St. Louis Cardinals

(screen capture/St. Louis Cardinals Video)

Busch Stadium has hosted "football" before - but not of the American variety. That changed on Saturday, when Southern Illinois University - Carbondale faced Southeast Missouri State on an improvised gridiron in "baseball heaven."

Adam Allington, STL Public Radio

Baseball-mad St. Louis is welcoming the Cardinals for the first home game of the year.

After starting the season with six road games, the Cardinals host the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon.

The usually festive occasion in St. Louis is a little melancholy this season. Monday's game is the first Cardinals home game since the death of Stan Musial.

The Hall of Famer died in January at age 92. His absence was notable before the game as the team's other members of the Hall of Fame circled the Busch Stadium warning track in Mustangs.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Sunlight Foundation has released a report on political donations made by all major league baseball organizations in the 2012 elections. So, which political players got money from Cardinals employees?

At a glance, here are a few takeaways (you can explore the full dataset yourself below):

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The St. Louis Cardinals will wear a patch on their left sleeve this season to honor the memory of Stan Musial.

The Hall of Famer widely considered the greatest Cardinal player ever died in January. To honor his memory, the Cardinals will debut the patch in the season opener Sunday at Arizona.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

We know the question, unquestionably, in many Cardinals fans' heads right now is something like this:

"What? Number FIVE? We're number one!"

Well, Cardinals pride aside, the Redbirds' home turf has been rated as the number 5 best ballpark in America by TripAdvisor.

The site lists Busch between Fenway Park in Boston and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The number one spot for major league baseball in the country? PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 12:40 p.m. with quotes from Mozeliak, Matheny and DeWitt.

Calling continuity important to a winning baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals have announced contract extensions for the teams' manager and general manager.

GM John Mozeliak will remain in that role until 2016. The team also picked up the 2014 option for manager Mike Matheny, who is in his second season. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Ever the competitor, Cardinals right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter isn't entirely ruling out returning to the mound this season.

Carpenter, 37, is battling recurring pain and numbness in his throwing shoulder, as well as discoloration in his hand. The team announced last week that he's unlikely to pitch in 2013.

"I can't pitch with the way that I feel right now," Carpenter said. "It's not fair to anyone."

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

After years of delays, work on Ballpark Village in St. Louis is finally under way.

The St. Louis Cardinals broke ground on Friday on the $100 million first phase of the project that will be developed on the site of the old Busch Stadium, next to the new stadium.

Ballpark Village was part of the development agreement between the city and the Cardinals when planning for the new stadium began back in 1999.  As it stands the team says phase one will be accessible to fans as of Opening Day 2014.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated at 3 p.m. with quotes from Matheny, Mozeliak, and at 4:20 p.m. to correct typographical errors.

For the third year in the row, the St. Louis Cardinals will go into spring training missing an ace pitcher.

The team announced this morning that Chris Carpenter is "unlikely to pitch" in the 2013 season, and quite possibly for longer.

General manager John Mozeliak says the 37-year-old is experiencing the same numbness and pain in his neck, shoulder and arm that led him to miss almost all of the 2012 season and undergo surgery in July.

Sean Sandefur / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 7:50 a.m with details about Stan Musial's funeral

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has released further details on Stan Musial's funeral, which will take place tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. 

The funeral is to be held at the Cathedral Basillica of St. Louis, located at 4431 Lindell Boulevard. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York and long time friend of the Musial family, will join Archbishop of St. Louis, Robert J. Carlson, in presiding over the Mass. 

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