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