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Let Them Play – The 2014 Cardinals Playoff Push Is On!

Let Them Play!

Let Them Play!

Once again it’s late September. The weather in St. Louis has started to cool down. Some of those around town are asking when the Rams will be moving to Los Angeles. Others are counting down the three weeks until the St. Louis Blues take the ice. I wonder all of these things but my mind is mainly thinking about those St. Louis Cardinals and this year’s playoff push. As of today, the Cardinals magic number to clinch the National League Central is down to single digits.

How hot has Adam Wainwright been? Just last night he broke up a no hitter with a single and picked up his 19th win of the season which just happened to be shutout. He’s 19-9 on the season with a 2.45 earned run average, has pitched 220 innings with 171 strikeouts. He will probably finish second in the Cy Young award voting to the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw. If the playoffs started right now, Wainwright and Kershaw may face off in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. Hey network TV, put that game in primetime on your best channel now!

Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller have impressed lately to round off my playoff starting pitchers. Throw in John Lackey and the drama of Michael Wacha and the Cardinals look pretty set starting pitching wise. The bullpen has the closer Trevor Rosenthal along with Carlos Martinez, Pat Neshek, Seth Maness, and who knows else. Some are worried about Rosenthal closing games, I am not. He has gotten 44 out of 50 saves. Not sure anyone else on the team can do better.

Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Matt Adams, Yadier Molina, Jhonny Peralta, Oscar Tavares and Kolten Wong make a great starting lineup. Let’s just see if manager Mike Matheny will let them play to mesh together. A recent scoreless innings slump proved to me that we just need to let them play. Use Peter Bourjos, A. J. Pierzynski, and even Daniel Descalso sparingly and as needed only. I have no clue how Descalso survived this season but I hope he plays well the rest of the way and deep into October.

Let them play. Let them hit. Let them be the best team they can be. Please manager, coaches, and whoever else, please just give them a chance.

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It’s All Good

Well, I haven’t written a blog in over a month. No clue why. Guess I haven’t felt motivated. I actually started one, but it is still sitting in draft form. Since I last blogged, a lot has happened. Josh and I went to Kenosha, Wisconsin for baseball then to Northern Pines (1) in Green Lake, Wisconsin to work first week, with Lyn joining us for transition and attending second week. Josh started his sophomore year. Lyn lets him drive to and from school with his permit in what will be his car. I even rode with him while doing some highway driving. Josh did turn 16 this past weekend so we did some paintballing with friends on his birthday and had a bunch over the next day. Fall baseball has started back up with Josh doing American National 18U for fall league with some 16U mixed in there. Also, he is playing with some friends on a tournament team called Stallions Gold. Add that to lots of homework and managing Pattonville JV Girls Softball, this has been a busy fall so far.
After we got back from Wisconsin, the unrest in nearby Ferguson, Missouri happened. My only comments regarding are please wait until all the evidence has presented itself to judge. So far the only one who can judge this is God, because He knows all.
Pic from My VideoThe other big thing during August was the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This is where you are challenged by someone to dump a bucket filled with icy water on your head and donate $100 to ALS. If you do not participate you are supposed to give more. I was challenged by my Northern Pines Friend Tom Erbach. I will donate to ALS with my annual charity giving thru the Combined Federal Campaign. I did accept the challenge and dumped really icy water on myself here (2). I then challenged my fellow Northern Pines friends Glen Tobias, Todd Rau, and Chad VanHouten. I saw Todd’s video really quick and Glen did his the next day on his 18th anniversary. Now Chad’s wife Angela told me he accepted the challenge but I have yet to see a video. So if you know him, ask about that. My other comment on these challenges is that not everyone used enough ice in their water. You need to see the ice fall as it is being dumped on your head. I would have to say one of my favorites was done by another Northern Pines guy, Mike Jaderston. Most will know him as Adam. He’s a youth group leader and let’s just say he got really, really wet.
The St. Louis Cardinals are in first place, there is less than five weeks until the regular season starts for the St. Louis Blues, and very few will care about the St. Louis Rams again due to Sam Bradford’s injury. Seems like a normal early September here in St. Louis. It’s all good!
Born Bleeding's 3 Year Anniversary!
Thank you to all the readers of this blog. Born Bleeding just celebrated its three year anniversary!

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Wisconsin Bound

I don’t think I have ever taken a vacation that has lasted over a week or ten days at the most. I seem to remember splitting them up. Well I will be leaving July 25th to start a vacation that will take me all the way to August 9th. That’s 16 days. Sixteen days away from baseball, work, and more baseball.

Well, kind of. The first three days of this vacation, Josh will be playing with an underclassmen team from his organization at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The American National director invited some kids to go up with them to play in a 17/18U Tournament. He called it a showcase. I’ll just call it some tournament experience. I am hoping this will give us some more clarity on Josh’s future baseball plans. Hopefully we will all have fun. He gets to stay in a room with other boys in the hotel while I will be rooming with another parent from our team. He left this morning with that parent. I will head up on Friday morning.

One of my favorite times of the year as a baseball fan is the last week of July. I love reading about the proposed trades and reading fans reactions of what could happen to their team. I will have to spend a whole lot less time paying attention to things this year as where I will be has limited cell service and no MLB Network on the TV.

Normally each year we go to a Christian family camp called Northern Pines (1) in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Josh has gone up the past few years both weeks to be a Child Care Advisor the first week and camp the second week. I was planning on taking him from Kenosha to there on Sunday and drive back that night or the next morning. On July 17th, I got a message from the Northern Pines director, Dean Jaderston, asking us if we could just stay up the full first week and work. I asked my boss the next day and she ok’d my taking the time off. Lyn could not take the time off. I recommended to Dean that he check with the Rau family since they are teachers and the other part of our transition team.

Since Lyn has to get there on Friday August 1st because we are part of the transition team, we needed to figure out a way for her to get up there. We could not find any reasonable price planes that took her to the local airports of Appleton or Madison, Wisconsin. Amtrak means train to train thru or train to bus with both thru Chicago. Lyn was not all that thrilled with that so we ended looking at flights to Milwaukee or even to St. Paul, MN where she could catch a ride across with the Rau family. Well, since Lyn could not come, Janelle Rau will be there 1st week now teaching. That means there was extra room in the Raumobile traveling from St. Paul. Milwaukee is about 90 miles away from Green Lake so that would mean about a three hour round trip to pick her up. The cost of the ticket directly to St. Paul was more than twice as much as the ticket to Milwaukee. Dilemma time…So we slept on it.

On Monday the 21st I told my buddy at work the story and he decided to look himself. Would you believe that the cheaper flight to Milwaukee goes thru St. Paul? A call to Todd Rau with an agreement he could pick her up at the airport on Friday morning in St. Paul and drive her over with his son and Lyn booked the flight. The airline just doesn’t need to know that she will not be checking in on her connecting flight from St. Paul to Milwaukee.

So I will be up at Northern Pines for both weeks. I get to hear 5 new speakers during the two conferences as I will be the sound and audio visual guy first week. Most importantly I will get to spend some time with friends I only get to see once a year who are now going first week along with my friends from second week. I look forward to strengthening these relationships and creating new ones. I think God is working in my family to get us ready for these weeks ahead. Come August 9th as we drive back from Wisconsin I hope to feel refreshed and ready to take on whatever life brings us.

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They Have Their Reasons

Since this is the United States of America, shouldn’t privately owned companies be able to do mostly what they want? I mean if you don’t like what they believe, you don’t have to work there. If they have a store, you don’t even have to shop there. It really should be that simple shouldn’t it?

I remember when people complained about Nike possibly having kids working in sweatshops in some Pacific area country and people boycotted them. Seems like they survived just fine. More recently Taco Bell was accused of using something like horse meat in their food. People still go there. So why shouldn’t Hobby Lobby’s stance on contraceptives be any different? Their policy would not affect me personally, but if it did, I could chose not to work there or even shop there if I didn’t agree with them.

I have stores I don’t shop at and restaurants I don’t go to but it’s usually not by what they believe, it’s how their employees are and what their product is. Why should I care if they are Muslim, on the pill, or their mom is a convicted felon? What difference should it make? I don’t shop at restaurants because I don’t like their food or some employees are nonprofessional. Let me give you an example: I love McDonald’s. I mean who doesn’t? I just always seem to have colder food and rude service at the Page and Westport locations. So instead of saying I will not go to McDonald’s, I go to the University City or Bridgeton locations. The U City McDonald’s is my favorite because the employees are always nice and the food (especially the fries) is always hot.

Feel free to stop shopping or eating at places you don’t like for your reasons. That is why they are your reasons. Please do not try to push your reasons on everyone that is all I ask. People and companies have their reasons for doing things.

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St. Louis Cardinals 2014, So Far

Josh's new Marine Camo Hat

Josh’s new Marine Camo Hat

The St. Louis Cardinals are 30-29 and over one third of the way thru a long MLB season. The majority of their early games have been on the road. Finally they came home more during May and many thought that would help them. Well it has, a little (thinking optimistically). Tinkering with the lineup has been done over and over again. Matt Adams developed a small calf injury that has resulted in the call up of phenom Oscar Tavares. That helped for one game. What should they do? I don’t really know but it doesn’t mean I am not going to give you my opinion.

Daniel Descalso’s time in St. Louis is done. Unless there is something further wrong with Greg Garcia, number 33 has served his purpose. Descalso has become a poor at bat, below average defensively and not providing any leadership skills. You gotta give the kid a chance to be a utility player because there are no starting jobs for him in St. Louis.

I hear rumors that a team like the Minnesota Twins is looking into trading for Jon Jay. This makes sense if he can get us a reliever in return. The bullpen in just not right currently. Another way this could be fixed is by sending Carlos Martinez to the minors to stretch him out as a starter and bring up David Aardsma to fill his relief role. That is exactly why they signed him. Either way, Jay should be the odd man out in the outfield rotation.

Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny could also stick to a lineup for a few games in a row. Let Kolten Wong play every day. Give Randall Grichuk or Peter Bourjos at bats every day. I really don’t care which, just pick one. My only guess is that Matheny has to know something we don’t. Maybe they have to play Jay a lot before he gets traded. Maybe Bourjos is having psychological issues. Who knows? The public doesn’t know everything. If we do, there are bigger problems with this team.

I see a lot of people complaining about the Cardinals offense. I get it. Mix it up. Any one of the moves I mention could do the trick to wake up the boys in the clubhouse. I still think that they are a better team than the way they have played so far. Can they catch the Brewers? No doubt. Can they go deep in the playoffs? We will hopefully see. The object is to make it to the playoffs and then anything can happen.

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Proud Dad Moments

Sometimes I find it hard to realize how amazing of a son I have. I am the type to remind him that he can always be better. Sometimes I know he doesn’t like me but I know for damn sure that he loves me and I love him.

Going into this school baseball season Josh expected to make the Junior Varsity team. He is on the same summer team as a bunch of them, so it made some sense. He did not. I don’t want to speculate why he didn’t but God had a plan. Josh played Freshman Baseball for his Pattonville Pirates. Josh was named the team Captain at the start of the season. He never told us that he got picked to be Captain, another teammate did. That’s just how he is. No bragging, but doing the best he can with the situation God has put him in.

My Son Catching for Pattonville's Freshman Baseball Team

My Son Catching for Pattonville’s Freshman Baseball Team

The Freshman Pirates just finished their regular season with a perfect 12-0 record. Josh either pitched or caught in 10 of those games while the other time was at 1B and 3B. His pitching numbers were 4-0 with 2 saves. I didn’t track all his pitching stats but I know his last start he went 6 2/3 inningswith 8 strikeouts while pitching shutout ball against a very tough Westminster team. Batting wise he had a .535 batting average with 17 RBIS, 15 runs and an on base percentage of .675. That means when Josh batted (mostly third in the lineup) he was on base over 2/3 of the times he came up. That stat just amazes me. He was a team leader on and off the field. I also thank some good coaches he had to let him lead.

Oh yeah, in school Josh survived Freshman year taking all core honors classes and one was a Gifted Honors English class he thought was going to get to him. This week, Josh has been invited to school for Freshman awards night. He does not know why and is not looking forward to dressing up.

Some of you know that Josh wants to be a teacher when he is done. Right now he says middle school math teacher and help coach baseball. I know that my son will accomplish whatever he decides to. For fall he has decided he has had enough of football. He may give soccer another try but I think he is leaning towards helping the girl’s softball program at the school by being a team manager.

I ask anyone who reads this that you don’t take away a bragging Dad. Please take away a proud Father who wants his son to be his best and be happy. Take away a guy who does not want to lose his son. Take away a guy who works hard every day to be a better father. I love my son and am more proud of him than he ever may realize. Please let the ones you love and are proud of know how you feel.

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Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffles

Beginning on Friday April 25th, the St. Louis Cardinals and Cardinals Care started a 50/50 Raffle. Simply put, however many dollars in tickets are sold, Cardinals Care will give away half that amount. Hence the 50/50. The raffles will be held at all weekend home games along with midweek series against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Cardinals Care was formed to give fans a way of teaming up with the Cardinals to help children in our community, so this raffle is a perfect opportunity for fans to do their part while giving them the chance to win a big prize. This is how it works: Cardinal fans, ages 18 and older, may play the Cardinals Care 50/50 Raffle by going to any of the six ticket kiosk locations throughout the stadium from the time gates open until the end of the 6th inning. Raffle tickets may be purchased with cash in three quantities: Three (3) Numbers for $5, 10 Numbers for $10, and 40 Numbers for $20. Cardinals Care 50/50 ticket kiosks are located on the main concourse between sections 144- 148 and behind sections 163-165, inside Gate 2, in the center of the Redbird Club, and on level 4 behind sections 435 and 454. The winning ticket will be announced each night in the middle of the 7th inning, as well as posted in stadium and online at cardinals.com/5050 (1). Fans can also call 314-345-9661 Monday through Friday for the winning numbers. Fans need not be present to win. Winning ticket verification and prize claims can be made during the game by reporting to Guest Relations outside Section 148, by going to the Cardinals’ Administrative Offices (700 Clark Street, St. Louis, MO 63102) Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., or by emailing CardinalsCare@cardinals.com along with your contact information.
I got to participate on the first 50/50 night. I was located at a kiosk by Section 454. I had a blast on the top level. With it being the first night, I had some explaining to do. I was actually selling tickets before the actual news release came out. It was a fun night and I have already signed up for a second night on Friday May 16th. So far thru three games Cardinals Care has given away around 24,000 dollars in cash. This means, that they have also raised that much for Cardinals Care.
I hope everyone gets the chance to help Cardinals Care and kids in our community this season. You just might see me there..


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