Results tagged ‘ Mark McGwire ’

Wednesday camp tidbits: That was… oddly normal

Greetings from Jupiter, where the locals are complaining about the chill, thanks to overnight temps below 50 and highs in the mid-60s. Rest assured, your correspondent is NOT among those complaining.

It was the last relatively quiet day on the field, with players going through informal workouts. Tomorrow brings the first structured pitchers-and-catchers workout. For those of you coming out to watch, don’t expect to see anything before about 10:30 a.m. ET. Usually, workouts start in the 9 o’clock hour, but pitchers and catchers undergo physicals tomorrow morning before the work starts.
Anyway, on with the tidbits.
* The most heavily-reported story today, of course, was Mark McGwire’s arrival. I know many of you are tired of it, and honestly, I’ll be happy myself when I’m writing more about position battles and less about what the hitting coach did 12 years ago.
With that said, though, I do believe that there were still legitimate, fair and relevant questions that had yet to be asked and answered. And quite a few of them were asked, and answered, this afternoon.
I have a full story on this on the site today, so if you’re interested, please do go check it out. In addition to that, a couple of things.
First, personally, I was impressed with McGwire today. He was relaxed, at ease, thoughtful. He answered every question, mostly of them with some depth and thoroughness. It was exactly the kind of session that should have happened a month ago at the Hyatt, but instead that day turned into largely a matter of who could shout the loudest.
He talked not only about steroids but coaching. I’m sure that in some corners, it still won’t be enough, but for me, I feel like I’ve had my opportunity, asked the questions I felt needed to be asked (or someone else asked them while I was there) and gotten the answers I’m going to get. For me, personally, I’m ready to be asking McGwire about baseball when I interview him at all.
Second, there was one quote that I didn’t get in the story that I thought was relevant. McGwire was asked about a topic he’s mentioned before: whether, when and how he plans to follow up on his stated desire to educate and warn kids about steroids. Here was his response:
“I do that stuff privately. I’ve always done charitable stuff privately and talked to people privately. That’s the thing about me. I’ve never wanted to do anything just to have a camera in my face and say, ‘This is what I’m doing.’ I think doing private things is really good. I’ve done it basically my whole life.
“When you see a kid smile and they really appreciate when you say things, don’t follow in my footsteps of what I’ve done, steroids and performance-enhancing stuff is terrible for anybody to even think about doing it. I was wrong. I’m so very sorry. I don’t know how many times I’m going to say that, but I am. I truly am.”
* As the last day before full p-and-c workouts begin, today was fairly sparsely attended by big-name veterans. Chris Carpenter made a cameo, for example, but Adam Wainwright was not seen. As of tomorrow, they’re on the clock. So even guys who have been working out down here are happy to take the day. 
* One guy notable by his presence is Skip Schumaker. He was not only present but out on the field, working out and hitting in the cage with McGwire. It’s possible that I missed someone, but by my count, Schumaker was the only infielder or outfielder with a secure job who is not coming back from injury who got out on the field today. Most of the other non-catcher hitters who are here are guys like Joe Mather, Nick Stavinoha (who is catching some) and David Freese.
* As I tweeted yesterday, Mike Matheny is down once again to help out the coaching staff. Matheny said his tenure in Florida is open-ended, but don’t read too much into that. Matheny is still likely a good ways away from a coaching job — being a dad is definitely still his top priority.
* Ryan Ludwick arrived by town car late this afternoon, after nearly everyone was gone. Another impressively early arrival.
Today’s playlist:
Rhett Miller, “I Want to Live”
Lucero, “Sixes and Sevens”
The Hold Steady, “Sequestered in Memphis”
Drive-By Truckers, “Three Dimes Down”
The White Stripes, “The Hardest Button to Button”
-M.

Tuesday hot stove tidbits: Glaus, DeRosa, McGwire, LaRue

I have a story going up on StLCardinals.com shortly with a look at the Holliday situation, the starting rotation, and a couple of other matters, but plenty of other tidbits came from my afternoon chat with John Mozeliak, as well as some other sources, today.

* Mozeliak pretty much ruled out the possibility of Troy Glaus returning to play 3B for the Cardinals in 2010. Glaus is just too big of a question mark, healthwise, to rely on to play 3B all year.

* My friend and colleague Todd Zolecki, who writes for Phillies.com and maintains The Zo Zone, spoke with a representative for Mark DeRosa’s agents and was told that DeRosa’s surgery went well. According to Dr. Gary Lourie, who performed the operation, the surgery was completed “with no complications,” and the doctor expects “full baseball activities well before baseball season begins.”

* There’s nothing new to report on Mark McGwire.

* This was one I found a tad curious. I asked Mozeliak if there was anything to be read into the fact that Jason LaRue has not yet signed, given that the Cardinals often act quickly to re-up their backup catcher.

This was his response: “We would like to see how things develop, and how things unfold. I think there’s a lot of things that could be different this year, and we wanted to take a more patient approach as we put this club together.”

I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility that someone other than LaRue is the backup catcher in 2010.

* Regarding an upgrade or addition to the right-handed relief corps, here’s what Mozeliak had to say: “I don’t think it’s a priority. But if we thought we could upgrade, we’d consider it.”

* Finally, the Cardinals and all other teams have until Friday to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. The Cards have some intriguing decisions, and it will be something worth watching.

-M.

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