Blog: July 2014

July 2, 2014. Taveras used his third finish, this time swinging a Gwynn Chandler bat.

July 4, 2014. Independence Day usually means ugly caps, and today was no exception. Just when you thought these "stars and strips" lids couldn't get any worse, New Era puts the logo inside a flag-filled star. Ugh... The Cardinals and other MLB teams today wore a special patch honoring the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" speech. The Cards wore it on the front of their jerseys on the right side. I understand it was attached with adhesive and removed after the game, so don't expect to see those jerseys auctioned for charity.

July 5, 2014. Make it six different kinds of Nnwyg-finished bats for Matt Adams this season. Today, he broke out a BWP bat. He may not be loyal to any one brand, but he sure likes that black handle, natural barrel look.

July 6, 2014. Noticed Taveras using a natural Marucci bat briefly today. I'm pretty sure it was a Jon Jay model.

July 8, 2014. Taveras switched bats again, using a natural Dinger bat tonight. To my knowledge, he's the first Redbird to ever use a Dinger, which is made in Southern Illinois (Ridgeway)... Martinez came to the plate with a natural Chandler bat. Pretty certain it was one of Taveras' bats.

July 10, 2014. Audry Perez made his 2014 debut wearing the same #63 as last season. He swung a black Louisville Slugger... Cruz used a black Marucci.

July 11, 2014. Jay was swinging a Walker-finished Marucci, while Joe Kelly used a Walker-finished Chandler bat... Greenwood wielded a black Tucci model, his fourth kind of bat during his short career.

July 13, 2014. George Kottaras made his Cardinals debut wearing #59. He swung a black Louisville Slugger.

July 15, 2014. No Cardinals batted in the All-Star Game. Wainwright and Neshek both pitched. For the first time ever, MLB made the players wear special caps for the game instead of their normal team lids. Big mistake, unless you a fan of trucker's caps. Woof.

July 18, 2014. John Jay opened the second half using a black Marucci. Jay has remained loyal to Marucci this season, but now has used five different finishes (natural, black, Walker, Gwynn and Nnywg). So, he's officially the opposite of Matt Adams, who has used just one finish, but swung six different companies' bats (Marucci, Rawlings, Axis, Chandler, Max Bat and BWP).

July 20, 2014. This may be my favorite equipment-related GIF of the season. Check out the paint chips flying from Tony Cruz's catcher's mask after being hit by a foul tip... What's wrong with this picture? This Albert Pujols X-Bat -- complete with the flag decal -- sold for $1,331, while this 2007 Pujols Marucci bat barely topped $900. Longtime readers of this blog know I wouldn't touch an early X-Bat, especially one with the flag on the handle. So, why did it beat out the Marucci in Goldin's recent auction? Maybe it's because the LOA says it was "used by Pujols" while the Marucci's letter says, "Use by Pujols cannot be confirmed." If you ask me, that 2007 Marucci is an almost perfect specimen; I wouldn't give you a dime for the X-Bat. Other contributing factors could be the auction listing, in which the Marucci was mis-labeled as a 2010 S326 model bat (it's a 2007 CB15B model); and the LOA, which calls it a 2010 Louisville Slugger S326 (but has a photo of a Marucci bat). Sloppy work by PSA/DNA and Goldin may have cost this bat's consigner good money.

July 25, 2014. The Cardinals have signed A.J. Pierzynski and released George Kottaras. Pierzynski will wear #35. Am I the only one who wishes Marc Rzepczynski was still around to pitch to Pierzynski? The only thing better would be hearing Harry Caray trying to pronounce that battery... On Sunday, the Cubs and Cards will play a 1978 throwback game. The Cubs announced they will wear their infamous reverse-pinstripe unis -- baby blue shirts with white stripes. That was their road uniform in '78, but they'll be wearing it at home. Since both teams can't wear the same colors, the Cards won't be wearing their Victory Blue '78 jerseys. Instead, they'll wear gray. How messed up is that? The home team is wearing a road jersey, the visiting team will wear a jersey that technically didn't exist, and we'll have the visual feast of powder blue vs. gray. This will not be pretty.

July 26, 2014. A.J. Pierzynski made his Cardinals debut wearing Jake Westbrook's old #35. He swung a black Louisville Slugger with what appears to be white handle tape covered in bright red tar. His chest protector and shin guards were both navy; don't know if that's temporary equipment or something he brought from Boston... The team wore a temporary patch on the jersey's right chest to commemorate the National Baseball Hall of Fame's 75th anniversary.

July 27, 2014. The Cards wore their faux 1978 throwbacks against the Cubs today. As noted on Friday, since the Cubs elected to wear their 1978 road uniform at home, the Cards were forced to don gray uniforms, which is not consistent with the Victory Blue color they wore on the road in '78. It turns out that the throwbacks didn't look much different than the team's current road uniforms, except for the jersey style (pullover) and the uniform trim. The jerseys had the typical issues -- the white trim was too wide, the NOB font was too tall, and the MLB and Majestic logos were out of place. Otherwise, not a terrible look... A.J.Pierzynski's gear, it turns out, is neither temporary nor brought from Boston. According to the Post-Dispatch, Nike sent new gear to A.J.

July 29, 2014. A.J. Pierzynski was wearing red gear tonight in San Diego instead of the navy gear he wore in Chicago. Maybe someone told Nike that the Cardinals now typically wear red caps and accents on the road, not navy.

July 30, 2014. Justin Masterson is now a Redbird, coming over in exchange for minor league outfielder James Ramsey. Masterson has worn #63 in Cleveland. Audry Perez currently is assigned those digits, but he's back in Memphis.

July 31, 2014. Oscar Taveras has been using a natural Marucci bat lately. Today, we learned it wasn't his. When a clear shot of his bat barrel was visible on television, even commentators mentioned he was using one of Seth Maness' bats. They joked about the bat "having a lot of hits left in it." While baseball fans get the joke, truth is, the bat is identical to the one Albert Pujols once used in St. Louis -- the Maurccu AP5-M model... The block-buster trade that sends Craig and Kelly to Boston brings John Lackey to town. Lackey has always worn #41, which is Pat Neshek's number.