Spring Training, Day 2: Back on the beat

Definitely an interesting and enjoyable day today, as I was back on my old stomping grounds in a way. I had the keys to my old beat, the Cardinals, for the day in Fort Myers. And as seemingly always happens when I come back to the Cardinals, there was news.

See the story on the site for all the details, but Mike Matheny said before the game that he hopes to speak with Joe Torre of MLB about home plate collisions. Matheny would like to see them removed from the game. He spoke at length, with a sincere interest and had clearly given the matter a lot of thought. It’s worth seeing his comments.

Then the team went out and throttled the Bosox, despite sending a lineup that had maybe — MAYBE — three regulars including Jaime Garcia. The game lasted nearly four hours, but we still did manage to beat the rain that hit so much of Florida today. So that’s fortunate.

Today’s game in a nutshell: Jaime Garcia was sharp, especially in the first inning, and the Cardinals amassed 14 hits and six walks — most of them in the late innings against Red Sox pitchers with very high uniform numbers.

Quote of the day: “We’re talking about the brain. It’s just been so shoved under the rug. I didn’t want to be the poster boy for this gig, but I was able to witness in ways I can’t even explain to people how that altered by life for a short period of time and changed the person that I was. It’s scary. So that being said, you look at this game, can this game survive without this play? And I say absolutely. You’re putting people at risk.” – Matheny on concussions and collisions

Player of the day: Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras, who is just tremendously entertaining to watch do, well, everything. He had three hits, one of them of the infield variety. He caught the final out. And he did it all with… brio. The last time I saw Taveras in person, he was 18 and taking hacks in the batting cage during pre-Spring Training minicamp in 2011. I’m looking forward to seeing him play in more game.

Miles traveled: 7 so far today (but a good 140 or so left tonight), 271 for the trip.

Miles run: 3 today (on the treadmill, ugh), 3 for the trip

Diet sodas consumed: 0 today (per the very sage order of my lovely wife), 2 for the trip

Starbucks trips: 1 so far today, 2 for the trip

Roadside sight of the day: An ex-armadillo. Kind of surprising it took me nearly 48 hours to see one.

Up next: Driving tonight to Tampa, which will be my base of operations for the next several days. I’ll be covering an Orioles split squad at Steinbrenner Field, while Britt Ghiroli takes the other half of the O’s when they play a home night game against the Red Sox.

And, finally, the playlist:

Tracks from some of the albums that have caught my ear so far in 2013:

The Joy Formidable, “This Ladder Is Ours”
Solange, “Lovers in the Parking Lot”
The Virginmarys, “Just A Ride”
Foals, “Inhaler”
Torres, “Honey”

-M.

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