St. Louis Cardinals: Back in the Saddle

Mike WestContributor IFebruary 22, 2009

That’s right.  After a very long and busy winter, Mike is back on the Cards.  Miss me? Thought so.  Well, there’s no sense in dragging it out.  Let’s dive right in.

It’s late February, and that means Spring Training.  It means warm weather.  It means green grass.  It means the smell of leather, the crack of the bat, and the pop of the mitt. It means red jerseys and caps.  

It means Cardinals baseball.

I made my first trip of the year up to Jupiter last Wednesday to catch the workout and get my fix.  Winter is a tough time to be a baseball fan, and seeing the Cards finish fourth in the division after hanging in the race all last season made me even more anxious for the clean slate of 2009.  

I’m always reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the great Rogers Hornsby.

“People ask me what I do all winter when there’s no baseball.  I’ll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

Needless to say, it was fun.  Seeing all of my heroes back on the diamond really put me at ease.  For the entire day, all the stress of the daily grind was nowhere to be found.  I was watching baseball.  I don’t know if the team is going to be better or worse than it was last season, but I don’t care.  Baseball is back.

I got to watch Mike Matheny and the catchers doing drills.  I got to see Albert Pujols, and the sluggers take batting practice.  I saw Tony La Russa hit to Skip Schumaker and the infielders, Red Scheindest cruise around in his golf cart, and Larry Walker throw BP.  The veterans, the rookies, and the newcomers.  I saw them all.  And to top it off, I nearly got run over by Gold Glover, Yadier Molina.  It was a great day.

Of course I took several pictures.  Find them here, as well as a new permalink in the left-hand sidebar.

Grapefruit League play opens up this Wednesday, with the Cardinals hosting the Marlins, and of course, I’ll be in attendance.  As I’ve done for the last couple of years, I urge everyone come down to Florida to catch a game.  It’s a blast.

So, you know the routine.  Check back often, as I’ll get a new post up daily.  As always, comments and feedback are welcome.  Got a question about the team?  Ask. Want me take pictures or video of a certain player at an upcoming game?  Ask. Want to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about?  Say so.  Want to chat about how bad the Cubs suck?


Forty-three days until Opening Day!