It's not just warm, it's actually hot here in Jupiter. Temperatures are in the mid-80's for the Cardinals first official workout for pitchers and catchers. The Cardinals already have two pitchers having some arm problems; Mitchell Boggs and Matt Scherer. Both guys spent most of '08 in triple A and don't figure to make the roster out of spring. They'll take it easy in these opening days of camp.
Tony La Russa said today every position on the field is up for grabs, with one exception. He said Albert Pujols is the only player who could go oh for the spring and still be the starter on opening day. Everybody else has to prove they deserve to be starting.
La Russa has the most eclectic group of friends of any baseball manager in history. Today he had two members of the rock band "Disturbed" as his guests. Tony spent several minutes watching practice standing next to guitar player Dan Donegan of the band. Donegan has the multiple piercings and long haired rock star look. I have to admit I've never heard of the band "Disturbed" but I was told they have a song on Guitar Hero. That's how completely out of touch I am on the rock scene.
Mike Matheny is here helping with the catchers. I do remember him. Matheny is one of those guys that commands instant respect from those around him. As soon as he decides he wants to get back into baseball full time, I'm sure some team will be quick to hire him as a manager or big league coach.
I met Joe Thurston for the first time today. He's the free agent the Cardinals signed from the Red Sox organization to compete for the second base job. He looked very good in the batting cage, for whatever that's worth at this point. He and Skip Schumaker both spent about a half hour with Jose Oquendo working on turning double plays at second base. Thurston is an unknown quantity to most Cardinal fans, but he's a guy who has a legitimate chance to make the team and see considerable time at second base should Schumaker have problems with his transition to that position.