It’s been a rough week for America’s Favorite Magical Team of Awesomeness and Perfection, relatively speaking, as the Cardinals have dealt with some distractions and injury issues. Recapping it for those of who you find joy in the troubles of others …
- Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez may not have known that the things he “favorites” on Twitter – funny jokes, insightful sabermetric articles, or hardcore pornography – are there for the world, or at least the less scrupled, to see. Deadspin discovered that Martinez had quite a few favorites of the latter group, which led to manager Mike Matheny having to address the team on being quite a bit more thoughtful when using social media. It’s a bit tricky: we want athletes to be able to connect with fans directly and be themselves on social media, but their missteps will be seized upon so instantly and so widely.
- For his part, Martinez simultaneously took responsibility for the embarrassment and apologized … but also said that he was hacked. Unless he was apologizing for lax password security (he wasn’t), then it’s a bit hard to square those things. In the end, if something embarrassing happens to you online these days, it’s pretty much SOP to claim you were hacked, even if it doesn’t really make sense. Oh, also: Matheny said he’s “not trying to shove my morality down anyone’s throat.” Given the nature of the flap, that was some 80 grade word choice.
- Jaime Garcia broke out as a 23-year-old stud for the Cardinals in 2010, and he was arguably even better in 2011, but since then, he’s dealt with arm issues and performance issues. He’s pitched just 29 games in the last two years, and he’s now dealing with additional “shoulder inflammation.” Garcia, who has already had shoulder surgery before, is going to rest, and the Cardinals will just take a wait-and-see approach. Of course, the Cardinals still have an abundance of quality rotation options, so it’s probably not going to be a serious drag, even if Garcia misses significant time.
- Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras (one of the top few prospects in baseball) had serious ankle surgery last August, but he was expected to be ready to go this year. Not quite yet: his manager tells Derrick Goold that Taveras is at about 80%, which isn’t good enough for game action yet. Of course, the Cardinals don’t need Taveras at the outset of 2014 to be a great team, and the outfield already features Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Peter Bourjos, and Jon Jay.
- Trevor Rosenthal, one of the many excellent, young power arms the Cardinals sport – all guys who could be in the rotation, but there isn’t a spot, so the Cards get to use them in the pen (le sigh) – is dealing with a right groin strain. It’s not expected to be serious, and Rosenthal is expected to stick in the bullpen this year anyway. I’m not sure exactly where, but in at least one of these injury story lines, there’s going to be some voodoo magic working its way in.
- So, maybe all of the injury stuff isn’t a big deal. But St. Louis writer Bernie Miklasz says the Cardinals aren’t to be trusted when it comes to injury details these days. The funny part? In reading the way Miklasz characterizes injury optimism, followed by setbacks, followed by surprise surgeries, I am struck at how similar it is to complaints about the Cubs and injuries. Maybe this is just the kind of thing that happens on all teams. If so, we should probably all just stop being optimistic about anything when it comes to injuries. (And now I’m worried that Jake Arrieta’s arm fell off while I was typing.)
- Ozzie Smith is working with Budweiser to try and make Opening Day a national holiday. Ok, so that’s actually not a bad thing (I signed the petition), but it was Cardinal-related, so it wound up here.
- We joked about the Cubs the other day, but the Cardinals had their own TOOTBLAN issues in 2013.