Note: It’s been almost three weeks since I’ve blogged baseball here. Since then, MichiganGoat has claimed his prize (congratulations!) just in time for the Swimsuit issue. Heh. After almost a week of birthday celebration and a focus on homework and writing for the UWM Post, Baseblog is back.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been keeping up with baseball lately. This lull right before Spring Training … well, it really makes me look forward to those sunny exhibitions. I’ve heard the big headlines this month, same as you, but some of the smaller stories may have fallen through the cracks. Thus, I present those smaller stories – headlines you may have missed – as we ease back into regular NL Central coverage. Enjoy the fluff.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS HEADLINES
- Baseball’s favorite squirrel has its own Topps baseball. The “rally squirrel” is pictured on a version of Skip Schumaker‘s 2012 baseball card. At first I thought this was a joke, but it’s legitimate. And awesome.
- Another (now former) Cardinals icon isn’t getting as much love. The departed Albert Pujols had a restaurant named after him change its name. The writers at Athlon Sports have a neat series going about who would make each team’s Mt. Rushmore and Pujols is left out as a “close call” for the redbird mountain.
- Continuing with former Cards, departed manager Tony La Russa will join Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers in Spring Training. Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith (who did make the Cards’ Rushmore) will join the Cardinals in Spring for the first time in over a thanks to La Russa’s absence.
- Any Cardinals fans in Washington? Don’t miss your chance to pose with the World Series trophy on February 18th.
- Finally, check out this sweet photo by Jon Jay – it’s a David Freese World Series MVP bobblehead.
CINCINNATI REDS HEADLINES
- Reds outfielder Jay Bruce (along with David Price, Justin Verlander, and CJ Wilson) take a few pointers from Kate Upton in this MLB 2K12 advertisement. I wrote about my hatred for the 2K series in one of Baseblog’s early posts.
- I don’t recall the Reds ever being mentioned in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes, but hey, at least they picked up one of his old teammates. Oh, hey, so did the Chicago Cubs. The old feel-good story Bobby Scales returns to the North Side after half a season with the Nippon Ham Fighters.
- Former Red Ken Griffey Jr. has partnered up with the PGA of America and the Boy & Girls Club to continue his post-baseball daily good turns. You can read about his love of golf and partnership here.
- Love him or hate him, Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan has been popping up a lot these days. “Tony Plush” recently had the opportunity to practice with the San Jose Sharks for a little baseball–hockey crossover training. Additionally, he stars in a YouTube video entitled “Sh*t Black Guys Do,” presumably a parody of the “Shit Girls Say” videos. Personally, I didn’t find it too funny, but you might.
- I don’t have many political opinions, but I like the fact that President Obama is a baseball fan. A few baseball related headlines from the president this month: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker presented our White Sox fan leader with a Brewers Obama #1 jersey a few days ago. After being introduced at an event by one of the Cubs owners, Laura Ricketts, Obama said it was the “best introduction that a Cubs fan has even given [him].”
- Have a peanut allergy, but still love going out to the ballpark? No problem if you’re a Brewers fan. Prompted by a letter from sixth grader Mathew Trotier, the Brewers can accomodate your allergy with peanut-free zones on May 7th, July 26th, and September 14th.
- Former Brewers manager Ned Yost, fired with just a few games left before the 2008 playoffs, will be managing for at least another year. His 2013 option was picked up by the Kansas City Royals.
- The current Brewers manager, Ron Roenicke, did a pre-Spring Training Q&A session with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. You can read the interview here.
- The Brew Crew’s GM Doug Melvin has been inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, an appropriate honor. Congratulations.
- The Pirates haven’t had any truly interesting headlines that I could find, but a big splash may be on the way. A number of sources are reporting that the Bucs are close to acquiring AJ Burnett from the New York Yankees. I’m sure fans would prefer that news to a bunch of fluff pieces anyway.
- WGN is looking for the “next great Chicago Cubs song” to use as their official radio tune for the 2012 season. Musicians and wanna-be musicians alike have until February 29th to submit their piece.
- Matt Garza‘s home was robbed and his 2008 AL Championship ring was stolen. Fellow Cubs pitcher Randy Wells has been honored by his old high school on “Randy Wells Night.” Continuing with the starting pitching theme, Curt Schilling predicts success for the Cubs under Theo Epstein.
- Finally, Brett at Bleacher Nation wrote about Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein’s place on the 100 most powerful Chicagoans list. Ricketts is #30, while Theo comes in at #48. I include this link mostly because I cannot get enough of that picture of Theo you see to the right. Just don’t tell my girlfriend.
- Mike Tauser at Ultimate Astros writes about the odd but pleasant happenstance involving one of the Astros’ prospects and the H1N1 virus that was running rampant a few years ago. These types of “what if” situations are fun; sometimes things work out for the better.
- Milo Hamilton, after 28 years of Astros coverage, will retire as Houston’s radio man after the 2012 season. Hamilton has attained a number of accomplishments throughout his career, and even called Hank Aaron’s 715th home run.