Craig Calcaterra

The Cardinals Rally Kitten is Missing

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On Wednesday night the St. Louis Cardinals were propelled to victory via the magic of the Rally Kitten. Well, Yadier Molina‘s grand slam was the real reason they won, but the kitty which ran around the field beforehand certainly used its magical powers to will Molina’s heroics into existence. That’s just science.

Usually in these situations the animal/weird person/odd scoreboard graphic/whatever inspires a rally becomes an unofficial mascot for a team. Think the Rally Monkey or that dog the Brewers found at their spring training facility. If it’s an animal, it either gets adopted or gets featured on a baseball card or something. This will not be the case for the cat which graced Busch Stadium with its presence on Wednesday, however, because . . . the Rally Kitten has gone missing!

It seems that Lucas Hackmann, the grounds crew member who was tasked with removing the cat from the field, got scratched and bit and, eventually, just let the cat go outside the stadium. Here’s his account from yesterday’s column by Ben Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“I finally get outside – and I wanted nothing to do with this cat at this point. My hand is just covered with blood. It looked pretty rough. So I got out to the Stan Musial statue, and I just set it down right there. I started to walk back in, and the cat was trying to get back in! Me and the ushers were blocking it – at this point, we didn’t think that anyone was going to want the cat. And then some ushers said, ‘Hey, you need to go to First Aid right now . . . I’ve got First Aid people dealing with me, telling me I need to go to the hospital. And I’ve got my boss calling me – ‘What did you do with the cat? Matheny wants it!’ And I said, ‘Oh that’s not good – I set it outside!’

Not gonna judge, friend — cats aren’t always user-friendly — but as a relative expert in cat matters, allow me to suggest that, next time, you grab it by the scruff of the neck and support its weight with your other hand or arm.

But wait, there’s more! The Cardinals issued this statement about the fate of the cat. It picks up here after Hackmann puts the cat down by the statue:

At that point, as our ushers tried to contain the cat, a fan grabbed it and claimed it was hers. As she left the ballpark, our security team caught up with her and asked her some questions. She then abruptly left with the cat. We understand from media accounts that the woman intended to take it home and care for it, but lost track of it in City Gardens.

The Cardinals say they’re working on a new protocol for their grounds crew the next time an animal gets on the field. I humbly volunteer my services if the animal is a cat.

UPDATE: The Rally Kitten may have been found!

Bradley Zimmer to miss 8-12 months after shoulder surgery

Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins
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Indians outfielder Bradley Zimmer is out for the year after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, the team announced Saturday. The projected recovery timetable spans anywhere from 8-12 months, which puts Zimmer’s return in the second half of the 2019 season, assuming that all goes well.

Zimmer, 25, had not made an appearance for the Indians since June 3. He racked up a cumulative nine weeks on the major- and minor-league disabled lists this season and will have finished his year with a .226/.281/.330 batting line, seven extra-base hits, and four stolen bases in 114 plate appearances.

The outfielder reportedly sustained his season-ending injury during a workout in Triple-A Columbus, where Cleveland.com’s Joe Noga says Zimmer began feeling discomfort in his shoulder after completing a set of one-handed throwing drills. Comments from club manager Terry Francona suggest that the Indians have every reason to believe that he’ll make a full recovery by next summer, though it’s not yet clear whether or not he’ll need additional time to readjust to a full workload when he takes the field again.