September 27, 2021

Talk and Action

February 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

As everyone knows by now, the pitchers, the catchers and other assorted players and Cardinal brass showed up in Jupiter yesterday.

The hitting coach dwarfed them all.

Mark McGwire came to camp yesterday and, as he often does, stole the spotlight.  This time, in my mind, it was in a positive way, as he talked to the media for 17 minutes, answering everything they threw at him.  If you want the raw data, as it were, BJ Rains at the Globe-Democrat uploaded the audio and here’s a little video.

Not everyone was completely satisfied by this, apparently, but to this “easily pleased Cardinal loyalist,” I can’t see where there’s much more McGwire can or should do.  He’s answered questions and he’s done so in a manner that he feels is truthful and honest.  You can disagree with what he says, but he’s said it, he’s not changing, and it really is time to move on.

Look at what McGwire has done in comparison to the stories coming out about Tiger Woods’s statement for tomorrow.  Granted, Tiger’s transgressions had nothing to do with the game and don’t have the legal facet to deal with, but it works for a quick comparison.

Tiger is going to control everything, or at least try to.  He’s put limits on how many reporters can be in the room.  He’s not taking questions.  He’s going to talk for about 5 minutes.  (Again, assuming all the reports are accurate.)  In contrast, McGwire spent a whole day on this when he confessed, had a brief (and ill-fated) media time at Winter Warm Up, and then had yesterday’s Q and A.  Yet there seems to be more acceptance of the “move on” mantra from the golf side of things than the baseball side.

We talked about this at length during last night’s UCB Radio Hour, so if you want more talk of it, head there.  Hopefully this will be the last time it is an extensive discussion in this part of the woods.

The Cardinal skipper made it to camp yesterday as well and spoke with the media.  He made a point of reiterating again that David Freese isn’t guaranteed anything, though they think he’s worked hard to be where he’s at.  At what point is that just a psychological ploy?  I mean, if Freese doesn’t make the 3B slot on Opening Day, who does and in how bad of a shape is this team?  I guess Joe Mather could be dominant and take it away from him, but I don’t see it.  Then again, that’s what spring is about.

There also no rush to get any other players into camp for the bench.  It sounds like they are keeping the door open on Felipe Lopez and might look at anyone else that dropped into their lap, but they really seem content to have a very young bench.  The cynics would say that keeps the payroll down, which probably factors into the equation somewhat.  As my motto has been the last few months, every dollar they save now is a dollar more they can give to Albert Pujols.

There comes a time, though, where you have to find out if these guys can play in the bigs.  Guys like Allen Craig, Joe Mather, Nick Stavinoha, they don’t have a lot (if anything) left to prove in the minors.  It’s time for them to contribute up in the bigs.  This team, if everyone stays healthy (which is a large caveat, to be sure) isn’t going to need a whole lot of bench time anyway, so the younger crowd might be what’s best.

To wrap up today, be sure to check out Blake Hawksworth’s blog to get a feel for the camp and watch Yadier Molina get his first day in.  Great stuff to see and read, isn’t it?

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