The Cardinals Rally Kitten is Missing

Craig Calcaterra
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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!

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

xander bogaerts
Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster $280 million, 11-year contract Wednesday night, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.