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VOL. 129 | NO. 61 | Friday, March 28, 2014

Cards, Redbirds Could Be Dodging Rain

By Don Wade

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The old baseball maxim that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains is hanging heavy in the air for the Friday night, March 28, exhibition game at AutoZone Park between the Memphis Redbirds and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Baseball executives will be keeping a close eye on the skies as rain is forecast for the St. Louis Cardinals exhibition game against the Memphis Redbirds at AutoZone Park.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

Game time is 6:35 p.m. (all single tickets are sold out) with the gates scheduled to open at 4:30 and the National League champion Cardinals tentatively slated to work out and take batting practice beginning at 4:45.

But the weather forecast is, well, all wet. There was a good chance for rain and scattered thunderstorms through the end of Thursday, March 27, and into the early morning hours Friday. Then, a chance for partly sunny skies in the middle of the day, but a 30 percent chance of isolated storms from 3 through 5 p.m.

By 6 p.m. the chances increase to 60 percent. And by 7 p.m. there is an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms. Game-time temperature, however, is projected to be pushing 70 degrees.

“We know what everybody else knows,” Redbirds general manager Ben Weiss said of the forecast. “We’re just watching it and keeping our fingers crossed. Hopefully the baseball gods are looking down on us.”

Weiss said the Cardinals already had a couple of representatives in town and they were keeping St. Louis GM John Mozeliak up to date. Meantime, the Redbirds are trying to get the playing surface ready – and as green as possible.

“Doing the best we can after the long, harsh, winter we had,” Weiss said.

The Cardinals are expected to have more than 30 players with them, so they will have several more cuts to make before opening the season on Monday, March 31, at Cincinnati.

“It’s like a horror movie,” utilityman Scott Moore told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You will all go to Memphis. But some of you will not leave there.”

From the Redbirds’ standpoint, odds are good the Triple-A club will begin its season – on Thursday, April 3, at Iowa – with a pretty strong roster.

As for Friday’s exhibition, Weiss said if weather wipes out batting practice it’s worth coming to the game early for ceremonies that start at 6 and will include introducing both teams.

“I think it’s gonna have a special feel,” Weiss said.

A limited number of tickets for the exhibition are still available through a four-game package. Call 721-6000 to purchase or for more information. Or go to www.memphisredbirds.com.

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