Exclusive Interview with Scott Spiezio

Scott Spiezio spent the winter preparing to play a new position for 2006. Ray Mileur catches up with Scott after talking with Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa. Spiezio's role on the team is expanding.

Ray Mileur catches up with non-roster invitee Scott Spiezio after Sunday's game.

RM Scott, first let me say that as a fan, I was excited to see the Cardinals General Manager, Walt Jocketty bring you to St. Louis. For weeks I lobbied for the Cardinals to go out and find that guy who could be a corner back up and if necessary play at third base, if Scott Rolen isn't ready to play by opening day.

Somewhat to my surprise, talking to Cardinals' Manager, Tony La Russa, yesterday, I almost got the sense that you are in the mix for consideration for the starting job at second.

SS Oh, I don't even know about that.

RM You have already played second base twice this spring, which is a surprise to me. Is it a problem with you, having you play second base?

SS I played a full game last year at second base in Cleveland when I was with Seattle, it felt really good and this off season, Colorado was coming after me to play second base, so I really prepared myself this winter to play only second base. Once that didn't happen I started lifting a little bit heavier and I gained about another five or six pounds. Right now my playing weight is excellent to play the corner infield positions, second base or outfield. This is the best I have felt my whole career, the way I'm eating and my conditioning.

RM There is so much you bring to the team personally in terms of your versatility Scott, I think St. Louis is the perfect fit for you this season.

SS It something that I thought was a fit there. My last two years with Seattle were horrible. I have wanted to get out of there and last year I couldn't get out. I think everybody though I was hurt; people ask me how did my surgery went? You know people assumed I must have been hurt the whole year. No, I just a little pull in my side, really I could have been back in two in half weeks but they prolong my rehab and I just got 40 at bats and just never used me and it was impossible for me to get any sort of timing or so when I was able to get out of that deal it was the best thing that ever happen in my career.

RM I think so.

SS Seeing St. Louis and the opportunity there with Rolen being hurt and Mabry going to Chicago, I told my agent, if I can get in there it would be awesome. He said yeah we will work on it, I'll talk to Walt and Walt called earlier and things like that and I was like just keep my fingers cross, I was talking to five or six other teams and the whole time I was thinking I don't really want to make a move until I have to. And then I waited and waited and then I thought I may have waited too long. I told my wife if I don't, if something doesn't happen tomorrow, then I'm going to be scrambling. Then I got three offers, one offer was with Pittsburgh, but I didn't want to go there. Then my agent called and said St. Louis is ready to do it right now and I told him to call them and tell them we are ready to do it right now.

RM I was talking to Tony yesterday and he told me he was looking for the best all around players for the bench and was not really in the specialists market. I know you are going to see playing time this season at third, in left and perhaps at first base, if Tony can get Pujols to take a day off. After my conversation with Tony yesterday, it looks like he may be calling on you to play some as second base if not given the job outright. That doesn't seem to be going to be a problem with you.

SS No, I played second base everyday for two years.

RM I know your family is waiting outside, thanks for the time Scott and good luck.

SS Thank you.

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