Sunday, September 7, 2014

McBrayer-Baseball Comes to an End

I have some bad news and some good news. After five years of reporting MLB news, interviews and Cardinal chatter I decided to close down this website due to some technical problems I am having with Blogger. The good news is we are moving over to the MLB website. I have changed the name to  I am hoping that all of my readers from near and far will continue to be a part of my website. All articles and pictures associated with McBrayer-Baseball has been transferred over to Cardinal Red Baseball. I will keep McBrayer-Baseball open  for two more weeks in order for everyone to get this message. Thanks again for all your support!

So have a ball! at Cardinal Red Baseball!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cardinals Grab George Kottaras

Well I am not sure this is the answer to Yadi Molina being out due to  his surgery. Today the Cardinals claimed veteran catcher George Kottaras  off waivers from the Indians.
Kottaras has low batting averages and struggles to throw out base-stealers, but his combination of power and plate discipline is elite among catchers and his career .741 OPS is well above average for the position. He’s never topped 250 plate appearances in a season, so at age 31 he’s unlikely to thrive as a regular, but the Cardinals should be able to get decent production from Kottaras playing him a few times per week. He’s topped a .700 OPS every season since 2010, posting a combined .330 on-base percentage and .420 slugging percentage during that time. I believe the Cardinals are still searching.

source MLB

Joe Kelly Activated

Looks like our pitching is about to get better once again and just in time for the slumping Brewers. The Cardinals  have activated right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly (left hamstring) from the 60-day disabled list and optioned left-handed pitcher Tyler Lyons to Memphis (AAA).  The team also announced that pitcher Jaime Garcia has been transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.
Kelly, who was leading the National League with his 0.59 ERA at the time of his injury on April 16, is scheduled to start tonight’s series opener in Milwaukee.  The 26-year-old Kelly made three injury-rehabilitation starts for Memphis – the most recent this past Sunday (July 6).
Kelly won five straight starts and eight consecutive decisions from July 12 to Sept. 6 last season during the Cardinals second half run and he finished third amongst all Major League pitchers in ERA (1.97) in games played after June 1.

Would the Cardinals Trade for Jose Molina?

If you didn't know the Cardinals was hit with a big blow last night. Yadier Molina had suffered a torn thumb ligament that will require surgery. He was put on the 15 day DL but will be expected to be out for eight to twelve weeks. The leader of the team will be missed. The Cardinals are two games behind the Brewers and now we are in much need for offense. In order to fill a spot on the roster for another catcher the Cardinals called up Audry Perez. Some of the names I keep reading about that could possibly be on the Cardinals radar are A.J Pierzynski in which the Redsox has put on designated assignment. I believe that the Cardinals want nothing to do with Pierzynski. Another name is John Buck in which the Cards would have interest in or Kurt Suzuki. Well I came across a tweet from Buster Olney....."It'll be interesting to see if the Cardinals consider another Molina -- Jose -- as they search for an alternative to Yadier. TB will listen." Jose Molina doesn't have the offense that his brother brings to this team but he does exceptionally well in defense and calling a game. So would the Cardinals consider Jose? The Cardinals would have Tony Cruz as the starting catcher with Jose as the backup but when Yadi comes back I would imagine that Cruz would be the odd man out. We would also have Jose with us for the 2015 season too. This could also be a good trade between the Cardinals too. They Rays could package Ben Zobrist, Jose Molna and David Price for some of our minor league players plus Allen Craig. Well, just a suggestion but I really do like the idea of having Jose Molina.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cardinals in Talks with Redsox for Peavy

Last year around this time the Cardinals were looking  at Jake Peavy but he was with the Whitesocks. Well here we go again. This time it sounds serious, this is what they are saying......
Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston and Jayson Stark of are both reporting that the Cardinals are talking to the Red Sox about veteran starter Jake Peavy, and according to Stark a deal “could happen quick.” and here is Jon Paul Morosi report....that Ken Rosenthal suggests Allen Craig would be of interest to the RedSox but I would love to see a much bigger deal. With the Redsox in fifth place with a 39-50 record they will also try ton trade off Burke Badenhop, Jonny Gomes and AJ Pierzyniski.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Ten Unknown Facts about Lou Gehrig

The other day I was able to catch a movie I haven't seen in a long time "The Pride of the Yankees". I still find this Gary Cooper classic a great baseball movie. What In like about this movie is that Gary Cooper looks so much like Lou Gehrig and the actual Babe Ruth played himself. Most experts still consider Lou Gehrig to be the greatest first baseman of all-time. During his 16-year career, he hit 493 home runs, 163 triples, 534 doubles and had 2,721 hits total. His career batting average was .340. He also batted left and threw left. When I told my son Gabe he was a lefty, he decided to join me to watch the rest of the movie. Well I came across some unknown facts  of the Iron Horse, I hope you enjoy.

Gehrig was the only one of four children to survive past infancy in the Gehrig family
Born Heinrich Ludwig Gehrig (later Americanized) at a whopping 14 pounds, Lou was the only one of four children to survive past infancy.  His mother Christina quoted, “”He’s the only big egg I have in my basket.”
Lou was a fullback on the football team at Columbia and majored in Engineering
Gehrig actually went to Columbia on a football scholarship.  There he played both football and baseball and dreamed of surveying and building in the West.
Gehrig’s mother was the cook/housekeeper for the New York Delta (Columbia) Chapter of Phi Delta Theta and his dad was the occasional handyman.
Despite being recruited by 24 universities for his athletic aptitude, Lou’s mother made it very simple for him to choose Columbia University – she had been working in the Phi Delt (New York Delta) house as cook/housekeeper since Gehrig’s high school beginnings, and his father was the occasional handyman.  Lou would help his mother with many of the chores around the house.
The Yankees practically tried giving Gehrig away to the Red Sox, but they were turned down
In early 1925, the Yankees offered to trade Gehrig to the Boston Red Sox for first baseman Phil Todt to repay Boston for the blockbuster Babe Ruth trade a few years earlier. The Red Sox turned the Yankees down.
In 1927, teammates Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth out-homered every team in baseball except one
Ruth and Gehrig began to dominate the baseball headlines in 1927 in a way two players had never done before. That year Ruth hit 60 homers and Gehrig hit 47, more than anyone other than Ruth had ever hit. Together they out-homered every team in baseball except one. To put this achievement into perspective, the top two homerun hitters in 2011 hit a combined total of 84 homeruns, a level every Major League Baseball team surpassed.  Gehrig didn’t get nearly as much attention as Babe Ruth during the year, but in true Gehrig fashion stated, “Babe Ruth has a pretty big shadow, it gives me lots of room to spread myself.”
During Gehrig’s 2,130-game playing streak, he suffered 17 fractures in his hands
Lou set a record by playing in a consecutive streak of 2,130 professional baseball games throughout his career, despite 17 fractures in his hands, being beaned several times, having severe back pain and suffering various other illnesses and minor injuries. Gehrig’s record stood until Cal Ripken, Jr. broke it in 1995.
Gehrig was the first athlete to have his number retired
Upon his retirement from baseball in 1939, the New York Yankees retired his No. 4 jersey. This was the first time a professional sports team retired a jersey. Today, the practice of retiring jerseys numbers is carried out in most sports.  Next time you see a jersey in the rafters, you can turn to your neighbor and ask this trivia bit.
Lou averaged 1 RBI per game during his career
No commentary needed.   This is an unbelievable stat.
After his baseball career and as his health was declining, Gehrig worked to help troubled youths
Although his career in baseball was over and his health was on a steady decline, Gehrig began work in the community. Mayor Fiorelli LaGuardia asked him to join the Parole Board, where he could help troubled youths.  One of those youths that Gehrig helped was Rocky Graziano, who ended up in the Boxing Hall of Fame.
A World War II ship was named after Gehrig
In 1943, during World War II, a Liberty ship was named after legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig. The Merchant Marine troop transport ship carried 480 men and 120 vehicles. One year later it was involved in Operation Neptune. On Gehrig’s birthday the ship landed in Normandy, 13 days after D-Day.
Source: Steve Good, PHI THETA DELTA

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Four Cardinals Going to the All-Star Game

I was in much surprise to see one of the Cardinals bullpen guys to be called to the All-Star Game in Minneapolis. What a dominate figure Pat Neshek has been with the Cardinals in middle relief. I tend to think he could be a very dominate closer. I know in my household, we love this guy!!! Congrats to Neshek. The other Cardinals announced today was Yadier Molina by fan selection, Adam Wainwright by peer selection and Matt Carpenter by Manager's choice. Once again the Cardinals will be well represented in this years All-Star Game.

Source: MLB

Kolten Wong Activated

  ST. LOUIS, MO (July 6, 2014) – The St. Louis Cardinals activated infielder Kolten Wong prior to
Sunday’s game and optioned outfielder Shane Robinson to Memphis (AAA) following Saturday’s game.
                Wong, who missed 13 games since June 21st with a left shoulder contusion, started at second base in three rehab games at Triple-A Memphis batting .455 (5-11) with a home run and three runs batted in.
                Robinson appeared in eight games since his recall on June 22nd making one start in right field, five pinch-hit appearances and two defensive substitutions.
Media Alert St. Louis Cardinals

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Return of Johnny Damon?

After reading this article on Damon's itch to return to MLB I began to think would the St. Louis Cardinals bring Damon in to be a bat they are desperately needing? Not sure if this could work out but hey it doesn't hurt to fantasize. Here is the article:
Teams looking for a proven hitter to help them down the stretch might want to call Johnny Damon.
The three-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion and five-time .300 hitter is staying in shape, swinging the bat and eager to return to the majors. The 40-year-old Damon last played for Cleveland in 2012, but isn't quite ready for retirement.
"When you feel you can still outhit at least half the league and you don't get that call, it's rough," Damon told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday. "The biggest reason to play is to have a chance to win. Obviously, 3,000 hits would be great but winning is the reason I started playing this game. I'm going to continue to stay in shape and I'll be ready."

Over the next few weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, contending clubs will contemplate dealing prospects to acquire a player they feel will help them make a postseason run. It'll be hard to find someone with Damon's resume available for nothing.
Damon, who is best known for helping the 2004 Boston Red Sox end an 86-year championship drought, has a .284 career average with 235 home runs, 1,139 RBIs and 408 stolen bases. He has 2,769 hits and his lifetime on-base percentage of .352 is higher than every current leadoff hitter this season except Jose Altuve, Coco Crisp, Matt Carpenter, Shin-Soo Choo and Brett Gardner.
Rob Potts, a batting practice pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, ran into Damon last month in Wilmington, Delaware. Damon was there because his number was retired by the Single-A Blue Rocks that night. Potts ended up throwing to Damon for about 15 minutes in the stadium and came away so impressed that he told Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to check him out. The Phillies, who are stuck in last place, signed Grady Sizemore a week later.

Damon looks around the majors and sees 43-year-old Jason Giambi (Cleveland) and 42-year-old Raul Ibanez (Kansas City) hanging around. Carlos Pena, a career .232 hitter, recently signed with Texas and is 3 for 33. Greg Dobbs was 7 for 41 this season for Miami and Washington. Bobby Abreu returned to the majors after sitting out 2013. The 40-year-old was cut by the Phillies in spring training, signed with the Mets and is hitting .274 (26 for 95).
Teams always have a need for a left-handed hitter to pinch-hit, get spot starts in the outfield or be a designated hitter. Yet, Damon hasn't had an offer.
He didn't even get an invitation to spring training after playing for Tampa Bay in 2011. Damon signed with the Indians on April 17, 2012, batted .222 in 64 games and was released on Aug. 9 that year.

"After Cleveland, it seems like everyone said I'm finished," Damon said. "I wanted to go to spring training, see if I have it and if the swing and the body don't come around, walk away with that peace of mind."
Damon said his agent, Scott Boras, hasn't presented him with offers because perhaps they were "too embarrassing." But Damon just wants to play baseball. He participated in his first Old Timers' Game with the Yankees on June 22.
That doesn't compare to October baseball.

source: AP ESPN

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pete Kozma Returns

He'ssssss Back!!!! Welcome back to the fray Pete Kozma!! Lets see what you can do this time around. Here's the media alert that was sent to me.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that pitchers Jaime Garcia (left shoulder inflammation) and Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction) have both been placed on the 15-day disabled list.  Garcia’s move is retroactive to June 21, and Wacha’s is back-dated to June 18. 

In addition, the Cardinals today recalled right-handed pitcher Eric Fornataro and infielder Pete Kozma from Memphis (AAA).  Both players are expected to join the Cardinals in Denver tonight for their series opener against the Colorado Rockies.
Fornataro, 26, was 1-2, with a 3.27 ERA and 4 saves in his 19 games (22.0 IP) for Memphis.  He has enjoyed a solid June, posting a 0.87 ERA and 3 saves in his eight games this month.  The 6-1, 225-pound rookie right-hander debuted for the Cardinals earlier this season, appearing in seven games (7.2 IP).
Kozma, 26, began the season on the Cardinals Opening Day roster, but appeared in just four games (1-for-3; .333 BA) before being optioned to Memphis on April 14.
At Memphis, Kozma has compiled a .234 batting mark (44-for-188) in his 59 games played with 4 home runs and 24 RBI.   Kozma has shown consistent success against left-handers, batting .295 (13-for-44) with a .941 OPS and he continues to excel with runners in scoring position, batting .306 (15-for-49) with 21 of his 24 RBI coming in those situations.  Kozma hit .322 (37-for-115) with runners in scoring position last season while serving as the Cardinals everyday shortstop.
Fornataro wears uniform no. 67 and Kozma wears no. 38.

Source: St. Louis Cardinals.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

United Cardinals Bloggers Annual Dinner

Once again I had a wonderful evening with my fellow Cardinals Bloggers at Joe Bucks Restaurant near Busch Stadium. This evening was a blast for me, not even the thunderstorm rained on my good fortune but I will get to that later. I was able to see and talk with people I know and was able to give some good advice to some of the Bloggers on how to improve their Baseball Blogs. I have to add that the food at Joe Bucks was superb. The highlights for me was meeting Media Relations Director Geoff Goldman. Once I introduced myself he responded with "I know who you are". I was wondering if this was a good thing or bad thing. I soon learned that part of his job was to stay in touch with our Blogs. It was also fun to see that the Fox Sports Midwest Girls showed up for the festivities.
Towards the end of the evening we received the door prizes goodie bag thanks to Rob and Sally Rains. It included a silver color small bat with Matt Carpenter and Yadi Molina's name on it, candy, and headphones with a StlSportsPage pouch. So here is the exciting news. I had bought a raffle ticket for a four tickets to a game that includes a tour of the Fox Sports Midwest Studio. So there could be a chance to meet two of the following.... Pat Parris, Jimmy "The Cat" Hayes, Jim Edmonds, Andy Benes, Tim McCarver, Al Habrosky, Jason Isringhausen and Ricky Horton. I am totally excited about winning these tickets!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Goodbye to Tony Gwynn


In 2009 during the All Star activities at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis I stood in the same room where Tony Gwynn was holding a hitting clinic with all ages of kids that wanted to learn how to hit. At that time my son Gabe was four years old. I tried to get Gabe to go up to him to say hi but he wanted to run the bases. I was just amazed how his energy just transferred over to the children that spent an afternoon of hitting with him. A few times I wanted to go over to talk to him and maybe get an autograph but I didn't. I was just amazed that I was standing in the vicinity of greatness. This morning I found out that Tony Gwynn died of cancer at the age of 54.  What an amazing career he had. He spent twenty years with the Padres and accumulated 15 games All Star appearances. Other accolades included five gold gloves, seven sliver slugger awards, eight batting titles, Branch Rickey Award, Roberto Clemente Award and Lou Gehrig Award. No wonder he is a Hall of Famer. Tony was a student of the game. He studied the pitchers by video tape before that became popular with other MLB teams. He also had the highest career batting average against pitchers. With an minimum of fifty at bats and including postseason here are some stats for some of the pitchers during his career.
.444 John Smoltz
.441 Ron Darling
.415 Greg Maddux
.379 Bryn Smith

Just an amazing talent. My thoughts and prayers  goes out to the Gwynn Family.