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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

Welcome back, baseball

Posted Friday, February 17, 2012, at 8:52 AM

While the official report date isn't here yet, a truckload of Cardinals are already in Jupiter, Fla. working out and getting ready.

Adam Wainwright, 12 months removed from Tommy John elbow surgery, is convinced he's ready for the season.

Mike Matheny is getting his first taste of Spring Training as a manager.

And I'm ready for some baseball.

We've had a few tidbits of Cardinals news this week that interest me.

Jim Edmonds, is taking a role in the club as a Spring Training instructor. I can't emphasize enough what a good thing I believe this could be for guys like Jon Jay and Allen Craig.

Edmonds' defensive prowess and veteran experience at centerfield are things Jay has yet to be exposed to. "Jimmy Ballgame" was a great presence in the clubhouse and understands the defensive end of this game like no other.

After Game 7 of the 2011 World Series I was in the interview room in the "guts" of Busch Stadium listening to a drenched LaRussa commend his team for their hard work and amazing run. During his interview a head poked its way through the door to watch. I looked over, and must not have kept my game face on because he looked right at me and said "Shhhh." He was waiting for Tony to turn his head and see him. When he finally did Jimmy made a goofy face at him and slinked back out the door without saying a word.

For years Edmonds was one of my favorite baseball players and I tried countless times to get an autograph, but with no luck. One of these days. I've been saying the same thing about Mark McGwire since 2001.

Forgive my tangent. Another interesting tidbit of "Cardinals" news involves LaRussa.

It was reported this week that Tony will be visiting the Detroit Tigers for a couple weeks during Spring Training to spend some time with their front office man, Dave Dombrowski.

LaRussa won't be donning a Tigers jersey, but instead getting a feel for the front office business aspect of the game. He made it clear when he retired that he was retiring from managing, not baseball.

I'm curious to see where his next job will be. While it could be with a team, I fully expect it to be a job with the commissioner's office like Joe Torre had. It's entirely possible we could see him in that very position.

If he goes to work for another team I fully expect it to be Detroit. He and Tigers manager Jim Leyland are longtime friends. Leyland was even at the World Series as a guest of LaRussa this year. Leyland was hired by LaRussa during his tenure as manager of the Chicago White Sox.

Its' a sensible fit, but the idea of "Don" Tony with another team is just awkward.

I apologize if this column is a little out of the ordinary, I had an "incident" a few nights ago that resulted in a concussion and I'm still a little out there.

Thanks for reading - CN

To submit a question for the Balls & Strikes Mailbag, either e-mail cnoles@dailystatesman.com , call (573)624-4545 or fill out the form at dailystatesman.com/blogs/coreynoles/



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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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