The Springfield Cardinals Report: February 29

Our Springfield beat writer John Brayfield files a report from Springfield Cardinals media day.

At last, spring is in the air. How do I know? Because the Springfield Cardinals opened up the indoor training facility at Hammons Field to the media and treated us all to an afternoon of the latest baseball news and samples of the new stadium food to be served up in the 2008 season.

First the news: Matt Gifford, general manager of the Springfield Cardinals announced that this year would bring some changes for season ticket holders and to those reserving the party areas.

"In the past our season ticket holders have requested discounts on food items at the various vendor stands around the stadium," Gifford said. "We already give them a discount at the team store, so, this year we have included coupons for free items and discounts at the food vendors with their season tickets."

Gifford also announced that the dugout areas that provide special party seating for fans will be providing a choice of hats this year rather than everybody getting the same one. "In the past we have given out red hats, blue hats and khaki hats to everyone in the groups, but this year we are excited to give the fans who get together in the special party areas a choice of colors," Gifford said. "They will have their choice of 10 different colors, including red, yellow, orange, khaki, two shades of green, two of blue, pink and white. Our fans can join a group 10 times and get a different color each time."

And now, on to the important segment of the Media Spring Training Day - the food. This year, Hammons Field will be offering some great new items for those hungry for baseball and a little nourishment on the side. Some of the new items will be a Pretzel Dog that is a huge kosher beef hot dog in a pretzel shaped bun; a new fire grilled burger, a Rueben sandwich on grilled bread (which I recommend highly); and my favorite--a "walking taco." That's right a walking taco. They take a bag of Doritos, open them up, and add taco meat and seasoning, cheese, lettuce and salsa to the bag and you walk away eating it from the bag with a fork. And, when you are finished you have a built-in trash bag for your fork and napkin and whatever else you happen to be carrying. They will also be offering some new dessert items including sherbet floats and ice cream Cardinal sandwiches.

All in all, it is stacking up to be a great year in Springfield. The St. Louis Cardinals will be returning for two exhibition games in late March. The Texas League All Star Game will be played in Springfield this year on June 25th, as well as the first two games of the Texas League Championship series in September. There is a very good chance that some of the players who played in Springfield last year could step into vacant slots in the St. Louis line-up. I can't mention any names at this point, but they rhyme with Colby Rasmus and Joe Mather.

Hope to see all of you at Hammons Field this season. Look me up. I will be in the press box or somewhere walking around the stadium eating a taco out of a bag, enjoying a Reuben sandwich, and sipping on an orange/pineapple sherbet float, wearing a red, blue, green, yellow, orange, khaki, white or pink (well maybe not pink) Springfield Cardinal cap.

Go Cardinals!

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