Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday arrived in camp today, one day before their required report date. Both players went through some light fielding drills, and then took batting practice under the watchful eye of Mark McGwire.
Pujols and Holliday both look like they've been hitting all winter. They stepped into the cage and immediately began hitting rockets all over the field. Pujols didn't hit many out of the park, he concentrates more on hitting line drives to all fields. Holliday, on the other hand, hit a number of bombs well over the fence in left and left-center field.
David Freese was also in their hitting group, and Freese has also been very impressive. I realize that this is just bp, and you shouldn't take too much from it, but the ball really jumps off Freese's bat. He's been hitting long homeruns to every field, showing impressive power to the right.
After the batting practice session on one of the back fields, Pujols and McGwire went to the batting cage next to the Cardinals clubhouse and talked hitting for about 30 minutes. Pujols says he and McGwire share a similar philosophy to hitting. He's looking forward to getting McGwire's input as a hitting coach. Pujols says when he was young player just breaking into the majors, he was too shy to talk much to McGwire, who at that time was in the final year of his playing career but still among the biggest stars in baseball.
Pujols says he doesn't want to talk about his contract status anymore. He still has two more years left on his current deal, and says he's tired of reading all the stories about what it's going to take to get him re-signed. He says he's confident his agent and the Cardinals will be able to work out a deal when the time comes, but for now he wants to concentrate on baseball.
The weather has improved dramatically in Jupter. We were in sweaters and jackets most of last week, but today the temperature got close to 80 degrees. If I said it was actually a little too hot, would that be complaining? I thought so. Never mind.