The grounds crew began to remove the tarp from the infield at about 12:20pm. Cardinals' batting practice, scheduled to start at 11:30am, obviously did not occur.
#48 is #12?
I spoke with Brad Thompson Saturday morning about La Russa's plan to go with one fewer reliever. Thompson was well aware of that and that he may be the player on the bubble but gave the right answer in reply. "There is nothing I can do about it other to go out and pitch." He was pleased to have gotten an inning of work on Friday.
Mike Shannon was especially jovial on Saturday, and was very visible in the clubhouse. As an aside, he is still drinking hot tea during games. I know that because I helped his broadcast partner Wayne Hagin find the hot water during his fifth inning break away from the microphone Friday night. We do it all here at The Birdhouse.
Pass the doughnuts
In addition to the normal hot breakfast options open to the players, Dunkin Donuts bagels and doughnuts had been brought in on Saturday morning. In defense of the players, the fat pills were pretty much left untouched.
King of the cards
As Thompson sat down to play cards with fellow reliever Ray King, I asked the latter if he didn't feel bad taking the rookie's money. King's answer made all the sense in the world. "Not at all. Remember that he's from Vegas!" Actually, there did not appear to be any money involved.
After getting whirlpool treatment on his knees (or legs), Jim Edmonds walked around the clubhouse barefoot. Most others wear slippers if they haven't suited up yet.
Charting the "D"
Bench coach Joe Pettini was holed up in a (relatively) secluded area of the clubhouse, poring over charts in a large red binder. He also had a shiny laptop computer with printer all fired up. I had a long conversation with Joe, David Eckstein and Dave Duncan about defensive positioning of the middle infielder that I will organize and publish this coming week.
Will gets priority
George Will, whose book "Men at Work" originally christened Tony La Russa as a managing genius, was a pre-game visitor to TLR's office, as was Fox commentator Tim McCarver.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com
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