Metro Boomin Gets Key to St. Louis ... Using Platform to Help Single Moms

Metro Boomin was the guest of highest honor in his St. Louis hometown on Thursday ... presented with a Key to the City for his years of giving back to single mothers.

TMZ Hip Hop got pics of Mayor Tishaura O. Jones bestowing the key to Metro on Thursday inside City Hall, surrounded by dozens of St. Louis community figures, elected officials and his 4 siblings.

This year marks Metro's 7th "Single Moms Are The Real Superheroes" campaign and we're told the annual event is now being reimagined as "Leslie Joanne Single Mothers And Caregivers Appreciate Day" to honor his late mother, who died in 2022.

Little did he know, the city also had a gift for him -- December 14 will officially be "Leland 'Metro Boomin' Wayne Day" going forward.

The Diamond-selling producer teamed up with Amazon Access and Rung for Women for this year's function ... set up to assist single mothers with career coaching, skills training, and additional needed resources.

It was an emotional day, capping off Metro's amazing year ... he helmed the "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" soundtrack, partnered with the St. Louis Cardinals and earned a Producer of the Year Grammy nomination.

They don't give out keys to the city that often ... but they clearly trust Young Metro to continue doing good with it.

MLB's Lars Nootbaar Crumples In Pain After Fouling Ball Into Groin ... Leaves Game

Painful night at the ballpark for Lars Nootbaar ... the St. Louis Cardinals star foul-tipped a ball so hard into his man region -- he had to leave the game.

The incident happened in the fifth inning of the Red Birds' Wednesday night tilt with the Oakland A's ... when Nootbaar was trying to send a changeup over the outfield wall.

Instead, however, his bat barely got a piece of the baseball as it crossed the dish ... and it, unfortunately, bounced off the ground and ricocheted right into his junk.

At first, the game's announcers believed it had smacked off one of his shins -- but when the replays showed it went directly into his family jewels ... they knew exactly what was going down.

Nootbaar, meanwhile, was in a world of pain ... he writhed on the ground for several moments -- before he somehow got up. He would go on to strike out during the at-bat ... and then leave the game to get all checked out.

TMZ INVESTIGATES

It's unclear exactly how the guy is now doing ... the Cards only said afterward he was removed "due to a lower abdomen contusion."

To add insult to injury, Nootbaar's Cardinals lost 8-0.

Ouch.

MLB Star Adam Wainwright Belts Out Anthem At Cards' Opener ... Crushes Performance!!!

Adam Wainwright proved he has both a golden arm AND golden pipes on Thursday ... the Cardinals star pitcher sang the National Anthem for his team's Opening Day ceremonies -- and crushed it!!

St. Louis tapped the injured right-hander for the awesome honor just before the Redbirds took on the Blue Jays at Busch Stadium ... and check out video of his performance -- he proved he can saaaang!!!

The 41-year-old seemed very comfortable on the mic ... hitting every note as the crowd in the stands went wild.

It was a cool moment for the pitcher, who announced last year that this will be his last season wearing a Cardinals uniform.

Also, if you think this was a fluke ... don't -- Wainwright showed at his Big League charity event earlier this year he truly has vocals!

Wainwright won't be pitching for the Cards for another few weeks -- he's currently on the IL with a groin injury ... but when he gets back -- who wouldn't mind seeing one more rendition of the anthem before he takes the mound!?!

Metro Boomin Playing Voice-Over 'HERO' For MLB Opening Day!!!

READY FOR OPENING DAY
MLB Network

Young Metro Boomin is fired up to play ball -- he's partnered with MLB Network to be its voice of Opening Day!!!

The diamond-selling superproducer dropped off a video Thursday morning ... detailing the grueling 162-game regular season with shots of MLB stars like the NY Mets' Justin Verlander, NY Yankees' Aaron Judge, Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. and more.

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Metro's airtime makes good use of his hit songs "On Time" and "Trance" from his Billboard chart-topping "Heroes & Villains" album ... and also doesn't shy away from his allegiance to his hometown St. Louis Cardinals, rocking their ballcap in a recording studio.

MLB Network tells TMZ it's "thrilled to partner with Metro Boomin for Opening Day, and we’ll continue to explore opportunities to work with him throughout the season."

“You can’t beat this time of year," Metro quips in the vid. "Everybody’s staring at 162. 162 chances to make that beautiful music you can’t get anywhere else. Play ball.”

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Opening Day 2K23 has a savage mode schedule today ... kicking off with 15 games before the sun sets!!!

Dan McLaughlin Out As Cardinals Broadcaster ... After 3rd DWI Arrest

St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin will not return to the booth next season ... after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated last week, he announced Thursday.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch, Dan, who was arrested for DWI for the third time on Dec. 4, agreed with the Cardinals org. and Bally Sports Midwest that it was time to step away.

"I have spent the last several days reflecting on my steps towards addressing my health and the well-being of my family and me," Dan said in a statement. "My sole focus needs to be on my recovery, which I have started, and that of my wife and children."

"I thank all of the people of Bally for their support throughout the years and wish them the best," he added. "As I move forward, I, please ask for your patience and your privacy. Thank you. God Bless."

As we previously reported, Dan, who called games for the Cards since 2000, was pulled over by Creve Coeur Police after they noticed his white sedan failing to stay in one lane ... and he was subsequently arrested for DWI.

McLaughlin, 48, was ultimately charged with Persistent Offender of Driving While Intoxicated -- a Class E felony offense with a maximum potential penalty of four years behind bars.

"Dan McLaughlin will not return as the Cardinals television play-by-play announcer on Bally Sports Midwest," the team and BSM said in a joint statement.

"Dan has been the voice of memorable Cardinals moments for 24 years. We thank him for his contributions to Cardinals baseball, to Cardinals fans, and for his many charitable efforts."

Unfortunately for Dan, his troubles with law enforcement extend past his latest DWI -- he was busted for the same offense in 2010 and 2011.

Dan McLaughlin Cards Broadcaster Arrested For DWI ... For Third Time

St. Louis Cardinals announcer Dan McLaughlin was busted for driving while intoxicated in Missouri on Sunday ... marking his third DWI arrest.

Creve Coeur PD says 48-year-old McLaughlin's white sedan was failing to stay in one lane before conducting a traffic stop ... and once he was pulled over, there were several clues to indicate he was under the influence.

Police added there were two separate reports phoned in regarding McLaughlin's driving ... with the tipsters believing he was impaired.

During the stop, McLaughlin underwent a field sobriety test ... and based on the results, he was arrested for DWI.

This is McLaughlin's third DWI arrest -- he was also busted in 2010 and 2011.

On Monday, McLaughlin was charged with "Persistent Offender of Driving While Intoxicated" ... a Class E felony offense that carries a maximum potential penalty of four years behind bars.

McLaughlin -- who has called Cardinals games since 2000 -- was transferred to the St. Louis Justice Center, where he was held on a $25,000 cash only bond. He was released on Monday.

The Cardinals and Bally Sports addressed McLaughlin's arrest ... saying, "We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night."

"We are very disappointed to hear this and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment."

MLB's Keibert Ruiz Suffers Testicle Injury In Foul Ball Mishap ... Taken To Hospital

UPDATE

2:47 PM PT -- Martinez told reporters Friday that Ruiz is out of the hospital and on the way to meet his teammates in Philadelphia ... but he's been placed on the injured list and will likely miss the next three weeks due to the injury.

Washington Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz was pulled from the team's game on Thursday and taken to the hospital -- after he scarily took a foul ball straight to the groin.

Nats manager Dave Martinez explained the cringeworthy situation to reporters following the team's win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis ... saying Ruiz's testicles were swollen and injured during the odd play, which happened earlier in the afternoon.

According to the Washington Post, Ruiz was actually hit by the baseball in the bottom of the second inning ... but somehow stayed in the contest.

The 24-year-old, though, apparently felt awful as the day went on -- and needed a trip to a medical facility in the sixth inning in order to be checked out to make sure everything was OK.

No word on how he's doing Friday -- the team has yet to release an update.

Feel better soon, Keibert!

Originally Published -- 6:52 AM PT

John Daly Brings The Heat At Cardinals Game ... Perfect First Pitch!!!

He plays golf really well, belly flops perfectly ... AND he throws heat on the mound???

John Daly proved he can truly do it all on Wednesday night ... tossing a pristine fastball during the ceremonial first pitch before the Cardinals vs. Nationals game in St. Louis.

The legendary golfer toed the rubber dripping with swag too -- he rocked sandals and what appeared to be some Cardinals-themed board shorts.

Then, the guy fired off a laser ... wowing the crowd and the game's announcers.

If you're not impressed -- ya should be ... because many have tried to do what Daly did on the MLB bump before and have failed miserably (looking at you, Conor McGregor, 50 Cent and Dr. Fauci).

The golfer seemed to be good luck for the home team as well ... because after Daly's throw, the Cards went on to win a thriller, 6-5.

St. Louis plays again Thursday morning ... so, round 2 in a couple hours, John???

Albert Pujols High Fives Nelly After Smashing ... 685th Career HR!!

Albert Pujols went deep last night -- inching him closer to A-Rod on the all-time HR leader list -- and fans at Busch Stadium went crazy, including Nelly, who got a high five from the baseball legend after he crossed home plate!

Pujols -- who rejoined the Cards after spending 10 seasons away from the team -- smashed the 685th homerun of his storied career ... and celebrated the monster shot with the St. Louis icon on his way back to the dugout.

Of course, Nelly's a huge deal in St. Louie ... and so is Albert. Even though the hip-hop star has seen Pujols belt numerous dingers over his 22-year career, you can tell Nelly was pumped!

At age 42, Pujols -- a 3x MVP and 6x Silver Slugger -- can still put a charge in one and send it into the seats ... as demonstrated by how quickly he turned around a 94 mph pitch from Dodgers pitcher Mitch White.

Pujols announced in spring training that this would be his farewell year ... saying he planned to retire at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

But, don't fret too much Cards fans ... Albert's going out with a bang. On Tuesday, Albert confirmed he was participating in this year's Home Run Derby contest in L.A.!

"The rumors are true. I’m back for one more Home Run Derby. See you in Hollywood!"

Chris Rock Let's Play Ball ... With Lake Bell

6/13/22
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
TMZ.com

Chris Rock is in good company these days, taking in a baseball game with Lake Bell.

The comedian and actress were in a box together Monday night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, watching a Cardinals game. They were spotted by eagle-eyed fans, who got them on camera together at different points in the evening ... including in this video, obtained by TMZ.

No signs of PDA, but they were definitely sitting together ... and seemed interested in maintaining a relatively low profile. We're told Chris did an on-camera interview at one point, and LB stepped away so she wouldn't be seen in the shot.

Chris has been performing comedy shows there lately, and it seems Lake is along for the ride. They're both single, and relatively fresh off of long-term marriages in recent years.

3/27/22
TAKIN' NO DISRESPECT
ABC

It's been about 3 months since CR got smacked across the face by Will Smith, and by all accounts ... he's doing just fine. Not only has he continued to work, but he now seems to have a new lady friend (maybe).

Happier times are on the horizon, it seems.

Mets' Pete Alonso Thrown To Ground In Wild Brawl ... With St. Louis Cardinals

Chaotic scene during the Mets vs. Cardinals game in St. Louis on Wednesday ... a wild brawl broke out during the middle of the game -- and NY superstar Pete Alonso was thrown to the ground by a Cards pitcher and coach.

The crazy moment went down in the bottom of the 8th inning at Busch Stadium ... after St. Louis third baseman Nolan Arenado was pissed following a pitch that nearly beaned him.

Arenado turned his body to avoid being hit by the Yoan López heater ... then nodded and motioned to Lopez as if to say "come get some."

The catcher and umpire tried to restore peace, but it was too late -- because both benches cleared in order to restrain Arenado from going after Lopez.

The two teams collided near home plate ... and, at one point, Alonso was dragged to the ground by Cardinals pitcher Génesis Cabrera and coach Stubby Clapp.

Thankfully, the melee was quickly broken up ... and Alonso and no one else was injured in the fracas.

But, afterward, Pete was pissed ... and told reporters that if he really wanted to, he could have "put someone in the hospital."

"I easily could," the Mets first baseman said, "but I was just out there trying to protect my guys."

Of course, the bad blood had been boiling between the two teams for a while ... especially after Tuesday night's game, when Alonso got drilled in the helmet by pitcher Kodi Whitley.

In fact, beanball drama happened earlier in Wednesday's game, when J.D. Davis was hit in the foot by a pitch from Cabrera in the top of the eighth inning.

In the end, the Cards defeated the Mets, 10-5 ... but with both teams slated to play each other a bunch more times -- it's clear the drama might be far from over between these two.

Dodgers' Max Scherzer Flip-Flops And Shorts For Elimination Game ... What Nerves?!?

Think Max Scherzer is nervous about the Dodgers' Wild Card game?

Think again ... 'cause the L.A. starter cruised to the stadium Wednesday in flip-flops and shorts -- showin' he's absolutely CHILLIN' before the win-or-go-home matchup with the Cardinals!!

The Dodgers posted a glimpse of Scherzer's pregame 'fit just hours before he's set to take the mound in L.A.'s biggest game of the season ... revealing the pitcher ditched a suit and tie and instead rocked his comfiest attire to the ballpark.

Of course, pregame looks don't always offer accurate glimpses into the future ... but it's clear as day, Scherzer is feelin' gooooood before his big start.

That, obviously, ain't the best news for St. Louis fans ... because Scherzer has already been lights out since being traded to the Dodgers from the Nationals over the summer.

In 11 starts for L.A., Mad Max has posted a 7-0 record with a 1.98 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 68.1 innings pitched.

Game starts in just a couple hours ... good luck dealing with that slider tonight, Cardinals.

MLB Ump Junior Valentine Bloodied After Being Drilled In Face ... By Errant Throw

MLB umpire Junior Valentine was rocked in the face by a wayward throw Monday night ... and the ball hit him so hard, he crumpled to the ground in pain and began bleeding from his cheek.

The bizarre scene all went down in the Cardinals' game against the Mets in New York ... right after Kevin Pillar hit a ground ball to St. Louis infielder Edmundo Sosa.

As the shortstop ranged to his left and spun to try to throw out Pillar ... the ball got away from his intended target -- and ended up smacking Valentine in the face.

You can see in the footage of the play ... Valentine was visibly shaken up -- and needed to be tended to by trainers.

Somehow, though, the dude wiped away the blood and stayed in the game.

Afterward, Valentine's crew chief, Jerry Meals, said in a statement Valentine was doing fine despite the scary scene.

"He's been checked out and has no broken bones," Meals said. "He was incredibly alert from the get-go. The blood seemed to stop fairly quickly, thankfully, and he was adamant that he was fine."

Cardinals star pitcher Adam Wainwright, who was on the mound during the play, added, "I felt really bad for him. What a stud to stay in the game."

Shohei Ohtani Changing Baseball On A Global Scale ... Says Rick Ankiel

HE'S GOT IT ALL
TMZSports.com

Shohei Ohtani's monster 2021 season ain't just bringing awareness to MLB nationally ... the Angels superstar is opening eyes across the GLOBE -- so says Rick Ankiel.

The former St. Louis Cardinals star -- who was the last MLB player before Ohtani to have huge success as both a hitter and pitcher -- broke it all down for TMZ Sports this week ... explaining Shohei is just that electric.

"Look, there’s nothing the guy can’t do on a baseball field," said Ankiel, who Ohtani just passed on the all-time MLB home run leaderboard.

"Watching what he’s doing, it definitely is must-watch TV ... every time I see it, I stop."

Ankiel says because of Ohtani's ties to Japan ... the incredible year he's having is bringing eyeballs to the sport that may have never been brought otherwise.

"I think you’re going to have a lot of kids who are seeing him maybe for the first time on the All-Star Game, looking up to that and going out in the backyard and trying to hit like Ohtani, and pitch like Ohtani and try to be that growing up," Ankiel said.

"I think it’s fantastic."

Ohtani has a ridiculous 32 home runs already this season with a stellar .279 batting average ... and he's the clear-cut favorite for AL MVP at the moment.

Oh, and by the way, he also has a 3.49 ERA and a 4-1 record as a pitcher.

Yeah, Ankiel ain't lying ... dude is REALLY good at baseball!!

Bill Murray Leads 'Take Me Out' To Packed Wrigley First Full-Capacity Game Since COVID-19

FEELS GOOD TO BE BACK
Chicago Cubs

This is a beautiful, beautiful sight.

The Chicago Cubs welcomed a FULL-CAPACITY crowd to Wrigley Field Friday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started ... and none other than Bill Murray was present to give a majestic rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game!!!"

Of course, it's tradition for the Cubbies to welcome their biggest supporters to help serenade the crowd during the 7th-inning stretch ... so the team brought out its most diehard fan for the first game back with a full stadium.

"This is what it feels like to be 100%," Murray yelled to the crowd before the big moment. "And, we're gonna be louder from right now until the last out in the top of the 9th inning, understood?"

Remember -- the Cubs haven't hosted a full stadium since 2019 ... so the place was ROCKING during their game against hated rival St. Louis.

"Let's scare the hell outta these Cardinals, let's scare them!!" Murray added.

The whole crowd singing along with the Chicago native was a powerful moment ... and Murray made sure to make the last note hold out as long as possible.

The video is pretty damn emotional considering what sports fans have been through in the past year ... and hopefully, there's more content like this moving forward.

As for the game, the Cubbies beat the Cards, 8-5 ... and you gotta imagine the fans helped bring home the big win!!!

Joey Votto Rips St. Louis Fans 'S***-Talking Motherf***ers'

Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto had some really kind words for the St. Louis Cardinals fan base on Tuesday ... and by "kind," we mean the exact opposite.

The 37-year-old first baseman kept it a buck when speaking about the Reds' 4-game road sweep of the Cards earlier this week ... saying it felt REALLY good to get revenge after STL swept Cincy earlier this season.

"We had some s***-talking mother f***ers in St. Louis after their first series sweep," Votto said Tuesday. "It’s kinda nice to go on the road at their road ballpark and let ’em have it."

"We had some people sweeping brooms and s*** like that while we were leaving. So, how’d you like that? How’d you like that?"

DAYUM, JOEY!!! Tell us how you REALLY feel!!!

Now, Votto said all this with a smile on his face ... but the hatred between the NL Central rivals is real -- remember, benches cleared when Yadier Molina shoved Nick Castellanos for getting all up in pitcher Jake Woodford's face back in April.

The Reds will host the Cards again next month ... and it's safe to say there will be even more drama.

Popcorn -- get it ready.

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