Greetings on another spectacular day in Palm Beach County. We’re looking at temps getting up into the 70s, few clouds, not much wind, just perfect.
* The heart of the order is here. Matt Holliday pulled in late yesterday afternoon and dropped off some belongings, and he took to the field today. Albert Pujols showed up this morning and hit the field as well. Meanwhile Ryan Ludwick, who has been around for several days, took most of the day off before the grind really gets going at the start of the week.
Infielders and outfielders, by the way, are perfectly welcome to do that at this point. Until full-squad workouts begin, even if an IF or OF has reported, it’s all optional. He can work out as much or as little as he wants.
* Live batting practice starts tomorrow, with four pitchers facing hitters for the first time. Four more hurlers will face hitters on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday it will really ratchet up.
* TLR was asked about the news that Joe Torre is evidently retiring after next season, in concert with Bobby Cox’s retirement at the end of this year.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Bobby Cox will not allow a farewell tour, and neither will Torre,” La Russa said. “And I was telling somebody, Bobby’s liable to have so much fun this year that he comes back next year. he’s got a nice club.”
Asked if the retirements of his peers got him thinking at all, he responded:
“I mean it sincerely: I think one thing that I learned and I’ve been religious about is, I don’t let extraneous thoughts get into my head. this is all about trying to treasure this opportunity to win with this club, and concentrating on that. so I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about — ANY time — thinking about age, number of years ahead or behind. It doesn’t help you. so I don’t think about those guys either. Just don’t think about it. every day, with our staff, there’s plenty to think about.”
* The manager also had some interesting thoughts on the difference between the Cardinals’ late-regular-season fade (they lost eight of their last 10) and their playoff exit. He drew a line between them, saying there was very little similarity in how the club played.
“We definitely had some issues the last 10 games that were fixable,” he said. “But oher than the result, and I’ve said this before, I watched us against the Dodgers in Dodger Stadium and we were a good-looking club. I thought we competed really, really well. And then you get home and it was not a good game. We fell behind early and Padilla, we couldn’t get the ball out of the infield against him. I’m not including that one. So I felt like we were very competitive and we were 0-2. But the last three series, man, that was not good.
“I know we were ready to play against the Dodgers. But we did not do a good job the last [three series of the regular season].”
The Cribs, “We Share the Same Skies”
Hot Chip, “I Feel Better”
The XX, “Night Time”