Teryn’s Hot Topics: With Ballpark Village, a new era in Cardinals baseball is about to begin
ST. LOUIS — In four days, the 2014 St. Louis Cardinals will return to the field in Cincinnati to defend their 2013 National League championship. When they do so, the very first Cardinals broadcast, opening with "Cardinals Live" from the new FOX Sports Midwest Studio in the new Ballpark Village, will hit the airwaves.
Excuse me while I get all nostalgic, but it will be really special to witness the debut of this new era in Cardinals baseball.
It will be special to be a part of Thursday’s grand opening ceremonies at Ballpark Village — unlocking the doors to a place where generations of Cardinals fans will come together to appreciate and watch their beloved team. It will be special when thousands of people across the Redbirds fan base throughout the country turn on their TVs to see Busch Stadium, in all its glory, painting the backdrop of the new FOX Sports Midwest broadcasts. It will be special to watch a team that vied for a World Series championship last season give it a shot again this year.
So here’s to St. Louis, Cardinal Nation and Redbird baseball!
SKIPPER FOR A DAY
Enough with the mushy stuff. Let’s get to the fun stuff. Let’s play manager for a day.
It’s always fun to imagine what you would do as a major-league skipper, how you would manage the lineup and rotation of your favorite team. So with a fresh slate, let’s imagine how the March 31, 2014, lineup will stack up in Cincinnati.
1. Matt Carpenter, 3B: Last season’s on-base percentage leader (.392) will lead off for the Redbirds. His transition to third base this spring hasn’t seemed like much of a transition; after all, it’s his natural position. The guy can play ball, period.
2. Jhonny Peralta, SS: FOX Sports Midwest’s Stan McNeal highlighted the biggest question mark on this year’s roster — the No. 2 slot. It looks like Matheny probably will go with Peralta, who had a .358 OBP last season, over Peter Bourjos (.333, and with less pop than Peralta).
3. Matt Holliday, LF: No change here, and rightfully so.
4. Allen Craig, RF: It will be fun to see this guy do his thing out in right field, behind his old position at first base. It will be even more fun to see how he does at the plate again — this time without the bum ankle.
5. Yadier Molina, C: Yadi, enough said.
6. Matt Adams, 1B: After Wednesday’s exhibition against the Nationals, Big City led the club with four home runs and a team-high 51 at-bats. In the words of McNeal, "They have uprooted one of the game’s most productive hitters, Allen Craig, to plant Adams at first base." I’d say he’s earned his keep.
7. Kolten Wong, 2B: I’d expect to see Wong in the two-hole at some point this season, but the Cardinals likely will ease him into the 2014 season. After a slow start he has impressed this spring with a team-best .391 batting average and the second-most at-bats (46, tied with three others).
8. Peter Bourjos, CF: Matheny has said that Bourjos is a good fit for the eighth spot in the lineup and that he intends to use his speed. I expect to see him starting over Jon Jay, but Jay will still be an important part of the outfield mix.
9. Adam Wainwright, P: Of course, Waino will be kicking off 2014. He deserves it!
ANOTHER NO. 1 SPOT
Speaking of lineups, it never gets old seeing the Blues in the No. 1 spot.
They earned their rightful place atop the NHL again Tuesday night, beating the Maple Leafs and ringing in 105 total points. What a game that was!
Captain David Backes with a hat trick! (And I got to watch it all from the FOX Sports Midwest LIVE giant TV during a special sneak preview and tasting at Ballpark Village. Let me tell you, the food was fabulous, the atmosphere unreal, and it was pretty incredible to watch the Note turn on the red light on that 40-foot big screen. Super cool!)
Blues fans are excited. Our Facebook fan Matt Dwyer wrote, "It’s always good to see that little âx’ in front of the Blues standings with games to play." No argument there, Matt, I agree!
The Blues have already stamped their playoff ticket, but how does the rest of the season play out?
After the hardwood took over Scottrade last weekend for March Madness, Thursday marks the start of a five-game homestand for the Blues. More good news for the club: Seven of their final 10 regular-season games will be played at home.
They will face the Wild (fourth in the Central division) and Stars (fifth) two more times, along with contests against the Flyers, Sabers, Avalanche (third), Blackhawks (second), Capitals and, finally, the Red Wings.
In case you were wondering after last week’s post, yes, my brackets are pretty much toast. What a week of upsets! So I thought I would outline some of the highlights of the NCAA Tournament so far heading into the next round of games starting Thursday, via my video picks of the week.
My first pick shows the joy that can come from a tournament run. You’ve heard the saying, "Dance like no one’s watching." Well, Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, sorry to say, everyone was watching. (Not sure if my dance moves are much better, though.)
From winning to losing. I thought it was very classy when Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski congratulated Mercer after upsetting his Blue Devils (and messing up everyone’s brackets) last week.
I’ve gotta have more cowbell! This Stanford band member has the cure:
I also want to give a shout-out to the SLU Billikens on a great 27-7 record and the Wichita State Shockers on a historic 35-1 season. It was a pleasure watching each of you play this year!
One final note: Good luck to Wichita’s Ron Baker. FOX Sports Midwest’s Sean Keeler can explain further in this interesting, disturbing and slightly comical story.
Teryn, a journalism graduate of the University of Missouri, is a FOX Sports Midwest Girl. You can follow the FOX Sports Midwest Girls on Facebook (FOX Sports Midwest Girls) and Twitter and Instagram (@FSMidwestGirls).