Sunday camp tidbits: The MVP arrives

Sorry for another late blog entry, still getting my timing down and getting back in the routine. Also, a relatively light day turned into a very busy one when Albert Pujols arrived and held court with us scribes.

* Pujols held a wide-ranging chat with reporters, lasting nearly half an hour. He touched on the World Baseball Classic, his contract, the direction of the organization, his elbow, steroids and plenty more. I’ll have two different stories on it going up on the site tonight.

* Mike Matheny stepped behind the plate to catch prospect Tyler Herron for Herron’s bullpen. Matheny was adamant that we not make too much of it — he has no desire to come back as a player, or even to begin coaching yet. But it was fun to see, and he enjoyed it. Matheny’s reveling in being a full-time dad and is very unlikely to get back in the game on a full-season basis until his kids are all out of the house.

* Ryan Ludwick arrived late yesterday afternoon and worked out today. He’s still hoping to avoid an arbitration hearing. If a deal isn’t resolved by tomorrow afternoon, though, he’ll begin the same dance that Rick Ankiel did — flying out to Phoenix for a hearing that may or may not happen. Part of Ludwick’s decision to come to camp right away was that Ankiel avoided a hearing, giving him some hope that he can too.

* I saw Chris Carpenter throw for the first time this spring today and he looked, well, he looked like a pitcher in mid-February. He threw fastballs and breaking balls, and the curve looked like it’s very early in Spring Training. But the throw was uneventful, and that’s all that anybody is looking for right now. Talking to people who have seen him throw already this spring, it sounds like he had a little more pop on his fastball than in his previous bullpens. Which is to be expected.

* Attendance (by players, that is) is excellent. Brett Wallace, Brian Barden and of course Pujols all reported today, meaning that only four players have not shown: Khalil Greene, Troy Glaus, Brian Barton and Jon Jay. With two days before report date, that’s a really good ratio.

* TLR acknowledged that the off days in the schedule could force some creativity. He said that as of now, all of the off days will remain actual days off for the players, but left it open to other options. Those days definitely have the potential to wreak havoc with pitching rotations and getting guys their innings.

Today’s Playlist:
New Order: “Crystal”
Elvis Costello: “Brilliant Mistake”
Martin Gore: “Compulsion”
Cars: “My Best Friend’s Girl”
REM: “Can’t Get There From Here”

-M.

6 Comments

I know no one’s going to like me saying this, but this is the feeling I get from Pujols direct quotes.
— ” I don’t want to [go to] any other city, but if that time comes I’m pretty sure wherever I go they are going to do the same way…”
–“It’s not about the money. I already got my money. It’s about winning and that’s it.”
–“And I told you, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not about the money all the time. It’s about being in a place to win and being in a position to win.”
–” It’s about accomplishing my goal and my goal is to try to win. If this organization shifts the other way then I have to go the other way.”
It sounds to me like he’s letting fans know that when he leaves St.Louis, it will be because he feels the team isn’t comitted to winning EVERY year. I feel that way about the team already. I sure hope they reverse their current trend or our man will be in pinstripes in three years.

Good to hear about Mike Matheny being in camp. Wish I could go this year and see him. I miss him–he’s my all time favorite Cardinal.

Shaun, for what it’s worth, that’s not really how I heard it. In fact, what I heard in a lot of ways was the opposite of what you’re saying.

He IS satisfied with the organization’s direction. I specifically asked him that. He believes they have been making, and continue to make, a sincere effort to win. What he said was that if he perceives that to change in the next 3 years, then he will view it differently.

Or, to put it another way: if he had to decide today, I think he would re-sign. But he was leaving open the possibility that that might change over the next three years.

-M.

I am so glad Albert was honest to the public about how the managers need to kick it in gear. Behind close doors they probably don’t care, but if they don’t start signing better prospects, THE BEST prospect in MLB will leave. We have the best bat in baseball, we have a catcher that is young and has the best arm from homeplate. We have talented young outfielders, but we have no consistancy in our pitching or closing. They trade a lot of our better players and we have nothing to really show for it. I don’t blame him for wanting to win. I want a team that can win too. Good for you, Albert! If you go, I’ll go!

Ahh its that time of year again… when a young man’s (and young at heart) fancy turns to what else… BASEBALL. Its here, its finally here. Spring training is only the beginning of my favorite sport, and my favorite team, the Cardinals of course. I’ll be looking forward to a more regular entry from M. Speaking of M, i hope you had a good offseason and we look forward to your insight into our team. I’m just excited that there is light at then end of the tunnel and that winter is almost over.

Yeah, I got the feeling from your article that that was NOT the feeling in the room. Or that Albert felt that way. It’s totally me reading into it, but it still sounds like laying the groundwork for the organization to be the villain should he chose to walk. I do believe him that he wants to stay, but from what we’ve seen the past two offseasons his condition is a BIG IF!!!

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