Regular season baseball is clearly in sight on this Thursday morning, as it’s only three days away now.
The Cardinals final game at Roger Dean Stadium is today before the team heads to Memphis to take on the Redbirds tomorrow. Wrigley Field now has its gigantic new video board installed in left field (see why the rooftop owners across Waveland Avenue were a little ticked? Never mind that they’ve been profiting from the Cubs for years anyway as the rooftops turned into a big-dollar industry).
And, speaking of the Cubs, there is a No. 3 connection in recent Cardinals history. Actually, there have been a lot of No. 3s in recent Cardinals history. The last player to wear the number for longer than two seasons? Edgar Renteria, from 1999 to 2004.
So, with 3 more days to go, here’s a look at the three latest No. 3s.
Ah, Mark Ellis. Years ago I liked him when he was an Oakland A in the Big 3/Moneyball era. I was excited when the Cards signed him for 2014, thinking he could be a valuable bench addition. So it goes. Most fans have probably already forgotten his 73 games, 202 plate appearances and .180/.253/.213 line. Thanks for the 32 hits, Mark! And happy retirement.
Better memories here, much better …
Carlos Beltran followed Lance Berkman in right field as a past enemy turned hero once he donned the Birds on the Bat. (Here’s to Jason Heyward continuing that tradition this year and beyond, although he was never quite the Card-killer Beltran and Berkman were.) Carlos hit .282/.343/.493 in his two-year Cardinal career, with 56 homers and 181 RBI during the regular season. And, for the first time in his then-16-year major league career, he made it to the World Series in 2013.
While that didn’t end like any of us hoped, he at least played on a pennant-winning team and had the chance to experience the World Series. I wrote a Cardinal Love Letter to him before Game 3 of the World Series — his first home Series game — that included this, which summed up how I (and likely others) felt about him when we were still hopeful he would get a World Series ring as a Cardinal:
My feelings for you were not positive — until you became a Cardinal. Now I’m thankful that you’re here, grateful for all that you’ve done in 2012 and 2013, thrilled for the opportunities you have ahead of you still and so impressed by the respect and love shown to you by your teammates. Yes, I still tear up when watching your speech in the locker room after clinching the National League pennant a week ago and I loved hearing what Joe Kelly had to say about you yesterday — that there’s not one person in the Cardinals clubhouse who doesn’t look up to you.
Thanks for the good memories, Carlos. It truly was a pleasure to watch you as a Cardinal.
Which leads us to Ryan Theriot … and how’s that for a segue? Oh, wait, it’s TWO-Time World Series Champion Ryan Theriot. That’s right.
Yes, the former Cub joined the “right side of the rivalry” for the 2011 season. Here at AMF we created The Ryan Theriot Fan Club (which never quite caught on like the LB Fan Club for some reason … perhaps because it was for Ryan Theriot?), cheered his 20-GAME HITTING STREAK (that we were contractually obliged by the fan club to discuss in all caps), rejoiced when he became World Series Champion Ryan Theriot and then quickly disbanded the fan club as soon as we could. Yet we can still take pride in the fact it annoys Cubs fans to no end that he is now, in fact, TWO-Time World Champion Ryan Theriot since he moved on to the Giants for their 2012 World Series run. And then he retired — because, really, how could he top that anyway? (Well, OK, he retired in 2014 after not playing in 2013 because no one wanted him — though he can spin it however he wants, right?)
In searching for the photo above of the TWO-Time World Series champ, I found this photo as well. I am both frightened and speechless (and curious just who is holding him — ideas?)
And, since I really can’t come up with anything more to say after
the horror of that picture, just 3 more days!