Sunday, July 12, 2015


I am going to take care of a couple of writing needs with this post:

  • I did not write up anything about the All-Star game this year
  • It's Sunday night headed into Monday Morning which means it's #MyCardMonday time
  • I wanted to write something nice about Carlos Martinez
  • I went to another baseball game yesterday, of the Durham Bulls variety and I swore I was not going to write up the game, but was tempted after Boog Powell made an incredible catch.  
So much to write about and one post to do it.  Here goes my best effort.

It's probably taken you a few seconds to read through that bulleted list of items I had running through my mind while considering what to write about, but let's get rid of the last bullet point first.  I really want a Boog Powell, not the Orioles guy, card.  However, he only has minor league cards and I have none of them.  My son and I stopped by the Bulls shop hopping to find a 2015 set of Bulls cards.  None there.  Here's the catch, but Boog is not my choice for #MyCardMonday.  Maybe next week, watch the video.....

Now that I have Boog checked off the list I have three more bullet points left to check off.  I am going to spend them all on Carlos Martinez and his appearance on the All-Star team this year.  I fear this is going to sound teachery.  It's my day job and I have to write nice things about my students some days.  I etched this point out in my mind, adding this paragraph to it, but feel like this sounds like a nice letter home about effort, meeting a goal, or something else positive that could catch my eye during the day.  Students do great things all of the time and I try to take time to capture them in words at time.  Teachery.  

This week's #MyCardMonday is this awesome Carlos Martinez card:

I decided to pick a Carlos Martinez card this week.  The Cardinals pitcher is headed to the All-Star game in Cincinnati after winning the Final Vote Contest held between a handful of other players.  I felt a kindred spirit with my fellow Cardinals fans a few days ago when I spent part of my day tweeting out #VoteTsunami.  Carlos posted out a short video in the morning encouraging fans to #VoteTsunami and had plenty of support from other teammates on the Cardinals who were hoping to push the young starting pitching onto the All-Star team.  

I am not sure it really mattered to me if Carlos had made the All-Star game.  Sure, it's a nice bonus and a great thing to add to the old piece of cardboard.  All-Star game or not, this season has been a smashing success for Tsunami.   When the season started there was a lot of doubt surrounding Carlos entering the Cardinals starting rotation.  He was a pretty good relief pitcher for the club the past few years, but there was definitely a lot of inconsistency within his appearances.  Fans questioned his focus and ability.  

The trade of Shelby Miller, and his success with the Braves, certainly did not help the rumblings with Cardinals fans. There was a lot of doubt at the beginning of this season.  Certain members of the St. Louis press corp really did not help matters and started calling for the end of the Carlos Martinez as a starting pitcher.  

Interestingly after the above tweet, Martinez reeled off three consecutive scoreless starts in May against the Mets, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers.  In fact, since May 17th Martinez is 7-1 and has dropped his ERA from 4.08 to 2.52.  The Cardinals have only lost on of his starts since since May 17th too.  That only loss occurred against the Twins and Martinez still pitched into the sixth inning of the game and only gave up one run.  

It's been amazing to sit back and watch Carlos this year.  As a Cardinals fan I have watched a 23 year old pitcher go from being an unknown commodity, who seemed to lack confidence, to a player who could potentially be the cornerstone of the Cardinals for some time.  It's not an unusual thing to see in baseball, but it's surprising to see in such a short time during the course of a single season.  

While there may be a few people who might owe Carlos an apology for the doubt at the beginning of the year, Mr. Strauss has not been able to man up yet, the overwhelming majority of Cardinals fans have been blown away by the growth and maturity shown by Carlos this season.  Let's add in one more factor to the success experienced this season by Carlos.  

Prior to this season Carlos Martinez changed his number to 18 and dedicated his season to his close personal friend Oscar Taveras.  I am not here to offer an editorial on Oscar Taveras, but sometimes these types of motivating factors work for people, other times they do not.  In keeping with his promise to dedicate his season to Taveras, Martinez tweeted out a picture of the two in announcing his winning of the Final Vote.  

I am proud of everything that Carlos Martinez has accomplished this season.  He has made huge leaps forward and I am excited to see what the future holds for Tsunami.  I happy that he plays for my favorite team and also that I own several nice baseball cards of the rising star.  (Scroll back up and look at baseball card).  Have a great week.  

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