JUPITER, Fla. • Already this month, and in the coming months, you will read stories in which we meticulously analyze and scrupulously scrutinize each fascinating facet of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club.
This won’t be one of those pieces.
See, today is “pitchers and catchers day,” so in this space, let me take it all in … and try to take you here — because there are few cooler things than looking out upon the gaping green during the first day that baseball is happening.
“I’m looking forward to stepping out on that field and taking that deep breath,” Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said Wednesday, minutes before the pitchers pitched to the catchers. “You go out there and it’s like – (to think) I could be somewhere else? It’s always a welcomed sign. I would also add that I felt like our offseason was busy, and I’m just glaaaaad we’re here. We can only talk so much about the free agent market, the trade market and the club. Our confidence in this team is very high. We’re every excited about what we have.”
1 of 50
1 of 50
• There’s the great catcher, his dyed blonde curly hair peeking out from the back of his hat, above the name MOLINA screaming across his broad shoulders in white. No. 4 in red is standing in a circle of Cards and soaking up some sun, while the young catchers soak up some Yadi.
• There’s the skipper, his tan already in midseason form, throwing batting practice to a smattering of batters and – THWACK! – your body jolts the first time you hear a wood bat smack for the first time this spring.
• There’s a sign by one of the back fields, white with a red border, and it reads: “The Land of OZ” – Where Cardinal Infielders Become Wizards.”
• There are palm trees, hovering over the fields, today serving a similar role to Christmas trees, gifts below.
• There’s Jordan Hicks, in the flesh — no longer this seemingly mythical creation you read about online – and he’s firing his first fastballs of the season, and you wonder if his last fastballs of the season will be on the mound at Busch?
• There are the reassuring faces of spring, from Bill DeWitt Jr. to farm director Gary LaRocque to the same security folks and team photographers and fervent fans who are probably supposed to be sick at home, getting over something, but the only illness they have is, of course, baseball fever.
“It’s just kind of the kickoff to the season,” catcher Carson Kelly said. “Just a lot of fun so far. I’m excited for the next few weeks to come.”
And now we return to our regularly scheduled journalism.