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Tacky Tux Day a sign of the changing times in StL

Posted Friday, May 18, 2012, at 7:13 AM

On a sunny Thursday afternoon in San Francisco, the Cardinals decided to celebrate their own holiday.

Tacky Tuxedo Travel Day, as they affectionately named their flamboyant flight, was definitely a sight to see.

Pictures began to surface early in the day as the players began making their way to the stadium. First to come was Lance Berkman in a pink tuxedo complete with ruffled shirt and pink leather shoes.

Later on we saw David Freese in the Cardinals red equivalent of Berkman's suit with Max Headroom glasses and a Dr. Seuss hat on his head.

Another of my personal favorites was Matt Carpenter. He showed up at the stadium in full Pee-Wee Herman gear complete with slicked hair

A full team picture shows some of the gawdiest flashbacks to 1974 Las Vegas ever seen in a single place at once.

If you read between the lines of the photo, you can see a very different team than in recent years. In 2011, the team was as relaxed as I have ever seen them. In 2012, this team seems so happy together that it's comical.

When I first had the chance to see the full team photo Thursday evening, all I could think about was Albert Pujols.

Not in a million years can I imagine him participating in something like that. Even less so than Pujols, though is Tony LaRussa.

I can't help but wonder what a stoic manager, all business like he is, would have thought about Tacky Tux Day.

While the easy answer is to say he wouldn't have allowed it, I really think he would have. That is, as long as it wasn't September 20 and the team four games back. LaRussa liked his teams loose and would have been very proud to see he had a team this comfortable with one another.

With Matheny's different managing style, I have no doubt that he is happy with his team's attitude.

Even after a rough loss on Thursday, the team still hung in there with their plans. Some managers would have a problem with that, but in my opinion it just shows their ability to let things bounce off of them. To see them do something to help bounce the painful Thursday loss to Matt Cain and the Giants off their backs and head into Los Angeles with a good attitude.

The one fortunate thing about the trip to L.A. is that they will be facing the Dodgers sans Matt Kemp. The Dodgers are still winning, but there's no doubt you will always fare better against a team without Matt Kemp. While it's still not going to be easy, right now the Cardinals can use all of the help they can get their hands on.

To submit a question for the Balls & Strikes Mailbag, either e-mail cnoles@dailystatesman.com, call (573)624-4545, or fill out the form at dailystatesman.com/blogs/coreynoles/

Follow him on Twitter @coreynoles

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Thanks for going back in time. My Mom was a big baseball fan, she would have loved you blogs.

-- Posted by mythought on Fri, May 18, 2012, at 8:08 AM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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