guess it’s not surprising you are going to see a lot of each other, especially given the state of Florida spring training these days. Carlos Martinez will take the mound and many of the regulars will back him up. Now, I wouldn’t suggest turning on FSMW very late if you want to see the normal nine, as many of them will get two at bats at a maximum. Still, it’s Cardinal baseball, no matter who is wearing the jerseys, so that’s a very good thing.
Martinez gets the start today, to be followed by Patron Pitcher of the Blog Tyler Lyons. No word on who might go after that, but that’s enough to get us excited. Martinez is pitching for a spot in the rotation and, while there’s no doubt most everyone is pumped about seeing him and he’s ready for the opportunity, there’s a long way to go and a lot of moving parts to figure out. We’ve discussed it many times here on the blog, whether he’d be able to take on a full starting load with his history. We may just get a chance to find out.
Coming down the homestretch with the approval ratings. Today, we get Jason Motte, rehabbing former closer. Even though Motte didn’t pitch an inning during the season last year, he seemed to make his presence felt more than ever by being around the team and, more importantly, his foundation trying to fight cancer. The red K Cancer shirts are everywhere, it seems like.
Honestly, I’d have thought his off-field work might have factored in more to the voting, but it doesn’t look like it did. Motte wound up with a 73.8% mark, which was down significantly from last year. Just two perfect marks and a low of 40. I guess not pitching really did make an impact for some folks.
Our media member today is everyone’s favorite uncle, Mike Shannon. OK, perhaps not everyone–Shannon didn’t get perfect scores up and down the line, after all. Still, it’s a strange sound to tune in KMOX and not hear Shannon talking about the game in his own unique style. He usually hangs out in the mid-80s on this ballot and this year, while a tick lower at 79.9%, is not far off. You either love Shannon’s distractions and stories or you hate them, but there’s little argument he’s one of the expected sounds of Cardinal baseball.
Finally, we take a look at John Mozeliak. Mozeliak took a hit before the 2011 season as folks expected him to have locked up Albert Pujols. Other than that, though, he generally gets around 85%. This year, after all that he’s done, he got a sharp boost up in the tally, coming in at 94.6%. That puts him just under Yadier Molina for the highest mark, so you know he’s in rarefied air. Looks like 21 perfect scores and his low was 70, so I’d say Mo is quite appreciated in this fanbase.
Cardinals and Marlins, 12:05 PM Central. Take a long lunch, because the Cardinals will be on your TV (or on MLB.tv, depending which way you watch them.)
Baseball, baseball, BASEBALL!