It doesn’t matter snow is on the ground in the Midwest and the calendar says February. Yesterday at noon, St. Louis Cardinals baseball was on the radio.
The four months since Game Seven of the 2012 National League Championship Series — the last time the Cardinals played — seemed interminable. Yes, watching stored 2012 games from my DVR and 2011 postseason games on DVD helped fill some of that time. But it was beyond time for real baseball.
Which is why what really mattered was hearing John Rooney read off the Cardinals lineup filled with the familiar names of our old pals — Jay, Descalso (and knowing how to pronounce it), Holliday, Beltran, Yadi, Freese, Adams, Kozma, Rosenthal. Yes, Ty Wigginton also was included … it is 2013 now, after all, and a few changes occurred since October 2012.
And then it was “the voice of the Cardinals,” as Rooney always introduces Mike Shannon to start the game, and he was in his mid-season form already — chuckling away — as he described what was happening on the field at Roger Dean Stadium. Of course it was hard to follow at times. That’s what makes Mike Shannon enjoyable to hear.
As for the on-field action, it was disappointing to hear Trevor Rosenthal struggle and exciting to hear Michael Wacha excel. But it was game one of spring training — not that you would know it from some on Twitter, who overreacted with every pitch and predicted doom based on the game’s outcome. Rosenthal will have better days — we’ve all watched him do so already. And, sorry to spread my own doom, but Wacha won’t throw 19 of every 21 pitches for strikes as he moves ahead.
What was truly disappointing: the quality of the new update of MLB’s At-Bat app. The sound often cut out, making it very distracting and discouraging to listen to — exactly what you don’t want when you’ve just plunked down money to renew it for the season ahead. Previously it’s been great, so hopefully it was a one-day aberration.
Like the regular season, there’s more baseball again today. The Cardinals face the Red Sox at noon Central Time, with the game again on KMOX Radio and through MLB At-Bat. (Find the entire spring training broadcast schedule here.)
Today’s lineup — remember that it’s spring training — features Rafael Furcal leading off at designated hitter, since lefty Jon Lester is pitching for the Red Sox. That means Furcal can bat right-handed, which is the only way he can hit now without pain. (Yeah, this is going to end well …) Matt Carpenter, who did play second base yesterday, starts there today and bats second. And Ronny Cedeno, already a Cardinals fan punching bag, is at shortstop. Pitching-wise, John Gast starts for the Cardinals. Find the complete lineup and notes from Derrick Goold here.
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Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.