NLCS Workout Day
Greetings from Shea and the NLCS. The Cards and Mets worked out today, and there was no significant news as Mets manager Willie Randolph said they will wait up until the 10 a.m. ET Wednesday deadline to decide whether Cliff Floyd (Achilles tendon) will be on the NLCS roster, with the likelihood of an extra bench player. Cards manager Tony La Russa (above) said Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen look fine, and I liked how Rolen looked in BP, pulling gappers and spraying perfect hit-and-run oppo shots. All systems go for Wednesday’s 8:19 p.m. ET start of Game 1.
The biggest news that I saw was that Albert Pujols broke his bat during BP. I believe he uses special BP bats for this very purpose, as he tossed it aside with only a mild level of disdain. This is the scariest batting stance in baseball if you are an opposing pitcher:
This is his poor broken bat. It just lay there splintered until the Mets showed up for BP.
Cardinals Game 1 starter Jeff Weaver talked at length about what it has been like to see Pujols on an everyday basis, and he went out of his way to talk about Pujols the first baseman. Here is some Powerblogging as the St. Louis superstar fielding grounders:
And this is Sir Albert taking his rips:
A great view in New York City today:
And now for the runaway NL East champs. Cards shortstop David Eckstein couldn’t say enough during his interview-room session about his shortstop counterpart in this series, saying he loves the way Jose Reyes leads with his youthful enthusiasm. Here’s Jose emerging from the dugout for BP:
David Wright’s glove doesn’t get enough attention. I’m doing my best here…
Here is the Mets’ Game 1 starter. Tom Glavine has seen it all. As he said, he has been on both sides of the playoffs, the good and bad outings. He said he does sense an overall level of pressure on himself to get deep into innings, but overall does not put pressure on himself to pick up the slack with Pedro and El Duque out. Glavine also said he presumes the club is more likely to want him back for 2007 considering that Pedro will be out well into that season…
This is the elevator that takes you from the press box level (where I am typing this) down to the field level and the clubhouses…
Throughout the press box level, there are giant reproductions of past Mets media guide covers on the walls. This is absolutely one of my favorites. As Tommy would say, they were a "buncha babies" — the first-year Mets and the worst record in baseball history. You’ve come a long way, baby…
More to come. We’re just getting started here at Shea. Be sure to leave comments and especially your NLCS predictions.
Hey Mark… Great pix. I’ve never seen inside Shea’s pressbox level before… Pujols batting stance is pretty scary, isnt it? lol That said, I’m gonna say the Mets manage to stay clear of him in big spots this week. Mets in six…
~ Eddie @ Willie Ball
Great shots, Mark. LOVE the elevator!
Maybe Mets video tomorrow?
Nicely done Mark. Uncle Albert’s swing is as scary as it is pretty. Should be a great series, but I agree with Eddie – Mets in six.
Eddie, you’re on record and thanks. Zoe, I promise some Mets Powervids and hi to Jasper the MVC. Paul, nice to hear from you and you’re on record as well. “Uncle Albert” — nice, great to have some Beatles on this blog!
People are counting the Cardinals out too soon…they came out in fighting fashion against the Padres, a team who had swept them just a few weeks earlier. The Cardinals are the underdogs for a change and I think it’ll suit them better. With a coach like Tony and a group of HEALTHY players, the Cards will take the NLCS.