03/03/2005: Spring training news: The road to Opening Day...
- Today is the day that the Cardinals and the Mets were to play their Grapefruit League opener; unfortunately rain forced the cancellation of that game. Mark Mulder will therefore (weather permitting) make his debut tomorrow afternoon against the Mets.
- All Star third baseman Scott Rolen isn't letting the condition of his knee serve as an excuse to downshift his game. Rolen, who is suffering from erosion of the cartilage in his left knee (resulting in bone rubbing against bone), elected not to undergo surgery to correct the situation, because the recovery time from surgery would have prevented Rolen from starting his 2005 season on opening day.
- Some quick reactions on the part of Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen saved a number of fans from death or serious injury in an incident near Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL on Tuesday morning. Isringhausen, driving a Chevy Silverado, apparently attempted to negotiate a tight right turn into the players' parking lot at Roger Dean Stadium by pulling the vehicle to the left first. When his SUV veered to the left, a Mercedes attempted to pass him on the right, and as Isringhausen started his right turn the two vehicles collided. The collision with the Mercedes caused Isringhausen's SUV to veer towards a group of autograph-seeking fans standing near the entrance to the lot. Isringhausen managed to realize the gravity of the situation and swerved his SUV away from the fans.
- Looking forward to his second season of playing first base for the Cardinals, Albert Pujols is garnering raves for his exemplary defensive play. Needless to say, the phrase "future Gold Glove award" is on a lot of lips.
- I may have to rethink that trip to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play in their last season in Busch Stadium II; reports are that the Cardinals have already sold 2.5 million tickets for the 2005 season, even though individual game sales don't start until this Saturday. If past history is any indication, tickets for weekend games will be in pretty short supply.
- In Cooperstown, NY, the National Baseball Hall of Fame announced the 2005 selections of the Veterans Committee for enshrinement in the Hall of Fame: none of the above. For the second straight time the Veterans Committee has failed to elect anyone in their biennial selections. Interesting to me, of the 25 players considered for selection by the Veterans Committee this year, 11 had connections to St. Louis:
Of that 25, no fewer than 11 players have Cardinals or St. Louis ties. Elston Howard, who was born in St. Louis, is on the list. The former Cardinals are Dick Allen, Bobby Bonds, Ken Boyer, Curt Flood, Jim Kaat, Marty Marion, Roger Maris, Minnie Minoso, Vada Pinson and Joe Torre.
Len on 03.03.05 @ 08:37 PM CST