Cheap Seats

Cardinals lose to the Red Sox -- and I, mercifully, miss it

Didn't make the trip across the state Monday to watch the St. Louis Cardinals play the Boston Red Sox in Ft. Meyers.

Win or loss, I didn't regret the decision.

I'd rather spend a weekend trapped in an elevator with five Cubs fans, an angry rhino and a person trying adamantly to convert me to their religion that spend three hours listening to Red Sox fans carry on. And that would be the same regardless of the outcome of the 2013 World Series.

But the real truth is that I didn't drive 19 hours to get to Palm Beach to hop back in the car 48 hours later to spend a whole day trekking across the state. My son preferred the pool to six more hours in the back seat. And I can't say that I blame him.

In my early spring training days 20 plus years ago we would go all over the state. We'd sometimes watch two games in the same day, although night spring training games are far less common now than they used to be. There was little time for anything else. Now, with a family in tow, that doesn't cut it anymore.

Of course, the Redbirds' play on the field made me feel better about skipping the drive. St. Louis pitching got pounded for 10 runs while the Birds batsmen could only put up five tallies. It wouldn't have been worth it to try to talk reason into Bawston fans by pointing out in was a meaningless exhibition game.

When you've won two World Series in 95 years, you tend to savor every success.

The only real bright spot of the day came in Kolten Wong's three hits in four at-bats. Was he just toying with us during his lousy start? Wong is now batting .394 for the spring.

I still believe the Cardinals' biggest hole is the second spot in the batting order, especially if Peter Bourjos gets the bulk of the playing time in centerfield. Bourjos with his .306 career on-base percentage doesn't justify a spot at the top of the batting order. In the long run I like Oscar Tavares for that spot. But his lingering ankle injury doesn't seem like that's going to be a possibility any time soon. 

If Wong keeps hitting might he be able to hit leadoff and let Matt Carpenter move to second in the order. I really like Carpenter's combination of getting on base and hitting a lot of doubles for the two slot if the Birds are able to find a guy who can fill his shoes in the leadoff hole.