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Lawyers have taken over the Rally Cat Saga

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The saga of Rally Cat has taken a troubling turn.

When last we checked in on this story, the Feral Cat Outreach center of St. Louis had taken temporary custody of Rally Cat and the St. Louis Cardinals believed they were going to obtain full custody. They had even planned a Rally Cat promotion and everything.

Not so fast, says the lawyer working for the Feral Cat Outreach Center! From the Riverfront Times:

Rally Cat may have captured the hearts of Cardinals’ fans, but the team cannot count on recapturing Rally Cat, says Albert Watkins.

The quotable Clayton attorney says he has been retained to help the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach fight for the feline’s best interests — and at this point, the nonprofit is not at all convinced that his future lies with the Cardinals’ organization.

“While he will always be a Redbirds fan, he has to think about his future as well,” Watkins says. “His working days in the playing fields of Busch Stadium appear to be over. … Much like any custody battle for children the world over, what’s important here is what’s in the best interests of the health and welfare of the cat.”

It seems the Cardinals have upset the Feral Cat Outreach Center by virtue of their presuming that they’d get Rally Cat when it was anything but a done deal. They may have big plans for Rally Cat, but the Center’s lawyer says that there are still unanswered questions about how the cat will be taken care of. It’s all rather vague and some personal discord between Cardinals officials and Center officials seem to be complicating it. A tale as old as time? I dunno.

I do know cats, though. I’ve adopted seven cats from shelters in the past 22 years and there is, without question, a varying degree of, well, difficulty one experiences with certain shelters. Some are happy for anyone to come and take their cats as long as they seem like nice people and have a permanent address. Others are a lot more exacting. Back in 1995 I got a cat from a shelter in Alexandria, Virginia. They wouldn’t let me take her home until they conducted a home visit. No lie. They sent someone to my apartment to make sure it was suitable. I appreciated that their heart was in the right place — and I ended up getting the cat — but it was all rather ridiculous.

It’s hard to say if that’s what’s going on here. Maybe the Center in St. Louis is legitimately worried that the cat will become a sideshow and be shuffled between homes of interns or something. Maybe they’re just trying to get a big donation from the Cardinals. Maybe this lawyer is just a publicity hound and the story is getting blown out of proportion.

I will tip my cap to the lawyer for his hustle, though. If I knew there was business to be found in representing cats, I’d probably still be in the game.

UPDATE: OH NOES!

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.