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FSM plans to show Taveras' debut on Christmas

Fox Sports Midwest has announced that it will re-air some of the most exciting St. Louis Cardinals games of the 2014 season on Christmas.

It's the sort of thing they do every year. And it's something I typically look forward to seeing. By the time Christmas rolls around, we've reached about the half way point of the off-season, so it's about time to turn the page on last year and look forward to next season.

One of the games they'll show this year is the debut of longtime top prospect Oscar Taveras who hit a home run in his much-anticipated major league debut. And, as much as I am looking forward to the return of baseball season, I don't know that I am ready to see that.

My mind still can't process the fact that Taveras, so young and full of energy, somehow died just days after the Cardinals bowed out of the playoffs.

While I actively struggled with the loss for a couple of weeks after it happened, I guess I have been able to live in denial with baseball out of sight and out of mind over the winter. It's only moments like this when I am reminded of last season it bubbles back to the surface.

It just doesn't make sense, as we waited for Taveras for several years to graduate through the ranks of the minor leagues, that he'd disappear nearly as soon as he arrived.

I'm glad to have Jason Heyward on board to take over in right field. But his addition doesn't erase the pain in Cardinals fans' hearts. Nor does it erase the devastating damage done to the franchise.

Not only do we face the possibility that Heyward could leave after only one season in St. Louis while Taveras was under team control for several years. But it cost the club the Taveras of its pitching staff, longtime top hurling prospect Shelby Miller in trade.

The beginning of baseball season is one of the things I look forward to the most every year. But this year the approach of spring is bitter sweet. And thinking about Taveras' debut reminds me how fresh the wound still is.

I don't think I will ever get the image of Taveras hitting his first home run, as big and gentle rain drops fell, and the smile on his face as he realized his life-long dream.