Need a baseball fix? The Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up is where you need to be
ST. LOUIS — For fans in attendance, the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up this weekend provides one of the best chances of the year to rub shoulders (literally sometimes, the crowds are that thick) with players present and past.
It’s not cheap — admission passes are $40 — but all proceeds go to a good cause, Cardinals Care. There are plenty of programs to make it worthwhile, too.
— Club president Bill DeWitt III will provide an update on Ballpark Village on Monday morning at 10. All signs point to this must-see project opening in late March.
— General manager John Mozeliak is scheduled for two hours on the main stage Saturday starting at 11 a.m. Mozeliak answers questions in these settings as candidly as he often does with the media, making this a must-see session.
— Dan Kantrovitz, the team’s director of scouting, will give an inside look at the Cardinals’ draft process Sunday afternoon at 2. Team photographer extraordinaire Scott Rovak is scheduled to talk about his work Sunday morning and Monday afternoon. Team physician Dr. Wendell Becton will discuss concussions in baseball Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
For fans not heading to the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, don’t worry. The media will be out in force seeking off-season updates. This is the only chance between the end of last season and spring training to see all, or most, of the players in one setting.
According to the club’s schedule, the only players on the 25-man roster not scheduled to make an appearance are lefty pitchers Jaime Garcia and Randy Choate.
Barring last-minute cancellations, always a possibility, we should get a look at new Cardinals Peter Bourjos, Jhonny Peralta and Mark Ellis.
We could learn plenty about returning players, too:
Will top prospect Oscar Taveras be ready for spring training?
Has Allen Craig’s ailing foot completely healed?
How does Pete Kozma feel about being the odd man out at shortstop?
What has Jon Jay been working on as he prepares to fight for his job this spring (losing weight, based on photos he’s posted on Instagram)?
What does Michael Wacha have planned for an encore?
Is Matt Carpenter pleased to be returning to his natural position, third base?
Does Lance Lynn believe he has to win a spot in the rotation in spring training?
Does Joe Kelly have any goofiness planned for 2014?
OK, so you already might know some of these answers. Still, any baseball you can get in the dead of winter is not a bad thing. As lousy as the weather has been lately, a Warm-Up is welcomed.
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at email@example.com.