Today at the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm Up, a slow morning turned rapid-fire with Matt Adams, Brandon Dickson, Daniel Descalso, and J.C. Romero all taking turns in front of reporters in a short span of time.
Adams and Dickson will enter Spring Training trying to break camp with the big league club, having built reputations as important pieces of the Cardinal farm system already. Descalso, after making a name for himself in 2011 as a versatile player whether starting or coming off the bench, expects to be in the thick of the competition for the second base job. And Romero comes to the Cards looking for redemption both personally and professionally.
The afternoon promises to be exciting as well. Former manager (weird) Tony LaRussa has been in the house all morning signing autographs and talking with fans. But he’s not the only star from the 2011 World Series Champions making the rounds today. Jason Motte, Jake Westbrook, Jon Jay, Jaime Garcia, Lance Berkman, and Matt Holliday are among the big leaguers still scheduled to appear. A formidable lineup indeed.
Not to be outdone, the Cardinal alumni will be out in force today as well. Tom Lawless, Chris Duncan, Danny Cox, Todd Worrell, and Tom Henke are just some of the former Redbirds scheduled to appear. And the Cards’ radio broadcast team of Mike Shannon and John Rooney will also be entertaining fans this afternoon.
But the biggest drama to unfold today may be the resolution of just which number new Cardinal Carlos Beltran will wear. Historically, Beltran has worn #15 and on last year’s Cardinal team, that number belonged to Rafael Furcal. Even though Beltran has a little more tenure as a Major Leaguer (which may normally sway a player to give up his number), Furcal has obviously been a Cardinal longer. And yesterday, the Cardinal shortstop told reporters he was not giving up #15…after all, he did win a World Championship with the number on his back. Apparently that information made it to Beltran because last night he tweeted (@carlosbeltran15) a request for input on what his new number should be. So perhaps Beltran will make his decision before his scheduled Winter Warm Up appearance Monday, or maybe he and Furcal can come to some kind of agreement on a swap. Or maybe someone will solicit a decision from former Cardinal Jim Edmonds (@Jedmonds15), clearly the franchise’s most famous #15 from the last decade.
Oh, the suspense. Stay tuned.