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Video: “The Freeze” loses a race to a Braves fan

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On a balmy June evening, in front of 38,123 fans gathered in the stands of SunTrust Park, well before the Marlins polished off their decisive 5-0 shutout and vaulted into second place in the NL East, the unthinkable happened: a Braves fan handed “The Freeze” his first loss of the season.

If you haven’t been following the rise of “The Freeze,” the superhero moniker of Braves’ grounds crew member Nigel Talton, you can watch the results of his first race here. He’s a seasoned sprinter and has plans to enter the 2018 world indoor championships in England, according to this profile by USA Today’s Andrew Joseph.

Friday’s loss wasn’t the first Talton has experienced at SunTrust Park — he lost to another fan during his first race on Opening Day — but it’s the first he’s experienced while under the teal-and-white guise of his speedy alter ego. On Friday, the race began in similar fashion to the others. The Braves fan took the customary 200-foot head start, but this time, The Freeze was unable to eclipse him on the warning track as the two sprinted toward the finish line:

Don’t let that dent your opinion of The Freeze, however. Talton told Cut 4’s Gemma Kaneko that his first race in costume inadvertently caused him to run blind, since he could barely see out of his goggles and wasn’t able to look up into the lights while sprinting. While he may not be invincible anymore, don’t be surprised if he has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Who are the candidates for the Cardinals managerial job?

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If you logged off over the weekend, you may not have heard that Mike Matheny was sacked as the Cardinals manager late Saturday night. I wrote about the reasons for this yesterday morning. Mike Shildt was named the interim manager and he will keep the job through the rest of the season. Between now and then the Cardinals’ brain trust is going to figure out who they want for the job full time.

Today Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch goes over a list of potential candidates. No, the Cardinals have not identified any officially, but Goold is a smart cookie and hears stuff and what wasn’t heard is informed speculation. At the very least, expect to hear many of the names he lists several times as the process goes on.

You gotta read his article to get the list, but there are a couple on there I want to talk about for a second.

The first one is Joe Girardi, who makes it because (a) he is the most prominent marquee manager who doesn’t have a job at the moment; (b) he played 16 games with the Cardinals in his final season; and (c) far more important than that is that he is tight with John Mozeliak. But while Girardi seems like a perfect candidate for a club in win-now mode, I question whether he’s truly the right guy given that he left New York for many of the same reasons Matheny left St. Louis (i.e. not relating well with young players). We can’t overstate that, however, because Girardi is, by every other measure, a superior manager to Matheny, primarily when it comes to managing a bullpen, so his rapport with the kids is not the be-all, end-all.

Goold also mentions Mark McGwire. He’s obviously a legend in St. Louis and, unlike a lot of former players who talk about wanting to get into managing these days, McGwire has been putting in his time as a coach for a long, long time. He’s currently the Padres’ bench coach. I’d like to see McGwire get the job for petty, personal reasons: a lot of people would get really, really mad about a PED guy getting the gig, they’d say and write a lot of dumb stuff and that, for me, is the key to a lot of content. Not gonna lie about that.

A lot of other interesting names on that list too. And there will likely be a lot of people, beyond those who the Cardinals initially identify, who express interest in the job too. It’s a sweet gig with historic job security for a marquee franchise in a baseball city, so what’s not to like?