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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

New I-40 Cup to recognize Cardinals-Brewers Triple-A annual winner

As National League Central Division rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers play frequently. In fact, it is almost one-tenth of the season – 15 times in 2012. That does not include the possibility of the post-season, where the two clubs met in last year’s Championship Series.

Their Triple-A clubs, the Memphis Redbirds and Nashville Sounds, also compete in the same division as each other, the American Northern Division of the Pacific Coast League. They are even more familiar with the other club than are their parents with each other. The PCL rivals meet 16 times this year – on a 144-game schedule.

In a move acknowledging and celebrating the cross-state rivalry, the two Tennessee competitors have created an I-40 Cup Series to commemorate their season results.

The winning club in the season-long series will take possession of the two-foot tall I-40 Cup and possess bragging rights for the next 12 months. Charity wins either way, as the loser of the series will donate 25 tickets to the winner’s charity of choice.

Nashville leads the all-time record between the two clubs with a 124-102 record, though Memphis has held the upper hand recently. The Redbirds won lost the first series of the season this past week, two games to one, but triumphed over the Sounds with a 10-6 head-to-head record in 2011.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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24 Responses to “New I-40 Cup to recognize Cardinals-Brewers Triple-A annual winner”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    It’s a nice marketing idea to have a AAA cup for Tennessee. Minor league teams love adding fresh gimmicks.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Mo needs to make a few roster adjustments. And matheny is overusing Motte, showing managerial inexperience.

    • friendmouse says:

      I concur, Shrimp. And I believe MM basically admitted to as much commenting on his “genius” idea to (attempt to) employ the suicide squeeze in yesterday’s game. Talk about stinkin’ it up! Yet, had it worked, everybody’s happy and calling him exciting, etc. Don’t get me wrong…I really, really like Matheny and believe he’ll be a fantastic manager throughout his career, but there’s no disputing the fact that his inexperience does shine through on occasion.

      I’d say our main roster adjustments need to come simply through getting our “disabled” to become “abled” again. Just think how much better we’d be with the following players back FULLY healthy: Jon Jay; Lance Berkman; Skip Schumaker; Chris Carpenter; Kyle McClellan; and Jamie Garcia. I’ll even venture to say that while he’s the “least of these” from a notoriety standpoint, we miss Jon Jay more than any of the rest of the aforementioned individuals. My opinion only, of course. And that’s not to diminish how significant the others on the list are. And that list is not all-inclusive, either; just the most important, in my opinion. I start salivating over the thought that we could very well have all these players back and healthy in August!! Can’t wait!!

      • blingboy says:

        Saying we miss a fully healthy Jay more than a fully healthy Carp or Lance might be going too far. It does seem somewhat less “too far” the more one thinks about it. But still . . .

        We miss MCarp too.

        IMO, an inexperienced manager is the least of our problems, if its a problem at all.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        mouse, we agree about Jay. He looked like he had lifted his game during April, before disaster struck.
        We worked carpenter hard last season, no surprise he broke down. McClellan was not strong enough to eat the innings of a starter. Garcia got overworked. None of their injuries are surprising, just part of the price of playing. But jay is a young player coming into his prime. We need his left swing to offer balance. Two of the hardest guys to replace are Molina and Jay.

  3. friendmouse says:

    So tell me, since I’ve been away for a while, does (Tony) RCWarrior ever come around anymore? I just so happened to be perusing some video highlights earlier today and came across the following…

    Nice shades, Tony! And very nice game, Colby!!

    • blingboy says:

      He hasn’t been here for quite awhile. Its hard to think he’s not popping in on some board somewhere.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      RC will be looking in…………. you owe me a forest green Corvette….. Partner……….. Colby’s bat position, load, the works………would all be in the archives under WCBW…. if they went back that far……….. I have to admit that the toes on the inside line…plate high…..takes balls……. If he gets too hot……they WILL back him off…….. get him rib protectors…………

      Jose O……….. and his 20 second instruction to Wainwright…….in which he launches on the first pitch………… going to get a ball low and away………EVERY TIME……..especially when you are whispering to Tyler on the pitch…………. Matheny needs ask for a convention, just to call a GD squeeze play????????????? Players coach. …………..and then he takes the flack………….. Mo will be straightening him out soon enough……….he is property………. People start ignoring McGwire…..and we start scoring runs………. Now that Clemens is free…….steroid era ends…..maybe Mark reflects a little bit…………only another WS title brings him back………. time to study the game……..

    • crdswmn says:

      RC has agreed to an interview with me for Redbird Rants. I will be posting the interview probably some time this week and when it goes up I will post a link.

  4. blingboy says:

    As of now the Giants and the Mets (gad) are the NL wild card teams. Our heros are 1 1/2 back with the Braves and Pirates (gad) ahead.

    The Orioles are the top WC team in the AL and I hope they end up hanging on. The AL East is a hard way to go and Baltimore hasn’t seen the post season in 15 years. Their last pennant and WS championship was 29 years ago in 1983. The last, and only, time they have met the Cards in post season was the 1944 WS.

  5. blingboy says:

    I am having fun pouring over all the subscriber only stuff on the main site and all around The message board has a section of subscriber only forums where I have been doing some lurking. Interesting stuff. The same with other team’s scout sites.

  6. blingboy says:

    A couple of things about Shelby Miller.

    First, a June 15 article by Langosch on the Cards site is titled “Cards not sending Miller down to AA”.

    The headline, as well as discussion with Vuch, implies that such a thing was under consideration. Didn’t know that, and it is a big item, as he is the top prospect, or second, depending on who you ask. A demotion would be drastic.

    Second, Langosch says of Miller: ” . . had to be disciplined because of unprofessionalism last season”.

    We knew that, more or less, but I had not seen it reported so bluntly until now.

    Third, there seems to be some confusion about Miller’s coachability, at least as to the message being foisted on the customers. In the June 15 article, Vuch is quoted as saying of Miller: “He’s being very coachable with working with our staff.”

    Then, three days later, Goold reports the org has had to impose a no shake rule prohibitting Miller from shaking off pitches called by the catcher (which I assume means called from the dugout, either directly or by way of letting the catcher know what is wanted). Getting him to use his secondary pitches has been the central issue, and it seems he has failed to cooperate. But he is being very coachable? A-hem. The reality seems to be he is being very un-coachable, which is itself unprofessional.

    So where is this all going? Surely, by the time a player reachs AAA he should be professional enough to cooperate with the coaches. Seems very strange. Especially since opportunity has been knocking on his door due to injuries in St. Louis, and he has seemingly done all he can to assure that it passes him by.

    • Brian Walton says:

      On your three points:

      There was a lot of internet talk about demoting Miller, so the media asked the question. At least that is how I suspect it came about.

      That his party (while being underage) led to Miller’s suspension was pretty widely reported at the time.

      On one hand, the organization has to protect and grow their investment, but on the other, they told the media about the no-shake rule.

    • crdswmn says:

      One of my colleagues at Redbird Rants recently did an interview with Shelby. You may find Shelby’s answers interesting.

      • blingboy says:

        Interesting. He knows what to say at least. Sounds like he is buying in. Encouraging.

        As an example of the mixed messages thing, Miller talks about how Isley has been a big help, etc., and a week later the P-D reports that pitching coordinator Strom was brought in to straighten out some issues with his mechanics. My take is that maybe Shelby wasn’t responding to efforts made by the Memphis staff to address those mechanics issues.

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