Catching Up With The Cardinals: Sunday Edition

News from St. Louis this week wasn’t all positive. Dave Duncan stepping down due to his wife’s health conditions weighed heavy on our minds. But, there were other stories to keep tabs on. So, this Sunday of football’s Wildcard Weekend, we catch you up on baseball’s latest!

Skip Schumaker is lending a helping hand this weekend. He is hosting a baseball clinic at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, the proceeds of which go to a young boy recovering from a spinal cord injury. Other Major Leaguers scheduled to attend include the one and only “Shredder,” Adam Kennedy and the fan-favorite Brendan Ryan.

David Freese continues to endear himself to fans as we learn more about his back story and his commitment to the organization and its fan base. This week, he impressed another crowd — a group of business leaders. Freese was the headline” at the Business Journal’s “Book of Lists” event, where he answered questions on everything from baseball and the World Series, to family and college life. Sounds like our MVP handled it all brilliantly (not that we would expect any less)!

The organizational changes continue. This week, Dan Kantrovitz was named as Jeff Luhnow’s replacement as scouting director. Kantrovitz is not new to the Cardinals, as he spent time in the front office from 2004 – 2008.

In the light of Jeannie Duncan’s health concerns, everything else seems less significant. Still, for her son and former Cardinal Chris Duncan, life-after-baseball is offering an expanded career option. Well, altered, at least. Chris had been a staple on an evening sports-talk radio show on WXOS (101.1 FM).  Now, he is being moved (not “promoted”) to the more popular mid-afternoon time slot as a full-time staffer.

Tony La Russa certainly left his mark on the Cardinals organization. Watching him enjoy every last bit of the 2011 World Series run was probably the most fun I’ve ever had watching TLR in action. However, there was a point during that unforgettable Game Six where even the skipper himself thought the ride was over. Twice, the Cards were down to their last strike, and twice La Russa headed through the dugout with a different kind of advice.

“… I told our coaches and some of the veteran players. I said, ‘If this doesn’t work, we need to step out of the dugout and thank our fans.’ I actually called the bullpen and had that conversation.”

(I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad that was, in fact, “unneeded advice!”)

Speaking of that crazy ride, how would you like a chance to see the World Series Trophy in person? You may just be in luck! Team WS Trophy has finalized tour dates for the shiny new piece of hardware. Dates and locations were announced this week. There are 53 stops in all, between January and April.
Between that tour, Winter Warm Up, and the Cardinals Caravan stops, the last month before Spring Training should go by in no time, right? Here’s hoping!

Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.


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