May 9: Cardinals (19-12) @ Pirates (14-16)
Some of my best baseball memories came from my mom.
Of course, there is the story she tells so proudly about how she dove over three people to grab a foul ball and then yelled at the people piled on top of her to get off because she wasn’t letting go. I can’t completely vouch for the veracity of the story since I was walking around Comiskey Park with my sister trying to find blue cotton candy while this happened. But I will say, mom did have the ball when we returned.
For whatever reason, Mom tolerated my infatuation for baseball when I was a kid. And yes, sometimes I could be extreme. She provided me with all the notebooks I ever needed to keep score. She began a library of videotapes of games I asked her to record — She still has every game from the ’95, ’96 and ’99 World Series’ on VHS. She has Mark McGwire’s 62nd and Cal Ripken’s 2,131st in the archive, too.
Mom agreed to the family vacations to old Busch Stadium, Veterans Stadium, Wrigley Field, Riverfront Stadium and Cooperstown. She even encouraged me to convince my fourth grade teacher that for our “pirates” unit in school, I should do my project not on Blackbeard or Captain Kid, but on the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It worked. I still have the project as proof.
Most importantly, though, Mom encouraged me to pursue my dream of covering baseball. Maybe it’s because she’s my Mom, but she always believed in me. And for that I am truly thankful.
Mom, thanks for everything you’ve done to mold me into the person I am. Happy Mother’s Day. And I hope your Chicago White Sox can give you a win today.
Also wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all other moms out there.
TODAY’S NEWS AND NOTES:
- Right-hander Jeff Karstens will move to the bullpen for the time being, meaning that Brian Burres will remain in the rotation. Burres will make his next start on Friday in Chicago. Karstens can give the Pirates length in the ‘pen, though Russell emphasized that Karstens’ versatility will allow for him to be used in a variety of roles.
- With Karstens moving to the bullpen, you can expect Brian Bass to be sent down tomorrow to make room for Ross Ohlendorf to come off the DL.
- The Pirates will eventually have to make another pitching decision when Brendan Donnelly comes off the DL, though the Pirates don’t expect that to be until the next homestand. Donnelly played catch on Sunday and is progressing. He still needs to throw a few side sessions and maybe in a simulated game, though, before the Pirates activate him. That means he will not be ready when he’s eligible to come off on Thursday.
- Right-hander Chris Jakubauskas has had a little bit of a setback on Friday when he began experiencing some more dizziness after doing some exercises. He is going to see a doctor again and will continue to take things very slowly.
- After going 24-52 against teams from the NL Central last year, the Pirates have gotten off to a 9-8 start against division foes this season. A win on Sunday would give the club a fourth series win over a team in the Central.
- The Pirates have gone 3-1 in their first four series at home this year, which is the team’s best start at home since going 3-0-2 in the first five series of the ’94 season.
- Matt Holliday remains out of the Cardinals’ lineup still with a slight groin strain.
- In support of the MLB and Susan G. Komwn for the Cure program that raises breast cancer awareness, you’re going to see all sorts of pink around the ballpark today. All players will be wearing pink phiten titanium necklaces, pink wristbands and pink ribbons on their uniforms. Lastings Milledge, Steve Pearce and Paul Maholm will wear pink batting gloves. Nine players — Bobby Crosby, Jason Jaramillo, Ryan Church, Andy LaRoche, Delwyn Young, Aki Iwamura, Garrett Jones, Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno — will swing pink bats.
- Aki Iwamura (2B)
- Andy LaRoche (3B)
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Garrett Jones (RF)
- Ryan Doumit (C)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Jeff Clement (1B)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Paul Maholm (LHP)
- Joe Mather (CF)
- Ryan Ludwick (LF)
- Albert Pujols (1B)
- David Freese (3B)
- Yadier Molina (C)
- Nick Stavinoha (RF)
- Brendan Ryan (SS)
- Adam Wainwright (RHP)
- Tyler Greene (2B)
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