The Redbird Report 03/03

New third baseman Troy Glaus is starting his 11th major league season, but to those who might surmise that he's old, Glaus responds, "I'm 31. I'm not 37 or 38. I'm fortunate enough to have already played for a long time. But I'm 31 years old."

Glaus, acquired from Toronto in the offseason for disgruntled third baseman Scott Rolen, is seen as the cleanup hitter behind meal ticket Albert Pujols. Last season, Glaus was limited to 120 games and 20 home runs as he battled a plantar fasciitis condition in his left foot while he was playing on artificial turf. That condition presumably has been corrected by surgery.

"I just want to get back to playing every day," Glaus said. "Last year was frustrating because I couldn't do that. I look forward to playing without distractions for 20-25 days in a row. It's tough to get in a groove otherwise, but unfortunately that was the reality of what happened."

Glaus talked with former Cardinals reliever Troy Percival, now with Tampa Bay, before agreeing to the deal. "I wasn't looking for a way out (of Toronto)," Glaus said. "When the opportunity presented itself, it was something I couldn't pass up."

Meanwhile, Rolen, in Dunedin, Fla., told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his mutual discontent with manager Tony La Russa had made it virtually impossible for the two to co-exist another season.

"It was not a feasible situation," Rolen said. "At some point, it's not reasonable to expect a nice, competitive, harmonic unit. I'm not sure anybody thought that was reasonable.

"It's unreasonable to think the competition (in St. Louis) was going to stay on the field. It hasn't been on the field, really, for the last 1 1/2 years. The energy, the focus and the competition were off the field. That's not good for me. It's not good for the team. It's not good for the fans. It's not good for anything."

NOTES AND QUOTES

--Manager Tony La Russa went to bat, in a manner of speaking, for Barry Bonds. "When you look at somebody dangerous to hit behind Albert (Pujols), Barry was the guy I thought of," La Russa said. "For whatever reason, at the general manager or ownership level, they didn't agree."

--LHP Tyler Johnson was shut down Saturday after feeling tightness in his left shoulder while he was warming up to go into a game. "Any time you have to stop a pitcher from throwing, there is a concern," said trainer Barry Weinberg. --RHP Joel Pineiro didn't appear in early exhibitions as he dealt with minor arm issues.

--Minor league RHP Donnie Smith was released two days after he was arrested on a felony battery charge. He allegedly punched a Florida man in the face in September.

--RHP Chris Carpenter said he is "progressing nicely" in his return from Tommy John elbow surgery last July. Carpenter is scheduled to begin throwing bullpen sessions before the end of March.

--OF Juan Gonzalez, a free agent hopeful at age 38, homered Saturday off Mets ace Johan Santana. Gonzalez is 6-for-7 with two homers in his career against Santana in regular-season play.

BY THE NUMBERS: 19 -- Saves RHP Jason Isringhausen needs to reach 300 for his career.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I take these guys as guys who fit into what we're trying to do. If somebody looks at the bigger picture, that's their responsibility, not mine." -- Manager Tony La Russa on why he, and not necessarily management, would want to sign Barry Bonds.


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