Your Oscar Taveras Debut News Wrap-Up

Let’s face it — there’s one thing, and only one thing, anyone cares about from yesterday’s Cardinals 2-0 win over the Giants. Oscar Taveras. (Ah, poor Michael Wacha — so last year now, other than the damn rain delays you cause every single start … )

And with so much coverage about Oscar out there, given his performance in his debut, trying to find a new angle to write about was a challenge. So I gave up.

Here, instead, are links to everyone else’s coverage — from the St. Louis writers and Cards bloggers to national coverage, since you know you want to read it all — starting, of course, with the most memorable home run since the most recent Cards walk-off or Rick Ankiel’s in his debut as an outfielder.


Photo: St. Louis Post-Dispatch/

Video of Oscar’s second at-bat, complete with slow motion of that beautiful swing and the tears of joy falling as rain from the heavens over such a fantastic hit.

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It’s Oscar Taveras Time

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, since rumors began circulating during last night’s game, the moment every Cardinals fan has been waiting all season for is finally here: Oscar Taveras is coming to the big leagues.

taverasOscar will be in St. Louis today and is expected to be in the lineup for the game against the Giants this afternoon at 1:15 p.m. He is taking the roster spot of Matt Adams, who is headed to the disabled list with a calf injury.

Taveras has been doing extremely well at Memphis, hitting .325/.373/.524 with seven homers and 40 RBI in 49 games. And, really, he’s been hitting during his entire career in the Cardinals minor league system, as Alex Halsted writes at

He hit .386 in Class A, .321 in Double-A, and in 95 games between last season and this season at Triple-A, he’s hit .316.

The outfielder will arrive in St. Louis on a tear. In his last 10 games at Triple-A, Taveras hit .462 with hits in all but one game, including two three-hit games and a four-hit game.

It’s safe to say we’ve all wondered what’s taken the Cardinals so long to promote Oscar — have they waited for financial reasons down the road, to prolong his arbitration years? — yet, as Derrick Goold writes, John Mozeliak says it has to do with playing time:

“He’s played his way to the big leagues,” Mozeliak said. “The real key is playing time. You can’t take somebody who has been a major-league player for three or four years who is performing at a high level like Allen Craig and say, ‘You’re not playing anymore.’ Look at how Matt Adams has played this entire season, and you’re not going to kick him to the curb. You’d have to be careful about that.”

But now, with Adams’ injury, Oscar’s time is finally here.

He’ll wear No. 18. And now we’ll just have to see how Mike Matheny actually uses him …

Game time this afternoon is 1:15 p.m., with Michael Wacha taking the mound as the Cards try to break their three-game losing streak. Starting for the Giants is Yusmeiro Petit.

Are Cardinals Fans Going To Like Oscar Taveras?

So I played hooky on a beautiful 75-degree day and went to yesterday’s Memphis vs Omaha game. They say the worst day at the ballpark beats the best day at work, and for the Redbirds, it was the worst day at the ballpark. I left during the seventh-inning stretch — I’d seen enough in what ended up a 20-3 loss, and Memphis has no Aaron Miles to come in to pitch to have compelled me to stay.

OscarBut I got to see Oscar Taveras, who with just one swing was worth the price of admission. But watching him that afternoon, I came to a disturbing conclusion.

Cardinals fans aren’t going to like Oscar Taveras.

There’s no denying his talent, he CRUSHED a first inning home run to right off Storm Chasers’ lefty Chris Dwyer against a howling 25-mph wind blowing out to left. It’s like the wind just noped its way out of the baseball’s way and let it just go until it crashed into the Werner Park berm. His swing is almost exactly like Vladimir Guererro’s was, long and full of fury. Dude is SCARY.

But here’s what I thought about watching him other than at the plate. He never looks like he cares enough, and the biggest sin? He’s definitely not scrappy. He was kind of goofy, loping around in warmups, always grinning, slump shouldered, cutting up, laughing with his head bobbing around, that sort of thing. That sort of thing that will spark a working class Cardinals fan to take to Twitter or Cards Talk in righteous indignation that here we go, another “superstar” who doesn’t play The Cardinal Way.

I fear Oscar Taveras is going to be another J.D. Drew or Colby Rasmus, another of a line of extremely talented players who will appear never to get the fullest out of their natural talent. I say that like it’s a bad thing. Cardinals fans love their Scrappy Guys(TM) like David Eckstein, Stubby Clapp, Bo Hart, even Allen Craig, those sorts of players, while hating on guys who can help the team such as Ray Lankford, Rasmus and Drew (I have to admit calling him Lazy Drew myself — in hindsight, we all should have appreciated him for what he was, a near-superstar who really could play the game).

So will we appreciate Oscar Taveras for what he can do, or will we scowl and work ourselves up in a froth over all the things he won’t do? I hope we learned from our time blessed with J.D. Drew and Colby Rasmus … but I’m just afraid we won’t.

Day One of the Winter Warm-Up in Pictures

For many fans, the Cardinals Winter Warm-Up means one thing: meeting the players and getting their autographs. There was a great line-up of players there today — past (just past, anyway), present and future.

And here’s a look at several of them, courtesy of Kelli, and starting with that (sadly) just past player: Chris Carpenter.

ccNo surprise that Yadi was the most popular Cardinal there today.

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My Cardinals 2014 Wish List

As most everyone else does between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I’ve been thinking much about what I want to see in 2014. As the snow falls and the temps waver from low to high single digits, it’s only natural to think about spring … and baseball … and what I want to see from the Cardinals as the weather warms (both the temperature and my spirits!).

2014Taking a look back at last year’s New Year Wish List makes me wonder how much will change between now and October, but it’s fun to look ahead and wish, nonetheless.

So, as I watch the end of the college football season and look ahead to 365 days of new opportunities, here are 14 things I’m hoping to see from the 2014 Cardinals.

14. Visits to Busch, complete with a tour of Ballpark Village

We’ve been hearing about BPV for so long. This winter, watching the progress as it becomes a reality, has me yearning for the first opportunity to see it in person. (Like I need another excuse to visit the happiest place on earth!) The legacy that is St. Louis Cardinals baseball deserves a showplace worthy of its history, and here’s hoping the city does it up just right!

13. Chris Carpenter’s developing role

I know “front office guys” don’t usually show up in game recaps or headlines. But, I hope to hear what Carp is up to throughout the year. I mean, don’t you? Continue reading

Our Choices for the 2013 Cardinal Blogger Awards

Every November the United Cardinal Bloggers vote for the best of the season just completed as well as the best of our peers. Here are our ballots for 2013.

20130831-161018.jpgCardinals Team Awards
Position Player of the Year
Chris: Yadier Molina

Yes, Matt Carpenter had an incredible, and unexpected, breakout season and earned a well-deserved fourth place finish in National League MVP voting. But Yadi is Yadi — on offense, on defense, as a leader. He’s intrinsic to the Cardinals success and one of the biggest reasons the 2013 team made it to Game Six of the World Series.

Tara: Matt Carpenter

This might seem hypocritical of me, considering the excessive lobbying I did for Yadier Molina for MVP, but it’s hard to beat the transformation Carpenter made this year. Not only did he learn a new position — and fare exceptionally well in it — but he also took over the leadoff role, carried much of the offensive weight, and went from a “probably not an every day guy” to a fourth place finish in the MVP voting. I’ve always seen something special in Matt, but this year exceeded even my lofty expectations!

Pitcher of the Year
Chris: Adam Wainwright

With a starter plus two eighth-inning-guys-turned-closers, it’s not necessarily an equal comparison to choose among these three options. But, in the end, results speak for themselves. Nineteen wins (regardless of your opinion on them, that’s not a total many pitchers reach in a season), 2.94 ERA, 219 strikeouts with only 35 walks, five complete games, two shutouts and 6.2 WAR speak pretty loudly — as does a complete game in the decisive Game Five of the NLDS after a dominant Game One start.

Tara: Trevor Rosenthal

There was nothing more impressive than how Rosey handled the postseason. His first appearance in the NLDS, I thought he was going to pass out on the mound! But (after that magical talk from Molina), he did more than just settle. He absolutely owned the 9th inning. The confidence, the accuracy, the power … he was phenomenal. It wasn’t just the posteason, though that’s most distinct in my memory. He started the season as a key piece of a bullpen in flux. Not knowing what his role was, or what it might morph into, he steadily improved, and, for the most part, consistently executed. What a year he had!

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