Matheny thankful for Ozzie Smith's help in spring training

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballStL | @BFeldman

KMOV.com

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 17 at 12:29 PM

BaseballStL is in Jupiter for spring training. Follow us on twitter @BaseballStL_app and follow our writers @TheJJBailey, @MauriceDrummond and @BFeldman for videos, articles and analysis.

(BaseballStL) -- For an entire era of Cardinals baseball Ozzie Smith was not just the best player on the team, he was also an icon.  And for too long he stayed away from the organization following his retirement because of a strained relationship with then-manager Tony La Russa. 

With Mike Matheny having taken over, Smith is back helping the organization he helped win for years.  And Matheny couldn't be any happier about it.

"It's funny.  I was introducing him today and going through the resume...13 Gold Gloves in a row, 10 All Star (selections) in a row.  There's just some amazing things that he's been able to do.  He's also just a great ambassador for the Cardinals," Matheny said.

Smith will work with the infielders as an instructor during spring training and, today, was seen talking extensively with Pete Kozma.   

"None of these guys have any interest in just coming here to be here and being a hood ornament for everyone to look at," Matheny said. "We have work to do.  We have things to accomplish to get better and what a resource with having an Ozzie Smith around.  And if some of the young guys are too afraid to come over and instigate that then that's their loss." 

The Hall of Famer will be in camp for about a week.

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