Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Holliday activated, homers in what is likely his Cardinals farewell weekend

ST. LOUIS — If Matt Holliday's return on Friday night was his final appearance with the Cardinals, he made it one to remember.

Holliday connected for his first career pinch-hit homer after he was activated from the disabled list before the series opener against Pittsburgh, giving the veteran outfielder an opportunity to get back on the field with his future in St. Louis in doubt.

Holliday, who broke his left thumb when he was hit by a pitch Aug. 11, asked the club to activate him Friday to make what could be his farewell appearance in a Cardinals uniform. The Cardinals are not planning to pick up their $17 million option on his contract for 2017.

"Matt had reached out to me earlier in the week to have an understanding of what we're going to do with his option. I told him the probability of us picking it up is low," general manager John Mozeliak said.

"It's been 71/2 great seasons, Matt has been an amazing teammate and we've had a lot of success. He is grateful for being a part of the Cardinals the past 71/2 years and he wants to express his thank you to the fans."

Holliday appeared to wipe away tears when he received a standing ovation before stepping into the batter's box in the seventh inning of St. Louis' 7-0 victory. After he drove an 0-and-2 fastball into the right-field bullpen, the crowd at Busch Stadium gave him another standing ovation that brought Holliday to the top of the dugout steps for a curtain call.

Holliday signed a $120 million, seven-year contract after the 2010 season that remains the largest in Cardinals history. If the team declines to exercise his option, he would receive a $1 million buyout.

"While I'm disappointed this could be it here in St. Louis, I understand that it might be time to move on," Holliday said in a statement. "It has been an honor to play in front of such great fans and for such a historic organization. I can honestly say it has been a dream come true."

Holliday helped St. Louis win the 2011 World Series, the 2013 National League pennant and reach the playoffs the past five seasons.

He was hitting .242 with 19 home runs this season before he got hurt. Mozeliak did not rule out the possibility of negotiating a new deal with Holliday after the season.

"Saying there is no chance that he's coming back, I'm not prepared to do that," Mozeliak said. "We haven't had our offseason meetings. We have an understanding of what we want to see happen but those kinds of conversations are done at season's end."

The Cardinals entered Friday's game against Pittsburgh trailing the Giants by one game for the National League's second wild card.

Matheny also said right-hander Michael Wacha would start Saturday against Pittsburgh.

Holliday activated, homers in what is likely his Cardinals farewell weekend 10/01/16 [Last modified: Saturday, October 1, 2016 12:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  2. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller (13) gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Looks like LF Corey Dickerson is coming out of his funk at the plate — .186 average in past 16 games entering Friday. He had two hits Wednesday in Oakland and three hits Friday against the Rangers. Okay, one was an infield hit that bounced high in front of the plate, but the other was a long home run to …

  5. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome

    College

    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.