03 October 2016

Cards, Holliday pen well-written farewell script

By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Mike Matheny worked without a script this weekend, hopeful of finding the proper way to recognize Matt Holliday's contributions to the organization, but unsure how that sendoff would fit amid a postseason race. In the end, it all fit together perfectly.

Holliday, who is not expected to be back with the Cardinals next season, experienced a series of farewell moments after being activated from the disabled list two days ago. It began with his unlikely pinch-hit home run on Friday, continued with a pinch-hit RBI single on Saturday, and culminated on Sunday, when he took his place in left field at Busch Stadium for the final time.

"It would be hard to come up with a better script," Holliday said after Sunday's 10-4 win over the Pirates. "Nothing ever ends perfectly, but it felt good."

Unlike the last two days, the Cardinals did not have Holliday as an available pinch-hitter on Sunday. His thumb was too swollen to contribute with the bat. But as Matheny heard the home fans chanting Holliday's name in the bottom of the eighth inning, the skipper began brainstorming. He huddled with hitting coach John Mabry and bench coach David Bell, insistent they find a way for Holliday's final tip of the cap.

What played out next seemed perfect.

Holliday emerged from the dugout, alone, before the top of the ninth. He jogged out to left field amid a standing ovation and arrived there still as the only player on the field. His teammates were standing outside the dugout applauding, as were several players in Pittsburgh's dugout.

"It's just so special. You know he has meant a lot to this fan base," teammate Stephen Piscotty said. "It was just a lot of raw emotion from him and the fans. [I'm] honored to say I got to play with him."

After taking time to recognize the crowd, Holliday returned to the dugout, replaced in the field by Tommy Pham.

"I just really appreciate it," said Holliday, who has been with the Cardinals since July 2009. "I've given everything I had, and I've tried to play the game the right way. I love the organization, and I'm really proud of a lot of the things we were able to accomplish in my time here. It does feel good, for people to appreciate who I am."

As he gathered his belongings for the final time this year, Holliday reiterated his plans to play somewhere next season. The Cardinals have already informed him of their intention to decline his 2017 club option, which makes it unlikely he'll return. If that's the case, Holliday finishes his Cardinals career hitting .293/.380/.494 in 981 games.

"I don't think you could have written it any better," general manager John Mozeliak said. "Obviously from the home run to the base hit and today, as his teammates stood up there and recognized him, it was perfect. It's not his last chapter, but it was certainly a well-written one."


Rookies Elliott, Prescott lead Cowboys past 49ers 24-17 from ESPN

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- With Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and two starting offensive linemen out injured, Dallas turned things over to a pair of talented rookies who have the Cowboys playing mistake-free football.

Ezekiel Elliott ran for 138 yards and a touchdown and Dak Prescott threw for two scores to help the Dallas Cowboys overcome an early 14-point deficit to beat the San Francisco 49ers 24-17 on Sunday.

1 win short: Cards end 5-year postseason run by Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- It all ended so abruptly for the Cardinals, who, after falling short in their nine previous attempts to move 10 games above .500, finally got there on Sunday only to find the mark ultimately inconsequential. That's because for the third time in five seasons, the Giants knocked the Cardinals out of the postseason.

San Francisco, which eliminated the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series in 2012 and '14, bumped them a bit earlier this year. The Cardinals' 10-4 victory over the Pirates became meaningless the moment the Giants' 7-1 win over the Dodgers went final. With it, the Cardinals became the ones left on the outside of what has been a three-team NL Wild Card race since mid-September.

For Texas quartet, all that remains is the ring by T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The photo was taken by Jenny Lewis in the visitors' clubhouse at the Oakland Coliseum when the Rangers were celebrating their American League West championship.  Her husband, Colby Lewis, was in the photo, along with first baseman Mitch Moreland, pitcher Derek Holland and shortstop Elvis Andrus. All smiles, this was hardly their first celebration. 

The photo is of the four remaining players from the Rangers' first World Series team in 2010.

Tribute to Stan by Bob Costas

The Piasa Bird

The Piasa Bird
The Piasa or Piasa Bird is a Native American dragon depicted in one of two murals painted by Native Americans on bluffs (cliffsides) above the Mississippi River. Its original location was at the end of a chain of limestone bluffs in Madison County, Illinois at present-day Alton, Illinois. The original Piasa illustration no longer exists; a newer 20th-century version, based partly on 19th-century sketches and lithographs, has been placed on a bluff in Alton, Illinois, several hundred yards upstream from its origin. The location of the present-day mural is at 38.898055, -90.19915. The limestone rock quality on the new site is unsuited for holding an image, and the painting must be regularly restored. The original site of the painting was a high-quality (6–8 foot thick) layer of lithographic limestone, which was predominantly quarried away in the late 1870s by the Mississippi Lime Company. The ancient mural was created prior to the arrival of any European explorers in the region, and possibly before 1200 CE. The location of the image was at a river-bluff terminus of the American Bottoms floodplain. It may have been an older iconograph from the large Mississippian culture city of Cahokia, which began developing about 900 CE. Cahokia was at its peak about 1200 CE, with 20,000 to 30,000 residents. It was the largest prehistoric city north of Mexico and a major chiefdom. Icons and animal pictographs, such as falcons, thunder-birds, bird men, and monstrous snakes were common motifs of the Cahokia culture. The Piasa creature may have been painted as a graphic symbol to warn strangers traveling down the Mississippi River that they were entering Cahokian territory.

The Boston Avenue Methodist Church

The Boston Avenue Methodist Church
Tulsa Oklahoma

1992

1992

The Tooth

The Tooth

Moscow Delegation

Moscow Delegation
2006

2013

2013

The Cards

The Cards