Blog: May 2007

May 1, 2007. After switching to the black Sam Bat on April 15, Pujols hit .315 (17-54) with 5 HR. For the rest of April, he hit .273 and 1 HR with the natural Sam and was 0-16 combined using Max Bat, LS and Marucci... Local news last night showed Josh Hancock's jerseys folded and stacked, ready to be shipped to Josh's family in Mississippi. The family also will receive the last baseball thrown by Josh on Saturday... Miles was using an M9 instead of his usual LS ash.

May 2, 2007. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is tracking Pujols' homeruns in detail this season; here's the link... Wilson's black ash LS didn't have its typical handle tape... Reyes knows how to wear his pants and socks.

May 4, 2007. The Hancock memorial patch is, indeed, on the right sleeve of the home jersey... Wilson wore the pants high and let the striped stirrups show, a la Reyes... Molina is taping the handle of his X-Bat again.

May 5, 2007. Cards lose 13-0, Carp's on the shelf three months and Albert's hit streak has ended. Nothing much to say, really.

May 6, 2007. Ryan Ludwick was called up and started in right; he wore #47. Brian Falkenborg also was called up; he's wearing #40... Ludwick used three different bats: a black Rawlings, a natural Rawlings (with a blue ring) and a black Sam Bat... Albert finally stopped using the black Sam Bat in favor of a natural Sam. The run of black Sam Bats (he's used them exclusively since 4/15) is one of the longer ones in memory... Edmonds used a natural LS ash bat with a very unEdmonds-like tape job. It's the first time I've even seen him use a natural bat with the Cards. Used it for only one appearance. I sometimes think these guys do things like this just to see if I'm paying attention... My wife snagged a ball during BP before the game. OK, so it was just rolling on the ground and she was closer than anyone, but a ball is a ball. My son was impressed. Happy birthday, Michael!

May 7, 2007. Nothing new on the bat or jersey front tonight... The first of the Jackie Robinson Day jerseys have been auctioned on MLB.com. Taguchi's shirt sold for $1,660, beating out Duncan's jersey at $1,210. Others sold included Kennedy ($795), Franklin ($650), Bennett ($591), Wells ($570), coach Marty Mason ($440) and bullpen catcher Jeff Murphy ($435). Another batch of jerseys is online now, including Pujols' shirt, which already has surpassed $2,500... Several of the Civil Rights Game jerseys also are being auctioned on MLB.com.

May 8, 2007. Rumors that the Cards will wear a Turn Back the Clock (TBC) jersey in San Diego on Friday are gaining some credibility. The Pads are having "Retro Night" and announced previously they'd be wearing shirts circa 1973. Now, Majestic throwbacks for the Cardinals are showing up on eBay. They're gray knit pullovers with round collars, similar to the 1971 jersey. Majestic wouldn't be making these for no reason; surely they're tied to a TBC event. Stay tuned... Couldn't get a good look at Brad Thompson's bat tonight because he swung early and had only one plate appearance. Could have been a natural LS M9 or ash. Hope to see it better in his next start.

May 9, 2007. It's official -- the Cards will wear TBC jerseys on Friday. Majestic's site that confirms it. Also note the Cards will wear 1982 TBC jerseys on 8/14 in Milwaukee... In my April 14 blog, I noted the many types of jerseys the Cards are wearing this season. I left one out -- the Cool Base jersey. Introduced last season, the Cool Base shirts are made of a different fabric (similar to the BP jerseys) and have different tagging. You can spot them in use by their telltale underarm vent. Being a warm day, I decided to see who was wearing the Cool Base today. Kennedy, Duncan, Edmonds, Miles, Bennett, Schumaker, Flores, Falkenborg and Wainwright all donned the Cool Base jersey. Pujols was among those who did not.

May 10, 2007. According to the Cardinals Web site, eight team members will swing pink LS bats on Sunday to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Select game-used bats, as well as team-autographed bats from every club, will be auctioned on MLB.com at a later date. Here's an excerpt from the article: "The Cardinals who are tentatively planning to participate are Adam Kennedy, David Eckstein, Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and Skip Schumaker. Outfielder Preston Wilson had also signed up to join in, but is currently on the 15-day disabled list. Molina was the only Cardinal to receive his bat so far, because he uses a different style bat than the others. Clubhouse manager Rip Rowan said he was expecting the other bats to come in soon, and would distribute them before the club's West Coast road trip."

May 11, 2007. There's just no nice way to say this: The throwback unis worn by the Cards tonight were terrible. Let's count the ways. First, the birds on bat (BOB) were not chain stitched directly onto the jersey -- it was a lousy retail patch. I can't believe they opted for a damn patch. Blasphemy. Second, it was the current BOB logo, not the scrawny birds you'd have seen in '71. Third, the numbers on the front were too small; again, they used the current style. Fourth, the shirts were much too baggy. Has anyone at Majestic ever seen photos from the '70s? Those unis were form-fitting. Fifth, the waistband on the pants was too wide. Sixth, they wore pajama pants. C'mon, where were the stirrups and sanitary socks? Seventh, the names on the back were the wrong font/style. I could go on, but my head might explode. What did they do right? Well, the round collar was appropriate and the light shade of gray was a decent match. The colors on the banding also appeared in the correct sequence. And the names on back were direct stitched, not plated. Otherwise, ugh! Majestic should be ashamed for cutting corners and being lazy. Rawlings would have never pulled this crap. I suspect Majestic took the cheap way out so they could make lower-cost retail jerseys and sell them at chain-stitched, authentic jersey prices. Whatever the reason, there's just no good excuse for the dime-store unis Majestic whipped up for this retro game. The only way it could be worse? Having to wear the Padres' unis.

May 12, 2007. Check out Eckstein's jersey sleeve. There's no Majestic logo under the 32 patch. It's the first time I've noticed a Cardinals player without the sleve logo since the switch to Majestic in 2003. Wonder what the story is with that? Thanks to one of my readers for the tip... Molina was swinging a different bat tonight. Still an X-Bat, but it had a thin, white line around the handle. The all-black bat also had a wider white band, but I suspect that was tape. He often tops off his black handle tape with a band of white.

May 13, 2007. Of the eight players who received pink bats, only three actually used them. Kennedy, Edmonds and Rolen stuck with the pink bats the whole game. Kennedy's was covered in pine tar and Edmonds' bat had his typical tape job (though the tape might have been a bit wider than normal). Several players also sported pink wrist bands and most (if not all) players had a pink ribbon on their uni fronts... The second round of Jackie Robinson Day jerseys ended on MLB.com tonight. The Pujols shirt drew 65 bids and a final price of $10,170. Other jerseys included Carpenter ($1,020), Molina ($1,010), Springer ($380), Schumaker ($370) and coach Joe Pettini ($310).

May 14, 2007. I failed to mention yesterday that Encarnacion used a black Sam Bat in his 2007 debut. Tonight, he was using a black ash LS... Thompson is using a natural LS M9... Eckstein's jersey is still missing the Majestic logo on the sleeve... Pujols must be searching for a "slump buster" -- he whipped out the natural Marucci bat again tonight. The bat has more pine tar on the upper handle than is typical for Albert.

May 15, 2007. Pujols' two hits with the Marucci bat were his first hits all season with a brand other than Sam Bat, and his first hits since 4/11 with something other than a black Sam... Jimenez used a natural LS M9 for his first MLB at-bat. It had "41" on the knob, so it probably was Looper's model... Ludwick broke the blue-ring Rawlings bat he's been using. Maybe now he can get one with a red ring like his teammates... Eckstein's jersey is still sans logo on the sleeve... Bummed that Taguchi didn't get to bat against against Joe Beimel. I'd bet a matchup between #99 and #97 would be some kind of record.

May 16, 2007. You never would have seen this during the skin-tight, pullover knit era. Notice how the force of the ball caused the tag to be exposed... Still no sleeve logo for Eck... Taguchi faced Joe Beimel in the 7th inning, creating the much anticipated #99 vs. #97 matchup... If you're making your first visit because of the UniWatch link, welcome!

May 18, 2007. If this drubbing had a bright spot, it was Pujols going 4-4 with a HR. He's looking locked in lately. Used a black Sam Bat all night... Eckstein's jersey had a Majestic logo on the sleeve. He hit so well in LA with the san-logo shirt, I thought he might keep wearing it... Encarnacion used a black LS M9 for the first time this season... Todd Wellemeyer was activated but didn't play. He's listed on the Cardinals' site as #37. It'll look odd to see someone other than Suppan wearing those digits.

May 19, 2007. Not much to report concerning this game. Wellemeyer did make an appearance, and he is wearing #37. The uniform number database has been updated.

May 20, 2007. With two more hits today, Pujols is hitting .400 with black Sam Bats in May. He hitting just .100 with other bats... The jerseys worn in the Civil Rights Game vs. Cleveland were auctioned on MLB.com, ending this past Friday. So Taguchi's shirt fetched the highest amount at an even grand. Next came LaRussa at $610. A trio of jerseys -- Rolen's, Edmonds' and Eckstein's -- sold for just shy of $600 each. A few jerseys didn't even attract minimum bids of $250-300. Pujols' jersey was not offered. Maybe it was the plain design, or maybe it was because it was a pre-season game, but the bidding on these jerseys was less-than-spirited.

May 22, 2007. Rolen has made the switch from LS to Mizuno tonight. Not that there's a connection, but he was 2-3 with a sac fly, which was nice to see... Wellemeyer had his first plate appearance with the Redbirds; used a natural LS M9. Couldn't make out the number on the knob, but it didn't look like Todd's #37. Looked more like #48, which is possible since Thompson uses the same model.

May 23, 2007. Noticed Kennedy using a natural LS M9 tonight, a departure from his typical ash bat... Seven more jerseys from Jackie Robinson Day have been auctioned on MLB.com. LaRussa's shirt led the way with a bid of $2,020. Other prices realized included: Rolen $930; Izzy $790; Reyes $665; Miles $561.20; McRae $498; and McKay $415.

May 24, 2007. Was at the game today and saw several bats for sale at Busch's Authentics Store. A cracked Duncan, apparently from his first season (#62 on the knob), sold for $400. An uncracked Spiezio sold for $300. A Carpenter in two pieces sold for $300. Unsold bats included a Rolen for $500, a Kennedy for $200, a badly cracked Wilson for $200, a couple Encarnacion bats for $200 each, a Miles for $150, and a Bennett bat (from his Washington Nationals days) for $150.

May 25, 2007. I was surfing eBay today and stumbled across an autographed player bat from Crown Bat Company. That's when I had an "eureka" moment -- the Crown label is what I saw on those mystery Preston Wilson bats earlier this season. Though it's hard to tell from my screen capture, I'm sure it's the same label... Albert switched to a natural Sam Bat tonight, driving a HR and two singles in three ABs... At the Cardinals Care auction, a signed Duncan game-used bat (broken in two) sold for $165; a Pujols barrel from 2004 (no knob, shattered handle, not signed) sold for at least $500 (it may have gone higher after I left).

May 26, 2007. With two singles in his first two ABs, Pujols had five straight hits since switching to the natural Sam Bat. He hasn't struck out in a week.

May 27, 2007. Troy Cate was called up and Anthony Reyes was sent to Memphis. Cate's wearing #46, which is kind of ironic since a recent #46, Jason Simontacchi, was watching from the Nationals' dugout... With three more hits, Pujols has pushed his average to .302. He's still using a natural Sam Bat, but it's a different one than he used on Saturday when he grounded into double plays in his last two ABs.

May 28, 2007. The Cards wore flags on their road caps today for Memorial Day. The flags seemed to be positioned closer to the front than in times past, about where the bill meets the cap. If looking at the cap from above with the logo at 6 o'clock, the flag normally is at 3 o'clock, above the left ear. Today, the flags looked closer to 4 o'clock. Albert must have been having problems with his flag. I noticed he didn't have one at all in the 4th inning. In the 5th and 6th, a flag was visible, but it was low and behind his ear. In the 7th inning, it was gone again. Sometimes, that adhesive isn't reliable.

May 29, 2007. What appears to be the final batch of Cardinals Jackie Robinson Day jerseys has been auctioned on MLB.com. Eckstein's shirt sold for $920, followed by Edmonds at $750, Spiezio at $530, Wainwright at $460, Flores at $410, Thompson at $389 and Johnson at $376... Rolen has gone back to Louisville Slugger... Ludwick is using another blue-ring Rawlings.

May 30, 2007. Brian Esposito, called up from AAA to replace Molina on the roster, is wearing #35. With all the player movement this season, numbers are beginning to run low. When you remove the retired numbers, the quasi-retired numbers (25, 51 and 57) and the digits "reserved" for former players who are injured or in AAA (30 for Mulder, 49 for Ankiel, 52 for Kinney, 53 for Rodriguez and likely 60 for Narveson), you're left with 13 (last worn by Vizcaino in '06), 19 (Perez in '06) and 33 (Bigbie in '06). After that, the first available number is 62.

May 31, 2007. Pujols has demonstrated a strong preference for Sam Bat in 2007. Two months into the season, he's used Sam for 87 percent of his plate appearances (PA). Sixty percent of the time, he used the black Sam; in 27 percent of PAs, it was natural Sam. The only other bat he used in May was a natural Marucci; he's used that bat in slightly more than 6 percent of PAs this season. The only other bats he's used are a natural LS M9 (3 PAs) and a two-toned Max Bat (11 PAs/5 percent)... For the season, Albert is hitting .329 with Sam Bat, .080 with other brands (.000 with LS and Max, .154 with Marucci).